UNLOADED – curated group art show about guns – up in Ithaca. WENY news covered it well. My work – ungun [ glitched handguns, animated ] – is in the clip as well as many pieces from the show.
The entire show explores the social and political issues surrounding firearms. It has toured other areas and is now coming to a campus that was involved in a tragic shooting in 2008.
“[Guns are] uniquely part of American history compared to other countries,” Fenlon said. “This object is used to kill more Americans than any other consumable goods or consumable objects. The climate in America is so intensely wrapped in extreme attitudes about it and extreme fear or grief.”
Suzanne Slavick, curator of the exhibit and Carnegie Mellon University art professor based in Pittsburgh, said the university was very sensitive to that aspect of the show.
“With shows like these or any artwork that deals with trauma, there is a tension between opening wounds and doing further harm,” Slavick said. “I think this show tries to give a larger picture across the country and even abroad. Hopefully it’ll provide context.”
Adam Poulisse interviewed me yesterday morning; I’m humbled by the resulting article. In it, Mr. Poulisse introduces the show UNLOADED, currently installed at Northern Illinois University.
As what’s left of summer turns to fall, I’m getting ready to be the audience for some amazing spoken word performers. I’m also preparing new work – a performance piece, of all things! Both are built into an existing body of work visiting Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, Illinois.
An exhibition of “works by over 20 artists examine and represent the role that guns play in our national mythologies, suicide rates, incidence of individual and mass murder, cases of domestic violence, and the militarization of civilian life”, UNLOADED opens at Northern Illinois University today. Curated by Susanne Slavic, it includes work by Devan Shimoyama; Adrian Piper [ work pictured here : Imagine (Trayvon Martin) 2013 ]; Mel Chin; Stephanie Syjuco; Andrew Ellis Johnson; Vanessa German; and myself.
Imagine (Trayvon Martin) 2013. Adrian Piper.
events for UNLOADED : Guns & Consequences and send & receive
One of the privileges of living in Chicago has been listening to poets who write about American injustices, inequities, and violences head-on in their work. Tara Betts Reginald Eldridge Mojdeh Stoakley Billy Tuggle and Nikki Patin each have their own visionary approaches to the subject of guns. I get chills writing their names in a list like this – this is going to be an amazing evening! I hope you can join me for an evening of poetry on October 8. Nikki Patin will be our host for Guns and Consequences, a poetry/spoken word/prose event that night. I don’t think this much brilliance is normally allowed to be together in one place. Don’t worry – more details will follow as October approaches . . .
Guns and Consequences arose from my conversations with Josephine Burke, the curator at NIU’s Art Museum. She got in touch with me earlier this summer after she had programmed UNLOADED into the Museum’s galleries for the fall. We discussed possible events to extend the content of the show. Ms. Burke mentioned to me that some faculty and staff at NIU had survived the devastation of a classroom shooting on campus in 2008.
There is no place in America, really, where gun violence doesn’t leave its mark. Gun violence marks people.
Who has the authority to lay claim to the stories around objects which can have caused this harm? In the process of making ungun, I listened to many non-artists’ spontaneous stories about guns. Some were traumatic, others, utilitarian.
send and receive, the performance installation I created for UNLOADED, makes space inside the exhibit for the audience’s narratives. In this work, I will listen to audience members as they, one at a time, tell me a single story, an experience with guns. As a living ‘listening post’, I will not share their story with others.
The social mechanics of listening will be designed in a particular way. I will have assistants to help explain the work and help visitors participate. There will be an etiquette to the work, a formed ritual designed to assist a kind of routinized, public participation.
The work is a first attempt of mine to honor the reality that art made with the symbolic presence of these weapons – well, any published media claims the authority to tell the story, takes the story from the reader. When the story opens space to the traumatic, the audience, too, may need the space to be the authority, to say their own truth.
I will perform send and receive on Saturday, October 17.
In 2013, right after I left Apple, I made a 6.5 minute glitch animation called ungun. In it, I deconstruct the vocabulary of the object, using audio sampled from American movies to complement the breaking and reforming data-damaged handgun photos in the visuals. Even during the editing process, strangers responded to the imagery and content (I would edit in headphones at coffee shops). Now, curators keep choosing to show it!
This weekend and next, there are several opportunities to see ungun in person . . .
Pittsburgh, PA: SPACE gallery has been exhibiting UNLOADED [ curated by Susanne Slavic ] since February of this year. Friday, April 24 – tomorrow – is the closing party! See work by Mel Chin, Adrien Piper, and many more for the last time. If you’re lucky, you’ll see Vanessa German’s powerful poetry performance.
Link through to read the latest review from UNLOADED, featuring a reading of ungun.
Newark, NJ: Saturday, April 25, Index Art Center’s FILMIDEO 2015 international film festival (day 2) – ungun plays with work by other artists on the installation monitor for the duration of the exhibition.
Milwaukee, WI: Sunday May 1 ungun screens in the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival Program #5 on UW-Milwaukee’s campus.
Last but not least, ungun’s going to Portugal, to screen in FONLAND 2015. It’s safely tucked under the arm of the Italian curator who first chose to screen it in 2013.
I’m grateful, a little overwhelmed, and more grateful. The work doesn’t complete until it meets an audience, really –
Exhibition of .gifs as storefront projection // Milwaukee Avenue, Logan Square, Chicago // storefront show of .gif art curated by Catalina Acosta-Carrizosa, Kyle Riley, and Brett Swinney for AnySquared // part of the 2d floor rear 24hours of art in Chicago // featuring work by Skip Hursh, Eric Fleischauer, Mathew Lucas, Scorpion Dagger, Laurene Boglio, Jessica Fenlon, and more . . .
I collected .gifs by other artists in the show at my tumblr.
From the event invite over here ~
Short and concise, the GIF is able to convey complex narratives, unique points of view, and expand creativities through the summarization of large ideas in mere seconds.
This exhibition presents animated GIF works by talented artists from Europe and the US. Featuring works by Scorpion Dagger, Laurene Boglio, Mathew Lucas, Jessica Fenlon, Eric Fleischauer, Skip Hursh, and Samuel Adam Swope, among others.
Curated by Catalina Acosta-Carrizosa, Kyle Riley, and Brett Swinney
Part of 2nd Floor Rear, a 24 Hour Festival of Art in Alternative and Temporary Spaces in Chicago. For the full schedule visit http://2ndfloorrear.org/
2327 N Milwaukee Ave, THREADS Storefront