I think I am becoming more interested in the wrapping/taping of the hands as a boxing ritual. There are specific instructions that relate to a variety of wrapping techniques. However, the method of choice belongs to the individual and institutes a particular ritual that is connected to the athlete him/herself. Also, hand wrapping is a supervised activity in the context of a professional bout (to make sure no contraband is inserted), automatically making it a performative act.
As usual, my internet surfing has uncovered another amazing talent of historical significance. Sometimes I have to chuckle at the perfection of serendipity... Check below for clip from innovative filmmaker Shirley Clarke
I know these items are marketed toward men, but I think the craftsmanship is spectacular, and I am trying to manifest world travel. All nomads need a sturdy bag, and I can just imagine how beautifully these satchels age...
Statement of Work | The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks
‘The Pink Elephant Speaks’ is an opportunity to utilize another mass consumable item into my art making practice: the paper bag. During my almost 6-year tenure as a Brooklyn resident, I bear witness to the subtle and striking changes that gentrification dictates. One of the most apparent gentrification markers is the type of eateries that are introduced to the community-scape. Chinese food shops with visual menus on light-box displays, regal/presidential chicken fry-houses, and neighborhood pizza parlors- with their oily white paper bags- abound. Healthful options are almost non-existent, save for the ital/juice bars that are vastly outnumbered by their diabetic counterparts.
And then, quietly, a 24 hour grocery is opened- with a generous selection of seasonal produce and heat n’ serve entrees that are more ‘holistic’ than ‘Hungry Man™’. Next it’s the takeout stands that are introduced, sans the bulletproof glass, and that ridiculous cashier carousel. And finally, here comes the sit-down restaurants, whose menu includes a Manhattan cache. Human beings often connect through food, and I believe there are emotional, spiritual, and psychological aspects to sustaining ourselves through digestion. But, if we are to use the previous observations as an example, it’s as if a line of demarcation serves to reiterate that only certain people are worthy of a wider range of options.
I seek to illustrate this sense of difference by using paper bags collected from Brooklyn restaurants, take out stands, and bodegas. Bags that have been used, and have visible remnants of their original contents, are preferred. Coupled with nylon threads (which, strangely enough, I’ve only found in Brooklyn), I will create site-specific structures. The twisting, circular objects made from these multiples comment upon the effects of gentrification on the range of foods made available to the community.
My friend and creative colleague, Katya Usvitsky, will be showing her work at Assemble Gallery + Studio in December. She is an amazingly talented craftswoman, who seamlessly uncovers layered meanings using craft-work as fine art material.
Work in progress | Black thread on silk screen fabric | Image approx 15" x 9"
Tap n’ Buzz is an improvisational performance work for Kazoo, Tap Dance, Snare Platform, Voice, and Cell Phone. By creating rhythmic patterns reminiscent of Black vernacular music (i.e. field hollers, spirituals, string bands, ragtime, hip hop, etc.) I am able to comment upon the connection between music and the body. I believe this connection is both physical and spiritual, and harkens back to a longstanding reverence of the “buzz”. Musicians all over Africa add elements to their instruments to produce a certain buzzing sound. In fact, unlike traditional Western musical forms, the African sonic ideal includes sympathetic vibration. It has also been said that buzzed vibration is an expression of the divine, illustrating the essentially free flowing and unpredictable nature of the universe.
Each element of the performance plays an important role in the underlying conceptual message of the piece. See below for a brief explanation of each “instrument”.
·Kazoo- Invented by an African-American man (Alabama Vest) and manufactured in partnership with German immigrant, Thaddeus Von Clegg, the Kazoo is the only truly American instrument. The vibrating membrane is its signature characteristic, and its portability and simplicity democratizes the instrument instantly- anyone can play!
·Tap Dance- Inspired by a uniquely American mixture of European and African movement traditions, tap transforms the dancer into musician, creating a striking sonic component to the visual presentation.
·Snare Platform- I have seen tap performed on an elevated platform, which I would like to modify into a snare platform. The coiled wire (snare) will create an extra percussive element to the movement of the dancers.
·Voice- Humming, whistling, singing, will serve as the melodic/harmonic complement to the other performance aspects. Using the voice-instrument, I can sample, loop, deconstruct and remix songs from the Black vernacular tradition.
