questions and stuff

Last night was a reception for the installation David Adey: John Henry at the La Jolla Athenaeum. The precariousness of the installation makes it very interesting. But it being roped off makes it inaccessible and too safe. He has stated “All art is made out of things. All things are made out of stuff. All stuff is made from other stuff.” So I wonder is his art about stuff or is it about how the stuff is installed, maybe both. I find myself thinking it would be really interesting to see the piece spontaneously deconstruct, leaving a pile of stuff on the floor.

As I ponder the work I see a wonderful connection in the use of books as stuff in this library, but I wonder why saw horses. We speak to David and find out he will be installing this same piece in a gallery and questions about why this piece arise. Why book stuff in a gallery? Today the use of the term site specific in the art community is thrown around like hanging a painting on a wall. But how site specific is most of this work? To reinstall a piece in a different space is that site specific? Fresh in my mind I remember Vito Acconci talking about not thinking about how a piece will look, or what he will do before having the space, therefore truly site specific. It opens up the possibility for questions, a newness, and surprise that transform the space and thereby ones experience in the space.

As I made the bed this morning I thought about the work of David Adey and Tara Donovan and found myself being critical. As the criticism crept in I realized I need to turn the questions and criticism towards my work. Why the use of this material? Is it appropriate? Can it me repurposed, reused, recycled, composted? Why this space? Is it appropriate? Can the viewers experience be transformed? What about the viewer, can they be participants? Can the participants grow to be community?

I must always present the questions and allow for new questions to arise. I must make sure the questions are answered responsibly.


Vito arch

The first time I heard Vito Acconci speak was at the International Sculpture Conference, early 80’s in Oakland. His energy was contagious and I was hooked.
Then it was sometime around 2002-2003 I heard him speak at MOCA LA and I learnt more about his architecture and philosophy.

Last night I heard him again and at the age of 70 you still feel his energy. Each time I have heard him speak his style of speak has been different. In the early 80’s was laced with profanity, particularly ‘fuck’, as every third or forth word. The second time the use of the word fuck diminished drastically, but was still present. This time it was used once, and I noticed his speak flowed much more than previously.

Notes I took:
Set up rules, not what the piece would look like.
Tie work into the world.
Interaction between me and the viewer, setting up condition of I and you.
Viewer = visitor
Not to think about a piece until there is a space.
Piece not repeatable, specific to space, situation, people.
Found something wrong in most pieces, leading to next piece.
Architecture is the opportunity to work with others, public, and space.
Project starts with general ides, then the design studio works as a discussion.
4-5 people don’t necessarily think better, but they do think more than 1 person.
Desire to not have viewers, instead have users, participants.
Design instead of art, everyday use.
Building use changes over time.
Architecture that can change, users change.
Architecture is behind, by the time it’s built the world has moved on, it takes too long.
Architecture and music are the same.
People know architecture because the experience it.
Operations of architecture 1-18.
Operation 1 – Make a world. Then poke a hole in it. An architecture of worlds.
Operation 2 – Overlay, screening, camoflauge. A second skin.
Operation 4 – Continuous surface, endless space.
Operation 8 – Stretch. Tentacles and feelers. An architecture of landscape.
Operation 12 – Portable architecture. Mobile architecture.
I did not write them all down, now I will need to find them.

I would have liked to talk to him about the possibility for architecture to be temporary, modeled using Cradle to Cradle principles. In 10-20 years structures would be taken down, and totally recycled or composted. This would free designers, and not burden owners with retrofits and adaptive reuse issues.

It is very inspiring to witness the transformation of a person's art. And then there is a self validation from a  feeling of being connected to their process, of where they have been, and where they are going. I am a little behind Vito Acconci, but I know I can get to where my art needs to be.

There is something inexplicable about hearing him speak. It is not difficult at all to stay there and listen. He shares so much and is very open. Thank you Vito Acconci.


public and responsible

What is the responsibility of artist to society?
Political, environmental, social………?
Is the artist responsible to society?

As we walked I saw words on the building far in the distance. I could not read them but I knew there were works on a building. I kept pointing and asking do you see the letters?

When we got closer we could read the one side: the clouds looked no nearer than when I was lying on the street.

We rounded the corner I saw this was the Fairmont Pan Pacific Hotel.

I couldn’t wait to go inside. While inside I finally looked up I saw what looked like paper folded to create a lighting feature in the ceiling.

A couple of days later we were driving around and I saw the other side of the building with the beginning of the poem: lying on top of a building

When I came home from Vancouver I researched and found out the poem was created by a UK artist, Liam Gillick. It wraps floors 5-22, consists of 2’ high stainless steel letters in Helvetica bold font and cost one millions dollars.

The paper light in the lobby is a 180-foot long sculpture handcrafted by master origami artist Joseph Wu

These two pieces speak to the viewer, and the community.

To me they are responsible art therefore the artists have acted responsibly.

And I wonder why shouldn’t artist be responsible.

And I wonder how I can be a responsible artist.


family people

I have lived far away from my immediate family for more than half of my lifetime.
It is never easy leaving when we get together.
It would be easy if I did not like them, but I not only love them as my family, I really like them as people.

I did not move away to get away. I moved away for the experience.
I left them again Wed night.

Yesterday and today are a little difficult.


the stress before leaving

The more there is to my life the more there is to do before leaving.
Tomorrow I go to Vancouver: family, Olympics, and fun.

Yesterday I wore almost every hat I have.

Met with 2 perspective tenants
Took piece to Mixed Media Gallery
Interior Designer
Color consultation with client
Bookkeeper/office manager
Paid bills, invoiced clients, sent out proposals, etc
Studied for history of architecture exam
Got 20 minutes in on the wind trainer
Card manufacturer
Made 30 Valentines cards
Today was school all day, addressed and stamped envelopes.



despite the rain

The event Vacancy 2 Fri Feb 5, 2010 night was a lot of fun. We had a great crowd despite the rain.

All rooms in Vacancy 2 were installations and they worked.

Some viewers did not understand some of the work.

I am not sure this is important.

It may be more important that they experience it, understanding it or not.

The Leftover Project in the kitchen was not an easy concept for many of the artists participating in it to grasp.

In the end many of them got the concept and that was nice.

I wonder if they can see a value in revisiting their work, if they will make this part of their practice.

The work I produced and how it was displayed I am happy with.

My statement for this work was accurate:
I often revisit work, reworking, and recreating them into new pieces.
My process with these revisited, leftovers is play. Play with composition, color, forms, etc. It is fun, intuitive, and fast. This process is training and education.
After creating new work from old, I then go through the rest of the work being stored in the studio. The work I deem unworthy goes into the recycling when possible, but unfortunately some ends up in landfill.
It is a process that clears, cleans, and renews me. And once this process is done I am ready to see where I will go next.

I have kept one piece, 4 have found homes and “Stemware” has been recycled.

We will have Vacancy 3 and I hope it too will be a good experience for everyone.


art architecture

The talk and exhibit yesterday was well worth the drive up to LA.

Frank Escher with Escher GuneWardena Architecture

Architecture as folly.
Juxtaposing architecture and art.

I will explore this all in more depth.