C H I C A G O

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted an update, so here’s the skinny: back in January I returned to Los Angeles from a 6-week holiday. I started working a new gig for the Haas Brothers, helping fabricate their new line of furniture for Versace Home. It was glorious. I was helping make shiny amazing things. I learned all about how the furniture and design industry works. I could ride my skateboard to work in less than five minutes… in Los Angeles?!? This only lasted for four days (the skateboarding part at least.. I got to keep working for the Haas Bros…).

On Thursday of my first week of work, I headed home for lunch. We rolled around the corner to discover that the whole block was police taped off, and our entire building was a crime scene. Sweet right? So apparently half of the warehouse was a pot growing operation. We even made the evening news. We hired a team a movers on Friday and put all of our things into storage. That’s actually our moving truck at the end of the news clip. ANYWAY.. I snapped some photos and posted them over at D I O S P E X. Prints? Get in touch.

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Moving forward … 100 mph, the Midwest has been like “Hey DUDE come visit, heck.. stay a while!” So here’s the plan: first, my very first bronze piece is up for auction. It took an insane amount of work, is currently getting a bath in strange chemicals for a nice patina, and YOU can own it! Bid online, or better yet, come to the party on May 4th! Proceeds support the Roots & Culture Contemporary Arts Center, where Tim Brown and I have an exhibit opening on May 10th(!!!!):

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Here’s the official statement we wrote for the show:

In February of this year, the converted factory building in downtown Los Angeles
where Rimas Simaitis and Tim Brown had their studios was raided by the
LAPD. A massive marijuana growing operation that occupied nearly half of the
three-story warehouse came under suspicion with the authorities due to the
large quantity of power it had been consuming. One neighbor claimed that the
power lines supplying the building would glow blue at night- that is, until the city
removed these power lines a few days after the police raid. Without power and
under the impending threat of the city seizing the property, the tenants scattered
and the building was abandoned.

The original premise for Dark Star had something to do with low-budget science
fiction films and the idea of making portable and elemental bodies of work. This
was compounded by the shock of being displaced from their studios, and the
transitionary “Hey, can I borrow your studio?” phase that followed. The result is
an exhibit that explores space, time, and contrasting approaches to objecthood
& materiality. Tim combines the degradation of the urban landscape and the
everyday working aesthetic to create banal objects pointed in other-earthly
directions. Rimas dilutes romanticized components of escapism in an effort to
bring them to an elemental and mystical realm. The approaches come together
somewhere in John Carpenter’s 1974 student film Dark Star, a low-budget
parody of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey where the ship’s crew is
bored with their mission and spends ample amounts of time remembering the
days they spent in California.

“You know, I guess I miss the waves and my board more than anything.” – ­
Talby, Dark Star

If you haven’t seen the film, you can stream it free & legal HERE.

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NEXT, on May 13th, Eric May and I are collaborating to present the E-Dogz Zombie Apocalypse Refuge Center at Gallery 400 on campus at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Flaming cocktails? Entomophagy? Spam Nigiri? Read about it HERE. The event is in conjunction with the exhibit I THINK WE’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE: THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERS, a retrospective of the HALFLIFERS project by Torsten Zenas Burns and Anthony Discenza that examines not only their work, but also the work of artists that they have influenced and collaborated with.

Then over the summer, stay tuned for my TBA Indy Island Residency at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and also an edition project that’s so fresh that all I can say about it is that it’s… fresh.

SEE YOU SOON CHICAGO!!! B-)


SBCAF Call For Entries: Through December 23

Call For Entries 2012 at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum was juried by Grace Kook-Anderson, Curator at Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; John Spiak, Director/Chief Curator of the California State University, Fullerton, Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA; Shane Tolbert, past CFE artist, Houston, TX; and Geoff Tuck, independent art writer (notesonlooking.com), Los Angeles, CA.

