Archive for October, 2009

Week 8

October 26, 2009

So, this is a short one as I had posted earlier this week. I just have a couple of things to share. I enjoyed the trip to Chicago and I thank Laurie Beth for making that happen. I also would like to thank her for taking us to the Mexican restaurant. Our table had a great time. On Jonathan, people should check out his blog he had some really great thoughts that I am still processing. I always admire people that have a way to pull apart a situation and look at it through different lenses. In Chicago, I really enjoyed Bruce Nauman’s Clown Torture piece. It totally rocks. I have been looking at alot of his work the past couple of years. The guy is amazing in the way that he thinks. I also really enjoyed the small galleries. I find it very interesting on how the gallery, collector, artist all work together. Personally, I don’t go for that stuff. I have never liked the idea to “selling” to a certain gallery. Yes, I understand how the system works, I am just not that keen to the idea that if you are discovered, you a life-debt to that person. I am more the public sculpture whore that would like to improve myself and my situation from the business side of things as opposed to having rich blue hairs saying “Oh, I just love that guy, we should buy some of his shit now while he is real cheap and maybe we can earn some money off his silly arse someday.” Yeah, not for me. Sorry there are no links or pics on this little shorty. consider it a quick update. And for those who have been askin’, Yes, I am now fully refueled and have tons of energy this week. I am ready to get back in the studio and crank out my Children’s Assault Vehicle and finish up the ejection seat. CHat, later,

Sandy

M1 jeep

Midweek update

October 23, 2009

I will comment mid-week here because some people had some comments and asked for some images. First, to Dale’s question about my ability to perform my tasks in the military while questioning the politics and social implications of it all.

07-21-07_1505I divide my brain on two different channels. Historically, most people in my shop (Aircraft Weapons) understand that I have always questioned politics and the military. I have been called “our unit’s crazy artist” they always want to pigeon-hole me but I try not to let them. I have always respected military authority while keeping my chiefs and commanders on their toes. My old Chief that I had for years, shared with me an understanding that I would perform my job to the best of my ability while tasked, but spare time, I would do or say pretty much whatever. Now, I don’t go starting fights, that is not me. But I have challenged many times, when people start spouting off FOX News shit.  I have learned new ways to approach a subject as to not alienate those who depend on me while subtly planting seeds of thought or at very least, acceptance of different views.

StopSo back to that double throw switch: Wether or not I am deployed, I spend my “non-tasked” time, painting, reading, sculpting, chatting, smoking, photographing. you get the idea. As soon as the Expeditor approaches me with a task, say go load bombs on a jet, or go arm and launch a flight of jets, I flip that switch and everything, art, family, politics etc. leaves my mind and I only focus on the task that I am being paid for: To successfully load bombs, arm and launch mission capable aircraft in accordance with applicable technically data and professionalism to ensure the completion of the mission. It does not matter if I agree with the mission or not. I only consider that in my own private time. As soon as I am back at the shop and off task, I pick up a pen and start doodling. I feel like I have a debt to the Military, I had no idea what to do when I graduated high school and they came in and offered me money and adventure. I was young and bought in to it for a while, but they have paid most of the bills so I will fulfill my contract with them. I will see if I can find some pics of my over-seas past-time: Mural painting. Don’t expect modern art. Military murals get so micro-managed that they all look the same. I have to work hard to get an idea across. Anymore, I just say “yeah, whatever” because staying busy painting, keeps me from sweeping, mopping and all of that other crap that the military is famous for.

60thAV_tail_069Thanks for listening.

-Sandy

Dressed and ready for battleReady to sail outgeneral placing game piecesSam the battleship taking another hitGeneral Leroux calling a shotwaiting in silenceGeneral Murer's carrier under attackCarrier sunkGeneral Leroux's fleetSubmarine takes a hitDeath awaitsGeneral Murer's decimated fleetaftermath

So, following are a few pics of last Friday’s event. I give a special thanks to Marina for getting them to me so quick.

