Friday, December 4, 2009

Mr. Gallery dude...

That's the identity I feel I switch to for short periods of time...and as of today, I'm returning back to me...whomever that might be.
I have been in a mad rush of setting up for an opening this past Monday and also preparing for our visiting artist Justin Shull. Justin has been traveling around the United States with his project "Porta Hedge: Mobile Observation Laboratory since July of this year. We hosted this piece of his in what the University calls The Oak Grove. It is the center of campus and is a very pretty green space complete with, that's right you guessed it, Oak trees. The Hedge was open for two days for people to view and visit and Justin met with our grad students. We had a great visit and I hope to continue being in contact with Justin.

Justin Shull and grad student Bifei Cao decorated the side with Christmas lights powered from the Solar battery in the Hedge. It is the season you know...
Th exhibition in the gallery is(was, it comes down today) a very successful collaboration with a colleague in the English department. He teaches Literature and Criticism and is also the co -founder of what is called The Center for Digital Humanities here at IUP within the English department. Ken Sherwood did a great job curating this group of interactive, fully digital, text based pieces created by artists/writers/programmers from around the country. Ken was enthusiastic about showing the work and really invested in the idea of the gallery setting to feature the event.











The exhibition was a great success as a "New Media" art exhibition that was well attended, an English department experiment in pushing the envelope, and a collaboration of two separate schools within the University that worked together to create a week long event that educated and/or introduced people to new concepts of poetry and fiction writing in the post-book era using current technology. You can visit the site for the show as Ken was putting it all together in conjunction with the course he is teaching this semester...readingrebooted...there are links and thumbnails of all the pieces we are showing in the exhibition, slide show of images I shot at the opening, and other related links. I was very pleased about this venture, and I would say to anybody who poo-poos the idea of cross discipline collaboration, to try and jump up and down because that might help release your head from your tightly puckered ass.
OK, I'm much better now...
AND, now that I am about to enter the last week of the semester really, I am feeling a little more relaxed. Even though I just took in a really big contemporary wood show that a friend curated for The Dairy Barn Art Center in Ohio...its big...and I am opening it on February 2, 2010. But in the in between time, I'm concentrating on making some more pots, firing some new decal images, and throwing the last of the chocolate brown clay for a new sculptural wall piece...oh yeah, and Christmas and my family and teaching the winter online course too...no problem.

Check out the links...PS. firing the wood kiln in the next couple weeks...stay warm.

5 comments:

MudStuffing Pottery said...

I would have loved to seen the reading rebooted show. The cross discipline collaboration was probably a great experience (I am all about collaboration sir!), not to mention I really dig seeing the digital mediums break into gallery settings, the photos of your installation looked great (but the link to readingrebooted didn't work. I was wanting to see more pictures). Gina and I saw a great similar vien show at the SF museum of modern art once that blew me away.

I wonder if it's a hard thing to pull off successfully? Both from a curating standpoint (ie. how to wire it and make sure it is all working) and also from an viewer experience point of view? as in taking something could easily be a "oh, I coulda watched this at home" to something where the gallery environment adds a level of immediacy you wouldn't get in a distracted domestic environment?

k.houser said...

Thanks for the interest Keith...my biggest stress was if in fact it was all going to work...Ken, the guy who put the work altogeher, was very savvy about how everything was going to work. His tech from their department was helpful too. We ran the whole show fully wireless,all the pieces were totally internet dependant...3 digital projectors and one small flat screen...the only incident happened when the University had some unforseen network problem...but that got worked out pretty quickly. 98% of the pieces were interactive, so we had blue tooth mice at each "station"and each station would show 4 different works... try the readingrebooted link again(its working), I know the questions about public and private usage and spectatorship...like what your wondering about were questions that Ken and his class also considered...It was a great and successful experiment for all involved.

jimgottuso said...

your post made me nostalgic for my university years... never a dull moment and people always pushing the boundaries.

AvesMaria said...

this is not about your post ... just wanted to say I love your penguin cursor toy on the side of your page.

Ken said...

Kyle:
the pleasure of crossing works both ways my friend. how good to step into a space where the orientation is towards engaging with new, challenging work ... rather than the querulous suspicion that reigns in other spaces.

And to Keith, I had some worries about the "could have watched it at home" reaction. But I think since we weren't trying so much for the definitive biennial as for a local, very contextual eye-opener ... it worked. Or, more simply, few of our visitors had ever seen anything like this at home!