·Cell Phone- These portable communicators are now a ubiquitous form of technology that ‘sings’, ‘beeps’, ‘blinks’ and ‘buzzes’. We are asked to put our cell phones on “vibrate” (or silent) as audience members, to show appropriate respect to the performers efforts. I want to use this vibrate setting and elevate it to the role of performer in the Tap n’Buzz drama.
Beta Foly: Experiments with Tradition and Technology in West Africa By Lukas Ligeti
"We have plenty of sketchbooks. Now we're looking for authors, writers, 'zine makers, and children's book illustrators to create fictional based narratives and much more to be added to the library through The Fiction Project.
Sign up and receive a 5.5 by 8.5 inch Moleskine Cahier notebook and a randomly selected theme. Create your narrative using words and images and send it back to be a part of the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Art Library."
Sign up by: FEB 15th, 2010 Postmark by: APR 14th, 2010
This past weekend I visited Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers in Williamsburg and read High Glitz: The Extravagant World of Child Beauty Pageants, cover to cover. This reading has prompted an inspiring thread of research- I call it 'competitive beauty'. On one hand I can be critical of this obsession with loveliness and youth, and characterize the participants of this world as mindless followers, offering the world nothing more than a repository for multicolored sequins and lacquer-level hair spray. On the other hand, I can recall many fond memories as a participant of a similar world. I was a member of a Color Guard up until my sophomore year of college, and the costumes, cosmetics, and camaraderie, are experiences that I will forever cherish. Feminine beauty and poise was indeed codified and quantified and we each submitted to the rules of the game, but I wonder at what point this becomes exploitative. Is all this pomp and circumstance a condition of oppression or can women embrace degrees of ownership? I think that these types of questions are what drive The Platinum Eaters | whitebitches series.
As I continue researching source material for Black Trash: A Modern Melodrama, I am becoming more aware of the parallels between the distinctive cinema of Nollywood and Black Urban Fiction. The genre is surpassed only by Hollywood and Bollywood, making it a tremendous global cultural force. Recently, a book of images was published featuring South African Photographer Pieter Hugo's interpretation of this churning industry. A slide show of his beautifully ghoulish photos is below.
Jenna M. Pike, Ph.D.is a Senior Research Scientist at Material ConneXion. She is a part of "an international team of multidisciplinary experts that bridge the gap between science and design to create practical manufacturing solutions. Material ConneXion’s team includes Ph.D. material scientists and material specialists with cross industry work experience at Fortune 500s and national laboratories.Widely regarded as an authority on materials, we are often invited to contribute to publications or speak about materials innovation, the strategic value of materials, and sustainable material solutions, among other topics."
I am planning tactile field trip to investigate their extensive materials library. More details to come...
"Hans Tammen uses Earle Brown's open form composition idea as a starting point to create a large multi-movement piece, thoroughly composed and purely improvised at the same time. He gets his thrill out of exploring the world of sounds, and by superimposing or phasing of multiple rhythms. His new work ANAGENESIS draws from a single repertoire of around 100 pre-conceived musical units. The conductor uses the orchestra as an instrument, while each performer shapes the music through virtuosic improvisation and the individual stylization of musical performance. "Everything about Third Eye Orchestra... indicates mastery and control" (Howard Mandel / CD Liner Notes).
With: Mari Kimura (vio), Jason Hwang (vio), Stephanie Griffin (vla), Tomas Ullrich (cel), Marty Ehrlich (bcl, as, fl), Briggan Krauss (as, bari), Herb Robertson (trpt), Robert Dick (fl, cbfl), Dafna Naphtali (voice, live sound processing), Denman Maroney (p/kb), Ursel Schlicht (p/kb), Stomu Takeishi (b), Satoshi Takeishi (perc), David Simons (theremin/gongs), Hans Tammen (composer, live arrangement, concept).
"I have felt that the conditions of spontaneity and mobility of elements which I have been working with create a more urgent and intense “communication” throughout the entire process, from composing to the final realization of a work, I prefer that each “final form,” which each performance necessarily produces, be a collaborative adventure, and that the work and its conditions of human involvement remain a 'living' potential of engagement." (Earle Brown)
Hans Tammen creates music that has been described as an alien world of bizarre textures and a journey through the land of unending sonic operations. He is mostly known for his "Endangered Guitar" work, for which he received a Fellowship from the New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) in the category Digital/Electronic Arts this year. His Third Eye Orchestra concept was first presented in 2004 on Canada's Sound Symposium Festival, with a take on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew period. The 2005 "Jazz on the Volga" Festival in Yaroslavl, Russia saw the premiere of his first original work, and further works for various ensembles were presented in Bulgaria, Mexico and Germany; and in New York at Roulette, Brecht Forum and as art of Manhattan New Music's New Composers series. The 2006 Roulette performance was released as "Antecedent/Consequent" on Innova, the label of the American Composers Forum. All About Jazz called the music "nothing short of breathtaking", and "a masterpiece of musical evocation".
