Monday, December 28, 2009

A Million Little...Choices

_A Million Little… Choices _ Accordion book submitted to Sketchbook 4 - Evertson©09

_The Art House Co-op’s Sketchbook project opens January 29th in Atlanta and will travel to Brooklyn, LA, St. Louis and Chicago.
This is the Co-ops fourth time out of the gate with exhibiting artist sketchbooks. This version differs in that the sketchbooks become part of a permanent library maintained by Art House.

Inside front cover

The library is intended to be searchable by artist, title or subject. Topics were suggested in the blank moleskin books mailed to participating artists. While artists were free to create in their own style the topics do provide another search option for those visiting the collection.
I received my book in November with a suggested theme of “A Million Little….”

The book gives me the opportunity to explore my ongoing work with game play and the grid in yet another format. Tic tac toe or Noughts and Crosses is simply a basic grid on which a simple child’s game is played.

This blog has documented this work in progress from its beginning as hand carved stamp designs to conveying a simple symbolic language with the designs acting as pictographs intended to represent moods or ideas. I introduced the grid on the blog simply as a way to showcase different stamp designs. My way of thinking evolved so that I began to see the grids as fields where the choices we make in life begin to overlap and form our makeup as individuals.

The sketchbook was made from original drawings that I scanned; I added additional drawings and stamps to the scanned work…and rescanned…redrew…and finishing with handstamps and some cutouts.

Finished book is approx. eight feet unfolded

Art in the Mail

_All the way from Brazil; arriving on Christmas eve came a wonderful surprise from Angela Ferrara. Angela sent an example of her Five Maries game box. Angela has also submitted this piece to Fluxhibition 4. Very nicely made and a beautiful piece of Angela's art for my archive.

Five Maries _ A game box by Angela Ferrara

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Um Livro Sobre A Morte at MuBE

_New works will be exhibited in Brazil to coincide with A Book About Death this February

_Finally a post that isn’t about hands or stamps or grids and choice. Not because I’m done riding that train; but there are other projects in the works.

One of these is the artist call for works to compliment the A Book About Death exhibit that will open in São Paulo, Brazil at MuBE, Museu Brasileiro da Escultura this February.
A new blog by Angela Ferrara details information for the call as well as the continuing life of the ABAD project, originated by artist Matthew Rose.
A Book About Death is Um Livro Sobre a Morte in Portuguese and seems to roll off the tongue as it highlights the international contributions of this exhibition.
Ferrara’s blog continues to build on the original ABAD blog with the new works submitted to the project exhibited online as they are received. The blog is nicely done with information about MuBE, the original exhibition of ABAD as well as downloadable poster art. The artist’s works as well as links to their websites and blogs are posted making this a great global networking opportunity.
With many new artists contributing to the MuBE project the range of dialogue and voice continues to expand and refresh the original exhibition. Submissions deadline is January 30, 2010 but be forewarned that regular mail to Brazil can take several weeks.

My submission: No Books for the Dead ©evertson09

Both my original piece for the Emily Harvey exhibit and the second piece I made for the Queens Museum’s Dia de los Muertos exhibit contained a insert with poetry. This latest piece continues the insert tradition while the imagery diverges. Although I’ve long used type, topography and words in my art, it really has only been in the last year or so that I’ve had any confidence or desire to include any “real” writings as part of a work. Thinking that the images needed to stand-alone for the viewers interpretation to work, I avoided the literal use of words in favor of their shape or their use as a compositional element. An element that usually played a rather minor role in the overall effect I wanted in a work. The mail art nature of this project allows me to use the envelope nature of my images to include a “letter”.

Poetry insert to my card ©evertson09

The three pieces I’ve created to date for the ABAD projects involve differing methods of creating the word and image interaction. My original piece began with the writing portion. Afterwards I staged a photograph to accompany the word. In the second piece (for the Queens Museum) I created the image and worked out a poem based on the image. In this piece for MuBE, the image and word creation intermixed and I found myself back and forth as I modified each in tandem.

Sitting in front of the TV and watching death a step removed from its reality is something we live with at an ever-increasing rate. Never mind make believe video game violence; we are exposed to sanitized death at a velocity unimaginable to our generations before. Welcome to virtual death or abstract death. The individual visual and sound bite describing extremely horrific events are sandwiched together; and glossed until the scale of our collective death toll is incomprehensible. A famine, a genocide, a homicide and war casualties can fit easily in the first five minutes of news spilling from the lips of our news anchors.

In our surreal situation, death is not real unless it happens to you on TV; and a significant market share sits back and watches.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

And Much Much More..

