Archive for September, 2010

ZERO1: Opening Ceremony

Posted by Bradshaw on September 17th, 2010

Audio Ballerinas at the ZERO1 Opening Ceremony

by Patrick Lydon

As the sun inched down, and shadows inched across the plaza and up the glass and metal rotunda at San Jose’s City Hall, a chorus of metallic scraping sounds bounced around and through the crowd.

The sounds were the beginnings of “Audio Ballerinas”, a Ballet San Jose / Benoit Maubrey/ Audio Gruppe co-operative project, the initial movement of which snaked its way through the crowd, making use of metal rakes connected to speaker-laden tutus.

ZERO1 opening “Audio Ballerinas” photo credit Patrick Lydon

Later in the ballet performance, light-sensitive instruments were used to track the movements of the ballerinas as they performed choreographed dances. Following the intriguing yet solemn and often eerie Audio Ballet, a considerably more lively San Jose Taiko returned focus to the stage area, playing their own brand of past/present/future taiko-drum based music.

ZERO1 Opening:  “Audio Ballerinas”, a Ballet San Jose / Benoit Maubrey/ Audio Gruppe co-operative project. Photo credit: Patrick Lydon

The opening ceremony ended with the unveiling of “Plug-in-Play” by Rockwell Group LAB. This interactive installation encourages the public to experiment and play with interactive items which influence the outcome of an 18-story image projected onto the city hall building. Plug-in Play will be featured as part of ZERO1 every evening through October 20.

ZERO1: Wind, Coil, Sound, Flow – A quiet listening experience

Posted by Bradshaw on September 17th, 2010

Ken Gregory :  “Wind, Coil, Sound, Flow”

By Julia Bradshaw

Ken Gregory “Wind, Coil, Sound, Flow”, City Hall Rotunda, ZERO1, 2010 Photo Credit: Patrick Lydon

One of ZERO1’s greatest attributes is that the artist often is present with his or her installation. I visited “Wind, Coil, Sound, Flow” the installation in the City Hall rotunda created by artist Ken Gregory twice. The first time, surrounded by the chattering classes at the ZERO1 art opening; it was impossible to do more than merely project that I was looking at a musical instrument of some sort. The second time, taking a quiet moment from the Global Warming Symposium, I could hear the pops and the clicks and eerie tones dispersing around the now quiet rotunda. Yes, the artist is present and was happy to explain how he collected his sounds from flying kites – the piece is inspired by the Aeolian Kite instrument.

Ken Gregory “Wind, Coil, Sound, Flow”, City Hall Rotunda, ZERO1, 2010

The sculptural piece situated in the rotunda consists of four umbrella shaped objects suspended in the air from four almost prow-like  wood frames. From each ‘umbrella’ a tawt piano wire runs to an anchor point – reminiscent of an instrument and the neck of a four string guitar. At this anchor point each piano wire meets a metal coil that transmits a sound. “Old technology” is how Gregory describes this part of the artwork. Using electronic pick-ups, Gregory developed a process for capturing the sounds from the oscillations caused by the changing tension on a kite string. These sounds are now transmitted into the “Wind, Coil, Sound, Flow” instrument and reverberate around the space. The piece is about twenty meters long and is constructed from raw unfinished lumber; the ‘umbrellas have a linen and paper like quality.  The piece feels very clean and light and suits the light, bright and airy rotunda space. Sitting in the space one is entranced by a soothing drone, a hypnotic sound-scape that is interspersed by clicks and pops. Put your head close to one of the umbrellas and it feels like a listening chamber, the aural experience is heightened.

