Monday, March 29, 2010

SGC International in Philly: Some of my photos from the conference

By Miriam Singer, artist and Philagrafika 2010 Volunteer

This is my selection of photographs I took at the SGC international conference:Mark Remarque. There was so much to do and see, lectures, exhibits, demos, and events. I could not do it all. I went to printmaking demos during the day and events at night. I have been thinking a lot about relief printing, so I went to demos and events that were somehow tied into relief, book binding, and wheatpaste. They fit well together. The photo above:Wednesday 3/17, Drive by Press at The Print Center. a public block party taking over the entire block of Latimer St. It was a woodblock block party. The Philagrafika 2010 Graphic Unconscious exhibit at The Print Center was open till 9 p.m. Drive By Press was printing woodblocks and silkscreens on t-shirts or paper out on the street. And encouraging participant collaboration.

Above; Drive By Press is printing woodblocks right out of the back of their van.
After The Print Center I headed to UArts For Democratic Down N'Dirty DIY Screenprinting where participants were encouraged to screenprint on paper and wheatpaste it on to wood panels.These panels were later installed as part of The Wall of Statements in the university lot at 313 South Broad Street. Thursday 3/18; I headed to Southern Graphic Demonstrations at UArts and PAFA. Above; Mary Tasillo Printing with Pulp veil Layers and Editioning, at UArts. Here she is printing layers of colored pulp into her handmade paper with stencils and molds. She had all kinds of different interesting techniques, Some you can do at home (with a blender). See her blog about her Philagrafika Independent Project public art project, Book Bombs with her collaborator Michelle Wilson.
Above:Bobby Rosenstock & Erin Sweeney: Experimental Broadsides on the Vandercook Press, UArts.

Above two Images : Animated Prints with Claire Fourquet at UARTS. monotype as animation. Pictured above: UArts student assistants are doing a series of trace monotypes to be photographed and uploaded into an animation by Professor Fourquet.
At PAFA I checked out Joseph Lappie's demonstration: The Drum Leaf or How To Make an Artist's Book That Accommodates (Nearly) Every Print Technique Ever. A Drum Leaf is a binding that requires no sewing and only minimal glue.

Friday 3/19 I headed to Moore College of Art for Katie Baldwin's Demo: Japanese Style Water-Based Printing (Moku Hanga) pictured in photographs above. Much Later on that day I also saw Katie's installation in The Extra-Dimensional Printmaking Invitational at NEXUS/foundation for today's art. Katie also had great instructional zines available following her demo.

The photo above: Japanese Stab Binding Demonstration also at Moore. Tara O'Brien and Melanie Mowinski split the demonstration time between how to create the binding, and part of the time discussing the relationship between content and structure of this bind.

Above is an image of Monika Meler placing her cardboard matrix on the press at Tyler School Of Art. Monika uses cardboard and pvc board to produce multilayered prints.

Following the demos I headed to: Viking Ship, Hostel Takeover. A 25 foot long wooden viking ship, built by Dennis McNett of HowlingPrint Studios I brought some prints of my own to wheatpaste the ship with, I luckily got to put a few up before the wheatpaste was put away and they installed the wheels. It was a magnificent ship ! The photo above was taken by Rebecca Mott. The color and mark combinations from the accumulation of prints were amazing. Following all the receptions including SGC portfolios, Medium Resistance, and Nexus, at 8 pm everyone paraded with the ship down American St to 2nd St. Happily. I managed to come away with a piece of the ship after we all broke it apart in the Piazza (2nd and Hancock) .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Independent Projects Report: Building by the Book at the Philadelphia Athenaeum

This report comes from Adrienne Jenkins, Managing Director of Philagrafika

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Center for the Book, is currently exhibiting a wonderful presentation of artist books that were produced in response to the Athenaeum’s research collections. The collections library was founded in 1814 and is a resource for the study of architecture and design. Six artists from around the country were selected through a juried process, with works ranging from traditional to sculptural, expressing many possibilities for artists producing one-of-a-kind books.

