EcoArchive: Meditations on Time and Nature
The work in this exhibition challenges us to step outside of our daily experience, to consider on a deeper level the forces that shape the natural world, and how time collapses as we move into the future. Some of the works are actual archives documenting the environment and landscape; other works are poetic manifestations of nature, providing another avenue with which to consider our awareness of ecological processes. The exhibition is co-curated with Patricia Watts, founder and West Coast Curator of ecoartspace, a non-profit organization committed to developing creative and innovative strategies to address global environmental issues.
Established in 1965, Intersection for the Arts is widely considered to be one of the most vital and important cultural centers on the West Coast. In its 45th year of operation, Intersection opened a new annex space in conjunction with an innovative, cross-sector project in the historic SF Chronicle building located at the corner of 5th and Mission Streets in downtown San Francisco. Partnering with The Hub Bay Area, a coworking space, event series and business support tool for a global and local community of changemakers and social entrepreneurs, Intersection continues to build upon its rich legacy in positioning arts and culture as necessary components for healthy civic life and in asserting the role arts and culture can play in tackling the world's most pressing social, cultural, and environmental challenges.About the participating artists in EcoArchive: Meditations on Time and Nature:
Tamara Albaitis received the first American MFA in sound art in 2005 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She creates sculptures with audio material (speakers, wires, amplifiers) not just for their sonic capabilities, but also for their sculptural properties. Emanating deep rhythmic bass tones, moving around the speakers at different speeds during different times, Albaitis' work references the global electromagnetic resonance phenomenon known as Schumann resonances, the natural frequency of Earth that is similar in wavelength to the alpha rhythms of mammalian brainwaves. She posits a holistic understanding of our relationship to nature on the biological and physical level.
Albaitis (www.burnthebox.org) received her BFA from SFAI in 2002 and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005. She has shown extensively throughout the world, including the 9th International Istanbul Biennial, The European Sound Delta (France), and The Soap Factory (Minneapolis, MN). She has been a resident artist at Vermont Studio Center and Djerassi.
Mark Baugh-Sasaki's sculptures are created out of a rugged combination of industrial and natural materials and processes that comment upon how the natural landscape is continually being transformed through its relationship with the industrial, creating new hybridized landscapes over time. He also highlights scientific theories of energy and entropy, where potential energy stored inside natural materials takes on another form and shape when reconstructed into his sculptures, illustrating a complex relationship between the natural world and manufactured matter.
Baugh-Sasaki (www.markbaugh-sasaki.com) attended Carnegie Mellon University, and has exhibited his work throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Islip Art Museum (NY), Geumgang International Art Center (Korea), and Kearny Street Workshop (SF). His public art sculpture Adaptations was commissioned and installed in Hayes Valley, SF, from July 2009 - January 2010.
Karl Cronin is an experimental performance artist who recently initiated a project entitled Somatic Natural History Archive (SNHA), estimated to take 50 years to complete. From his field research he sets out to document with his own body representational expressions of 10,000 U.S. plants and animals. The number 10,000 was chosen because it is large enough to reveal the breadth of our planet's biodiversity and has been used to refer to the "phenomenal world" (all that is), particularly by early Zen Buddhists. SNHA is being built in the regions surrounding 3 research hubs: San Francisco, Santa Fe, and New York City, and explores how embodied experience can be used to imagine, document, describe, and communicate environments and the movements and rhythms of animals and plants that constitute the natural world.
Cronin (www.dryearth.org) has performed site-specific works in over 14 states and has participated in numerous residencies nationwide. He studied at The Merce Cunningham School (NYC) and The Ailey School (NYC), studied cognitive development at Harvard's Lab for Developmental Studies, and music training at Harvard Medical Schools' Music Neuroimaging Lab.
Sam Easterson's ongoing project The Museum of Animal Perspectives (MAP) features wildlife imagery that has been captured using remote sensing cameras on animals, spiders, and insects. Through the presentation and interpretation of this video imagery, The MAP endeavors to expand the public's capacity to empathize with animals and plants. The MAP is a non-commercial new media project created primarily for educational purposes.
Easterson's (www.sameasterson.com) work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum (NYC), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), and The New Museum (NYC), and presented on the Sundance Channel, Discovery Channel, and the Late Show with David Letterman. He graduated from The Cooper Union and earned a M.S. in Landscape Architecture from the Univ. of Minnesota.
Cynthia Hooper's video works are informed by her fascination of the conceptual complexities and unexpected formal beauty generated by overlooked and environmentally problematic landscapes, such as Ohio's Cuyahoga River (on which the infamous 1969 fire sparked the U.S. environmental movement), California and Oregon's Klamath River, and the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers (two heavily litigated and politically contentious rivers that serve the city of Tijuana, Mexico). Her videos document industrialized and idiosyncratic sites and provide stunning visual contrast between the balance, symmetry and stasis of human-made infrastructure and the chaos of natural forms and movement.
