Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pixilerations: Part One

Saturday night I packed up my sack and headed south for Concert II hosted by Pixilerations at URI’s Shepard Auditorium. The night was off to a good start when, after scurrying behind a large white curtain to arrive in a dark room with video playing in front, I realized that my slightly-late form had just been projected via Todd Winkler’s pre-show piece, Glint, before the whole audience. Score.

That feeling of being caught off-guard continued through the night as a feeling of nausea crept into my stomach during the middle of Aesthetic Evidence. The middle third of a fairly lightweight yet long video looked as though the technicolor and psychedelic aspects of the boat from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original) had been applied to a bridge. Having had no dinner, and a thermos of strong coffee on the train, I nearly lost it. I wondered tangentially whether motion sickness is ever a reaction desired by performance groups. As for the rest of the video: the first third was unmemorable; the last third was a beautiful presentation of nature imagery reminding me of walking around kettle-holes in my hometown. Beyond the visuals, though, the music was a pop-ambient background for excruciatingly spacey answers to the questions posed by the performance group. I hope the group re-forms this piece; it could be very powerful if they narrowed the scope of the disparate styles and unsatisfying responses to fairly objective questions.

Jing Wang’s following performance on the Erhu was at times stunning. Having no understanding of the computer component of her work, I feel I was at a loss. The instrument was beautiful – and even a non-musician could tell that her technique was amazing. Sadly, with no knowledge of her goals in using the MAx/Msp component, the piece as a whole seemed to persist too long and act as a context for performing audio tricks of sorts.

Crash Test Pavilion ‘B’ reads as a good experiment on paper. I had a hard time appreciating the technical aspects for the following reason: listening to harsh, stochastic sounds in a dark theater felt very un-joyous and reminded me of gun-shot I have heard on recordings. Sorry for the subjective associations – but there they are. The piece made me a little anxious.

Christie Lee Gibson & Arvid Tomayko-Peters then re-filled the room with delight. The length of each piece was perfect for carrying the experimental sounds they produced; Lee Gibson’s singing was terrific; Tomayko-Peters’ TOOB was magical ... and they carried a sense of elegant and macabre humor through the piece.

Finally, David Blithell’s Whistle from Above as performed by Russell Greenberg and Ian Antonio of the group Hunter-Gatherer, was a lot of fun. Fun, because the two percussionists created gaming rhythms while performing a sort of pissing-match. The piece would certainly be better off if the scope of the Blue-Man Group was less pervasive ... expressionless men on a specifically lit stage, sometimes accentuated with blue light, using electronics-entwined percussive tools? The resonances were a little too strong to be ignored. Luckily, no paint entered the scene as I waited at full attention to see what the next mini-trial would be. The two drummers never seemed to resolve their jocular battle. That left me wondering if the artist had an overall comment about people arguing into oblivion in futile and petty ways. The piece also left me wanting to read more Beckett. Thanks New Media for re-igniting my drive to read and listen to music.

As an addendum to my reactions above, however light-hearted or critical, I am extremely grateful that this work was performed in a public venue, and without cost. I am glad that time & space is available for experimental work of this contemporary nature! And, though I am not sure if the artists see their work as still in development, I am grateful for the opportunities to view art that is (hopefully) on the table for expansion. Thanks Pixilerations for a great concert.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bikes & Riders: Image Two

(work in progress)
Image Two.
+ better lighting
+ higher degree of abstraction
+ looking more for spatial relationships
+ more elements of the under-oil drawing
- accuracy of bike (I have photos of the set-up to fine tune some of the specifics with)
- arbitrary-looking abstraction in center-bottom
- still considering elements from Image One's post.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Opening Thursday Night.

The Broadway Bicycle School's Door 3 Gallery Space is hosting a reception for the October show, Visions of the Future, tomorrow night from 7-8:30. Check out the POSTER.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Opening Friday Night.

Friday night, from 6-8PM at the newly renovated West Cambridge Youth and Community Center/VFW Post, there will be a reception for a contemporary project in portraiture by artist Michael Oatman. His talent was commissioned by the Cambridge Arts Council to innovate a community-oriented installation at the long-awaited opening of the center.

This spring I had the pleasure of assisting Oatman with this project. Before he arrived in Boston to create portraits of residents from the West Cambridge area, I biked around the area posting advertisements serving as calls-for-participation. Once the creating began, my role changed from that of errant poster-courier to that of studio assistant and gopher. Both experiences taught me much about my own neighborhood.

The address of the center/ VFW post is at:
680 Huron Avenue, Cambridge, MA

For more information, visit the City of Cambridge:

Say hi if you stop by : )
Cheers - J.


I am finally connecting this blog space to Facebook after one year of blogging. For the facebookers reading this: The Traveling Cube blog is primarily used to announce upcoming local events, shout out to community organizations for efforts in art or environment, and document my own progress with various art-related projects. Tune-in, and feed-back.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Open Call: Video

A few days ago I subscribed to an art event and show-notice email listing (http://www.e-artnow.org/). The most recent call is for Music from the Masses - and after visiting the site, I found this pretty video featured below:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bikes & Riders: Image One

(work in progress)
1) figure out what I want from these images.
2) figure out a potential limited palette.
3) decide whether I want to only use the two-hour modeling period alone or also work from photographs.
4) figure out if oil-on-masonite is even the best medium for this series.

So far, I am considering adding more elements of drawing and restricting the palette. More progress as it comes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gallery Visit Goals for Sept./Oct.

1) Decidedly Ambivalent @ The New Art Center, Newton.
2) The Art of Mosaic @ The Somerville Museum, Somerville.
3) Artegeddon @ The Distillery Gallery, South Boston.

4) First Works Festival / Pixilerations @ First Works, Providence.
Specifically ... (as seen described in Artscope & on the site):
"Invisibles" by Bruno Vialli,
"bark rubbings: city as forest" by Erik Conrad,
"Loop Loop" by Patrick Bergeron,
"You Are My Sunshine" by Raphael Diluzio, and
"Space Invader Returns Home" by Andrew Ames.


5) Human=Landscape @ Firehouse Center for the Visual Arts, 135 Church Street
Future Landscape Lab
6) WIND: Power&Play @ ECHO Lke Aquarium & Science Center, One College Street
Patrick Marold!

More to be added as I find the promos on my bulletin board.