Monthly Archives: February 2009

Artist Talk: Ellie Honl

Last Thursday, the artist Ellie Honl gave a talk on the third floor of the art building (much thanks to the Capital City Arts Initiative, which is currently hosting a show of Ellie’s work, “The Heart of the Quandry,” at the CCAI Carson City Courthouse Gallery). Her work deals with the subjectivity of extreme psychological states, sometimes playing with the visual rhetoric of psychological tests. The above print combines the cockeyed Es of child vision charts with canaries in various states of horizontality and verticality, playing with the notion of the “canary in the coalmine” as an indicator of safety.

While at grad school, she started using video in conjunction with her prints, as a way of teasing out her pictorial narratives. You can check out some of those clips at her website.

Aurobora Press Time

I had the great opportunity of taking the last workshop Aurobora Press offered at its previous location on Minna Street. It has moved its digs to South Park at 370 Brannan Street in San Francisco and will be up and running in a matter of a few weeks.
Aurobora Press concentrates on monotype printing. This was uncomfortable territory because I typically use other printmaking techniques. Well, it was great to get out of that comfort zone and work with some new people. Above are just a few of the prints I worked on.

shane hope: artist of note

(click on image)
This is a former colleague’s, lost friend’s websiteplaygroundexperimentnonesenseworkhorse that I found in my search for him. We went to grad school together. He was working in the New Genres Dept. at UCLA until he seemed to have disappeared. I don’t know, maybe he never really did.
I don’t know what to make of his site, yet there are details about his projects and strange links.
I remember early conversations (early, meaning back in 1996) he and I would have about the more interesting, maybe only interesting websites (definitely not art sites wanting interactivity- this coming from a land, water and air craft artist such as myself) that we cared to look at. Usually these were the amateur-ish sites, the personal projects that most definitely were not art. The art project sites that tried to do something usually bored me.
[Shane, I’ve found your footprint.]


Youtube Commentary Project

Artists Space, a New York-based alternative space, has selected a piece of mine for a webcast project of theirs. They’ve started a monthly “Youtube Commentary Project,” in which artists select a clip on Youtube, and lay some commentary over it, in the manner that a commentary track might be laid over a DVD. Mine, below, tries to link together Marilyn Monroe, Dirty Harry, Richard Brautigan, and the color red within the space of a minute– over a clip of a gun-owner playing with his .44 Magnum.

And these are the prior Youtube commentaries:

Steve Lambert (who is a friend — he went the extra mile of getting several people to read aloud the “comments” posted to the original video, a clip of Leonard Bernstein conducting Shostakovich — he was amused by the fact that even “high culture” material on youtube attracts extravagant vituperation. I have been working on a couple ideas reacting to the “culture” of comments on the web, but Steve cut into it in a very funny and direct way):

Jon Rubin on Milton Friedman:

Nina Katchadourian on a drawing of a freehand circle:

Cesare Pietroiusti on a performance by the Italian diva Mina:

The Artists Space youtube channel is here (and features much more material than the youtube commentaries). I think the notion of Youtube “Commentary Tracks” is a wonderful idea, and an interesting strategy for “curating” the material that’s out there on youtube — I think I’ll continue to make ones of my own, outside the auspices of Artists Space’s project.


Last Thursday Gregory Roberts gave a very engaging talk for his show, “Suck On This,” currently up at the Tahoe Gallery. Above, a set of canoodling teapots and some groupthink Fezes, made of carved honeycomb ceramic.

Several pieces in the show are ceramic vessels modeled after plastic water bottles, wrapped with images that were drawn from the New York Times. Daily effluvia is given a feeling of handmade permanence. Roberts said that clay felt like an appropriate material for aping water bottles — like the plastic cylinders that are destined to sit in landfills for thousands of years, “clay lasts forever.”

Below, a gallery-goer stands in front of a metal sheet, where an image of Condoleeza’s Rice’s smile is formed by ceramic casts of male nipples, affixed to the metal with magnets. Roberts admitted a pseudo-obsession with the former Secretary of State.

Other works: bombs that could be suckled, and a ring of gilt ceramic water bottles set on a rotatable mirror. On the “labels” of the water bottles were lipsticked lips; a microphone was set up on the table in front of them. The gilt bottles reflect each other like a ring or mirrors enclosing a fundamental emptiness. They seemed to speak of the empty talk that fills us invisibly and passes through our system like water.

Water bottles and water bottles everywhere, and not drop to drink.

Logan Lape’s Provisional Constellations

Logan created a cool video for new genres that’s up on youtube, titled “Refusing to Short-Circuit.” Watch below:

I got the feeling I had as a kid, looking over an astronomy book, and wondering how those beautifully filigreed zodiac designs of gods and animals were able to spring from the underlying angular geometric arrangements of stars.