MBG Issue #98: The Historian and The Astronomer

Issue # 98

The Historian and The Astronomer

May 2, 2008

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Tycho Brahe’s Stjerneborg from Johan Blaeu’s Atlas Major, Amsterdam 1662, vol. 1. Image courtesy of the artist.

from the editor

When I was invited to guest edit this issue of … might be good I had just wrapped up a conversation with Michelle White, wherein we talked at length about what we have termed "intellectual whimsy. " It may be suicide to even mention the term "intellectual" an idea that is in less than reputable regard as of late. But I believe in its roots as a humble activity, driven by curiosity and open-mindedness. Ideally this issue reflects these qualities, and the wonderful things that come from it. Many thanks to …might be good for this opportunity, and to all of the participants for their time and contributions.

"The historian and the astronomer" — this phrase has followed me around for a number of years, and while I can’t recall its origins the phrase has a magnetism that hasn’t let me put it aside. These two vocations share many connections in my mind, even though the historians' and astronomers' subjects of study might appear to be quite different. The historian reaches back into the ether of time and connects points to form a picture and a lineage. The astronomer reaches out into the vastness of space and connects interstellar points, coloring and structuring the sky to create another kind of image. Both can be understood as explorers in a sense, endeavoring to order and understand the events and phenomena of our world.

Searching for points of connection—bonds between seemingly disparate elements—that congeal to establish a new framework, a new way of perceiving and understanding the ideas, "things" and spaces within our world is the underlying project of both our historian and astronomer, as well as the project for this issue. Intellectual curiosity drives the explorations of the artists and architects whose work is featured in this issue. Yet contained within these elusive searches for order is a good dose of whimsy; the connections are determined as much by our desire to make them as they are by any concrete physical similarity. But these linkages, often generated by sheer proximity and guided by the mind of the explorer, are no less valid, as they illuminate for us new ways of seeing and coming to terms with the world. The artists and the architects featured in this issue shake up old concepts, images and texts and put them back together in new ways. They remind us of the instability and folly lurking behind all of our strategies of understanding while simultaneously creating wonderful new spaces and ideas.

Intellectual whimsy seems an apt, albeit elusive, description for this way of attempting to understand the world and our systems of knowledge. I hope this issue accomplishes two things. The first is to illuminate work I see directly embodying "intellectual whimsy." The Artist's Space by Katherine Bash, my interviews with the architect Thomas Bercy from Bercy Chen Studio LLP, and artist Michael Jones McKean —and finally an essay from local Austin treasure The Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata all reflect this concept. The second is to reflect the idea by bringing together architects, writers, collectors and artists of my choosing, under the umbrella of …might be good, in order to elucidate the connections between their individual endeavors. With any luck all of this will also reveal new ways of seeing these projects in relation to one another, and the world in which they exist.

Eric Zimmerman is an artist who lives and works in Austin.


Thomas Bercy

By Eric Zimmerman

Bercy Chen Studio LLP, Annie Residence, Photograph by Mike Osborne.

Bercy Chen Studio LLP is one of Austin’s architectural treasures. Its numerous residential and commercial projects stand out as some of the most relevant and thoughtful in the city. The firm’s use of materials, its work with artists, and its blurring of the boundary between natural and built spaces has always peaked my interest. This conversation with Thomas Bercy about the firm’s practice took place in April 2008 over e-mail and the occasional cocktail party.

Eric Zimmerman: When we first spoke, you mentioned you were trying to get artist Bill Lundberg to work with you on a project. Why did you want to work with Bill, and how did you end up incorporating his work into the building?

Thomas Bercy: We are interested in the multi-disciplinary aspect of architecture. We believe that there should be more collaboration between architects and artists. Our work has been influenced by many different installation artists such as Donald Judd, James Turrell, Richard Serra, Gordon-Matta Clark, etc., ... and we were waiting for the right project to be able to pursue this exchange between fields. The project for which we engaged Bill is a private residence with frontage to Lake Austin. We used the reflective properties of copper, glass, Venetian plaster, acrylic and water to bring the surroundings into the house and to blur the boundary between the landscape and the interior spaces. Bill has worked ingeniously with different architectural elements, and we thought the house could be a great canvas for his projections.

EZ: This idea of merging the landscape with the interior spaces makes me think of early 19th century glass and iron architecture and buildings like The Crystal Palace, for example. What you are talking about requires a certain amount of “slowness,” or willingness to let things unfold over a longer span of time than the normal quick pace of contemporary experiences of art and architecture, on the part of the resident/viewer. What are some of the ways, conceptually and in terms of your material choices, that you attempt to "slow" people down inside of your work?

TB: Your question clearly evokes an important component of our architecture. We have extensively studied Asian architecture and are very interested in the idea of boundaries, and the importance of motion in architecture. Our projects follow Lao Tse’s principle of spatial continuum between inside and out. It is hard to distinguish where the house ends and the yard begins. Blurring the boundaries allows for a much more exciting space where both shelter and living amongst the landscape are intertwined. The house is used to frame the landscape, thereby emphasizing the contemplative nature of the architecture.

Our material choices are closely linked with this idea of slowness and the idea that one has to wait to fully experience the intent of the work. We often utilize weathering materials as well as vegetation to more fully integrate natural processes. There is a sense that the projects are not complete once the architecture is finished, but rather once the vegetation and weathering processes have “caught-up.” Our use of reflective materials like water and glass further taps into this notion by setting up conditions that are constantly changing with the passage of the day. Moreover, the level of detail that we strive for in our work also speaks to the idea that you cannot fully experience the projects at first reading. If we are successful in this regard, one’s understanding of the work deepens with each visit and under differing natural conditions.

EZ: For me these choices and ideas are especially poignant and evident in the Annie and the Tortuga Residences. In these residences the structure becomes a lens for really seeing and experiencing the world, and the world in turn does the same for the home. This concept is especially evident in the recreation room in the Tortuga Residence. Could you describe the room, and talk a little bit about how you understand this space in the context of the home and the ideas you mentioned in the previous question?

TB: In the recreational spaces in the upstairs of the Tortuga residence, we had several objectives. First of all, we wanted to reconnect the interior of the house with the views of the lake. We sliced the roofline open through the attic in the same way that Gordon Matta-Clark cut openings through the abandoned structures he likes to mutilate. These openings became interesting spaces that can be used by the kids as reading spaces or a sleeping den. On either side of the cut, we sheathed the walls with acrylic sheets which are back lit and reflect the landscape and the sky, bringing the outdoors in. The vivid colors in the opening brings attention to the spaces and therefore to the views. We wanted to create the recreational spaces that are whimsical and playful, in order to make the architecture more approachable to the kids living in the house.

EZ: So does the color kinetic lighting system play a role in creating that sense of whimsy and play? It is an interesting contrast, conceptually and materially, to the rest of the residence that contains a lot of natural materials, vegetated roofs, and a strong relationship to its setting on Lake Austin. The lighting system seems to reference the work of James Turrell—was that intentional?

TB: We have been great admirers of James Turrell’s work. We have been fascinated by the way light seems to materialize in his installations. We also have looked closely at his sky rooms and his way to alter one’s perception. The purpose of architecture should not only be utilitarian. Pursuing abstraction has been a major focus of our practice. The abstracted nature of the space has a meditative quality, which allows one to escape reality not unlike being in Turrell’s tunnel in Houston.In a sense we are altering one’s perception of what a room should be like.

EZ: This gets us back to this notion of "speed," or, "slowness," in relation to your work–not having something read instantaneously, or even come to a total completion until a point well into the future. Earlier you mentioned this idea of thinking about motion in relation to architecture. Could you talk about this a little, and how this idea does or doesn’t fit with your exploration of abstraction through your work?

