Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Print Media as a Visual for a Restaging

March 2014 Restaging of the Collection Poster
 For the March 2014 restaging of the “collection” project, an ephemeral print in the form of an 11” x 14” poster will present the current state of the collection. The posters display the web site address and QR code in the gallery space, which indicates the online existence of the “collection” project. The visitors to the March group exhibit have the option of obtaining the poster as a tangible object from the restaging. I am offering the poster as a piece of memorabilia.
            These concepts reference the art-historical shift of the dematerialization of art occurring in the late 1960’s that was proposed by art historian and critic, Lucy Lippard. The poster is significant to Lippard’s theory that the conceptual art models of exchange form residual materials. The concept of the dematerialization of art moved the materials of creating art into a secondary position and categorized the idea of art into a non-object form. An example of this selected art is artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ giveaway paper stacks and candy piles that invited the viewer to go beyond touching, but to take the pieces with them.     
            My intention in borrowing the dematerialization art theory is to have the ability to present a visual physical presence for my web-based artwork, rather than an attempt of using a computer to display the project in the gallery space. The poster has elements of print media communication that I have designed for this specific moment in time, the March 2014 restaging of the collection.  The corresponding element is to promote the communication of web-based art, the act of the continual collecting process, and to mobilize participants in the viewing process with their everyday digital objects.
            This will be the second physical space the collection has been restaged at. The first site was curated as part of the Currents 2013 The Santa Fe International New Media Festival and exhibited at a computer station at the festival site El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe. For this March 2014 restaging, I had an opportunity to present the project with complete artistic freedom. I chose the print media poster for the communication characteristics, rather than an “art” object that accompanied the Internet-based project. In addition, my decision was to include the possibility of the use of other digital objects, such as smartphones to mobilize participants in the viewing process. The “take away” concept of the poster is for viewers who do not have mobile devices and can access the collection at another point in time.
            The next blog post will consist of the gallery space and details of the exhibit that the collection project has been included in.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Print and Digital Media Object Observation

 My print object observation blog posts have usually been about two-dimensional print media style objects. My writing references material culture and my investigations in print media and digital media. My focus for this writing has shifted from 2D style to an exhibition of contemporary art generated with 3D extrusion printers that I saw during my attendance of the College Art Association (CAA) conference in Chicago, Illinois USA.

Invitation card from the Center for Book and Paper Arts (Chicago) 2014
            While observing the 3D printed objects in the Art2 Make exhibit and listening to the first half of the 3D printing roundtable panel discussion that corresponded with the CAA conference, I thought about the relationships of these specific digital methods to the printmaking discipline. A basic print concept I considered is the creation of a matrix to generate some form of multiples. This was presented by the descriptions from the representatives on the 3D panel concerning how the 3D digital modeling software enabled them to generate a “matrix” or digital file to print multiples of a particular sculptural form. These digital files have been internationally distributed and printed at site-specific locations. This process of digital distribution and the Internet has ties to the historical roles of printmaking as a Democratic Voice. This form of public access is acknowledged in the Art2 Make exhibit Internet presence. 
Image from physical gallery exhibit 2014
            The Art2 Make exhibit has two sites of presentation. The first is the physical gallery exhibit at the Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts and an Internet-based presence on the v1b3 website. The v1b3 website presents curatorial and creative research projects that focus on experiencing media artworks in various locations.[1] The context of the Art2 Make exhibit was intended to initiate an expanded dialogue concerning digital technologies and the social media relationships between artists and audiences. This blog post will contribute to the 
Screenshot from online presence
dialogue of the Art2 Make exhibit by examining the modes of digital media and contemporary art within the two presentation sites (the gallery and the Internet).
             Meredith Hoy’s exhibit text, Digital Materiality: Expanding Sculpture Through 3D Printing, references the Art2 Make 3D printed objects within the sculptural discipline. Hoy references individual artists artworks, such as Sol LeWitt’s sculptural piece Incomplete Open Cubes and Felix Gonzales-Torres’s Candy Spills to indicate the conceptual sculptural approaches of algorithmic process toward construction and the components of social interaction.[2] While both of these artists have a connection to producing multiples within their work, I identified a broader art theory from some of my current research in presenting my own web-based artwork.
            Art historian and critic, Lucy Lippard’s theory of the dematerialization of the art object follows suit within the time period of LeWitt and Gonzales-Torres’s artwork. There are approaches from Lippard’s theory that can be applied to the Art2 Make physical exhibit, while emerging contemporary aesthetics of the digital platform within contemporary art are still being formed.[3] The Art2 Make physical exhibit demonstrates Lippard’s conceptual art terms, for example process or systems art, information art, and the de-commodification of art.[4] While the gallery space does display the 3D printed objects, the wall space presents information by means of text and QR Codes for the viewer to employ their digital device to have open access to the digital files of each of the artist’s 3D objects. This is seen by the inclusion of my images with this blog post of the exhibit from the Center for Book and Paper Arts.      
The Center for Book and Paper Arts gallery wall with Art2Make project information