Ken Gregory “Wind, Coil, Sound, Flow”, City Hall Rotunda, ZERO1, 2010 Photo Credit: Patrick Lydon

An artist from Canada Gregory has shown his work at many international sound festivals. You may listen to the work at www.cheapmeat.net

Global Warming Symposium:  Day Two presentation by Climate Clock Teams

By Julia Bradshaw

Just over two years ago concerned citizen and engineer Seth Fearey approached Joel Slaton from San José State University, San José’s Public Art Director Barbara Goldstein and ZERO1 with the notion to create a landmark public art project that will inspire and create a behavioral change in how the public views climate change. The Climate Clock will be a destination art piece that will combine measurement and computational technologies to help people understand climate change. The landmark Climate Clock project will be situated at the Diridon Station in San Jose. With the anticipated arrival of the high-speed train, this station will be the largest railway station in California.

Two years ago 47 people submitted proposals for the public art project and seven finalists presented their work to the Climate Clock Symposium in 2008. From this symposium, three finalists were chosen. Each of these finalists will now take part in a residency at Montalvo. This development has been made possible through funding from the Packard Foundation ($82,500) and the Bank of America ($25,000). Together, San José State University, San José Public Art Program and 1stACT Silicon Valley have contributed over $150,000 in support of the Climate Clock Initiative to date. The final project will require funding in the $10 million – $15 million range; the money for which still has to be raised.

Each residency is an opportunity for the public to spend time with the artists and also for the artists to learn about the site and the space and the concerns of creating a public art project that will be self-sustainable for 100 years.  See the Montalvo website for more information.

The finalist teams presented their projects and their approach at the Global Warning Symposium at ZERO1. The teams are very different, two teams taking a technological, kinetic and robotic approach and another team looking at nature as the ultimate technology. Each team is thinking about how art can affect behavioral change – and none of the teams is trite or simplistic in their approach. Through these symposia and other meetings, the teams have learned of the projects of their competitors. In this way, the teams are both competitors and collaborators.

The team from the UK consists of artists, engineers and psychologists: Usman Haque, Robert Davies and Caroline Lewis. This team submitted a video to the conference that explained their approach to the climate clock residency. Their proposal draws inspiration from the film ‘Silent Running’ and the suggestion that in 100 years from now human beings may no longer inhabit the planet. Their project, therefore, has to be completely self-sustaining and also provide meaning and data for unknown beings. Thus, the team proposed a self-maintaining project that will grow and maintain itself and also to produce representative products reflecting climate change. Through the involvement of psychologists, the group will take care that the choice of symbols used does not lead to negativity but provide the link between visualization and positive behavioral change.

The Wired Wilderness is created by a team of Freya Bardell, Bent Bucknam and Brian Howe. They intend to create a project that will require the participation and the residency of artists over 100 years. The team has turned to nature as the most reliable technology. They are firm in their belief that nature can be used as a tool to explain complex scientific data. Lest this come across as a little trite, the group is taking efforts to avoid the ‘polar-bear on the iceberg’ meme. Indeed, all the three teams talk of the psychological impact of the project and the care that needs to be taken to ensure that the project promotes positive change. During their residency, the group intends to look for ecosystems prevalent in San Jose and find out how they can introduce this traditional ecosystem within the project. For example, they have partnered with a local visual ecologist who collects data and promotes visual interactions to communicate this data to the public.

The team from Amorphic Robot Works consists of Chico MacMurtrie , Gideon Fink, Geo Homsy and Bill Washabaugh. This team consisting of artists, an aeronautics engineer and an architect has worked on kinetic and robotic projects for a number of years. Their project proposal ‘Organograph’ is an attempt to reproduce the climate change process. A time-inspired structure, they want to create a monitoring and representational artwork that allows people to reflect on what we are doing and how it affects the people on the planet.  As they describe it, the project tries to ‘close the loop’ between the ‘Big Here’ and the Long Now’.  Essentially the project tries to connect a visceral connection between the human body the experience of time.

100 years is a long time, the City of San Jose and the Climate Clock team has developed a short list of three extremely talented, intelligent and smart teams who are each taking a different approach to the project. Each of these projects will evolve as the teams take part in their residency at Montalvo. The public is invited to get involved.

