The words, "In Crystalized time," in translucent text, hovers before a blurred, ice blue background.

In Crystalized Time

In Crystallized Time is a group exhibition that will showcase works that are sensible to the speed accruing in societal structures as they develop technologically. Historically, artists have responded to and reflected upon the past, predicted the future, or tried to translate the fleetingness of the present; isolating and recreating experiences. The contemporary practice of painting and sculpture, parallel to the rise of digital processes and the internet, is adapting to consider our perception of time and reality within high-speed environments. The internet is an apparent informant for the selected works on view. Aesthetically, much of the work simulates spaces familiar behind screens. The pursuits of the works reach beyond a trivial goal like mimicking digital gestures, though that tactic is a common component in the works. Low and high fidelity graphics are meticulously painted and merge inside twisting landscapes and figures, gripping to a reality which exists in our memories or dreams; sometimes behind a screen. The subversion of material and warping of otherwise recognizable images are deceitful, questioning feelings of familiarity. The views are mechanical feeling and rely on images that are products of developments in surveillance, software, and other media. These references, ultimately accessible via Google Search, are frameworks for imagining the space that straddles physical and digital reality. The coldness of a machine still can elicit a visceral response. These devices are controlling, yet offer an idea of authentic decision making by the user (viewer). Our memories can be easily manipulated and fabricated. Our perception of time is affected by the digital and virtual. It can be a bit unsettling, how we have become reliant upon and responsive to data, a world of 1’s and 0’s, all funneled through a specific vantage point, and how it is able to construct a nostalgia for experiences we can relate to, but might have never had.

Animal hair and shards of glass are fixed onto a wide bracelet, which sits on white textured fabric.

Douglas Wiltshire: Cocooning

Douglas Wiltshire’s thesis exhibition, Cocooning, gleans vessels of death through jewelry, sculpture, and found objects in order to understand how spirit inhabits inert material.

Douglas Wiltshire is an artist, teacher, and student of the arts. He has over thirty years experience as a goldsmith and over the last five years has found a passion for sculpture. Douglas is a custom jeweler, teacher of jewelry casting and process at the Craft Center at the University of Oregon, and the sculpture technician at Lane Community College.

http://douglasmwiltshire.com/

This exhibition is part of PNCA’s Low-Residency in Visual Studies summer exhibition series, some rites from a spring reckoning. See the full series details.

A square painting, dominated by the converging white lines of shattered glass, hangs above a wooden chair and a white surfboard, leaning against the wall on its side.

Joe Horner: OUTSIDE DOG

Feral: (adjective) in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication.

This simple definition feels especially poignant as Americans emerge from the confinement of quarantine. OUTSIDE DOG features minimalist works that explore feral American themes. Along with skateboarding, the objects included in this exhibition reference rural values, youth, music, biker, and car cultures.

Joe Horner will present his “fully skateable chaise lounge” in the parking lot of AGENDA for the opening of his solo show OUTSIDE DOG from 3-6pm on Saturday, July 31. Skaters or loungers are invited to activate this work by using it at their own risk during the artist reception where cocktails will be offered from the iconic AGENDA orange bar outdoors.
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Horner’s work engages with issues related to the American mythos and youth subculture, art history, along with perceptions of time and our connection to the past. Employing diverse aesthetic strategies and mediums—including sculpture, collage, painting, and video—he examines the tensions between transience and stasis, Expressionism and Minimalism, the imperfect and the pristine.

Curator Jamie Wilson met Horner through his widely followed Instagram account @art_as_chairs in late 2020. Wilson had long been a follower of the account and after seeing a James Turrell Perceptual Cell posted on the account, felt compelled to investigate further who was behind this well-established IG account. She was elated to find Joe Horner was newly local to Portland and a skilled emerging artist with a substantial understanding of contemporary art history. Horner also hosts the intriguing podcast Your Favorite Artist’s Favorite Artists where he uses iconic contemporary figures to discuss influences and movements relative to their realm in an unassuming and laid-back format.

