Friday, June 25, 2010

Photo Finish

_My image contained in the data recorder for Space Shuttle launch STS-133_
_Fluxface in Space_
This has been a busy productive week in the studio and also a week of receiving some amazing art in the mail from several friends and collaborators.  The image above is part of the artist call from the Fluxmuseum for an exhibit of postcard sized images that ride into space on one of two final space shuttle missions this fall.  NASA's site allows the upload of pictures that are to be included in the data recorders aboard flights STS-134 and 134. After your upload, print a version and mail to the Fluxmuseum in Fort Worth, TX to be part of the land based exhibit.
I'm not sure how anyone else works but many times I wake up in the morning with my dream mind still engaged. So, that day begins with a thought like, "I should really do something with monkeys".  I don't know why; but I write those thoughts down and sometimes these random things find a way into the art.  So when I heard about this artist call, I thought about the first animal test flights I remembered from my childhood.  So, serendipity strikes and with monkeys on my mind already, I searched the files from NASA archives and found Albert.  Actually there were quite a few Alberts, a rhesus monkey, as well as chimps that were the first living mammals in space.  The ongoing blog of the contributions is called Fluxface in Space. I'm number 3!!


This first grouping is from Kathleen McHugh of Seattle.  This is a set of the cards (to date) of her contributions to the various A Book About Death projects.  First exhibited last fall in NYC at the Emily Harvey Gallery, the ABAD project has expanded internationally.  While some curators have chosen to include only the original  unbound book version containing some 480 images; other curators have extended the call and requested new works. This group contains Kathleen's contribution to the ongoing projects.

Kathleen McHugh for Emily Harvey, NYC

Kathleen McHugh for RNG Gallery, Omaha, NE

Kathleen McHugh for MuBE, Brazil

Kathleen McHugh for MuBE, Brazil

Kathleen McHugh for MoMA, Wales
The next piece is from Christine Tarantino of Massachusetts.  Christine maintains the Fluxus-USA/ New New Art blog where various international artists submit a variety of current and historical Fluxus material.  Fluxus, in its broadest definition consists of a blending of media, styles and disciplines that began in the 60's. I certainly have been influenced by many Fluxus artists and continue to contribute to shows containing fluxus work.  Grazie Christine!
Christine Tarantino
Several pieces showed up from Belgium this week from Ria Vanden Eynde with whom I love to work on collaborations.  This next piece is hers alone and is intended for the RNG Gallery of Omaha where another ABAD exhibit is in the process of being assembled.  There is still time to participate in this latest version of ABAD being curated by Louise Millmann and Robert Gilmer.

Ria Vanden Eynde: an ABAD image for RNG Gallery of Omaha, NE
The following is an ongoing work in progress collaboration between Ria and myself.  This particular one began with several ink drawings I sent to Belgium for Ria to add to or modify without restriction.  This is the second and it has just been returned for me to do the same. Either add and resend, call it done or some other undetermined action.  We both enjoy the possibility of accident, change and impermanence.  The piece I sent was an ink sketch of an Iris on paper about 12" x 21".  In this case Ria has attached a pressed flower (a forget me not) and a Japanese death poem written on the reverse.
Ria has also launched a new blog of special interest to women artists (and the men that love them). In Ria's words: "I’m interested to see how other women artists create as they are ‘touched' by life. I’m calling women artists for artworks about their body as it changes through different circumstances, the joyful and the sad. To name a few: aging, child birth, illness, accidents, psychological suffering, life changing events, ... Interested?" Please visit The Body - Nothing Else.

Work in progress by Ria Vanden Eynde and William Evertson
detail of poem

detail of flower

Friday, June 18, 2010

Logo Redesign

_BP logo ©evertson 2010 (for Greenpeace's Behind the Logo_

About the same time I was working on my submission for the A Book About Death exhibit in Omaha an opportunity came along to expand on that piece.  Greenpeace is sponsoring a contest for a logo redesign for British Petroleum.  While it doesn't solve any problems, it did feel good to vent a bit of rage over the lack of safety concerns that lead to the deaths of the rig workers and continues to spew crude oil and methane.  While we still need to vent at our own Mineral Management Services that simply rubber stamped out dated and fraudulent contingency plans, BP is a good starting place. The Greenpeace site has information for adding your own design as well as a link to see all the great new and improved logos. (entries through June 28th)

In the Mail!!      It's been a great week for things showing up in the mail from fellow artists.

©Branka Djordjević 
This piece arrived from Luxembourg from my friend Branka Djordević.  The piece is a four inch square painting on metal that is bonded to a canvas and stretcher, making it actually a rather substantial feeling piece.  The paint and surface has a glossy look that doesn't really come through in the photo giving it a very shimmering feel. These small paintings are part of Branka's series "A Painting a Day Keeps the Apple Away"

LuAnn Palazzo
 LuAnn Palazzo sent two nice works this week.  The one above is a collage made of thumbnail pictures of art by several of our mutual friends.  Very nice piece and luckily she provided a key to the artists included here on the back.

