Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday in the park/studio/garden

Dear K, 

It's been weeks since my trip, but I still feel like I am getting back into the swing of things. Everyone wants updates, pictures, check-ins - and I am exhausted and torn in a thousand different directions. I've been feeling productive lately - starting some pieces for our show. Have finalized my plan of action for Home/Page - we should have a phone date soon!
It's a beautiful weekend here - breezy, sunny. Yesterday was administrative errands - did my taxes, started the name change process (concepts are absolutely going to be a part of my artists book for our show - one part exciting, one part terrifying = conflicted). After a morning of running around, spent the afternoon in my studio - starting collages, a photo series, continuing my "homestellations" (blueprints + constellations) silkscreened ants and manipulated slides. The ants have taken over my studio! Today is a dinner and garden adventure in Miami with the lovely Amanda, I'm excited to start having more adventures with her, now that she has moved back. 
Hope you are having a great weekend too.. Is spring there yet? 


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Randomness head in the clouds and pictorial updates

Dear K, 

Some great posts lately.. thanks for picking up the slack while I was securely settled into a hammock for an entire week. Belize was stunning.. am using some of my underwater photos of coral and fantastical fish as inspiration for collages for our show. Even pondering including the Mayans and other ancient civilizations in our conceptual realms of the collaborative. Anything that takes 250 years to be built is the art of collaboration gone extreme. Also note, our class description is up! See VSW Summer Institute and spread the word!

Today I'm feeling scattered.. one half still in Belize, sitting by the pool and listening to reggae, the other annoyed/intrigued by the reggae festival that is happening in the park directly across the street this weekend. I've been trying to be in my studio today, but fumbling... stumbling and crumbling into distraction a tad. 

My distractions led me to ponder my quest to be more positive these days. Positive about my place in the world, my life, our artistic lives. In keeping with this positive attitude .... wanted to post some follow up photos of our show in Seattle, "Drawing is a Verb." Thanks Mike for sending these... it absolutely gives us a sense of how the collaboration between the K's danced with the collaborative efforts of the audience. 

Been thinking a lot about collaboration these days.. even had a nice chat about it with my mom. (Thanks Mom!) I completely related to your idea of "negotiating me + we". I can relate - in art, in work, in love, in space. I think for so long I worked as a solo artist - retaining control and obsessing over details. Do you think that it is a coincidence that we are getting older, maturing and allowing ourselves to loose a little bit of that artistic control? I find that while other things have settled, (career, the search for a loving partner, perhaps?) I find it appealing to work with others again. Even as a child, I was never good a playing with others. Always the solo artist, I have vivid memories of me lurking in the corners with my sketchbook and crayons. 
See above for photos from Seattle, as well as the official Showtel 2009 postcard. I'm so excited to be a part of this event, as it is absolutely the most important contemporary show in the Palm Beach area all year. Unlike Chicago, we are a tad void of contemporary - so I feel honored to push my multi-disciplinary envelope with my friend Adrienne. We're working on silkscreen, small sculptures in large multiples, fabric creations, video and sound crunchings. 

Stay posted. Stay focused. Stay positive!

Love, K.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

two little projects

Hey K!
Came across a couple things in my mindless facebooking today:

1. I am a new "fan" (you know the feature) of "Conversations at the Edge," and the Gene Siskel is screening the work of Cory Arcangel tonight. He's a pop-culture Nintendo game hack artist. I can't make it, but checked out his work. He did a project called "The Bruce Springsteen Born to Run Glockenspiel Addendum" in 2006. Being a fan (although not yet declared on facebook) of glock and Bruce, I felt this was such a guilty pleasure.

His site describes it best: "The Bruce Springsteen Born to Run Glockenspiel Addendum is a composition for solo glockenspiel. For those not in the know, Bruce's Born to Run record is littered with glockenspiel. For example, the famous melody from the song Born to Run is actually a guitar DOUBLED by a glockenspiel. The Born to Run record itself contains 3 songs that feature the glockenspiel, ... For this project, I decided to create an addendum to the original and compose, play, and record glockenspiel parts for the songs on Born to Run that do not already feature the instrument (Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, Backstreets, She's the One, Meeting Across the River and Jungleland). This composition has existed in several formats. A 12 inch vinyl record & mp3's (meant to be played along to Bruce's record), a "mix" CD (my additional glockenspiel mixed back into the original), and every now and then I will perform it live along to a recording of Springsteen."

