Tuesday, February 9, 2010

some reflections from week 2

So Monday and Wednesday's is the undergraduate class and Tuesday all day us the master's class.
Also on monday night there is the Portland State University Masters of Fine Arts Monday Night Lecture Series, then there are a bunch of other meetings and things I can attend as part of the Master's experience.

Having the time and space to think about my own arts practice and new ideas I am having everyday is such a privilege and yet I think this is what I am supposed to be doing on a Fellowship. Again big thanks to Brisbane City Council.

So what is making me think this week.

Firstly Paul Ramirez Jonas was the guest at the lecture series and his work was amazing, great to listen to and very engaging ideas... http://www.paulramirezjonas.com/#

Paul got me thinking about "going with reality" when a project or an idea is not working go, with that is happening, stop resisting. This has been my learning also from practices such as Yoga and Midwifery. The concept is to stop pushing or pulling and just let go, breathe, let things flow, go with reality.

 I saw Harrell speak at PICA on sat about the People's Biennial and i was struck by his project which was documenting people's photos that they kept in their wallets. This is a dying art form, as now everyone has phones that show photos more easily. So I started asking myself about NOSTALGIA and what this means to my generation, or that of my collaborators and how cares, if we are yet to have a real sense of the past?

Today we went to a major gallery in town for a project the students have coming up later in the year and i was again totally surprised when the collection director said that he was worried that some of the students work might "embarrass" a painting. I feel like i know what this means in terms of not destroying a painting and I also understand that an art work could be presented in a way that reveals its integrity, but embarrassing it... I am still working on that idea.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

making sense of the city from the outskirts

These are all nature photos taken by me on short road trips around Portland. Sometimes you need to get out of the city - as suggested by Cindy the Korean Massage Therapist - to really understand what is happening in the city.

This photo is the image from the Goonies a childhood movie

Museum of Contemporary Craft images

These are images of the dividing wall coming down form the show Gestures of Resistance.

These two artists worked for two weeks building the exhibition base don instructions from one another. But only speaking through a tiny little hole in a wall. then at the end of each day, checked in to see how different their sides was. this is like the game called Chinese Whispers we play in Australia and in the USA they call it Telephone. This was the day they cut out the wall between the two pieces of work. Then over the next 5 months different artists come in and use the space to do different things. One artists will use a bicycle to power up a sewing machine, another will make queer posters for the town of portland.

The Peoples Biennial


Saturday, February 6, 2010

great exhbition


Friday, February 5, 2010

My first week at PSU

Well I have completed my first week of my  at Portland State University with the Undergraduate and MAsters students who are investigating Art and Social Practice, with Harrell Fletcher.

It has been a really interesting week. I have sat in on 3 classes, 2 X undergraduate and 1 X masters, also a public lecture series this week featured George Kuchar prolific video and film maker from Sam Fan.

I have written down a lot of notes and have myself lots of questions, and am saving some up to ask Harrell. But interestingly the undergad's are working with applied participatory research as their focus, with some set assignments and art groups they need to research and do a class presentation and the post-grads basically meet like a group of collaborators, do some admin, share their latest work with each other, do some physical activity - like play a game, and then work towards group showings.

Harrell has an interesting teaching technique he did say who his inspiration was, ill find a link and he is very knowledgeable. I am looking forward to being able to talk with him about his work and his process of making his work.

The students have been very generous and kind to me especially the masters and also friends of friends, who have graduated the program.

This work is making me realise that i do like intention in my process and outcomes and I do like to engage the people I am working with as the drivers, and sometimes I think this means explaining what I do is hard to do. Will keep working on this concept.

Also playing around with concepts of The Good Suburb and also the Boogieman in terms of my bigger project - if anyone has any good material on that stuff please email me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

kind generous Portland

I have only been here for a few days and was greeted by the best ever welcoming party - Heat and Colyn, great day of eating, cracking coconuts, cutting pineapples and adjusting.

This town is so friendly - evidence:
1. the cars stop for pedestrians everywhere
2. check out folks actually engage in meaningful conversation
3. I have been given a lift to university and met by my host to guide me back home
4. The classes im attending, take dance and mini leisure breaks during class, its part of the curriculum
5. people smile
6. the bus driver helped me totally get where i needed to go without having a map
7. waitresses make me laugh
8. I have really cracked up everyday
9. people love their town
10. they have student cafe's - all you can eat for $7.50

some interesting things

http://buildsomethingtogether.com/ a blog and service by one of the post-grad students Zach Springer

http://zachspringer.blogspot.com/ also by the same student - a great project with first grade students

http://wweek.com/editorial/3606/13474/ the first trans female cheer leader 

http://sketchup.google.com/ a 3d model drawing program

http://www.hcz.org/   Harlem Kids' Zone

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/     radio program, lots of people love this and download different stories and segments depending what your interested in

Starting at Portland State Univeristy

So today is day two of my visiting PSU and the Masters of Fine Arts, Social Practice students and teachers.
So far I have attended an undergraduate class
A public lecture and film screening by George Kuchar
A post-grad class

I have also met a bunch of really interesting people including Harrell and Jen who run this course.

Ill be posting stuff up for those who are interested.

It is really good to be back in a thinking space, it feels very luxurious.