The ecoartspace blog features artist profiles and interviews, as well as writings on ecological systems. We are interested in presenting work that our members are making in collaboration with scientists, and poetics including spoken word, opera, and performative work. Painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, drawing, and printmaking are all welcome media. Speculative architecture and public art are also encourage. Submissions for posts can be sent to info@ecoartspace.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

You can access the previous ecoartspace blog HERE (2008-2019)

ecoartspace, LLC

Mailing address: PO Box 5211 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
  • Monday, August 14, 2023 7:29 AM | Anonymous

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    August 14, 2023

    This week we recognize  Mary Edwards  Mary Edwards, and a ten year span of her public art and sonic installations.

    Per/Serverance, 2013 (above) is an interpretive soundscape that implies both a tenacity and a detachment evidenced by the predicament of the  2.7 mile-long Quequechan River. Once the centerpiece of the 19th Century Fall River, Massachusetts textile industry, it has since been buried under the city to accommodate the expansion of Interstate 195, and partially obscured by the mills built in that era that echo tragedies and initiatives occurring throughout the 20th and early 21st Centuries. Its memory and "voice" are represented by a collection of subtle sounds: fluid origins ranging from a purely ecological juncture of its most natural state prior to industrialization, to a human-altered waterscape; distant contrapuntal Siren-inspired choruses alternating between alluring resonance and foreboding dissonance; and faint reverberations that hearken to the height and decline of the mills and the vision to "daylight" the falls once again. Edwards came to Fall River several times to study the river, to understand its relationship to the city, and to find the remaining places where it can still be seen, and heard. Her sound installation is evocative of the memories that the water still carries,and the conversation it would have if someone were there to listen.

    click images for more info and sound

    Edwards' spatial sound work When the Ocean Meets the Sky, 2019 (above) pays tribute to the astronauts and aquanauts from the 1960s to present, who've prepared for deep space explorations by venturing to the bottom of the sea. As part of the REFUGE exhibition at Beatnik Gallery/Joshua Tree Cultural Preservation Center, Joshua Tree National Park, California, this installation invites the listener to engage in the reverie of the sonorous habitats of sea and space where immersive sonics range from expansive to infinitesimal.

    For Something to (Be)Hold, 2021 (above) was installed at locations around the Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery in Massachusetts. The stations served as portals and were the impetus for possibility. The work questions what we subconsciously navigate in our everyday patterns that can be transformative to our encounter and expectations if we pace ourselves and listen. What does “place” sound like when it, upon first impression, seems so familiar that one may bypass their imagination for the ordinary?  There is no actual silence or stillness afterwards. Through engagement, eventually you find music in nature, and beauty in between the complexities and unanswered spaces. Does the place itself repopulate with resounding motions other than our own? The soundtracks heard draw from the material form, and are an extension of Edwards’ relationship to the natural world.

    In CONSERVATION/CONVERSATION, 2022 (below) while Artist-In-Residence at ACA Soundscape Field Station at Canaveral National Seashore, Edwards explored the distinctive habitats and soundscape ecology of Apollo Beach. An audio companion to a poetic essay and a free verse narrative account documented the collaboration of visitors to the ocean and park, participants in her interactive and real-time exhibition.Questions arose such as: What are the parallels between a gentle rainstorm and a NASA rocket launch in the distance? A whisper in your ear and the crashing of ocean waves, or the beating of a drum and your own heartbeat when all else appears silent? What do we know what to listen for, and how do we describe these sounds to others? How does the practice of deeper listening raise our awareness to soundscape ecology, our compassion, or stewardship and healing of each other and the wellness of the environment?

    Drawing partly on sound as a vibrational phenomenon and space analogues, Everywhere We Are is the Farthest Place, 2023 (below) is an ode, rather than an elegy, to the transforming Arctic landscape, climate vulnerability, elemental sensuality and terrestrial/space connectivity. It comprises a score and text performed synchronically (and sometimes improvisational) with an immersive soundscape of cinematic audio and ambient field recordings of ice, water and wildlife sounds gathered from landings around Svalbard, Norway while on a sailing expedition on a research vessel above the 78th parallel. The work documents sound properties of glacial geology and oceanographic data, through sonification by “de-centering the centered and un-othering the others.” Edwards began inviting audiences to interact with the hydrophones, contact mics, keyboards, Waterphone, bows and mallets, used to record and respond to the fjords and glaciers, and incorporate their own "layer of experience."


    Mary Edwards  is a composer and sound artist. Themes of temporality, impermanence, nostalgia and the natural world recur throughout her work. She is interested in the invisible architecture and the emotive, historic, cinematic and spatial properties of sound. Listening is an inherent and integral part of her process in conveying how all sounds have the potential to be habitable and transformative once you get inside them, as they are simultaneously intimate and immense. Edwards has recorded and exhibited widely, and her works have received support from residencies and fellowships including ACA Soundscape Field Station at Canaveral National Seashore, Headlands Center for the Arts and The Arctic Circle. Her writing has been published by Oxford American, Invert/Extant (U.K.), The Mentor that Matters, The Santa Barbara Literary Journal and the anthology, Joy Has a Sound: Black Sonic Visions. She holds an Interdisciplinary MFA in Sound and Architecture from Goddard College. http://maryedwardsmusic.com


    Featured Images (top to bottom): ©Mary Edwards, Per/Serverance, 2013, sound installation at Grimshaw Gudewicz Art Gallery, Fall River, Massachusetts; When the Ocean Meets the Sky, 2019, included in REFUGE at Beatnik Gallery, Joshua Tree Cultural Preservation Center, California; Something to (Be)Hold, 2021, installation at Grimshaw-Gudewica Gallery, Fall River, Massachusetts; CONSERVATION / CONVERSATION, 2022, including book and sound soundscape on Bandcamp, Fall 2023; Everywhere We Are is the Farthest Place, 2023, sound installation and performance at The Spitsbergen Artists Center, Longyarbyen, Svalbard, Norway; Portrait of the artist.



  • Monday, August 07, 2023 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    August 7, 2023

    This week we recognize Margaret Cogswell, and her ongoing series of RIVER FUGUES that began twenty years ago.

