Sunday, April 25, 2010

H-E-L-L-O! Show Volume 3: The Wrap Show

The last dress rehearsal before Maura and Mark take the show to a festival in Austria 4th May! Tonight's guests featured: Amelia Morris, Drew Deboy, Jon, Laura, and Steve.

The Wrap Show featured more Fluxus events like "An Homage to Christo" in which Laura unwrapped something in the giant wig I wore last week (based on Jeanne-Claude's hair - the object was a bottle of cayenne powder). Maura also went through her laundry describing how each article was dirty after Yoko Ono's original performance piece. In addition to the usual "underpants," t-shirts, and socks, there were a lot of washcloths.

After a dinner of delicious homemade mac and cheese, salad, bread, and giant strawberries, it was back to the costume closet. We were in search of covering Jon in costume from head to knees. These two versions would eventually come together as one in the performance "Stage Fright." The fake butt returns in the form of boobs.

Laura in her pink grandma sweater (other fascinating aspects of her costume include a fake beard worn as a garter and plaid tights). She also had a pair of bikini bottoms on over the tights.

Here's Drew in a dress and one of Laura's wigs with Larry in the kitchen.

In addition to cutting up a coat length wise in the performance "Fashion," Amelia also operated the camera, participated in two telephone skits, and sang.

The music intro with Jon, Drew, and Mark.

The first telephone fluxus event featured another over-the-top performance from Jon saved by Amelia on several occasions. Jon's task was to call random phone numbers and ask who he was talking to. Once he got a name (it took 4 calls for someone to reveal Steve), he would then call someone he knew and ask for Steve.

The second telephone performance was treated like a panel discussion. Maura, Amelia, Drew, and Laura called someone they knew and asked them to describe what they were wearing. The unexpected part of this was when Drew's brother and Laura's friend asked the same question back. The audience then heard Drew describe his dress with fringe, wig, and plaid underwear and Laura in her sweater, tights, and beard garter in a nonchalant manner. High on the amusement scale.

Behind the scenes preparing for "Stage Fright." Steve, Mark, and Amelia led Jon, Laura, and Drew in front of the camera. They were unable to see due to being completely costumed from head to knee.

Jon, Drew, and Laura then fumbled around on stage for the duration of a polka song.

The most fun performance of the evening to watch (hearing was another story) Jon, Steve, Drew, Laura, Mark, and Amelia singing a song that they all knew the most lyrics to at the top of their lungs. Renditions of the Beach Boys, the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Happy Birthday were among the choices.

The music outro featured Steve as a keyboard table for Drew (he asked us all to call him Papau afterwards since he was the senior member of our group that evening).

In the meantime, stay tuned for more cakes!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Base Coat (6.5 hours later)

I think I have a caulk high after moving all the cakes upstairs to the Watercolor classroom and applying the base coat until 2 AM this morning with Hannah (paint mixing master!). Ten tubes of caulk later, slowly the blue and green foam started to disappear. Of course we couldn't stop once we started and then it was late, late, late.

This is the only finished one as of yet (and Hannah's favorite). All the others require another color or decorations.

First coat complete.

We transported them down to my office on three taborets without mishap. We also decided that the next step in this project is making inner tube size fake doughnuts that we would be floating in/on. Where? The Guadalupe River is currently the ideal location.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Fake Cakes are Coming Along!

Day 4 in the wood shop: sanded and shaped. Tomorrow Hannah and I are going to try to mix acrylic pigment with caulk. Fingers crossed...

Day 5 in the wood shop: We learned that caulk works very well tinted and applied with a palette knife (it also takes one tube per cake this size). I have two test cakes of leftover styrofoam parts so Hannah and I painted four important colors that will be used on four different cakes. They look hideous together so don't judge this cake as a shining example of what the end product will look like! The real ones won't be lopsided either.