Detail of QRCode and "online" presence information
From my perspective, this is where the gray areas of the social exchange generated from the exhibit need to be examined in closer detail with the ideals of the fine art disciplines, the Internet as a platform of presentation, and the social interaction between the viewer and the digital files. I wanted the understanding of how these variables were being documented and if an archive system would keep track of the number of downloadable digital files and the number of objects that were actually printed. In my email correspondence with the Art2 Make curatorial team, I was informed that a conscious effort of tracking the individual downloads was in the beginning stages. In addition, the Art2 Make exhibit has a traveling schedule that offers other opportunities for public access beyond the CAA conference.
            In viewing the exhibit for the first time, I was intrigued by how the aspects of the digital medium, for example the digital files and 3D printing process, lead to a bridge of interdisciplinary concepts between printmaking and sculpture. My second visit to the exhibit that included the roundtable panel discussion focused my attention to the display and social interaction in the exhibit. Hoy’s essay does extend the idea of social interaction or democratic voice from the digital files to a current non-art world object, Cody Wilson’s 3D printed gun named the Liberator.  She does reference the rhetoric of gift-giving, along with the social and political implications of free exchange to the instructions of the 3D printed objects.[5] 
            This type of social implication with the Internet or digital files enables the printed objects to exist beyond the physical gallery space. Taking into consideration that the Art2 Make exhibition has an ending date, the artists’ digital instructions are maintained on the website for continual public access. The variables I mentioned earlier now have a role in a postmodern use of the instructions and the 3D printed objects. Miwon Kwon’s essay, Exchange Rate: On Obligation and Reciprocity in Some Art of the 1960’s and After, investigates Lippard’s broad concept of the dematerialization of art. Kwon examines the side were the participants refuse the gift giving or interactive process. She uses Felix Gonzalez-Torre’s retrospective exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum as an example. She describes the museum visitors as happily gathering pieces of candy and collecting sheets of paper, then to her astonishment viewing overfilled garbage cans in the lobby of the museum and just outside of the museum with Gonzalez-Torre’s sheets of paper. Kwon describes from this experience the devaluation of the artist’s gift and the participants’ assertion of their superior positions.[6] While actual physical objects were being “given away” in Kwon’s example, the future documentation of public access to the digital files and even the count of the 3D printed objects will contribute to the understanding of the role of digital media in the agency of the social interaction arrangement of the Art2 Make exhibit.
            I am unable to include my social media relationship of the Art2 Make project beyond my viewing with the information on the v1b3 website, because I currently do not have access to the specific software or a 3D printer. My current research on community libraries and their development to offer various digital media sources for public access could change my accessibility to the digital files. Of course, Timing is one main factor to the circumstance with accessibility to 3D printing and forming the media arts historical background. My writing is not intended to be a critique of any portion of the Art2 Make project. I view my observation as a contribution to theory and practice that will continue the conversation in developments of digital media.

Visit Art2 Make to explore the catalog, artist’s statements & digital files, and corresponding writings

Visit the v1b3 website for past projects and to keep current of the Art2 Make traveling exhibition schedule

Thanks to the staff at ColumbiaCollege Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts and the v1b3 curatorial team for taking the time to answer my inquiries about Art2 Make.

[1] http://v1b3.com/ [Accessed: February 12, 2014]
[2] http://v1b3.com/project/art2make [Accessed: February 12, 2014]
[3] Olga Goriunova, Art Platforms and Cultural Production on the Internet (New York: Routledge, 2012) 1- 2
[4] Lucy R. Lippard, Six Years: the dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972…(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973) Introduction
[5] http://v1b3.com/project/art2make [Accessed: February 12, 2014]
[6] Miwon Kwon, “Exchange Rate: An Obligation and Reciprocity in Some Art of the 1960’s and After,” in Work Ethic , Helen Molesworth, (University Park, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003) 90- 93


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New "site" for the Public Bulletin Board Collection

Icon for Public Bulletin Board Collection
              Almost a year ago, I introduced the Public Bulletin Board Collection theme. This collection theme investigates some of the broader contexts of my research with the “collection” project, such as public access to the collection, participation in the colleting process, and concepts concerning print and digital media objects.
            The Public Bulletin Board Collection has been recently relocated to a Tumblr Blog site. My decision to remove the collection theme from the project website was made because of the easier public accessibility of posting images and text. The Tumblr site offers an option of allowing people to submit posts with various media (images, texts, links) to contribute to the blog.
            The submissions have been sparse during a year’s time of promoting participation to the collecting process of this collection theme. I considered the first collecting process of submitting images through email to have two many steps. Since I am a generalist with html coding, I began to investigate pre-designed templates or sites that offered another option of participants posting information.
            In my March 27, 2013, New Collection Theme, blog post I referred to Olga Goriunova’s concepts of using media as an art platform, along with the engagement of direct subjective and societal involvement that develops the contemporary aesthetic practices of the Internet. I explored her five concepts to the preliminary investigations of the Public Bulletin Board Collection theme in the 2013 blog post.
Screen Shot of the Public Bulletin Board Collection Tumblr Site
            For this blog post concerning the relocation of the collection theme, I wanted to acknowledge one of the 5 concepts that pertain to the reason for having selected a different site. The concept is media’s relationship with agency.  The variety of methods of how participants submit digital information with digital devices has not been altered. The digital communication medium is what has changed. Instead of using email in the collecting process between the participant and myself to submit information a blog program is used. The participant’s can directly attach their images and information of the location of the public bulletin board.  This switch in the digital communication medium involves one site for submitting and presenting the contributions.
            The Tumbr site has it own agreement to public posting information. This brings about questions of who is really presenting and collecting the Public Bulletin Board Collection, Tumblr or myself. These questions of authorship between social media and people will be investigated as the collection develops. In addition, the other 4 concepts of Olga Goriunova’s will be examined too.
            I have moved the first 4 images from the Public Bulletin Board Collection over to the Tumblr site. View and participate in the collecting process on the Tumblr site.