Hooper (www.cynthiahooper.com) was educated at UC Berkeley and SFAI. She has collaborated with the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) and artists' collective SIMPARCH, was a resident at UC Riverside's Sweeny Granite Mountains Desert Research Center and Djerassi, and has been included in exhibitions and screenings internationally.
Chris McCaw investigates the primal side of photography by using its most basic components - a lens, time, and light. While attempting to photograph the night sky several years ago, McCaw fell asleep and woke up too late to end the exposure, discovering that the rising sun produced a violent change in his negative. He learned to control this change to create unique, first-generation images that engage the sun itself as a collaborative partner in the photographic process, a series entited Sunburn. He creates hand-built cameras of varying sizes, designed to accommodate vintage gelatin silver B&W paper in place of film, with special military-reconnaissance optics. The intense light naturally solarizes the paper, wherein negative becomes positive through extreme over-exposure. What remains is evidence of the passage of time, rendered with a destructive mark as the exposure process scorches, scars, and stains the paper.
McCaw (www.chrismccaw.com) has exhibited his work at numerous galleries locally and nationally, and is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts Houston. He is represented by Stephen Wirtz Gallery (SF), Michael Mazzeo Gallery (NYC), and Duncan Miller Gallery (Los Angeles).
Matthew Moore is the last of four generations to farm his family's land outside of Phoenix, AZ. As a farmer and an artist, he displays the realities of this transition in order to document his displacement from the land on which he was raised. For his new series entitled Lifecycles, Moore creates time-lapse video documentations of different foods grown on his family farm (kale, squash, broccoli, etc.) to archive the most important daily process of agriculture, the growth of produce. The short films show a single production cycle of each plant. The project is a part of a larger effort to create an international database, gathering footage of plants grown across the globe through time-lapse photography.
Moore (www.urbanplough.com) is a part of a traveling show about the contemporary American suburb for the Walker Art Center, curated with the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. His work has been included in Metropolis, Dwell, Architecture, and Phoenix: 21st Century City. He received his MFA from SF State University in 2003.
Chris Sicat works on found and reclaimed wood of varied sizes and shapes, painstakingly covering the surfaces with individual strokes of a graphite pencil. In utilizing a form from nature and drawing on it with another natural material, Sicat maintains his faithful commitment to working within nature. He transforms the warm tones of redwood and oak into cool, reflective, silvery graphite surfaces, in a way hastening the process of carbonization through the repetitive, time consuming motions of his hand.
Sicat (streamcontemporary.blogspot.com) graduated from Otis/Parsons School of Design (BFA) and the New York Academy of Arts (MFA). He has exhibited his works at JAUS, Track 16 Gallery, and Black Dragon Society (all Los Angeles, CA), Swarm Gallery (Oakland, CA), and Intramuros Museum (Manila, Philippines).
Jessica Skloven's series of photographs, Chronicles of a Place Unknown, was borne out of a trip to Iceland in Summer 2008, where the sun never really dips below the horizon, illuminating the harsh and barren, yet completely active, landscape 24 hours a day. Her photographs highlight the active geology of Iceland, a case study in natural elements. Many of the country's rivers and streams are filled with glacier melt, the direct result of fiery volcanic activity under massive sheets of ice. Her work is a testament to documenting landscape that has been crafted over centuries.
Skloven (www.jessicaskloven.com) received her BFA from Cornell University in 2005 and her MFA in Photography from California College of the Arts in 2008. She has had solo exhibitions at Togonon Gallery (SF) and Newspace Center for Photography (Portland, OR), and has participated in group exhibitions nationally.
About the co-curator and ecoartspace:
Patricia Watts (patriciawatts.blogspot.com) has researched art and nature practitioners since 1994. She has participated as panelist at numerous conferences and has lectured at art departments internationally. She most recently curated MAKE:CRAFT at the Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles (2010); Ecologic for Cypress College in Los Angeles (2009), and Terroir for Art at the Cheese Factory in Northern CA (2009). She also curated Hybrid Fields for the Sonoma County Museum (2006), and produced a site-specific temporary public art installation entitled Windsock Currents in the Presidio for UN World Environment Day (2005). Watts was Chief Curator at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa, CA (2005-08). She is founder and West Coast Curator of ecoartspace since 1999.
ecoartspace (www.ecoartspace.org) is a platform for artists addressing environmental issues. Founded in 1997 as an art and nature center in development, ecoartspace was one of the first websites dedicated to art and environmental issues. New York City Curator Amy Lipton joined Watts in 1999, and together they have curated numerous exhibitions, participated on panels, lectured at universities, developed programs and curricula, and written essays for publications.
Related Open Process Programs:
EcoArt Video Salon featuring Women Environmental Artist Directory (WEAD) and ecoartspace video archive Wed Nov 17, 2010 @ 7pm, $5-$15
Block Party Free youth arts workshop with Larkin Street Youth Services, Judith Selby Lang & Richard Lang, on view starting Nov 26, 2010 at SFMOMA's Garage Windows