    River Fugues are unique projects exploring the interdependency of people, industry and rivers. Each entail regional research, recording images and narratives with audio/video that are later edited into fugues and integrated into sculptural installations. The reason for using the fugue is because of its flexibility as a conceptual framework, which can be applied to any set of components one is trying to integrate, be they sounds, voices, narratives or images. 

    A precursor that influenced the River Fugue series, Thirst (above, a proposal drawing), installations exhibited in1999 & 2001, explored the idea of immortality being found in the waters of a particular place and/or through particular rituals involving water, including the Japanese tea ceremony, as well as the art of dowsing for water using divining rods. In both installations, dripping water turned to steam as it hit heated steel discs so that, just as with the fountain of youth, the waters are never accessible for drinking, and immortality remains elusive.

     click images for more info

    Lured by fire, water and the imposing presence of volcanic steel mills, during a residency at SPACES Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio, at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, Cogswell’s site-specific response became Cuyahoga Fugues, 2003 (above), a mixed-media installation inspired by and incorporating generations of stories reflecting the life and dreams embodied by the Cuyahoga River. Struck by the interdependence of the life of the river, people and industry to each other, and the realization that her installation would include multiple audio and video components, Cogswell turned to the musical structure of the fugue as a guide for editing the video and audio. Narratives recorded from people living and working along the river, video from along the Cuyahoga River and the steel mill industry were woven together as “fugues” to become Cuyahoga Fugues. Videos and narratives were rear-projected from inside steel and plexi-pipes, as well as from vents in walls, a re-purposed radio and TV. This installation was also included in River Fuges (2007-2008), as part of Melting Ice / A Hot Topic, a traveling exhibition organized by Art Works for Change.

    Mississippi River Fugues, 2008 (above) was a solo exhibition at the Art Museum of the University of Memphis in Tennessee. Entering the museum’s lobby, the viewer is surrounded by voices of cotton farmers, river guides, levee supervisors and others telling their stories which are emerging from hurricane lanterns. An 18th century French drawing of a "machine dredger" powered by men in squirrel wheel cages inspires the main installation. Entering the darkened gallery, the viewer is dwarfed by 2 giant squirrel wheels and 5 buoys. Inside the giant wheels (standing 15 and 20 ft. high) are video projections (10 ft. and 6 ft. diameter) of a man running endlessly, seemingly powering the dredger’s wheels. Each of the five buoys (6 to 14 ft. high) houses an oscillating motor and video projector in the top section. Oscillating 90 degrees, video images move across the surrounding walls and form a visual fugue exploring the haunting history, poignant beauty and delicate balance found in the interdependence of the lives of people in the Delta, the cotton industry and Mississippi River.

    Wyoming River Fugues, 2012 (above) explores the complex relationship between Wyoming's natural, cultural, historic, engineered and industrial landscapes. Of particular interest are water rights and issues related to river water usage including irrigation and mining. This mixed-media installation is comprised of video projected from three surveyor’s transits, and onto the floor of a stock tank. A “bucket of light” moves slowly 50 feet diagonally across the museum’s gallery space. Surveyor’s transits, normally determining division of land and access to water, serve as a vehicle for exploring the historical and cultural landscape of Wyoming through video projections moving across the surrounding walls. Narrative fugues were created from interviews with Arapaho and Shoshone elders, botanists, composers, archaeologists, ecologists, hydrologists, philosophers, ranchers, historians, environmentalists, poets, and scientists with the extraction industries.

    Moving the Water(s): Ashokan Fugues, 2014 (below) is a research-based mixed-media installation that explores the New York City water supply and its relationship to the Catskill Watershed. It was an elegy to the people of the Catskills who lost their land and homes through eminent domain for the building of the Ashokan Reservoir, which supplies drinking water for New York City through its aqueduct system. Using the musical structure of a fugue, the piece is “composed” to be played by a trio of videos projected inside the two water towers and from the one surveyor’s transit.  A green ball animates the water currents and becomes the visual thread linking the movement of water from the Catskills down to NYC. The work was installed for a solo exhibition at Cue Art Foundation in New York City. 

    Moving the Waters: Croton Fugues, 2017 (below) was inspired by the 2017 centennial anniversary of New York City’s aqueduct system, and the location of the Mid-Manhattan Library across the street from the site of the former Croton Distribution Reservoir, the first reservoir in New York City.  When that reservoir became inadequate, the City looked north to the Catskills for its water. The Croton Distribution Reservoir was then destroyed and the current New York City Public Library was built over the site. Layers of this history were reflected in the windows of the Mid-Manhattan Library across the street. This project seeks to entice the viewer into imagining and investigating the history of NYC’s water supply system through the accumulated layering of the experience of exploring these windows. Focusing on the Croton Reservoir, photographs and video stills from onsite research and documentation were layered with archival images from the NYPL digital files to form the window installations of panels of archival digital prints on canvas. Inspired by the structure of India’s 16th century Deccan Court paintings, each window installation is created with sections of narrative images, abstractions and repetitive patterns.

    Margaret Cogswell is a mixed-media installation artist residing in New York and a recipient of numerous awards including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2017, 1991 & 1987), New York Foundation for the Arts (2007, 1993); and Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant (2014). Cogswell was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Japan where she lived until she was 13 years old. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1982, she received a Master in Fine Arts in Sculpture from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Since 2003, the main focus of Cogswell's work is an ongoing series of RIVER FUGUES projects that explore the increasingly politicized role of water. RIVER FUGUES began in Cleveland, Ohio in 2002 with Cuyahoga Fugues, a mixed-media installation inspired by and incorporating generations of stories reflecting the life and dreams embodied by the Cuyahoga River.  https://margaretcogswell.net


    Featured images (top to bottom): ©Margaret Cogswell, Thirst, 1998, proposal drawing, watercolor, color pencil, chalk on paper, 20 x 30 inches; Cuyahoga Fugues, 2003, steel pipes, multiple video and audio components, 14 x 40 x 40 feet, Spaces Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio; Mississippi River Fugues, 2008, steel structures, multiple audio and oscillating video projections, 20 x 66 x 33 feet, Art Museum, University of Memphis, Tennessee; Wyoming River Fugues, 2012, steel and wood “surveyor’s transits,” steel stock tanks with video projections, 1 moving polyurethane “bucket of light”, multiple audio and oscillating video components, 16 X 64 X 37 feet, Art Museum, University of Wyoming, Laramie; Moving the Water(s): Ashokan Fugues, 2014, 2 steel & plexi “water-towers” with video and audio, 1 steel and wood surveyor’s transit and wall video projection, 15 x 13 x 15 feet, CUE Art Foundation, New York City; Moving the Water(s): Croton Fugues, 2017, window installations of archival prints on canvas, window dimensions 10 x 6 feet, Mid-Manhattan Library, New York City; self-portrait of the artist in Wyoming.