I was worn out after spending two days cleaning paint off of the floor in the Lofts performance lab. I also had not spent enough time with my family so Thursday we went on a day trip. We began at Delaney’s Surplus where we picked up some things for our basement work area. (The past week was spent building shelves and installing peg board in our basement so all of us can work) Artists that have not visited Delaney’s yet, should find time to go. Here is a short list of items that they had in bulk today: Flatware (including silver) electric motors, hydrolic pumps, floor carpets, industrial felt, drill presses, sand blasters, tools of all sorts, power strips, shop equipment, saw and milling blades, old safety signs, file cabinets, pallet racks, old wooden push carts, scrap iron, medical equipment, old steam boiler parts. The list goes on and on. I know that Aris and Tom had bought alot of the industrial felt to build sculptures with. Tom Loesser built the benches outside of the MOCA with the stuff. So, after leaving there with a fairy tale book for reyah, a power strip, a ten foot rug, two ratchet straps, an OSHA sign and a speedometer from a train engine, we drove next door to Dr. Evermor’s sculpture yard. This place is pretty amazing. He bought scrap junk for years (next door, I assume) and welded it in to post-armageddon-fantasy-steam punk sculptures that you have to check out. After talking to a strange old man at the sculpture park, we took off for lake Michigan. the trip was beautiful as the leaves were radiating autumnal colors. (I knew I could get that word in somehow!) Orchards lined the county roads for miles. Late afternoon we got to the Lake. it was raining hard and the wind was blowing miserably. We headed south to Milwaukee and skirted along the coast as best we could. I hoped for a more scenic drive but all we could see was rich folks mansions crowding the view for miles. We drove around Milwaukee for a bit and decided to get some seafood on the river. We chose Molly Cool’s on the Third Street Pier. I rocked out on the crab leg special. It was all great food and really great service. After dinner, we headed back to Madtown. I believe that I am refreshed now and ready to hit the studio again. I did some sketching today and have some focus. I need to order more Legos and get working on my Nerf 50 cal. mount. See you all later!  -Sandy

Hey Gang

October 22, 2009

I will comment mid-week here because some people had some comments and asked for some images. First, to Dale’s question about my ability to perform my tasks in the military while questioning the politics and social implications of it all.

07-21-07_1505I divide my brain on two different channels. Historically, most people in my shop (Aircraft Weapons) understand that I have always questioned politics and the military. I have been called “our unit’s crazy artist” they always want to pigeon-hole me but I try not to let them. I have always respected military authority while keeping my chiefs and commanders on their toes. My old Chief that I had for years, shared with me an understanding that I would perform my job to the best of my ability while tasked, but spare time, I would do or say pretty much whatever. Now, I don’t go starting fights, that is not me. But I have challenged many times, when people start spouting off FOX News shit.  I have learned new ways to approach a subject as to not alienate those who depend on me while subtly planting seeds of thought or at very least, acceptance of different views.

StopSo back to that double throw switch: Wether or not I am deployed, I spend my “non-tasked” time, painting, reading, sculpting, chatting, smoking, photographing. you get the idea. As soon as the Expeditor approaches me with a task, say go load bombs on a jet, or go arm and launch a flight of jets, I flip that switch and everything, art, family, politics etc. leaves my mind and I only focus on the task that I am being paid for: To successfully load bombs, arm and launch mission capable aircraft in accordance with applicable technically data and professionalism to ensure the completion of the mission. It does not matter if I agree with the mission or not. I only consider that in my own private time. As soon as I am back at the shop and off task, I pick up a pen and start doodling. I feel like I have a debt to the Military, I had no idea what to do when I graduated high school and they came in and offered me money and adventure. I was young and bought in to it for a while, but they have paid most of the bills so I will fulfill my contract with them. I will see if I can find some pics of my over-seas past-time: Mural painting. Don’t expect modern art. Military murals get so micro-managed that they all look the same. I have to work hard to get an idea across. Anymore, I just say “yeah, whatever” because staying busy painting, keeps me from sweeping, mopping and all of that other crap that the military is famous for.

60thAV_tail_069Thanks for listening.

-Sandy

Week 7

October 19, 2009

17 October 2009

Week 7

Greetings, friends!

I would like to start off by saying how much I appreciate everyone who helped with my BATTLESAPIEN performance. It was a great success. It would have been impossible to finish all of the preparations without the folks who volunteered to come early and help set up the space. It would have been literally impossible to have the performance without all of the dedicated performers who stripped down, got swaddled in felt, spray painted, and laid on the cold concrete floor while being splashed with paint. I hope that everyone got it out of their hair. I feel such a relief now that it is over. My life was totally consumed last week by 8 pages of details concerning the piece. I will post some pictures as soon as I get them from Marina. For other people that took pics, feel free to share them as none of us could see every thing at the same time.battleship

battleship dishesCheck out this vintage gamebox pic I found. I had just commented to Angie last week about the men playing games while the women did dishes, then I found this other version on some blog.