The exhibition will include Horner’s unique grip tape on panel work, fully skateable furniture and powerful found object assemblage pieces. Wilson has assembled work from a limited palette that serves to unite the various mediums into a cohesive, potent survey of the types of work Horner excels at. The exhibition will be open to the public from 11-4 Wednesday through Sunday until September 3. AGENDA will be closed Labor Day weekend, Sept 4-6.

A red backpack leans against a white wall, the head and two legs of a deer strapped onto its exterior with yellow straps. Pepper spray dangles from a key ring.

Ryan Kitson: The Four Seasons

Ryan Kitson’s thesis exhibition The Four Seasons examines the power of subsistence outside of market demands through cast-glass and found-object sculptures.

Ryan Kitson was born in Mt. View California in 1977. He attended Southern Oregon University in the late 90’s before moving to New York City to pursue a career in the fine art. He has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Vienna, London, Milan, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Marfa. Ryan currently divides his time between the Pacific Northwest and NYC.

https://ryankitson.com/contact

This exhibition is part of PNCA’s Low-Residency in Visual Studies summer exhibition series, some rites from a spring reckoning. See the full series details.

 

Going Through the Motions: Speculations on Birth in Patricia Piccinini’s The Awakening

A fleshy, hyperrealistic folding of skin, pore, freckle, wrinkle—this image evokes both movement and closeness, intimacy, invasion.
Patricia Piccinini, The Awakening, 2020. Film still. Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery.

The birthing video is a peculiar genre of film that grosses out and engrosses by turn. From a teacher wheeling in a CRT monitor into junior high health class, to an aunt pulling out a grainy and gory home video, to Khloe Kardashian’s glitzy televised birth scene, encountering a birthing video can be touching, grotesque, informative, nostalgic, and all of the above. 

In the realm of birth media, there is often a panoply of human elements that lend narrative and sensation to the scene. Medical concerns are probed, hands are squeezed, and family members anticipate the emergence of a small new member into the fold. (“We can’t wait to meet you!”) But what if these auxiliary elements were removed—not only the hospital paraphernalia and extended family, but the essential elements of mother, baby, and presumption of a new human life as well? What would be left?

Patricia Piccinini’s The Awakening (2021) strips away the familiar accoutrement, leaving only a raw and dizzying process of birth. The digital animation, on view at San Francisco’s Hosfelt Gallery from May 1 to June 12, 2021, teases an upcoming immersive exhibition of Piccinini’s work with a nine-minute articulation of birth that left me slightly nauseous and hopelessly engaged, loop after loop. The video depicts vaguely anthropomorphic flesh contorting into contractions, but this birthing tract is not a recognizable vagina, and no formal baby ever arrives. All that remains is a process that, through rejecting an anthropocentric birth narrative, draws the viewer into a heady experience of labor.

First, a nude figure sits on a white table and leans on its hand—then the head isn't a head, but rather two hairy, fleshy blobs, neither attached nor detached, which lean in for a kiss.
Patricia Piccinini, The Awakening, 2020. Installation view. Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery.

Donna Haraway’s battle cry “MAKE KIN NOT BABIES!” boomed in my head as I confronted the fleshy, pulsating central figure of The Awakening. As a scholar and critic of anthropocentrism, Haraway has described Piccinini as a fellow investigator of “technoculture” and “speculative fabulations” who similarly explores possibilities of decentering humanity and making way for critters to thrive. Piccinini achieves this through engineering vulnerable, fantastical, and hyper realistic creatures that play on the human mind’s ability to generate recognition and empathy. They also remind us, in an age of CRISPR technology and GMOs, that biological engineering is already present and real outside of the gallery walls. In The Awakening, Piccinini’s animation choreographs almost-human flesh into a process that is recognizably a birth, but ambiguously stretches into so much more.

“Kin making is making persons, not necessarily as individuals or as humans,” Haraway writes.

Indeed, I could not parse out anything exclusively human in The Awakening (though the speckled, rosy flesh did feel familiar). The looping, faceless scene was not conducive to any sense of individuality; yet I felt strangely kin to the process I was witnessing. Hypnotized by the anonymous heaving and twitching, I was reminded of all the ways we expel substances from our bodies—the passage of excrement, sloughing of dead skin, oily secretions that bubble up and burst, tumors, babies, moles, zits, entities that protrude out from within. Sometime around the video’s second loop, my thoughts went somewhere more metaphysical. I thought of the productive processes of the mind and heart, about ideas that are worked over in the brain until made manifest in the world, and on impulses that brew below the surface before sublimating. Birth can come in so many forms.