  • Tuesday, August 01, 2023 1:22 PM | Anonymous


    Wendy Brawer with young neighbors at Siempre Verde Community Garden, NYC

    Mapping a Hopeful Future: Wendy Brawer's work bridging art and policy through her non-profit Green Map System.

    Interview by Olivia Ann Carye Hallstein

    Wendy Brawer goes beyond the confines of a art-denoted space and onto the streets, in government offices and directly to communities to fight for climate related justice. Her role as a "social sculptor" creates paths for collaboration and community empowerment. By holding both idealism and pragmatic change, her non-profit Green Map System® allows organized agency as well as a connected community that honor efforts towards a greener future for all.


    A collage of locally published Green Maps reflects diversity of place, style and considerations

    Hi Wendy,  I am especially interested in how your “Green Maps” work bridges a divide between artistry and planning. How do collaborative art and visual formats allow people to create practical change? Where does the art begin and the organizing end?

    Green Map making blends and enhances many skills that artists have around observation, interpretation, and changing perspectives. Maps have an ancient power that communicates the complexities of place—in this case, your home place. Organizing people, processes and places yields significant data alongside the visual expression. This medium builds capacity for our common future and helps us notice change (or the lack thereof) while activating and informing people who use or make each Green Map.

    Artists, changemakers, educators and groups can use Green Map System’s open source mapping platform for free—it’s easy and it’s designed to engage diverse voices in the process. Or you can make a printed Green Map, a mural, video, performance or experience. Share your viewpoint on local climate challenges and solutions by highlighting and linking exemplary places and projects on your Green Map.

    I’m a ‘social sculptor’ who blends art and organizing. Wikipedia says: As a work of art, a social sculpture includes human activity that strives to structure and shape society or the environment. The central idea of a social sculptor is an artist who creates structures in society using language, thoughts, actions, and objects.


    The ongoing Green Map project at University of Victoria BC Canada often hosts international students, like this group from China, 2015

    Social sculptor, what an incredible term! It really bridges this artmaker-organizer divide. Beginning as a personal project, your work has grown to become an award-winning non-profit organization with work in 65 countries. What have been some of the more rewarding and frustrating moments of being a founder and expanding internationally?

    Like most people whose heart decides where creative energy is directed, I was an artist long before I shifted towards ecodesign and experienced the excitement of solo shows, commissioned work and the competitive art world, mainly in Seattle. Even then, I preferred to work collaboratively, and often used found and recycled objects in my mixed media work. My partner and I were on the adventure path and headed west to live in Tokyo, drifting to NYC’s Lower East Side a couple of years later.

    A pivotal moment and an honor above all came to me from an entrapped Orangutan who threw me a stone. I caught it and turned green—that was 1989 and the start of my work for our common future.

    I blurred the art and design boundary and became an eco encouragement agent. This led to my being appointed Designer in Residence at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (1997), Honorary Citizen of Japan (2004), Climate S’hero (2013), LES Neighborhood Hero (2016), TED Resident (2017) and most recently to the board of a favorite place, the Trust for Governors Island (2023).

    The cycles of sustainable development seem to have square wheels and the crawl toward climate stability is a key frustration—what can we do to take down barriers to action? At Green Map, this reality led our nonprofit to go open source in 2018, providing tools and support free, on a share-alike basis. Thus, climate urgency opened the door to new collaboration, innovation and inspiration, attracting partners like the GIS Collective and the POP shop to the Green Map Platform team.


    A living lexicon, Green Map’s shared set of icons have evolved since 1995 and were recently linked to the United Nations 17 Global Goals (the SDGs)

    And the list of collaborators goes on. You have even integrated the United Nations “17 Global Goals” through the “Green Map Icons” that help denote specific points of international interest. How has the integration of these icons changed the way you are able to work with these maps? Or collaborate between communities?

    The SDGs are a profound framework, but generally invisible in NYC, despite the UN being anchored in midtown. Could our tools and methods help people connect with the intersections they illuminate? Sadly, not so much! We even created an event to bring local and UN folks together, hoping to spark some synergy, and followed the trail in places like Copenhagen, Geneva and Japan’s Azabu University where local Green Mapmakers were germinating and inspiring new integrations (see slides). The tiny wave we were generating was disrupted in 2020, for which we created Recovery Icons, which are now morphing into a set of social service icons that touch on some of the SDG themes.

    A notable update: Scotland’s Coalfields Regeneration Trust is mapping with several rundown communities, turning the Green Map into a Local Place Plan, a national program created in 2019 which contains a new right for communities to produce their own plans. This year, our icons and ethos are meshed with the SDGs and the Earth Charter by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. Our mission-aligned tools unlock creativity and expression, so important to the uptake of this programme.

    Lower East Ride was created in Chinese, Spanish and English to support bicycling as an everyday climate change countermeasure on the Lower East Side of NYC in 2013

    It's like a structure for people to bounce off of and express their individual needs. In a way, your maps provide an open platform for individual self-regulation among communities who are interested in the environmental infrastructure. Have the maps had lasting influence in planning and policy making in these spaces? Have grassroots organizers and local educators used these tools to support their concerns?

    Last month, I was excited to see a social post from Jahu Brasil. Their print Green Map, made twenty years ago, became the basis of the master plan— now they are ready to create a new one!  There are other places which have used our adaptable tools to frame a vision of what is possible and to set new policies.

