2016 Projects & Talks

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Adam McEwen's replicas of the exterior of IBM’s supercomputer (Blue Gene 1 and 2) nod to Tony Smith and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. These larger than life monoliths, meticulously recreated in graphite, belong to the artist’s recent examinations of movement: of people, of vehicles, and information through controlled channels.

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In Loving Memory is a set of foam and fabric seats printed with clip art collages. A few years ago, Seattle-based Greenwood began making coloring books for her friends using clip art images found through Google searches. Greenwood uses this mode of image- (and world-) making to create fabric for a set of upholstered soft-sculpture public outdoor seats loosely dedicated to the Northwest towns in which she has lived: Seattle, Redmond, and Olympia. Produced with generous support from Glant Textiles.
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Roxy Paine presents the most recent work, experiment, 2015, in his ongoing series of Dioramas. A room sized window looks onto a CIA monitoring station, which in turn looks through an empty, disheveled motel room. Referencing psychoactive and substance experiments performed in the 1960s, Paine’s diorama is a study in control, uncertainty and altered realities.
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In two venues, Public Fiction will present an installation of early video art, experimentation and activism for television. These segments will be screened alongside video works by contemporary artists who similarly engage with new technologies and new modes of distribution to address contemporary concerns in a variety of direct and indirect ways. This is the first in a series of exhibitions by Public Fiction that will episodically pace the growing of an archive interested in citizen journalism, the artist as a witness, television as a medium and the circulation of ideas.

Middle Grays, Color Bars, and the comma in between is an exhibition set within the Seattle Art Fair. This project is curated by Lauren Mackler, quoting Trinh T. Minh-ha in her title, and showcases videos by Alive from Off Center, Laurie Anderson, Meriem Bennani, John Baldessari, Rami George , Mark Leckey, Muntadas, The Medium is the Message, Willard Rosenquist with William Roarty and Warner Jepso, Sigmar Polke, Cally Spooner, and TVTV (Top Value Television). A companion program titled A Witness and a Weapon, also curated by Mackler and this time quoting Deidre Boyle, will be on view at the Henry Art Gallery.
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Kishio Suga presents Correspondence, a singular, large-scale sculpture. Suga, one of the leading figures of the Japanese movement, Mono-ha, a loose group of artists that rose to critical prominence during the late 1960s and early 1970s, takes natural and industrial materials, such as stone, wood, wire, rope, and water, and arranges them in nearly unaltered, ephemeral states. His ongoing investigations focus as much on the interdependency of these objects and the space around them as on the materials themselves.

On Correspondence, Suga has recently written: "Every place has its baseline (a ground). When people or mono (things) are on the baseline, the horizontality forms a base, which sustains an extremely stable existence. However, this stability wavers when the contact area is reduced. For people, this instability relates not only to the mono but also to the structure of the place and to consciousness, and hence to the structure of the mono itself and the transformation of its meaning. This work is intertwined with the horizon of nature by introducing the horizontality of the ground into it. That is to say, the limitlessness of nature is being introduced. At the same time, the inclination has, by itself, a special meaning and existence."

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For over twenty-five years Seattle-based Jeffry Mitchell has produced idiosyncratic drawings, prints and sculptures. His work weaves together high and low references that span religion, sex, nature, folk, craft, and decorative arts traditions. At the fair, Mitchell presents a selection of new outsized ceramic sculptures, screens, and large-scale drawings, each imbued with his characteristic urgency, curiosity and experimentation. With a specific visual language often comprising alphabet primers, flowers, elephants, bears, and other flora and fauna, Mitchell responds to specific aspects of the history of art, craft, and visual culture, while blurring the distinction between each and exploring the possibilities within the decorative and the theatrical. 
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Dawn Kasper’s Star Formation is a sculptural performance environment and improvised sound composition, including motion-activated motors attached directly to a field of cymbals on their stands. Kasper invites the audience to complete the work by moving through the installation. Each unique path through Star Formation creates the ever-changing musical composition allowing for no two experiences to be alike. With the viewer as performer, roles become reversed: the viewer’s body and movements become instruments of change that activate the cymbals to create a unique and individual sound composition.

With references as varied as Alan Watts (“Matter is a word, a noise, which refers to forms and patterns taken by a process.”) to Albert Einstein (and the chirping black holes recently heard by scientists proving his final general theory of relativity) to Seattle’s own history of music and technology, this work acts as its own self-contained constellation within the larger context of the fair. Star Formation also offers the viewer a way of hearing the universe instead of just seeing it.

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Throughout her career as an artist from the postwar period until her death in 1997, Claire Falkenstein rigorously explored media, techniques, and processes in her sculpture. Between her work in the Bay Area, Paris and New York, and finally in Los Angeles, she was involved with such art groups as Gutai in Japan and art autre in Paris.

Falkenstein is best known for her wire and glass sculpture, and her work in three dimensions, which were radical and ahead of her time. This tribute to Falkenstein includes several examples of her snarled, nested, copper and glass structures, which evoke molecular and cosmological structures.
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Brenna Murphy creates a new, site-responsive, sculptural installation comprised of modular "hieroglyphic" sculptures produced by digital fabrication, arranged as a spatial poem that accumulates and evolves over time.
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As part of its youth program, the fair presents a kid-friendly space in collaboration with the collective teamLab, a creative group that brings together professionals from various fields of practice in digital society: artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects, and web and print graphic designers and editors. Referring to themselves as “Ultra-technologists,” teamLab’s aim is to achieve a balance between art, science, technology, and creativity. The teamLab hub will feature the group’s acclaimed interactive projects for kids.
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Working closely with phoneticians and linguistic experts, Los Angeles-based Glenn Kaino has designed two new dialects for our imagined future: Lunar French (LF) and Martian English (ME). Here Aspiration takes form as a series of mytho-geographic walking tours at the fair and in the city, in which a negotiation of the past, present, and future of the social landscape occurs in real time. The tours will be led by famed New York tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch, who will deliver the tours in Kaino’s Martian English. 

Aspiration is an ongoing project of Kaino’s based on an invented series of dialects—linguistic variations that differ in both syntax and phonemes—for anticipated human colonial activity in outer space. The intention of Aspiration is to reveal and articulate markers of colonialism by creating aesthetic and intellectual vantage points from which to observe an effect that normally takes generations.

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In partnership with Velocity Dance Center, choreographer luciana achugar​ will be leading an intensive work period in Seattle, based on the research of The Pleasure Project, with a group of local and international dance artists. Her SFDI (Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation) residency will culminate in a durational public performance on Friday morning of the fair in Occidental Park. This project is curated by Velocity Artistic Director Tonya Lockyer.
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Brendan Fowler presents a durational performance that exists in two stages, each consisting of a new work that will debut from a storefront in the Good Arts Building in Pioneer Square. The first is a new sound installation created from the détournement of a standard Roland SP404 sampler, generating an ever-evolving, self-improvising musical composition. The installation is ongoing and accessible throughout the duration of the fair. At 6pm on Saturday August 6, and again on Sunday August 7 at 5pm, Fowler and a chorus comprised of local artists will visit the site and add a brand new vocal performance that engages both Fowler’s previous history of deconstructed pop vocal performance (Barr), as well as this new sound work.
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Los Angeles-based architect Sharon Johnston and Dusseldorf-based artist Rita McBride gather to discuss their recent projects and the many points of intersection between art and architecture.

Sharon Johnston, F.A.I.A., is a partner of Johnston Marklee, based in Los Angeles. Founded in 1998, the firm has been engaged in a range of international projects of divergent scales and programs. Johnston Marklee’s commitment to creative environments for the arts and education, developed in collaboration with artists, educators and curators, defines the firm’s leading voice in the discourse surrounding the role of architecture in contemporary culture. A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE IS A HOUSE: Architectures and Collaborations of Johnston Marklee, is now available through Birkhäuser.

Since the 1980s, Rita McBride’s oeuvre has dealt with the characteristics of and intersections between industrial design, minimalist sculpture, modernist architecture, public spaces, and the gaps they generate. She is the Director of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, as well as a profes-sor of sculpture. Her works have been shown in solo exhibitions at the Wiener Secession (2000), the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2008), and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2014).

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Halo of Consciousness, a new work by the LA-based choreographer Flora Wiegmann, and performed by Wiegmann and dancer Rebecca Bruno, investigates imagined actions that may be unique to Antoinism; historical movement and ailments stored in the dancer’s bodies; and the possibility to activate consciousness through a series of meditative events. The work was initially conceived out of research on Culte Antoiniste, a European religion founded in 1910 that combines elements of Catholicism, Reincarnation, the tolerance of other faiths, healing through simple rites and rituals, and the transcendence of intelligence towards consciousness.
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For this conversation hour, Henry Art Gallery Associate Curator, Emily Zimmerman and Public Fiction founder Lauren Mackler will stage the format of a talk show to look at the form of the talk show as employed by artists on early public access television and in contemporary practices. This conversation will virtually showcase archival footage as well as a few special guests, live and on air.