This week is really hard to write about as I was only focused on one piece the entire week. There really was nothing else. I was either shopping for the piece, working on parts at the studio, or working on it at home in my basement. I don’t think that I ate enough. Some days, Angie would bring meals to my studio. I drank a lot of Mountain Dew- a couple of Red Bulls when the going got really tough. Tonight, I will take a good long hot shower and throw on my special pajamas and watch footage with my partner. I think that I will have a good meal as well and eat on the couch. (I usually do not like to do that but I need some recoup time).

It was interesting speaking with people at the post-reception last night and hearing what they had to say. As the night went on, people became more comfortable talking and provided some good feedback. One thought that really stuck with me was expressed by a couple of people concerning the tone. It was obvious that the performance was a bit different than walking through a quiet gallery looking at masterpieces. On the first hit, people laughed. My gut instinct was this sucks, I am not putting on a circus here. But soon, I noticed that people were wanting to laugh. They would focus on a certain hit waiting for that moment or “release”. When I looked at faces in the audience, I realized that between those moments, there was a serious undertone. I believe that when I look at the documentation that the mediation is going to give off a more somber tone. I believe that people got what I was trying to say even if it was awkward. So, back to my subject- performers told me later that it was a sobering experience to lay on the cold floor considering the fact that they signed up to be a target. There was an internal tension that the game pieces felt as they listened to the shots called and figuring out if they were going to “get it”. I watched some of the performers wince as the gallery assistants neared them to deal out death. The assistants, Trina and Megan, were surprising as well. I was not sure how messy they would get but it seemed to work out. All characters served their purpose. The generals set back and called the shots as a “game” while the masses suffered on the floor. As facilitator, or “big brother” as some referred to me, stood by with no blood on my hands, while the assistants, or death, doled out all of the bloody work. I am going to review some images that show the following: Katie with blood running down her ear, Brian playing on his board with the performers in the background and a couple of the gallery assistants holding their kill pegs with their hands drenched in blood while performers were in the back ground. I am sure that I will have a lot more to review. Some people have already contacted me about pics they took.

So, critique. Please feel free to give me some feedback. I welcome it good or bad. Was it too cheesy? To literal? Complicated? Do you think it was a wasted of good felt? Whatever you have to add, I will appreciate. A few formal items that I currently am considering: I believe that the use of space worked very well for the piece both allowing game play and viewing. I like how the grid tied the ballistic barriers in with general platforms creating a large game board piece. I was worried at first that the objects would be too disparate. I downloaded and re-configured a Battleship board from the internet and transposed the number and letter grids on our floor. If you want to try against a computer, do it HERE.  battleship300x300So, that made a tough go for the generals who had to transpose as they began making calls. The other hiccup was when Bryan and I decided to adjust the grid by two feet so that Trina and Megan could walk without tripping on people. When Sam and Joe began laying tape and stenciling, we forgot to add on the extra foot on each end the grid ended at 9 instead of 10 squares. Brian had two hits in row ten that we just had to deal with quickly to not stop the game. Despite, giving everyone ship papers that told their hits and team, and me putting them against the wall outside of the space to double-check, I still missed the fact that Justin was missing one target on his back. Actually Brian should have had one more shot but we killed Justin off anyway since there were no targets left on his back.

Overall, everything went great. For the three things that we dealt with, twenty more things turned out better than imagined. Oh, I forgot to include that when we left to deliver the props, that they had shut down streets for the parade and the traffic jammed. It looked like St. Louis when the Cards play the Cubs. It took, I am not lying, one hour to drive from humanities to the lofts! It all came together, thanks again to everyone for all of their help!

Also, we should give Patrick thanks for hosting the post-receptions-reception. A great time was had by all! Thanks, Pat.