    From Jakarta, architect-planner Marco Kusumawijaya announced his three-volume masterwork this season. In response to my asking, he replied, “Yes the book is the first to compile so much information on Indonesian cities (also from personal direct experiences). And yes, some are from the Green Map experiences that led me to investigate further.” Marco’s 2002 Jakarta Green Map was the first requested by a President for her cabinet. Peta Hijau workshops yielded a dozen local projects across the archipelago, including Yogyakarta, where the Orangutan encounter that slapped sense into my palm was mapped. Marco’s Banda Aceh ‘memory map’, co created with survivors of the 2004 tsunami, became a blueprint for redevelopment that won the Dubai Prize, and sparked other crisis Green Map.

    We also see projects like Red de Mapa Verde, which has impacted communities all across Cuba as a great example of grassroots organizing and educators manifesting change. We love how Mapa Verde is used as a diagnostic tool there and how the project leaders at Centro Felix Varela have shared their approach in several books and at conferences since 2000. Liana Cisneros Bidart and colleagues have contributed greatly to our understanding of what a Green Map project can do.


    Young participant at the Santiago Mapa Verde launch in Chile

    It is so inspiring to hear the lasting effects of this project and its practical applications. The agency that Green Map System allows for communities to self-determine both content and presentation of their maps has created such variety in responses. What did you factor in when creating a framework that would both set up reasonable structures and rules to follow while allowing enough freedom to promote creativity and individuality?

    I had already published two NYC Green Maps and was invited to the UN Social Summit of 1995 to present on the Greening of NYC—and happily this catalyzed a meeting of the emerging O2 Global network of ecodesigners. We all threw ideas on the table and mine was to co-create a set of sustainability icons to be used to help identify, promote and link disparate Green Map made locally, and to create a movement that would share mapmaking experiences. A modem was tossed into the mix and voila, developing Green Map System became our first internet collaboration—there’s a story here.

    We had a whole new medium—how could we use the web democratically to discover local green living resources and the nature, cultural and social justice realities of home? O2’s influence remains strong.

    I wrote this article The Web as a Metaphor as I co-created the system, its first website and interactions. We have always tried to be open and inclusive. 125 interns have pitched in, and one of the first, David Campbell, suggested turning the icons into a font that would work with any computer application, thus leveling the Green Map playing field in 1996. I was influenced by the gift economy of indigenous people—I had learned about potlatches in the Pacific Northwest long before I heard of open source development and how to work together fluidly. I also want to credit community gardeners and how they work autonomously and together.  We even named our first content managed website ‘the Greenhouse’ as it nurtured diverse and verdant ‘gardens’ around the world.

    On the topic of diversity, autonomy and togetherness, I want to point our the term “glocal” that your website uses. It's a personal favorite term and has really shifted my perspective as a practitioner. What does “glocal'' mean to you and to your mission? What is it that the combination of local and global promotes especially well?

    Think global, map local. Observe through this lens and share your perspective. My guiding principle since 1995! Encapsulating it all, glocal considers impacts on both your home place and planet.

    Glocal is an activating, inclusionary term. The benefits of going local are a given now, and part of the reason I keep working on NYC projects, ranging from the Dutch Kills Loop, a proposed land regeneration and infrastructure reuse project in Long Island City to the return of the Stanton Parkhouse to community use on the Lower East Side. I show up for causes and pitch in around air quality, open streets, street trees, community gardens and more.

    Our world needs glocal—the free flow of capabilities, knowledge and networks from place to place, so we can seed a world where dignity and sufficiency for all forever can be imagined and co-created.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and of course, ecoartspace readers are welcome to become Green Mapmakers, too—see GreenMap.org


    Green Map is on the planning team at the Dutch Kills Loop, a land regeneration and infrastructure reuse project in Long Island City


  • Monday, July 31, 2023 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    July 31, 2023

    This week we recognize   Christine Cassano     and her work, which is a synthesis of scientific research and metaphysics.

    “Permeable Facades and Internal Alterations,” 2015 (above) was a walk-in art installation of alternating, suspended panels of industrial and organic materials. The space in between materials expose variations of external facade and internal experience. Inside becomes intimately engulfed in a circular sea of translucent blood-red, 150+ hand-formed porcelain bones and countless mirrors which cascade moments of intense visual movement and self-reflection. Sentences subtly wood-burned into suspended pieces of Saguaro cactus ribs can only be viewed from the interior. They are hand-carved written connections provided by friends and family recalling a singular moment that changed their life.”

     click images for more info

    Cassano's practice is rooted in the visual expression of dynamic systems, exploring ways to bring complex, overlapping ideas into a shared environment through the convergence of resonance, pattern, time, and space. “Tethered Tensions,” 2017 (above) is an installation presented at the Phoenix Art Museum, composed of 500 feet of the artist’s own spun hair and held together by hundreds of small mirrors is tethered to six futuristic concrete sculptures in a 15 x 17 foot room. The work offers the audience an immersive space to consider ominous reflections, tensions and the fragile counterbalance between humanness and ecology.

    “Sequence and Conjunction,” 2020 (above) a lobby installation in the Wexford Biomedical Campus / Innovation Center: A collective of two intricate groupings – both composed of 116 strands and suspended from a black ceiling. Exploring DNA genomic sequencing of the Saguaro cactus became the way to engage the relationship of interchanging materials, colors and moving alignments that merge and connect with the movement of the sun, air and one’s physical movement throughout the space – each conjunction enabling new formations to appear. Many architectural elements of this new biomedical building were inspired by the Saguaro cactus. I met with Dr. Wojciechowski, an evolutionary biologist at ASU and member of the Saguaro Genome Project, to learn more about genetic sequencing of the Saguaro for this project. Anchored by Arizona State University, Wexford’s PBC Innovation Center is a 226,000 square-foot research and office building designed to expand ASU’s research footprint in downtown Phoenix and facilitate growth of the private sector in bioscience and health technologies.”

