Visual Media and Performing Arts Thesis Show at Rutgers Camden
Visual Media and Performing Arts Thesis Show at Rutgers Camden
May 17, 2022, Stedman Gallery, Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts, Camden NJ
I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to see your Thesis Exhibition. I am so proud of all you amazing artists.
Before you go out into the world, I’m going to share with you an art joke that I heard in the painting studios at the Art Student’s League.. It goes like this:
A woman visits an artist and asks if he would paint her in the nude for $10,000. Without flinching the artist says “NO”. The woman ups the price to $20,000. The artist still says no. Angry, the woman gets her husband to threaten the artist. Frightened, the artist agrees but only if socks would be worn. The man and woman agree but ask “why socks?” and the artist answers, “I need somewhere to hold my brushes”.
I relate this story to you because I think that it is emblematic of how we artist fit into the scheme of American culture. We are a little “off”—being that we don’t immediately recognize or even value what others take to be given. We are no strangers to struggle—we are used to it—this is the nature of our work. So we may see the tasks before us as more arduous than they really are. There is, of course also always the possibility that, at times, we may be dependent upon others to fund our work. But taking all of this into account—let’s look again at the scenario. It is the patroness and her husband who must rely upon the artist to fulfil their desire. It’s the artist, who’s in charge here–in charge of bringing something specific and wanted and new into creation. It is the artist, off in his or her own world, who is called upon to be, in the parlance of internet startup companies everywhere, the content provider.
So, I am very honored today to be here with all of you wonderful content providers. And today, before you go out into the world I’m going to share with you a list of every important piece of advice, about being an artist, that I can think of.
So here is a list of MY TOP TEN PIECES OF ART ADVISE:
Number Ten: in order to be an artist, you do not have to be penniless. There is a story about Durer’s engraving of Adam and Eve, in the garden, a work in which the artist embodied all his new ideas of beauty and harmony. In the story Brit, a Frenchmen and an artist are standing in front of the famous work. “look at their reserve, their calm,” muses the Brit. “They must be British.” “nonsense,” the Frenchmen disagrees. “They’re naked, and so beautiful. Obviously they are French.” “But they have no clothes or shelter” the artist observes, “they have only an apple to eat, and yet they believe this is paradise, clearly they are artists.” Now, I am going to ask all of you to please debunk this myth. Do not live in poverty. It is neither good for your health nor good for your art. If you need to take a miserable, non-art related job somewhere, take it. You can always make conceptual work in your head—while you commute.
Which leads me to number nine: yes, you can take a crummy job somewhere if you need to. Believe it or not you actually have lots of time to do everything in life that you want. For most of you—your average age is about 22. That is twenty-two years leading up to this moment. Most of you will have a creative life of another 40 to 60 years. That’s 2 or 3 more of the life times you just had up until now. So there is lots of time. Be easy on yourself.
But that said it’s good to do number eight, which is: clarify what you want. Descartes said “…we are the manifestation of our dominant desires.” Don’t be ashamed or afraid of what you want. We are so very, very lucky to be artists. In our work, our desires are fulfilled by no one but ourselves. We are our own bosses. We are truly free. We are the guy wearing the socks. We make beauty as we see fit.
However, if you are unable to figure out what you want, then number seven is: do nothing instead. I’m not pulling your leg here; this is good advice. In life and in your work, if you can’t figure out what you want, do nothing and see what happens. In this situation I have found that Descartes is right, our dominant desires do manifest.
Number six is very important. And it’s actually not my piece of advice. It’s from the painter Squeak Carnwath. She imparted this to my classmates and myself during a graduate seminar. The piece of advice is: create a community. This is so important. Art never happens in a vacuum. And if it does, you certainly aren’t going to hear about it. It’s not going to be part of the economy of ideas that exponentially multiplied and became the Golden Age of Greece or the advent of Dada, or the language Group or even the Young British Artists. You need other artists. They will be your audience, your competition, your refuge and your muse. Look around you right now and identify them. Keep these individuals near you, especially the ones you don’t like. These are the folks that you can show your work to when it’s not working very well. Because—if you don’t like these people in the first place—you won’t have to worry about creating a bad impression.
Number five: remember that what makes us different is what makes us beautiful. Or should I say—make your weaknesses the thing that makes you both strong and beautiful. In 2006 there was a symposium at Columbia university titled ART AND THE NEW BIOLOGY OF MIND. It addressed how recent discoveries offer new possibilities in examining human creativity. We want to study this because every area of human endeavor, every other discipline graduating on this campus today, wants to know how you do it—how you create innovation. Scientist have found that the main characteristic shared by artists is that we often possess some sort of dyslexia. They theorize that this helps make us more adaptable in using other modalities as a means of communication. This is what the scientists tell us.