An image is projected onto a far wall, before which are arranged 6 wooden stools in a darkly lit, space, interrupted off-center by a grey pillar.
Patricia Piccinini, The Awakening, 2020. Installation view. Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery.

When an object does emerge from an orifice in The Awakening, it slips away, incidental, and the video loops again. This deprioritization of a product draws more power towards the process, keeping viewers, as Haraway would put it, “with the trouble”—radically present in pain and joy. It subverts the expectation that a baby is the end goal of a birth, challenging us to further interrogate what it means to conceive, develop, and deliver, leaving space to connect the process to other affairs of the universe, and inviting our imaginations to roam.

Quarantine can feel like a troubled gestation. Confined to the wombs of our homes and webs of dubious information, many of us have struggled with conflicting desires of wanting out, wanting safety, wanting liberty, wanting protection. As The Awakening played in late spring of 2021, San Francisco was in a state of rebirth, practically crowning, hinting an end to the trouble of the past year. I found my own COVID anxieties slipping away as I approached the gallery, eager for the novelty of an in-person, indoor art event. Despite the lure of relaxing tension, Piccinini’s video encouraged me to confront the discomfort, loop after loop. Trouble may work itself out, but in the meantime, we must learn to stay with it.

Patricia Piccinini: The Awakening
Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA
May 1 – June 12, 2021


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A tapestry of fabric, patched together, includes the belt loop from denim pants, black and white checkered fabric—is torn, or maybe burned, with gaping holes in the center.

Resound: Angélica Maria Millán Lozano + Frankie Krupa Vahdani

Resound
Angélica Maria Millán Lozano + Frankie Krupa Vahdani
July 17 – August 22, 2021

(Portland, OR) Fuller Rosen Gallery is thrilled to announce Resound, a two person exhibition of new and recent work by Angélica Maria Millán Lozano and Frankie Krupa Vahdani. Resound features drawings, paintings, mixed-media work, and fabric pieces infused by the unique cultural hybridity of each artists’ heritage and response to contemporary socio-political events in their respective locales of Brooklyn, New York and the Skagit Valley, Washington. Color, pattern, and texture invigorate the exhibition space revealing artifacts and memories of each artists’ familial past and present. Resound will run through August 22, 2021.

Join us for an in-person opening reception on Saturday July 17, 2021 from 5-8 pm. Schedule a viewing appointment or visit during open gallery hours.

What sounds ring out from your past and guide your future? Invoking her memories of Colombia to address the current political unrest, Angélica Maria Millán Lozano’s body of work encompasses themes of familiarity, absurdity, foreignness, fear, and intimacy. Visual traces of sounds recognized by the diaspora abroad — the Colombian anthem physically resounding the pain and loss of people dying in the streets to the carcajadas or cackles from family members — echo in Millán Lozano’s hand which sews, unravels, and burns garments previously worn or intuitively found.

Surcos (2021) was created in direct response to the uprising currently happening in Colombia. Thousands of Colombians took to the streets in protest of unjust tax reform, government corruption, ongoing paramilitarism, and displacement. Millán Lozano made the piece with immediately available fabrics, including a t-shirt that belonged to her brother, for a demonstration in Times Square. The word inmarcesible or “unfading” is memorable from Colombia’s national anthem which represents its past history with colonialism along with its reckoning of covert military intrusion and manipulation by the United States. The roar of the protesting crowd, the sound of threat and possibility, reverberates with the intensity of fire as evidenced in the burns of Espinas 10 (2021) Paying honor to todas las carcajadas that echo through generations, las q lo hacen a uno lose breath, las q lo hacen a uno lose balance, bend over, and fling arms, Carcajadas de sumas extraordinarias that roar (2020) remembers que vengo de pura recocha y relajo. These repeated traces link action with artifact, past with present.