    “Degrees of Granularity,” 2021 (above) is a sound sculpture installation and collaboration between Cassano and Shomit Barua. 500+ hand-formed pieces of paper-thin, translucent porcelain are delicately stacked on top of a black mirror. The motion reactive audio is derived from the friction of these bone-like pieces.The individual shape, weight and texture causes their edges to catch; their arrangement requires balance, and then they rest with precarious density. The noise they make when they shift is both corrosive and harmonic—sometimes their edges crack, crumble and deteriorate, other times they resonate and ring. While this sculpture exists for the moment in a delicate stasis, the inevitable rearrangement over time will grind the porcelain into dust.”

    “Quadrivium,” 2023 (below) is an installation created to be touched and engaged from above, from below and 360º as it is here on display at Form & Concept Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. This suspended installation includes 49 bronze noēma and by activating with a gentle push, the viewer assists with composition of sound and arrangement while engaging with mediation of rhythmic movement within a three-dimensional context. This creates a space where matter, energy and vibration connect and a place to be completely present. “Quadrivium” is the Latin word meaning “where four roads meet – a crossroads” and references a curriculum established during the Renaissance consisting of four subjects: Arithmetic, Geometry, Harmonics & Astronomy.”

    Cassano also makes paintings including, Universal Algorithms, 2021 (below). "I use signal / sound waves created by our natural world to create paintings. These include seismic, gravitational wave signals and various electromagnetic frequencies recorded on earth and in outer space. Using sound equipment, these signals are converted into a vibratory source and applied to the panel surface. I then take the organic noēma forms I create and dip them into paint. The forms are placed on the panel and the vibrations carry them across the surface. What emerges are visible patterns created by resonance. Once dry, paint patterns serve as point pivot guides for pencil and other drawing instruments as I interconnect their patterns to create larger formations."

    Christine Cassano     is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is informed by research in science and metaphysics and made accessible to audiences through objects, sound, and environments. She holds a fine arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and Old Dominion University. She is a recipient of the 2018 Artist Research Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2016, she was awarded a Contemporary Forum Artist Grant with exhibition  from the Phoenix Art Museum, supported in part by the Nathan Cummings Foundation Endowment. In 2015, she was awarded a residency at the University of West Georgia which included an interactive, community-based installation project that is now part of the college’s permanent collection. That year she was also a recipient of the Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art Grant, resulting in a published artist catalog of her work. Her work was recently reviewed by Hyperallergic.   christinecassano.com


    Featured images (top to bottom): ©Christine Cassano, Permeable Facades and Internal Alterations, 2015, exhibited at Tempe Center for the Arts; Tethered Tensions, 2017, mirrors, concrete, hair, exhibited at Phoenix Art Museum; Sequence & Conjunction, 2020, ceiling lobby installation at Wexford Biomedical & Innovation Campus - Public Art; Degrees of Granularity, 2021, porcelain noema stacked on mirror, sonic sensors, technology hardware + software components (internal), 36 x 96 x 16 inches, exhibited at form&concept gallery; Quadrivium, 2023, spun hair and bronze, 252 x 72 x 72 inches, exhibited at form&concept gallery; Universal Algorithms, 2021, acrylic paint, colored pencil, sound / signal vibration, 48 x 96 inches, in collaboration with sound artist, Jimmy Peggie;Portrait of artist in her studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • Monday, July 24, 2023 8:35 AM | Anonymous

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    July 24, 2023

    This week we recognize  Hollis Hammonds Hollis Hammonds,     and her multimedia body of work that reminisces on past experiences and explores disaster, both environmental and man-made.

    "My House: The Storm," 2014 (above) was a wall installation of assembled drawings included in the exhibition titled “Drawn In / Drawn Out,” at the Grace Museum in Abilene, Texas. The exhibition was made up of works by contemporary artists who challenge traditional concepts of drawing. Over the last decade drawing has become recognized as a stand-alone medium and like other art media, in this age of cultural and technological flux and innovation, the definition of drawing has expanded to include 3-D and conceptual forms. The works explored new drawing strategies that include site-specific installations, wall drawings, multilayered compositions and atypical approaches to the art of drawing."

     click images for more info

    “Wasteland/Wonderland,” 2016 (above) was a solo exhibition at the Dishman Art Museum in Beaumont, Texas, made up of installation and video projection. In this exhibit, Hammonds asked spectators to reconsider the objects we amass after they are transformed by disaster. Something she was forced to consider after her childhood home burned down, she addresses this disaster in a number of her works. With a strong interest in narrative and storytelling, the video projection in this exhibition was meant to engage the viewer to feel the turmoil and drama of the burning house. While the sculptural piece was meant to engage the view through tactile interaction.”

    “Homecoming,” 2019 (above) is a collection of objects that directly reflect Hammonds childhood, including the forest behind her home filled with detritus and junk. Her Depression era parents’ had a tendency to collect trinkets (ceramic poodles, dolls, figurines, etc.) and save anything of value (including plastic bottles, rusty nails, old cars, wood, metal, and so on). In this work, Hammonds again addresses the emotion surrounding a fire that burned her family home to the ground when she was just 15 years old.“

    Awake in the Dark, 2021 (above) is a multimedia exhibition resulting from a collaboration between visual artist Hollis Hammonds and poet Sasha West, aka Hammonds + West. The pieces begin what Timothy Morton calls “grief work,” articulating the experience of living in the midst of a fragile, changing ecosystem. Through self-interrogations, the artists question both individual and societal contributions to the environmental crisis. Viewers dwell in wreckage, suspended between flood and fire, stasis and loss. Objects lose their meaning as markers for a normal existence. In these works, the distinction between natural and human-made disasters starts to collapse. Hammonds and West invited viewers to see their own part in making the physical world and, thus, the future.

