Week 4

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.


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.


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.



2 Responses to “Week 4”

  1. jaydanmoore Says:


    Wow, it really sounds like it has been a pretty productive week!

    The galleries you went to really sounded like a great time. I wish I would have been able to partake in the festivities, but had too much other stuff going on that I couldn’t. What galleries were these shows in? They all sound pretty awesome. Where was Marina’s?

    The MMOPCA sounds like a great little co-op of people. I wasn’t able to put something in this show but I am definitely game for the next show. Can’t really tell what your pieces are made out of. I mean I know it is a gun, but is it plastic paper?

    I am interested to hear about what Art & Fear is all about. My group is reading Art Lessons and it has also been a pretty great read. After being a little up and down on the last read this one has been a bit of fresh air, and really has brought up a lot of good questions I think is important for anyone artist to think about in there work.

    The Performance sounds like it is going to be an interesting one! Can’t wait to see it. Sounds like your next week might just be as busy as the last one with all of the props you have to build. Good luck with that!

    The last thing I have to say is the doghouse looks like any dog would be a happy person under. You should definitely post pictures of the newly painted house, would love to see the color choices. Well see you tomorrow


  2. Gabriel Mejia Says:

    Hey Sandy.
    I was wondering why Felix Gonzales-Torres seemed so popular. Although one (perhaps intended) side effect is that now I’m not going to believe anything you say. Ever. So it seems that everyone has solidified their cynical view of critique. I’m not so sure that bullshit can carry an artist’s entire career. One crit, maybe. Even in the limited amount of critiques I’ve had here and back among my peers in Chicago, people call each other out on bullshit all the time. Yeah, you slipped the fake influence thing by me, but in my experience artists can usually sniff each other out. It may not always seem that they are consciously deceiving us, but I’d like to think we know when something fits. Prove me wrong. Seriously. This might be fun. Get someone in your group to lie to me about their work at some point and I’ll see if I can pick it up.
    I liked that you touched on the whole post-education work stoppage that seems to happen quite a bit. It seems that many people get burned out and then find it hard to get going again once they’ve got a 9 to 5, and other assorted responsibilities. Some friends of mine, who are unrepresented artists in Chicago, saw the cycle beginning in themselves a few years ago. In response they started a group called “Deadline Projects”. The idea was that if they give themselves deadlines for work and support each other through various exhibitions, they would end up creating on a regular basis. I have to admit, I was hoping for more deadlines myself here. Everything seems a bit too loose on us first years, and I find myself slipping into procrastination. Good thing we have that show coming up so hopefully that will give me the swift kick in the ass that I need.

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