Thursday, September 30, 2010


After seeing this on T.V. this morning I cannot stop thinking about how scale can take the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Then it had me thinking...
Does something need to have an extreme scale to be great?
Can something with an average or medium scale still be interesting?
I will say that I love when things are tiny- everyday objects and artwork alike. For example the work of Thomas Doyle:
Thomas Doyle:
The reprisal
Mixed media
10 x 12 inches diameter
Seriously- great stuff and definitely a cause for further investigation... so go to his site and check out the work.

And there is no doubt that things on a large scale get attention....

Jeff Koons- Cantor Roof Garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008.

But in the case of art, does that really mean something is automatically worthy of praise? I feel like large pieces often get acclaim simply based on their size, you know, the whole skewed notion of "bigger is better".

I just keep going back to the didactic words that get adhered to art/craft, value placed on size, and most of all, gendered associations that are commonly stuck to small/large works. I hope that someday we can step away from this type of categorization.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

When David Bowie and Iman come to Baltimore

For some reason I continue to tell people that David Bowie and Iman are on the board at the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM). I'm honestly not sure if it is true but if they aren't actually on the board, I'm sure they would love it. In many ways AVAM is the crown jewel of Baltimore Museums, as it really represents and recognizes what the foundation of Baltimore's art culture. That would be, the John Waters, seedy underbelly, papermache, cabaret, home made kinetic sculpture, pasties kind of art.

I have theorized that without a really kick ass commercial gallery market, a different kind of art has arisen in Baltimore. Perhaps this is true, but never the less the underground and experimental art events like the High Zero Experimental Music Festival and the Transmodern make Baltimore an amazing place to be...

Oh and when your in town make sure to go duckpin bowling as well...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In Rainbows

I was on an airplane between LA and San Francisco on Friday. It was a really bright day and the UV filter on my camera broke up the bright light reflected off the ocean in to rainbow gradients. Try it out next time you are on a plane on a bright day! None of the pictures have been photoshopped or anything; They are actually how they looked through the camera. I think that the guy in the middle seat probably thought that I was bonkers for watching the flight through a camera, but it was a definitely worth the view!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Fascinated, of late, with sidewalk art. Small, rundown towns are not used for walking the way they once were. Most people just don't have the time. Some find the time to draw and write messages though. Sometimes it's just a game. If you weren't there for the creation these things can be pretty cryptic or even magical. Sometimes they expand and sometimes they disappear. Chalk is temporal and the weather determines its longevity. The opportunity for etching is limited. If you find the time to walk in these places, these things are meant for you.


I am late posting this. I've been dealing with overload on several fronts... full-time teaching, repairing money problems that happened over the summer, and further considering and exploring my aesthetic tastes. With the exception of the financial part, I'm thankful and accepting of the other forms of over-stimulation. I seem to crave inundation despite the stress it usually causes. I'm thinking there's a good chance it's just part of my hard-wiring. So, if you're like me and feel drawn to visual
gluttony, you'll appreciate this site...

Le Dernier Cri (The Last Cry) is a publishing house and workshop in Marseilles, France that is responsible for the creation of books, comics, monographs, prints, and animated films that provide more stimulus than your eyeballs may be able to handle.

Go ahead and gorge! You can always purge later.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Queer Culture in the Hallows

For the past 5-6 hours, blurred between the scenic Tennessee highway and sluggish mass of box trucks trekking through the hills, I had an opportunity to formulate my thoughts in the meditative solitude of the road. The drive signified the completion of a 3-week venture through the South exploring concepts of community and safety through documentation while sharing SPORE mobile art gallery with persons en-route. Ironic perhaps that the trip is concluding on the anniversary of 9-11. An event that has had an unarguable impact on the past decade and our community relationships.

The concept behind SPORE, an acronym for Spontaneous Projects Orchestrating a Relevant Exchange, loosely surrounds social exploration and like many of my projects is in a constant state of evolution. Many of the scheduled visits on the trip were selected for their cultural identity and relationship with art creation. I plan on spending the upcoming months compiling writing, video footage and still images from explorations thus far. The final destination of this trip was Ida, a 17-year running radical queer and transgender intentional community in rural Tennessee. The following is a reflection of my interactions there.