TB: Le Corbusier best explored the idea of motion in architecture. I was strongly influenced walking through the Villas La Roche-Jeanneret in Paris. The way one moves through the lobby of the house, and the interesting play between ramps, stair and balconies generates a stunning interior perspective. This “promenade architectural” is a concept that we follow with great passion. The passing of time is also represented in our work with the way the natural light comes into a space. In our buildings, we often open the façade with a narrow slit or thin skylight, which creates this light pattern mimicking a sundial. Finally, we like to think about the way a building weathers and we deliberately choose the materials that will transform with time. For example, we often use raw steel that we leave uncoated and therefore will oxidize – changing color and gaining subtle surface texture with exposure to the elements – or we use certain species of wood that turn silver as the UV breaks down the outer fibers. Vegetation is the last component that participates in the temporal nature of our project as it reflects the larger life cycle of growth and decay. All these aspects of our project lead to some interesting opportunities for abstraction to come in play.

EZ: It’s interesting that you reference Matta-Clark and Turrell each of whom deals with this idea of ‘space’ in wonderful ways—when discussing the guiding principles of your architectural practice. What are some of the architectural sources that you gather from? Do you look towards architecture for similar things that you find in the work of artists?

TB: Our sources and precedents are extremely varied. We often look at indigenous architecture from different parts of the world. As both Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright have pointed out, indigenous building solutions are often the best ones, since these solutions have evolved over centuries in order to best adapt to the local environment. In terms of artists, in addition to those you just mentioned, we also look at the work of Giorgio De Chirico and the way he exaggerates perspective to create an extremely powerful, poetic, and mysterious space in his paintings. We are not interested in the strict definition or separation of art and architecture. Both fields utilize space and materials to heighten one’s life.

To see images of other projects by Bercy Chen Studio LLP, visit http://www.bcarc.com/ .

Michael Jones McKean

By Eric Zimmerman

Michael Jones Mckean,The Possibility of Men and the River Shallows, 2007, plywood, dimensional lumber, foam board, paint, 800 gallon acrylic water tank, 10 horsepower special effects fan, 1986 J1 Super Jumbo Promax boom box, fragments from the Teignmouth Electron (a boat involved in a failed attempt to circumnavigate the earth), brass, chainsaw cut/first aid kit, flashlight, night lights, florescent lighting, freezer, fog machine, custom spring, plexi-glass, house plants, grow lights, jet pump, 2 sump pumps, 60 gallon water tank, misting nozzles, water filters, pressure gauge, exhaust fan, industrial dehumidifier, carpet, one ton of clay, 5000 watt sound system, 12 volume reference library, VFD drive, 2 iPods, 1983 Ocean Pacific wind breaker, gold leafed papier-mâché conquistador helmet, sword, jug, spoons, banjo, and harpoon, dismantled papier-mâché river raft, papier-mâché helm, anchor, cemetery stones and barrels, hand made clothes and death/theater masks for Donald Crowhurst, Hernando DeSoto and Albert Ayler, Hall and Oates’ LP H20, Hall and Oates’ One on One (1982) and Albert Ayler’s Love Cry (1967).

The first time I had the opportunity to see one of Michael Jones McKean’s pieces was in Houston while he was a resident at the Core Program at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Ever since, I have been drawn to his sophisticated use of materials, objects, histories and our ever-changing attempts at understanding them. This conversation took place in April 2008 over email.

Eric Zimmerman: I’ve always thought of your work as a kind of beautiful archive. It seems like when you create work, you incorporate the history and mythology of a particular object, but you also strip some of the original information away and imbue that object with another sort of meaning. For instance in the pieces making up The Discipline of Astronomy and Wind, there is a 1967 McCullough chainsaw, a 1987 Promax boombox, a 5000 year old Del Campo meteorite, a piece of the Teignmouth Electron and a handmade monochrome Dwight Gooden jersey amongst other things. Could you talk about what draws you towards specific objects and mythologies?

Michael Jones McKean: Lately the kinds of objects I’ve been using inside the work are becoming less categorically connected to each other. I’m beginning to understand a 5000 year–old meteorite from Argentina, Dwight Gooden, the first 90 seconds of Cyndi Lauper’s All Through the Night and a replica of a Sycamore branch made from clay all as coordinates within a constellation which form a larger image. By placing these things in proximity, they can begin to speak about metaphorical orders, their humble origins as things, a shared belief (or disbelief) in what they represent, and our own yearning desire to try and find meaning and order in the stuff around us.

EZ: The metaphor of a constellation is a good one, as it suggests a structure determined by human longing and desire for the ordering of often disparate and expansive things. What influence do the material qualities of these objects have on your interest, understanding and use of them?

MJM: The visible qualities of objects are the only constants within the equation; it tells us how to look and it’s what lasts once all the footnotes and marginalia have gotten lost or simply stopped being relevant. In this sense, the materiality of an object is really the most conceptually durable and embedded feature of a sculpture. All the peripheral references that each discrete object makes are really not the point (although they are important). I think in some ways the process of collaging helps wash away the singularity of the objects, opening up the possibility for them to inherit other kinds of specificity and to live inside a larger gestalt.

EZ: I’ve always responded to that sort of “neutral” space that your work establishes. For me this neutral space is a space of possibility and contradiction that is always moving and changing with time. How are you thinking about time in relation to your work, and specifically, a piece like The Possibility of Men and The River Shallows, which seems to contain these instances of “real” time through music, things that operate on timers, etc. and a sort of historical time as well?

MJM: I suppose on a physical level, it’s visually impossible to see a project like The Possibility of Men and The River Shallows from a fixed vantage point, so the element of time becomes a natural feature inside the work as one must actually move around it. But this kind of time, sculptural time, is so drastically dissimilar to cinematic time, musical time or literary time because it lacks linear sequencing. Sculpture can’t option a dramatic concept like the “end.” So time swirls around, looping back on itself, proposing but never privileging “the end” as a tool to construct meaning.

On a related note, I’ve always liked words that speak about time in really sly ways. “Possibility” is one. It suggests "becoming" or an unfixed, yet to be determined moment in the history of things. "Else" is another one. If you look up "else" in the dictionary, a synonym you’ll find is "also." But "else" and "also" seem so far apart. "Else" speaks about longing for things that don’t yet exist, like the stuff we haven’t found or are unable to see yet.

EZ: I like the contrast of the “placelessness” those words suggest with the material nature of the work. So is it fair to say that the work is a way to ‘image’ those things that don’t yet exist, a way to conceptualize future connections and possibilities?

MJM: The work is set up to aspire to these things, but I’m suspicious if it’s actually possible to “image” things that don’t exist. In this way the work is pitted against itself in what it yearns for and what it concedes.

More and more I’m trying to realize and acknowledge the profound "mereness” of art making and understand its borders not as barriers, but as places where meaning could fruitfully break down. Somewhere inside this process is where language and image collaborate and give us something mystical. This is so important, but it’s only half the process; at some point an unusual image that exists near the edge of meaning must report back to us when we are away from the margin. It needs to find us when we are calm, when we have the advantage of our trusted, tested nomenclatures, when we can refer to our bank of canonized symbols as we try to measure-up this weird anomaly. Art’s arrangement with this process is where we find its real, out of time value. It’s where we might stop misunderstanding sign and symbol as meaning’s endgame and begin to see them as discrete options for constructing a meta-meaning. In this way the content of an image is rarely found in the specifics of an object, but rather in the scaffolding that was built to support and embed image and idea.

