September 19, 2009
September 9, 2009
Today I've been reading an interview between Ivan Illich and Jerry Brown that I found whilst exploirng my Delicious contacts page. It gives me a different lens through which to reflect upon the value The M.O.S.T. placed on feelings of love and friendship. Mostlandia had an entire bureau, The Love and Friendship Index (LFI), devoted to measuring the populace's feelings of love and friendship and reporting those feelings as frequently as local news stations report on the weather. The Mostlandian economy was built around the LFI, and multiple bureaus (eg. Your Fan for a Day Group, The Cabinet of Well Being, The What to Say Program, Clapping Team, Friday Night Movie Club) addressed the root causes of a low LFI . I always wondered how feelings of belonging could translate into politics. Intuitively I've always felt that a correlation exists, but have had trouble articulating it. I think the articulation I'm looking for lies somewhere between the two passages below.
"Now, friendship in the Greek tradition, in the Roman tradition, in the old tradition, was always viewed as the highest point which virtue can reach. Virtue meaning here the habitual facility of doing the good thing which is fostered by what the Greeks called politaea, political life, community life. I know it was a political life in which I wouldn't have liked to participate, with the slaves around and with the women excluded, but I still have to go to Plato or to Cicero. They conceived of friendship as a flowering, a supreme flowering of the interaction which happens in a good political society....So we start with a world where the good society creates the virtue and the virtue is the basis of friendship. Now it's reversed. Now it seems we have to create the friendship and in the context of the friendship virtue is practiced and that might lead to a community which might lead to a society which might be a whole other kind of politics."
And, this quote from Hugo of St. Victor, written in the 12th Century
"To my dear brother Ronolfe from Hugh, a sinner. Love never ends. When I first heard this I knew it was true. But now, dearest brother, I have the personal experience of fully knowing that love never ends. For I was a foreigner. I met you in a strange land. But that land was not really strange for I found friends there. I don't know whether I first made friends or was made one, but I found love there and I loved it and I could not tire of it for it was sweet to me and I filled my heart with it and was sad that my heart could hold so little. I could not take in all that there was but I took in as much as I could. I filled up all the space I had but I could not fit in all I found so I accepted what I could and weighed down with this precious gift I didn't feel any burden because my full heart sustained me. And now having made a long journey I find my heart still warmed and none of the gift has been lost for love never ends."
If you decide to go ahead and read it, I'd recommend listening to the podcast listed here: To Long, Too Long.
I've been listening to all of the podcasts on this blog at work lately. I'm not sure whether I feel like the answers to the questions raised are satisfying to me, but the music is taking me there.
Posted by Katy Asher at Wednesday, September 09, 2009
August 28, 2009
Some summer reading.
I made myself a poster based upon the following quote by Vaneigem.
"We are moving toward the end
of the exploitation of nature,
of separation from the self,
of the forsaking of happiness,
of the fetishizing of money,
of contempt for and fear of women,
of the misleading of children,
of intellectual dominion,
of military and police despotism,
of repression and the deadly resolutions
of psychic tensions.
This is not a fact I am describing, but an ongoing process that simply requires from us increased vigilance, awareness, and solidarity with life."
Posted by Katy Asher at Friday, August 28, 2009
The Temporary Services/Half Letter Press blog recently highlighted the work of Javier Rodrigo, an educator and art researcher with an interest in artist groups and collective action. Rodrigo and his colleagues recently published a 12 page PDF of the pedagogical methods of various artist groups.
I did a little more research and came across an article written by Rodrigo regarding rhizomatic pedagogy, based upon the idea of the rhizome put forth by Deluze and Guttari. I haven't yet finished reading it all, but wanted to share.
Posted by Katy Asher at Friday, August 28, 2009
August 23, 2009
July 25, 2009
Our first STOCK dinner and artist grant event is this Sunday, July 26th. Please arrive between 6:00 & 6:30pm to be seated for dinner and begin taking part in selecting the winning artist's proposal. RSVPs encouraged.
The dinner menu comes straight from the lush local gardens and farms, all cool to beat the summer heat:
Sweet Beet and Potato Salad - Pink!
Massaged Kale Salad
Seasoned Fresh Cucumbers
Greens and Vinaigrette
+ Artisan Bread & Hibiscus Sun Tea
Just $10 for a full dinner, plus the chance to vote on which project wins the grant money. This month there are 10 proposals that will be vying for your affection. Come check them out, size them up, tell people what you think, hear what they have to say and be a part of deciding who will walk away at the end of the night with all the money.
STOCK: DINNER & ARTIST GRANT
2505 SE 11th Ave.
at the corner of Division
Parking lot just south of Division on SE 11th
I'm teaching a 3D design foundations course this summer.
The students are keeping images of our projects and activities at: Summer Session
The picture above is from an activity on our first day where students worked in small groups to build the tallest structure possible using only newspaper and masking tape in a 2 hour period.
Posted by Katy Asher at Saturday, July 25, 2009
July 11, 2009
InCUBATE lists a weekly soup delivery program in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Saturday Soup as one of their inspirations. It's somewhat humorous to me that the final post on the Saturday Soup program talks about the demise of this project. On the other hand, I think that having access to information about Sara's soup challenges is a great place to try and glean some information about what to look out for in running a soup program. The lesson: it seems that Saturday Soup was a weekly soup delivery service gone awry due to the fact that the soup maker was possibly a bit too generous in her money collection strategies. It looks like Saturday Soup was a labor of love for soups, but that maybe the love/money equation became a little off balance.