LuAnn's key to identifying the images in the collage
A great idea and if you have been following this blog for awhile you may recognize some of the included artists from their participation in either Mail Art or some of the ongoing ABAD exhibits.  LuAnn has a wonderful site where you can explore her design and photography.  LuAnn also included her postcard that was part of the ABAD Wales exhibit that recently closed.

©Palazzo for MoMA Wales
©Palazzo (back of card) MoMA Wales
Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Next ABAD

_"Two BP Imports" _©evertson 2010_

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. Or it seems that way concerning the A Book About Death.  A new edition is in the works for the RNG Gallery of Omaha Nebraska and it opens July 31st.  I love this community that has formed from the original project back at Emily Harvey Gallery. Many friends continue to submit new work as well as new faces (art) showing up to comment on the subject of death.  This particular exhibit is following the format of accepting new work to be exhibited along side the original.  A visit to the ABAD Omaha site will fill in details if you wish to join in.  The submission deadline is July 20th. My piece (#40) for this exhibit  is based on a bit of free association concerning the tragedy in the Gulf.  Titled “Two BP Imports”; it collages Lord Baden Powell’s Boy Scout manual with the petroleum giant BP’s utter lack of preparedness.  Although, to be fair there is enough blame for many in this deadly scenario still playing out.  The original ABAD was conceived and curated by Matthew Rose.  The RNG Gallery exhibit is curated by Louise Millmann and Robert Gilmer.

Crude _ ©evertson2010 mixed media, hubcap, wire mesh, toys, acrylic

Last February I submitted a mixed media sculpture to the Landfill Arts project called “Crude”.  At the time I was concerned about our overdependence, the greed and the spills; but little did I imagine what was soon in store for our shores. You should be able to find this piece around page 11 of their gallery.

ELP - "Welcome back my friends to a show that never ends" Karn Evil 9 1st. Impression. Part 2 excerpt - live from '73 and my friends if I were to concentrate on corporate bad actors for subject matter I truly would have a show that never ended.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pacts with the Devil

_Border detail from Haiti's Seed Money_
Today's post is art made for a specific date: namely today, June 4th, 2010, World Environment Day, the date when Haitian farmers threatened to burn the Monsanto Corporations 475 ton seed donation. This box is probably the most political of all the Ox and O boxes I’ve made so far.

_Open box showing contents_

It didn’t start out that way, but since the boxes are inspired by a thematic exploration on the topic of choice, I’m traveling paths that have political implications on occasion. In thinking of themes for boxes in this present series I first constructed Power Play, then Play Money and then Seed Money came to mind. Since I’ve also been bouncing around with opposites, reactions and consequences as a way to set up these tic tac toe boxes the word association play comes first then the ideas and imagery. 

_Cover to the small "instruction" book included in contents of box_
 So ‘seed money’ sent me backtracking an article I had seen in passing, concerning the Haitian earthquake and the continuing efforts at relief and rebuilding. From the Huffington Post I reread the brief outline of Monsanto's efforts to donate corn and vegetable seed that some farmers in Haiti view as the beginning of the end. Monsanto Corporation has caused controversy for decades (producer of Agent Orange during the Viet Nam war) and in many minds an ethically challenged entity with global reach. Although Haiti’s Ministry has rejected Monsanto’s GMO (genetically modified organism) seed varieties, the hybrids offered are treated with either the fungicide Maxim XO or thiram. The comment thread on that link reveals heated argument for both camps, ie Monsanto is acting altruistically vs Monsanto is capitalizing on disaster. 

_Pigment print collage on underside of lid_
On the other side of this equation are local producers such as Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP). "We need to establish seed banks and have silos where we can store our Creole seeds. Local, organic seeds are the basis of food sovereignty. It's urgent that Haitians buy local seeds. ... What's the danger we face today? It's that food aid from USAID and others is getting dumped in the country."

_Prose from 'instruction' book_

The other idea I added to the box concerns the claims of the televangelist Pat Robertson that the Haitians suffer as a result of making a pact with the devil in 1791. Supposedly, this legend has origins dating from the slave uprising against French colonialist rule. 

_Anonymous 17th century woodcut illustrating a pact with the devil_
 This box contains the same variety of elements (and a few specific to this box) from the others boxes in my Ox and O series; the book, the blank grids, pigment pads, seed corn, collages of pigment prints as well as the hand carved stamps.

_Detail of the corn carving on the bottom of one of the hands_
The images I created for the interior compartment refer to Haiti's past history of slavery. The bottom image is from a ship diagram showing the loading of a vessel to maximize the transport of slaves. The underside of the hinged compartment is a composite digital collage with a historical illustration of a muzzle restraint superimposed over a photo of myself burdened by a necklace of coins around the neck. This collage element is titled 'Accept our Gifts' and refers to the payments Haiti was forced to make to France in return for it's independence. (backed by high interest loans provided by the US among other nations)
One thing I've become painfully aware of in researching imagery, political and philosophical thought in the information age is the overwhelming amount of propaganda masquerading as fact on every side of controversial issues. Choices and consequences. 

So, while I didn't start out to make an in your face political statement, it appears that is what I've accomplished. A special consideration for one day June 4th, 2004.

_Closed box_