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.
From 1:00pm yesterday till 1:00pm today, we screened the full 24 hours of Josh Michael's 24 Hour Empire, a 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.
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.
This month we are proud to introduce the first in an occasional series of co-produced, limited edition artist books, Mark Amerika’s Glitch Ontology.
I haven’t yet met the artist who doesn’t like to make artist books, or the person who doesn’t like to handle them. Artist books provide a productive set of constraints different from other mediums, an opportunity to be as provisional or formal, retinal or conceptual, as the artist pleases. The quantity of artist books in galleries, shops and art fairs, and people's interest in them, is compelling proof of the health of the contemporary art scene.
Mark Amerika is an artist, writer, academician and theorist whose CV is too rich to summarize here, though it is well worth a read. It would seem there isn’t much that Mark hasn’t done with or to the written word, but he continues to find new and imaginative intersections for visual arts and writing. You might know his GRAMMATRON project, the first iteration of which was in the 2000 Whitney Biennial as one of the first inclusions of this internet art.
Glitch Ontology excerpts images from a larger body of work in which Mark uses Google Street View as the lens through which to depict the drive up Lake Como, Italy toward Bellagio. if you like glitch aesthetics (or Lake Como, or both) you will groove on it. For me, the images are alternately weird and beautiful, a perversion of traditional documentary travel photography that hints surveillance culture, the soullessness of cultural tourism, corporatism and many other provocations.
You can view the entire book online on this site, but you’ll miss the tactile experience of the beautiful embossed cover and book design by Publication Studio. Much better to reserve your own copy, don't you think?
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).