Monday, July 21, 2008

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Rejection by DCCAH
A couple of weeks ago I learned that my 4-Letter Words proposal was rejected for SPP funding from the DCCAH. Apparently there was some confusion whether or not 51% of my artist activities would occur in DC - note, my studio is in Ward 2... about 30 paces from my pillow. Moreover, the project was rejected becuase the work would show in Alexandria, VA. Sigh.

Fear of Electricity Slowly Overcome
I hate the notion of becoming a circuit or working with a table saw. That stated, this week I successfully constructed 19 of 20 48"-fluorescent lamps for the upcoming show at AAC. 2 weeks ago I had no knowledge that Black = Hot or that Green = Ground. Now I can take 14.2, connect it to a grounded plug and connect the other end to a ballast with a 95% rate of success (not my fault I got a bad ballast).

Gretchen Is a Published Scholar
My wife, Gretchen, had an article on wearable electronics published in the June/July issue of IEEE. Pride and envy reside, as with one article she has made the sum of my writing for DCist, The Georgetowner, and The Daily Chautauquan singularly underwhelming (for the uninitiated, (IEEE is an A-Journal).

Exhibition Unopening at Transformer, August 8th
In January I proposed exhibiting Moment of Zen in the window of Transformer - something they could show as window dressing between shows. Transformer will be closed during the lion's share of August, but my video will be playing in the window from Aug. 8 - Aug 25. Though the work will be promoted, no opening or closing reception will be held. Which is fine because...

Four Letter Words at the Athenaeum, August 16
My series of painted four-letter words, exploring typography and the complexities of our language, will be installed in the Athenaeum sometime between August 10th & 15th. A little over half of my 200 +, 8" x 8" canvases have been painted. I think the rest will be completed this week... then I wait for other stretcher bars to arrive on the slow boat from China (literally). This work will show with Mark Cameron Boyd's Song for Europe, which I eagerly look forward to see.

Saw Dark Knight Returns.
Yeah, Ledger was a genius, and I don't think the shadow of his untimely demise is clouding anyone's judgment. But, what did I like least about the movie?
a) It's about 20 min. too long. Mmmm
b) The transformation of Harvey Dent felt like a Joel Schumacher stunt. Kinda... and Aaron Eckhart wasn't helping.
c) There are so many plot twists that it is tiring. Possibly.
d) Bale's growling Batman is a bad imitation of what it might sound like if Charlton Heston were to imitate Mark Hamill imitating Dana Carvey's imitation of Kirk Douglass. I think that's it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Season In Hell and America's Grave at AAC


On July 29th, I once again begin grave digging with Randall Packer - this time at The Arlington Arts Center, where the piece America's Grave will be included Picturing Politics - an exhibition curated by Rex Weil.

With each incarnation, the work expands. The solitary grave, first exhibited in American University's Katzen Museum in January 2006, expanded into a grave and cosmology in the autumn of 2006, down in Athens, GA. Last spring, the work was "exhibited on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building", safe within the confines of Provisions Library. This time, the work finally expands into the story boards for the multimedia opera Randall has been composing steadily since 2001. While the final edit of the work has not been completed, elements of the score will be imposed in the grave, along with the various regions of hell, as transcribed from Dante's Inferno.

This is also the first time that the work will be resented in perfect isolation from other work. In the next two weeks I prepare lighting, arrange for carpeting, collect the necessary materials to build a wall, and once again prepare the skeleton of The Grave. Instead of being an "object" of art, as in previous incarnations where the work could be viewed as sculpture, the work is positioned into a theatrical environment.

Installation begins July 29 and runs through Aug. 14 - plenty of time to lay 600 square feet of carpet, build 320 square feet of wall, install 20 lights, and unload half a tone of dirt onto a raised platform.

The exhibition runs Aug. 15 - Sept. 27.