Tuesday, March 18, 2008


"As artists we conduct our education in public"

-Anish Kapoor


this illustrative video on magnetic fields is crazy. scientists are really good at describing things sometimes.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I know it's not cool to talk about this guy. I should be talking about some other guy I might know that knows Shepard Farey or something, but I'm feeling a little nerdy right now.

One of the main reasons I like looking at this old guy's shit is the fact that a majority of his sculptures are unfinished. As a student or just anyone curious about how one gets to be 'MICHAELANGELO' it is amazing to see these pieces in their raw state. I don't think it was his intention to leave them unfinished. the popes jerked him around so much he would have to start another project before finishing something for the last pope.

Some definates about him are:
  • he was awesome when he was young as hell. that was agreed upon by lots of other sculptors of the time including DaVinci. (peita in st peter's when he was 23)
  • he was obsessed to the point of alienating people regularly and neglecting hygiene
  • he was a perfectionist with a temper (he broke part of my favorite sculpture because it wasn't looking right.)
Anyway, what i'm getting at is that it has helped me in learning about him and his work to see his process in stead of just a polished, finished object.

Now I'm not trying to say that he taught me everything I know about subtractive sculpture. I'm not even wasting my time trying to be a Michaelangelo caliber sculptor. But I am saying I think that full disclosure was what brought me in to being interested in what he does. A polished finished sculpture is boring now. There are thousands in the vatican. Whether he wanted it or not he got his story told. I know history alters stories and there is no such thing as the truth about a guy that lived centuries ago but I crave learning about all sides of someone if I will be interested at all. The only way the David doesn't bore the crap out of me is to see some of the turbulence traveled through to get him there.

Through George Saunders writing about Kurt Vonnegut and his struggles with writing Slaughter House Five I have come to a new appreciation of people submitting to being human. (write more here)

Disclosing the trials and tribulations you went through to make something and making that part of the thing you made is brave and honest. On the one hand, it opens you up to ridicule or a more detailed scrutiny, since you put your heart on your sleeve, but on the other hand you can have a richer more invested experience.

A self depreciating approach can be a political tactic too. If you have already acknowledged a flaw and made fun of yourself for it, it can disarm someone else. But that can be clumsy too depending on the flaw and the ability of the rest of the audience to relate to it.

So the point of this entry is that I'm for full disclosure between artists and people in general so we can learn from each other. And that means showing some things other than just the stuff that "worked". In light of that, I think I am going to structure my thesis show "exhibition statement" as a two part document. Things that worked and Problems. Or something like that.

review review

I'm pretty clumsy with my materials sometimes. I don't alway see them the way I think other's see them. Or there might be some obvious connection that I just don't automatically see. In spite of my facility in manipulating them I have made some definate blunders before in choosing them.
Anyway, I'm having a hard time stepping outside myself to view something from the position of a clean slate. I know all these things about each project and i can't seem to picture what the gallery will feel like without seeing all kinds of extraneous shit in my imagination. Like not picturing the story as I look at a tiny wooden sculpture. The show will actually be pretty sparse. I'm really excited about that part. But Pat and Harrell are right, there really need to be some consistent elements.

My natural tendency with most things I do is to be willing to change. I feel like I learn more that way. So in each of these projects there have been very few rules I have been unwilling to break. I think "what would it be like if we didn't do it that way?" The funny part is that I acted defiantly along with someone (my collaborator) but the person we were defying was originally me. At this stage in the project this is feeling like it was a lack of discipline on my part. I'm sure someone told me this would happen somewhere along the way. Stepping outside myself to imagine that a viewer might be really confused and unsettled by each and every rule I decide to break is really hard. I was the one who got to set the rules in the first place. Maybe it shouldn't be so hard to stick to them. Is that the sign of a mature artist? One who can make smart rules and be disciplined enough to stick to them? I do appreciate a conceptual riggor in a lot of artists. But I also feel like i'm waiting for those artists to break their own mold at some point.

Maybe its a question of scale. Be rigorous and disciplined on a small project based scale and maleable on a grander, i'm an adventurous artist discovering crazy new connections kind of scale.
So, at this point, do I just go with my excited puppy approach, or do I turn the mature route and alter some of the choices made along the way.

clock is ticking.

Either way the projects are awesome as experiences for those involved. I am confident that will translate for the viewer somehow.

"An object can not compete with an experience."
-Hamish Fulton

happy st patricks day.

Ethne bore to Cormac a son, her firstborn, named Cairbry, who was King of Ireland after Cormac. It was during the lifetime of Cormac that Cairbry came to the throne, for it happened that ere he died Cormac was wounded by a chance cast of a spear and lost one of his eyes, and it was forbidden that any man having a blemish should be a king in Ireland. Cormac therefore gave up the kingdom into the hands of Cairbry, but before he did so he told his son all the wisdom that he had in the governing of men, and this was written down in a book which is called The Instructions of Cormac. These are among the things which are found in it, of the wisdom of Cormac:—

Let him (the king) restrain the great,
Let him exalt the good,Let him establish peace,
Let him plant law,Let him protect the just,
Let him bind the unjust,
Let his warriors be many and his counsellors few,
Let him shine in company and be the sun of the mead-hall,
Let him punish with a full fine wrong done knowingly,
and with a half-fine wrong done in ignorance.

