First in a series of studio and show visits with contemporary artists. I’ve known Michael for some years – probably since a friend directed me to his Shop Mandiberg project. He’s recently been a research fellow at Eyebeam and is having an open studio there soon – mostly showing off work he has been producing with a laser cutter. He invited a few people along to do some studio visits in advance of that and I happened to have my camera with me when I went along. He’d set up a lot of work in one of Eyebeam’s main display spaces, so the effect was much more like a solo show than a regular studio visit.I asked Michael to talk me through a few pieces on camera and he generously agreed to do so – despite having no time to process what we’d just been talking about in our visit. It’s mainly shot under existing lights with a few stills dropped in, so the footage is a little grainy in places, but it should give an idea of what he’s up to.
I just put up an installation of work at Eyebeam for Studio Visits. This is work I have been producing over the last 6 months. The work is primarily old found books cut with the laser cutter, as well as some laser cut drawings.
The central piece against the wall is “FDIC Insured” a collection of 130+ cast off investment books from the Strand dollar racks, engraved with the logos of all of the failed banks of the Great Recession.
Along the left side is a piece called “Before and After.” I wanted to call it “Before and After President Reagan Lost His Memory” but that seemed a little overdetermined. So I just write it here. It is books from an 1982 and 1992 World Book enscribed with things that were (Free Love, Analog, Prisoner of War) and things that are (HIV/AIDS, Digital, Enemy Combatant.)
Sprinkled throughout are altered reference books. I like taking Dictionaries and turning them into memorials. It is kind of like putting an ironic inscription on a tombstone…
Along the right side of the wall are laser cut drawings of security patterns from the inside of security envelopes.
Eyebeam is currently closed to the public, but if you would like to see this installation you have two options. Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a time to meet, or come by the Eyebeam Open Studios, which will be October 23rd and 24th from 3-6PM.
Photos from Drawing Contemporaries are up on Flickr. I have also posted full res versions, and a video here
Drawing Contemporaries, curated by Eyebeam senior fellow Michael Mandiberg, is an exhibition of work on paper made by a peer group of new media artists who all create drawings, both as a primary object and as an experimental process. The exhibition includes work from Darren Kraft, Steve Lambert & Julia Schwadron, Michael Mandiberg, Marisa Olson, and Lee Walton. For many of the artists, the use of computers and algorithms are the focus in their work. While a number of the artists are Eyebeam affiliated, all are contemporaries whose influences upon each other can be traced in this exhibition.
Darren Kraft uses powdered graphite to photorealistically reproduce icons and logos associated with consumer and political culture; Eyebeam senior fellow Steve Lambert and Julia Schwadron write personal and poetic messages of hope which they leave taped up in public places; Michael Mandiberg uses the laser cutter to etch and carve works on paper that incorporate text, history and design; Marisa Olson performs Google image searches for obsolete technologies, and traces their contours directly off her laptop screen with a mechanical pencil; and Lee Walton creates elaborate indexes of possible graphic marks which are algorithmically used to document events as they occur. His subjects range from from pedestrian traffic to sports games.
Drawing Contemporaries was on view through June 9, 2009