Millán Lozano then turns the lens of interrogation to her own body and dreams by confronting her recurring sleep paralysis and night terrors through a series of found and re-assembled fabric works. Experiencing the worst episodes while living in Portland, Oregon, the tones of the pieces mirror the internal feeling Millán Lozano feels while dormant; a state beyond the physical and unexplainable. The techniques used in Gritos (2021) mimic the spine numbing chill the artist experiences during sleep. The unthreading action is a debilitation of the structure much like how the artist’s body feels debilitated by fear; internal organs weighted underneath an unknown presence.

Frankie Krupa Vahdani’s work organically combines the vibrant and highly decorative traditions of her Iranian Polish heritage into intuitive illustrations. Like Millán Lozano, Krupa Vahdani proudly proclaims her ancestry with maximalist aesthetics; disrupting the predominantly white and subdued cultural landscape of the Pacific Northwest with phosphorescent, color soaked paintings. Immediate and commanding colors spotlight recognizable but warped motifs inspired by Iranian textiles and Polish ceramics. Through fiction and mythology, works are created that acknowledge and process being a child of multiple diasporas in North America.

The personal mythmaking in Krupa Vahdani’s work stems from her practice of self-education. Finding an identity as a child of one or multiple diasporas was a struggle for Krupa Vahdani, especially when no structure was present to understand herself through. Not having histories or events explained due to generational trauma — Krupa Vahdani’s father’s family left Iran during the Revolution — caused omissions and voids that were then filled with new narratives inspired by ancient epics, thought experiments from science fiction, and contemporary Iranian women writers such as Farzaneh Milani. Cornerstones of Persian culture including The Shahnameh (The Book of Kings) and One Thousand and One Nights are alluded to along with visual aesthetics based on the Farsi alphabet. Floral and wildlife imagery, a staple throughout Persian history, is then synthesized with Krupa Vahdani’s matrilineal heritage to produce a new visual language derived from Persian design, iconography, and accented with color palettes inspired by Polish Folk art.

Benevolent Mother Energy (2015) and Benevolent Father Energy (2015), installed in the gallery windows, set the scene for the intense visual symphony Krupa Vahdani conducts. Unmistakably bold and sumptuous, Persian Cowboy (2020) depicts a Persian style rug swirled and dripped through a cosmic collision of red and blue. The high contrast work is almost blinding, fully activating the viewers’ photoreceptor cells. Color is pushed to the edge of the panel leaving no breathing room, only vibrancy. In Space Drama (2019), floral and diamond patterns connect with squared eyelet motifs against a deep black background. The sharp, graphic compositions shift to incorporate deeper hued earth tones as seen in Strawberries belong to themselves (2020) and Sunflower (2020) allowing the viewer a longer look into the swirly haze of time and mystery.

Angélica Maria Millán Lozano (b. 1989, she/her) is an artist from Bogotá, Colombia currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in Visual Studies from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR. Millán Lozano has been a resident at the Ox Bow School of Art and has shown nationally at La Salita, Equity Gallery, ARENA at Suite 806 in New York, NY, Jacob Lawrence Gallery at University of Washington in Seattle, Oregon Center for Contemporary Art (formerly Disjecta), and Nationale in Portland, OR.

Frankie Krupa Vahdani (b. 1990, she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in the Pacific Northwest. Krupa Vahdani graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Studio Art. Krupa Vahdani has been a resident at Centrum in Port Townsend, WA and has exhibited work at Public Pool Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, The Vestibule in Seattle, WA, and has been featured in Round 2 and 4 of Flat Rate Contemporary’s online exhibitions.

Fuller Rosen Gallery was founded in 2018 by artists EM Fuller (she/her) and BriAnna Rosen (she/her) as a collaborative curatorial project. The gallery exhibits regional, national, and international emerging artists who address urgent, contemporary issues. Fuller Rosen Gallery is located at 1928 NW Lovejoy St. in Portland, OR and is ADA accessible. The gallery is open Thursday – Sunday from 12 to 5 PM and by appointment.