Artist Aimee Denault next to her book Windows

Each book is a jewel - visually stunning, conceptually engaging and well-crafted. My favorites on view include Aimee Denault’s Windows, a pristine book of clean, white pages that radiates a spirituality derived from its cross or mandala design carved into the pages creating an elaborate pattern. Upon further study one sees that the four arms of the cross are in fact window shapes derived from colorplates of large houses in Wetherill’s Portfolio of Artistic Designs. Each page is painstakingly created by hand using an exacto knife to create intricate patterns. This is a gorgeous book!

Claire Owen and The Cultivation of Zoophytes

Local artist Claire Owen took inspiration from Jacob Weidenmann’s Beautifying Country Homes: A Handbook of Landscape Gardening to create a whimsical series of pamphlets with drawings and tongue-in-cheek instructions for cultivating six imaginary creatures from plant materials, with accompanying landscape designs. Inspired by her own recent interest in the term zoophyte, the illustrated creatures include a hare springing forth from fern fronds. This book titled The Cultivation of Zoophytes is a testament to the infinite possibilities inherent in nature, paying subtle homage to the transformative process of bookmaking as an art similarly derived from plant materials.

John Magnan poses beside his work Diorama

Diorama, a book of pure sculptural beauty is a wood-carved work by John Mangnan of Massachusetts. I had the opportunity to speak with the artist at the opening reception and learned that the maple and oak structure of the book was intended to follow the tree’s rings and thus has a slightly curved structure. This is not a book where one can turn pages; instead, it is a three-dimensional journey into the life of buildings from a time when attention to architectural detail was paramount. Beginning with the cover’s carved, open archway, one can see through to each page featuring a distinct carving such as an intricate fireplace mantle. Based on the how-to-book The Young Carpenter’s Assistant which shows several examples of furniture, architectural elements and other building features, this book is like the Anthenaeum itself, reminding us of a bygone era where art and craft were woven into the structures of daily life. When you go, make sure to see the original research library, an elegant and stately room in this impressive building.

The exhibition runs through May 1, 2010. See the Anthenaeum web site for more information.

-Adrienne Jenkins

Photos from the Building by the Book opening reception courtesy of the Philadelphia Aethenaeum.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Evan Roth At Vox Populi

Report from the Miriam Singer from the Vox Populi Speakeasy Series as part of Philagrafika 2010

Evan Roth is an artist with interests in technology, tools of empowerment, open source, and popular culture.
Roth is all about giving out software programs for free. His book is available online for free. And he is interested in making otherwise expensive operating mechanisms available for free or as inexpensive as possible.

His lecture at Vox Populi was a live streaming presentation from Paris. Roth spoke about the overlap of art, graffiti, technology, data visualization, hip hop, and free culture. As part of Speakeasy-Philagrafika 2010 Independent Projects lecture series.

One of his target audiences is
The Bored At Work Network, the audience of people willing to waste time on the computer. I have never experienced a web cam lecture, so I felt like I was in the future, and even though I am not bored at work, I could spend a lot of time on his website.

He had a ton of insight. I have been thinking all weekend about this insight into creating projects, and as he put it,
"Good things happen in year, great things happen in a weekend."

His lecture at Vox Populi is online, so if you missed this you can still experience it. His website is very exciting with links, instruction manuals, video, images, type...but I think it was important to hear him speak about it all, in the format of the lecture.

Above image is of a print installed in NYC. Graffiti Taxonomy. This project presents isolated letters from various graffiti tags, reproduced in similar scales and at close proximity. The intent of these studies is to show the diversity of styles, as expressed in a single character. This was reproduced from photographs of tags taken in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Allow me to paraphrase from my notes:

Evan Roth is interested in Art that isn't boring, and Activism that isn't tired. Roth is interested in the free cultural movement and is looking forward to the day artists (for example rappers) talk about open source code.

Graffiti is free. As in free beer (which we had at Vox Populi), and free--as in free speech. Graffiti has completely changed the way cities look, and he promotes open source programs as a way to change the way the Internet looks. He fell in love with graffiti as a pedestrian. He has approached it with his skill sets from architecture, computer software design, engineering, and research.

Check out his impressive
bio. He is a inventor, scholar, visual artist, and bad ass.

He is interested in software that inserts small interventions into the larger system of the Internet. This is much like a graffiti artist with a spray can and or wheatpaste, who is making small interventions into the cityscape. The Internet is his favorite graffiti technology, next to a spray paint can. I will end this with the image below of a handshake between computer hackers and graffiti artists...