EZ: I have been thinking about the idea of heterotopia in relation to your work and Foucault’s great metaphor of the ship as the space of imagination and possibility, “the heterotopia par excellence.” In certain instances I see you giving form to this idea, literally, metaphorically and even metaphysically. In a literal way I am curious about your acquisition of Teignmouth Electron, the boat which Donald Crowhurst famously used in his botched attempt to cheat and win a-round-the-world yacht race. How have you come to understand this boat in relation to your work?

MJM: The Electron is an object that I can’t really understand. For me it’s like trying to understand tree. On one level it seems quite simple to understand a tree; it’s only a tree, it behaves the way trees behave. But tree baffles me. People have invented some useful shorthand strategies that allow us to conceptualize images through somewhat efficient, perfunctory, customary ways: function, history, mechanics, specific lexicons and to a lesser degree even poetics. That said, I think the Electron is quite easy to appreciate as an elegant metaphor about life, yearning, failure. But these concepts seem overly available. In this sense, it’s vital to not let our relationship with things default into passive, ugly connoisseurship. That’s like tourism. As I’ve grown to understand it, the Electron resists; it will not be sculpture, it will not be an artwork. It wouldn’t even be a boat. It’s more like an oracle; a beautiful siren song.

I can think about the Electron as a set of dimensions with a certain width and length and girth that displaces a specific amount of volume on the planet. After that it flows over what’s available to me and the conversation becomes way more difficult.

EZ: It might be presumptuous of me, but I think that in a sense the Electron exists within all of your work. It is at once a metaphor, a "thing," a point in history, a mythology and this other "place" that eludes complete understanding and unmoors our strategies for doing so. It has this quiet magnetism, this otherness, that I find in your work as well. I wonder how you understand the conceptual and physical space that your completed projects occupy in relation to their sources and as "objects" themselves?

MJM: I think your question relates to your mention of heterotopia earlier. For me, heterotopia opens up a way of thinking about space not simply as an area or a locale but as something liminal, temporal and in the same breath still palpable and real. To understand space this way is to understand sculpture and art making in the most progressive way I can imagine. Objects don’t just occupy space; they determine the nature of space. They can predict our behavior within a space. In the least fascist way I can imagine, objects establish the rules. They become proxies for what we believe.

This kind of space is also about scale and acuity. I often imagine the short space in between the outer surface of our eye and our brain and the physiological events that happen inside this distance when you see a person. During this moment we’re visually organizing a complex aggregate of subtle facial traits to establish an identity—things like the angle of someone’s jaw in relation to the pitch of their nose relative to the space between their eyes. A couple of millimeters can separate the most drastically different facial archetypes, yet we somehow manage to recognize people we haven’t seen in 10 years quite easily. Incredibly we’re also able to infer the subtlest emotions like doubt or remorse or empathy as they might register on a face with only the slightest elevation of an eyebrow or the most delicate tilt of the lip.

When I think about our eyes recognizing and ascribing meaning to subtle, barely noticeable, almost invisible variations of facial expression suddenly the specific arrangement of a few objects and their proximity to each other inside a sculpture have the possibility to articulate something slight and poetic, but also monumentally significant. Within this construct we also have the freedom, at any moment, to refocus our eyes and let these objects in a field revert back to simple matter.

To see more of Michael Jones McKean's work, visit his website: http://michaeljonesmckean.com/.


On Ghosts
The Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata
On view through Saturday, May 3

By Jen Hirt and Scott Webel

Image of a haunted house drawn by a museum visitor. Included in the Ghosts exhibition.

When we decided to curate the Ghosts community exhibition at the in-home Museum of Ephemerata as a follow up to Animals, we were wary of the forces we had chosen to evoke. Every theme transforms our lives: by the end of Animals, we had adopted two kittens, tamed eight backyard feral cats and installed an aquarium in the parlor. By collecting representations of spirits, would the Museum really become haunted? Whenever we mentioned the new theme, people launched into ghost stories, feeding our ominous feelings about the squadron of spirits about to fly into our lives. We recorded these Austin ghost stories to make an audio display accessible on headphones, and documented a curator-led tour of Ghosts as disembodied voices that you can hear on our website.

But our plan to contain the ghosts in their ghost stories fell apart as soon as we won the Haunted Doll from Ohio in an eBay auction. When the Haunted Doll arrived in the mail, one of our kittens started obsessively scratching and mewing at the Museum doors. Whenever he snuck in, we’d find him next to the doll, purring. Several Museum visitors who self-identified as psychics were also drawn to the doll. One psychic, holding her open hand a few inches from the doll’s cracked face, asked, “Do you ever see the eyes moving on their own?"

One Saturday, we gave a tour to a boy who seemed extra-sensitive to our voices, gestures and stories. After the tour, Jen offered him some sidewalk chalk to add to the orb spheres she was drawing on the front porch. He sketched an elaborate haunted house, complete with ghost-infested graveyard, then asked Scott to take him back into the exhibition. Staring wide-eyed at the TV and its floating Pac-man ghosts, the boy exclaimed, “Did you see that? One of them just flew out of the screen!”

Early in the show, an anonymous visitor spotted and photographed a miniature UFO floating inside the Ghosts Road diorama! Soon after, a friend stopped by for a tour, and the diorama manifested a second paranormal aspect. As an adaptation of the Victorian era Pepper’s Ghost stage illusion, the diorama needs a black shroud to keep the white ceiling above viewers from reflecting in the pane of glass that invisibly overlays the little forest scene. Our friend saw a white orb float down from the shroud to disappear inside the Language Master audio machine on a nearby shelf. After this initial sighting, more and more visitors saw orbs floating around the Museum, and we successfully photographed at least two manifestations.

So did the Ghosts exhibition make the Museum haunted? By making ghosts themselves visible, we learned that the museum had always been a ghost, haunting our contemporary world with the spirit of dead forms of collecting. We should hang a sign on our door – Warning: ghosts of Wunderkammern and Dime Museums inside!

Jen Hirt is an art teacher and Scott Webel is a writer and anthropology PhD student. They are the founders and curators of the Museum of Natural & Artificial Ephemerata.

project space

Katherine E. Bash

Preface to the Notes: While the texts maintain a strong correlation between the source and its destination within this work, unless otherwise noted, the lists have been edited to a greater or lesser degree. Images have been graphically elaborated by me that are not my original photographs.


  1. Desencana, A Vida Engana.
    This is a very popular and tricky Brazilian Portuguese phrase.Desencanaris a verb in Portuguese that means literally to get out of the pipe or tube, a word that was “totally created' from encanar, to put into the pipe. Desencana is the imperative form. In this sense, it would mean, take it easy. Enganar means something similar to: to trick, or to cheat, but not exactly either one. It is more subtle. The whole phrase could mean, take it easy, because life is a trick. Indeed the fact that this word was 'totally created' indicates the making of the phrase was a trope in that it performed the very thing about which it was speaking. If language is a set of cultural agreements, creating new language, in staying alert to the way life plays tricks, indeed, one must break out of the pipe to create new language and suggest new agreements. From a conversation with Eduardo Verderame via email, 14 April 2008.

2 Georges Perec, Life, A User's Manual, trans. David Bellos (London: Vintage, 2003), Preamble.
First published in 1978. “The novel—whose title is Life, A User's Manual—restricts itself (if I dare use that verb for a project that will finally extend to something like four hundred pages) to describing the rooms thus unveiled and the activities unfolding in them, the whole in accordance with formal procedures which it doesn't seem necessary to go into detail here, but the mere stating of which seems to me rather alluring: a polygraph of the moves made by a chess knight (adapted, what's more, to a board of 10 square by 10), a pseudoquenine of order 10, an orthogonal Latin bi-square of order 10 (the one that Eurler conjectured didn't exist, but which was demonstrated by Bose, Parker and Shrikhande).” Georges Perec, Species of spaces and other pieces / Uniform Title: Selections. English. 1997 (London, England ; New York, N.Y., USA : Penguin Books, 1997)⁠40.