ZERO1: Thought-provoking art – needs time to digest

Posted by Bradshaw on September 16th, 2010

Monica Haller

War Veterans Book Workshop 2010

by Julia Bradshaw

War Veterans Book Workshop is a poignant, quiet place to be in South Hall. I was lucky to visit on Thursday afternoon with few visitors around, so I could spend time with one or two of the books produced by the veterans in this intense workshop. About five veterans of recent wars or who had suffered some form of trauma during their military service took part in the workshop. They each created materials, handwritten diarist entries and longer pieces of prose, which, together with photographs and mementos, they scanned into a computer. These materials were then brought into a software template Haller provided. Each left the workshop with a bound book of their experiences. One was almost two inches thick and filled with memories, routine events and slippages between the factual and the emotional.

Installation image of some of the pages in process created by Pamela J. Olson with Monica Haller

Workshop assistant and writer Patricia Briggs said that Haller worked closely with each veteran. Every scrap of paper was scrutinized and discussions held as to what each person was trying to communicate. Pieces of paper were pinned to a board and then cut in half and marriages between one train of thought and another were developed. This was a very intense process and the results show this. Some of the books on display are extremely heart-wrenching. These men and women suffered death of close friends and relatives and one participant writes of a 1983 rape that, to this day, still needs processing. Each veteran was carefully screened prior to taking part in the workshop and Haller also had medical staff on call, should the process of working through some of the issues be too traumatic.

Jim Wilson’s book “Objects for Deployment tells of his five years in the military from a 2004 West Point graduate and recalls his time in the service which included tours of duty in Pakistan and Iraq. The book feels matter-of-fact and factual. This is an honest account, with some history and technical details for the non-military person.  Pamela J. Olson also took part in the workshop and writes of a traumatic event that to this day haunts her. This book is particularly poignant and I was struck by the emotion created by some of the simple page layouts, where the reader can leave the page with two or more thoughts. The juxtapositions and scraps of handwritten text felt like poetry at times. Olson writes to her reader “Now, I am talking about this trauma out loud, to you, in a safe place. This is the first time I have ever done so in detail… I want to be a whole person. Up until now, my life has been fragmented, like my memories”.

Page layout from Pamela J. Olson’s Book.

Participant Ian P. Sharpe gives a different reason for writing. In his book he answers the questions he is most commonly asked such as “Why did you enlist?” and includes photographs and his own questions: “They give you awards for surviving attacks. They give you achievement medals that arrive three years later. Does this signify a successful military career? Is this what it means to be recognized?”

Visiting South Hall, I suggest that you carve out a quiet thirty minutes in South Hall and sit down and read some of these experiences. Haller is creating a terrific archive of veterans’ stories that, because of her mature guidance and unflinching feedback, is incredibly enriching. You will be able to meet some of the participants and hear their stories on Saturday 18th September from 1pm – 4pm in South Hall.

ZERO1: Shoemaker, shoemaker lend me your shoes

Posted by Bradshaw on September 16th, 2010

El Shop

Pilar Agüero-Esparza and Hector Dionicio Mendoza

By Julia Bradshaw

Pilar Agüero-Esparza is now a third generation shoemaker. Brought up making shoes for her father’s store appropriately named ‘El Shop’, Agüero-Esparza created her own adult future away from the craft of shoemaking. Later, after her MFA degree in spatial arts at San Jose State University, she started to revisit leather as a material that has utility as a sculptural form. Together with her artistic partner, Hector Dionicio Mendoza, the team applied for and received a commission from ZERO1 and the James Irvine Foundation to apprentice with her father and learn the craft of creating ‘huaraches’ – a Mexican form of sandal made with a woven leather upper and a sole made of recycled tires or leather.

Pilar Agüero-Esparza at ‘El Shop’ South Hall, ZeroOne, 2010

Viist ‘El Shop’ in south hall and you will see a full-blown shoemaking service. The team has produced traditional huaraches, which are laid out on display in a manner typical of a flea market. Agüero-Esparza says that these sandals would typically retail for about $20. In his prime, her father was making, with the help of women living in LA from the village Saguayo in the Michoacan region of Mexico, about 200 of these sandals a week. These women would make the sandals at home and were paid for each pair produced. Agüero-Esparza  explains that in this way the women were able to stay at home and look after the family.

