Escandón at the Headlands

January 15, 2015

My video installation, Escandón, documented at the Headlands Center for the Arts.

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LV Sketchbook Page 065

December 30, 2014

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LV sketchbook page 065 stylizes the constellation Scorpius, considered to be among the oldest constellations recognized by human civilizations. Read more about Scorpius and its significance through the ages in my latest Long View blog post.

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LV Sketchbook Page 064

November 30, 2014

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Columba, an inconspicuous constellation located in the southern sky, features prominently in my new Antarctic flag design. Learn more about Columba on my Long View blog.

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PULP ATLAS at Needles & Pens

November 10, 2014

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PULP ATLAS, a series of artist book exhibitions featuring the work of 12 artists experimenting with the book form, opens at Needles & Pens in San Francisco on Thursday November 13 at 7 PM. I’ll be showing XOPAN, my new artist’s book inspired by ancient Aztec culture, and participating in an artists’ discussion with Tim Schwartz and Christopher Kardambikis, moderated by Roberto Trujillo, Head of Stanford’s Special Collections.

The show will be up until December 14th at Needles & Pens‘ new location, 1173 Valencia Street. Open daily, 12-7 PM.

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LV Sketchbook Page 063

October 30, 2014

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My newest Long View Project sketchbook page is the fifth in a series of proposed Antarctic flag designs. This one depicts an abstraction of Pictor, a constellation of the southern skies. Details on my Long View Project blog hosted by the California Academy of Sciences.

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Headlands : South

October 24, 2014

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I recently completed a new video installation titled Headlands : South as part of my ongoing Graduate Fellowship at the Headlands Center for the Arts. This site-specific piece takes coastal light, time, and my studio’s south-facing window as its objects of study.

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The video was created by photographing a shifting array of translucent color fabrics against my Headlands studio window throughout the day. The sequence was then edited into a short time-lapse loop and projected back toward the sealed window. The projection of light is reversed but the image of light streaming through the window remains.

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I describe this project as ‘painting’ with light — applied in layers and blended temporally to examine textural, spacial, and narrative realms. It addresses our sense of time perception, ideas of ‘reality,’ pre-conceived expectations, and interaction with the surrounding environment.

Headlands : South is on view through the end of the month in my Headlands studio on the top floor of Bldg. 945, room 12. More about my residency can be found here.

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XOPAN: Edición en Papel

October 10, 2014

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XOPAN is an artist’s book inspired by my stay in Mexico this past summer. It exists in two forms: as a recently-completed paper edition (shown here) and as a hand-sewn fabric edition (currently in production). Both versions reference the ancient Aztecs of Mexico and their celestial observations, beliefs, and notions of time.

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The Aztec calendar had two different systems of keeping track of time. One was the 260-day Tonalpohualli by which sacred and divinatory occasions were determined and the other was the 365-day Xiuhpohualli by which civil, agricultural and ceremonial events took place. In this book, the idea of ‘layered time’ is suggested by overprinted images on each page.

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The Xiuhpohualli system was based on the perceived movement of the Pleiades star cluster, a conspicuous feature of the night sky that passed directly over the Aztec community. Its points of light appear throughout the book as perforated holes of various sizes.

In the Aztec calendar, fifty-two years comprised a full cycle, marked by a New Fire ceremony ensuring continued movement of the cosmos and re-birth of the sun. On these occasions, human sacrifices were made to prevent the demons of darkness from descending to Earth and devouring mankind, whereupon newly-lit fires throughout the region ushered in the next fifty-two year period.

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In Aztec mythology, the celestial snake Xiuhcoatl was considered the spirit form of the fire god. The serpent was believed to have sprung from the Pleiades, which my book’s text — originally written as a haiku in English — alludes to:
From the Pleiades / stream Aztec serpents of fire / long since extinguished.
In the book this appears as:
De las Pléyades / salían serpientes Aztecas de fuego / ya extinguido.

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My book’s title XOPAN is the Nahuatl word for the time of year that marks the sun’s highest points in the sky and presence of the rainy season — typically from spring through fall. In Aztec cosmology this period was symbolically associated with the night, moon, Venus and the Pleiades. The Xopan Cueponilistle, or Annual Renewal Ceremonies, are still observed by some in springtime today.

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Other important elements of Aztec culture in the book include the eagle that fulfilled a prophecy indicating where the Mexica people (who would become part of the Aztec Empire) should establish their new home, Tenochtitlan. Another is Teotihuacan, of mysterious origins, known to Aztecs as the “place where gods were born.” Yet another is the skull, a powerful symbol of death as well as a positive representation of rebirth and the afterlife.

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The paper edition of XOPAN was designed in Illustrator CC and printed by running each page through a Canon Image Runner Advance laser printer multiple times to achieve densely overprinted layers. It was output on Accent Opaque 100# Cover, bound with red 100% pearl cotton hand embroidery thread, and issued in an edition of 24 numbered and signed copies.

The book is being shown in the Pulp Atlas exhibition series, the next one opening at Needles and Pens in San Francisco on November 13.

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Headlands Graduate Fellowship

October 1, 2014

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I recently began my Graduate Fellowship at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, Calif. The residency runs through June 2015, offering private studio space and opportunities for professional development including public presentation events culminating with a curated exhibition in May 2015.

I’m currently working on a new video installation that takes coastal light, time, and my studio’s south-facing window as its objects of study. This project continues my experiments with fabric and time-lapse begun in Mexico with my piece titled Escandón.

I’ll be showing the new work at the next Headlands Open House taking place on Sunday October 19 from 12 noon – 5 P.M. My space is situated on the top floor of Bldg. 945, studio 12. In the meanwhile, my program objectives and artist statement can be found on my Headlands page.

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LV Sketchbook Page 062

September 15, 2014

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My Long View sketchbook continues with a series of Antarctic flag designs. This page incorporates the Scandinavian Cross motif found in flags of four signatory nations to the Antarctic Treaty. My design is less about the cross however and more about the spaces around it. Read more on my Long View Project blog hosted by the California Academy of Sciences.

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PULP ATLAS

September 9, 2014

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I’m pleased to be part of PULP ATLAS, an upcoming series of artist book exhibitions featuring the work of 12 artists experimenting with the book form.  Each artist is producing an edition of 12 artist books or zines, allowing for 12 exhibitions to happen in different cities during the Fall of 2014.  

From curator Christopher Kardambikis:

PULP ATLAS explores the contemporary book form as well as the cultural borders surrounding alternative exhibition spaces. Artist books and zines occupy a unique territory: inherently legible even while experimental, they are precious and disposable, able to be viewed in public but read as an incredibly personal experience.  PULP ATLAS aims to explore the dynamics of the book form in an alternative viewing space.

The first exhibition will open on September 29 at the Philadelphia Free Library. Other participating venues in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, as well as Toronto, Canada, Ipswich, England and Edinburgh, Scotland will be announced as dates are secured.  

The exhibiting artists are Morgan Cahn, Matt Coors, Edie Fake, Christopher Kardambikis, Mark Lander, J. Pascoe, Vanessa Roveto, Jim Rugg, Tim Schwartz, Mary Tremonte, Imin Yeh, and myself.

Fundraising is now in progress at Indiegogo, and more information is available on the project blog here.

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