    “The River Entered my Home,” 2022 (below) was a collaborative exhibit shown at CCAD (Columbus College of Art and Design), Columbus, Ohio. Created by Hammonds + West, a team made up of artist Hollis Hammonds and poet Sasha West. This exhibit featured video, light, found objects, and sound. The sound component includes the voice of Sasha West reading her poems "Ode to Fossil Fuel" and "My House Was Beside the River." In their collaborative work Hammonds + West combine sound with sculptural installation, video with drawings, and words with images, both artists offer their personal vantage points on the precipice of a forbidding future. Their work opens liminal spaces where hard boundaries dissolve: past disasters forecast future ones, the crackle of fire becomes the cracking of wreckage in water, what is civilization becomes wilderness.“

    Hollis Hammonds          is a multimedia artist whose work, built on memory and utilizing evidence from the public collective consciousness, investigates social issues ranging from economic disparity and state violence to environmental degradation and human-made disasters. Her dystopian drawings and found-object installations have been widely exhibited throughout the US, including solo exhibitions at venues such as Women & Their Work in Austin, Texas, Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC, Dishman Art Museum in Beaumont, Texas, and the Reed Gallery in Cincinnati, OH. She has been an artist in residence at McColl Center for Art + Innovation, University of Wisconsin-Marathon, Indie Grits Film Festival, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. Hammonds is the author of Drawing Structure: Conceptual and Observational Techniques and has had her creative work featured in New American Paintings, Manifest’s International Drawing Annual, FOA, Uppercase, and Art on Paper. She is a Professor of Art and Chair of the Department of Visual Studies at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. www.hollishammonds.com


    Featured images (top to bottom): ©Hollis Hammonds, Drawn In / Drawn Out, 2014, drawing, charcoal, Mylar, rubble, vinyl, furniture; Wasteland / Wonderland, 2016, solo exhibition at the Dishman Art Museum in Beaumont, Texas, drawing, found objects, projections; Homecoming, 2019, found objects, drawing, at the Fine Arts Galleries, School of the Arts at Northern Kentucky University, as part of the 2019 National Council of Arts Administrators (NCAA) conference; Awake in the Dark, 2021, exhibited at Austin Public Library Gallery; The River Entered My Home, 2022, ink on Yupo paper, exhibited at CCAD (Columbus College of Art and Design), Ohio; Portrait of artist by Roberta Cornew.


  • Thursday, July 20, 2023 1:02 PM | Anonymous


    Mierle Laderman Ukeles on
    (Re)Imagining Freshkills Park

    See how New York’s largest landfill is
    being transformed into an urban oasis.

    Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Paula Vilaplana de Miguel, Evangelos Kotsioris


    Jul 14, 2023, MoMA magazine online

    In 2001, the design office of James Corner Field Operations won the competition to transform Fresh Kills, New York’s largest landfill, into a park. The project’s first completed segment, which will allow the public access to this vast site, is scheduled to open later this year. Freshkills Park is one of 12 projects featured in the exhibition Architecture Now: New York, New Publics, on view at MoMA through July 29, 2023.

    Among the materials included in the Freshkills Park display is a photograph of Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s landmark Social Mirror, an artwork comprising a sanitation truck covered in mirrored panels. Having worked as the artist-in-residence at the Department of Sanitation in New York since 1977, a role she initiated, Ukeles is closely linked to the creation of Freshkills Park. We recently spoke to the artist about her long-standing relationship with this contested site and two of the numerous art projects she has proposed for it since 1989.

    —Evangelos Kotsioris and Paula Vilaplana de Miguel


    Mierle Laderman Ukeles: I discovered Fresh Kills in the late 1970s, while working on an art project titled Touch Sanitation, which involved visiting every single sanitation district in New York, shaking hands with each of the 8,500 workers, and saying to each, “Thank you for keeping New York City alive.” Between 1979 and ’80, I was going to Staten Island often. I had been to all of the other landfills in the city. But when I went to Fresh Kills for the first time, I was stunned. The all-night unloading operation was remarkable: a continuous flow of garbage.

    There were seven operating landfills at the time, and by 1985, the State Department of Environmental Conservation shut all of them down except for one in Queens, which was temporarily left open. After that was closed too, the only landfill that would receive waste—a big decision made by the city, because of its size—was Fresh Kills in Staten Island. Fresh Kills continued to operate until its closure in 2001. Following that, an exception had to be made for it to receive the debris of the World Trade Center. There were 300 people working 24 hours a day at Fresh Kills at that time. It was a very busy workplace with a constant stream of barges unloading waste 24/7, except for Christmas Day—only one day off a year, that’s it!

    Continue reading at MOMA magazine here





  • Wednesday, July 19, 2023 11:30 AM | Anonymous


    Above: Birds Watching III, 2023 a new commission by Jenny Kendler as part of Dear Earth: Art & Hope in a Time of Crisis for the Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre in London — Jul 21–Sept 3, 2023

    Eco Exhibitions Won't Save Us

    Marv Recinto Opinion

    18 July 2023 artreview.com

    Artists and institutions seem content to merely ‘address’, ‘engage with’ or ‘respond to’ the climate crisis. It’s time for a concerted shift towards action

    Exhibitions of art about ecology have been sprouting up everywhere, usually operating under some premise of ‘raising awareness’ for the climate crisis. The Hayward Gallery – with their ongoing exhibition, Dear Earth: Art and Hope in a Time of Crisis – is just one recent example of many institutions, in London alone, that have rushed to stage ecocritical shows over the last few years: the Serpentine has an ongoing programme called General Ecology via which they stage related exhibitions like Back to Earth (2022); the Barbican Art Gallery’s Our Time on Earth (2022); various exhibitions at Tate, among them A Clearing in the Forest (2022); The Photographers’ Gallery’s When I image the earth, I imagine another (2021); Somerset House’s We Are History (2021); or the Royal Academy’s Eco-Visionaries (2019). Countless others have been staged around the world: a random sampling might include Simbiología: Prácticas Artísticas en un Planeta en Emergencia (Centro Cultural Kirchner, Buenos Aires, 2021); Adaptation: A Reconnected Earth (MCAD Manila, 2023); and Our Ecology (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, autumn 2023). And that really is to name just a few. While these exhibitions do doubtlessly have the potential to inform ideological narratives surrounding the ecological crisis, they can so often feel futile in the face of real environmental devastation.