COVID-19 Protocols: please do not visit the gallery if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been in contact with someone who is experiencing symptoms, and/or has tested positive for COVID-19. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask inside the gallery.

Interrogation Through Ritual: Chris Eckert Interviewed

A glassy, hazel eye locks its gaze with the viewer as it's fixed onto a circular black wall mount. One feels watched.
Chris Eckert, Blink (2018). Courtesy of the artist.

I first encountered Chris Eckert’s surreal, robotic sculptures at the Institute of Contemporary Art San José while on assignment for my university’s newspaper. Three years later, I still remember sitting on the floor between the two main works in the show: a set of camera-touting, hyper-realistic eyes that seemed to track my every movement and a set of machines programed to write with pen in English, French, and German on scrolls of paper that unspooled endlessly onto the floor.

As I sat surrounded by the mechanical squeaks, beeps, and grinds in the SJICA’s relatively small gallery space, both works created the sense I was connected to a greater maze of audiences and participants—which I was. Eckert’s writing machines were sourcing their words from the internet and the eyes were wirelessly streaming a live feed to a screen just around the corner from where I sat. 

In February 2021, Chris and I discussed the digital concerns behind his work and the impact of Silicon Valley, Catholicism, and the impermanence of modern technology. —Ethan Beberness

Strips of paper lay in piles on the ground beneath a wall of typing machines, arranged in a neat row. On the paper, endless lines small-print text scrolls.
Chris Eckert, Babel (2015). Courtesy of the artist.

Ethan: You got your start doing mechanical design for factories after college? 

Chris: Yeah, I went to Santa Clara University and studied mechanical engineering and came out looking for a career. Hard automation was a big thing, so I started working for places that were doing equipment. They designed and built custom equipment to handle hard disk drives. And that transitioned into a career doing that for a variety of different companies. 

It’s an interesting industry. You get these really big companies and they have some type of process that they want to automate and it requires something custom. So, there is a whole other tier of businesses that take care of those guys, designing and building the part. They call it hard automation—automation that’s dedicated to [the company’s] specific process and the designers wind up being these small mom and pop shops. 

While I was doing that, the industry changed and stuff started dying down and we worked more and more in biotech. There’s this company in the Bay Area that has a little testing tool that can test for any substance. Back when we were developing the equipment for the test, their big customer was going to be the US Postal Service. It was not too long after September 11th and they were anxious about testing for anthrax.

Anyway, that’s the kind of stuff I was doing back then. The funny thing is, I was pretty good at it and got promoted—rapidly. The problem was that I got promoted out of the stuff I loved. 

Another thing I realized is that the life cycle for most stuff in the Bay Area—well, anywhere—is so short. I was in my twenties and started finding that equipment we’d designed was for a company that went out of business or moved on to something else. Working on stuff that was already scrapped was sort of disheartening, and I guess I had this epiphany that I really enjoyed creating those machines, but I didn’t really care about them. 

I wanted something that was more meaningful, and I had been doing a bit of soul searching and knew, even coming out of school, that something wasn’t quite lining up for me. I went back to De Anza Community College and took some drawing, painting, and sculpture classes in my off hours. 

After that, I went to graduate school and started studying art full time. At some point, my two fields of expertise came together and got me to a place where I was using equipment for art. It wasn’t an explicit goal. I didn’t go into art with a thought about doing this. It was just sort of latent in the back of my brain. 

A tight shot of an individual wearing glasses and gazing into one of the eyeball wall fixtures mounted on the wall in a row. The rest of the gallery space is blurred.
Chris Eckert, Blink (2018). Courtesy of the artist.

Ethan: That could be said for many artists, I’m sure. The thing that consumes your life will show up in your art. If your life up to that point was consumed with the design of these machines, it makes sense that your art would take the shape of machines. 

Chris: It does now, in hindsight. But at the moment it wasn’t clear. 

Ethan: Absolutely. I wanted to take a little turn here and talk about the art itself. I wanted to know: were you raised Catholic?

Chris: Yeah, and I still am. My wife and I are. I always feel like I have to qualify that because if people find out you’re Catholic, they assume a lot of things about what you believe in and what you support. We’re a pretty progressive Catholic family. 

