Sunday, November 22, 2009

TREEATRE

i came up with the idea of treeatre last year. the concept of trees coming to life is in no way a new one, but by creating one (or many) in their physical form, we add a tangible component to the fantasy that cannot be realized in books or on the silver screen. this project is a dream of mine but i have yet to figure out the logistics of its creation... some day...


some very small experiments...




more to come...

a few tree pieces in progress

the giving tree, or something

only 25 cents!

the prizes...






tree post



Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Takk!!

Now that all is said and done and I've been home for some time, I would just like to thank everyone that made my experience in Iceland as memorable and enjoyable as it was. It has truly been a pleasure. Takk fyrir!

I will likely start using this blog to record my future endeavors as well, particularly since the url has nothing to do with Iceland. So please come back soon and see what else I've been up to.

Sweaterpants

This post is a little late, as I have been home from Iceland for a few weeks, but before I left I commissioned a friend to make me a lovely pair of sweaterpants. Icelandic sweaters, like the one pictured below, are a staple on the island and for some reason I felt the need to switch it up a little and have a pair of pants created in the same style courtesy of my friend, Kristveig Bjornsdottir. They should keep me warm through the cold winters assuming my legs don't get too itchy!




Saturday, May 30, 2009

worm ring

So my time here in Iceland is quickly nearing its end. With lots on my mind, I recently made one more small piece to help remind me of the simple things in life and what is really important... but don´t worry, its not a real worm.









Tuesday, May 12, 2009

responsive existence show

A few other Fulbright grantees and I recently had the opening for our exhibition at the Lost Horse Gallery in Reykjavik. Here is some info and some images of the work and the show.











Tracks, wall paint

Tracks detail

Appliance Pile, appliances and rocks

Walking Rocks, fired clay and rocks
You might be wondering why the walking rocks are included, since they were created to remain in public space. Unfortunately, they lasted two weeks in their original location before they were broken so I decided to reclaim them and put them in the gallery.


Untitled (Electric Tower), steel and electric wire
Hybrid #1, Hybrid #4, Hybrid #5, found steel and vegetation

Hybrid #5 detail

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Untitled (Walking Rocks)

This piece has been in the works for quite some time and is finally finished thanks to Greg's help as an assistant boulder lifter. hopefully it will be able to withstand the intense Icelandic weather and remain intact for a long time to come.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rust Creature in Captivity

In November, some friends and I discovered a beach on Snaefellsnes peninsula littered with rusted metal parts.



A few weeks ago I returned to the site with my trusted assistant Greg with the goal of creating a monster from the rubbish. These are the results.


More Projects

These are a few smaller projects that I've been working on.


Tire tread paint roller


Wooden pins


Winged moss rocks (the moss is taking its sweet time to grow, as expected)


Rock Pile

This piece was created for a show called ipseity - abeyance that took place in February at the Nordic House in Reykjavik. The show looked at the identity of Reykjavik since the financial collapse.


This rock pile is on the verge of destruction. Anyone who has built such a structure understands the feeling of panic that accompanies the sight of its forewarning bow, as if bidding its farewell. After the immediate realization of all that seemingly wasted time and effort passes, thoughts of what went wrong and how to avoid the same mistakes next time flood into mind.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And Then My Thought Bubble Floated Away

I have been filling a sketchbook with quick illustrations that I like to call randoms. Here is a quick look at what I have so far. The book is just over a third of the way full. Just a warning, you might recognize a few recycled images.


video

video

Walking on a Different Planet

Looking back, there were definitely better spots to have shot these videos, but these are the spots where inspiration struck. Feel free to use your imagination though, as whatever you might be thinking could quite possibly exist just meters away from what you see here.


video


video

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Writings

I have been writing short essays (if you can call them essays) concerning some of the things that I've experienced and the thoughts that have been prominent in my head. I thought it might be good to share some of these thoughts. Here are a few excerpts from a few of these writings. It is obvious that they were written in the wake of their contents, as many of the ideas welcome debate. Nonetheless, they are simply accounts of some of the thoughts that have crossed my mind and have fueled aspects of my practice to this point.



From Balance and Beauty:

One of the predominant reasons that I chose to come to Iceland was the way Icelandic society interacts with its unique landscape. The Icelandic people use the geothermal heat that the earth has provided them to heat their homes, while using all the glacier rivers as a source for renewable hydropower. It was my initial thought that this wonderful little island was such a giver, providing its inhabitants with all that they need to live a renewable and potentially carbon free lifestyle.

It was on one of many ten minute walks home from the bus stop in Reykjavik that I realized my naivety. It was an unusually cold September night and although I was on the outskirts of the city, it was very dark. Rain was pouring down viciously. To be more precise, it was pouring sideways viciously. How it ever actually reached the ground was a mystery to me. Of course, accompanying this rain, and giving it its unusual trajectory, as well as a little extra sting when it hit the face, was a wild wind. The ten minute walk became somewhat of a journey. I longed for my flat that stood in the dark a few hundred meters away. While crookedly walking like an unapologetic alcoholic at a strange seventy degree angle thanks to the unwelcome aid of the wind, with half of my body soaked to the bone, I realized that this land does not only provide its inhabitants with resources, but it provides them also with obstacles.

