Thursday, April 30, 2009

Experimental Cartography

Nearly 30 years ago, Alasdair MacIntyre wrote After Virtue in which he described the fragmentary state of contemporary life in post-modernity. Not only has morality or ethics become fragmented and uprooted from their orienting contexts, but more likely the entirety of our existence. Under such fragmentation, how can we come to know ourselves and our place in this world. What does this mean for how we orient ourselves, and understand the orientation of others? Can there be any commonality apart from this fragmentation?

Ive been toying with this idea of mapping as an extension of my place studies recently. This piece is just a little conceptual exercise of mapping utilizing various recognizable forms or structures and text. And yet, its familiarity fades quickly under the weight of a plurality of places, maps, and unconnected and empty space.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bunky Echo Hawk: Artist and Activist

UND's art program has a health visiting artist program. Two weeks ago, Bunky Echo Hawk, a prominent Native American artist and activist visited campus to give a lecture and make a few prints. I had the privilege of a short critique with him as well. Bunky's work seems to wrestle with the exchange of Native culture amidst other cultural influences and events. It seems it is always done with a perspective upon social justice as well.

Below is the first print he made. The UNDo print is a culturally poignant piece around ND these days as the University of North Dakota wrestles with what to do over its current logo. The other, seen in the first and 4th image, is a variation on the theme that utilizes the gas mask, often used by Bunky in his artwork. From what I heard second hand, is that Bunky is from a reservation in that is beset with toxic fallout in its waters, land, and wildlife from nuclear tests decades ago.

Read more about him here (Dakota Student Article) and a great Youtube video here.

Bunky's visit was well recieved and many, including myself, hope for another visit.

Bunky (foreground) watches his prints pulled by UND's printmaking professor Kim Fink and assisted by MFA student Jess Christie.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Generally graduating seniors must double up to make use of the gallery for their final exhibits. During the week of April 14-16 (shortened by the Easter Holiday), Sarah Winger's weaving exhibit entitled "Intimacy" and Nikki Schempp's metalsmithing exhibit "Flourish" filled the gallery.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


With the end of the semester rapidly approaching, graduating seniors have been cycling their work through the Col. Eugene Myers Gallery on UND's campus. This coming week, we will begin with the MFA shows as well. Today I want to share a few images from Kevin Chamberlain's show entitled, "Teapot Allele" that ran from 3.30-4.2. Kevin's work is low-fired in an electric kiln with critical attention paid to glazing. Many of his works are a reinterpretation of the classic teapot, with removable lids and chambers. From what I know, his plans are to apply to a MFA program in a year or so.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Photos from Impact 2 Show

I was sent a link to photos from the Impact 2 show down in Aberdeen SD at Northern State University. I had 2 pieces accepted for the show, but was unable to make it down for the opening because of the flooding and such in the region (the opening itself was rescheduled because of a snowstorm).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Community Gardens

Sioux Falls Seminary, via the Summit House, has been doing some amazing things within the Sioux Falls community by immersing themselves within the Pettigrew Heights neighborhood. This central area of Sioux Falls has a long community tradition, but because of its age, it has also become a place often characterized by its crime and run-down homes. The seminary, with help of local church and concerned residents have decided to live among, rather than to do "ministry" from outside. This incarnational mission puts people directly into the lives of their neighbors to counsel, help fix homes, and generally be among. What is striking about this attempt at reclamation of place is that it looks to the people themselves rather than just fixing up the aging homes (though that is a part of the project). By pursuing friendship, trust, service, community these seminary student residents at the Summit House are able to serve as they learn...a tangible application of theological ethics. The article reposted below comes from the SFSeminary website. Here is another from the Argus Leader.

"Seminary and Partners to Begin Urban Agriculture Garden Project

POSTED: APR 14, 2009

Sioux Falls Seminary is working together with five local organizations on a newly-formed urban agriculture initiative to aid in the revitalization of the Pettigrew Heights neighborhood. A Kick-Off Celebration for the initiative and its first project will be held on Wednesday, April 15 at 2:00 p.m. on the Lowell Math, Science, and Technology Elementary School playground (710 W. 18th Street). If wet or cool weather conditions occur, the event will be held in the school's gym.

The initiative is a unique partnership between Sioux Falls Seminary, the City of Sioux Falls, Lowell Math, Science and Technology Elementary School, Minnehaha Extension Service, Volunteers of America Dakotas/AmeriCorps VISTA, and the Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood Outreach.

Sioux Falls Mayor Dave Munson and representatives from the other partner organizations will share brief comments at the Kick-Off Celebration. Also taking place will be the ceremonial planting of seeds for the first project--a garden for Lowell Elementary students and their families--and the announcement of the garden name, which was selected by school students and staff.

The partnership is committed to growing hope through empowering children and adults. The garden at Lowell Elementary School will become part of the school's curriculum. Students will soon transplant vegetables, fruits, and flowers--which they are already growing--into raised garden beds on the school's playground, and they will continue to care for the gardens throughout their summer break.

"The intent of this initiative is to cultivate an environment that will grow minds, hearts, relationships, leaders, and most importantly an attractive, sustainable Pettigrew Heights neighborhood," said the Rev. Tim Olsen, Director of Operations for Summit House at Sioux Falls Seminary and Urban Agriculture Task Force Chair.

Future projects will also focus on building a sense of community belonging and empowerment. They include training of garden mentors within Pettigrew Heights, teaching residents how to raise food in their backyards, and hosting neighborhood gatherings and festivals."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Last week I received some exciting news. This work was accepted to 2 shows in New Jersey and will travel as part of that exhibit to South Africa.

I originally posted it here last year.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Commodified Memory IV

here are some new images for this ongoing series ive called commodified memory. ive been working in thrift shops, second hand stores, vintage stores...etc shooting images of 2nd hand material culture. this section of the project isolates an item or two to suggest a commercial sort of shot. these then will be paired with an image from the earlier shots into a composite.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Image

This is another of my recent images. I've been playing around with my Lensbaby that I purchased last fall and have not made time to play with very much. This is a shot out my office window again. I love how the window frame acts like the horizon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Commodified Memory III

Sorry for the lack luster posting the past week. Things have been crazy busy.

Here are a few more shots from my spring project on commodified memory. On a number of these shots lately I have been cropping in to remove any sense of context, horizon, or anything that gives orientation. Here we are confronted from image edge to image edge with consumable as they are found in the second hand store.