Monday, September 22, 2014

NYC, Maker Faire: the Joy of Making

Making and matter matter: in the past few years there has been a great concern about material, materialism, and the material world in general. It has been generating many -isms including "new materialism" or "radical materialism" from a philosophical emergency to ecological concerns. But perhaps the most interest aspect of this focus on matter and materials is from a more genuine perspective, the innate human need to transform matter and make things out of it.
Rockets from the New York Hall of Science grounds, home of the Maker Faire

The 2014 Maker Faire event just ended just a few hours ago at the New York Hall of Science in Queens and is a great demonstration of  how we enjoy making, in any shape, size, material and technology. The popular event started in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, organized by the Make magazine, encompassing almost any aspect of making from a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach, with a technological emphasis. It is a "show and tell" of creative endeavors shared by artists, designers, engineers, craftsman, education and hobbyists.
Assemblages including electronics and 3D printing were widespread among the myriads of exhibitions and demonstrations. The 3D printing zone presented 3D printing services for higher end fabrication but mainly open source kits for DIY printer which can be assembled for less than $1000 and as little as $350 (PrintrBot). Plastic (PLA filament) is the most common material, but there is a promising electroplating process (Go-plating), hopefully to be commercially released soon at affordable (for designer) cost. I found quite interesting also Will Ware "Home Made Stereolithography" and, of course, the proliferating "hackerspaces", which I am planning to visit quite soon.

Making generates educational activities, excitement and educational fun, a quite welcome activity in these troubled time. And, most of all, making seem to bring together in communities people of different backgrounds: can making save us? Perhaps not, but it definitely a welcome human activity in these troubled times.

Will Ware and "Homemade Stereolithography"

For the first time I presented some of my 3D printed work at the Maker Faire: the exhibition Making the Sublime was an overview of my explorations of the sublime in the analog work of 3D printed objects.  I have been exploring the sublime in several disciplines  —as embodiment of philosophy, geometry, mathematics, biology, physics— as well as different scales and media in the analog and digital world, using parametric and generative algorithms in the design of  “sublime” forms. My work encompasses land and performance art while my object production includes video, animation, stereolithography, 3D prints and laser cutting: at the Maker Faire I presented some small scale objects from laser cutting and 3D printing. I also presented some of the 3D printed connections for the icosahedron I am building for my PhD at Deakin University; some of the research is based on construction on a built infrastructure for analysis as well as inspiration of movement routines.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Camminando | NYC, Climate March

Demanding responsible environmental policies by our government, and all the governments of the world.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Making Art | Vessels of Pain and Healing


Thirty spokes join in one hub
In its emptiness, there is the function of a vehicle
Mix clay to create a container
In its emptiness, there is the function of a container
Cut open doors and windows to create a room
In its emptiness, there is the function of a room
Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit
That which is empty is used to create functionality
Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching

It is extremely rare to encounter art which speaks to the heart in the contemporary art world; therefore I was particularly engaged by two engaging different exhibitions —Michael Morgan's Impermanent Vessels and Ruby Rumié's  Hálito Divino  (Divine Breath)— which have definitely the power to bring our emotions to the surface, with art interventions invoking cathartic action

The works were shown in two different 2014 exhibitions, a few months apart: Impermanent Vessels opened in Geelong (Australia) in May, while Hálito Divino is currently on view in New York. The Australian Michael Morgan and Colombian Ruby Rumié's art/existential explorations are different in media and message yet present uncanny similarities: both evolved in the Southern hemisphere, and are motivated by art as a healing means —but most of all, both art practices  use, in a multitude of media,the emptiness of vessels to symbolize and even literally represent the reality of impermanence and the presence of absence: to ultimate find solace, or perhaps just reconciliation from pain, with art motivated actions. Michael's interdisciplinary work is probably more conceptual, and deals with the Buddhist concept of change, cosmic interconnections and  transition. The re-birth of his head molded vessels was from a tragic life loss.
Ruby's exhibition, as many other of the artist's multimedia works, is also a social commentary, more specifically on domestic violence, resulting from " a workshop conducted in 2013 in the neighborhood of Getsemani, in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia". Continuing from the exhibition press release:
The project focuses on the experiences of 100 women between the ages of 18 and 72, who have been victims of domestic violence. Hálito Divino (Divine Breath) uses pain and trauma to create and express, restore and heal.
At the beginning of the workshop, each participant chose one of 100 white pots arranged for them. They then exhaled their pain inside the pot, as an intimate and individual exercise that culminated the experience of breath as a force of life. At the end, the pots were sealed and marked with the initials of each participant, a symbolic gesture to encapsulate their pain. Each of them was given the figure of a woman, cast using the ancestral lost-wax technique, as an amulet, a token symbolizing her participation.
The exhibition reflects the three phases of the project: photographs of the white pots used in the workshop, black pots representing a stage of mourning, and 32 pots of different sizes crowned by delicate gold metalwork resembling the amulets the women received as a symbol of their rebirth.
I was particularly touched by the exhibition as well as the personalities of both artists, warm and engaging. But most of all, I was intrigued by the commonalities, which I share in my own work, of how a processed based art practice can serve as therapy. I am dealing with my own demons and an art practice in its multiple aspects, from physical engagement to cognitive explorations, has offered emotional solace and promoting healing.

730 Fifth Avenue,New York
September 10 - October 18, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

vernissages | NYC, September 11

Do Ho Suh at Lehman Maupin

Jenny Holzer "Dust Paintings" at Cheim & Read

Fred Wilson 2004-2014 at Pace Gallery

Matthew Ritchie at Andrea Rosen

"On Color" at Gemini G.E.L.