On the other hand there is number four, what the poet Rumi tells us, which is: “Don’t look away. Keep looking at the bandaged place. That is where the light enters you.”
So even though you are wounded and possibly even dyslexic try to be number three: which is to be easily entertained. You are so lucky that you know how to do this. Being able to create, being able to make any moment significant is a blessing. The alternative is where everybody else is—which is unconsciousness, sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing. We as artist struggle with these kinds of issues constantly in our work, but the moments that have immediate, significant experiences of art, these moments can give everything else meaning.
Number two: have fun. Play is so important. Much of my work that I value has come out of horsing around, amusing dialogues with colleagues, being entertained and/or attempting to entertain others. Please note that two, one and five can sometimes be accomplished at the same time.
Number one: We are made to sit here, the writer Annie Dillard once wrote, “to give voice to our astonishments.” Please go forth and astonish us.
Sometime time today, maybe at the reception you are headed to, or maybe when you are gathered with your friends and family, I want you to look around you and to know that this is the beginning of anything that you want to create.
It is your future. It is exciting and perhaps a little frightening. This is to be expected. Your future Is defined and also limitless in its scope. It is beautiful and scary. It is contradiction. Thank goodness that you as an artist have the tools to address it. And I promise you that, as artists, as makers, you will amaze us….and keep your socks on.
Thank you and my congratulations to you all.
The Song Cycle Governors Island, audio installation and avian happening (and you can participate here)
Dear friends and colleagues, I will be exhibiting the Song Cycle Governors Island, an audio installation and avian happening, at the LMCC Art Center on Governors Island from April 30 to May 15, 2022. This work is a form of community generated sound art. It may be experienced at various outside locations in the vicinity of the Art Center on non-rain days. If you are visiting the island, please slowly walk the Art Center/Cafe building perimeter and listen for sounds that may or may not be found in nature.
The Song Cycle project is dedicated to the scientist E. O. Wilson who first identified our current massive species die-off. According to Wilson, if we continue on our present path of ecological destruction, by the end of this century we will see the die-off of more than 50% of our non-human companion species. From this perspective Song Cycle Governors Island proposes that, in the future, us humans may have to create fictive environments in order to experience a sense of beauty and calm.
Would you like to participate in the Song Cycle project? If so, please visit the website ttps://www.bird-sounds.net/ (Links to an external site.). Once there, select a bird species and listen to your bird’s song. Then, record yourself doing four different renditions of your bird’s call. For recording purposes, you may use Garage Band (comes free with all Macs) or simply use your cell phone to record a short video of yourself making your bird’s sound. A recording of 20 seconds or less is ideal for this project. Once your audio has been captured, please label your file with the name of your bird and your full name (Ex. PileatedWood_Eliz_Demaray). Then upload your file to: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1MOD3ROmExAjTrAoc2j45IhqgayufGlFv?usp=sharing. I will be updating the project audio throughout the course of the exhibition. However, in order to note your artist participation on the project byline, please upload your audio or video file by May 2nd, 2022.
And, if you would like to participate in the in-person Song Cycle Avian Happening, please come to the LMCC GI Open Studios on April 30th and sign-up to participate in the performance before 3:00pm. If I have enough Song Cycle participants in attendance, I will be conducting a participant chorus in Studio A4 from 4:15pm to 4:30pm. Please note however that you MUST RSVP at the link blow this post by April 28th in order to attend the Open Studios event.
Cheers and hope that you participate or stop by and experience the work!
LMCC Art Center Governors Island Open Studios (you must RSVP here)
|Join us at Open Studios|
with LMCC’s 2022 Artists-in-Residence
at The Arts Center at Governors Island
Saturday, April 30
1pm – 5pm
(Julia Frey & Sam Day Harmet)
Jennifer Chia-Ling Ho
Leslie C KerbyStephanie Kyuyoung Lee
(Office of Human Resources)
maura nguyễn donohue
Sally Beauti Twin
|Meet our 2022 artists-in-residence at|
Open Studios at The Arts Center at Governors Island!On April 30 from 1pm-5pm, artists will share work created during their residency through performances, readings and installations in their studios at The Arts Center. We look forward to seeing you at LMCC’s first Open Studios of 2022! RSVP is required. Please do so by Thursday, April 28.
The Arts Center is accessible by ferries to Governors Island departing to and from Lower Manhattan. Ferries operated by the Trust for Governors Island run daily from the Battery Maritime Building, located at 10 South Street in Lower Manhattan. Our building is located to the right of Soissons Landing.