"Georgi Tushev's series of oil paintings are not figurative depictions of strange attractors, but are instead a play on the concept. He applies pigments containing iron or cobalt to canvas in the presence of a magnetic field. The resulting three-dimensional structures reflect the contours of the field lines. In his artist statement, Tushev writes, The build-up of iron standing out like a punk haircut in my work is the result of chance. In other words, exact outcomes of experiments cannot be predicted, the best we can do is to predict the probability that any given outcome may occur. Ambiguously resembling petals, tentacles, blast marks or craters, Tushev's work evokes the statistical self-similarity that characterizes so many things in the natural world, as well as the enigmas of chance"
- October 21 2006 Charlotte Mittnacht
I saw his work a weeks ago at Concept V and I was compelled to share. Check out is video work on Vimeo as well...
It can be very easy for an American (like myself) to think of blackness only in terms of an American experience. But the wonder, pageantry, intellect, and promise of people of African descent is best understood on a global scale. I think that AFRICA.VISUAL_MEDIA is a fantastic visual resource that communicates this idea.
about africa.visual_media: "this blog is primarily about the culture of the african diaspora. the arts (particularly music) is where we as africans stand on par with or above everyone else. in that space there are so many people (african or not) documenting, interpreting, re-interpreting our culture in photography, film, video, print. i mostly use this as a space to collect all the information people, images, ideas that i come across on the web and elsewhere.
about s. kamau mucoki:
kenyan, born in the bay area, currently living in new york city. IT project management pays the bills, but music from the african diaspora and photography feed the soul.
Check the trailer for Desert Flower that I found on AFRICA.VISUAL_MEDIA...
My MaHo connect, Kelly Butler, forwarded the LINK to her friend's BigQuestions project.
"Freelance journalist Bill Barol (Newsweek, Time, The New Yorker, Slate, Fast Company, Fortune, The Boston Globe, PBS) wants to answer some of the BIg Questions -- questions so big that over a 20+ year career The Man would never let him ask them. And he could use your help. Because while it may be true that information wants to be free, it’s also true that good information costs. Reporting costs. Gear costs. Production and distribution cost. So you’ll be helping to fund the pilot for a 5-minute web video series, professionally shot and edited, and your pledges will go toward:
Camera and sound equipment
Editing software Reporting and production time
Anti-robot cloaking technology
Web design, hosting and bandwidth
Big Questions will have a light touch but a serious purpose: To take a lifetime’s worth of journalistic experience and set it free it for a fresh, inventive run at some of the hardest questions there are. It’s journalism for a new age, a new audience, and new media."
Check his LINK on Kickstarter to contribute your support.
Last week I had an amazing studio visit with Sarah Walko who is the Executive director at Triangle Arts- a not-for-profit arts organization whose mission is to support emerging and mid-career international and national visual artists, encouraging dialogue and experimentation through workshops, residencies and exhibition opportunities.
She wisely suggested that I open my mind to the idea of 'infiltrating' the very cultural structures that create accepted notions of beauty and use them as a platform to create an inspired dialogue. I have always imagined that my art career would develop in the context of mass consumption and that the gallery would be an afterthought to this process. Her comment rang truly, and I think I may have stumbled upon an interesting exhibition space.
While I was enjoying my routine mani/pedi I read the Elle Magazine profile of Zainab Sumu, who in addition to being the proprietor of a hot boutique on the famed Melrose Avenue, is the only daughter of Sierra Leone's former Director of Mines. I think this is a striking example of beauty politics and how economics, culture, political movements, and gender subtly and overtly shape our version of what is beautiful.
I am writing (and calling) to see if I might present video work in the context of her store. It's sexy, shimmery, and smart- it would be an innovative entry to my exhibition catalog...
While the initial focus of my studio practice are my personal thoughts and perspectives, reality does not exist within a vacuum. Very often colleagues and art professionals (curators, writers, etc.) introduce me to other artists that express a complementary point of view or who employ similar materials. Here is a selection of the most recent suggestions...