"Lugging a damp tent through the lush vivacious gardens and artfully constructed structures that is Ida I paused to document the scene into memory. That morning was particularly stunning. Rays peeked through the hills illuminating the rising Smokey mist, the area's namesake, flirting with shadowy hues lurking from the night's torrential storm. A residual of Hurricane Earl in the Carolinas.

I had arrived close to dusk the previous day after a short trek through what I as a Missourian would dub mountains. I parked the van in front of an aging barn. Yellow bubble lettering expressing "Welcome Homo" was painted on the exterior. Almost immediately a jovial person with pigtails greeted me. Parade of healthy looking friendly mutts in toe.

We spoke for a moment and were interrupted by two loud characters driving and hanging out of a pickup truck which appeared to be hauling a large piece of metal piping. Later I learned it was to be used for construction of a new bridge on the property for Ida's upcoming work party and fundraiser dubbed "Work hard. Stay hard."

In one week's time over 100 people come from throughout the country will assist with community projects at Ida. All guests are fed three solid vegetarian meals and are invited to engage in pre-planned activities organized by a crew of 10 or so I met that weekend. Ida also hosts Idapalloza, a growing music festival of over 500 during the late Spring harvest.

I was led through a vibrant flowering garden into hand built mixed-use cabin with windows so exaggerated in size that the space appeared to live inside the garden. The cabin is primarily used as a kitchen, internet cafe and dining hall. The grounds vaguely reminded me of the summer camps of my youth.

Instantly I was introduced to an eccentric gathering of mixed age, race and gendered individuals engaging in a family-style dinner. That night's spread hosted a cornucopia of delicious dishes consisting of ingredients grown at Ida as well as donations from charities and perfectly editable food gathered during dumpster diving excursions.

After dinner I was led to the bathroom, an outhouse which is ironically the most decedent building on the premises. It resembles a Gingerbread cottage. I spent the rest of my evening socializing and listening to personal stories. After attempting to sleep in a catastrophic loft full of spiders next to a semi-public shower room with large windows. I groggily pitched my tent in a bamboo garden next to an empty stream and slept comfortably.

My morning was leisurely. Inquiring about the Kombucha tea jars that I noticed perched on a kitchen shelf I was shown fermentation techniques including pickling, vinegar brewing and homemade ginger beer. Most were derivatives of recipes complied by Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation who resides at nearby fairy sanctuary Short Mountain.

Later that afternoon a festively dressed Ida resident Maxine and Tom of Short Mountain shared their developing juggling routine with me. Ida's picturesque mountainside garden provided a magical backdrop. Their complex routine included jokes, twists, and multiple objects. 20-year juggling veterans, they were preparing for a gig at venue in Southern Tennessee the following day.

My remaining daylight hours were spent in the shared community building assisting another visitor, a kind-hearted British activist and sex worker called Topsy in the creation of a lavish traditional Rosh Hashana dinner.

Throughout the meal preparation process Topsy and I spoke heartfeltly our life experiences. Upon my inquiry he described his activism work and some of the horrors he'd witnessed in the Middle East which included seeing friends killed by gunfire and children disfigured by bombs. He described an immense duality of compassion with both the people of which he was living with and those he was fighting. The cause he explained was much larger than himself and was complex. His film work provided him the financial ability to be there.

Quickly I discovered that Ida much like it's sibling Short Mountain, serves as an open-door refuge for persons who may not fit comfortably into mainstream culture due to their sexuality and gender identity. Food and meals serve as cultural binders for the community. Despite Ida's remoteness, it's surprisingly connected to the outside world and could perhaps be considered an epicenter for a growing international network of queer culture.

At Ida's core it appears to be a haven in which creative expression, individualism and sustainable living are blurred into flowering cornucopia of something genuinely beautiful."