Working in South Hall the past two weeks, Agüero-Esparza and Dionicio Mendoza have created a mash-up of huaraches and high-fashion. They make a conscious effort to recycle materials, soles from old shoes and leather thongs – off-cuts from other manufacturing processes – to recreate the huarache style and also use new materials to give the footwear a modern, LA high-fashion twist. A $20 pair of huaraches requires craftmanship, skill and time – labelling it high fashion and giving the sandals the aura of a mention by Jack Kerouac, the sandals inspire conflict. What price fashion? What price do we pay for skill and craft? At Works gallery on Saturday night from around 7pm – 9pm, the team will showcase the sandals in a fashion show as well as screen a video of Agüero-Esparza’s parents discussing the craft and the lifestyle of an LA shoe-maker.

Erin Goodwin-Guerrero at the Triton Museum

Posted by erin on September 16th, 2010

STILL TRYING TO EXPLAIN THE UNIVERSE

By Kathryn Funk

The current exhibition of mixed media paintings, collages and prints, Caught Between Heaven and Earth, by Erin Goodwin-Guerrero at the Triton Museum, demonstrates the force the artist has committed to her work for decades.  The size of the exhibition, mostly of work done in the prior year, suggests that mounting an overdue retrospective of Goodwin-Guerrero’s work would be truly massive.

For those that know Goodwin-Guerrero’s work, the vocabulary is familiar, but remains fresh nonetheless.  One still finds mystery and enchantment within each, and a sort of fragmented narrative that carries from earlier to the most recent body of work.  Goodwin-Guerrero uses many of the same elements repeatedly yet never to a point of redundancy.  We see her favorite images of snakes, roosters, dinosaurs, boxers, and fingerprints along with religious, biological, astronomical and astrological iconography used in varying ways, always soliciting new meaning in their juxtapositions.

Surviving as a Vegetarian, 2010 by Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

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ZERO1: Excitement builds prior to the Opening of 01SJ

Posted by Bradshaw on September 15th, 2010
A View from South Hall
By Patrick Lydon

After two weeks of on-site preparation by hundreds of artists from over 20 countries, the 01SJ Biennial of art and technology is ready to be unleashed into the streets of downtown San Jose. This year marks the third Biennial event in San Jose, and the first to have a comprehensive theme, “build your own world”.

View of South Hall for 01SJ 2010

The biennial officially runs from Thursday 10/16 – Sunday 10/19, although today (Wednesday) features admission-free sneak peaks for members of the public who wander to the San Jose Convention Center’s South Hall, where artists are still in the process of finishing their works such as a Tomato Quintet, a de-composition-style musical work from farmer/musician Chris Chafe, and OutRun, a vintage SEGA racing arcade game is in the process of being mounted onto a working vehicle by artist Garnet Hertz.

Garnet Hertz Outrun, 01SJ 2010

Other interactive events range from a drive-in theater, pre-populated with old junked cars (Todd Chandler, Jeff Stark), to a superman zipline over parking lot wetlands (Natalie Jeremijenko, Fletcher Studio), to mobile islands roaming the city streets, encouraging you to write your own message in a bottle (Nova Jiang).
Several public buildings will also become exhibits this week, including a 18-story interactive wall of digital art created by the Rockwell Group LAB, projected onto the San Jose City Hall beginning Friday, and while you’re there, don’t miss out on the musical soundscape of Ken Gregory’s wind, coil, sound, flow filling the City Hall Rotunda.

Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark:  Empire Drive In

There are literally hundreds of other interactive artworks around the city as well as other spots in the San Francisco bay area. My guess is that it will take at least the entire weekend to see it all.
For a complete schedule, visit 01SJ.org

(All photographs courtesy of Patrick Lydon)

ZERO1: Retro-Tech Exhibition as a “Gadget-Bricoleur”

Posted by Bradshaw on September 15th, 2010

By Maayan Glaser-Koren

San Jose Museum of Art   July 22, 2010 through February 6, 2011

The Retro- Tech artists play a role of archaeologists. They re-examine and re-create old and new. They cast light on our consumer society and the rapid exchange of technological commodities as gadgets. They re-frame, re-use, and re-cycle the old with new technology. They bring to life forgotten vintage objects such as wooden carts, antennas, bicycles, and radio clocks by combining them with new gadgets as computers and iPods.  One example is the work of Katya Bonnenfant,  “2:57AM Onibaba Anguish from Vintage Packaging for Animation,” 2009. Her work combines animation displayed on an iPod screen, but the iPod itself is the screen of an old radio-alarm clock.

 

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Katya Bonnenfant: 2:57AM Onibaba Anguish from “Vintage Packaging for Animation” ,

© Courtesy of the Collection of Martin Maguss + Mari Iki. Image courtesy of Haines Gallery, San Francisco

Another installation examines virtual objects and the way their economic value changes when they are projected into the physical world. Artists as Kildall Scott and Victoria Scott created imagined virtual objects in Second Life and then projected them into the physical world as paper sculptures. Those virtual objects are part of the economic exchange in Second Life. Projecting them into the real world creates a tension between the virtual commodity and the physical commodity. According to the Scott, the actual value of these intangible objects in Second Life ranges between 1.50$ to 12.00$. The idea of replicating them as physical objects that are made from high-quality print paper raises their value as commodities. (http://turbulence.org/Works/nomatter/)

No Matter: Paper Tiger (2008), 12″ x 4″ x 6″ Paper sculpture, Inkjet Prints using Archival Paper

Second Life Installation at Ars Virtua (2008), Simulated World Installation.

The Retro-Tech space as part of SJ01 embodies endless opportunities where artists can combine art and technology. This is a collection of talented artists who take technology into its next level without “forgetting” where technology started.

ZERO1 INVITES YOU TO BECOME INVOLVED NOW

Posted by erin on September 7th, 2010

Build Your Own World: 2010 01SJ Biennial Workshops

By Denise Bennett

Don’t You Feel It? The Vibes of Zero1 Permeate Downtown San Jose –Get into it on Friday 9/17/2010!

The 2010 01SJ Biennial: Build Your Own World is just around the corner with the main event taking place between September 16 – 19, 2010. However, if you’re anything like me, two weeks may just be too long to wait. As part of Out of the Garage Into the World, the biennial is hosting a dozens of workshops, and I’ve selected a few that I think are too fantastic to pass up, and on top of that, they’re all free! Some of the workshops will be held on multiple dates, but others are one time only. Here are a few workshops that I would recommend:

MTAA’s All Raise This Barn,  West Performance Workshop to be offered Saturday: 9/11/2010

–       Chico MacMurtie’s Inflatable Architectural Growth Workshop, Wednesday, 9/8/10 – Tuesday, 9/14/10, 11am-7pm: Ever pondered what it would be like to construct a robot inflatable? This hands-on workshop hosted by Chico MacMurtie will teach you about all the technical odds and ends that go in to producing an Inflatable Architectural Growth. With your help, the final project will be installed along South First Street from September 16-19, 2010.

–       Kitchen Budapest’s BYMM Discovery Trip, Wednesday, 9/8/10, 10am-5pm: The BYMM team will take you out to explore the area surrounding South Hall and beyond. Participants will share their experiences and knowledge of the area, and take photos. This experience feeds into the second workshop where those photos will in turn be turned into animations so that you can Create Your Own Street View.

