F405i SESSION 01

25 OCT 2020
LESSON 01 / DEFINING Archive (Observe and Implement)

GOALS
__ learn about ways archives have been used by other artists (Richter)
__ set up a “studio space” or place to work, think, collect
__ reflect on/collect/brainstorm/write about/list/observe/take photos of what is around you what you observe in your existing work or environment (dish pattern, facture, spaces, light, color, doodles, fabric, color)
__ observe 3-5 loose “themes” around these interests/observations (upload to classroom)

SEE

LECTURE .PDF

___Assignment_1 PDF presentation on Archive (LOOM)
__ Jessica Stockholder and Ellen Gallagher, Art 21 (play, home, archive, collection)
__ Gerhard Richter’s Atlas
__ Theaster Gates Rebuild Foundation, Bank (Architecture as Archive)
__ Twyla Tharp’s boxes system, managing projects

archive is a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people. in the context of this course, we are creating/defining archives that inform our work. this archive can help get you into the work with efficiency, write about your work, communicate to others (galleries, curators, friends, granting institutions) what lies beneath your practice, your habits and motives. archive is limitless and can be comprised of text, image, photos, shapes, color, magazine articles, binders, poetry and family ephemera. but it should be intentional and helpful. we will address systems of organization. my examples are just that, and yours can look different.

ASSIGNMENT DESCRIPTION
make sure you have a workspace. a studio is any space that we dedicate time and energy to a specific activity — in this case our studio practice. it can be a kitchen table, a bathroom, a bedroom closet. wherever it is, as long as you create the space and make the time, it is your studio!

observe. look around you. take stock of your existing interests and archive. think about how your archive might be better categorized (or at all). look at things around your space/home. check out family books, albums, ephemera, recipe books, letters, old drawings, etc. might you want to refer to them in the future?

take inventory of what is around you, what you love, what you find interesting. begin to document these, taking images of 10-20 items, shapes, objects, fragments, color blocks–whatever you are drawn to. do not worry about the “why”, go with your instinct at first.

some content “streams” of my personal archive (examples not rules):
daily works on paper
-texts/print (recipe boxes, wallpaper, printed fabric, news clippings)
-organic shapes/ curves/scallops (iconography that connect to lineage and feminine)
-reading (poetry, fiction, language, words for titles)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
__Corita Kent’s Learning By Heart
__Recording Artists, Helen Molesworth on Ruth Asawa

 

UP NEXT / Taking a Walk and Reading

 

Discussion

  • jodi hays: This is LATE! Introductions are in the tab up top: Introduction
  • Nikii Richey: Ahhh! ooohhhh! lovely.
  • Jeannine Bardo: Thanks Jodi. Your friend should see my kitchen table. Newspapers and clippings,...
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Jeannine Bardo
Artist
26 October 2020 7:29pm

Hi Jodi,
Thank you for the thoughtful lecture. I’ve already started a mental and visual imagery of my archive process, something I took for granted. It is a little like a treasure hunt. Theaster Gates is a favorite of mine.

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
28 October 2020 10:13am

Pull out sketchbooks and journals, read parts and look through them. Surprised at some of the writings… I don’t immediately recognize my own voice sometimes. Scope out possibilities for changing the way I physically store and document my work. Take a bunch of pictures around my home environs and out in the woods nearby. Not a lot of energy or time left over for the brainstorming part. Add to that my very mixed emotions about writing and I didn’t get far. So I’m including a selection of photos and the general observation that what I have been most visually inspired by recently is the natural world. That’s not always the case but it seems to be true at the moment.
And… I don’t know why some of these pictures are loading sideways. I can’t seem to fix it. Anyone know what’s up with that? I’m loading them from my iPhone and they are oriented correctly in photos.

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Nikii Richey
Artist
30 October 2020 9:52pm

Hi Karen-
Nice to meet you. What lovely photos! Very relaxing. I love the color in that first photo, so vibrant yet I find it soothing. Is the leaf in the last photo hanging from a spider web? I’ve been seeing single leaves suspended in the air on my walks lately.

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
31 October 2020 1:04pm
Reply to  Nikii Richey

Actually it was on the windshield of my car when I got in after taking a walk in a local park.