3.Titus Lucretius Carus, De Rerum Natura, 3rd ed, Loeb Classical Library (London: Hinemann, 1937), 135.
The title means The Nature of the Things in This World, about which he intends to mean, everything and written in 50 B.C.E. Lucretius composed this work as a poem in six books, within which he undertakes to reveal the material nature of all things including change. This book has been loaned to me from the library of Nick Spearing, who has been very generous in our ongoing dialog about the nature of things in this world.

  1. Low tide at Seven Sisters in southern Britain at the base of eroding chalk cliffs, (Katherine E. Bash 2006).
  2. Robert Schwartz, “Events Are What We Make of Them,” in Understanding Events: From Perception to Action, Oxford Series in Visual Cognition(Oxford University Press, 2008), 55.
    In my ongoing project,A Field Guide To Observable Phenomena, with a current focus on the transitory or ephemeral, I raise questions such as: when does a moment or set of moments become a phenomenon that can be observed and named? This project is focused on detecting the edges of these phenomena and blurring them. It is really a strategy of pointing to things in the world, and then revealing that they are not really 'there' for we are complicit in making them.

6 An arroyo in Cebolla Canyon, New Mexico while author participated within the framework of Land Arts of the American West, (Katherine E. Bash, October, 2003).

  1. Winfried Georg Sebald,Austerlitz, 1st (New York: Penguin Books, 2001), 360.
    I was introduced to Sebald (an obvious read living here in the UK) by Megan O’Connell and Leon Johnson in Portland Maine, an amazing couple introduced to me by David Abel at a distance, not far from the edge of the arroyo mentioned in note 24.
  2. Conjunto Habitacional Gávea, (Photograph: Katherine E. Bash, 2004).
    This building with an underpass is called,Conjunto Habitacional Gávea, built in 1952, project by the architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy. It is located in the Gávea neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Unfortunately the project was crippled with the opening in 1972 of the Tunnel connecting Gávea to Barra da Tijuca. Its popular nickname isMinhocão (mee-n-yo-cow) that means very big earthworm. This is not surprising as, in addition to its being an enormous complex, many large scale works (public and otherwise) are nicknamed Minhocão in Brasil. On Google Earth it can be located with the coordinates 22 58' 46" S - 43 13'49".
    From an email correspondence with Ricardo Lacerda from Rio de Janeiro, a conservation biologist who works in non-conservation areas.
  3. Parque Jardim Botânico, Rio De Janeiro, (Katherine E. Bash, 2005).
  4. William L. Fox,One Wave Standing(La Alameda Press, University of New Mexico, 1998) 27.
  5. Trouville-sur-mer, France with Catherine Dossin and her mother near their family home in Lisieux, (Katherine E. Bash, 2007).
  6. George Wither, “A collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne, Quickened witheh metricall illustrations, both Morall and divine: And Disposed into lotteries, that instruction, and good counsell, may bee furthered by an honest and pleasant recreation,” London, 1635. Page 4, Book I. Source of image:http://emblem.libraries.psu.edu/withetoc.htm
    Due to my fortunate encounter with the couple mentioned in Note 7, I was co-incidentally introduced to Michael Witmore who introduced me to Emblem books. He described the nature of chance and the role of the emblem in a Talk Performance accompanied by harpsichordist, Pawel Siwczak, organized by the Itinerant Laboratory for Perceptual Inquiry and hosted by Goodenough College Port Talk series.
  7. Lewis Hyde,Trickster Makes This World: How The Disruptive Imagination Creates Culture.(Canongate Books, 2008), 97.
  8. Barton Springs, Austin, Texas, Late-afternoon (Katherine E. Bash, Spring2004).
  9. Barton Springs, Austin, Texas, Mid-afternoon, (Katherine E. Bash, Spring 2004).
  10. Lucretius Carus,De Rerum Natura, op.cit.,103.
  11. Hyde,Trickster Makes This World, op.cit., 127.
  12. Perec,Life, A User's Manual, op.cit., 82.
  13. Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Brasil. Architect: Oscar Niemeyer, (Katherine E. Bash, 2005).
  14. Paul Shepheard, The cultivated wilderness, or, What is landscape?(Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts ; MIT Press, 1997), 5.
  15. Evaporation Ponds, Wendover, Utah, (Katherine E. Bash, 2006).
    Flying with Michael Light over the evaporation ponds in Wendover,Utah while in residence at the Center for Land Use Interpretation working toward an upcoming publication with William L. Fox and the Black Rock Press,Floating Point Operation. The site:Great Salt Lake Minerals Company, “One of the largest salt works on the Great Salt Lake with two major evaporation pond areas: 19,000 acres at Little Mountain, where this plant is located, and a 17,000 acre field of ponds 21 miles across the lake, near Lakeside. The brine from the Lakeside field flows in an open canal underneath the lake surface (the concentrated brine is heavier than the water above it and stays in the canal). The brine takes as much as 10 days to make the journey through the canal to this plant. 375 people work at two facilities here, extracting potassium sulfate (for fertilizers), sodium chloride (for industrial salt applications), sodium sulfate (used in laundry detergent and glass), and magnesium chloride.” From www.clui.org Archive ID. UT3171.
  16. Scott Huler,Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scale, and How a Nineteenth Century Admiral Turned Science into Poetry, 1st ed (New York: Crown Publishers, 2004), 143.
  17. Bernard Lassus in Ian Hamilton Finlay,Selected Ponds(Reno; Nevada: West Coast Poetry Review, 1975).
    Lassus, a French landscape architect, presented the concept of a Minimal Intervention in his book, The Landscape Approach, 1998, by the University of Pennsylvania Press. This concept is derived from the idea of creating new landscapes without the use of bull-dozers or other large machines that move earth. This type of work could change ones interaction with and perception of a landscape, in fact creating a landscape, without significantly altering the site. It is purposeful to leave out an example.
  18. Videos: Part ^ (on the left) – Detectable air currents rising from an arroyo on a warm but cloudy afternoon in New Mexico atThe Land, An Art Site. August 2007. Part * (on the right) – Autumn seed dispersal. Belfast, Northern Ireland. September 2007, (Katherine E. Bash).
  19. Tradurre Tradire. To Translate is To betray. This concept fits within the concept of hermeneutics. I say that to translate is to create. And where does the act of translation begin? In fact we are translating all the time, not only from language to language.
    The hermeneutical debate was raised again in the 19th century by Dielthey and Ranke and again in the 20th century Gadamer, following Heidegger, and most recently by Habermas. Gadamer discusses the act of translation at length and he says at the end of Truth and Method, 1960, that the effort of translation is to make a fusion of horizons. Each person has his or her own boundaries or limits of experience, edges of knowledge (that inevitably consists of pre-judices, or pre-judgements). In order to dialogue each tries to intersect ones horizons with the other. From a conversation with Giovanni Cogliandro.
  20. Wendover, Utah. Bonneville Salt Flats. April, snowstorm. (Katherine E. Bash, 2006). 1:36 pm.
  21. Wendover, Utah. Bonneville Salt Flats. April, snowstorm. (Katherine E. Bash, 2006). 12:45 pm.
  22. Giambattista Vico, The New Science of Giambattista Vico: Revised Translation of the Third Edition (1744), trans. Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968), Section 405.
    Strabo was a geographer in the early days of the Roman Empire and published a work,Geography, in which he created a verbal description of the world, or rather, the inhabited world. I link this here because it was one of a very early work of converting land in to language and establishing a relationship between the two. The act of bringing land into language is an act of enculturation, where, instead of an individual being taught and shaped by culture, in this case it is the land that is shaped by culture.
  23. Margaret Cavendish Newcastle,The Blazing World: And Other Writings, ed. Kate Lilley (London: Penguin, 1994), 123,124.
    Margaret Cavendish originally published the work, “The Description of a New World, called The Blazing World” and was “Written By the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent Princess, The Duchess of Newcastle,” in 1666 and is noted to be the first science fiction book written by a woman. It was written as a companion to another work, “Observations on Experimental Philosophy” published in 1668.