–       Eyebeam Roadshow’s Learn: Greasemonkey & Make Your Own Firefox Plugins, Three-day workshop: Friday, 9/17/10, 5:30-7pm and Saturday, 9/18/10 – Sunday, 9/19/10, 3:30-5pm: This workshop will teach you how to do things to web pages after they load. For example replacing dollars with barrels of oil (http://oilstandard.org), ads with art (http://add-art.org), or, say, every mention of Eddie Van Halen with a picture of him flying through the air. Prerequisites: Javascript or other scripting or programming language experience. Eyebeam Roadshow will be hosting other workshops with different themes at various dates and times.

Open Solar Circuits: Make an ecologically sound world!

–       MTAA’s All Raise this Barn, West Performance Workshop, Saturday, 9/11/10, 11am-7pm: A commercially-available barn-building kit acts as the starting point, but MTAA and their group of volunteers — perhaps including yourself — will use the results of web-based polling, input from the general public, constructional improvisation, sweat and maybe even some tears, to raise a barn, or a barn-ish sculptural object, or a… well… something. This is a one-day only event of community creation and construction which will probably have a little deconstruction thrown in too. Participants should wear work or active gear (jeans, boots, sneakers) that they’re not afraid to get paint on.

–       DreamAddictive presents the OpenSolarCircuits Production Workshop, multiple dates and times: OpenSolarCircuits is composed of a series of nine, on-site workshops with experimentation on different open-hardware techniques. These techniques are hosted in a public access repository, where tutorials and materials for the reproduction of techniques, circuits and work methodologies (know-how) can be found. The framework’s main focus is to provide artists, designers and people interested in technologies and sustainability issues, with intuitive tools, supporting the production of knowledge in Spanish.

–       Marcus Young and Grace Minnesota’s Don’t you feel it too?, Friday, 9/17/10, 5:30-7:30pm: Unlike the other workshops listed above, this project will be part of AbsoluteZERO. Don’t you feel it too? Invites you to find your inner freedom in public!  This workshop encapsulates a mind-body practice of liberating the spirit through dancing our inner life in public places.  It is purposeful self-embarrassment and an aspiring spiritual technology based in “do-it-yourself” public performance. Bring your music player, make a play list, and your dancing shoes – it’s time to hit the streets and dance your socks off.

Denise Bennett is a Zero1 enthusiast and promoter who is been working with the organization through a couple of festivals.

ARTIST EXAMINES CARS, PLANES, BOATS AND WHERE WE ARE GOING

By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

In the characteristic collaborative mood that we have come to expect from Zero1 planners, San Jose State’s Art Department and Montalvo both hosted Portuguese installation and performance artist Miguel Palma, to provide a gallery site and a stimulating creative residence for his stay while working on another of his fascinating en situ works.  With the official opening of Zero1 on Thursday, September 16, a satellite projection of the San Jose State installation can be seen in the entry corridor of the Convention Center on Market Street, downtown.

Fascinated with cars, speed — both fast and slow — Palma whipped out a car of his own with the help of designers and engineers

Lectures at both Montalvo and San Jose State’s Art Department this last week provided glimpses into the videos Palma produces to document his extensive international productions.  Sometimes he films dry and repetitive scenes of small movements and slow tedious shifts of elements as seen from an unmoving single viewpoint.  Other videos document his social actions in the context of the art world and utilizes travel or the vehicle as a metaphor.  Rather mindless, but funny, is a repetitive, grainy, soft-focus view of water sloshing around and over some boxy structures, in a small contained space in his vehicle, as the artist drives toward Rotterdam, where he is to present a visual statement on the ongoing relationship of the City to the sea.  Sometimes they are humorous and ironic demonstrations of the artist’s unending fascination with transportation, travel, speed and destruction. A restored ambulance, painted in official looking exterior markings, is outfitted inside with a series of cameras and video screens.  As the artist drives the ambulance around the streets of Lisbon, making provocative moves, imitating an expedited trip to the hospital or the scene of an accident, the cameras inside are programmed to record the simulated accidents he causes en route. After a spate of recent crashes of medivac helicopters where  pilots, co-pilots, medical personnel and the injured all perished, we may indeed ask how real is it to pose the ambulance as the instigator.

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