Sunday, March 8, 2015

ShopBot Training!

Howdy ~

After moving back to Austin, Texas with my family, I have finally submitted all of the applications for my artist residencies.  While waiting to hear back from the residency programs, I have decided to do my own residency at home!  Along with catching up on academic reading, I've taken on the challenge of learning how to use a CNC router (ShopBot) in order to carve the surfaces of my wood panels with greater complexity, accuracy and ease.  Currently, I'm taking CAD classes at the Austin Tech Shop and am loving it!  Ultimately, I'm very excited to unlock the potential hidden within my new Circuit Topology designs.  The Circuit Topology paintings will have both additive and subtractive elements interacting within the surface of the wood panel.  My goal is to maximize the potential of surface by using paint to create the illusion of contradictory dimensions between sculptural and architectural spaces.  I will employ painting as material and illusionistic adjustments of dimensional visibility on surface.  

This has been my process so far:

Elevation Map

Note to self: making elevation maps of drawings with contradicting perspectival planes is a bitch.  Can I solidly claim that any particular depth is absolute in a relativistic space?  It's all a bunch of goddamn gradients....  These drawings are composed of age-old formal techniques, but they are employed in a very contemporary, postmodern fashion.  In a nutshell, I created a series of interconnected 2-point perspectival planes by blending them into a flat Cartesian grid.  By extending the perspectival lines to their vanishing points, I was able to intersect points on the flat grid and create a series of intertwining circuits between planes.  Altogether, it is a shape shifting system that generates optical tension between illusion and flatness - and within that tension, the space contradicts itself.  Because of the connections the circuits create, the highest elevations in the drawings are also the lowest.  So, when attempting to map these high and low points, it becomes difficult - there are no clear binaries and boundaries of high or low!  Instead, the elevation shifts within a delicate gradient.  Now that I am learning to use a CNC router (programmed carving machine) to carve my designs for me, it is going to be difficult to create vector files that re-imagine this drawing as a relief surface.  The vectors are solid shapes, you see.. so I have to be extra-wise in isolating which elevations I will have the router carve into the panel.  It's not a simple stair-step, because the drawing is very dynamic and contradictory.  I could carve smoother gradients of relief using a program called 3D Carve, but I'm actually excited by the challenge of finding solid shapes of elevation within this highly organic geometry.

Isolating Elevations

Programming Vectors

...More soon!  Perhaps this process will also be applicable to my organic circuits?  It will be interesting to see how the digital mind evolves my process.  I'm a cyborg artist.

Here are some additional notes:

P.S. I finished my sketchbook!  Time for a fresh dotpad ~~~

Also, Alice Aycock and Charles Simonds are my new heroes:

Charles Simonds

Alice Aycock

Still workin' on Haraway:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

“Children’s Art Exhibition” + "Gallery Assistant Exhibition"

Hello folks!  

I have a very belated post regarding a few shows that I was delighted to be a part of last year.  The first show was curated and organized by my friend and colleague, Daniel Kerkhoff.  Daniel works with various international educational institutions to teach children art.  In his show, "Children's Art Exhibtion", in Cañar, Ecuador, Daniel included a print of my work, "Attractor"!  I am very excited to see my work facilitating the education of children in such a unique community!

You can learn more about Daniel Kerkhoff and his work via this link:

Secondly, I was proud to be part of a show in the guard lounge at the Walker Art Center.  The "Gallery Assistant Exhibition" featured works from many of the gallery assistants working at the Walker.  Two of my "Cyberspaces" were included in the show.  A big thanks to the managers who organized and set up the show!