    Art wields immense possibilities in its potential to visualise ideas, but its role throughout history and in various cultures has continuously changed: it can function for its own sake, envision radical possibilities and, in more recent years, it has acted as a research medium; through all of this, it has generally continued to act as an art object that invites speculation. Art institutions have also treated art as such, taking their cues from the art and artists they exhibit. What feels different, however, about ecocritical art is that the very topic it engages with proposes widespread ruin and demands that action be immediately taken to counteract such an apocalypse. 

    Read full ecocritical review here

    Dear Earth includes outdoor installation (above) by member Jenny Kendler.



  • Monday, July 17, 2023 8:25 AM | Anonymous

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    July 17, 2023

    This week we recognize  Colin LyonsColin Lyons, and his fifteen year practice focused on geoengineering, extraction, alchemy, historical preservation and brownfield rehabilitation.

    "Boom Town," 2007-2009 (above) is modeled after former industrial buildings along Montreal’s Lachine Canal, and is an installation of print-based sculptures that considers the possibilities after industrial obsolescence. Meticulously rendered from source photographs, these etching plates are first printed as blueprints, and later cut and folded to make small-scale paper architectures. Finally, the end of the edition is marked by soldering the plates together, thwarting the process of mass production, while giving the plates a new purpose. Piled on top of one another, these sculptures can be read as a mass burial site, monument, or heap of scrap metal. The incongruity of these industrial structures built delicately out of paper reminds us of the one-time assumption of invincibility within these industries."

     click images for more info

    "The Conservator, 2013 (above) is a site-specific sculpture designed for The Soap Factory. This restoration machine was powered by a sprawling battery, where hundreds of cells were created from discarded zinc and copper etching plates, and fueled by a ferric chloride etching solution. Designed to polish a rusted I-beam within the gallery space, this process revealed a small space of gentrification within this post-industrial ruin. Through the process, the battery simultaneously erodes the plates, allowing it to hold a charge for just a few minutes. In the reclaiming of industrial complexes, the impulse to polish the architecture has become almost habitual, cleansing the space of its industrial heritage, and marking its new existence. This installation reverses that practice, where the act of polishing brings a sharpened awareness of the labour that was once performed within the space."

    "During Lyons first visit to Dawson City, in January 2010, he was brought to look out at the vast intestinal tailing piles left by decades of dredging in the area. This vista became the lasting image of his trip to the Yukon. In revisiting Dawson, Lyon began with a quintessentially Klondike activity – a kind of treasure hunting. Over the course of several weeks, he walked along the dredge tailings near Bonanza Creek, using a metal detector to excavate industrial cast-offs. With this collection in tow, he brought it to the Midnight Dome, where he installed my "Time Machine for abandoned futures" 2015 (above); a strange off-the-grid laboratory which became my home for over a week. This shelter adopts design strategies common in earthship architecture (rain-water collection, south facing greenhouse windows, rammed earth, etc.), but rather than environmental sustainability as its guiding principle, this bubbling chemical structure comes closer to the absurd inefficiency of many of our modern industrial pursuits. Powering this machine is a massive, roof-top battery, in which etching plates and etching acid power an electrolytic cleaning process to remove the rust from my scavenged artifacts. Once cleaned, Lyon meticulously etches the markings left by decades of rust and erosion, forming a kind of topographical map. The result is a glistening surface that memorializes the artifact’s entire lifespan. Overlooking the dredge tailings, this machine presents a kind of prototype for the preservation of degradation."

    "We will find salvation in strategic chemical spills," 2022 (above) considers recent climate-engineering proposals through the lens of alchemy. The prints borrow cloudscapes from 16th Century engraver/alchemist Hendrick Goltzius’ Metamorphoses, which depict atmosphere as solid and material, rather than a non-space; a vital concept in an age of rapidly rising atmospheric carbon levels. But here, the gods are replaced by geoengineering schemes - proposals to wash away the sins of the Anthropocene. Silkscreened over these etchings are materials such as crude oil, sulfuric acid, iron sulfate, olivine, sea salt, silica, and pyrite, which might play a role in future geoengineering technologies. Over the coming years, these images depicting congressional documents and volcanic eruptions will become increasingly visible, as the urgency to deploy these radical climate “solutions” intensifies. Etched into their plexiglass frames, and casting shadows onto the wall are descriptive technical texts written in Esperanto, pointing to the need for a new global governance structure for the coming era of global climate modification, when the key question might center on who has the right to experiment with the environment, when the burden of responsibility and the burden of impact are asymmetrical."

    In 1942, British inventor Geoffrey Pyke proposed an ambitious plan to develop a massive, ice-based aircraft carrier code-named Operation Habbakuk (aka ‘Bergship’). Soon after, a team of Canadian conscientious objectors were sent to Jasper National Park to develop a 1000-ton prototype that would utilize a new material called Pykrete - a mixture of wood pulp and ice, which was believed to be easily repairable and nearly unsinkable. However, the project was eventually abandoned, and its remains now rest at the bottom of Patricia Lake. "At its core "Operation Habbakuk," 2022 (below) explores the science of geo-engineering attempts to mimic, accelerate, or amplify natural processes of carbon reduction using highly invasive means. These strategies form a dystopian contingency plan which, employed alongside mitigation efforts, strive to preserve a close approximation of our present ecosystem. Geo-engineering stands as a kind of messianic figure for the planet, proposing to wash away the sins of the Anthropocene. However, instead of practical geoengineering prototypes, Lyons techno-solutions offer little more than time capsules, laying bare the folly of our desire to find salvation in the fine balance of strategic chemical spills, and proposing rituals which blend the sacred and scientific to question what kind of nature we hope to approximate within a techno-solutionist future."

