And then we were artists again


So in spite of my regular complaining, I’d still like to think of this as more of a website as opposed to a blog or live journal, etcetc. Does live journal even still exist? I remember it being a thing when I was a senior in college 13 years ago, so probably not, but either way. This is a website. About me. And the stuff I build. And the art I make. And how it all interrelates. Today we talk about art.

First up: Orden Natural. After a year of planning and building, Pau and I finally installed a new show at Rhizome in Takoma Park – it’ll be up until May 28 and here’s the statement for anyone who’s interested:

Natural Order is the first solo exhibition by Costa Rican / Mexican artist Paulina Velázquez Solís in Washington DC. The show is a view on what comes to be, arranges itself and finds new ways to connect and communicate. This exhibition is the result of taking notes and cues from personal experiences and ongoing curiosity into the biological world – which converge into variations, working with different media such as drawings, sound installation and sculpture.

Some artworks arose from collecting experiences of the human-mammal-body, particularly in the changes that take place during pregnancy, postpartum and the reproductive process in general.  In other works, routine and the pass of time are represented through time-shaped soap and the diary like recording of fingerprints that fail to be consistent.  Shifting the view into a microscopic perspective, a sound installation made in collaboration with sound artist Travis Johns, creates a habitable net of cell-like units that respond to their environment in a sonic inspired synapsis.

Second is all about video and my place in the general hierarchy of faculty life. So the college I teach at just turned 80 – and as part of the celebration, they decided to have a faculty art show to showcase the works or artists and scientists alike. And for the most part the show was extremely well put together – featuring documentation from research, snippets of private practices, hidden talents and passions from senior faculty… and me. Considering the call came up when I was working on Orden Natural, my first question was if they were accepting sculpture – with the answer being, nope, not so much. I then showed my portfolio and the Bioprinting piece stuck out the most… but it had to be framed. Therein lied a slight problem – since the piece was conceived to be rendered on computer and printed on a standard computer printer, finding a decent, stock frame for letter-size paper was nigh-impossible – even with 4 art supply stores within 5 blocks of my office. Lots of cheap, plastic certificate holders but nothing hangable. Not wanting to cut the prints, I opted to do something else. Seeing as I was (and currently still am) teaching video art, I decided to cobble something off of my hard drive, pulling from digital prints, an old video mashup I made 13 years ago and some synth jams. Altogether, the render time was about 13 hours – arguably the longest I’ve had since my video computer was a Bondi blue G3 tower. Yikes. Of course ling render times does not a video art make. But in this case it actually looked pretty cool.

So there I went, tv + dvd player in hand to install this piece – which was met with restrained confusion – was it my research? Was it mountable? Could it fit in a frame? Was it titled “documentation of research from…” Nope to none of that. On my end, I feel like I didn’t quite get the memo on what “faculty” art actually is. I mean, I know my institution isn’t as distinguished as the art institute across the street, but we do have an art department. If anything, let’s chalk this up to an awkward transition from me as an artist in the field to one in the tower, but still – strange. Maybe I have some growing up to do. Or I’m just at the wrong school. Somehow, some way, I’ll work this thing out. In the meantime, here’s some moving pictures for you.


~ by vauxflores on April 28, 2017.