  24. Julio Cortázar,Cronopios and famas, trans. Paul Blackburn (New York: New Directions Pub. Corp., 1999); Julio Cortázar,Historias de Cronopios y de Famas (Punto de Lectura, 2004).
    The story is read in the English by the author (not to be confused with the Author, cited above) and with Daniel Abarca, who is from Mexico but also has an English accent. The recording is bi-aural (with one microphone placed in each ear of the listener, again, not to be confused with you, the listener). This portion of the project is made possible by an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Beau Lotto within the framework of the Cross-Disciplinary Training Scholarship scheme as a Ph.D student at the University College of London. Optimal listening is with headphones. April 2008.
  25. Positioning Taxonomies:
    This title comes from the proliferation of taxonomies during the period that this section covered. Taxonomies of life, Encyclopedias of all knowledge and efforts to create perfect philosophical languages are examples of some of these endeavors. Some of these endeavors involved efforts to pin down and classify all “things”, to position them, one relative to another and relative to all other existing knowledge (Leibniz, for example). This title pays homage to those efforts.
  26. Pocket Kite Flying, West Texas, (Katherine E. Bash, 2005).
    A pocket kite of the kind first observed in the pocket of a bag belonging to Michael Jones McKean in 2005 at the Glassell School of Art, Houston, Texas. In a related conversation, he told me about a project he was working on with rainbows and this had the effect of increasing my already growing appreciation for these phenomena. The springtime urban rainbows in London have been breathtaking (e.g. one of the brightest colored rainbows I have ever encountered with could be observed, just following a great downpour, partially between two buildings against the backdrop of the clouds and partially in the street, 10 meters away on the rain still coming down – observed with Deirdre O’Dwyer and Eu Jin Chua on 12 April 2008) and I can attribute my rainbow spotting (and sharing/guiding/indicating) habits in part to these conversations.
  27. Thomas Crump, A Brief History of Science: As Seen Through the Development of Scientific Instruments(London: Robinson, 2002), 297, 281.
  28. Original etching of the Earl of Rosse's Leviathan is housed in the Museum of the History of Science at Oxford, and reproduced in Crump, A Brief History of Science.
  29. Ibid., 281.
  30. Alan Q. Corp Morton,Science in the 18th century: the King George III collection(London : Science Museum, 1993).
    This comes from the trade card of George Adams (1704-1772) as he clearly delights in his extraordinary skill and high standing as he was in fact, instrument maker for the King. Note the list of materials.
  31. Ibid.
    An adapted list of items he advertised on his trade card. One item he did not describe of the most beautiful and is currently on display at the Science Museum in London. It is called the Philosophical Table. Natural Philosophy was a gentleman's pursuit before it became canonized as science. The instruments were made of fine materials so that one would be able to investigate and show off to friends and colleagues with style. This table contains a myriad of mechanics demonstrations common at the time. Pay particular attention to the way he qualifies his instruments with adjectives such as “curious.”
  32. Sebald, Austerlitz, op. cit., 363, 364.
  33. Huler, Defining the Wind, 128. Definition of Category: Excerpted from the Oxford English Dictionary Online (Entry 50034564, on 20 April 2008)
    “1.Logic and Metaph. A term (meaning literally ‘predication’ or ‘assertion’) given to certain general classes of terms, things, or notions; the use being very different with different authors. a. Originally used by Aristotle, the nature and meaning of whose ten categories, or predicaments (as, after the Latin translation, they are also called) has been disputed almost from his own day till the present; some holding that they were ‘a classification of all the manners in which assertions may be made of the subject’, others that they were ‘an enumeration of all things capable of being named, the most extensive classes into which things could be distributed’, or again, that they were ‘the different kinds of notions corresponding to the definite forms of existence’. Hence many criticisms of Aristotle's classification, with modifications of it, or the substitution of new ‘categories,’ proposed by the Stoics, and later philosophers, according as they viewed them logically or metaphysically. The ten ‘categories’ or ‘predicaments’ of Aristotle were: 1 Substance or being , 2 Quantity, 3 Quality, 4 Relation, 5 Place, 6 Time, 7 Posture , 8 Having or possession, 9 Action, 10 Passion.”
  34. Hyde, Trickster Makes This World, op. cit., 97.
    “It was Aristotle'sCategories, according to the title of a recent book by Wolfgang-Rainer Mann, that initiated “the discovery of things”—that is, the idea that objects possess properties and can be arranged accordingly.[...] If the Categories feel like commonsense today, however, it is because the ideas put forth there have become so generally accepted as scarcely to seem like philosophy at all, though they were far from self-evident in their time. In a radical departure from Plato's doctrine of the Forms, Aristotle argued that the fundamental entities are ordinary things and their features.” Peter Schwenger, The tears of things : melancholy and physical objects (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 117. The book he quoted: Wolfgang-Rainer Mann, The Discovery of Things: Aristotle's Categories and Their Context (Princeton (N.J.): Princeton University Press, 2000).
  35. Umberto Eco,The Search for the Perfect Language, Making of Europe(Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1997), 206.
    “The young Leibniz would criticize the absurdity of arrangements such as this in the Dissertatio de arte combinatoria, 1666,” pg. 207. Notice the co-incident date of the work of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle. “Taken to an extreme, whether deliberately or not, classification begins to betray its claims to a natural order based on the real. Felt initially to be an accurate reflection of the real, the system at its extreme reveals itself to be arbitrary, unreal.” Peter Schwenger, The Tears of Things: Melancholy and Physical Objects (Minneapolis, Minn: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 119.
  36. Beaufort Wind Scale, Etymology:Sir Francis Beaufort, Original Date: 1858.
    The scale that is presented in this work is an intersection between two Merriam Webster editions: the one that is cited, and is the most recent and in addition, the version pre-1993 that is presented in Huler's Defining the Wind in the Appendix. A careful reading of the Beaufort Scale will reveal a series of dependent and often times, ephemeral sculptures, that is, sculptures that are dependent upon the wind to come into being. As the scale reaches the double digits, the sculptures that are created are on the whole, less ephemeral than those sculptures produces by lower-number Beaufort Scale winds. “Beaufort Scale - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary,” http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/Beaufort%20Scale.
  37. Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, op. cit., 207.
    This classification was written by Jorge Luis Borges and used inThe Order of Things by Michel Foucault. Borges had been struck by the lack of any apparent order in the classification systems of the 17th century and created this system in response to such lack of order. Notice the category (h) included in the present classification. This subset includes all other subsets, including this one. This (category “hâ€) could be considered to be called a non-normal class, because the class is a member of itself.
  38. Mercalli Scale.
    This is the scale that focuses on the observed intensity of the earthquake. Notice that the lower numbers refer to observations that can be felt by people while the higher numbers refer to observations that can be made regarding structural damage.
  39. Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri(New York: Oxford University Press, 1961). Canto XXX, Paradiso, 61-69.
    This passage came from an email from Emily Gray, following a conversation regarding making, poetry and language and the ways that Dante created new words and concepts. This work is noted for being the first written piece of Italian, the spoken language, that came from Latin, the written counterpart. As such a work, he took room to play with the language he was writing down.
  40. Evening in Santa Caterina, Brasil on a Hotel Fazenda (Katherine E. Bash, October 2004).