NYC Ferry serves Governors Island daily on the South Brooklyn route, with stops at Sunset Park, Red Hook, Yankee Pier on Governors Island, Atlantic Ave/Brooklyn Bridge Park-Pier 6, Wall Street/Pier 11, DUMBO/Fulton Ferry and Corlears Hook on the Lower East Side. Click here for the South Brooklyn Route.
Tickets must be purchased in advance of boarding and are $2.75 each way or by free transfer from any other NYC Ferry route, plus $1.00 for a bike.
For complete ferry schedules and directions to ferry terminals, visit the Governors Island website. Ferry tickets must be reserved in advance. All ferries are wheelchair-accessible.
Health & Safety
At this time, we continue to require face coverings for visitors age 4 and older, regardless of vaccination status. To request an accommodation based on a medical condition or disability, please email Rosemary DeMarco at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to your visit. LMCC will continue to closely monitor guidelines from Governor Hochul and the CDC as they are released. According to the CDC’s Community Level Guidelines, New York is at a Community Level Low.
We look forward to welcoming you to The Arts Center at Governors Island!
The Conceptual Art a Master Class for Everyone: Art Students League Exhibition up now
The Conceptual Art a Master Class for Everyone: Exhibition is up now. Please check the work out at: https://theartstudentsleague.org/exhibition/e-telier-student-salons-2022/
I am really honored that the Art Student League of New York invite me to lead their first group ever that supports non-object oriented art. So, each week we meet to make and critique artwork that engages the idea that can exist independently from an object’s representation. Each month the course offers a new unit topic in conceptual practice while using performance, language and even ideas as a medium for art-making. The focus of each unit may also be decided upon by the students in the group.
An ideal community for artists working in any medium, Conceptual Art a Master Class aims to frame, inform and support each member’s process in the context of a contemporary practice. So, please check the work out and tell me what you think of non-object oriented art!
All my thanks to Ellen Niz for her assistance in the curation of this salon, and all my thanks to everyone who has taken part in the Conceptual Art group for making such considered, thought provoking, inspiring art.
The Songs We Sing on Instagram Live today at noon ET @elizdemaray
Hi Everybody, It is my great pleasure to be conducting a walking lecture in Chelsea today for the Rutgers Depart of Visual, Media and Performing Arts. The event will begin at Norah Haime Gallery on the corner of West 21st and 10th Ave at 11:00AM. Using this map, we will visit 4 galleries in a one block radius : https://artdealers.org/event/14065 On our hour log journey we will identify, photograph, and list (with artist/date) 3 works of art that you love and 3 works of art that you hate. Post one work that you LOVE on any social media platform using the #VMPA_RUC_Chelsea. Then at noon, we will meet back in front of Nora Haime Gallery and then conclude on the Highline for a group photo. Also, on our walk please come up with 3 difficult questions about ANYTHING that you see on our trip.
If you are continuing on to the 2:00pm event at Westwood Gallery, the artist has asked that you listen to each sound file before you arrive at the gallery:
ASL of New York, Salon 2021
Two years ago the Art Students League (ASL) of NY asked me to lead their first ever workshop on non-object oriented art. The country’s oldest independent art school, the ASL has been a beacon of artistic practice in painting, drawing and sculpture, but had never offered any form of conceptual art. Since that time, it has been my pleasure to offer “stackable” workshops in generative practices that follower the history if the avant-guard. I am pleased to report that these offerings have been widely popular across the institution and, this year, I’ve been invited to be part of their 2021 Salon: https://theartstudentsleague.org/event/the-annual-instructor-salon-2021/
So, if you are in New York City in the vicinity of Carnegie Hall, stop by the Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery at 215 West 57th Street and come see the show! Exhibition hours are Mon-Friday, 10am – 9 pm.
Cheers and best,
Biodesign Challenge 2021
I am thrilled to report that I received a Biodesign Challenge Award from Genspace. The award covers the cost of participating in the Biodesign Challenge curriculum, exhibition and competition. So, this year my Biodesign class is covered. With the current budget cuts at Rutgers, I honestly didn’t think that we would be participating. All my thanks to Genspace and the BDC.
So, what are we looking at this year. My 50:080:349 group is looking, so far, at slime mold as a clean up agent, at urban farming systems, at urban ant feeders, and at the Passaic River. They are particularly interested in Dr. Donna E. Fennell’s proposal in the Rutgers Seed grant database, Identifying a Dioxin Dehalogenase in Passaic River Microbial Enrichments. This study looks at how bacteria living in the sediments at the bottom of the highly contaminated Passaic River in New Jersey detoxify deadly dioxin. As many of us know, he lower branch of the Passaic River has a long history of industrial contamination. As Dr. Fennell’s proposal states An important chemical pollutant found in the river is dioxin, one of the most harmful compounds known to humankind. We cultured bacteria from the Passaic River that transform dioxin into less toxic compounds. Research during this project will identify the genetic elements (genes) that give these specialized bacteria the ability to convert dioxin into less harmful forms of the chemical. Identifying the genes will allow us to develop ways to monitor the dioxin conversion process and better understand whether dioxin removal by the bacteria could be enhanced. In the future the bacteria could be used to clean up dioxin contamination from the Passaic River and other contaminated areas. deadly dioxin. So, this year the Rutgers BDC group will be considering the byproduct of this interaction. So, stay tuned!
