Sunday, July 14, 2019

Globes Part 7

I posted a still of David Byrne's Tight Spot once many years ago. It is an appropriate time to reintroduce it (at the very least check out the part in the video at 1:30 where it is opened up and we get a view inside of it). At least I know that I will have it a lot easier than inflating this gargantuan object (though Byrne didn't have to battle cactus and wind).

Tight Spot from Todo Mundo on Vimeo.

Teju Cole, From Blind Spot

Jon Horvath, From the series Wide Eyed

[I am fairly sure I am a descendant of the owners of this house in Amsterdam, or at least a more organized neat freak version of them.]

 Eli Craven

Douglas Ljungkvist, From the series Ocean Beach


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Upside Down and Right Side Up

Paleis Amsterdam in 2005

Many people have referenced Atlas in relationship to the 7' inflatable helium globe. I have a sneaking suspicion a photograph emulating my favorite depiction of that sculpture might occur (though there is a difference between the earth and the skies and between a country thinking it is at the center of the universe and a solitary human knowing that she is not). That comparison reminds me of Erwin Wurm's The Artist Who Swallowed the World as both are rendered helpless (or still due to their actions).

Erwin Wurm, The Artist Who Swallowed the World, 2006

I purchased the inflatable globe before I saw this article featuring Mark Wallinger's new installation. This coincides with my interest in scale and the need for the "earth" to be prominent in its environment and larger than most human beings.

Mark Wallinger, The World Turned Upside Down [images via]

In "Mark Wallinger's New Sculpture Turns the World Upside Down," Louisa Buck writes: 

"Viewed on the surface of a walkaround globe rather than in the familiar rectangular form of the flattened, projected Mercator map, the true scale of Africa and South America becomes immediately apparent. As does the enormity of the Pacific Ocean. 'It is rather magnificent to see the full size of Africa,' said Wallinger, adding that he first conceived the piece back in 2013, 'when we had a coalition government and Donald Trump was just a reality TV star and a failing property developer.' Of course this image of what Wallinger describes as 'the world from a different viewpoint: familiar, strange and subject to change' chimes especially loudly with current upheavals." 

After acquiring a National Geographic "Top of the World" map a couple years ago, I have thought heavily about how our continental locations translate to how we view the world, specifically how the perspective of the Poles is altered when it is centered and not warped into something that it is is not, as seen on top of a globe. The vastness of water and the insignificance of land is one of my favorite parts of Wallinger's The World Turned Upside Down.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

1 Failure + 1 Failure = 1 Success or Another Failure? TBD

It began last October when I had an idea about inflated globes floating in a pool. I do not ever stop thinking about water as a method of suspension, swimming pools or globes, therefore what would it be like to combine all three?  I called my friend Tricia to see if she had access to a swimming pool that had not yet been drained. Turns out she was closing on a house in three days that had one and if I could acquire the props, borrow an air compressor, and photograph it in a small window between 6 hours of sleep and a 10 hour work day, I could do it (and so I did).

I was never a math major nor did I know the dimensions of the pool despite staring at the satellite view of it on Google Maps hoping it would come to me. Surely thirty would be enough, right? Wrong ....

... but it was a beautiful fall day though and I filed it away as something to consider later.  

A month later, another thought occurred to me. What if I brought a 4' inflatable globe balloon to the U.S. Mexican border wall on my trip to Arizona in January and document it there?  If I could acquire the prop, borrow an air compressor and convince two incredibly generous friends to help me photograph it, I could do it (and so I did).

I certainly do not have a degree in meteorology but having lived in the desert during the winter, you would think I would have remembered the wind in January but no, I did not. I took some mediocre photographs and Camden made a slow motion video of it before it popped on a cactus (above are the remains).

It was a colossal failure but I could not stop visualizing it and felt it necessary to make art along the Border Wall when it is a daily occurrence in the news. The concept of bringing "far closer to here" is very much a part of my current series, Metaphorical Antipodes, and I wanted to find a way to make this happen.

When something is unsuccessful on a smaller scale, one would logically deduce that resolving it before moving on to far larger would be a wise idea but no.... I purchased a 7' inflatable helium globe with several misspellings (yes, I will count them all and no, I will never be able to fold it in such a small square again).

On a rainy day in April, I inflated it after borrowing a compressor once again. I applied for a couple grants and (insert great amazement) received one of them.

The first thing I purchased with the award money was an air compressor (surprise) and after several trials and errors, a leaf blower with a funnel attachment proved to be the best way to inflate this beast without access to electricity.

So what are the odds of failure once again? Is the third time really the charm? Am I truly driving 5000 miles in the heat of the summer and monsoon season to try? If I could acquire all the equipment, reserve the rental car and accommodations, and concoct an itinerary in a manner of three weeks, I could do it (and so I will).

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Balloons Part 3

A balloon is hope and celebration yet also loneliness and deflation. It contains the air we breathe, pump or inflate and because of that, it is an extension of our body (once activated - a performance). They are a symbol of the highs and the lows of our lives - temporal and ephemeral. I have collected images of balloons (here and here) for years. I made art about them once and very soon I will again. Meanwhile here are more from the folder on the desktop, ones that I have thought about posting for quite some time.