Karen Robertson
Artist
Karen Robertson
28 October 2020 3:10pm

So I’m a little confused. In the course guide I read we were to upload our comments by Wednesday noon, but looking at the dates (which I evidently didn’t do closely enough the first time) it seems we actually have until Saturday. Can you clarify?

studioELLadmin
Admin
28 October 2020 3:26pm

Sorry for the mix-up Karen. The Wednesday notation was a remnant from a previous term that we failed to edit. I have amended the online course guide to say:

“… New assignments will be given on Mondays and are due on the following Saturday 12pm noon (EST). You must also revisit the classroom and discuss the work of a fellow colleague by 2pm on the same Saturday.”

The .pdf course guide still says Wednesday. Please disregard this.

Thank you!
Agnes

Helen Insinger
Artist
Helen Insinger
28 October 2020 4:59pm

I believe that having a more organized archive will help me understand my own work as an artist. My struggles to organize have been highlighted in this first exercise of journaling and photographing my “studio” (three floors of it! in various nooks and crannies of my house) and wishing it were all in one space. It emphasizes the way my brain works too – very cluttered.
Thanks for the links to Art21 and the Twyla Tharp book, which was given to me by someone who recognizes my organizational angst (ha!). I’m able to see some progress in my practice but know there’s more work to be done.
I have lots of sketchbooks but I don’t write notes in them…for whatever that’s worth. Do you all write in your sketchbooks?

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Helen Insinger
Artist
Helen Insinger
29 October 2020 11:40am
Reply to  jodi hays

Basement has flat files, clean mat cutting table and “gallery”, first floor has the ever used dinning room table (premium horizontal space) desktop computer/printer/scanner and family papers, 2nd floor has portfolios, paints, pads of papers, and sunlight. Yes, “loose actions”/small projects in each space but not like I sleep in this space, do laundry in this space, watch TV in this space, eat in this space – What is bothering me the most (in my advanced age) is climbing stairs (knee problems), forgetting which floor I have an art item and having to go up and down in search of it. Sometimes losing interest in the process……….!

Helen Insinger
Artist
Helen Insinger
31 October 2020 11:05am
Reply to  jodi hays

Sweet!

Nikii Richey
Artist
30 October 2020 9:48pm
Reply to  Helen Insinger

Hi Helen-
Nice to meet you. I have one sketchbook and I’ve had it for probably 6 years. I’m not a sketcher or a journaler. I only use it to write down broad concepts and sometime to plan out the logistics of a wire sculpture if I’m trying to use just one piece. I tend to be extremely organized in all other aspects of my life except my studio. I LOVE the skull on your bookshelf. And your basement looks like a heavenly place. Is that your work against and on the wall? I see a photo album on your table. Do you take inspiration from photos?

Helen Insinger
Artist
Helen Insinger
31 October 2020 11:01am
Reply to  Nikii Richey

Hi Nikii, so great to connect this way. There’s nothing like conversations with similar minds!
I love the skull too. My basement gallery space is newly organized with newly painted walls and cleaned carpet, new lighting, with – yes – my work on the walls and large space to practice yoga and meditation. I have no excuse now to make it my complete art space.
I’ve done a lot with photos, both from old B&Ws to digital. Lots of archiving there, converting paper photos to digital. Conservation efforts for genealogy purposes. My nature photos are great for reference and color/shape inspiration. Having problems now finding photos I want to show you…for another day then…

Nikii Richey
Artist
30 October 2020 9:19pm

What rabbit hole you’ve sent me down! I think Tumblr might change my life. I certainly couldn’t move everything over but it will definitely be my “box” for inspiration. Thank you for that.

My physical archive is in my studio. My work focuses on the deterioration of beauty – handmade beauty and physical beauty. My family is from a small town in Louisiana named Waterproof (really). It’s a forgotten town with lots of abandoned buildings being reclaimed by the earth. I think about my family connections a lot, especially my tumultuous relationship with my Mother, who demanded beauty. The themes I find in my studio and most of my digital inspiration are: fabric (mostly solids, used sheets and embroidered/handwork pieces), metal (wire, forgotten household items and “rusty bits” from the farmland in La.), Vines and plants, magazine clippings and many books on artists I admire.

My work of two years ago could be summed up with an image of vines growing up and around a handmade quilt. More recently, I’ve focused on physical (female) beauty and the ways in which we torture and poison our bodies to attain what we think is expected of us.