Streaming: The Genre Project now.
This year ISEA2020 will address pressing contemporary issues and present practice-based approaches to explore the theme “Why Sentience?” As part of this symposium, I will be presenting The Genre Project: Listening Stations for Birds that Play Human Music. This outdoor installation invites birds to respond to different genres of human music. The goal of this artwork is to allow our avian companion species to select the kinds of music that they prefer to hear in our shared environment.
Please come to the online symposium, and also come to the live feeds each day from 11:00am to noon (except Wed 10/14 when I leave at 11:30am to present at my panel). The YouTube links to each day are here:
The Genre Project: ISEA Tues Oct. 13th, 11:00AM-12:00PM EST
The Genre Project at 26TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM
ON ELECTRONIC ART (ISEA) 2020 Montreal
This year ISEA2020 will address pressing contemporary issues and present practice-based approaches to explore the theme “Why Sentience?” While the theme of this year’s symposium was adopted pre-pandemic, our conditions sharpen the need to stop, pause and re-examine what it means to be sentient, “the ability to feel or perceive.” Our great pause may in fact help us reformulate our notions of what the world is with us and beyond us. It gives us a front seat perspective on the corporeal and ecological entanglements between power and knowledge, animals and humans, machines and environment, oppression and liberation. It may also pointedly demonstrate that difference—social-economic-cultural—resonates through the sentient world. The intro to this year’s symposium states “The virus—a 120-160 nm in diameter entity that is invisible to our human senses and considered neither living nor dead but ontologically somewhere in between—is thus perversely a great teacher and provides us lessons on how the modern splitting up of the sentient and inanimate worlds increasingly makes no sense.” Our current moment and this current symposium seems like an ideal time to premier The Genre Project, considering aesthetics in the non-human. Supported by the Art and Artificial Intelligence Lab At Rutgers, this artwork uses realtime interaction and an AI interface to consider which genre of human music may be favored by our avian companion species.
And the best part about this year’s symposium is that it’s all online! So log on now, get a ticket and I’ll “see” you in Montreal.
Rutgers Biodesign Group at the 2020 Biodesign Challenge in NYC
Welcome to our pandemic summer. Due to the health issues involved with in person events, the Biodesign Challenge was moved from NY MOMA into a virtual space for 2020. This year’s winner from my Biodesign Group at Rutgers University was a brilliant project that proposes to feed sugar to yeast. Titled Yeasties Protein to the People, the project responds to food desserts and the industrial food system in the US, by utilizing the junk food found in US food desserts and converting it into a food source ignorer to grow protein from yeast. The project video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC0hWViqf4M
Yeasties, Protein to the People is a domestic farming strategy that has been tailor made for communities living in food deserts or anybody who would like to take a sugar laden Slurpee, soda pop or candy bar and transmute it into something healthier to eat. To use this system all you need is ammonium sulfate, yeast and sugar or sugary junk food. Over 18 hours, the Yeasties system will turn these simple ingredients into a delicious, nutrient dense, source of protein.
The Yeasties system is cruelty free, commerce free, gluten-free and, ultimately, sugar-free. So, the next time you find yourself stuck in a food desert, give our system a try. It’s the yeast you can do for yourself and your nine billion neighbors on planet Earth!
AI in the Arts and Design @ CAA 2020
I had the great pleasure of presenting “AI and Design for the Non-Human” at this year’s CAA 2020 special session on AI in the Arts and Design. Sponsored by Leonardo/ISAST, the panel featured an exciting and distinguished group of speakers addressing the topic: Does generative and machine creativity, or AI in the arts and design, represent an evolution of “artistic intelligence” or is it a rupture in the evolution of creative practice yielding new forms and types of authorship? xREZ Director Ruth West and Andres Burbano (Universidad de los Andes) did a fabulous job co-chairing the session in Chicago. I’m also thrilled to report that the panel was open to anybody because February 14th was CAA 2020’s “pay as you wish day” for registration, generously sponsored by the Thoma Foundation.
While much research has focused the way that AI is shaping visual culture, within the space of fine art little attention has been paid to the roll of AI in relation to the non-human. At “AI and Design for the Non-Human” supported a platform on which to consider the potential impact of AI on the future of other life forms.