This year’s selected artists were Samantha Fretwell, Ilia Ovechkin, Jae Hee Lee, Alex Bogdanov, and myself.

The exhibition was reviewed by Charles Donelan in the Santa Barbara Independent, and also by Josef Woodard in the Santa Barbara Newspress’ Scene Magazine.

I just drove up the other day to replace the lamps in Boogie Board 5.0. Fortunately, unlike my thesis work, nothing lit on fire and the repairs went smoothly! The show runs through December 23rd.. don’t miss it! I’ve posted some additional images of my work here.

Happy Holidays!!


Opening Friday: The New Oceanscapes

The New Oceanscapes
Invitational Juried Art Exhibit

November 16th – December 15th
Reception: November 16th, 6-8 pm

AFS Gallery
Art From Scrap
32 E Cota Street – Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Gallery Hours:
Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat 10-2 Thurs 10-6

Juried by:
Charles Donelan (SB Independent)
Kip Fulbeck (UCSB)
Nathan Hayden (SBCC)


Tiki-Ti

Last night I wandered into Tiki-Ti. I knew little about the place other than what my friend had told me, that it is one of the few establishments in Los Angeles where you can still smoke. Tiki-Ti is a 51 year old Tiki bar on Sunset Boulevard in Los Feliz. It doesn’t have any employees… that is to say.. it’s family owned. We were greeted at the door by the owner Michael and The Dude, who was smoking a cigar in his bath robe. We took a seat at the bar and asked what we should order. They had an extensive selection of tropical drinks, with a few highlighted specials. The bartender served up two of Ray’s Mistake, which we later found out was an actual mistake.



The bartender was Ray’s grandson. So was the other bartender. And the owner at the door? He was Ray’s son. Actually, they are all owners of the bar.. not employees.. that’s how they get around the no-smoking laws. Last year when I was researching Tiki culture I learned that it all originated in Hollywood at a place called Don the Beachcomber. Since then I had been meaning to figure out where the original location was in order to do some urban archaeology. I inquired with the bartender. He didn’t seem to be too much older then I am, and preceded to tell me about his grandfather Ray:

Ray was one of the original four bartenders at Don the Beachcomber, which opened in 1934. Mark, our bartender, told us that Donn Beach would stand at the bar and call in the drinks through a small window to a team of bartenders behind the wall. Donn wanted to be the face of the bar, after all, it was his bar. He even legally changed his own name from Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt to Donn Beach after the bar became a success. But he apparently didn’t come up with all his own drink recipes.

Ray Buhen opened Tiki-Ti in 1961. Ray’s Mistake happened one night when he used the wrong ingredients to make a drink called an “Anting Anting” for a regular customer. The Anting Anting calls for rum.. and more rum. Ray accidentally poured it with rum.. and gin (as I recall… this secret information was disclosed during my second Mistake…). The customer told the bartender that it wasn’t what he had ordered. The bartender apologized for the mistake and offered to take the drink back, but instead, the customer ordered Ray’s Mistakes for everyone at the bar that night, and Ray never looked back.

As for the original location of Don the Beachcomber? As Joni Mitchell sang in “Big Yellow Taxi” – “They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.” I still might have to track it down some day.


Call For Entries 2012

Upon coming back from Chicago, I hit the ground running and produced a new body of work for this year’s Call For Entries exhibition at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum.

Here’s a sneak preview:

It felt great to finally break in the new studio. The opening reception for the show is tomorrow, Saturday October 20th, from 6:30 till 8. If you can’t make it don’t worry, the exhibit is open through December 23. Documentation coming soon!


Ground Floor

On Friday I went to the Hyde Park Art Center to visit Eric May and the E-Dogz Center for the Preservation and Advancement of Street Food. Eric and Tom Harrington were serving up some tasty French Dip/Banh Mi sandwiches as part of Ground Floor, a biennial exhibition of emerging artists from Chicago’s numerous MFA programs. It’s an amazing show, up through November 11. If you’re in Chicago during this time, I’d highly recommend seeing it.