Below: magazine articles, a piece I embroidered, a plant I found outside of my employer’s (I work for an artist) studio, a fan I found in a barn at the la farm, my big basket of fabric, my box of rusty pieces I collected from the farm.

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Nikii Richey
Artist
30 October 2020 9:33pm
Reply to  Nikii Richey

I wanted to add a few more photos.

Below:
1) A creeper plant in my studio, 2) this is a picture I took inside my Great Aunt’s house in Louisiana. I spent time with her in this house every summer, and It’s been abandoned for 20 years. This past March, I braved the snakes and went inside. 3) another picture form my Great Aunt’s house. 4) Deterioration in one of my pieces from 2017 5) A very long braid/unbilical cord sculpture I’m currently working on which is covered in makeup, wax, has been scroched with a blow torch and will be bleached (probably tomorrow).

It could be argued that past and current work isn’t part of my archive. But for me it is. When I look at that older piece and see the details I created, sometimes it sparks a different idea – make it bigger, smaller, darker, wreck it even more, drag it behind my car. And works in process are also an archive for me because there’s the imprint of how I’ve already manipulated the materials but what do I want to undo, rip apart, mend, what do I have in my other “buckets” I can use, how does this current piece bounce off of the items in my studio. Lots of hard and soft, push and pull, build up/beautify and destroy.

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Kathleen Eaton
Artist
Kathleen Eaton
31 October 2020 3:26am

ARCHIVE OF LOCATIONS

Have decided to start archiving with a very general way of archiving locations of collections of items with the aim to make a more specific description in time.  Will have general photos of locations to help jog my memory.  

Will continue to leave various journals in different spaces for ease of recording anytime.  I have a tendency to make wherever I am a studio with a leaning toward Alexander Calder’s studio order and AW’s collection of stuff.  Not easy.

Have had to start with clearing out space on my computer.  Will continue with that while documenting in My Drive.  Computer efforts are not my native tongue or area of much experience – except with years in the past of genealogical research. Ordinarily, I  prefer non-verbal efforts – although I often need to get into work with verbal writing reminders.  

Going through and attempting to sort old art works and writings on loose papers is very interesting and time consuming.  Began that confusing effort once I signed up for this class.

Have lived or worked in these space/s almost 50 years.  My home has been a studio, 2 family rental space, massage therapy offices and now  my living abode. Next door has been rental property for some 30+ years.  Entering my 2nd year of  using  one of the two apartments as a ‘studio’.   I am widespread with stuff – beginnings to  endings with the  everlasting possibility of a whole lot of massive shredding going on.

As Ruth Asawa noted… there just isn’t as much energy when you get older.  I thought that would only happen to ‘others’.  

 At this time I think the beginning  of this archiving  will look something like this.

VESTAL AVENUE

ATTIC
2ND FLOOR
DECK
FIRST FLOOR
BASEMENT
GARAGE

LIVINGSTON  STREET

ATTIC
FIRST FLOOR

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Kathleen Eaton
Artist
Kathleen Eaton
31 October 2020 9:13am

Jodi, thanks for starting off with a picture of yourself and children. So good to know what all you are doing with art and parenting. So happy to see some changes and acceptance of artists as parents in our culture. Was taken by a recent article about a few art residencies now opening up to ‘family’ situations. It seems so obvious – yet the need has been ignored for years. Early on in my involvement in the arts, there was mention of the sculptor, Barbara Hepworth, and her 4 children…although there were never any details as to how she managed all. Years ago, when my 2 sons were young, I used to pay them ‘a penny a pose’. We all enjoyed that. Fun to see that work when I happen on the drawings. One day I was not at all happy with the results. My youngest, about 4 years at the time said, “What’s wrong, mommy ? Did you forget to draw my heart ?”

