MFA in Studio, Sound Department


MFA Thesis Exhibition, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The installation period for the show went smoothly. My work features as part of Grand Bazzar, a celebration of diversity, curated by artist and cultural activist Juan Chavez.

My exhibition partner Matheu Bourque is fantastic. We worked together, we were both flexiable and we concentrated on developing a cohesive installation where our practices could communicate with each other, providing an intimate space for the viewer. Our space was not divided up as we developed our installation based on lines of sight. Activating the corners to provide seclusion and intimacy and one of our main concerns. We both also wanted space to walk within to encourage our viewers to spend time within our instalallation.

The mundane, identity, capturing fleeting moments, and the body are all concepts that our work addresses and exlpores. A variety of media is included such as painting, sound installation and digital video installation.

Our work is on display from the 30th of April to the 20th of May, 2011.


The Home Stretch (or grasping at something)

The MFA Thesis show installation begins in 9 days. Suddenly the studios are a hive of activity. Across the way my neighbour Ivan is putting the finishing touches to his sculptural works and I can hear Su relaxing with friends before she starts work. For me it’s a case of making sure i’m getting enough sleep so that the time I have can be used to my full advantage.

To The Next – I’m making shelving for the sound installation I’m planning and testing the distnce between the two speakers I’m working with. So far 90cm apart seems like the best placement to hear the pan L and R of two voices.

When I Close My Eyes I Can Still See Your Face – Another piece is being finished showing compoitions of staring contests. My intention is to have a double screen installation each with one face on it and sound of breathing, laughing, quite room tone nad movement. I’m not too sure if I will include this piece yet.

I’m finding it difficult to narrow down what video pieces to include – in an ideal world my adviser Tirtza would want me to include everything. So… perhaps it will be a bit clearer when I meet Matt who I am sharing my exhibition space with. We’ll have to see I suppose.


Leading to the MFA install

I had a fantastic meeting with Tritza Even, my graduate advisor. We watched, listened and chatted and her advice is always great. She really knows how to pull out what my concerns are and to point to new ones.

Thinking about the space of an installation as a key element to the position and the post-production process of editing and composing a work.

The corner looks to be a very promising area for my work in terms of activating the gaze of those offscreen and onscreen.


Something Out of Thin Air

Whilst grappling unsuccessfully with the Arduino platform, I had one of those things that I suppose some people call an EUREKA moment, although I didn’t figure anything else new out about gravity or anything like that.

…and unfortuantly this had nothing to do with understanding Arduino….

I had a sudden and completley formed idea in my head. It did make me quite nervous. I’m not sure if anyone else has felt this when you have a sudden thought of a complete and pretty much fully-formed idea. I wondered if this would make sense to anyone but me, if I needed to talk it through with my advisor or if I was going off to do something ridiculous and a waste of my time and energies.

So since I was waiting to start work on something else, I just decided to go ahead with it and record it anyway. When I showed it, both advisors said that it was basically done, and I didn’t need to do anything else to it at all and that they really liked it.

Shawn recommended to think about context and presentation of these kind of pieces. Research artists that have prehaps done something like this before so you know similarities and differnces.

Walking up, up, up thirteen flights of stairs with my breathing becoming more and more laboured and my steps becoming slower as I ascend. A looped video so that I continually ascend and never descend.


Week 3

The third week of my last semester. I’m doing a fantastic art history course entitled The Space for Art: From Imrpressionism to Relational Aesthetics. So far great, challenging readings and a relaxed atmosphere which is really what you want from art history class.

I’m also juming head first into the mind boggling world of pysical computing through the Arduino platform. Arduino can control things like LED’s, motors, speakers, amp’s and can respond to data entry from a computer or from the external environment.

On our third week of class we reviewed electronics theory (thankfully) and worked on our task to blink an LED that is controlled by switches that variry it’s speed.

PHEW. So I got there abouts with a few hiccups along the way. My code was described as beautiful, nice code…although it didn’t do exactly what I’d thought it would. (sigh).

Oh well, back to the Arduino board…