I was particularly excited about Jeremy Bolen’s explorations of radioactive sites, especially because I was already planning a trip to Site A on Monday.

Jeremy Bolen. Buried with the Manhattan Project. CP-1 (Site A, Red Gate Woods). 2012. Archival pigment print, soil from burial site.

Jeremy recently earned his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. We were almost classmates; it was between UIC and UCSB when I was choosing schools… “but why see the world.. when you’ve got the beach?” Chicago would have been an interesting city to make art in. The University of Chicago, another one of the schools I was interested in attending, is home to a sculpture by Henry Moore titled Nuclear Energy, which is located at the site of the world’s first nuclear reactor and also the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction, created as part of the Manhattan Project. When touring the campus a few years ago, I was told that this nuclear reactor was originally located underneath the bleachers of UC’s football stadium, Stagg Field. I always kept this in mind while toiling underneath the bleachers at Soccer Heaven, the location of UCSB’s graduate art studios.

Jeremy Bolen. Roll of film covered in a small piece of lead left next to the advanced photon source for two weeks, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. 2012. Archival pigment print, lead tape.

Seeing Ground Floor was particularly relevant considering that there aren’t any Chicago artists in the New Wight Biennial at UCLA. And even more so considering the influx of Chicago artists that have been heading to Los Angeles. When chatting with Eric, he mentioned that he had more friends living in Los Angeles than he did in Chicago anymore, and he seemed to know most of the artists in the recent exhibition FRIDGE at Control Room. Evelena Ruether, one of the curators of FRIDGE explained to me at the closing reception that one of the initial ideas behind the exhibition was to bring together work from artists that had recently relocated from Chicago to L.A.

A HOT MIX of posters by Eric May.

Casilda Sanchez. Quisiera ser tan alta como la luna (II) (I wish I was as tall as the moon II). 2012. HD Video, box and monitor. 5 minute loop.

Julie Renée Jones. Air. 2011. Archival inkjet print.

Rachel Niffenegger. Mirror Eyed Chain Goon with Ribbons. 2012. Watercolor, acrylic, gouache, spray paint, and pencil on paper mounted on panel.

Josh Reames. L.A. Tan. 2012. Acrylic transfer, oil, and acrylic on canvas.

Hopefully Tim Brown and I won’t be swimming upstream this coming May when we take our work from L.A. to Chicago for our forthcoming exhibition, Dark Star, at Eric’s gallery Roots & Culture.


Static

Always pick up an extra copy of the catalog for your mother. Superpositions runs through Thursday, October 11. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday from 9:00 am till 4:30 pm.

And please don’t hesitate contact me if you would like to schedule a demonstration of the Soundsystem.


Seti 2020

I ordered a copy of Seti 2020 a while back off of Amazon for 50 cents + shipping.


Superpositions: New Wight Biennial 2012

Image: Value Added #240950 – Nobutaka Aozaki

According to Wikipedia, or “a lecturer’s best friend” as Dick Hebdige described it one day… the term Superposition refers to a principle that states; “for all linear systems, the net response at a given place and time caused by two or more stimuli is the sum of the responses which would have been caused by each stimuli individually.” A Quantum Superposition “holds that a physical system – such as an electron – exists partly in all its particular, theoretical possible states simultaneously; but when measured, it gives a result corresponding to only one of the possible configurations.” For electrical circuits, Superposition is described as: “for a linear system, the response (voltage or current) in any branch of a bilateral linear circuit having more than one independent source equals the algebraic sum of the responses caused by each independent source acting alone…” Wiktionary describes the term more simply as “the placing of one thing on top of another.”

“That means that the net amplitude caused by two or more waves traversing the same space, is the sum of the amplitudes which would have been produced by the individual waves separately. For example, two waves traveling toward each other will pass right through each other without any distortion on the other side.”