Alighieri, Dante. The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. New York: Oxford University Press, 1961.
Cortázar, Julio. Cronopios and famas. Translated by Paul Blackburn. New York: New Directions Pub. Corp., 1999.
Cortázar, Julio. Historias de Cronopios y de Famas. Punto de Lectura, 2004.
Crump, Thomas. A Brief History of Science: As Seen Through the Development of Scientific Instruments. London: Robinson, 2002.
Eco, Umberto. The Search for the Perfect Language. Making of Europe. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1997.
Fox, William L. One Wave Standing. University of New Mexico Press, 1998.
Huler, Scott. Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scale, and How a Nineteenth Century Admiral Turned Science into Poetry. 1st ed. New York: Crown Publishers, 2004.
Hyde, Lewis. Trickster Makes This World: How The Disruptive Imagination Creates Culture. Canongate Books, 2008.
Lassus, Bernard in Ian Hamilton Finlay: Selected Ponds. Reno; Nevada: Westcoast Poetry Review, 1975.
Lucretius Carus, Titus. De Rerum Natura. 3rd ed. Loeb Classical Library. London: Hinemann, 1937.
Mann, Wolfgang-Rainer. The Discovery of Things: Aristotle's Categories and Their Context. Princeton (N.J.): Princeton University Press, 2000.
Morton, Alan Q. Corp Author King George III Collection. Science in the 18th century : the King George III collection. London : Science Museum, 1993.
Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish. The Blazing World: And Other Writings. Edited by Kate Lilley. London: Penguin, 1994.
Perec, Georges. Life, A User's Manual: Fictions. Translated by David Bellos. London: Vintage, 2003.
Perec, Georges. Species of spaces and other pieces / Uniform Title: Selections. English. 1997. London, England; New York, N.Y., USA : Penguin Books, 1997.
Schwartz, Robert. “Events Are What We Make of Them.” In Understanding Events: From Perception to Action, 714. Oxford Series in Visual Cognition. Oxford University Press, 2008.
Schwenger, Peter. The Tears of Things: Melancholy and Physical Objects. Minneapolis, Minn: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.
Sebald, Winfried Georg. Austerlitz. 1st. New York: Penguin Books, 2001.
Shepheard, Paul. The cultivated wilderness, or, What is landscape? Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts ; MIT Press, 1997.
Vico, Giambattista. The New Science of Giambattista Vico: Revised Translation of the Third Edition (1744). Translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968.

Online Resources:

“Beaufort Scale - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.” http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/Beaufort%20Scale

“Mercalli Scale.” http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/earthquakes/felt/mercalli.html

Wither, George. “A collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne, Quickened witheh metricall illustrations, both Morall and divine: And Disposed into lotteries, that instruction, and good counsell, may bee furthered by an honest and pleasant recreation.” London, 1635. Source of image: http://emblem.libraries.psu.edu/withetoc.htm

announcements: exhibitions

Austin Openings

It's Like a Machine, and It's Meant To Be Repeated
okay mountain
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 3 from 7:00-10:00 pm

It's Like a Machine, and It's Meant To Be Repeated centers around the experimental collaboration of an unlikely creative pair; a furniture/environmental designer with sculptural ambitions and a performance artist with social ambitions. Michael Mellon currently resides in Oakland, CA where he blends the boundaries of furniture and sculpture; his work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian, D.C., The Oakland Art Gallery, Oakland, CA, Transmissions Gallery, Oakland, CA, and at OpenHouse, Manhattan, NY. Jacques Louis Vidal currently resides in New Haven, CT, where he is a M.F.A. Candidate at Yale University; he has shown and performed extensively throughout the U.S and abroad.

Fuse Box Collaborative Project: Double Fantasy
Big Medium Gallery (5305 Bolm Road #12)
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 3 from 7:00-9:00 pm

Conceived and curated by Ron Berry & Jade Walker, the Fuse Box Collaboration Project pairs five Austin-based artists with an artist from a different geography and media. This year's open call yielded artists from New York, Mexico, France, Chicago, and Utah. Each artist team met and created work together during the Fuse Box 2008 festival and the results of their collaborative endeavors will be on view in Double Fantasy. Don't miss the companion show, Double Reality, which includes individual works by each participating artist and is on view at the Salvage Vanguard Theater through May 3.

Austin On View

Poutine Never Sleeps
Gallery Lombardi
On view through May 10, 2008

Gallery Lombardi is pleased to present 9 Canadian artists whose painting and drawing skills have garnered international acclaim and commissions. Curated by Patrick Thompson and Felix Berube, Poutine Never Sleeps is reference to a work ethic and the food. Poutine is cheese curds and gravy on french fries and it can be purchased 24 hours a day in Montreal where these artists live.

Yoon Cho: Nothing Lasts Forever
Women & Their Work
On view through May 10, 2008

Women & Their Work proudly presents Nothing Lasts Forever, a solo multimedia exhibition by Austin-based artist Yoon Cho. Recently named by the Austin Museum of Art as one of Austin’s “20 to Watch,” Cho uses video and digital photography to examine the ways we constantly create and re-create our identities. Utilizing blurring, pattern overlay, image insertion and other digital techniques to manipulate photography and video installations, Cho trains a sly and poignant lens on the ephemeral and ever-shifting nature of the human persona.

Ali Fitzgerald: Swan School: The Matriculation
Art Palace
On view through May 21, 2008

Swan School: The Matriculation is Ali Fitzgerald's second solo exhibition at Art Palace. Fitzgerald's current body of work explores victimization and violence within a forged adolescent caste-system. Through drawing based sculptures, dioramas and site-specific installations Fitzgerald surveys a dystopian boarding school complex, within whose misleading facades, we see residue of girlhood gone awry.

In Katrina's Wake
Workspace Gallery, Blanton Museum of Art
On view through May 25, 2008

How do artists respond to calamity? In New Orleans, many resident artists and a number of those observing from outside have been moved by the need for community relief, healing, and support and have directed their work to address these immediate social and spiritual concerns. This group exhibition —the result of a year's research by curator Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, a former resident of the city — features film and video, drawings, photographs and mixed media works by artists including Willie Birch (New Orleans), Paul Chan (New York), Dawn Dedeaux (New Orleans), Jana Napoli (New Orleans), Cauleen Smith (Boston) and others.

Jim Torok: Life is Good
lora reynolds gallery
On view through June 7, 2008

Lora Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce their second solo exhibition by Brooklyn based artist Jim Torok. The exhibition includes a series of realist portraits of artists including Mike Smith, Ed Ruscha and Jim Hodges as well as cartoon vignettes.

Atelier 2008: Selections from the Department of Art and Art History Faculty, The University of Texas at Austin
The Blanton
On view through June 8, 2008

Atelier 2008 is the first faculty exhibition being organized by a guest curator, and begins the newly formatted triennial basis in which future faculty shows will now occur. This year, curator James Elaine from the Hammer Museum of Art in Los Angeles has selected works by faculty members, among them some of the country's most respected artists and artistic scholars highlighting trends in contemporary art.

Benito Huerta: Intermezzo
The Mexican American Cultural Center (600 River Street)
On view August 31, 2008

In this exhibition, the artist Benito Huerta uses the intermezzo—a short movement separating the major section of a symphonic work—to confront contemporary issues such as the economy, immigration, and natural disasters, either directly or in a more poetic form. A recipient of the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art’s 2002 Legend of the Year Award, Huerta's work is in several museum and corporate collections through the United Stated and Huerta's work was recently presented in Soundings: Benito Huerta 1992 – 2005 at the Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi and the El Paso Museum.