Also, as of today, there has been a change in plans as to what will be the first body of water where a floating cake will be photographed. First one will take place on 9th May in Louisville, Kentucky at this fine establishment (Hint: It's Louisville's only outdoor hotel swimming pool).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

H-E-L-L-O! Show Round 2: Chance

I'm noticing that one of the beauties of this project and working with Maura is the email instructions we receive the day before (see below). It changes a little bit depending on who shows up. Jon bailed this week but Laura and I were there. Maura and Mark's neighbor Nathan came later in addition to his mother Robin and stepfather Steve (the "locals" as Maura calls them).

This week it worked! Unfortunately the "mystery skype guest" went to bed early and missed his part of the show. It recorded (yay!). It was only 14.5 minutes long but much improved over last week.

"The Chance Show:

Tonight’s show will feature selected event scores by Eric Andersen one of the first fluxus artists. It will also include a call-in guest via “Skype” who will perform one of the scores with the group.

EVENT SCORE: The Chance Show (tentative)

1. Intro(mov) : Cut with live feed of music intro

2. Music Intro Live (Mark & Jon) Play whatever they like for as long as they need.

3. Text Feed: welcome inserted simultaneously over the M & J

4. Opus 46 (1963): (Everyone) 5 sec approx

5. Larry and Dave Take a Walk (mov): Cut to video 1 minute

6. Opus 9: (Steve) ?

7. Local Ad (mov): Cut to video 30 sec

9. Opus 11: (Laura)

10. Song with picture (mov.): 2 min Maura’s choice

11. Skype Guest: Intro name, occupation, where are you? Tour the room you are calling from. 4 min

12. Opus 21 (Maura & Jacinda) We will flip a coin to see who gets which letters

13. Diploma From Home (mov) 1:30 min

14. Opus 21 (everyone & skype guest) (TBD)

15. Poem performance Nathan (maybe)

16. Music Out (Mark & Jon)"

Reviewing the program CamTwist and everyone's Opuses with me before starting.

Opus #17 with Maura:

Opus 17: (1961) Eric Andersen

1. Two persons are situated on the stage.
One of them pronounces the sound "A'

2. (optional)) The person who started with the sound "A" is only allowed to pronounce the sound "B". The other person is only allowed to pronounce the sound "C".

3. The performance is finished when one of the persons pronounces the sound "D".

We flipped a coin and I won the toss. My sound of "D" sounded like "duh."

Sound Check: the lights were really bright tonight.

The order of events....

Costumes again! Gotta love Laura's tights (Larry does).

Laura loaned me her poofy wig (wow gravity).

Blending in.

Waiting for the others to come up to the attic.

Laura's Opus #11 featured getting rid of a dead plant and substituting it with a live one.

My favorite photo of the evening (I was quick to realize that I cannot operate Cam Twist, the video camera on occasion, and my Canon so out pops the i-phone yet again). Unfortunately, I did not get any of the group photographed or Steve and Robin performing. There was too much to operate at the same time.

Polka song (note: this week Mark's tail is Laura's missing tight).

Maura and Mark made vegetarian pasta with asparagus, tomatoes, and capers in addition to chili for the meat eaters. After the broadcast, Mark and Steve are hanging out in the kitchen discussing how badly Larry will have diarrhea that night due to Steve feeding him meat and beans.

"... but that's okay," says Steve. He brought some Tums in a glove because he was out of sandwich bags.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 3 in the Wood Shop: Gluing Styrofoam

New sign added to the Wood Shop entry.

Matt and Chet did all the work. I became adept at getting "Great Stuff" (the disgusting material we used to glue everything together) all over my clothes and hands.

The return of the head clamp!

I'm standing over the new and improved wedding cake. It's now five tiers and far larger than the previous version below. It takes eight hours for them to dry so maybe tomorrow I can get some sanding/shaping done.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fake Cakes Part 2: Construction

Day 1 in the wood shop: The 4-tiered wedding cake foam is cut. I was informed that this is too small. Since I never had a traditional wedding cake and haven't been to a wedding in eons, this was news to me! I am going to remove the top tier and add a larger 15" bottom layer. I'm looking forward to the time when this will look less like a styrofoam hat and more like an edible dessert.

