Friday, October 20, 2006

more echoes

Barbara Mink, Untitled (2006/8)

I'm trying to catch up with some things that have interested me while on blog hiatus.

*Pop science writer Steven Berlin Johnson writes on the forthcoming computer game Spore, and what he calls "the long zoom". The later is his proposal for a new visual paradigm based on the ability to see and imagine things at vastly different scales--from the global to the microscopic and beyond. I'm no scientist, but this appears extremely relevant to artists, including those working in "traditional media". Johnson develops many of these ideas in his new book, The Ghost Map, a disease thriller.

*Barbara Mink is an Ithaca artist who is grasping her way into this domain. Her half of a two-person show back in August contained rich, painterly abstractions that move away from her earlier, more recognizably landscape inspired work. An included statement cited the influences of natural diasters and Hubble space telescope imagery. (Regretably, I don't have a copy of the statement right now; if Barbara or anybody else wants to send it to me, I'll consider posting it here.) I think the work isn't quite living up to the concept yet; nevetheless, they are beautiful paintings. I review an earlier show of hers here.

*Other artists working within "the long zoom" occupy a disproportionate number of slots under the heading "Artists" in my sidebar. They are representatives of what I consider to be one of the most promising developments in recent art. Check them out.

*Natasha Pickowicz (my boss!) has a short essay on a recent local performance by (the) Small Sails. I was there myself, and was mesmerized by their spacey, electro-acoustic sounds and backing video projections. The theatre (one of Cornell's cinematheques) was almost completely dark; at times I would forget that there were actual live musicians performing onstage. I still don't know what the performers look like.

*Local artist Steve Poleskie's blog is among my favorites. He has done everything from realistic portraiture to "aerial theatre". In the early to mid sixties, he lived in New York City, where he founded and ran the screenprinting studio Chiron Press. He worked there with a broad cross-section of the New York artworld. Needless to say, he knows some interesting characters. He came to Ithaca to teach at Cornell in 1968 and has mostly lived here since. He also has a new historical novel
, The Balloonist, to be published soon. His blog revolves around his long and fascinating life, as well as new projects of his.

*Warren Craghead's a map's little spell is an innovative combination of hand drawing, collage, and web interactivity. It explores some of the weirder aspects of the familiar suburban landscape. It is strangely reminiscent of the "computer games" I used to write as a child on some primitive Mac.

*I've been enjoying Matt Madden's sweet, playful meta-comic 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style, which you can preview here. Based on the format of French writer Raymond Queneau's own classic Exercises (also highly recommended), he repeats nearly one-hundred times the banal incident of a man getting up from his work to go to the refrigerator. Each reiteration is done a different way. Formal elements are rearranged and various popular comics genres (daily strip, fantasy, horror, superhero, etc.) are pastisched. Its tremendously entertaining.

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Blogger Rex Crockett said...

Hi Arthur,

I followed this link from Jon Conkey's Art in the 21st Century post on Art & Perception, and once again I saw that painting of Barbara Mink's. Though you say a lot of interesting things on this post, it is that painting that grabs me. It is so violent. And yet it is so beautiful. It is hard for me to read or even think. It's like watching a lighting storm or... better, a swordfight. It's the blood color, I think. And how does she get that silver effect? Is this painted on metal? Yow.



9:10 PM  

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