Here is a YouTube clip I found of him performing this:

2. After perusing recent status updates, I found myself checking out project pics of an old graduate advisor of mine from Memphis. Cedar Nordbye is an interdisciplinary artist that specializes in the performative (and was a direct influence on me during my MFA studies). He posted images of a project he did in 1999, seemingly as a way to find past participants.
The description from his album page: "In 1999 I traveled to Paris and in the hall outside the room containing the Mona Lisa offered visitors $10 and a postcard of the Mona Lisa if they would NOT go in to see the painting. I made a small artist's book documenting the results."

I also have to give him credit for the image at top. Just a sketch, but very evident of his analytical thinking. And today especially, this seemed to speak loudly, as I'm negotiating my own me + we.

love ya!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

virtually munch on this!

Dear K in paradise,

Great quote from good old Sol-y! I also think it's important to remember that even when you are "doing," there is still a lot of stumbling, fumbling, humbling, searching, head-scratching. That's part of learning. I'm failing a lot with my lil' weather machines, but it's a nonetheless a productive process.

Went to a lecture last week: Glenn Adamson of "Thinking Through Craft" fame. I may write more about it later, but tangentially, he mentioned the "Unmonumental" show that was the opening exhibit of the New Museum in NY last year. One of his lesser topics included the relationship between D.I.Y. and technology, and the way most of us access this 3-D tactile work through flattening vitural contexts. Not only does this speak to our blogging and Google-urgent consumption of information, but really touched on my very intentioned approach to this animation project for our show.

"Unmonumental" had 4 parts, the last being "Montage: Unmonumental Online." I spent some time sorting through this and found it very telling of the blurred boundaries of art and life, especially in how it translates through technology. Just some highlights:1. Jessica Ciocci does these crazy web collages that really make me snicker. A teenage html angst all framed with a web browser--sooooo cute! You have to follow the links, it's a random journey through personal patterns and wild flashing gifs of special virtual awards or recognizable pop icons like Mario bros.2. Willaim Boling made a site that collects images of items for sale via online auction sites like ebay in both the US and New Zealand. Web commerce juxtapositions that are sometimes absurdly silly and thought provoking concerning their respective places.3. Nina Katchadourian put together an interactive "Continuum of Cute" inviting the viewer to organize the web images of animals in order from cutest to uncutest.4. Paul Slocum made an amazing time-lapse video, taking the viewer on a trip through the fast moving and constant flux of a homepage. It is process on display in an ever-changing virtual environment.

All of these projects seem to speak to our chunking (with small bites) way of taking in the world of web experience (and maybe the world in general), as well as the fleeting presence of content and context. This could be an interesting concept to approach in your munchings/groupings/consuming tangible page project.

Hope you enjoyed your off-grid-ness and are adjusting to the regular speed of things.
Talk soon,

p.s. The image at top is from a Flickr set I found while searching for more info on "Unmonumental." It highlights found objects as "artful" from the perspective of a mindful stumbling upon details in a mundane city environment.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Munching, crunching, bunching, scrunching

Dear K, 

Hope you are great... awesome blogging lately. Wanted to do one more post - despite my absolutely insane week - before me and "the hubster" leave for a belated Belize honeymoon. Truthfully, I'm really looking forward to being off the grid for awhile. I don't always like being so connected, so 3-seconds away from being able to Google anything I want. We've been talking so much about connections and participatory acts that I wanted to share the work of my lovely friend Adrienne Turk. Above are her images - small little glue butterflies that incorporate hair and sewn thread. They are absolutely exquisite in person. 

We are applying for do to a collaborative installation with my "munchings" as I call them. (Remember the bookmarks?) Hopefully, we will get in. The piece will be the documentation of the remnants of life - whether animal, human or fantastical creature, something has been here and consumed. I'm really into this idea lately - and these acts of binding, munching, crunching made A and I remember this famous Sol Lewitt quote that I love. He wrote this to Eva Hesse who was apparently under some sort of artist block. 

"Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itching, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling, rumbling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball poking, finger poking, alleyway sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil eyeing, back scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO!"

Whoop! What's not to love about Sol Lewitt? Wall drawings and tough love... my kind of guy. 