Ethan: I see the Catholic influence popping up in a couple of different ways in your work. First, there’s the overt symbols in works like “Auto Acolyte,” but there’s also a Catholic-ness to your process—those repetitive tasks that bring a sculpture into existence. There’s a ritual to that work. 

Chris: It’s funny you say that. I remember when I was first starting out, in the very first class I took when I went to school, my teacher at one point chuckled and said there was something penitent about everything I did. That really stuck in my head. And I thought: there is! There’s a pain that happened with all these pieces and, if there wasn’t, I wouldn’t want to do it. I don’t think I’m a real masochist, but the fact that somehow I routinely seek out processes that are tedious and excruciating can’t be an accident. 

Ethan: It reminds me of when you finish Confession and the priest tells you to go say fifteen Hail Marys. It’s the same as saying “go put these fifteen seams on your sculpture.”

Chris: Right, yes. I actually have a sculpture that prays the rosary!

Ethan: You’ve said that you don’t necessarily bring those Catholic influences in intentionally, but do you feel that when you’re making these “penitent” works, you’re obligated to include Catholic imagery?

Chris: Sure, sometimes it’s very intentional. All the work that I do is really about what is on my mind at the moment—sometimes I’m thinking about being a Catholic, sometimes I’m thinking about, I don’t know, Donald Trump or whatever is going on, something that is really digging into my head. There is something sort of narcissistic about being an artist in that you want to make something about what you’re thinking and feeling. You do that with the assumption that if you’re honest about it, other people have those thoughts and feelings and in some way that makes the art more powerful and makes it more possible for people to connect to the art. 

So, in other words, you can look out or you can look in. I’ve always resisted trying to look out. I don’t want to make art about global warming because I don’t know if that’s something I can really speak to, but I could make art about how global warming affects me personally; it has to be a personal thing that I’m struggling with. 

For instance, you said you were familiar with the show for Blink (2018), which was about surveillance, and it’s easy to look at that piece and say that it is a negative interpretation—and that aspect is there, for sure—but the thing that I’m struggling with there is that I’m participating in the surveillance. I own an Alexa, I have an Apple watch, I have a phone with a GPS and I use the internet all the time. I’m not trying to hide from any of it. I have a credit card and what not, but there is a level of intrusion into your life that you’re welcoming when you go down that path. 

I don’t really have an answer for how to solve that. I’m not going to unwind all of this. I’m not going to stop using email and text messages, and I’m certainly not going to not have a cell phone, but I don’t think any of us fully realize how much we’ve given up, I guess.

And, you know, there’s something interesting here that [former CIA director} General David Petraeus was talking about. He had a quote about how he thought that the internet of things was wonderful because at some point he’d have a dishwasher that would spy on you, which is unsettling. He’s a textbook case as the first person who was retroactively surveilled and when they started digging through electronic records about him they discovered things about him that they never intended to discover. 

There’s a certain irony there and the whole story is a rabbit hole if we dive into it, but I struggle with how we are supposed to function in that environment, you know? I don’t have any real insight into how to manage it any better, but I wanted to make an artwork that was about that conundrum.

Ethan: Does that lack of an answer make the art feel futile? 

Chris: No, I wouldn’t say that. It’s an opportunity to think through things.

Ethan: The theme that I think I’m hearing from you is that there is an obsession and a joy that you find in your process. It’s where you live and work and think, and it’s nice that the art is there in the end but it doesn’t seem like the end product is the most important thing to you. 

Chris: I would agree with that, but, you know, the end result is really important too. There are a lot of people who have a process that is really more about that process and they’re not worried about the end product. And a lot of the time that shows in the end product. Somehow I want a thing at the end to be, you know, pretty. I have very particular opinions and standards about what it is that I’m making and the finished product really needs to cross that threshold somehow. What I’m making is, at one point, sort of a by-product, but it’s also critically important. 

Ethan: Aesthetically speaking, or is there just a pride in having a clean finished product? 

Security camera footage from multiple cameras are arranged in a grid, some of them labeled "TRACKING," others "WAITING" and "IDENTIFIED."
Chris Eckert, Blink (2018). Courtesy of the artist.