Throughout the trip SPORE engaged with folks at Camp Pleasant in Frankfort KY, students at the University of KY in Lexington performing at LOT (Land of Tomorrow), New Harmony Indiana, Marginal Arts Festival artists and Jim Leftwich in Roanoke VA, Elsewhere living museum in Greensboro NC, Common Grounds Coffee Shop in Southern Pines NC, Asheville NC, Gatlinburg TN, and Charleston WV. Visiting old friends Sean, Danielle, Tiffany, Erin and Sayde along the way. Current artist is Robert Long of St Louis, MO.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

When Japanese Pop Art Hits The Palace

“For a Japanese like me, the Château de Versailles is one of the greatest symbols of Western history. It is the emblem of an ambition for elegance, sophistication and art that most of us can only dream of.

Of course, we are aware that the spark that set fire to the powder of the Revolution came directly from the centre of the building.

But, in many respects, everything is transmitted to us as a fantastic tale coming from a very distant kingdom. Just as French people can find it hard to recreate in their minds an accurate image of the Samurai period, the history of this palace has become diminished for us in reality.

So it is probable that the Versailles of my imagination corresponds to an exaggeration and a transformation in my mind so that it has become a kind of completely separate and unreal world. That is what I have tried to depict in this exhibition.

I am the Cheshire cat that welcomes Alice in Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Château.

With a broad smile I invite you all to discover the wonderland of Versailles.”

-Takashi Murakami

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ecstatic Energy confounds the notion of (business in) art.

Ecstatic Energy Consultancy Inc., is a conceptual masquerade, if you will, that looks like a consultancy business, but really is a collaboration with artists & other curators.
Ecstatic Energy Consultants Inc. is a Los Angeles– based firm that provides experiential assessments into the relationships between institutions, the public, and the natural sphere...Ecstatic Energy Consultants Inc. emerged in 2009 as an expression of its founders' interests in the increasing strangeness in contemporary America. 

The "problems" that their "clients" seek solutions for, become schemes of intersecting ideas in order to foster witty, insightful & elaborate interventions that foster dialog, bridge lacks of awareness and inspire change.
What creates inquisitive visual confusion and humor on their website, are the stock-esque images usely seen in corporate advertising sites:
What drives the tongue to the cheek is:
Our team’s combined accomplishments in the fields of activism, art, design, new-age physical therapy, non-profit administration, publishing, psychedelics, sailing, and theater enable us to offer our clients a sensitive, multi-dimensional approach. Did I just read, sailing?

A recent "client" is Elana Mann. 
Ms. Mann's work centers heavily around performance, public engagement or intervention, global and international issues, politics, gender, is very rich and full. Many of her curatorial projects are collaborative in nature.

It is here that we see the lines blurred between artist and curator - a topic of recent discussion: It is not straightforward collaboration, because there is an initiator who conceives the project without group consensus, invites others to participate, and is vested conceptually and sometimes financially in the idea. But it is not straight curating either, simply for the fact that they are participating as an artist.
Perhaps a new word is needed for this type of person/artist/curator. Curatist? Articurist?

Anyway, I can't help but see how Ecstatic Energy's clever guise as a business is a perfect solution to this very conundrum:
EEC Inc.’s Energy Assessments are first built on a foundation of research. We take a systemic view of the focus of our investigation, and try to learn the dynamics of all the kinds of energy that flow through that system. This provides us with a network of concepts, meanings, and synchronicities--a bird’s-eye view of the whole thing. We then perform an experiential analysis where we use our bodies, our senses, our intuition, and our openness to chance. Using both of theses kinds of inquiry allows us to find the myths in the systems that are so often overlooked.

Which poses the question, of art systems and Geographic Identity.* What are our masquerades and who do we masquerade as?

