I’m either just about to get this dream kicked into gear, or on the verge of realizing I’m totally nuts. Hopefully.
What is the dream? Well, quite simply it is a cooperative re-purposing factory (with functional and fanciful output) that also happens to be a school of creativity, a laboratory for scientific observation, and a relaxing outdoor environment for vocational therapy.
Getting the chalkboard up to facilitate the factory/school functions and Metal Alley constructed to house materials was super exciting this last weekend. Getting O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E-D. Here is the current list:
All this and more…
Wanna help? Volunteers will be reimbursed with alternative currency (ATEN Hours), a pleasant experience, and good karma.
I felt a sudden need to document this moment in history via Fernando’s [former] fence.
Former because Fernando is no longer my neighbor. This moment in history, because we are in a transitional space, where new meets old and negotiations, adjustments, and compromises may have to be made. In other words, I don’t know if the new property managers, and tenants, are going to like this wabi sabi style, so it may or may not get painted over.
My friend Jessica co-curated this very intriguing inter-disciplinary art show this past month, so I just had to submit something.
My art statement:
My feeling is that physical truths which can be expressed mathematically are inherently present all around us and therefore intuitive. Finding the mathematical relationships which describe those truths gives tangible (albeit still mysterious) justification for our unconscious recognition of things like the “good sound” of a perfect fifth.
The invitation to create art about a sonic concept prompted me to delve into my synaesthetic pathways. Similar to Pythagoras encountering the perfect tonal relationships, I can relate as a photographer encountering color and/or shape combinations which simply “sing”. In this installation, I present two photographs which I have “translated” sonically by breaking them down into different visual-auditory elements/motifs. By no means scientific, this process is a kind of intuitive approximating that I rely on as an art-maker…
After matching the sounds in my head to field recordings and keyboard tones, I engaged in some improvisational play to combine the elements into compositions. (Enjoy!)
I didn’t get a photo of the installed piece, but here are the two photos I submitted:
They were displayed above a diagram showing how I dissected the images for “elements”, and a small shelf for a CD player with headphones. The audio project can be heard at: http://soundcloud.com/the-lost-art-of/sets/pythagoras-sound-project.
There is a curiosity-inspiring little community growing in the fenced-in yard next to 11th St.’s Victory Grill. Between that historic venue and the nearby trailer eateries which buffer old East 11th from the monstrously modern new orange-balconied development, is Kenny Dorham’s backyard, a fantastic place to take in some blues or soul music, tend to some plots, or to have a healthy garden-to-plate meal with kind new friends.
I made a post on the Austin Time Exchange Network a few months back, offering my services as a photographer to do a time-lapse sequence of a project or place. Kesten Broughton, proprietor of SunFarmKitchens, a (partially) solar-powered food trailer, has been spearheading the community garden projects and hosting Fambly Dinner once a week, and he took me up on the offer. So far I have been out there 3 times, and it has been a good learning experience for me to observe the changes and try and figure out the best way to capture it on camera. Some of the work-in-progress below:
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This last time I was there, there was a lot of stuff growing all around, so I have a lot of extra pictures which do not show an evolution. See those and more at http://www.flickr.com/photos/70127061@N07/sets/
Now seeking submissions for an ongoing to-do list gallery. (virtual. here).
I like the scanned piece of paper (or whatever you write on) sent as a jpg of web-quality size (72 dpi), but at least 800 pixels on one of its sides.
Send to collectionrert<>at<>gmail<>dot<>com
Please and Thank You.
p.s. I stole/borrowed the Please and Thank you from mr. chad hopper, my beloved heartmate.
p.p.s. so, the idea is, I wanna see how+what people write, when they are writing reminders to themselves, be it in a very structured format, or in a more right-brain wabi-sabi way… If you send, I will post.
Grady Roper, Enoch Rios, Michael White, Holly Brown and myself. Mike’s piece was an interactive sound collage. February 2012…
We had fun hanging the show til 3 in the morning. We found ways to connect the bodies of work at their meeting points, like Enoch’s photo of the mermaid arms connects to Holly’s photo of the arms + ice cream on dirt. Etcetera…
Next Tuesday is the trip to The Valley (… that’s the Rio Grande Valley, y’all).
I have been invited to make a big beautiful mess in a gallery down there (Feb. 24th). So, my brain has been in hamster wheel overdrive. Of course, as usual, I have thought up a project that is waaay bigger than what can be accomplished by one person, so I+the gallery are recruiting volunteers to help make my fantasies become real (like Pinocchio becoming a real boy).
Here are some examples, for you potential volunteer recruits reading this out there, of what I might have you do to help out. But remember, always be prepared for something unexpected (including but not limited to your own inspiration!) —
-Anyone have access to a P.A. or have an extra amp or 2?
-Scavenger hunts (tracking down random-specific materials) ** In fact, if someone would join this list-serve a.s.a.p., that would be VERY helpful. It is McAllen’s Freecycle group — an excellent resource for finding free materials… I can’t join because I don’t live there.
