Friday, June 24, 2011

Updates and Ideas in Progress this Summer...

Some projects I neglected to post about when they happened, and some other work I'm concentrating on this summer:

- working heavily right now on the Justseeds installation (photo above) for the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial. Our work will occupy most of the second floor of the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon, and involves an arsenal of indoor billboards, fabricated almost entirely from scrap and recycled materials and thematically working from the broadly-defined subject of immigration. The Biennial is spread across five venues this year, and the work at the Miller is curated by Astria Suparak and "feature(s) collectives and artists who work collaboratively in socially engaged ways."

- The Howling Mob Society will be featured in Creative Time's Living as Form online survey exhibition in September, more information on that as it comes to me. From the website: "Living as Form is an unprecedented project that explores over 20 years of cultural works that blur the forms of art and everyday life, and emphasize participation, dialogue, community engagement, and activism around social issues. Living as Form provides a historical look at these socially engaged alternative practices, and the role artists have played in reshaping our world."

- The Howling Mob also participated in Rethinking Pittsburgh's Industrial Legacy, an exhibition and panel discussion (which included myself on the panel) at Artist Image Resource in Pittsburgh this past April, curated by Leslie Golomb.

- A couple of weeks back I participated in the 5-day March on Blair Mountain in West Virginia as part of the larger anti-mountaintop removal coal mining movement in Appalachia. It's been difficult to find the time and space to really grasp the whole event as it unfolded, and I hope to write something more substantial on the Justseeds blog in the next month or so. In the meantime, I posted a slideshow of a lot of the handmade signage we experienced along the way, most of it from folks who disagreed with our message - kind of a slogan v. slogan thing.

- I'm almost finished watching all of the movies on my massive list for finding and capturing a database of scenes involving violent human/animal interactions in Hollywood movies. I've been plugging away at this project as a slow background process since the Spring of 2007 (believe it or not). I've made a couple of short videos throughout, but I'm looking forward to finishing the acquisition work and diving into some actual "making" - most of these movies are downright crap, and it's really been weighing on me to slosh through them all. I have an idea that I'll host a gathering where I'll show some of the highlights, get some outside input, and then watch Cujo - by far my favorite of the hundreds I've seen! Stay tuned for more on that...

- I'm working on a signage project involving the neighborhood that rests along the Allegheny river on an old Lenne Lenape settlement known as Shannopinstown (~1731-1754) in what is now Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh...

- ...and might also start working with local artist Jerstin Crosby on some other public signage TBD.

- Finally started carving on a replica of the dagger Alexander Berkman used in his assassination attempt on Henry Clay Frick in Pittsburgh (1892). I'll post some in-progress photos of that here pretty soon.

- I'm headed off to Slovenia this summer to work with Justseeds on our installation as part of the 29th Slovenia Graphics Biennial in the capital, Ljubljana. Potential travel after that includes hanging with my cousin in Berlin, working with Bonnie Fortune and Brett Bloom at Tryk Tryk Tryk in Copenhagen, and tabling with Justseeds at the London Anarchist Bookfair.

- And it looks like this summer I might finally get around to revamping the portfolio site, which is long overdue, with the help of longtime cohort Ally Reeves (who just revamped her own site here). Suggestions welcome!

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