Friday, March 25, 2011

Indeterminate and Intangible

The Indeterminacies series at Zeitgeist co-curated by Lesley Beeman and Lain York is yet another example of Nashville artists and professionals combining efforts alighting upon the presence of both the needs of our city and the ingenuity of/for original programming. Never recycling other local exhibit ideas, the series purports and sustains an edge not obfuscated by the possible comfort provided by the vetting situation. This situation is comprised of the location, half architecture studio half art gallery located next to Cotten Music Center, the presenting artists, the curators, moderators, and in most cases, the attendees (an extensive list I’ve done my best to keep short). When the events start, all constituent parts coalesce. The feeling is very progressive. That is to say, the pneuma of the events is one of an egalitarian sharing, though it is from respective perspectives that have been forged through various forms of rigor, research, and sacrifice, all which provide the launching pad for the present originality and creativity – a recognizable cocktail in the world of lasting arts.
This year’s programming is using music as its guiding theme or constraint. This theme, because of its approach, and dually due to the high level of creativity, originality, and accomplishment showcased by the performers is far from being cliché in Nashville. The events also earn their respect by constantly meriting recognition within a city with world-class music programming regularly available. As it might seem though, music is not always at the forefront of the events. By way of the structure of the event, the discussions can really lead to many places – part of the design. Often without moderation, artists are invited to present and discuss works. They are introduced, and then the attendees are free to engage and enquire – not only the artist(s) presenting, but each other oftentimes.
Another thematic characteristic of the series, and in part the more subversive element being aware of our location in Music City (a city which others often compare themselves to in the attempted workings of some invisible authority but quiet enough to keep influx down while it thrives and invents itself behind the seasons of university migration), is that the self-described indeterminate natures of these presentations intentionally keep the works presented and the preconceptions of the audience in stasis, a limbo at least, while the two hour (often longer) event develops to define and contextualize the work and the artist and audience’s place in relation to it. The events has greatly talented performers perform original pieces of music, most of which have not been heard by most if not all of the people in attendance. The idea is that the approach to the music can be kept fresh, temporarily free of predetermined values within aesthetic preferences and psychological projection. That the event is hosted, how and where the event is hosted, are promotion enough, opting out of the configuration of the exclusive and the high-profile – a respectable and reasonable way to go about the generation of economy in a culture.
Tony Youngblood, Theater Intangible founder and curator at Open Lot among other venues in Nashville, has been really coming through over the past years for the creative community here, and has provided us with yet another great podcast [available HERE] of the last Indeterminacies: Stan Link, with accompaniment, March 15th. [See Stan Link's Electro-Acoustic Music.] On Theater Intangible, there are great interviews with both curators and a great spotlight on Zeitgeist Gallery.

Photo by Kim Sherman, Cotten Music Center;
in photo: David Maddox and Stan Link, 2011.

Thanks to Lain York, Lesley Beeman, Tony Youngblood, David Maddox, and a very special thanks to Kim Sherman for permission to use her photograph.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sugar Skulls //\\ Hobbledeions -- Split Release

Hobbledeions (Scott Martin; Hands Off Cuba, Forest Bride, Fever Queen, Lambchop) and Sugar Sk*-*lls (Ben Marcantel; Hands Off Cuba, Forest Bride) are teaming up to "bring you a slice of your summer sound track." They are busy preparing a new cassette tape release, Secret Fugue Machine, and are having an in-store at Grimey's Saturday, May 28th at 5pm. 
The Sugar Sk*-*lls video (the first of a pair) was shot on kodachrome super-8 film stock around 1998 by Kelli Shay Hix. It was shot on super 8mm film stock. This track was taken from the critically acclaimed* digital album Another Micheal Mann Film which can be downloaded HERE via his bandcamp site.
About the footage, she said: "the water footage was originally intended for use in an imaginary geography collage piece, in which a wild geographical landscape would be created using footage shot all over the world.  In order to keep the landscape imaginary, I'd rather not say where I shot the footage.  I will say this:  It's all shot street photography style, though-- no shots set up, no effects, etc.  Just a nuts n bolts camera that I used to carry with me through my travels."

Here is the video:

sugar sk*-*lls: c. de gualle rilye'd up from Kelli Shay Hix on Vimeo.

*Ryan "I am smiling" Norris: Local album of the year? Nay, album of the year. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Christopher Davison

I by chance met this man while in Rome. We were both studying there. As per the incredible synchronicity which has driven my life thusfar, we ran into each other again the following day at the Museo del Corso at the Kazimir Malevich exhibit in 2005.
I remember that he was studying art at Temple.
I have kept his information and looked into his work. I have been rewarded incredibly for the diligence in following the progression of his work. I have been blown away over the past few years at what he has done - from his etchings, to the drawings and watercolors; books and strange dolls.
I have been looking forward to spreading my appreciation for his work, and dually letting the intense ingenuity of it to speak for itself among those who become acquainted through this channel.

© 2011 Christopher Davison
© 2011 Christopher Davison

© 2011 Christopher Davison

© 2011 Christopher Davison
He is featured in a new book as of February 2011. Beautiful/Decay #5: Psychonauts (see their video HERE) an art subscription, or, as they put it, "a printed book series and apparel line with a focus on experimental, grotesque, and groundbreaking art." Um... check and check and check. 
Through having kept in some modicum of contact with Davison, I was fortunate enought to see his show at Nicelle Beauchene in New York in 2009, reviewed in Art Info by Paul Laster:

“Christopher Davison, meanwhile, is an artist of another ilk. Exhibiting regularly at offbeat and emerging galleries since 2000 — including a solo show at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery on New York’s Lower East Side in 2009 — he mixes ink with flashe and gouache on paper to construct psychological studies of dreamy archetypes. Referencing both art history and myths, Davison’s drawings offer fragmented men in motion, minotaurs getting philosophy lessons, and processions of nude women. Eloquently drawn, they explore a wide variety of mark-making techniques to marvelous results.” - Paul Laster

Keep an eye out for his coming works, and look for any publications with him included. His virtual galleries through his site are great, and his work displayed in a gallery is breathtaking.
My highest accolades to one of the most visceral artists I am aware of currently.
Also of note is his work with Kristopher Porter displayed on the blog Call & Response (now at a new site HERE)  a project between the two artists in which they collaborate on drawings with twenty-four hours in which to add and hand off. At the year's wrap-up, the positive attitudes and good natures of the artists are expressed in their encouraging: "Best wishes to all of you in the coming year(s). We encourage anyone who wants to start up a similar Response project to do so and send us a link so we can see what you are up to!"
Both artists also have their own respective Tumblr pages CD-HERE and KP-HERE.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Matter of Factor

I have just learned about Matter of Factor. I found an ad on the e-flux Time/Bank describing a crowdsourcing project. The MOF folks are running a site where they post a daily image composite of those that the participants submit. The crowdsourced images are to, however strictly, adhere to the task of making some kind of statement about the given word of the day. This word is the guide, and there are no rules for the submission. Anyone can be a participant by simply following the link to their site and selecting the respective Choose File and Upload buttons. While you're there, browse the previous days' results.
Here is a sample from February:
Date 2/21/11
Word: Sensation