Home Is Where The Plastic Eating Stomach Is community art at Swale House on Governors Island
I hope your summer to fall transition is going well. If you’re in NYC this weekend, or any weekend before the end of October, come check out Home Is Where The Plastic Eating Stomach Is at Swale House on Governors Island. The artwork utilizes resent research from the John Dighton Lab and design form my BDC group at Rutgers University. These efforts have produced what I like to call a plastomach (plastic + stomach). This open source design suggests that we may be able to re envision our consumer waste cycle by expanding the habitat of white rot fungi into our domestic living spaces.
Today, September 14th from 3:00 PM to 4 :00 PM, we will be holding a Porch Chat, Plastic Catharsis, and Public Feeding Event at Swale House in celebration of Home Is Where... Please bring a piece of plastic debris, for real-time plastomach fungi feeding, and a libation to share with others. This event will also feature a plastomach cooking demo, fungi know-how, and design for a mechanical feeding apparatus, all by the artist/researchers at Swale House.
Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape at the Krannert Art Museum and in HYPERALLERGIC
If you happen to be at the Krannert Art Museum at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, please check out Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape. If you are not in Illinois, a lovely review of the show is here: HYPERALLERGIC. I’ve just had the plaesure of returnig form the Krannert where I spent 4 days installing the missile for the current itteration of the exhibition. Originating at University of Buffalo and co-curated by Jennie Lamensdorf and Joan Linder at University of Buffalo, the show examines the environmental impact of military and industrial production and use of radioactive materials. Artworks in the exhibition scrutinize the nuclear industry, including its day-to-day functions and long-term impact, with an emphasis on the complex issue of radioactive waste. The artists in this exhibition examine this expansive subject through a variety of themes, including rendering the invisible visible, using art as a tool of information disclosure and disruption, and developing the complex language necessary to communicate thousands of years into the future. So, if you are in the vacinity of the Krannert, please stop by!
I am also thrilled that Natural Proclivities, a wonderful exhibition curated by Kim Power and Melanie Vote, is reviewed here in ART PULSE MAGAZINE by Peter Drake. If you are on the West Coast, please check my work in Strange at the University Art Museum at Berkeley form Aug. 21st to January 5th. Curated by Larry Render and Stephanie Cannizzo, the show explores the improbable, uncanny and miraculous as sources of artistic inspiration. I’m also pleased to report that I’m participating in the CITIZEN ARTIST exhibition,Sept. 4thto Oct. 23rd, at TCNJ Art Gallery at The College of New Jersey. Curated by Julia Buntaine Hoel, founding director of SciArt, the exhibition and associated events, features artists whose work engages with ideas and issues from the world of contemporary science.
Cheers and I hope to see you soon!
Antatecture Event: Fieldtrip to median in front of LEAP Academy for a talk on urban ants with Dr. Amy Savage
The lecture will be streamed live on the New Brunswick LASER FB page Feb. 18th from 11:30 AM to 12:20 PM
The in-person lecture will happen at the same time on the Cooper St. grassy median that runs between 4th and 5th Streets in Camden, NJ. Dr. Savage has found that urban ants are more aggressive and hostile than their country dwelling cousins who are the same species. The Antatecture Project will bring together artists and scientist to create architecture and a trans-species feeding program to address the new needs of the is natural life form. Please join us for this consideration of the unique challenges that urban companion species face by being part of our extended biotope.
Plastomach at the Future of Food, UsagiNY Gallery, DUMBO
Dear friends, please join us for the “The Future of Food” opening at UsagiNY Gallery and after party at our place in DUMBO from 7:00 PM to 9:00PM. As many of you know, our loft space is at 30 Main St. #10D, Brooklyn, NY. Usagi Gallery is about 5 blocks away at 163 Plymouth St.
“The Future of Food,” the latest exhibition from SciArt Center, features the work of 22 artists who explore the scientific and cultural evolution of food as sustenance, a waste product, and creative medium as we look towards our futures. The show also features the Plastomach: the stomach that degrades plastic by virtue of living fungia project created by my student at Rutgers as part of the Biodesign Challengeat NYMOMA in 2018.
Exhibition dates: February 1st – March 2nd, 2019
Location: UsagiNY Gallery, DUMBO (NYC)
163 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Life, Agency & Ecology: Aesthetics of Human-Nonhuman Encounters in Environmental and Biological Art CAA Panel, NYC, Feb. 15, 2019
I’m chairing a panel at CAA titled Life, Agency & Ecology: Aesthetics of Human-Nonhuman Encounters in Environmental and Biological Art with Ellen Levy who will also be acting as panel discussant. In addition to myself, the panel includes Carlos Castellanos and Paul Vanouse. It should be an interesting evening, so please join us at the Hilton.