-I need a cardboard computer.
-sewing, and sewing.
-Leading stretches, yoga or other physical activity to energize in the morning or provide healthy breaks to the focused work time.
-Assisting with production (i.e. help manage schedules, meals, times+places, etc.).
-Making a 2-D (miniature) representation of a carnival ride out of bottle caps & other junk.
-Straightforward stuff like climbing a ladder to hang something or adjust lighting.
-Assembling costumes (sewing, glue-gun, etc.); Inventing accessories.
-Trying on costumes…
-Setting up Office; sorting papers with writing on them; Helping make IDEAS book.
-Musicians! Especially those who like improvisation.
-being part of the think tank.
-performing a Role for opening night. **It would be awesome to have 3-4 people willing to wear a costume of their choice and to perform one or more roles for the benefit of the event-game-organism’s participants. WE will be video-recording as much of the event as possible.
If you’re wondering what I will be doing, I will probably be:
-sweeping, even though the NAAG is by far cleaner than the other places I show (it’s a grounding thing),
-moving objects and climbing ladders,
-spending QT in each of the different sub-spaces,
-teaching/ training/ guiding the processes
-making messes, taking pictures and cleaning up
But truly, it is the DOCUMENTERS (will that be you?) who will reveal and plant the lasting memories of what really happens, and how.
p.S. There will be a dog named Chips there, too, who is a sweet ol’ Schnauzer love-bunny.
The long saga of the bottles has gotten exciting again!
And this is an ATEN success story.
I posted a request on the network for help building a bottle wall, including one “expert” in some form of construction to consult with me before the build day. A member forwarded the post to his nephew, concrete builder Paul Adam, who was interested in the project and in the idea of ATEN and contacted me. He ended up coming over and answering all my questions and more, as well as moving a bunch of heavy rocks into the shape of a foundation. In return, I am telling everyone I know to call him if they need fine concrete work done (hardscape, hearth, shower, etc.)!
Two other ATEN members volunteered to help with the build, and one brought along an extra helper, so we were set! Throughout the day, I was reminded of one important reason why I like to collaborate — because it is more likely that the right questions will be asked. For example, I would have totally forgotten to document the process if Diane hadn’t reminded me! I emphasized at the beginning that this was an experiment, so as a result, everyone’s full brain was engaged, thinking of how to make this structure a success.
Slopping the mortar on the wall (with gloves!) was surprisingly fun. The texture reminded Charlotte of cookie dough.
The wall/bench is currently half-way done. We decided to stop for it to dry before adding more weight. I also decided to add some wire mesh into the next mortar layer and in the sides, to reinforce the strength. Finish day will be Feb. 4th.
I’m not sure when my neighbors started saving bottles for me, but it back was in 2010.
A few large parties plus the regular flow of consumption yielded a handsome collection before too long, and Then…
The internet do-it-yourself-ers said, “for sure, use Oxiclean”!
So we soaked them in warm buckets, peeled and scrubbed with rubber gloves, rinsed in the kiddee pool. It’s so fun being outside! Weston observed, and emptied more bottles; Fernando took pictures:
The start of 2011 brought unemployment to Chad. For 3 1/2 months, he had extra time on his hands, so he clocked in to work at the recycling center. The repetitive chore was transforming our pile into a sorted, clean collection, and probably helping with his sanity, too.
When Chad went back to work, the bottle-cleaning factory pretty much shut down, but we already had quite a stockpile of usable bottles. They sat and waited…
** THANKS **
I would like to thank Bunny White for encouraging me to do something with the bottles “Now!” Also of course to all the helpers who worked on this project: Chad, Paul, Charlotte, Mike, Diane, and Katarina. Thanks to my neighbors, Josh, Johnny, Weston, Christina, and all their friends, for donating bottles! For inspiration, I would like to thank Scott Webel from the Museum of Ephemerata, Susan Maynard of Spunky Monkey Ranch (now Further Farm), The Orange Show and Beer can House in Houston, Vince Hanneman of the Cathedral of Junk, the Buddhist temple-builders in Thailand, Earthship-makers, and all the folks who posted information on the internet for me to find out how easy this is. This project is also completed in the honor of someone who designs and builds with light in mind: my brother-in-law, architect Brett Rhode.
…Of posts I want to post, and reasons why I haven’t posted.
One time-sucking convenient reason = Facebook.
Second really big reason = the time I spend keeping this organization going…
But I don’t really care much for excuses; just take this teaser photo and anticipate the deluge to come…
This just-recently-passed E.A.S.T. (east austin studio tour), I received an invite to visit the bungalow/studio of Silky. It had been quite awhile since I’d seen her or her work; years, in fact! So I plotted her location into my bike-steering device and rolled on down the hill… Well, I was pleasantly reassured to see that she is still making ultra-fancy fantasy worlds with handmade-textural and maximally-detailed effects. And oh, the motifs!
Check it out: