Monday, May 10, 2010

Thursday 4 --- Altered

Forest 70B. 2007. C-print. Kim Keever

West 35aa, Cprint. Kim Keever

"Though not well attended, the 1975 New Topographics exhibition became an art world phenomenon. “Everyone knew everything about it but no one had ever seen it,” said Eastman House curator Alison Nordstrom. “I think it gave [photographers] permission to be more experimental. It gave people permission to be less concerned with the beautiful and more concerned with the true.” Certainly, the photographers in the show took truth seriously. Images like Frank Gohlke’s Landscape, Los Angeles, in which a telephone pole and a bush are the image’s motionless protagonists, or Robert Adams’s serial images of modest tract homes, in which unassuming structures stand on otherwise rural landscapes, seemed to be precious scientific documents. Through their deference to the sprawling natural terrain, they also seemed to suggest that the land, not the man-made structures imposed on it, would eventually have the last say."

-Catherine Wagley

"This group of artists summarized a new attitude about photography with the use of ‘man-altered landscape’ as their subject. Rather than view the sublime and mythic aspects of the land, they produced landscapes that signified their scientific detachment and implied the contemporary issue of conservation. For these artists, ‘topographics’ referred to mapping and measurement, which they emphasized by focusing their cameras on the land being encroached upon by civilization."

-Sheryl Conkleton


Conkleton. Sheryl. New Topographics: Photographs of a Man Altered Landscape.

Wagley, Catherine. Landscape Revisited. Nov. 12th, 2009.

Thursday 3 --- Land Art

The relocation of art is not a new phenomenon. There have always been cases of aesthetic

objects passing from public places to private places, from sacred spaces to worldly spaces, from
more dispersed settings to more concentrated settings. Art has always had a nomadic je ne sais
quoi. In this to and fro movement the really decisive step was taken on the threshold of the
nineteenth century, when art was transferred from contexts of life – churches, squares or palatial buildings – to a specialized context such as a museum or an exhibition (the “salon”). It was there that art, responding, in a way, to the need for autonomy that had begun to permeate it a hundred years before, found what might appear to be its proper home: a place that houses it for what it is, or rather for what it becomes precisely because of being housed there. The museum or the exhibition stripped the work of art of its various functions and revealed its stylistic substance, and precisely by doing so they made it become a work “of art”.2 However, neither the museum nor the salon were closed settings: art soon began to circulate in the world again, and it did so with the status that it had acquired. The monument, no longer understood as a memorial but as an aesthetic presence, or the mural, no longer seen as the book of the people but as the product of a painter’s endeavour, or the design object, no longer considered as a sign of functionality and distinction but as the triumph of a form, provide a good example of the outflow of art from the museum. Art appeared to have been strengthened by the identity and prestige that it had acquired in the meantime, yet no less determined to continue with its wanderings.

-Francesco Casetti
Elsewhere. The relocation of art

-Richard B. Cathcart


Francesco Casetti. Elsewhere. The relocation of art. In Valencia09/Confines, Valencia, INVAM, 2009, pp. 348-351

Thursday 2 --- Deconstruction or Decoration

Donald Judd

"The reduction- and abstraction-based language of Constructivism was picked up by U.S. American Minimalist a la Donald Judd and Robert Morris, among others. The artistic direction also thoroughly understood itself as anti-middle class and struggled against the decorative nature of representational art. It is the decroative element that turned such art, in what was then already a fully feveloped art market, into an inexpensive product tthat quickly found home in living rooms and collections. "

-Raimar Strange

"Minimalism's cool aesthetic was good for conferring the impression of coolness on global business - Minimalism became "corporate design."

-Raimar Strange

ECOlogical?: Reflections on the Relationship between Art and Environmentalism

Sharjah Biennial 8: Still Life : Art, Ecology & the Politics of Change. [Sharjah, United Arab Emirates]: Sharjah Biennial, 2007. Print

thursday 1 --- Mapping & Cartography

MATT MULLICAN |City As A Map (Of Ideas)

Mapping, Cartography and the Urban Sprawl.

"Beyond the physical extension or reconstruction of urban space, the map has both recorded and determined countless aspects of human life and citizenship."

-Denis Cosgrove

"The destruction of those towers on September 11th, 2001 presented perhaps history's greatest single challenge to urban mapping. Maps and plans of every system affected by the attack - transporation, utilities, communications, air quality - and new maps detailing its changing impacts were vital to the response mounted by the city's myriad public and private agencies."

-Denis Cosgrove


Cosgrove, Denis. Carto-City: Mapping and Urban Space.

Möntmann, Nina, and Yilmaz Dziewior. Mapping a City. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz, 2004. Print.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Six Quotes

"On the relationship of modern life to nature: the pitorial and poetic moment in landscape emerges where its elements freely combine, like nature and the gradual realisation of history which it initiated. [...] The more aburptly and violently an abstract theory is forced upon that which had been realized, the more mathmatical does it process, and so in turn, the more radically does it carry out the separation of each element in single categories that fulfil a specific aim and, consequently, all the more certainly does it destroy all physiognomy, all the appeal of individual life."

-Ernst Rudorff, in: Preußische Jahrbücher, Vol. 45, 1880.

"Who can define the moods of the wild places, the meaning of nature in domains beyond those of material use? Here are the worlds of experience beyond the world of the aggressive man, beyond history, and beyond science. The moods and qualities of nature and revelations of great art are equally difficult to define we can grasp them only in the depths of perceptive spirit."

-Ansel Adams, Yosemite Valley, 1960.

"The landscape as a limited detail of the world connotes, and continues to represent the centre of artistic interest. Therefore, what we are concerned with here has less to do with the question of limiting conditions of a regionally determined development of art than with the question as to those common themes, which determine the significance of landscape in art photography."

-Friedrich Grassegger, in the essay: "Landscape Photography from the Collection of the State Museum of Lower Austria
Grassegger, Friedrich, and Fritz Simak. Landschaft : Zwei Sammlungen : Fotografie Aus Drei Jahrhunderten = Landscape : Two Collections : Three Centuries of Photography. Wien: C. Brandstätter, 2007. Print."

" space bears the inscriptions and prescriptions of power, its effectiveness redounds upon the levels we have been discussing - the levels of architectural (monumental/building) and the urban. Where global space contrives to signify, thanks to those who inhabit it, and for them, it does so, even in the 'private' realm, only to the extent that those inhabitants accept, or have imposed upon them, what is 'public'."
-Lefebvre, Henri, and Donald Nicholson-Smith. The Production of Space. Malden: Blackwell, 2007. Print.
p. 228

"The photograph is the art of putting all that aside, standing between you and the world - whereby the absence of the world is present in every detail, augmented by every detail."
-Jean Baudrillard, The Perfect Crime, 1994.

"Structures help to recognizes objects. [...] structures also become archipelago for aerial photography. [...] (it) creates to the full and shows a part of the larger whole, whereas, through abstraction and through pictorial detail [...] emphasizes the structures.
-Friedrich Grassegger, in the essay: "Landscape Photography from the Collection of the State Museum of Lower Austria
Grassegger, Friedrich, and Fritz Simak. Landschaft : Zwei Sammlungen : Fotografie Aus Drei Jahrhunderten = Landscape : Two Collections : Three Centuries of Photography. Wien: C. Brandstätter, 2007. Print."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

TED Lectures

Robert Voit

Estroil, S. Pedro, Portugal, 2006, 60 x 50 c print
Hundon, Haverville, Great Britain 2004, 60 x 50 c print
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA 2006. 60 x 50 c print
Mono Lake, California, 2006. 60 x 50 c print

What interests me in Robert Voit's photography is how he creates a typology of these monumental and totemic objects that intrude on the natural landscape throughout the world. These are cell phone towers that are created specifically for the environments that they inhabit and therefore are disguised to fit into their surroundings. Although, since they are cell towers, they completely sick out and easily spotted. It reminds me of Thomas Demand's created spaces where he purposely shows little clues that the environment is a fraud. With these objects, the people who build these keep the aesthetics of their surroundings, but you can still see that they're made of metal, have a satellite present in them, and have technology present throughout their frame. He studied at Dusseldorf and obviously continues that photography program's tradition of center weighted, typographic, and formalistic objectivity.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Topographics

Robert Adams. "From Lookout Mountain, at Buffalo Bill's Grave. Jefferson County, Colorado" 1970. Gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches.

" many of the photographic canvases of Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz square, instead emphasizes the domestic containment of the land. Further, landscape's traditional midline placement of the horizon for compositional balance between earth and sky is often repositioned by New Topographics photographers above or below midline, or is even absent, rendering the landscape cold and cluttered, unbalanced, or constrained rather than pristine and endless."

-Kelly Dennis

"while New Topographics photographers appear to be of western landscapes, trees, deserts, houses, roads, and construction, they are nonetheless about the aesthetic discourse of landscape photography, about "a man-made wilderness" (Ratliff, 1976, p. 86): that is, they are about the American myths of the west, suburban expansion, the American Dream, and the exploitation and destruction of natural resources."

-Kelly Dennis

Dennis, Kelly. "Landscape and the West: Irony and Critique in New Topographic Photography." UNESCO Univsersity and Heritage 10th International Seminar (2005). Web. 7 Apr. 2010. .

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Edgar Martins

Series: The Diminishing Present
98 x 127 cm

Series: The Diminishing Present
98 x 127 cm

Series: The Diminishing Present
98 x 127 cm

Series: The Diminishing Present
98 x 127 cm

Edgar Martins "Topologies" is a very interesting body of work where he seems to explore the globe in seek of terrestrial descriptions that related to one another. I chose to focus on him because of the epic landscapes that he photographs, pristine, crisp, and clean. His work is very formal and very minimal (in a landscape sorta way) something that i admire in the work. I feel that this relates to my work very well, since I focus on the land and its markers and subtle (or obvious) descriptions and want to represented it similarly. Much of his work is small apertures and long exposures, a method that i have been using all along. He is from Portugal.


artists share a common interest in the exploration and observation of our culture's various contemporary topologies, including our expanding urban landscape, the rapidly growing and vast global Internet, the interface of pop culture and fine art, the mapping of land, and our relationship to space. They blend printmaking, drawing (by hand or on the computer), photography, and digital collage, in which images are found and electronically cut and pasted. This dialog between processes has been a vital part of art history and continues to be.

-Cara Forrler (Davidson Galleries Director)

Topologies" is Portuguese photographer Edgar Martins' first book with significant distribution taking selections from each of his major series of large-format photographs. The images, which abstain from any digital manipulation, were taken in Portugal and Iceland and focus on what may be the world's least photographic scenes: barren landscapes with no conventional subjects. Instead, he opts for cold, isolated locations. But despite the lack of people or things (the cover image is the single appearance of a human), there's an acutely unsettling notion underlying the shots that is both arresting and intrinsically beautiful.

-Doug Black



Sunday, April 11, 2010

Guy Batey

untitled, from the Melancholy of Objects series. 2008-2009. dimensions not specified.

untitled, from the Melancholy of Objects series. 2008-2009. dimensions not specified.

untitled, from the Melancholy of Objects series. 2008-2009. dimensions not specified.

Piano, from the Melancholy of Objects series. 2008-2009. dimensions not specified.

I chose to blog about Guy Batey becuase of how he creates portraits of found objects in the land/cityscape. The composition of the photographs are very inspiring to me, since much of my work revolves around the found object, that being a bike jump/ramp, trail markers, and other scars and manipulations in the land. I have felt that many of my photographs seem to do that, centralized the object and let the landscape fall into the periphery, to create a balance within the frame and a very centralized aesthetic.

I also like the sculptural and architectural space that is apparent in the work. These seem to be documents of abandonment, but also in a sense found sculptures. They're photographed in a centralized theme that puts the focus straight on the center object and creates spatial tensions within him images. The found nature and unaltered (from the photographers point of view) object creates a visual poetry of our space and remnants of human behavior.


"This is the world of the found object, and Guy's Flickr set begins with things----often trivial, humble objects--- and the way we apprehend them. This set of pictures of objects is more a phenomenological approach to things, than one that works within art history---eg., the object as an arsenal in the surrealist avant garde expressing the return of the repressed. The uncanny is present but it avoids collapsing things into fetishism or the return of the repressed desire as understood by psychoanalysis.

These found objects are humble, common objects that have been accidentally found and not deliberately planted."

The Melancholy of Objects is a series of portraits of
objects I've found in Southwark, south-east London. This
is my neighbourhood. I've lived here for years and walk
these streets almost every day. The streets are full of the
stuff of life - discarded, lost and forgotten. Some of the
objects talk to me. These photographs are my reply.

-Guy Batey

No gallery representation

Monday, April 5, 2010


East Coast:

Sasha Wolf (NYC)

I chose this gallery because of its emphasis on post-documentary photography, figuring that it could fit well with my work. The work represented in the gallery is diverse and it seems that they have a focus on emerging artists out of graduate school. My photography could work into that gallery since my work explores the ideas of the landscape devoid of action and people re-contextualizing the space.

Pablo Lopez

statement + bio

Guido Castagnoli


Guido Castagnoli was born in Turin, Italy in 1976. After receiving a degree in Advertising Graphics and Communication he began his professional career as an art director of a prominent advertising agency in Milan. His interest in photography began when he shot his first images using an old family-owned Leica. During the following years he left his position at the advertising firm to devote himself entirely to photography. His works have been exhibited in public and private institutions in U.S.A., Italy, Germany, England and Japan. Since 2001 he work as freelance photographer in advertising and editorial assignments.


Provincial Japan.
Guido Castagnoli's photographic investigation of the urban landscape of small Japanese towns takes us far from the stereotypes associated with contemporary Japan. There is no frenzied megalopolis, no rapidly expanding techno-city. Nor are there signs of the kind of extreme minimalism often associated with Japanese culture. Instead we encounter an atmosphere of quiet and refined suspension amid the somewhat surrealistic landscape of the Shizuoka district.

Although the settings depicted in the photographs will likely be unfamiliar to American audiences, the subjects, the focus on space and structures, and the conspicuous absence of people are reminiscent of the work of photographers like Stephen Shore, Robert Adams and others from the New Topographic movement. Provincial Japan is a series about the Japanese vernacular landscape. It is all the more noteworthy in the context of an American audience as it references America's own kitsch and vernacular culture in ways that resonate.

Amado Gallery

I chose Amador Gallery becuase its aesthetics with its artists, they share a complex range of documentary and landscape and its very democratic work. Although i feel that this gallery is stretch and isn't big on emerging artists, but it seems very well represented and it seems that it could offer a lot of money.

Mark Power


As a child Mark Power discovered his father's home-made enlarger in the family attic, a contraption consisting of an upturned flowerpot, a domestic light bulb and a simple camera lens. His interest in photography probably began at this moment, although he later chose illustration - specialising in life drawing and painting - instead. He (accidentally) 'became a photographer' in 1983, and worked in the editorial and charity markets for nearly ten years, before he began teaching in 1992. This coincided with a shift towards long-term, self initiated projects which now sit comfortably alongside a number of large-scale commissions in the industrial sector.

To date Power has published four monographs: The Shipping Forecast, a poetic response to the esoteric language of daily maritime weather reports in 1996; Superstructure, a documentation of the construction of London's Millennium Dome in 2000; The Treasury Project, about the restoration of a nineteenth-century historical monument, in 2002: and 26 Different Endings (2007) which looks at those landscapes unlucky enough to fall just off the edge of the London A-Z (a map which could be said to define the boundaries of the British capital). Meanwhile, The Sound of Two Songs - Poland 2004-2008, and A-380, about the development of the worlds' largest passenger airplane, are both due to be published in 2008.

In 2007 he tried his hand at curating. Theatres of War featured the work of five artists whose work is concerned with contemporary conflict and surveillance. It opened at the Oskar Schindler factory in Krakow, Poland in May.

Mark Power joined Magnum Photos as a Nominee in 2002, became an Associate in 2005, and a full Member in 2007. Meanwhile, in his other life, he is Professor of photography at the University of Brighton, a city on England's south coast where he lives with his partner Jo and their children Chilli (b.1998) and Milligan (b.2002).

Boris Becker


The artist Boris Becker is among the most important representatives of the German photographic scene. As a second-generation student of Bernd and Hilla Becher, he sets off with his camera in pursuit of motifs that are more structural in nature in terms of form and concentrates more on colour accents rather than reacting to the usual art historically motivated sign stimuli of urban or nature views, for example.
Since the mid-nineteen eighties, he has developed a wide spectrum of thematic complexes. His series of bunker photographs in which he produced an almost encyclopaedic compendium of German bunkers from the Second World War encompasses 700 images, forms the most comprehensive group. This was followed by photographs of apartment blocks and other architectonic constructions.
Alongside these works, Becker has also regularly taken photographs of landscapes. Becker’s most recent works include the group of photos entitled ‘Artefacts’ containing images of individual or accumulated objects as well as ‘Fakes’ with photographs of objects that were ‘faked’ to smuggle drugs, for example.

West Coast:

G. Gibson Gallery

I like that this gallery has a focus on the contemporary landscape and seems to offer emerging artists representation. I also like that it's not just photography too. There's a good representation of mixed media, painting, and sculpture. It's in Seattle as well, and that just seems cool and a city that takes its art seriously.

Laura McPhee

Laura McPhee’s stunning large-scale color photographs juxtapose idealized images of the land against the disarming reality of life in the twenty-first century. Boston-based photographer McPhee spent more than two years in a remote area of central Idaho capturing images that address Americans’ conflicting ideas about landscape and land use and our values and beliefs about our relationship to the natural world. For McPhee, this valley in Idaho is a microcosm of America and the dilemmas that communities and people nationwide face when dealing with land issues.

Generous support for this exhibition was provided by The Alturas Foundation, a family foundation representing four generations in the American West dedicated to visual arts and American culture. The Alturas Foundation is proud to have sponsored Laura McPhee as its initial artist-in-residence.

Eirik Johnson

Eirik Johnson is a photographer currently based in Boston, MA. His work has been exhibited at spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the George Eastman House in Rochester, and the Aperture Foundation in New York. He has received several awards including the Santa Fe Prize in 2005 and a William J. Fulbright Grant to Peru in 1999-2000. His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Fulbright Foundation, and the Joseph and Elaine Monsen Collection. His first monograph, BORDERLANDS, was published by Twin Palms Publishers in 2005. Eirik Johnson is represented by Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco and G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, WA. Johnson is an assistant professor of photography at Massachusetts College of Art.

Robert Koch Gallery
(San Fransisco)

The Robert Koch Gallery has a huge collection of many big names in photography and represents quiet a few bigger named artists of today including Brian Ulrich ,Edward Burtynsky, Joel Meyerowitz, and Jeff Brouws. I'm aiming high with this gallery since it represents many big photographers, but once my work develops more and becomes more polished, I feel that my work could be very versatile within the gallery system.

Joshua Lutz

Joshua Lutz's large-format photographs of urban sprawl and suburban portraiture capture intimate details of places and their inhabitants in a soft, moody palette. The subtle tension in Lutz's photographs between natural and man-made structures expands upon themes of Stephen Shore and the New Topographics. From an image of an airplane take-off framed by trees and a cell phone tower in his Meadowlands series to rows of wind turbines amid factories on a grassy plain in his new Am✡Dam series, Lutz's photographs offer new views of the post-suburban landscape, capturing on film the spirit of simultaneous progress and decay.

Mike Smith

Born 1951, Heidelberg, Germany.
U.S. Army. Vietnam 1970-71. Germany 1972. Rank E-5. Honorable discharge.
BFA, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA, 1977.
MFA in Photography, Yale University, School of Art, New Haven, CT, 1981.
Professor of Photography, Department of Art and Design, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, 1981-present.


Bau-Xi Gallery of Contemporary Fine Art (Toronto)

I like that I chose an international gallery that isn't too far away. I've always had an affinity to our neighbor to the North. I've heard of many great photographers coming from Canada that seem to focus on similar issues of land use that I do. I also know that the Canadian Art Scene is doing fairly well, the Ontario School of Art and Design has a great reputation and Toronto just seems like a great place. It has a focus on emerging artists that focus on the lands around them too.

Toby Smith

Toby Smith graduated from London College of Communication in 2008 with an MA in Contemporary Photography. This was after being awarded the Nikon Discovery Award in 2008 for his seminal body of work, Light After Dark. For this series, Smith has visited every Power Station in England, shooting at night using large format film and exposures lasting many hours to produce compelling imagery of something perceived as crude when looked at in the hard light of day. Smith mixes his ongoing personal projects, including access to the nuclear sector, with reportage assignments where photography can both inform and inspire audiences to advocacy relating to the subject matter. He has recently completed an undercover investigation into the illegal timber trade of Madagascar published across Europe December 2009.

Smith has been published by The Guardian, Saturday Times, Sunday Times, Stern Magazine and other awards include silver medal at Royal Photographic Society 2008. Light After Dark was syndicated by Getty Reportage and went on to be nominated for the Prix Pictet 2009 and took 3 prizes at the PX3 awards 2009.

Eamon Mac Mahon

Since 2004, Toronto-based photographer Eamon Mac Mahon has spent up to three months of each year working in the wilderness of northwestern Canada and Alaska. These slow journeys via bush plane have allowed him to intimately photograph remote landlocked communities, and the vast areas of uninhabited land surrounding them. His work has appeared in various publications including the Walrus, National Geographic, W and New York Magazine, as well as exhibition spaces such as The Power Plant, The Detroit Institute of the Arts, the Griffin Museum of Photography in Boston and Higher Pictures NYC. Mac Mahon’s photographs, on display for Contact, 2008 at Pearson International Airport, were described as “magnificent and mysterious” by Kate Taylor for the Globe and Mail. Mac Mahon also spends much of his time creating video projections for stage productions, short films and documentaries.

Fotogallerie Wein (Austria)

Lukas Schaller


born 1973 in Lienz, Tyrol, Austria
lives and works in Vienna, Austria

1993-1997 Media and Communication Study, University of Vienna
1998 Schule für künstlerische Fotografie (Friedl Kubelka), Vienna
since 1999 Freelance Photographer


1998 Architektur aus Tirol, Photographs, Galerie Museum, Bolzano
2000 Trentino/Südtirol/Tirol, Photographs, EXPO2000, Hannover
2001 Franzjosefshöhe, Photographs, Soho in Ottakring, Vienna
2002 PhoneHome, Photographs, Soho in Ottakring, Vienna
2003 Ganz Galtür unter einem Dach, Photographs, Alpinarium Galtür, Galtür
2003 AustriaWest, Video, Architekturtriennale Mailand, Milano
2004 de luxe at belle étage, Photographs, Vienna
2005 la cité manifeste à mulhouse, Video, Photographs, aut, Innsbruck
2005 Realitäten, Photographs, Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna
2006 Debut, Galerie Fotohof, Salzburg
2006 Stadt-Landschaften/Eingriffe, Dorottya Galeria, Budapest

2004 Residency in London
2005 Residency-Award, BKA/Arts Division of the Federal Chancellery Austria, Paris
(Photoatelier Paris

Eva Würdinger


born 1975 in Vienna, Austria.
lives and works in Vienna and Dunedin


2000-2005 MFA Photography and Visual Arts, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna - Prof. Eva Schlegel
1995-2002 MA Education and Science in Art, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna


2009 State Scholarship for Photography by Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture
2005 Residency for Photography in Rome by Austrian Federal Chancellery
2003 Residency for Visual Arts in Budapest by Municipality Vienna

Thursday, April 1, 2010



Andrew King is wrapping three original paintings in weatherproof packaging and stashing them in different places in the Ottawa Valley. To find them, and keep them for free, you’ll need a GPS, the Internet and an ability to solve puzzles.

On Feb. 2, the Cube Gallery is hosting an event entitled Canadiana. King will have seven pieces on display, three of which will contain clues to the GPS co-ordinates of the hidden paintings. “It will be kind of like The Da Vinci Code,” King said in an interview.

- Christine Huang

Spiritual geocaching is a project based on the idea that certain physical locations on this planet may hold spiritual significance. From Moses on the mountain top, to Jerusalem, and Mecca, many cultures have embraced the idea that certain locations may hold a spiritual value.

The concept of this project is that certain areas in the wild are extremely calming, and in this state of relaxation a person residing at this location will become more meditative and approach the spiritual. By using a combination of biofeedback and gps data, it may be possible to locate these locations and then post them on the internet so that others may enjoy the healing properties.

-Heather Clark


Well, I stumbled upon this activity through my research of of geopolitics and spatial relationships. It really seemed odd at first. But then I thought about it, and what I am currently doing is similar with my art. In GeoCaching, people go out into the world on...basically...treasure hunts. They need to be hooked up with a GPS phone or device and also to the geocaching website to be able to find coordinates to places where people have hidden "Treasure" in waterproof boxes (it seems they're usually ammo boxes or something along those line). It's a modern day treasure hunt for the tech people. Although it seems like i have been doing the same thing with my art, except the treasure to me are these bike trails and ramps that are hidden in the state parks, local parks, forest preserves, national forest, etc. I feel that this is an odd thing to blog about on my research page, but it seems to fit in quite nicely. My work is involved in mapping and specific places in America (to some degree, I still haven't fully realized what exactly it is or how to explain it). I go into primarily remote and isolated areas that are usually devoid of, let's just say most people, and i explore the terrain and the given paths. But before i get to these places I use a map and internet tools and forums to find these places. The directions on the internet are always vague and usually not that precise, so there's an element of the hunt and the journey that revolves around my work. So i go into these trails and hike. I hike for miles with a camera and tripod on my should in search of man altered terrain. The trail markers, the ramps, the remnants of people are my treasures. Just like in geocaching, people's little treasures are there somewhere. Like i said, i too feel this is an odd entry, but i feel that it's just crazy enough that it makes sense. Or maybe I'm just sleep deprived. But it seems like there's a place where my art making and this geocaching intersect like on a map.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010




resembling a monument; massive or imposing.
exceptionally great, as in quantity, quality, extent, or degree: a monumental work.
of historical or enduring significance: a monumental victory.
Fine Arts. having the quality of being larger than life; of heroic scale.


...contrasts with the iconic power of museum architecture and with the idea of of museum building as a civic monument. Detecting a global trend towards the fragmentary and contingent in some of the strongest sculpture being made today, they are presenting work that reflects the extreme delicacy and fragility of life in the twenty-first century. It is an uncertain time, at best, with threats of ranging from religious wars and terrorism to global warming and species extinction."

-Lisa Phillips. Toby Devan Lewis Director, New Museum of Contemporary Art.
From the Book "Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century"

Nate Lowman

The Never Ending Story, 2007. Gas pumps, gas pump side panels. 80 x 137 x 53in

Not Sorry, 2006. Bullet Resistant Glass, brushed stainless steel, stickers. 36 x 12 x 108.5in

From Exhibition "A Dog From Every County". Unable to find dimensions and Title.

I have chosen Nate Lowman because of his neo-appropriationist approach to installation and sculpture. It seems to blend anthropological remains in new media, street art, and American bumper stickers and critiques the new American culture. He recycles real imagery, and by real i mean objects in our society. I feel that it can relate to my art practice because when I go out and photograph these trails and parks, I tend to look at the ramps, the hand built carvings that surround the landscape, and areas of man made manipulation and create a portrait of that activity, framed in a way to balance the object and the landscape in the photograph. I appropriate the creative nature of the remnants and juxtapose them in a way to incite debate and discussion of the object in question and the natural space around it.


Like so many recent exhibitions (numbing swaths of the Whitney Biennial, portions of the New Museum’s “Unmonumental”) the Colen-Lowman outing resembles a disheveled rec room. The palette du jour in these shows is black-and-white, black-and-silver, monochrome, Day-Glo, or printer’s colors like magenta and cyan applied mechanically or in intentionally messy ways. Posters, gaffer’s tape, magazine pages, and found objects are placed about. Images are usually derived from newspapers, ads, or porn. Text and jokes often appear (à la Richard Prince); holes are often bashed in walls; Sheetrock and plywood are broken up and spray painted. Noland’s ideas about sculpture and Prince’s about appropriation are so prevalent that those artists ought to be drawing royalties.

Much of this work takes visual cues from the photographs that appeared in art magazines of the sixties and seventies, translating that smudgy halftone quality to three dimensions. These artists seem to want to crawl into the skins of Gordon Matta-Clark and Robert Smithson, whose work did intrusive things to the large and familiar, and a preapproved roster from the so-called “greatest generation.” It’s a cool school based on an older cool school, and it gains attention the way a child of a celebrity does. Many artists of this stripe went to art school and have apparently internalized the beliefs of their teachers, using strategies common when those instructors were young. They’re making art in ways that their teachers thought art should be made. This is an Oedipal-aesthetic feedback loop, a death wish. Some of this art is good. Most of it already looks very dated, or will soon.

- Jerry Saltz. Published Apr 21, 2008 . New York Magazine.

Aleksandra Mir

First Woman On the Moon. 2000. C-Print. 36 x 36in. On location Wijk ann Zee, Netherlands

First Woman On the Moon. 2000. Detail. On location Wijk ann Zee, Netherlands

First Woman On the Moon. 2000. Detail. On location Wijk ann Zee, Netherlands

First Woman On the Moon. 2000. Detail. On location Wijk ann Zee, Netherlands.

I chose to use Aleksandra Mir because of the monumental idea and concept that was put into action with this project. I am focusing only on this piece because it uses a few definitions of the concept of "Monumental". First, the size and scale and site of the project. Second, how she critiques and reinterprets the monumental nature of the historic event. And finally, it becomes a monument in time because it becomes part of the lost landscape and adds a historical presence to the monument. I also enjoy that it is Earth Art, my work, in a particular sense, embraces that. My photographs are of Earth art, but it's just because the sculptural implications of the objects that I photograph. They become relics in the land, carved from the Earth to make the space more intense and extreme. That aspect also leads us to have a sense of awe and respect too, but it is also a detriment to the land.


At first spec, it's hard to marry the rich intellectual promises of the press release with the sober museological test-site on view, to get over the is-that-it? response that the historical framing of sites and objects can induce. The ideas are still in evidence, of course, just purposely concealed within the politics of display. Keith Wilson's moon-boot-material yoga mats, placed here and there, set the tone and territory of Morton's constellational arrangement: 1960s spiritual, 1970s retail and twenty-first-century eco values collide in this remodelled object. Fanned out on the ground, they appear to have broken the fall of a TV set playing Aleksandra Mir's sublime film 'First Woman on the Moon' (1999), which follows the daylong transformation of a Dutch beach into a lunar landscape. The temporal nature of the endeavour brings to mind Robert Smithson's 'Spiral Jetty' (1970), while Mir's tenderly filmed cast of faux-1960s women, burly construction crews and passersby imbue her gender-political message with rich human as opposed to dry academic undertones. Snippets of space-mission audio and an eclectic score supplied by Hasselblad, the cameramaker contracted by NASA for the original landing and a sponsor of Mir's project as well, raise and lower the exhibition pulse as if at the behest of a coronary condition.

Naturally, very little is as it seems. Formally light works harbour expansive narratives; truth and fiction layered to form improbable theoretical structures. Carey Young, for example, stipulates that her 'Plato Contract' (2008), a boy's bedroom poster-cum-photowork of the moon's Plato crater, will only become art for the purchaser once installed on the moon. The distance between wag-the-dog plausibility and mad-as-a-box-of-frogs lunacy often appears too close to call. It's impossible to say at what point science bleeds into fiction during Karen Russo's docufictional video account of a male psychic describing a location ('the dark side of the moon') simply from a set of map coordinates. For while his Ancient Egypt-inspired vision appears the stuff of comic-book fantasy, 'remote viewing' is known to have been used as an experimental surveillance technique during the Cold War.

- Deceitful Moon. by Rebecca Geldard ArtReview, #35, London, October 2009.

Jussi Kivi

House of Enigmas

Hottentot House

Dwarf House

The Pavillon

Cave 1245 "the theatre", Kivikko , Helsinki, 2006, c-print

Wall in Vuosaari, November, 2006, c-print

Material from the Speleology Department: Floor plan:
Cave 1242, Kivikko, Helsinki, 2005, mixed media

What has interested me in Jussi Kivi is that he is interested in geography and art as an entity, but also his re-contextualizing of the landscape and historic monument that are his first four photographs that I present in my blog. The place is in the outskirts of Hamburg, near an old Jewish cemetery, but the objects he photographs is an old building from the Nazi era. It's in fact an old gun-powder mill the Nazis used, but in the styling of the old German romantic painters, he renames the site of the cause of so much death, into a romantic aesthetic. This project was part of the mapping project of Hamburg, where Artists and writers used artistic interpretations to map the land around them. The buildings are shot in a monumental way, the old historic sites become something else. That's something i am interested in, he doesn't mind when spaces of rural and untouched natural beauty begin to overlap with cultural objects. I agree, I do mind in an environmental way, but I think he also has a point in his view. But it also goes into the idea of creativity vs. destruction, another aspect in which my art is to explore.


“What most interests me is the landscape,” says the artist Jussi Kivi. He also makes hiking trips to experience it. It need not be untouched, national-romantic nature; it can be the borderlands between culture and nature – even a rubbish dump.

Kivi makes notes on his expeditions: he writes, draws and makes maps, photographs and videos. Some of these become artworks, for example, large photographic prints. Kivi himself compares them to old genre paintings. Although he seeks the aesthetic, they still have an awareness of contemporary art: a distance, irony, and politicality, which are also evident in Kivi’s book Kaunotaiteellinen eräretkeilyopas (trekking guide for art lovers, 2004).

-Otso Kantokorpi

Center For Land Use Interpretation

Mount Greylock Summit. Photograph. Dimensions and media Variable

Description: A granite tower was originally destined to be a lighthouse on the Charles River estuary in Boston, but was instead hauled up to the top of Mount Graylock, Massachusetts' highest peak (3,491 feet), in 1932 and dedicated as a war memorial. The 92-foot-tall tower has an observation deck and a glass sphere at the top containing six 1,500-watt searchlights, the most powerful light in the state at the time of construction. The tower is not the highest structure in the state, however. A 200 foot tall television transmission mast was built near the tower by General Electric in the early 1950's, and was later bought by a New York State network affiliate.

Plymouth Rock. Photograph. Dimensions and media Variable

Description: The rock is under an elaborate protective canopy next to the coast. One of the few caged boulders in the nation.

Although I have used CLUI before in my word project, and have referenced them on many occasions, I Feel that their archive of work and information is so great that I should be able to tap into its resources again for my research. This is another one of their projects, where they went around and photographed the Monuments that are in the Bay state, that being Massachusetts. They arouse interpretation through imaged based knowledge. Since I am focusing on the monument, I felt that opening it up to all interpretations of the word monument is acceptable. This being the most literal interpretation becuase they in fact are National Monuments preserved by the Government and sites of flocking tourists. I think that this is opening up dialogue about the ideas of "The Monument" in American culture. What about the monument attracts so many people to that specific site? Do people really get enjoyment by returning to a place where something of significance was built? What is the point of people flocking to them? I wonder about that. Have I ever been to a place where something culturally was built and possibly receive some sort of existential gratification from it? Maybe, i always felt that feeling from isolated nature and the experience of a city, rather than a monument or point of interest.


Land use and aesthetics

Sustainability and politics of land use are at the forefront for artists who look at how people use the landscape, and also at alternative modes of energy. Center for Land Use Interpretation’s (CLUI) mission is to better understand land and landscape usages through research, artist residencies and exhibitions. For Badlands, CLUI will present a project entitled Massachusetts Monuments: Images of Points of Interest in the Bay State, which uses photographs and text to take museum visitors on a virtual tour of land usage throughout Massachusetts. Visitors weave through a world of plants and paths, occasionally discovering small carved marble highways and cityscapes in Yutaka Sone’s indoor “jungles” -- ideal worlds where nature engulfs “progress.” Joseph Smolinski, on the other hand, provides a creative solution to the politics of the land use by creating a wind turbine made to look like an enormous pine tree – not unlike the cell phone tower “trees” that dot our highways – merging a facsimile of a natural environment with a renewable power source.

- Denise Markonish
Badlands curatorial statement

Tony Cragg

Clear Glass Stack. 1999. Glass. 2200 x 1300 x 1400mm

Constant Change

Minster. 1992. mechanisms, springs, disks, bolts. H. 285, 275, 260, 215 cm. base. 250 x 250cm

I chose Tony Cragg because of his monolithic interpretations of the tower and its spatial design and monumental aesthetics. His work involves the towering spires that are a staple of contemporary culture and city design. They have become an iconic symbol of our time and cities, but he also points out that these spires have been in place for ages. His work seems to point back to the very olden times such as the Aztecs or the Babylonians (Babylon and Nineveh). These objects become very open to interpretation and I like to see them as these minimalist sculptures that incorporate the past, present and future. This relates to my work by creating an object in space, the idea of stacking and manipulated throughout a landscape (since much of his work is very public) he plays with the notion of spatial relationships, something I feel my work does, but in a 2-D way.


Since the 1980s, British sculptor Tony Cragg has maintained a consistently high profile on the international stage. Cragg's works can be divided into various loose genuses within his practice, such as stacks, heaps and piles, fragments or early forms. He explains that his glass works of the late 1990s have their "roots in a much earlier activity in my history of making. They relate obviously, physically, to sedimentary works, to the collection of objects, to assemblage, to additive sculptur,, to stacking things.... they're very much to do with things accruing, having a construction underneath the whole thing, building it up." Clear Glass Stack is the most refined of his glass works, the one in which the idea is crystallised. It eschews the allusive connotations seen in other works of the same period and is concerned with the purity of the sculptural idea. Indeed writers have commented on Cragg's borrowings from minimalism and, as Kay Heymer explains, his pursuit of the 'sculptural idea, resembling a scientific experiment conducted until it yields no further answer to the current query". Cragg is not directive about the angle or approach that should be taken to his work, but emphasises that his work is concerned with engaging our visual rather than haptic sense. His works can be playfully humorous and he is intrigued by the visual paradoxes his works sometimes unexpectedly present.

Manfred Pernice

Plateau (study). 2004. Painted Particle Board. 26 x 47 x 16in

Plateau (Frau Saft), 2004. Painted particle board, ceramic sculpture, lamp
35 x 82 x 142 in

What I like about Manfred Pernice's work is that it takes cues from architectural forms found in public spaces such as phone booths, kiosks, street lamps, etc. He also uses very accessible materials and seems to be very much into the ready made to a degree. The monumental aspect comes from the object and its aesthetic and relationship to the space. Much of his work is based off of monumetal figures such as citadels and industrial towers as well. Since the work is based on man made utilitarian objects, but are created by an artist and very pedestal-esque in appearance, it becomes elevated in its viewership. His works play with scale and shape so they create a dialogue about the familiarization with architecture.


One immediate reason for the surge of interest in Pernice's work is its commentary on architecture, a cipher for any number of social and political issues in the New Berlin. But for all the architectural subtext, his works are thoroughly engaged with basic sculptural issues of form, assembly, and surface. His contribution to the Berlin Biennale - Tatlintower, 1998, a hulking construction of horizontally layered wooden boards that seems like an abstract riff on Chicago's Marina City, the combination apartment complex, office building, and aboveground parking lot that became an icon of '60s architecture - oscillates between an organic and technoid appearance. Pernice succeeds in fusing the social and political implications registered in his towering structure (here, a revisitation and reconsideration of utopian multifunctional architecture) with a genuinely sculptural sensibility. The lines of the horizontally layered slats circumscribe the volume of the sculpture and define a large area of surface tension. The "cumulative" arrangement of the slats and their relationship to the inner core of the structure thematize the inherently sculptural aspects of structural support and distribution of load. Pernice simultaneously reveals and conceals by allowing a view into the interior of the sculpture without, however, fully exposing the construction.

ArtForum, April, 1999 by Yilmaz Dziewior

Sam Durant

Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington DC, 2005. Medium densiy fiberboard, foam, enamel, acrylic, basswood, birch veneer, copper. 30 Monuments. Dimensions Variable.

Proposal for Monument at Altamont Raceway, Tracy, CA, 1999. Polyurethane foam, acrylic, wood, steel, speakers, CD Player, miscellaneous hardware. 69 x 74 x 100in

Sam Durant's work is very political in its presentation and its context. His sculpture Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions is very much about the idea of monumentality, He plays off of the obelisk, an object that throughout the ages acted as a monumental structure. The pieces were all based off of obelisks from throughout the USA. The work addresses architecture, civic design, and American Monuments.


Sam Durant's recent works have explored the memorialisations of otherness that mark quirky American spaces with their histories. Durant, who grew up in the vicinity of the mythic Plymouth Rock, site of the Pilgrims' landing in the New World, assembled the figures and props he bought from the museum into sculptural installations for his recent exhibition at Massachusetts College of Art. Defunct bodies made of a reddish-brown rubbery material come together in eerie and silly combinations. Mobilising the uncanny look of a haunted wax museum, Durant's project combines an antique-store's kitschy aura with deconstructed historiography, showing us the tattered banality of colonial logic. The fraying costumes, the dead eyes, the wear and tear of the decades that have passed since these objects were made: all of these contribute to a material mash-up of the 1600s, the 1960s and now. Durant successfully disperses the mystical ambience of these memorial objects, and consequently the superstitions they memorialise. Rather than materialising as a sturdy foundation for a national historical project, these broken-down myths in wax-figure form appear particularly flimsy. Durant's manipulation of these figures shows how malleable such asserted natural histories are, whether in the hands of hegemonic power or a clever Southern California artist.

- Malik Gaines
Sam Durant: Shaping History
Posted by ArtReview magazine on February 22, 2007 at 2:00pm

Eva Rothschild

High Times. 2005. Leather and Steel Support. 171 x 15.5 x 15.5in

Someone and Someone - 2009. Steel and paint.


Eva Rothschild has achieved international acclaim for her practice which involves both conceptual and socio-political ideas alongside traditional approaches to making sculpture. One of the most highly regarded artists of her generation, Rothschild presents new and recent work for her solo exhibition at the South London Gallery.

For more than ten years Rothschild has investigated concepts of form and materiality in sculptural works that use leather, wood, Perspex and, occasionally, surprising objects such as incense sticks and used tyres. Such materials often appear to transcend their physical limitations, hovering between representation, symbolism and actual form. By deliberately destabilising physical and visual characteristics in her work, Rothschild not only questions the aesthetics of art, in particular minimalism, but also those of belief in social liberation and spiritual movements.

author not cited

Manfred Willmann

Manfred Willmann, Das Land (1981 - 1993) 27.5x27.5in. C-Print

Manfred Willmann, Oman, 1997 C-Print


The central theme of Manfred Willmann's photographic cycles "Das Land" (1981.-1993.), "Oman" (1997.) and "Japanese Food" (2000.), simultaneously shown in Zagreb, are registration, objectivity and visualization of aspects and manifestations of human relations, surroundings and immediate environment, all that encloses people in social and natural landscape where they dwell and act - in their most diversified and often absolutely ambivalent details. The excellent Willmann's cycle "Das Land", exhibited all around the world in the most prestigious museums (Museum of Modern Art in New York bought off the part of it), discloses the artist who, at least in this case, does not care for global and great themes, but is focused on just one social (rural) segment, where he moves with ease as its authentic connoisseur and where his eye, sensitive especially to the social aspect, recognizes the motley mosaic of sundry, social and private, often even very intimate details of rural community and villagers' socializing.
The cycle contains sixty photographs created without special preparations and laboratory editing and shows very intimate photographic entries of people and nature in Grossradl community in western, rural part of Steierland. The artist kept these entries for twelve years as a kind of subjective photographic diary that discloses not only the panorama, but the whole universe of different scenes that document the fullness of village life in the county. These expressive and suggestive, intimately charged photographs show particular landscape's spirituality and beauty, enhancing and shading it by the presence of local inhabitants. Blended with the environment, fitted into it by the artist's gesture, they seem to be grown together. "'Das Land' means the familiarity with this region, meeting the people and families that live there, their work, their homes, their friends", says Willmann. Instead of focusing on local historic sites and picturesquesness, like regional customs, insignia and attributes like folk costumes, folklore and similar phenomena, the artist, obviously already at home in the region and well accepted by the locals as a dear guest - avoiding to direct, frame or form into style - registrates small scenes of relaxed and spontaneous atmosphere, frivolous presence, numerous changes throughout the years, alterations of village life dictated by the change of seasons, as in landscape so in animal world, to create the rich and above all convincing mosaic of details that clearly, with unhidden sympathy, document the life - getting into the spheres of social life, like parties, celebrations, dances, but also into the most intimate ones (like a girl washing her feet) - emphasizing these people's ordinariness and modesty - everyday routine at households and farms - in a small, seemingly uninteresting environment that, as it seems, could be found anywhere. Willmann's photographs are sometimes naturalistically cruel - like the one showing a cat with bloodstained snout or the other one showing a pig's head in the cauldron full of bloody water or the photograph of a liver drying on the tree - but sometimes they are deliberately sentimental. "At the same time sentiment blends with roughness, life and death exist in the close touch of reality, peasant's coarse hands hold a small rabbit with lots of compassion and chopped off pig's head floats in bloody liquid in the plastic can", Vinko Srhoj wrote. Willmann exposes villager as a content man, decently registrating his feeling of boredom and resignation as a result of settled life that is carefully planned, from day to day, lived for centuries by established and bent ritual. Living its life, the community fights for its customs and resists the changes that come with contemporary civilization (and aggressively imposed globalization) that are, as the cycle shows, unavoidable. In any case, Willmann "felt" the spot where discrepancy between the world and ego is the thinnest.

-Ivica Zupan,-Oman,-Japanese-Food,-three-photographic-cycles/114/

Francis Alys

When Faith Moves Mountains. (In collaboration with Cauhtemoc Medina and Rafael Ortega). 2002. Video Still. Dimensions Variable.

The Making of Lima. (In collaboration with Cauhtemoc Medina and Rafael Ortega), 2002. Video Still. Dimensions Variable.


"Sometimes making something leads to nothing, sometimes making nothing leads to something." The seemingly paradoxical logic of this statement, uttered by the artist himself, informs the work of Francis Alÿs. His works often begin as simple actions performed by himself or commissioned volunteers, which are recorded in photographs, film, and other means of documentation such as postcards. Many of his projects are generated during the artist’s “walks,” or paseos, in which he traverses city streets. In these works, Alÿs proposed witty updates to Baudelaire’s figure of the nineteenth-century flaneur. His first walk was The Collector (1991–92), in which he strolled through the streets of Mexico City pulling a small metal “dog” by a leash, its magnetic wheels collecting the city’s detritus in its wake. In Paradox of Praxis (1997), the artist pushed a large block of ice down the streets for hours until it was reduced to a mere puddle. For The Leak (1995), he roamed the streets of Ghent with a punctured can of paint, leaving a sort of Jackson Pollock-like breadcrumb trail back to a gallery space, where he finally mounted the empty paint can to the wall.

Alÿs's endeavors often exceed the dimensions of discrete objects. In 2002 a group of some five hundred volunteers armed with shovels formed a line at the end of a massive, 1,600-foot sand dune and began moving the sand about four inches from its original location. This epic project, When Faith Moves Mountains (2002), was completed for the third Bienal Iberoamericana de Lima in a desolate landscape just outside the Peruvian capital. The work is neither a traditional sculpture nor an Earthwork, and nothing was added or built in the landscape. That the participants managed to move the dune only a small distance mattered less than the potential for mythmaking in their collective act; what was “made” then was a powerful allegory, a metaphor for human will, and an occasion for a story to be told and potentially passed on endlessly in the oral tradition. For Alÿs, the transitory nature of such an action is the stuff of contemporary myth.

-Guggenheim, author not specified.