Trans-Species Collaboration: The New New Media abstract here:
In 2004, the artist and theorist Roy Ascott coined the term “moist media” to represent the convergence between dry computational systems and wet biological processes. Ascott saw moist media as a way of extending the sensorium of the self.Today, advances in AI, genomic engineering, and computer science give artists access to materials that are radically different from those that were available in the studio even ten years ago. Some wet-media makers may utilize these materials to explore issues in the anthropocene that are faced by humans and non-humans alike, while others may be motivated by the aesthetics of life itself.
Inherent in this kind of cultural production are major challenges, rewards, and a steep learning curve as artists grapple with new freedoms and responsibilities. Presented here are five artworks that I have authored that involve trans-species giving, trans-species collaboration, and design for the non-human. In addition to tracing the historical antecedents of each work, this paper presents a theoretical framework for considering the aims, desires, and perceptual landscapes of our non-human companion species.
SEPTEMBER 7-DECEMBER 8, 2018 UB ART GALLERY, CFA
RECEPTION: SEPTEMBER 6, 5–7:30PM
I’m so pleased to report the Sticks and Stones, the Nike Missile Cozy Project (pictured above) is in Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape a superb exhibition co-curated by Jennie Lamensdorf and at University of Buffalo. examine the environmental impact of military and industrial production and use of radioactive materials. Artworks in the exhibition scrutinize the nuclear industry, including its day-to-day functions and long-term impact, with an emphasis on the complex issue of radioactive waste. The artists in this exhibition examine this expansive subject through a variety of themes, including rendering the invisible visible, using art as a tool of information disclosure and disruption, and developing the complex language necessary to communicate thousands of years into the future.
In Allison Meier’s great review of the exhibition for HYPERALLERGIC: Artists Confront the Radioactive Landscapes of the United States Lamensdorf states:“We live in such a visual culture, and art helps make these complex issues accessible and relatable,” said co-curator Jennie Lamensdorf. “This subject is even more urgent now than when we began working on the exhibition three years ago, because of the President’s reduction of the Bears Ears National Monument, which has significant uranium reserves, and the inflammatory rhetoric about ‘big nuclear buttons’ and expanding the United States’s nuclear arsenal.”
The Buffalo-Niagara region played a critical role in the Manhattan Project and the legacy of residual radioactive material continues to impact the community. Radioactive waste is located in sanctioned sites including Niagara Falls Storage Site and West Valley, and radioactive slag, once used as backfill, remains in parking lots, roads and driveways, continuing to pepper the landscape. Even if there is never another accident, meltdown, or tsunami, industrial activities including power generation, medicine, and household products like smoke detectors, will continue to generate radioactive byproducts. Hot Spots contributes to an ongoing and important international dialogue that demonstrates the perilous nature of radioactive material, illuminates critical environmental issues, and emphasizes the need for longterm solutions.
Artists and collectives featured in Hot Spots include: Michael Brill & Safdar Abidi, Naomi Bebo, Erich Berger & Mari Keto, Jeremy Bolen, Edward Burtynsky, Ludovico Centis, Robert Del Tredici, Elizabeth Demaray, Nina Elder, Isao Hashimoto, Adele Henderson, Abbey Hepner, Eve Andrée Laramée, Cynthia Madansky & Angelika Brudniak, Amie Siegel, Claudia X. Valdes, Don’t Follow the Wind (collective composed of Chim↑Pom (initiators), Kenji Kubota, Eva and Franco Mattes, and Jason Waite), Will Wilson, and Claudia X. Valdes.
Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape is organized by the University at Buffalo Art Galleries and curated by Jennie Lamensdorf and Joan Linder. Support for Hot Spots is provided by Judith Fisher, Technē Institute for Arts and Emerging Technologies, the UB Department of Media Study, the UB Department of Architecture and Planning, and the UB Department of Art.
Image: Elizabeth Demaray. Sticks and Stones: The Nike Missile Cozy Project, 2001. Fabric. Photo: Annie Sprinkle
The Most Exalted Object
The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center
If you are in Baltimore/DC area today come visit my exhibition The Most Exalted Object, and see the PandoraBird Project, which is on public display at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) . The Most Exalted Object exhibition takes its title from a quote by Charles Darwin (1809-1882) in The Origin of Species (1859). In the passage Darwin marvels at the “grandeur” and complexity of the life which has evolved as a spontaneous order through the operation of natural laws. He states “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, …” This exhibition is dedicated to these life-forms and to our relation ship with our non-human companion species.
While at SESYNC I’ll also be leading a seminar titled Art and Science Collaboration: Challenges and Benefits, which is open to the general public.