    Colin Lyons                           grew up in the birthplace of the North American oil industry, Petrolia, Ontario in Canada, an experience that has fueled his interests in industrial ruins and sacrificial landscapes. His most recent site-based installations have been located in mine tailing piles, decommissioned landfills, historic flood infrastructure, urban brownfields, and remote islands. In recent years, Lyons has participated in fellowships and residencies including    MacDowell in New Hampshire, The Arctic Circle Residency in Svalbard, and ÖRES on the island in Finland. His work has been shown widely in recent solo and group exhibitions internationally, and his projects have been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Santo Foundation, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.    He received his BFA from Mount Allison University (2007) and MFA in printmaking from University of Alberta (2012).  Lyons currently lives in Binghamton, New York, where he is an assistant professor at Binghamton University (SUNY).  www.colinlyons.ca


    Featured images (top to bottom): ©Colin Lyons, Boom Town 2007-2009, etching on paper, wood, zinc etching plates; The Conservator, 2022, (battery: zinc plates, copper plates, glass, wire, ferric chloride), photo by Sarah Nienaber; Time Machine for Abandoned Futures, 2015, Plexiglas, aluminum, copper sulfate, soda ash, copper plates, zinc plates, wires, artifacts; We will find salvation in strategic chemical spills, 2022, iron Fertilization, etching, silkscreen (printed with iron sulfate, ferric chloride, olivine and rust from gold-rush artifacts), laser engraving, 22 x 15 inches; Operation Habbakuk, 2022, video still from Operation Habbakuk (2:45), produced at MacDowell and ÖRES through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts; Portrait of artist by Evan Rensch.

  • Monday, July 10, 2023 7:49 AM | Anonymous


    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    July 10, 2023

    This week we recognize WhiteFeather Hunter, and her transdisciplinary body of work focused on bioart.

    “Alma,” 2009 - ongoing (above) became an internet sensation in 2012, going viral with over 5 million hits in three days, via reddit front page. She went viral again in 2015, also via reddit front page. "Hoof Hand" is Alma's internet pseudonym/avatar, appointed organically, and spontaneously performed by the reddit community. Rogue taxidermy sculpture of human hair, found wig, recycled Persian lamb coat, beaver fur, rabbit fur, mink fur, raffia, goat skin, acrylic paint, gold leaf, beeswax, deer hoof, moose teeth, taxidermy epoxy putty, found vintage mannequin. Alma explores the simultaneous worship, demonizing and mythologizing of female autonomy, hybridity and sexuality.”

     click images for more info



    “Alchematrix” 2013 (above) a self-portrait performance with gold leaf on skin, rendered as .gif animations. This performance was originally done as embodied research into the Russian folkloric witch character, Baba Yaga. Closely related to the ancient Scythian sun goddess, Tibiti, Baba Yaga sometimes has a gold leg. Here the artist's entire body is covered in gold leaf and gestures are enacted that reference both madness and seduction, qualities every witch is understood to possess. The .gif format was used for its endless repetitive nature, referencing obsessive acts and the inability to ever complete them. Alchematrix was displayed in miniature on an iPhone 4 within the upper floor of the separate work. One of the Alchematrix series was also published as a photo in Perle magazine as part of the Montreal Erotic Art exhibition (2013).”



    Whitefeather, as a collaborator, co-designed and developed a key part of the project “Wastelands,” 2018 (above) with Tagny Duff. Her co-invention of a new bioplastic, with art conservator Courtney Books, provided the basis for the biomaterial development used to construct the carrier bags for the project. WhiteFeather solely produced the new biomaterial, and adapted design sketches provided by Tagny Duff, to create carrier bags used to house biogas generators conceived by Duff for the project. The work was first shown at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University in 2018. Wastelands received an honorable mention at Ars Electronica 2019, and was nominated for the STARTS Prize. WhiteFeather's work on the project contributed significantly to its overall aesthetic, functionality and conceptual framework.



    “The Witch in the Lab Coat,” 2019-present (above) is a PhD research-creation and scientific research project (in progress) that explores the intersection of feminist witchcraft and tissue engineering through the development of a body-and-performance-based laboratory practice. This is a work in progress conducted at SymbioticA International Centre of Excellence in Biological Art in the School of Human Sciences at the University of Western Australia. Additional laboratory facilities have included at the University of Montreal, University of Ottawa and the DZNE (German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease) at Charité Berlin. The Witch in the Lab Coat includes the sub-project, Mooncalf, an original research by WhiteFeather, which is a scientific and cultural exploration of the development of menstrual serum for use in tissue culture, as well as endometrial mesenchymal stem cell (eMSC) isolation from menstrual blood.

    3D Bioprinting is a project that is currently in progress 2022-2023, (below) and is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec. The intention with this project is to look at advanced manufacturing methods for constructing tissue forms from WhiteFeather's own taboo body materials. She has written about and presented numerous times over the past years about the composition of menstrual fluid and how it is a non-invasive source of stem cell acquisition. This has been her first opportunity to experiment with bioprinting and to use her stem cells in bio-inks that she was both developing and purchasing.



    WhiteFeather Hunter specializes in biomaterials research, used predominantly to develop new critical discourse. She has been professionally engaged in a craft-based (bio)art practice for over 18 years, via an ongoing material investigation of the functional, aesthetic and technological potential of bodily materials. Her works coalesce various media approaches, such as textile methods, biology, storytelling (video, audio and text), performance, public intervention, digital + web-based installations and DIY electronics. WhiteFeather holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fibres and Material Practices from Concordia University. She is currently a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, Australian Government International RTP Scholar and UWA Postgraduate Scholar, situated between the School of Human Sciences and School of Design at The University of Western Australia. She has collaborated and worked in numerous international laboratory-based artist research residencies. She has lectured, shown and performed work internationally and has been featured in multiple international magazines, journals, art books, blogs, video and television spotlights.


    Featured images (top to bottom):©WhiteFeather Hunter, Alma 2009, human hair, Persian lamb, beaver fur, rabbit fur, mink, raffia, goat skin, acrylic paint, gold leaf, beeswax, deer hoof, moose teeth, taxidermy epoxy, found vintage mannequin, 69” x 33” x 24”; Alchematrix, 2013, shown in gif format; Wastelands, 2018, shown at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University; The Witch in the Lab Coat, 2019, conducted at SymbioticA International Centre of Excellence in Biological Art in the School of Human Sciences at the University of Western Australia, and University of Montreal, University of Ottawa and the DZNE (German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease) at Charité Berlin; 3D Bioprinting 2022-2023, supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec; portrait of artist.


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