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Kathleen Eaton
Artist
Kathleen Eaton
31 October 2020 9:16am

Greatly appreciate pictures and posts by classmates and Prof Jodi. Lots of energy to enjoy. Surprised at how getting into this class and thinking has brought other ideas and thoughts into play. Have yet to experience Tumblr. Nice to see your results and enthusiasm, Nikii. Plants and flowers – in various states make me wonder if they are ‘coming or going’ ?. They may be doing both in beautiful ways. Parents and family are in my journals and art – in different ways. Like Karen, I happen on past writings or scribbles/sketches and it seems like the work of someone else…especially in the anger areas – lots of family fuel. Helen, I have always drawn and written in sketch books. In fact one of them asks… “When will you stop writing and start drawing.” I seem to need both to keep going. I often see relationships of other things in the tree form of genealogy.  Knees (and other body joints) for me, warmth, massage with Arnica Montana or the likes, makes a good difference. Memory is a big challenge. Photos help a lot. Friend recommended photos of pages I want to recall in reading. Helpful. Perhaps archiving in the previously mentioned manner will be helpful, too, to keep track of what and where. Thanks also for the curatorial definition, Karen. Now understand the title ‘curate’ in a much bigger way.
Eager to see some of your pictures, Jeannine. Also, big thanks to Agnes for the ongoing help with this posting and computer business as I bumble along.  Onward !

Nikii Richey
Artist
6 November 2020 10:34am
Reply to  jodi hays

Ok Jodi. If nothing else, this class has given me the kick in the pants I needed to finally build a website for myself. I’ve built several for others. Lots of tweaking to do since I just made it yesterday, but here you go. http://www.nikiirichey.com

Nikii Richey
Artist
6 November 2020 10:35am
Reply to  Nikii Richey

Also, how can I access the websites of my classmates? Or can I?

Nikii Richey
Artist
6 November 2020 1:44pm
Reply to  jodi hays

Thanks Jodi. I don’t have any drawings. Hmmm, do you mean his one? it’s all wire. 19″ x 15″ x 4″

Nikii Richey
Artist
6 November 2020 1:45pm
Reply to  Nikii Richey

Having trouble attaching the image.

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Jeannine Bardo
Artist
2 November 2020 4:54pm

Books, books, books! They are everywhere, but I don’t read enough! Or I don’t read as a regular practice. I know this about myself and I recently bought a special reading chair to make my porch my reading studio and be more disciplined. It is working! I just have to leave the phone in another room. I love my new space and I have to work hard to keep out all of the current distractions. I’m focusing on delegating one hour in the afternoon for reading. A perfect day is a day in the studio followed by an hour of reading.

So much of my inspiration comes from what I read. My notebooks are filled with newspaper clippings and writings. I often use literature and writings in titles.

This assignment made me realize that I often dedicate a notebook to one project. An idea forms and I continue on the pages with drawings references. I appreciated looking back on these thought experiments. They are all still informing my practice and some ideas are worth revisiting and still relevant.

The moon and the ocean and trees are the deities I bow to.

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Jeannine Bardo
Artist
8 November 2020 7:25am
Reply to  jodi hays

Thanks Jodi. Your friend should see my kitchen table. Newspapers and clippings, newspapers and clippings! The clippings end up in my notebooks.
I am really impressed with how you find ways to keep practicing with such rigor with small children.

Nikii Richey
Artist
6 November 2020 2:12pm
Reply to  Jeannine Bardo

Hi Jeannine. Just got a chance to look at your site and I love the little assemblages! They’re so happy, and delicate and powerful all at the same time. Some have the tension of a bomb about to explode, while others are soothing and transport me to another time and place/space. And I think I’d like to live in the middle of Long Time Passing / A Campfire Story. I find it really interesting that you use such a wide variety of mediums in your work.

Kathleen Eaton
Artist
Kathleen Eaton
7 November 2020 9:29am

Helen…really like ‘living with your art’ aspect to what is around you. Your cellar set up sounds perfect for pondering and working. 

Jeannine – work format – so organized and interesting makes sense to keep making sense. Greatly admire your recent swim at the beach.  

Nikii – wire sculptures – step into other space with shadows and lines. One looks like a wire quilt. Yellow chairs grazing on the grass – inviting reminders.

Karen – looking again at your studio and finally noticed your ‘fire’ – feels expectant

Jodi – pandemic changes within house – surprising – discoveries of other ‘views’ and sometimes ease of function.
Pandemic changes mixed with change of season light changes. Interesting.  

By the way – how do we access colleagues ‘introductions’ ? Glad to see websites. Inspiring.

Kathleen Eaton
Artist
Kathleen Eaton
7 November 2020 9:35am

Ceiling Walking

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Nikii Richey
Artist
14 November 2020 12:01pm
Reply to  Kathleen Eaton

Ahhh! ooohhhh! lovely.