----The Project----
The project (case study) they created with (their client) Elana Mann, is the eec004 - Subaru Outback.
We plan to look at which car’s raw materials come from conflict zones, imagine if cars could become vegetarians, look at gridlock as a possible productive time for drivers and passengers, and find reverie in other reflections about how we get from one place to another.
The project aspects were:

Fundraiser with
Donor stickers designed by Steven Anderson of  EEC, Inc. and magnetized to the car :
I chose to contribute an "inspirational message" (Kowabunga Dudes), instead of my name as a sponsor. I was thinking more like riding the wave, and unfortunately did not know it was also used by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Assess & Prep the Car: 
Mojave Road Trip:
Exhibition "Driven by What's Inside":
Saturday, October 2nd, 2010
7pm to 9pm
Side Street Projects in Pasadena, California
730 North Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Ecstatic Energy Consultants, Inc.

You can view the entire photo album on their flickr credits: Ecstatic Energy Consultants Inc. with Elana Mann and Jean Paul Leonard

* In keeping with my blog theme for movement 365 (Geographic Identity).

Monday, September 6, 2010

Adrienne Rich

once said...

"There is the falsely mystical view of art that assumes a kind of supernatural inspiration, a possession by universal forces unrelated to questions of power and privilege or the artist's relation to bread and blood. In this view, the channel of art can only become clogged and misdirected by the artist's concern with merely temporary and local disturbances. The song is higher than the struggle."

Here's to making work that's unclouded by that "mystical view".

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Thoughts on the Art World..

I have two jobs in the Art world. One, I am an art consultant for an Art and Framing company. The other, I am an Art Gallery Director at a local college gallery.

Both offer benefits, and networking opportunities to me in the "Art World".

But, the question I am always asking myself is what do I want to do with these connections? Do I want to sell my art? Others art?

When I first graduated from undergraduate school, and thrown into the 'real world' in 2004, I felt I was just trying to keep my head above water, I didn't think about where my career was going at all. But, now I realize my instincts led me to where I am now... but where do I want to go is the question?

This question coming from a good place, where I'm content in my life, but always striving for more.. more time to work on my 'work', more opportunities to show and sell.. more money.. more satisfaction.

Sometimes, I think that maybe this striving 'is' the artist in me. I meet other visual artists, writers, musicians, and they all have that hunger, for 'more'.

I remember saying to one of my professors in college, "what if I wake up one day and I can't draw anymore", and his response was, "you shouldn't be afraid that you won't be able to draw, but that you will lose your hunger."

On a side note, I had an opening last night at Thomas More College, Eva G. Farris Art Gallery. The artist was Richard Fruth, a 3-D artist, who works in Poplar, Bronze and Mixed Media. It was a great show, one that I was truly proud of curating, and hanging.

The artist thanked me after the show, and said how 'awesome' the opening was... I don't think I will ever grow tired of that.. the opportunity to share those moments with artists that I'm showing...

It was a great night in many ways, and I hope this gallery season continues to be a great one.

I can't wait for Jennifer Barnett Hensel's show next Winter 2011!

That's all for now! I hope to hear feedback, and thoughts...
Have a great Labor Weekend Everyone!
Jennifer Feld

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Don't wait any longer --send a message to your childhood self

Following the theme of Mash-ups check out the interactive film by Chris Milk --featuring the song "We Used To Wait" by Arcade Fire.

The site recommends using Google Chrome for a better "experience". You enter your childhood address at The Wilderness Downtown (the name was taken from lyrics in the song), and the website, which is one of the first sites on the Web using the new HTML5 standard, creates a custom video mashing-up Google Street View images from your old stomping grounds with the video's original footage.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Double Rainbows | Memes | "What Does It Mean?"

Sitting down at our favorite conveyor belt sushi, we noticed a "Double Rainbow Roll" slowly moving down the track. As an internet meme, the viral video Double Rainbow has quickly spread over the internet, an inside joke now used to market my lunch. This particular sushi roll was advertised as "for a limited time only" – just as memes are often here-today-gone-tomorrow, "of the moment" signifiers of our culture.

Given their differences, there are also parallels between memes and art movemenents: "cultural information representing an idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation." What happens when the art world meets meme? A smart-ass mash-up: Double Judd Rainbow. What does it mean? When was the last time art made you feel like this?