This must be where that one crazy wave that seems to come out of nowhere once every surf session originates from.. overhead + overhead = DOUBLE overhead.. brah.

I’ve been thinking about this principle in one form or another for quite a while I suppose, especially with my Soundsystem project. With each turntable hooked up to an independent transmitter, and the audio source being a vintage Panasonic RX-5030 boom box (as seen in the seminal film Wild Style), the audio is mixed by tuning one transmitter into the frequency that the boom box is set to, and then tuning the other transmitter out of that particular frequency. At a certain point, there are potentially two transmissions being sent on the same frequency, which is when things get a bit hairy. The volume of the audio source is particularly important; the louder audio signals seem to come through more clearly and with less chatter than the quieter ones. When there is no audio signal, but the transmitters are still powered on, I can twist the dials on the transmitters and cycle through radio stations on the boom box without being anywhere near it.. just like a Jedi.

I am intrigued by static, as it is perhaps an audible sum of the variety of electromagnetic radiation floating around in the immediate surrounding space. This is why when you tune a transmitter, you search for the quietest frequency; your transmission will not have to compete with anything else. When your cell phone receives a text message, you can hear that through your radio. Last summer in the metal shop at Ox-Bow when I was building The Distance Between Two Coconuts I discovered that when I had a transmitter running with no audio, and I flicked the lights on, I could hear that too.

Fortunately the Soundsystem is already built, and I just need to fire it up and rehearse before I bring it to the New Wight Gallery at UCLA in a few days. I had a bit of a panic attack last night when I realized that the annual Call For Entries exhibition which I was selected for at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum opens on October 21st. That will feature a new body of work… that I won’t be able to start on until I finish building out my new studio (it’s coming along nicely…). Hopefully the summation of these waves will amount to something that I can not only ride; perhaps I’ll get shacked… brah…

“Superpositions is an exploration of interference as a model for art making and reception. The glitch, stutter, moiré, palimpsest, thwarted expectation, and feedback loop all fall within this purview. The exhibition includes the work of 26 international artists.”

It has been organized and curated by Jonathan Apgar, Lucas Blalock, Devin Kenny, and Sean Raspet. And many thanks to my friend Michelle Hyun who gave me some valuable input on the text I provided for the catalog.

I’m pleased to have been selected among this roster. The exhibition opens on Thursday, September 27th at 5 pm:

Nobutaka Aozaki – Hunter College – New York
Julia Benjamin – Columbia University – New York
Céline Berger – Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten – Amsterdam
Jenn Berger – University of California – Irvine
Ben Bigelow – Stanford University – Palo Alto, CA
Lea Cetera – Columbia University – New York
Anne de Vries – Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten – Amsterdam
Carey Denniston – Hunter College – New York
Rubén Grilo – Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten – Amsterdam
Nils Guadagnin – Glasgow School of Art – Scotland
Lauren Hall – Glasgow School of Art – Scotland
Jesse Harding- University of California – San Diego
Anna Hawkins – Concordia University – Montreal, Canada
Jibade-Khalil Huffman – University of Southern California – Los Angeles
Martin Kohout – Städelschule – Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Anouk Kruithof – Photo Global at the School of Visual Arts – New York
Lia Lowenthal – Bard College – Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Rachel Malin – Rutgers University – New Brunswick, NJ
Frankie Martin – University of California – San Diego
Evan Nesbit – Yale University – New Haven, CT
Magali Reus – Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten – Amsterdam
Rachelle Sawatsky – University of Southern California – Los Angeles
Ben Schumacher – New York University – New York
Rimas Simaitis – University of California – Santa Barbara !!
Thomas Simon – Virginia Commonwealth University – Richmond, VA
Brad Troemel – New York University – New York


2012

Grad school burned me out.. but I finally crawled out of my cave and updated my website. 15 projects, 9 of them were part of my thesis. And it’s only September…. on to the next body of work.

Enjoy!!

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