2016 OAC Individual Artist Fellowships

Last week, Oregon Arts Commission announced the thirteen recipients of their 2016 Individual Artist Fellowships. If you follow us on our various social media channels, you already know that Julie Green and Brenna Murphy were on that list of awardees. While very different artists producing work as individual as they are, they do share a creative drive that is as apparent in their personalities as in their work.

Julie Green had her first solo exhibition with us in November and December, My New Blue Friends. She also gave a 45-minute artist talk during that exhibition, going in depth regarding the work in the show, her ongoing series titled The Last Supper, and her creative practice in general. While I can't tell you that the quality of the video is excellent, Julie provides useful insight into her imagery, media, and the role of meditation in her practice.

Brenna Murphy has been part of Upfor's journey from the beginning. We've had the pleasure of two solo exhibitions (Lattice~Face Parameter Chant and Central~Lattice Tool Array), as well as a solo booth at Art15 in London. Last year, Brenna debuted a new video work before giving a talk about her own creative process and influences. We have a 5-minute excerpt where she shares the major influences and origins of her current practice.

Josh Michaels at the end of a 24-hour screening

From 1:00pm yesterday till 1:00pm today, we screened the full 24 hours of Josh Michael's 24 Hour Empirea durational homage to Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas' 1964 work. I spent a wonderful few hours with Josh last night but eventually drifted home to my own bed, while he manned the live streaming of the video and stayed up for the remainder of the 24 hours. I caught up with him this morning to help wrap up and asked him a few questions: a very fresh reflection on the challenges of durational art.

 Josh regards his own work at about midnight

Josh regards his own work at about midnight

Theo: How long have you been here in the gallery?

Josh: Since 11:30 yesterday [25 hours].

T: How do you feel?

J: My mind is a little drained. But I’m awake.

T: Do you feel like you learned something in the last 25 hours?

J: I learned how I really want to present [24 Hour Empire] next time. I had big questions about which format did well and why; doing it again I’d go with the slow motion and not VHS. There is a quality to the slow motion that is much nicer in terms of long viewing periods. The glitch in the VHS is cool in some ways, but it takes away from the cloud movement and some of the transitions.

T: What was different about this durational experience than you expected?

J: I would have hoped for some way to get some true, quiet, long duration viewing for more than just me. When everyone was gone, I got three to four hours of quiet just staring at the video. I hope in the future I can find a way to encourage a group of people to sit it out for at least fourhours at a time. I think you need to do that to understand the work.

T: How would you get people to do that?

J: I would probably introduce a little more structure to how the viewing went, dedicate a quiet time for viewing, make it clear to people that this is encouraged. I left it to people how to experience it, but I would rather have given some guidance encouraging just sitting there starting at it.

T: How many Red Bulls did you consume?

J: Three over a 24-hour period. But two were in the last six hours.

Art that plugs in: collecting new media

In this 26-minute presentation, gallery owner Theo Downes-Le Guin discusses how collectors incorporate new media – artworks that are connected or computational – into their lives. The talk is structured around themes emerging from interviews with collectors, curators and artists: how we define new media art; how we find and evaluate it; and how we display and live with it, both in the present and over the works' lifetime.

This information was originally presented on September 26, 2015 in a talk at Upfor about collecting new media art. This event was part of the Symposium on Art Collecting coordinated and sponsored by the Portland Art Dealers Association (PADA).