Day 2 in the wood shop: 6 1/2 of the cakes are cut plus three tests to resolve floating issues. I ran out of styrofoam so off to Lowe's this evening to acquire more materials. I hope to have the rest cut, glued, and shaped tomorrow and caulked by the end of the weekend. [Photo courtesy of Chet since I left my i-phone in my office]

Fake Cakes Part 1: Wayne Thiebaud

Last June, I wrote about my infatuation with fake cakes and my love for the "California aesthetic" of Wayne Thiebaud meets Ed Ruscha. This summer, I do not have a big trip planned but I am in the process of saving up money and writing grants to do something BIG next year. I have had an idea that I cannot shake and this week I have started the research and will begin constructing the parts. Wayne Thiebaud plays a very large role.

I have known about Wayne Thiebaud long before I knew of Ed Ruscha. He was a big influence on my father as they both hailed from Southern California. One of my first encounters with Thiebaud was in my Drawing 1 class at Boise State University when my professor (Dad) had us draw Candy Ball Machine in pastels. I still have that drawing somewhere in Astoria, Oregon and haven't seen it in years.

In 2000, I saw the Wayne Thiebaud: A Paintings Retrospective exhibition at the Fort Worth Modern and was introduced to the classics like Five Hot Dogs but also new images that I hadn't seen before like Girl with Ice Cream Cone, a portrait of Thiebaud's second wife Betty Jean.

In addition, I was enthralled with his hand painted boxes like Ice Cream Cone from 1966 (as I am with most artists who use found wooden boxes in their work).

I was also amazed that a painting like Reservoir could resemble cake glaze to such a degree.

Indirectly, I can see that the above painting certainly was an inspiration in creating my favorite photograph of the entire "Earthworks Road Trip American West" last year.

I don't necessarily love doughnuts; i love their aesthetic. They were perfect for that afternoon at the Thunderbird Hotel in Marfa, Texas (above left).

When I was researching fake cakes last year, I was generally appalled at how unlike Wayne Thiebaud's they were. I could buy a styrofoam cake dummy if I wanted but all the other cakes looked like an Albertson's concoction overly decorated with too many flowers. These were not the fake cakes I was initially inspired by! About that time, one of my favorite blogs linked to this image below of the Blue Bottle Coffee Bar in SFMOMA's Rooftop Garden. Real cakes that resembled Thiebaud's paintings!

Of course you can't beat Sharon Core's photographs of real Thiebaud cakes either (here is Various Cakes from 2004):

So I started formulating plans to make them... Here are my inspirations:

This month and next I am going to construct nine fake cakes (of course I still have to have an ode to Ed Ruscha in this series). The bases will be foam with thickly coated acrylic frosting resembling the simplicity of shape in some of the desserts above as well as replicating the colors. As usual, this will entail a little help from my friends beginning with Dr. Natalie Phillips, Contemporary Art History professor extraordinaire, who also shares my love for fake desserts by creating fake cake jewelry in her spare time. This is the lovely wedding cake ring she gave me last year.

This summer I plan on floating these creations in nine bodies of water. I am not relegating myself to only swimming pools (I have a need to expand) but there will be some featured. Incidentally, the first body of water is indeed a swimming pool. The main rule is that the water must still be enticing and it must be CLEAR (after all, I don't touch brown water if at all possible = seriously so that pretty much eliminates rivers in this part of the country). I have a wide variety of resources at my disposal: lakes and oceans mainly and I am going to take some cues from Nancy involving swimming pool trespassing. Each one will be posted on this blog. First stop below (well I can't reveal the exact location since I will be trespassing but you better believe that it sure the hell isn't located in Indiana):