Ok, well.. I'm so happy we are just doing. Here's to a break off of the grid.. and to all of our recent "doings" and connections. 

Love you with crazy cheeks, 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shameless promotion

Dear K, 

Hey!! We're in the spotlight (well, briefly). Our show at Ouch My Eye gallery apparently was a success - and I'm so happy we participated. 

I have another blog waiting in the wings but wanted to post this descriptor of the exhibit, "Drawing is a Verb" that we were included in by the dapper Michael Lorefice of Seattle. 

"Drawing is a Verb" explores the liberation of drawing from the shadow of painting, in which it has wallowed in for so long, into complete and autonomous works of art. Climbing from this second-tier status, drawing has regained its footing, accentuating the process and act of creation where each work of art exists as the record of an activity over time. Whether a pencil dragged across a surface of paper or a trail of footprints extending into the distance, drawing is a verb examines imagery and ideas that are free and emancipated from the rigid traditions of the past, yet still in line with its ideals. 

It was so great to collaborate and mix ideas together like a recipe for drawing for this exciting show. Wish we could jet to Seattle to see it - surprisingly enough, we got a plug in Seattle's Daily Candy. (How did my name make the headline???). If anyone is in the area - go, document, draw and then send us pictures!

Thanks Michael. Can't wait to see the images that viewers created. 


p.s. Thanks Kehren for your lovely post. Will respond to it in the next blog. 

Monday, March 2, 2009

Guest K: "Lifestyle"

K & K-

I am a guest on your charmed space and honored to have been asked to write about a project that I've been working on entitled "Lifestyle" with my partner Calvin Jones. We have been documenting and collecting stories about people, places, and things.

As a properties artisan working in partnership with a sound designer, we are creating installed spaces adorned with video collages, sound collage, photographic record, and collected, arranged objects recreating stories of the present to inspire other to connect with their present, with vision to inspire their future and create a vibrant past.

Definition by experience, "Lifestyle" is a multi-media installation with vision of inspiration and inclusion. "Lifestyle" is a riddle that can only be answered by being part of it. A friend defined "Lifestyle" being defined by its infinite possibilities; another describes "Lifestyle" is what attaches us to the present, then those links becoming our past. Ferrin Lunestad describes "Lifestyle" with "humans as velcro; individual, highly specialized velcro. Lifestyle is the hooks that we catch on in life. What attracts our attention, what makes us smile or think, or become present again. What we recognize. And how the things and moments we love, are actually us."

Celebrating present that leads to beautiful future and a vibrant past,

Kehren Barbour

Sunday, March 1, 2009

happy anny + people projects

Yesterday was our anniversary--one year of life-in-parallel (l.i.p.)--yay!

Wanted to report on some very participatory events going on. I think I told you about this Sketchbook Project I participated in. Although, I had a very limited time to complete my sketchbook, I submitted nonetheless. I wasn't very proud of my drawings--just sort of cranked it out--but many of the other entries are great! You can view some of them here: The theme was "Everyone We Know" and one my favorites is (pictured above) "portraits of facebook status updates" by Marissa Falco. This project is on tour and stopping at many galleries in major cities across the U.S. It's actually coming to Chicago on March 8 @ Antena Gallery, so I plan to check it out. You can see their tour schedule and other projects on their site: A new project in the works, "The Canvas Project: The Encyclopedia Edition," is building a pictoral encyclopedia in the Atlanta Airport. Anyone and everyone are invited to participate---this is great collaborative organization!I was delighted to participate in an event last Friday hosted by Ryan Richey (above) in relation to his show "My Whole Life" at Spoke. Spoke is a warm contemporary space encouraging collaboration and dialogue--separating itself from the cold commerical gallery scene. Not only did Ryan intimately share his own life in paintings and writings, but he invited others to share as well. "Nitey Nite" gathered a variety of readings and performances. A small crowd of people snug on the floor, sitting on sleeping bags and pillows listened, cringed, and laughed to 3 hours of personal, historical, and fictional accounts--characters, settings, and situations that reveal and connect us.

You can see Ryan's work and read some of his writing at his site:

Also considering our collaborative "audience-is-artist" drawing attemps, it's been a very inclusive participatory month. Let's keep it up.

love ya!