Chris: No, that’s not it. I mean, I have goals for things when I put them out into the world. I think a lot about a piece like Blink and how it’s installed and how people will look at it and how people will interact with it. 

At the San José Institute of Contemporary Art, it was very intentional that you would walk in and see this wall of eyes, but all the wiring had to be hidden. I knew that, when people see the eyes, the first thing they realize is that the eyes are moving. Then, they realize that the eyes are following them or at least they think the eyes are following them, but they’re not sure so they start playing with them to test that theory. This kind of play would happen where the viewers would kind of jump back and forth and they look around—they get the eyes to watch them. They’re playing with the eyes and they’re in control. Then you come around the corner and see the wall showing the footage from the eyes and the whole thing switches. 

There was maybe a darker aspect to it. Like we just talked about, I was thinking about being tracked and how we’ve got all these wonderful things and wonderful tools but there is also this more subversive or darker side to it. I like being able to see the underbelly, if that makes sense. 

In the long term, I start to think about how to maintain these things. I want these pieces to last. Maybe it’s a response to how I didn’t like the equipment I was building at the start of my career and how it was very temporary. I want to make something that is art. I think there is an assumption that art will have a life that goes beyond your hopes when you send these things out into the world. And, in an ideal situation, someone would care enough to keep it around for generations. I would like to have that opportunity. We’ll see. 

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The words "Ido Radon, Mother of Pearl Gasoline Slick, July 10 - August 7, 2021" are written in thin, gothic font against a rich purple background.

Ido Radon: Mother of Pearl Gasoline Slick

Melanie Flood Projects is proud to present, Ido Radon: Mother of Pearl Gasoline Slick, a solo exhibition of new works in sculpture, video, and sound by Ido Radon. An in-person opening reception will take place on Saturday, July 10 from 5-7pm, and the gallery will be open to the public by appointment through August 7, 2021. This will be Radon’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Eleanor Ford will perform a new sound work at the opening at 6:30pm.

For those who cannot attend in person, the gallery will host a walkthrough with the artist on Zoom on Sunday, July 11 at 11am.

Radon would like to thank interlocutors and collaborators Eleanor Ford, Chiara Giovando, Oskar Radon, Molly Radon-Kimball, Neville Kimball, and Flint Jamison. Thanks are also due to Linda Radon, Leif Anderson, Andy Keech, and Durran Champie at Free Geek. This exhibition is supported by a grant from the Regional Arts and Cultures Foundation.

Mother of Pearl Gasoline Slick

Sit foramen in proelium.

“At this stage of the march one must interrupt the calculations and begin again at zero.” Monique Wittig, Les Guérillères

The future has folded in on us. This is a commonplace at this point, but the urgencies of this fact may help illuminate an aspect of the spawn point for Mother of Pearl Gasoline Slick: a cypherfeminist insistence on the possibilities inhering in laminations of speculative futures folded into and through deprecated, occulted, and reclaimed knowledges.

One point of departure: let’s not pretend 2020 didn’t happen.

Another point of departure: Hack Back, a two-issue how-to zine in .txt file format by anarchist hacker Phineas Fisher who’s a legend for hacking two companies that provide surveillance tools to authoritarian governments (and presumably anyone who pays). Hack Back is one part step-by-step guide to hacking and one part critique of capitalism, defense of expropriation, and call to action. Writing in Spanish, Fisher quotes bell hooks and Assata Shakur, refers to American anarchist Lucy Parsons, Indigenous Aymara insurrection leader Tupac, and Zapatista spokesperson Subcommandante Marcos, as well as quoting song lyrics including a contemporary icaro. “…behind the balaclava, I’m just a girl,” she writes. “We are all wild children. We just have to place a star in the beds in our hearts.”

Transmission line. Power surge. Spark. Lightning strike. Black out. A slender thread plucked from the present weave. A sharp tug at an angle. The slightest opening rent in the meshworks. There is a productive zone in the slippage of one word to its slant synonym. Thus it is possible to find resonances, points of intensity between, for example, energy, electricity, power. Moving electrons with our fingertips. Moving electrons with our fingertips. All of us, electric beings, sinoatrial node triggering the next contraction of the organ that propels our salted bloods.

