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