San Antonio Openings

Oliver Lutz
Thursday, May 8 from 6:30-8:30 pm

The video installations, wall paintings, and performances by New York-based artist Oliver Lutz deal with transcending desires of power, control, and disintegration through a complex deconstruction of the artist’s mental model. His works are an unraveling of personal mythologies, explored and revealed through various conflations of artistic mediums.

David Jurist: I’ll Be There
Sala Diaz
Opening Reception: Friday, May 9 from 7:00-11:00 pm

I’ll Be There speaks to the conversion of memory into artifact and the forecasting of artifact as memorials. As it turns out, the relevant question is the journey and the moment of its conclusion is when one is on the other side of the question mark, removing the first person from the sentence and leaving the collected objects to create an essay of their own. Responding to the notion of the cabinet of curiosities, this exhibition presents a grouping of sculptural objects to mark and classify a past, present and future, creating its own “theatre of memory.”

San Antonio On View

Joseph Phillips: Pardon our Progress
cactus bra SPACE
Opening Reception: Friday, May 2 from 6-9 pm

In Pardon our Progress Austin artist Joseph Phillips examines the landscape, and specifically our impact on nature through recent drawings, sculpture, and installation. Delicate gouache, ink and graphite drawings bring to mind internet product shots, or cartoonish scientific renderings where all but the central sliver of subject has been removed, to be studied or dissected further.

San Antonio Closing

Unfurnished Room
Unit B
Closing Reception: Friday, May 2 from 7:00-10:00 pm

Inspired by the idea of an emptied suburban house functioning as a gallery, Unfurnished Room brings together a group of artworks that mark or inscribe presence.

Houston Openings

The Old, Weird America
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
May 10 - July 20, 2008

The Old, Weird America will be the first museum exhibition to explore the widespread resurgence of folk imagery and history in American contemporary art. Curated by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston senior curator Toby Kamps, the exhibition illustrates the relevance and appeal of folklore to contemporary artists, as well as the genre’s power to illuminate ingrained cultural forces and overlooked histories. The exhibition borrows its inspiration and title—with the author’s blessing—from music and cultural critic Greil Marcus’ 1997 book examining the influence of folk music on Bob Dylan and his seminal album, The Basement Tapes.

Local Artists Showcase
Blaffer Gallery
Opening reception: May 9 at 6pm, on view through August 2, 2008

The Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston, is pleased to continue its 35th anniversary season with the 2008 Houston Area Exhibition. The exhibition, selected by Blaffer Gallery curator Claudia Schmuckli, introduces artists who are young or new to the Houston community and offers more seasoned artists the opportunity to develop new work and to be seen in a fresh light.

Stephen Vitiello: Four Color Sound
Opening Reception: Friday, May 9 from 6:00-8:00 pm

Sound pioneer Stephen Vitiello is known for creating powerful, beautiful and immersive installations that transform incidental atmospheric noises into mesmerizing soundscapes. Vitiello’s latest project, Four Color Sound, combines modulated light and audio tracks that morph and shift in subtle ways, transforming the gallery space into a virtual meditation chamber.

Fort Worth On View

Martin Puryear
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
On view through May 18, 2008

See Stephanie Ball-Piwetz's ...might be good recommends in issue #95.

Dallas On View

Tim Noble and Sue Webster
Goss Michael Foundation
On view through September 30, 2008

Using a variety of mediums, including neon lighting, scrap metal and household rubbish through which to convey their meaning, Tim Noble and Sue Webster's art is arresting, profound and revolutionary. This exhibition presents works by the artists held in the Goss-Michael Collection as well as The Joy of Sex, a set of prints in which the artists reinterpret the influential sex manual of the same name.

announcements: events

Austin Events

Artist's Talk: Ali Fitzgerald:"Swan School - The Matriculation"
Art Palace Gallery
Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 7 pm

Ali Fitzgerald will talk about her current body of work on view in Swan School-The Matriculation.

Oko Jumu
Ballet Austin
Friday, May 9 at 9:00 pm

Oko Jumu, a title pulled from the late Joseph Campbell's book The Hero With A Thousand Faces, is the name that the Andamanese call a person that has either come near death, spent time alone in the jungle to talk with spirits, or talked to spirits in a dream. In respect for the Oko Jumu in Andamanese culture, artists Tom Grzinich, Scott Stark and duo Willam Sabiston and Jon Almaraz of Bulbs Music will attempt to expand the ordinary mindset allowed by their past experiences in taking risks.

Fuse Box 2008
Various locations
Festival runs through May 3, 2008

Go check out the final days of the jam-packed Fuse-Box 2008 Festival which features innovative new theater, film, dance, visual art and music from around the world. For the complete listing and reservation information click here, or check out the following announcements in this section.

Field Guide: Dance in The US pt. 2 (Fuse Box 2008)
Salvage Vanguard Theater
May 3 at 6:00 pm
Admission: $10

Field Guide: Dance in The US pt 2. consists of four short performances by emerging choreographers and dancers.

Stacked Cow and other dances (Fuse Box 2008)
Salvage Vanguard Theater
May 2 at 8:30 pm and May 3 at 4:00 pm
Admission: Tickets $10-25 (sliding scale)

Another event in Fuse Box 2008's incredible roster of performances, dances and exhibitions. Stacked Cow and other dances is created and performed by HIJACK, the Minneapolis-based choreographic collaboration of Kristin Van Loon & Arwen Wilder, and Scott Herron, a recipient of the prestigious Bessie Award for dance and theater.

Extravaganza # 3: Video Showcase (Fuse Box 2008)
Victory Grill
Video Showcase, May 2 at 10:30 pm; installation on view through May 2

Austin Video Bee and Friends are please to present Extravaganza 3, an installation in conjunction with Fuse Box 2008 . With help from friends and colleagues nationwide, AVB has transformed the Victory Grill into a multimedia wonderland, complete with multi-channel monitor installation and projection throughout the site. The installation is open every night of the festival, but don't miss the video showcase on May 2 at 10:30 pm.

Etiquette (Fuse Box 2008)
Cafe Mundi
Friday, May 2 from 10:00 am-10:00 pm; Saturday, May 3 from 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Admission: $10

Part of Fuse Box 2008, Etiquette is a half-hour experience for two people in a public space. There is no one watching as the other people in the cafe are not aware of the event. The participants wear headphones which tell them what to say to each other or to use one of the objects positioned to the side. Etiquette exposes human communication at both its rawest and most delicate and explores the difficulty of turning our thoughts into worlds we can trust. Etiquette was created by Rotozaza, the collaborative duo, Ant Hampton and Silvia Mercuriali. For reservations, call 512.927.1118.

Graham Reynolds & Brannen Temple (Fuse Box 2008)
Rollins Studio, The Long Center
Saturday, May 3 at 8:00 pm
Admission: $8

Two of Austin's premier composer-bandleaders come together to play a one-night-only super-charged duo set of compositions and improvisations. Reynolds and Temple will present a set of pieces inspired by the other performances at Fuse Box 2008 as well as original pieces by Brannen, couple with new versions of themes written by Graham for film, theater, and dance.

Woman's Work: Reconstruction of Self (Fuse Box 2008)
Rollins Studio, The Long Center
May 3 at 6:00 pm
Admission: $10-$15 (sliding scale)

For the past four years, Andee Scott has been working on a solo performance project, Woman's Work: Reconstructions of Self. She invited five female choreographers to create a solo for her using the concept of identity as a choreographic point of departure.