Lauren Mackler is a French / American curator and graphic designer based in Los Angeles. In 2010, she founded Public Fiction, a forum to stage exhibitions and performances by contemporary artists. A year later she launched a quarterly print journal with the same mission. Mackler has organized exhibitions at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Artissima LIDO, Turin, Italy; and Frieze Projects, New York, amongst others. In 2015, she was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome, where she is currently a fellow.

Emily Zimmerman is the Associate Curator of Programs at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington. Previously she was the Associate Curator at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) where she commissioned new work from artists such as Melvin Moti, Gordon Hall, Marie Sester and curated the exhibitions Uncertain Spectator (2010) and Slow Wave: Seeing Sleep (2009). She received the 2011-2012 Loris Ledis Curatorial Fellowship at BRIC Contemporary Art and was a 2013 curator-in-residence at Residency Unlimited.

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In partnership with Velocity Dance Center, Seattle’s premiere art center dedicated to movement-based art, the fair presents a public performance by acclaimed artists Bebe Miller and Darrell Jones. Every August, Velocity’s Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI) brings the world’s leading dance innovators to the Pacific Northwest. At the historic Union Station—activated every day by commuters and tourists visiting from around the globe—Miller and Jones will perform Duet with Piece Of String, an ongoing project investigating the performance of improvisation. Mining their 17-year collaboration and friendship, they pick up where they left off last winter in Chicago, bringing their individual perspectives into close proximity and dynamic engagement. This performance includes music by Justin Mitchell and is curated by Velocity Artistic Director Tonya Lockyer. 
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Artist and musician Kim Gordon sits down with art historian Branden W. Joseph in a wide-ranging discussion about art, music, and language.

Kim Gordon studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and has continued to work as an artist since. Her first solo exhibition, presented under the name ‘Design Office’, took place at New York’s White Columns in 1981. For the past thirty years Gordon has worked consistently across disciplines and distinct cultural fields, including art, design, writing, fashion (X-Girl), music (Sonic Youth, Free Kitten, Body/Head), and film/video (both as an actress and director).

Branden W. Joseph is the Frank Gallipoli Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. Joseph's area of specialization is post-War American and European art, focusing particularly on those individuals and practices that cross medium and disciplinary boundaries between visual art, music, and film. He is the editor of Gordon's book of early art writings, Is It My Body? Selected Texts.

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Friends and collaborators Kyle MacLachlan and Carrie Brownstein meet to talk about cultural investment and place-making in the Pacific Northwest.

Kyle MacLachlan is perhaps best known for his performance as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in David Lynch’s series Twin Peaks, for which he received two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award. He made his feature film debut as Paul Atreides in the futuristic drama Dune, also directed by David Lynch. This was followed by a second collaboration with Lynch in the highly acclaimed film Blue Velvet. A native of Yakima, Washington, MacLachlan produces the wine label, Pursued by Bear, in Walla Walla. Recent projects include his ongoing role as the Mayor of Portland in Portlandia and the Twin Peaks remake.

Carrie Brownstein is a musician, writer and actor who first became widely known as the guitarist and vocalist of the band Sleater-Kinney and later as a creator, writer and co-star of the Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award winning television show Portlandia. Brownstein’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, Slate, and numerous anthologies on music and culture. Her memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, was published last year. She lives in Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles.

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Curator Anne Ellegood and Canadian artist Brian Jungen meet for a conversation about Jungen's sculptural practice, their shared interest in the historical, political, and economic specifities of materials, and the place of tradition in contemporary art making.Anne Ellegood is the Senior Curator at the Hammer Museum. Her recent projects include solo exhibitions with John Outterbridge, Charles Gaines, and Lily van der Stokker and the group show Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology, co-curated with Johanna Burton, which explored the overlapping strategies of appropriation and institutional critique in American art. She is currently working on a retrospective of the work of Jimmie Durham opening at the Hammer in January 2017, which will travel to the Walker Art Center and the Whitney Museum of American Art.Brian Jungen lives and between Vancouver, British Columbia, and the Doig River Indian reserve in northern BC, where the First Nations Dane-zaa (pronounced “dan-ney-za”) side of his family is located. Well known for deconstructing Westernized, mass-produced commodities such as leather goods, sports paraphernalia, plastic lawn chairs, and reforming them into sculpture, recently Jungen has focused his practice on modernist concerns and contexts, redefining his object making through the use of new materials and processes that reflect this shift, a more intimate relationship to the body, and his family’s traditions and history. Institutional solo exhibitions include Hannover Kunstverein (2013); Bonner Kunstverein (2013); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2011); National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC (2009); Tate Modern, London (2006); Vancouver Art Gallery (2006); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2006); and New Museum, New York (2005) among others.
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