DIGITAL IMMIGRANTS

One day we will all be dead.  And that will be a good thing for everyone.  Those alive will then all have the same brain pathways and all technical words will be understood.  Everything will interface with everything.  Communication will be made, and thoughts exchanged.

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If it isn’t difficult enough to photograph a three dimensional object, the artist has to submit work to be judged in a less than optimal format.  Why?  I have never been able to understand anything unless I know why.  The image above has lots of pixels, the image below, not so many.  The lower IS a smaller image and so that is making up some of the pixel slack.  But I bet when projected, this image will be awful.  Grainy.  Made of tiny rectangles.  And the jury wants it this way. Baaah.

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Do jurors even project any more?  Hell, I don’t know.  Last time I juried a national show, six boxes with circles of slides for a carousel projector were shipped to me.  I kept them a week and then shipped them off to the next guy.  Thought that was innovative and much cheaper than flying jurors to a single location.  We are moving fast.

Except me.  It took all day to dumb down some images, find my resume, which refuses to change format, write a statement and notes on slides which can only be sent by Zoho Docs, and only one file at a time unless I pay a fee.  The jurors want only one email and five images.   Already dead, me,  with three emails and one image attached twice by mistake.

Just had to vent.

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FAVORITE TOOL?

Climbing and tripping my husband up on a little rise in the earth to attend the opening of the “Envisioning O’Keeffe” exhibition at Columbia College the other night, a friend questioned me about my favorite tools.  Gobsmacked, nothing came out of my mouth.

You know, she said.  When you were creating all your textiles, the needle was your favorite tool.  What is now?  Now that you are working differently?  I still had nothing to add to the conversation.

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The needle was certainly my friend when it came to applying stitches to this crazy quilt of a fabric base also created by a needle in the sewing machine.  It was a means by which a message came forth.  And once in a while a needle would last for years. I would notice that.  In the piece above, my notation says that “Film Noir” was the 39th piece done in 1998.  Whew.  If a needle survived a couple of years, that is a lot of stitching.  Then, it simply snapped, which always was a surprise:  What the hell?!

Not having my mind on the means, but only on the satisfactory end, tools do not mean much to me.  Would that I could snap my fingers and chair rail would merge with window edge.  When my husband and I were dating, he would talk about “faith in tools”.  He is ga-ga about tools.  Observing this in him, our contrast is great.

One of my girlfriends is much the like Glenn.  I have seen her work through a tiny tooled process when pruning shrubs  here with great interest:  How can that shuffle possibly make the slightest difference?

And then there are the “Car Talk” guys.  They celebrate an opportunity to buy a new tool.  Not me.  That just makes my overhead higher.

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Above is my piece for the “Envisioning O’keeffe” exhibition.  The piece, called “College Bound” tries to discuss what I know about Georgia O’keeffe’s brief history at the institution of Columbia College, as well as my own.  The best thing about my history there is that it got me here to South Carolina. That is huge.

This piece practically made itself, and required many tools.  Even a needle.  These shoes were worse for wear and yawned in the middles.  I made neat zig zag stitches to hold their sides together.  In the image below you can see the tiny tails at the middle of each shoe.

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Perhaps finding elements for a piece is the most pleasurable for me.  Broken scissors, a line of copper from the sash of a window with the nails still intact, antlers sacrificed from the house, a wooden spoon that cradles and contrasts with the line of the shoe:  this is what gets my blood racing.

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Above is the piece in situ.

Finally, after much thinking, I have an answer for my favorite tool.  Along with all the skills with wood I have learned from my husband, my answer is “gravity”.  Gravity is my favorite tool, and being cognizant of it makes lots of jobs much easier.

What is your favorite tool?

MARCH WORK

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Why do this?  To see if it could be done.  The origin of my work is always with the materials.  They inspire new ideas whether it was back in the day when I stitched reacting to a wonderful new pattern, or whether, in this case, when my husband gave me a fine set of wooden casters.  Who knows why he rejected them, but they gave me all kinds of ideas.  This piece stands around 34 inches tall.  The wooden high chair within the system of windows is for a doll.

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The wooden windows are screwed together in a “Z” conformation to a depth of about 24 inches.  An old toy wooden hammer and toy ladder make up the rest of the elements that serve to embed the chair within the windows.  Initially the chair was purchased for its wooden parts, but the more interesting question became the merging of the two compositions together.

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The seat of the doll chair has luminous single digit numbers and bits of paper under layers of varnish.

The former chair then inspired the next chair, which made itself into a gift for the baby of my baby, Benjamin.  It started as a reaction to the first chair, and then became HIS chair as the universe presented elements to me, over and over again, which represent his first trip around the sun.