Reggie Watts (Fuse Box 2008)
The Long Center
May 1-2 at 9:30 pm; May 3 at 10:00 pm
Admission: $10-25

No man on earth is like Reggie Watts. He is a tornado on a stage, hypnotizing his audience with improvised music and absurd comedy. Watts won the prestigious Andy Kaufman award and has performed at international affairs such as the Pop!Tech and Design Indaba conferences. To see videos of his performances, please click here.

Cape Disappointment: The Debate Society (Fuse Box 2008)
Salvage Vanguard Theater
May 1-3rd at 8:00 pm
Admission: $10-25 (sliding scale)

A new play by The Debate Society, a Brooklyn, NY based company that creates new plays through the collaboration of Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen and Oliver Butler.

Sean Ripple: Hope to See You There (Fuse Box 2008)
Salvage Vanguard Theater
Saturday, May 3 at 12:00 pm

Hope to See You There is a playful meditation on a performer's hope for an audience and an audience's expectation for a performer to perform.

Marfa Events

The Writings of Donald Judd: A symposium hosted by the Foundation
Chinati Foundation
Saturday, May 3-Sunday, May 4, 2008

The symposium, dedicated to the writings of the late artist and museum founder Donald Judd, will offer a diverse range of presentations and subjects. Among the topics to be considered will be the relationship of Judd's writings to his art; his use of language and syntax; Judd's political views; how Judd produced and edited his essays; and Judd's art criticism and its relevance today. The weekend program will be moderated by Richard Shiff, Director of the Center for the Study of Modernism at the University of Texas, Austin.

Houston Events

Latin Wave: New Films from Latin America
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
May 1-4, 2008

The popular annual film festival returns for its third year with an exciting lineup of recent releases from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela. Filmmakers will be on hand to introduce the screenings and lead Q&A sessions afterward. Tickets are available online. Tickets are complimentary for students with ID and members of Film Buffs but must be presented for admittance. Click here to see the schedule or purchase tickets.

Film Screening: Last Year at Marienbad
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Friday. May 9 at 7:00 pm; Friday, May 16 at 7:30 pm

A cinematic masterpiece and a delirious mystery, Last Year at Marienbad is lush, gorgeous, and very French. It´s the kind of European film from the 1960s that now inspires parody in perfume commercials and TV comedy shows, but it was made during a time when film audiences were used to seeing comparable fare from Michelangelo Antonioni (L´Avventura), Federico Fellini (La Dolce vita), and Ingmar Bergman (Through a Glass Darkly).

Announcements: opportunities


Donor Circle Coordinator
Dallas Museum of Art
Application Deadline: Sunday, June 22

The primary responsibility of the Donor Circle Coordinator is to contribute in a professional and meaningful way to the execution of clearly defined Donor Circle objectives which are tied directly to the stated financial revenue objectives of the Museum’s Donor Circle Program. This includes, but is not limited specifically to, solicitation/acquisition, stewardship/retention, cultivation, billing/acknowledgment and programming for all patrons, falling within the Donor Circle parameters. Reporting to the Program Manager, Donor Circle Membership (PM/DCM), the Donor Circle Coordinator works collaboratively with the PM/DCM and other Development staff members. For complete job description and application details, please click here.

Executive Director
Art League Houston
Application Deadline: June 30, 2008

Art League Houston is currently seeking applicants for the Executive Director position. Art League Houston cultivates awareness, appreciation and accessibility of contemporary visual art within the community for its cultural enrichment. The Executive Director implements the strategic goals of the organization and is responsible for organization, direction, and administration of the agency, including its policies, programs and services. To view position announcement and job description, click here.

Fellowship Opportunities

The Stone Summer Theory Institute
Application Deadline: May 5, 2008

Held each July at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, The Stone Summer Theory Institute is designed to investigate some of the principal themes of contemporary art.  The theme for 2008 will be: What Is An Image? This event gathers some of the most influential historians and theorists working on images, in order to come to an understanding of what the visual has come to mean. Faculty include W.J.T. Mitchell, Marie-José Mondzain, and Jacqueline Lichtenstein; the event is co-organized by James Elkins and Gottfried Boehm. For further information, please click here.

Artist Residencies

Lawndale Artist Studio Program 2008-2009
Lawndale Art Center
Application Deadline: May 30 at 4:00 pm

The Lawndale Artist Studio Program is part of Lawndale’s ongoing commitment to support the creation of contemporary art by Gulf Coast area artists. With an emphasis on emerging practices, the program will provide three artists with studio space on the third floor of the Lawndale Art Center at 4912 Main Street in the heart of Houston’s Museum District. Artists have full access to their studios 24 hours a day, seven days a week; access to visiting artists, writers and curators; and will receive a $500 monthly stipend for the duration of the program together with an initial $1500 materials budget. If accepted, artists are expected to present a workshop or presentation to the general public and the local arts community to share their practice or explore a related topic. Works produced during the program will be exhibited at Lawndale Art Center during May 2009. For application details, please click here.

Nohegan 2008
Friday, May 23-Tuesday, May 27

Nohegan 2008 is an art making weekend inspired by both the Skowhegan School and the summer camp experience. This year it will take place Memorial Day Weekend (Friday, May 23-Tuesday, May 27) at McKinney State Falls Park. Nohegan will end with a community BBQ at the park on memorial day. For further information and to sign up for Nohewgan, please click here.

Calls for Entries

Chicago Underground Film Festival Accepting Entries
Early Deadline: May 15, 2008; Regular Deadline: June 16, 2008

Entries are now being accepted for the Chicago Underground Film Festival. For further information and entry details, please click here.

2009 Texas Biennial
Call for Entry runs through May 31, 2006

Starting April 16, 2008 and running until May 31, 2008, the 2009 Texas Biennial will be accepting submissions from artists living and working in Texas via our new website, www.texasbiennial.com. All submissions will be digitally submitted online and artists of all medias are encouraged to submit. The 2009 Biennial website will provide all information on the Call for Entry process. The Temporary Outdoor Project will be funded by the City of Austin and will award budgets for complete projects ranging from $3,000 to $10,000. Both the Group exhibition and the Temporary Outdoor Project call will run simultaneously and artists have the option to submit to one or both.

Graffiti style Call for Art!
Gallery Lombardi

On June 7th, Gallery Lombardi will have an all Texas show called "Pieced Together" featuring aerosol artists from around the state. If you upload your masterpieces online, you can enter this contest and be a part of this huge show sponsored by Spanish Montana Colors, Redbull & Imeem.com. There is no fee to enter, please help spread the word on this open call for art. For more information, please click here.


Art Writers Grant Program
Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation
Application Deadline for Letter of Intent: May 5, 2008

The Creative Capital/ Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant is a three year pilot program designed to support writers whose work addresses contemporary visual art through project based grants issued directly to individual authors. The Arts Writers Grant Program issues awards for books, articles, short-form writing and blogs/new alternative media and aims to support the broad spectrum of writing on contemporary visual art, from general audience criticism to academic scholarship. For further details about the application process, please click here.

2008 Texas Filmakers' Production Grant
Deadline: June 2, 2008

Applicants must be residents of Texas and be the creative author of the final work. This year, Alpha Cine Labs has joined the Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund as an in-kind sponsor. Now, in addition to requesting cash and Kodak film stock, you can also request up to $5,000 in services from Alpha Cine, a full service digital motion picture lab offering services ranging from 35mm, S16mm, 16mm, S8mm color, B&W, reversal processing, telecine, printing, color timing, digital to 35mm transfers, HD color correct and mastering. For more information and applications, please click here.

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