SESYNC brings together the science of the natural world with the science of human behavior and decision making to find solutions to complex environmental problems. SESYNC seeks to be the leading institution for in-depth research and scholarship with the potential to inform decisions. SESYNC conveins science teams to work on broad issues of national and international relevance, such as water resources management, land management, agriculture, and species protection, among other areas of study. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the center is dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. You can visit the center online at http://www.sesync.org.
Art and Science Collaboration: The Key to a Sustainable Future
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
I also had the pleasure of presenting Art and Science Collaboration: The Key to a Sustainable Future, with Kim Landsberger from Antioch College and Emily Bosanquest of Pacific Northwest College of Art (OR). This webinar was presented at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), an organization dedicated to supporting global sustainability transformation through higher education. The talk can be found at this link: https://hub.aashe.org/browse/video/18115/Art-and-Science-Collaboration-The-Key-to-a-Sustainable-Future
Usually the archived webinars are available for AASHE members only, but the organization had so many inquires from viewers who are not affiliated with an institutions that they changed it to only require an AASHE login. So, to view the talk you have to create a free account here.
Friday June 16th, 2016
Art and Science Collaborations at Biological Field Stations
AESS: Fri Jun 10 2016: I had the pleasure of moderating a conversation about how artists collaborate with environmental scientists and what the pay-offs of such collaborations—for scientific discovery, innovation, pedagogy, and public policy––may be.
I was so pleased to present this discussion with Lissy Goralnik, Roberto Mighty, Ellie Irons. The panel was a great success and a really good example of how artists are functioning within Environmental Studies. Focusing on artists who have done residencies at biological field stations, and one researcher studying their work, we aimed to elucidate the aims and outcomes of the collaborations taking place at these sites. From the artist’s perspective, we were interested in what constitutes a successful collaboration. From the perspective of environmental studies, we were interested in how these residencies support the work of participating institutions, scientists and field stations. On the most basic level, this discussion was what I hope will be a beginning in critically considering how and where art and science collaborations are working and how to intervene in ways that facilitate effective engagement.
After Ellie and Roberto’s presentations, Lissy presented her work in actually studying the effectiveness of artist residencies at Long Term Biological Field Stations. (Lissy–if you send me a link to your paper I would love to include it here.) Best, E
If you are in Washington D. C. in June, The Songs We Sing DC opens at American University on June 8th, 2016 in conjunction with Open Channels AESS. This site specific artwork ponders the lack of human companion species in a postindustrial Western landscape, and attempts to improve on the current lack of animal centric sounds in our auditory experience of the natural. A project description of an earlier iteration of the work at the Lloyd in Amsterdam can be read here: https://elizabethdemaray.org/2013/05/30/the-songs-we-sing-amsterdam-at-the-lloyd/.
I will also be the moderator at Art and Science Collaborations at Biological Field Stations
panel at this year’s Association of Environmental Science Studies Conference. The theme of the overall conference is “Science, Empathy, Collaboration and Sustainability.” The panel, featuring Lissy Goralnik, Roberto Mighty, Ellie Irons, and Lynn Cazabon, aims to open a conversation about how artists collaborate with environmental scientists and what the pay-offs of such collaborations—for scientific discovery, innovation, pedagogy, and public policy––may be.
On the 24th of June, Hugo Bastidas and I will be the visiting critics at the Art Students League of New York Artist Residency at Vyt. The League Residency at Vyt provides support to emerging, established, and teaching artists by bringing them together with masters and colleagues for intensive focus through public critiques and an international residency program. To anybody that needs a beautiful, supportive workspace in NYC, I highly recommend Vyt.
Have a great summer, and I hope to see you at one of the events above.
JUNE 10th, 2015:
I’m a little late sending out exhibition announcements from this past season. I’ve been busy setting up the DigiHuman Lab at Rutgers University with Ahmed Elgammal. The lab is in the Computational Biomedicine Imaging and Modeling Center at Rutgers, New Brunswick and is a platform for the use of machine learning in art (if you have an art related project that needs support in the area of computer vision or machine learning, you should come see us). Below are a listing of summer exhibitions, presentations and shindigs. Of note, the opening at Zagreus Projekt in Berlin includes fabulous food and a participatory performance, so please join us!
Cheers and I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you at one of the events below–Eliz
This work is dedicated to the naturalist E.O. Wilson who believes that by the end of this century—in our lifetimes, we will lose half of all plants, animals and birds on our planet, if our current rate of ecological destruction continues. The Endangered Species Recipe Book isn’t actually a book. It is a series of oil paintings on paper. Each painting depicts an extinct or endangered animal, along the earliest known recipe that us humans may have used to cook the unfortunate creature. We will be showing the Recipe Book, along with a site-specific (and species specific) installation of the Songs We Sing Berlin. A live performance of the Song Cycle Berlin will take place at the opening on June 19th.