Here I was, once again, realizing that every rose has a thorn, feeling like a child that just came to the realization that without death, there can be no life, and if there wasn’t asparagus, there couldn’t be ice cream. I feel like this occurrence happens all the time. And I am always surprised when it does...

...There is undoubtedly a comfort zone that plays into this as well. Knowing that my personal welfare does not rely on my direct interaction with the land, allows me to look at the land as an outsider and therefore appreciate the beauty in it.


From Human Space and the Human Condition:

The second I step off the path, my body and mindset change. I am no longer a human driving on a road or a person inside my home. I am an animal hiking around, experiencing my surroundings. I enjoy it, but I am not entirely comfortable...

...I had left designated human space; space where my path is always laid out in front of me with sidewalks, traffic lights, fences, handrails, or even stakes in the ground marking hiking trails. There were no longer signs assuring me that I belonged there; signs reminding me that others had been there and that it was safe...

...The potential intensity of the weather can turn human space into a kind of natural space, a natural space that we have merely built things on. Bad weather is nature’s way of reclaiming human space...

...This discussion also lends itself to a more personal topic; the way I spend my time during this grant period. Whenever I am in human space, particularly inside, I feel pressed to be ‘productive’. I get anxious and feel as though I am not accomplishing anything. However, whenever I am ‘in the nature,’ this pressure is entirely relieved. Perhaps existing within human space comes with a feeling of pressure to contribute to that space.


From Progress and Damage:

…A few sets of faint footprints in the snow, showed the way, when we were unsure of where the path was headed. The small river we occasionally walked along was getting warmer and eventually we saw steam up ahead. As we approached the steamy field we saw pools of bubbly water, some murky and uninviting, while others were a nice calm blue color, more inviting both in appearance and temperature...We were surprised to find that the rocky areas that appeared to be places to sit were nothing more than clumps of strange colored mud. As we tried to find comfortable positions in which to sit, we broke off pieces of earth and put deep footprints in the ground surrounding the pool as we walked around it surveying it for potential spots to rest. In addition to this destruction, the pool quickly turned a murky brownish purple as we stirred within it and I could not help but feel that I was destroying something and single handedly adding to the already staggering damage that humans have done to our planet. This seemingly natural concern, however, stirred an immediate debate in my mind.

For thousands of years, humans have developed technologies to make our lives easier and more entertaining. As a result of this progression, we have caused much damage to the earth on which we live. Now, people are constantly talking about living lives that are more eco friendly...A feeling of guilt comes along with this mindset. The type of guilt that makes me feel awful about interfering with a natural hot spring and makes me feel that I am adding to the problem. But within the term ‘natural hot spring’ lies an inherit problem. The fact that we see such wonder in an occurrence for being natural and the fact that I have been programmed to feel bad about disturbing them implies that we no longer view ourselves as natural. We have ‘progressed’ to the point where such things are other worldly. The desire to explore unique spaces, such as these hot springs, is entirely natural.Exploring a hot spring and ‘disturbing’ it is much more at the core and simplicity of human life than creating solar energy and wind turbines. Yet, I feel guilty about one and greatly support the other...

...We are doing our part if our children are playing on playgrounds built of recycled materials, but we are only adding to our destruction if they run around disturbing things that are natural and beautiful?


From Open Spaces:

…Firstly, the term openness itself gives an example as to what happens in the human mind as a result of its existence. Imagination. Open for interpretation. Icelandic culture is loaded with folklore including elves, trolls, and dozens of other creatures that exist outside of the human eye. Outside of human space...

...This space seems to be a reminder of a few key things; firstly, the size of the world and the insignificance of each individual and secondly, the difficulties of surviving in harsh environments and the necessity of closeness.


From The Purpose of the Pointless:

...A random encyclopedia of the unrecorded subconscious of humanity, belonging to people of all walks of life, unifying us, separating us, making us all stupid and making us all smart. In the same way that this explanation is ridiculous, our options are endless. That’s all.


Some Current Works in Progress

Much of my work here to date has taken the form of writings and sketches. Now that I live more permanently in Reykjavik, with an apartment of my own, I can focus on making these ideas come to life.

I posted a drawing of this idea quite some time ago and have been collecting items for this smaller version while I've been in Reykjavik. The original idea was for a much larger work, which is still a possibility, but as of now, this piece exists in all of its glory in the middle of my apartment.



It's hard to experience the environment in Iceland without getting the sense that it is alive. A simple concept, the idea is to give life to the rocks that make a wall that line the shore in Reykjavik. By putting trollish feet under rocks that appear to be wandering on to the pedestrian path, these 'creatures' speak to the life of the landscape, the obstacles that the environment can pose, as well as the many mythical creatures that exist in Icelandic culture, some of which turn to stone.

feet maquette

experiment

Moss wings concept

Lastly, the town of Skagastrond has expressed interest in a mural to be painted on this house in the town. I am currently trying to organize a meeting among the townspeople to discuss possibilities for the mural. Doing so has proven difficult so far, even though everyone seems very excited about the project. Hopefully, by posting this here, I will be further motivated to make it happen...