Aaron Wax from Little Stories About Him

Anna Orlowska from The Day Before

 Beth Hoeckel

Brad DeCecco 

Christine Shank, from Our First Year Together

Elizabeth Moran, from The Armory

Evgenia Arbugaeva, from Tiksi

Justin Visnesky, from Sometimes You Just Know


 Lacey Terrell, Hollywood, 2011

Nik Mirus

 Olivia Locher

Rafael Soldi, from Sentiment

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Billboards Part 2

I had expectations that these billboards would move around more frequently than they did and although there is still another month left, something tells me they will stay where they have been since November. Here are some photographs of the second and probably last locations for both the large one and the "neighborhood size."

Unlit at night since I first saw it in December 2018 (a two minute exposure from the driveway of the car sales lot).

Overall, I am very happy to have my art displayed on a billboard - it has always been a dream of mind and it remarkably came true. I had big plans on photographing the original framed photograph in front of it but this and the first location were not suitable for that purpose. Next large scale project here we come (because there always is one)....

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Night and Day: High Art Billboard Project

Currently on display in Indianapolis at the following locations:

1-465 W., 500 ft. West of 96th Street near the junction of I-865 and 4460 N. Shadeland Avenue, 400 ft. south of 46th Street.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Coming Soon to a Billboard in Indianapolis

"High Art Billboard Project Artists Revealed" from Nuvo

One of the best parts, aside from seeing one of my photographs larger than life as public art in a space where it would never be shown, is that I get to keep the vinyl billboard at the end of the year. I already envision a few ideas that may or may not be accomplished once that time arrives. The first one is installed on 3 September and documentation is sure to come.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Oh look...

Ed Ruscha's bookshelf features two of my favorite Barry Lopez books.

Also from Ed Ruscha's studio/library... I have flat file storage and desk envy (the latter even looks like an old book).
[Both images via]

Speaking of books, today I read that one of my favorite artists, Hans Peter Feldmann was rejected from art school and spent two years as a sailor before creating his bound and stapled collections of repeated, ordinary subjects (Bilder).

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Sometimes you see your old artwork and it makes you cringe ...

... but this piece from grad school is holding up alright. I saw it earlier this spring at a friend's house in Los Angeles. Twenty years later and Book as Object: Aunt Eleanor is not falling apart (back before I thought about how to keep art clean after it was made). Let's see what it does after another two decades.

"Robert Heinecken: Myth and Loss Reimagined" (2017 - 2018)

Robert Heinecken, Vanishing Photograph, 1973

In 2017, I was awarded the Photographic Arts Council / Los Angeles Research Fellowship at the Center for Creative Photography to study Robert Heinecken, a 20th century visionary whose work speaks strongly to 21st century practitioners. My intent was to document objects from his archive that comment on the growing gap between the analog and digital era and how accumulation is changing at a time where collecting is less common and experiences dominate. I wanted to learn more about Heinecken’s Vanishing Photographs and his cremated ashes stored in a salt shaker as they are the most poignant examples that bridge the gap between analog and digital. These ephemeral items are enshrouded in myth and they contribute to his legacy and I wanted to hold them in my hands.

Robert Heinecken, Paste-ups for Periodical #5 and Periodical #5, 1971

Despite our radical differences in subject matter, Heinecken is instrumental to my artistic process. His disregard for what he considered a photograph to be, his use of appropriation, his employment of guerilla tactics in the distribution of altered magazines, and his experimentation with three-dimensional presentation first drew me to him in undergraduate school. While in the archive, I made a discovery which altered my course and caused me to reconsider everything I thought I knew about him. While perusing fourteen VHS tapes of a 1995 seminar and two interviews as far back as 1975, I began to notice his memory loss and how it would eventually lead to Alzheimer’s. I lost count of how many times he said “I don’t remember” and watched in shock as he struggled to recall who was standing before him when the daughter of an old friend surprised him while being videotaped. 

Jacinda Russell, Vanishing Photograph: Me, 2017-2018 [imprinted digital negative on unprocessed silver gelatin paper]

My plan to create a contemporary version of his Vanishing Photographs shifted to objects in his archive that implied or overtly suggested absence. Evidence of his declining memory would redefine my series yet still comment on the shrinking role of analog practices.

Jacinda Russell, Robert Heinecken TV Still from 1975 and TV Stills from 1975 and 1995, 2017 - 2018 [archival pigment prints]

I approached the archive open to discovery, letting the objects dictate my direction, and the series grew to include three additional pieces. A diptych of stills from television screens references his cameraless photographs of newscasters from the 1980s. An image of his ashes printed as a positive and negative on transparency film sandwiched in Plexiglas is after Venus Mirrored (1968). Archive Remains is a photogram of a bottle containing the detritus that fell onto the white paper where I examined his possessions that the CCP staff allowed me to keep on my final day.

Jacinda Russell, Archive Remains, 2017 - 2018 [silver gelatin print]

I am captivated by the idea of legacy and mythology defined by the things left behind. This experience was life-changing and will undoubtedly be unveiled in a myriad of ways in the years to come.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

"Known and Unknown Collaborations with Interlibrary Loan" officially completed

One project down, eight more to go...

All the images are printed, inventoried, stored and are now online! In fact, the website even has a brand new look. Now to tackle a dozen tasks that have nothing to do with sitting in front of a computer.