Peace!

carriers

Week 6 post

October 13, 2009

11 October 09 blog

eject oct 10 copy

Greetings, compadres. I hope you really dig my blog this week. I will be writing about a few short subjects then commenting on Art and Fear. I have been thinking about Jack Kerouac a lot this month as I have been on many road trips moving art and supplies up to Wisconsin. Please excuse the continuous manuscript form. First of all, my performance this coming Friday: everything is going well.  I still need three more participants for game pieces. You just have to be able to lay on the floor for half an hour. The props and objects are progressing nicely. The biggest part will be laying the grid and waxing the floor the day of the performance. In other news, Dale, Trina and myself have been busy on our piece in the Seventh Floor Gallery. We hit some hard technical problems Friday when we were setting up. We all showed up with our equipment rented from the Merit and one DVD player was broken and both projectors had a different lens than what we tested with. After mounting the projectors, we turned them on and had images the size of a 19 inch television. One batch of plaster paintings did not fully cure and began falling. But, that is no hill for climbers. (I will get to that comment later when I talk about Art and Fear). We dug into the situation and figured out what we needed to do. This weekend we are securing more equipment and will have it installed and running this week. Everyone will have to make a trip to humanities and check it out.

Doghouse painted

I took a picture of Georgie’s doghouse while we swung through my old hometown of Blue Mound, Illinois. My mother painted it all white. We will revisit it in the spring to decide if we should change it. We are looking for some tin for a red metal roof possibly. We will see. We are cruising down route 55 now. I have been considering how to teach in the style of Art and Fear. The tone is, at least in the beginning, positive. It tells how one determines their own destiny with how they behave. It reminds me of my best employer ever. I had just sold my sign shop and started going to school on the G.I. Bill and got hired at a beverage company. (mostly beer). The environment there was amazing. The office workers trained each other, proofread each others work. We only had thirty employees and the management did a great job of creating simple workable systems to keep everything running smoothly. My first week, I got called in the office to order my business cards. My boss asked me what I wanted on them. My actual job title was Graphic Artist. I requested Creative Consultant. He told me fine. He said that what ever my card said, I had to live up to it. Within a few months, I had expanded the printing program, began selling projects to offset the costs of the print department. They told me we had saved enough to hire another artist. By the end of my first year, I was meeting with customers and selling them advertising packages, planning out special events and doing everything I had set out to do. Now, this was not due to me. It was the environment and system that the owners family had created a hundred years prior that made people successful there. When I would get in a mess and seek out the owner for assistance, He would tell me that “it was no hill for a climber.” “we work with a talented group of people and you have the ability and support to solve whatever difficulty you face.” Now, the difference in Art and Fear is that this type of positive working attitude was only present in the first half. It could be that since it took five years to finish the book that the vibe did not remain consistent. As I said in class, I recommend that those who are going to read it, begin with part two allowing you a more positive ending. Switching gears, we are now on route 51 heading back to Madison. I have been on the phone with Dale and Trina who are working on our installation tonight in the gallery. Hold on, I just got a text…They are working hard. We have driven nine-hundred miles in the last two days. We have our trailer loaded with tons of art stuff. One of my favorite finds was some old ammunition cans that I had stored. GEDC0301 While loading stuff out of my old work space, I also found a box of winter clothes and my jackets. Hoodies will only keep a person so warm in Wisconsin. I am ready for snow. I purposely looked for grad schools in the snow belt. I enjoy the seasons. One of the reasons we planned our trip this weekend was to visit my oldest daughter to take homecoming pictures. It was her first homecoming and she was pretty excited. I took her a nice bouquet of lilies when I met her party at dinner. She came over and helped us sort and load studio supplies Sunday afternoon. My daughter was pleasantly surprised when she discovered a box of Japanese prints, fabrics and fans that she had misplaced a couple of years ago. It was like Christmas for everyone. I was pawning off everything I could to her and her mother to reduce the amount of stuff that I needed to move. The remaining inventory in my garage is as follows: GE washer and dryer that my sister-in-law is storing, a vintage set of steel kitchen cabinets that is going on Craigslist, all of our camping supplies, a six-foot wooden paper airplane, a ten-foot aluminum paper airplane, a monstrous wooden cabinet containing a lot of my plaster molds and all of my scrap wood. I also have a red conical fireplace from the swinging sixties if anyone is interested. Moving in state is much easier than relocating out of state. I constantly struggle with what I should keep and what I should discard. That is why I like to give stuff away. Junk holds you back and slows you down. Other times, when you get rid of stuff, you end up needing it a month later. I am concerned what my classmates opinions are on this. Chat later! SANDY