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I bought the little chair without a back years ago.  It became a plant stand.  I loved the peeling paint, and for this piece it has been preserved with layers of varnish.  The bit of brownish paper on the right front leg came with it; as the chair began to form and use so many warm browns, I added the rest of the newspaper bits, from an old St. Louis paper.  Have to get his heritage into the work!  One bit just says “boy”.

Glenn has lots of rusty metal farm parts for his work around.  I love the hay rakes and the way he stretches and curls them in his work but here one is used intact, minus the handle.  The bird couples had all been secured at the flea market at one time or another.  Interestingly when looking for dowels to use there was the little wooden plane at the bottom of the dowel box.  Perfect for a little boy’s circle of the sun in his first year.  All the circles used in the composition refer to this trip as well.

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The arms constructed for this chair are fairly complex using a mismatched pair of wooden swans, same with wooden birds (mismatched), and a  spoon and a fork.  They are finished with the inside and outside of an embroidery hoop with a nod to his grandmama, the former stitcher.  The tail of the little plane moves, as well as the rotor.  We shall see how he feels about this (un)toy.

 

 

 

 

 

WASTE PICKERS

These “invisible” people are defined as those who “reclaim reusable and recyclable materials from what others have cast aside as waste”(wiego.com).  They provide informal non-paid services to communities all over the globe.  They often work on speculation.  If they are lucky, they might solely rule an area to pick and even have a buyer lined up for the end product of their work.

They are like artists.  They make a commodity out of nothing.  They sort.  They find “like” things.  They create alliances with objects or shapes which state something new.  And waste never ends.

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Anything looks significant when presented in great numbers.

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A “style” can refer to what waste one chooses to elevate.  Elevating all waste would be wandering into the category of hoarding, and hoarding is not stylish.  A site of hoarding is like a visit to the inside of a mind.  Like a Susan Sontag work of literature.

Death Kit“.

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Went to an exhibit of Picasso print work yesterday.  If you know his painting, ” Three Musicians” (MOMA),  I can tell you that there are numbers of smaller prints made in that vein by him, for a gallery who hired a professional printer to print these largely three and four color works.  Picasso did what he did best, create and design, and the print makers did what they did best, register the different layers and deal with printed surfaces.

The following are four from yesterday.

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Looked that these, thought about the process of layering, and realized this is exactly what I need to be addressing in my newest sculpture.  Looking at art often solves problems:  a good lesson for wherever you are stuck.

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Above is my informal non-paid service to communities all over the globe, created in speculation of a market!

A CHANGE IN PLAN

Pushing for more windows per piece in an attempt to create in legitimate sculptural dimensions (recent works are still basically two dimensional), three old windows are at play here.

Worried about that, I called the contractor guy who gave us the windows in the first place.  Glenn has been threatening to take two walls off of our little storage shed and replace those walls with windows.  Love the idea;  worried about my window inventory.  Reminded Cecil not to put any old wooden windows in the land fill.  Meeting of the minds.

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Have been thinking about the spaces between things since the last caryatid piece.  Becoming more and more convinced that the spaces between things (old windows, ideas) is where I exist,  and,  as the dinner table conversation went last night, I cannot count the times my family coughs in a day.  Anything linear (counting, long term planning) is not my forte.

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The window that makes up the back plane of the piece has been divided into six tiled sections, where the window has only five.  The bottom section of the window is twice the size of the top four.  No matter.  The strong white tiles dominate and keep the pattern regular.  Wanted to establish a strong pattern on this plane because it will be repeated on subsequent planes.

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With two windows aligned, my attention turned to the spaces within.  Thinking about my first caryatid piece, I wanted to improve on it.  The universe did not seem so interested, however.  Notice that there are six sections now on each layer.

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The first idea for this piece was to whack off the heads of these little Italian farmers and their wives, which one can find in abundance at any flea market.  I wonder what the influence was for all these little figures that you can find in all sizes and are so similar.  Wanted the bodies to support the second and third windows, and their heads to sit on top of a window, with a side view connecting the body together.  After working a while, the idea seemed contrived.  My little Italian farmers will be used somewhere else.

Had found eleven beautiful little bottles with caps a while ago, and here are six of them serving the same compositional idea.

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There remains one farmer’s head on the bottom right of the base window, grouted in with the rest of the tile.  This head survives the original idea.  The little glass vessels cast wonderful transparent shadows.  My friend Betsy often gives me the remains of her stained glass projects, and shards have been added to the first and second windows to enliven the composition in a quiet way and refer to what the windows once were.   A snake like metal line adds variety to an otherwise fairly geometrical composition.

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Price upon request.