The research leading to this body of work considers the material and operational implications of the networked nature of things and beings. Its tools and propositions reflect an ongoing commitment to a pragmatic approach and the honing of a sharpened zone of operations.

Mother of Pearl Gasoline Slick is part of an ongoing project that imagines the writing of a “code for the numbers to come” in opposition to hegemonic narratives of domination and operating in the cracks in systems of oppression/control.

Let us take seriously the concept of a magic materialism proposed by Claire Fontaine under the battle flag of Silvia Federici’s finely drawn diagnosis of the origins of capitalism and the consolidation of the patriarchy in Caliban and the Witch.

The cypher. Le chiffre. The cipher in mathematics increases or decreases the value of other figures around it according to its position. It’s nothing, or is it? Something that appears to be one thing but is or is also something else. A steganographic move. Or/and after its Sanskrit etymological origin, “the empty.” Chiffre may also be translated from French into English as figure and, among other things, sum.

Still:

We carry with us what we need.

We find what we need wherever we are.

“They say everything must begin over again. They say that a great wind is sweeping the earth. They say that the sun is about to rise.” Monique Wittig Les Guérillères

Water takes stone.

Ido Radon prototypes technologies and protocols via laminations of cypherfeminist speculations, translations (the carrying across of realms), and deprecated tools and methods including applied material folk knowledges. Her research takes forms including sculptures, writings, sound, digital works, video, and publications. She’s had solo exhibitions at Artspeak (Vancouver, B.C), Ditch Projects (Springfield, OR), Et al. (San Francisco), Jupiter Woods (London), Pied-à-terre (San Francisco), and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art as part of TBA, and shown work at the Henry Art Gallery (Seattle), RONGWRONG (Amsterdam), BFA/Castiglioni (São Paolo), Titanik (Turku, Finland). Her most recent book, Age of Sand (2019), is a cyberfeminist mystic speculative fiction. Radon was born on Ohlone Rumsen land and currently travels between Cowlitz/Clackamas land, Coast Salish/Duwamish/Suquamish land, and Musqueam/Coast Salish/Tsleil-Waututh land. All Computers Are Beautiful.

In the center, a sketch is pinned to a tree stump. Atop it, a plant potted in a squatty orange vase. The rest of the scene is swallowed up by leaves of varying, brilliant patterns and colors.

Love Letter to Anna Valdez

In the center, a sketch is pinned to a tree stump. Atop it, a plant potted in a squatty orange vase. The rest of the scene is swallowed up by leaves of varying, brilliant patterns and colors.
Anna Valdez, Sketch on Log, 2021. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 42 x 40 inches.  

As someone who has spent the last decade of my life in Arizona, I have always been fascinated by the way light and color can bring life to a place that is seemingly devoid of it. An otherwise bland array of rocks and dirt can take on new meaning when the sun hits just right changing the color from brown to an orange rust. Sunset is the most magical time of day in the desert when a light pink hue casts the land in a warm glow. The influx of color brings a whole new appreciation for the surrounding land.

Artist Anna Valdez does just that in her paintings and sculptures: brings life and meaning to the objects that encompass our lives. This idea is what initially drew me to her work. Her colorful canvases invite the viewer to ponder the keepsakes and artifacts that define who we are. By meshing household items such as plants, vases and knick knacks with preexisting natural spaces, she offers an ode to personal experience. 

Valdez’s use of color is akin to the way light casts a new perspective on the desert. She uses bright pinks, oranges and deep greens to breathe life into a normal, everyday setting. She embellishes earth tones to create joyful works of art that feel rooted in nature and appreciation for the land. She is a master at zooming in on a specific scene, filling it with color and encouraging the viewer to live in the space.

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Krystal Barrio: No Te Puedo Soportar

Ghost Gallery presents No Te Puedo Soportar, a solo exhibition by returning artist and gallery co-founder Krystal Barrio.

No Te Puedo Soportar is a collection of multi-media sculptures dealing with relationships and interactions. It will be on view at the gallery starting July 1st.