Confronting Frontiers, Borders, and Boundaries, The Association of Environmental Science Studies (AESS) University of California, San Diego, CA June 24-27th, 2015. For a second year in a row, AESS has taken the unusual step for a scientific organization of including artist presentations at its annual symposium. It was my great pleasure to curate the artist panel presentations at this year’s AESS symposium. The participating artists include Eve-Andree Laramee, Ash Eliza Smith, Ben Cosgrove, Claudia Jacques, Victoria Vesna and Jennifer Joy. Above is a plant sweater image is from Welcome to The Anthropocene, an exhibition of my work at last year’s symposium.
The IndaPlant Project, an act of tram-species giving, CA International Symposium of Electronic Arts 2015 Conference, Disruption at Simon Fraiser University, Vancouver, Canada, August 14-18th, 2015, I will be presenting recent work on the IndaPlant floraborg project and floraborg community in the paper The IndaPlant Project, an act of trans-species giving on Monday, August 17th.
I’m thrilled to report that the IndaPlant floraborg project was featured in an interview in the above issue of ArtSci in America. A great flip through link to the interview is here: http://read.uberflip.com/i/456382/34
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JANUARY 19th, 2015
Hi everybody, I’m presenting the floraborg project along with the SongsWeSing (crazy conducted group bird call) tomorrow at NY LASER. Please come, I would love to see you! Cheers, Eliz
NY LASER:a Leonardo Education and Art Forum (LEAF) Rendezvous Event
What: Wine + Discussion, Where: LevyArts: 40 E 19th St #3-R, NYC, When: Sunday, January 25th from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. NY LASER is a series of lectures and presentations on art and science projects, in support of Leonardo/ISAST’s LEAF initiative (Leonardo Education and Art Forum). Former LEAF Chairs Ellen K. Levy and Patricia Olynyk co-organize these presentations on behalf of the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts and Washington University in St. Louis, respectively. Space is limited; to reserve your place, send an email to email@example.com. There will be four presentations by Jonathan Gilmore, Elizabeth Demaray, Michelle Jaffe and Victoria Vesna.
Jonathan Gilmore is a philosopher of art. A 2013-2014 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, he currently teaches philosophy at the City University of New York/Baruch College. His areas of research specialization include the philosophy of art history, artistic style, the emotions, science and art, and the nature of the imagination. He will address some of his critical work in perception at the upcoming LASER.
Elizabeth Demaray is an Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Rutgers University. Her awards include the National Studio Award at New York MOMA/P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture, the Headlands Center for the Arts Residency Award, the Art Omi Residency and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art Emerging Artist Award. Demaray will present several artworks in which science is an integral component.
Michelle Jaffe is an artist who creates participatory installations that interweave sculpture, sound, and video. Her work employs a large array of materials to create immersive environments that explore psychic and architectural space. She probes sound as a dimensional volume full of association and memory, invoking pre-cognitive states of mind. Her work has been exhibited at the Beall Center for Art + Technology at UC Irvine, Bosi Contemporary, NY and at UICA in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Victoria Vesna is a media artist and professor at UCLA’s Design I Media Arts Program and director of the Art I Sci Center at the School of the Arts and California Nanosystems Institute. Her work, which explores the effects of communication technologies on identity and behavior has been shown internationally. Victoria will discuss brainstorming sessions with neuroscientists, the Bodies Corp 2.0 launch at the Pelham Art center and Hox Zodiac dinners.
Technically Brooklyn Artists Innovation Award!!
This was a total surprise. We won the Artist Group Innovation Award for the projects that comprise SWALE, 2016. Swale is a giant floating edible forrest and artist residency on a barge that has been docked at Brooklyn Bridge Part this summer.
SWALE was conceived by artist Mary Mattingly. It is a provocative public artwork and a floating edible landscape on a reclaimed barge that launched in 2016.
The artist residency is an extraordinary space to interact with some of the most innovative art/sci artworks being created today. Over the course of the 2016 season it hosted Jessica Segall’s Fugue in B Flat, 2016 which is a grand piano modified into a beehive. It also hosted PandoraBird: Identifying the Types of Music That May Be Favored by Our Avian Co-Inhabitants is a site-specific installation that uses computer vision and interactive software to track the music choices made by local feeder birds. While on view at Swale, PandoraBird had many visitors, both human and avian. I also garnered two wonderful articles in the magazine Technically Brooklyn and HYPERALLERGIC. Stay tuned for what Swale hosts next and prepare to be impressed.
Winning the Brooklyn Artist’s Innovation Award 2016!!! Pictured here artists Mary Mattingly, Jessica Segall, Elizabeth Demaray and plant specialist Marisa Prefer.