_Witness - evertson©09 - contribution to Postcards from the Edge

_The 12th annual Postcards from the Edge event will preview January 8th at ZieherSmith in NYC. My contribution to this years benefit is based on my work in progress on games. My Hand ᔓtamps that evolved their pictographs, that led to a game, that led to a video and an internal dialogue concerning choice. My work (above), created to benefit Visual AIDS is based on my progression of thoughts on choice or more to the point; artificial choices that are sometimes placed before us. Since 1988 our response to AIDS has progressed, yet there is much more that remains to be done. World wide infection rates continue to rise faster than those receiving treatment. So while leaders in most countries acknowledge the threat and have national policies, many are not implemented or funded. Some countries continue to stigmatize and the resultant discrimination proves a threat to universal treatment access. My message: accept the choice for treatment and cure.

Visual AIDS was one of the first national initiatives to record the impact of the AIDS pandemic on the artistic community. It brought together the arts and AIDS communities through its renowned national projects DAY WITH(OUT) ART, Night Without Light, and The Ribbon Project.

Some thoughts on my videos about choice from 12/3 and 11/25:

_I use the grid as a metaphor for choice. In my art game of Ox and O’s the outcome is not so much the game as the choice of a mark. The original X and O are marks that signify a separation of me from you; my self from your self. We are two unique identities with our purpose being to block another identity from winning. In OX and O’s the purpose lies in examining the relation of the pictographs chosen for game play.

Now – Why I like Jackson Pollock. We love to categorize and separate things into boxes. We love to create these categories and examine things in isolation. I love to think about symbols and their meanings. I liken these symbols to zip files that unbundle into wonderfully complex fully functioning programs. You can examine these in isolation or you could create myths and allegory. You could pick them up and dash them on the grid. Mix them up, drip into each other, overlap; let them create their own mythologies.


My winning Nightball ball from '06 with assorted zine pages and t-shirt

_I recently sent Christine Tarintino some wood. Actually it was a partially burned croquet ball in response to her request for artists to submit wood for a mail art/performance event to take place at D’Wildwood Studio in Wendell, Massachusetts. Christine will be constructing a sculpture from the submissions, burn the sculpture and mail ashes to the participants.

My contribution to her fire/totem project consisted of a croquet ball I used in the 2006 Nightball Tournament. It already shows plenty of fire damage already and seemed appropriate. Regular visitors here have heard a bit about Nightball but for everyone else: Nightball is a game, loosely based on croquet, originated by myself and a small group of equally creatively challenged friends. The game is played at night, follows croquet rules except cheating is allowed (encouraged actually) with the only additional rule being don’t get caught. Since the game is played at night all sorts of improvised lighting is used with flaming equipment being a sure crowd pleaser. This annual NightBall performance (over 25 years) also produces a variety of spin offs like t-shirts and zines which I used to carefully pad and protect the ball on it’s trip via mail to Christine.

Hands Around the Web:

Since I've been using hands lately in my work serendipity has led me to many other artists doing interesting "hand" work. One very nice blog I've come across is Seth Apter's Altered Page blog. Seth is a NYC based mixed media artist and photographer who produces wonderful handmade books from his images and found object. I was led to one of his latest creations called Handbook and found his use of texture and image extraordinarily compelling. Seth's blog is also a gateway to other book artists and their techniques. The variety of links to other book artist blogs makes Seth's site a treasure for other bookmakers and mail artists. I corresponded a bit with Seth and sent him a couple of my hands in the hope that he'll be able to use them in a future edition of his Handbooks.

Another great use of hands is the public sculpture Flock of Hands by Olga Ziemska which was installed in Yellow Springs Ohio this fall. I saw this first on jafabrits blog (photo by Corrine Bayraktaroglu) and also some more on a post by Virgil Hervey at the Yellow Springs blog. Olga's sculpture involved the residents of Yellow Springs by soliciting volunteers to have their hands cast and later installed atop poles. The result is very intriguing. Without a doubt this town is doing public spaces right thanks to it's vital artist community.

Mail Art Received:

_In my mail from Jennifer Zoellner were two items I haven't posted but are currently on display here in the studio. One of which is a bit of a mystery as I started with an image by Ria Vanden Eynde, added to it and returned it to her. Now I receive a version with additional art from Jennifer??? How this happens is beyond me but it makes for some big smiles.

Two collage works by Jennifer Zoellner

_My new mail art friend Igor Bartolec of Serbia also posted me some work. Collages and photocopier work that I've been admiring for a week or so and am starting to feel a bit guilty that I haven't made a return by now. This weekend maybe.

Collage and Photocopies - Igor Bartolec

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Choice is You

Ox and O's box with multiple choice grids _ evertson©09

_I spent more time this week exploring the Ox and O's box work in progress. I started thinking about how to expand my thinking from a simple object - the box, to how it could function in a setting where people were actually encouraged to use the stamps. My first thought was how chance occurrences would lead a group to begin using combinations of symbols that would go beyond my personal free associations that create the carvings. The grids of the tic tac toe pattern are beginning to function as decision fields where all sorts of possibilities exist.

The grids as fields also act as personal fields of decision making. As children we learn game play with simple combination games. When our moves are blocked we learn strategies for overcoming obstacles. Of course as adults our decisions are complex and multi-layered.