Author Archives: j.

Special Topics: Los Angeles- revisited

The Special Topics: Los Angeles field course is gathering again, after taking a few weeks to let the trip settle, to begin to put together a book about the course. I wanted to post more images of the trip. One of our tasks was to bring a work of art to L.A. and place it on site somewhere in L.A. Above is my color transparency of a video still. I placed it in the urban landscape of building tops downtown.

Cherie Louise Turner is on the far right. Cherie is an editor and writer of art criticism. She flew down to L.A. to meet with the students, talk about their work and their impressions of L.A. Cherie is going to contribute an essay to the book we are pulling together for the field course. The book should bring the evidence of the trip together and perhaps include little works of art. Russell Dudley and I will also contribute to the book.

This gentleman is showing Russell Dudley and Elizabeth Deer his collection of vintage slides. We saw a cardboard sign on the road in the Echo Park neighborhood that read: “art, antiques and smut.” He was selling many items out of his house. and around his house. I think he was on speed.

Outside of the Box gallery in Chinatown, just north of downtown (within walking distance of our hotel). We saw a portion of a kind of disparate retrospective of Stan Vanderbeek’s art. Stan Vanderbeek was another Black Mountain College student. A doctoral candidate and Stan’s daughter were there to answer questions specifically about Stan’s Movie Drome (1963-?) in Stony Point New York- his early multimedia experiences in the 1960’s. During the presentation a cat meandered thru the crowd making small noises. This mangaged to equalize the experience towards what seemed to be the casual experience Stan attempted to create with his work. Chinatown used to contain more of the stronger small exhibition spaces in L.A. Several remain there.

Babs in front of light box photos by Melanie Pullen at Ace gallery. Ace is a huge gallery, cavernous and imposing, that affords some of the photos their own private installation space. The Ace building had an elevator operator, small and missing teeth, who demanded about a foot of space around him for his comfort.

Jeff Mohr’s studio in the Inglewood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Jeff showed us his work- kind of acted as a warm up for a meeting he was set to have with a curator in his studio. He also took us to a great Japanese cafe.

Chuck Moffit’s studio/house in the Los Angeles hills. Chuck had all of us over for a bbq and conversation. He’s currently represented by Christopher Grimes gallery and has shown at the LACMA in the exhibition Thing that got him some notoriety.

Logan watching a video art piece by Charlie White at the Hammer Museum in L.A. This exhibition attempted to show work from 9 compelling artists working in L.A.

Outside of the MOCA.

Inside the lobby of the Millennium Biltmore, L.A.

Approaching L.A.

In Death Valley.

Manzanar, the WWII Japanese American internment camp in Owens Valley.

A Fine Arts Special Topics course traveled to Los Angeles for the entirety of spring break. We returned early Sunday morning (1 am or so?). Five students along with myself, J. Damron, and Russell Dudley drove to L.A. via Death Valley, camping over night in the valley. We stayed in downtown Los Angeles. One of the hotel rooms became our studio of sorts while we made notes, placed art objects and images on site in L.A. and examined art and the urban environment. The other aspect of the trip included staying downtown at a large legendary hotel that plays a role in the culture and history of L.A.; for example, the Alvin Ailey dance co. was staying at the hotel along with the Korean, Japanese, U.S. and Venezuelan baseball teams playing in the WBC finals. And then there was the driving. Thanks to those who rode in the back row of the suburban.
The course will continue beyond the trip after students, and faculty, digest the trip. Some presence of the course and the work done will manifest itself in the coming months. Here some images from the trip. More will be on there way as they are compiled.


New Yorker Films: Significant releases in the States

New Yorker Films first released Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972). The German director Werner Herzog (He directed the “documentary” Grizzly Man, of recent fame.) was unknown to me.
I have shown this film several times over the years in both Special Themes In Film and Video Art and Survey of Film and Video Art, 1960 until Now.
The first time I watched this film-well- I did so unaware of what I was getting into.
A friend took me to the Red Vic in San Francisco for a screening. I was bewildered and immediately wanted more of that kind of cinematic space.
This film is of immense value as a work of art, and in recent cinematic history it stands as a masterpiece of strangeness and grandeur on a small budget, as well as immense irritation. It is the kind of irritation that can’t quite be scratched away while watching it.

New Yorker Films distributed many films holding equal value.

I did book one film distributed by New Yorker Films by Werner Herzog: The Dark Glow of the Mountains (1984-5?). The Dog Sled Team screened it on the mountain campus in Croom Theatre several years ago.


New Yorker Films: No more

Click on image to read the article in today’s New York Times about New Yorker Films ending.
My thought: Is this an indicator of the slide of celluloid towards much less use than it has had? I wonder because of other film distributors finding themselves at risk. This may seem alarmist, but I was surprised a few years ago to see the likes of Agfa stop producing photographic supplies, as well as other still film stalwarts like Polaroid. Hm.


Lecture coming up this month in S.F.

Julio César Morales
Spheres of Interest: Experiments in Thinking & Action Lecture
“Cover Versions”
Friday, 20 February 2009, 5:00pm
Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street (San Francisco, CA 94133)
Free and open to the public

Julio César Morales is an artist, educator, and curator. Using photography, video, print, and digital media, he devises conceptual projects that address the productive friction occurring within transcultural territories like Tijuana and San Francisco as well as within inherently impure media like popular music and graphic design. Morales teaches and creates art in a variety of settings: juvenile halls and probation offices; museums; academia; and alternative nonprofit institutions. His work explores issues of labor, memory, surveillance technologies, and identity strategies and has been exhibited at such venues as the 2007 Istanbul Biennial, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the 2006 Singapore Biennial, Frankfurter Kunstverein in Frankfurt (Germany), Peres Projects in Los Angeles, the 2004 San Juan Triennial (Puerto Rico), Fototeca de Havana (Cuba), and the Hammer Museum at UCLA. Morales is adjunct curator at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and teaches in SFAI’s New Genres department.

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.]