Cairbry said, "What are good customs for a tribe to pursue?" "They are as follows," replied

"To have frequent assemblies,
To be ever enquiring,
to question the wise men,
To keep order in assemblies,
To follow ancient lore,
Not to crush the miserable,
To keep faith in treaties,
To consolidate kinship,
Fighting-men not to be arrogant,
To keep contracts faithfully,
To guard the frontiers against every ill."

"Tell me, O Cormac," said Cairbry, "what are good customs for the giver of a feast?" and Cormac said:—

"To have lighted lamps,
To be active in entertaining the company,
To be liberal in dispensing ale,
To tell stories briefly,
To be of joyous countenance,
To keep silence during recitals."

"Tell me, O Cormac," said his son once, "what were thy habits when thou wert a lad?" And Cormac said:—

"I was a listener in woods,
I was a gazer at stars,
I pried into no man's secrets,
I was mild in the hall,
I was fierce in the fray,
I was not given to making promises,
I reverenced the aged,
I spoke ill of no man in his absence,
I was fonder of giving than of asking."

"If you listen to my teaching," said Cormac:—

"Do not deride any old person though you be young
Nor any poor man though you be rich,
Nor any naked though you be well-clad,
Nor any lame though you be swift,
Nor any blind though you be keen-sighted,
Nor any invalid though you be robust,
Nor any dull though you be clever,
Nor any fool though you be wise.

"Yet be not slothful, nor fierce, nor sleepy, nor cheap, nor feckless nor envious, for all these are hateful before God and men.

"Do not join in blasphemy, nor be the butt of an assembly; be not moody in an alehouse, and never forget a tryst."

"What are the most lasting things on earth?" asked Cairbry.

"Not hard to tell," said Cormac; "they are grass, copper, and a yew-tree."

"If you will listen to me," said Cormac, "this is my instruction for the management of your household and your realm:—

"Let not a man with many friends be your steward,
Nor a woman with sons and foster-sons your housekeeper,
Nor a greedy man your butler,
Nor a man of much delay your miller,
Nor a violent, foul-mouthed man your messenger,
Nor a grumbling sluggard your servant,
Nor a talkative man your counsellor,
Nor a tippler your cup-bearer,
Nor a short-sighted man your watchman,
Nor a bitter, haughty man your doorkeeper,
Nor a tender-hearted man your judge,
Nor an ignorant man your leader,
Nor an unlucky man your counsellor."

Such were the counsels that Cormac mac Art gave to his son Cairbry. And Cairbry became King after his father's abdication, and reigned seven and twenty years, till he and Oscar, son of Oisín, slew one another at the battle of Gowra.

i got this from Bill donovan's blog

some whittled installations on the way

Sunday, March 16, 2008

sandy and rebecca

They did a fine job on an interview blog about me for a class on writing we are taking.

new artist statement still too long

I am an artist because I grew up playing in the woods of South Carolina by my self. I tried to watch cartoons but I was always made to go outside. Once there, I definitely did what I wanted so long as I was home for dinner. Now I put a few restrictions on myself. Perhaps parameters or challenges are better words than restrictions. Either way the kid that built forts is still here. I set up games for myself to play. Sometimes the game is to find the most intriguing details surrounding a person or material or situation and highlight them. I highlight the complexity of these details and push them towards something people can relate to. Sometimes the idea is still just to play and relate to people on that level.

I’m a sculptor because I like touching different types of material and learning to use the tools that manipulate them. I am notably curious and am always trying to figure out how things work. Many times I have started projects simply by studying how a program or piece of equipment is most effective. I define and change the meaning of "effective" along the way, and tend to add other media as an emphatic gesture. Listening is a big deal to me. To others, to myself and my surroundings. Currently this concern is obvious because I'm working with other people and developing stories, but it fits with my sense of materiality also since I usually come upon something I intend to use without automatically knowing what I will use it for.

I've lately been making stories with people based off of real events and trying to work with them to communicate what is most compelling to them. Each story is told by a different person and can be heard through your cell phone as you make your way around an exhibition of mixed media vignettes. An element of which is a whittled portrait of the author. I have always learned lots from a good story and a good storyteller. Loud with emphatic gestures, slow and soft with the perfect descriptions, too many tangents, timing, punch lines, climax, and morals, all of it leaves an impression of some sort. I've really just set up excuses to talk with people more about it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


here's what we got for mandee right now.
interesting list story
to me it sounds a little like talking about a dream

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sunday, March 9, 2008


this is from a website i found with an awesome little storytelling search map. this site is an excellent recouce for finding storytellers in general. (including people in portland)