Week 4

October 5, 2009

03 oct 09

Hello all! Been a productive week. Before I get to studio work, I will begin with an extension of last Wednesday’s class. With the final round of inspiration presentations, our class went really long and we did not get to everything. Our small group meeting had discussed the Elkin’s text concerning Suggestions, chapter 5. Elkins offers that to fight many of the pitfalls of the critique that some exercises are possible. He suggests the possibility of presenting another persons art, attempting to tell classmates that your oldest work is your newest and many other twists. Our group found this refreshing compared to the previous chapters in the text and found ourselves in a big convo trying to see if there could be practical advantages to the exercises. Leaping ahead, we thought that for the most part, the critique boiled back down to how well you can bullshit your peers. This is not a solution as it proves that both craft and content can be subverted by linguistics. Knowing this, we agreed that some would possibly have limited uses in the classroom setting and decided to try one. Patrick planned to discuss Felix Gonzales-Torres as one of his inspirations. We agreed that I would speak first and include Torres as my inspiration. Just as we imagined, the class believed my BS session on Torres. Yes, I was not totally honest with you but hope that the candy made up for it. What we did learn, (I have to vindicate myself somehow) was that one could compare themselves to artists that they don’t normally associate with and learn something along the way. It forces you to think in different ways about your work when you try to make connections that either were not there or were hidden. So, in the end it was successful but only useful in small doses.

pegsbarriers framed

Feel free to tell me why wordpress rotates my photos.

The other thing that was cut short by class was my announcement. As many of you know, I have a performance on October 16th in the Performance Lab at the lofts. It is a huge production involving 16 participants, large props and tons of preparation. I still need 4-5 more volunteers. It will be a fun group experiment allowing viewers to think about one or two things. This project has kept me pretty busy this week. To separate the two sides of the space I am building what are known as “jersey barriers.” They are essentially concrete walls that prevent bomb shrapnel from traveling too far. Concrete is a little difficult to build for a one night space in the lofts, so I am doing faux concrete. Don’t tell! So, if you are interested contact me at sandpeople2001@yahoo.com. You can find me on the “stalker list” as well.

So, the reason I wanted Graduate school was to find people that are highly motivated. I have found that and it gives me a warm fuzzy. (Don’t tell my friends back in the country) We put together the MMOPCA project and it came out great. I went into the sculpture wood shop last week and five people were cranking out letters for the gallery. You could not breath with the amount of dust. People routing, sanding, cleaning and painting like mad. I left after eleven, by the next day, it looked amazing with fresh paint and installed work. Cleaned composite flooring. You will have to stop by and check out the show. (7th floor, Humanities near the 3-D studios) Talk is happening about a show next month already. Keep your eyes out for calls.

MMOPCALego 45

Had a friend in town this weekend and went out to a couple of galleries Friday night. We checked out the performances at Mound St. Yoga. It was a definite crescendo from the beginning “interpretive rainforest dance” through the experimental group project consisting of 4 artists who choreographed a dance online then met and practiced for 45 minutes the day of the performance. Also, two girls performed a cool dance dealing with love and power. Finally, Marina’s group performed an amazing piece. I have never witnessed a dance that involved fruits rolling around the floor while people danced. It was great but I really thought that someone was going to bust their ass. I am glad that they didn’t because I am one of those people that laugh when someone falls. Sorry? It was a great production. I am very glad I got to see it. We also swung by the Mermaid Café for some live music.

Georgies_new_house#1

I called my Momma tonight. She has our modern doghouse painted. I am looking for some steel to cover the roof. I have to travel to Missouri next weekend to clean out my storage garage so maybe I will find some material there. In the picture, it was not yet painted. Mies van der Rohe would be jealous! Georgie (our dog) really digs it and claims it as her own. She enjoys animal planet. Maybe we could install a small flat screen in it for her.

I have been reading Art and Fear for the last couple of days. It is a good refreshing read. Remember, we need to all stay in touch with the art world and keep working after we graduate. That seems to be what I hear from other grad friends that have graduated in the last couple of years. One of our best grads at SIUE got public pieces in sculpture parks, did excellent, AMAZING work and moved home after grad school and never really shows any more. I don’t plan on being a teacher so I am leaning toward doing some residencies and keep collaborating with folks to keep my name out there. My Plan A is to just keep making art, applying for shows and enjoying a creative life. It has worked so far. Ok, I am rambling. I will wrap it up now since I made everyone read way too much on all of my other blogs.

Feel free to post, email or call if you have any questions or needs.

Rockit!

-Sandy