Sara lists some other inspirations:
The Soup Peddler, David Anselm in Austin, TX
and the following information:
the word soup comes from the teutonic word for suppa which refers to a medieval dish consisting of a thick stew poured over hardened peices of bread called sop. this concept of using sop is still implemented today. think french onion soup. The word restaurant was first used in France in the 16th century, to describe a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors called restaurer.
ronald reagan's favorite soup was hamburger soup.
william shatner's is carrot vichyssois.
and barbara walters likes roasted eggplant soup.
Here are scans of the Sunday Soup User Guide created for InCUBATE by Hideous Beast.
It's meant to be printed double sided and then quarter folded.
Charlie of HB says that printable PDF format images can be found at:
I have been thinking about Hideous Beast's project Field Test, a project wherein Josh and Charlie attempt to re-create other artists' projects and then make public the documentation of their results. It reminds me of the work I did as an Americorps Volunteer at Caldera - trying to develop and document systems for use by future volunteers and employees of the organization. In the case of a lot of socially engaged work, artists suggest new ways of interacting with the world, implying that the value of their pieces lies in their use, repetition, and modification, rather than their value coming from economic capital due to scarcity.
In preparation for the STOCK artist grant program, I decided to try and create a Field Test/SundaySoup mashup of sorts.
First, I emailed Bryce from InCUBATE to see if he could give us any more information about other Sunday Soups that he's aware of so that I could spread out my research. He responded:
"Other soups have so far taken place in: Grand Rapids, Mexico City, Newcastle, and Houston. Although I feel like I am leaving a couple places out.
Here is documentation from Newcastle: http://saturdaysoup.wordpress.com/
There is also this group that has started a similar program in Brooklyn called FEAST (Funding Emerging Art through Sustainable Tactics -- wonderful, isn't it!?) They've been doing it in a church basement (although they're on hiatus for June and July because the basement gets too hot). They have also managed to get a lot of food donated and, because it's New York, a ton of people come. Accordingly, they've been giving out big, chunky grants. I met one of their members, Jeff Hnlicka, when I was in New York for a panel on Alternative Arts Funding not too long ago. Anyway, they have a pretty nifty website built with indexhibit (free webpage building web interface thing): http://www.feastinbklyn.org/
I think it would be great if ya'll started a Sunday Soup (or whatever else you wanted to call it) in Portland! Field Testing it via Josh and Charlie is like the butter on top! ...Did you see the handbook they made for Soup that's in their little library boxes?"
I emailed Josh and Charlie and got the following response from Josh:
"Your inquiry about the field test 'process' points to something we've been itching to formalize but haven't really done yet. the basics (and if i miss anything i'm sure charlie will chime in) are to 1. find an instruction set 2. contact the authors if possible and chat with them about the project 3. use the instructions and any info gathered from the authors to do the project 4. document the results, noting how shifts in context, audience, resources, etc. affect the outcome 5. we also make a 're-manual' where the original instructions are included with our notes and documentation.
the part we haven't really worked out is the 'evaluation' implied by the title, 'field test' -- to me, the evaluation takes place in noting contextual differences and other possible applications. it's not so much about a measurable effectiveness - though maybe it should be?
open to any thoughts - this one has been somewhat dormant for a bit, so we'd love the opportunity to spark it up again."
So here goes...the beginning of an attempt to recreate the works of other artists and document how it goes. In the meantime, if anyone out there has ideas on how to evaluate the program, let me know.
July 6, 2009
June 15, 2009
Lisa Radon of Ultrapdx.com and Mike Merrill from Urbanhonking.com wrote some nice words about my graduate exhibit and lecture last month. Thought I'd archive them here.
Oh, Mostlandia on Ultra (LINK OUT OF ORDER)
Collaboration on Urbanhonking
Also, if you haven't had the chance yet - stop by Disjecta this month to see the PSU MFA group show. I've put a smaller selection of items from The M.O.S.T.'s archives up for display, and everyone else in the program is looking great!
June 9, 2009
Thought it might be helpful to post some images from my show- a little tour of sorts.
Here's the view from the entrance
View of the large gallery space:
Here I'm serving in my active role as docent for the show, giving tours:
Citizen Jen Elder and family eating ice cream sandwiches provided as part of the exhibition:
During our preparations for PDF, Lisa introduced me to the work of Andrew McQualter, and his project Studies for the shape of government. I really love the documentation of this project, with the establishing shot of two people at a table followed by the document they created together. It's cinematic almost.
Posted by Katy Asher at Tuesday, June 09, 2009
June 2, 2009
I have been working with Melbourne artist Lisa Radford to create some PDFs for a project in Iowa City called Public Document Files (PDF). Jen Delos Reyes asked 30 artists (including myself) to create ten files "on or about artists they think are related to ideas surrounding public and socially engaged art work." Lisa and I have been emailing links back and forth for several years now, and decided to make our PDFs out of those links.
Throughout this process, we discussed the possibility of whether we might be living parallel lives in cities on opposite sides of the world. We used the Radio Lab show The (Multi) Universe(s) as a starting point, and Lisa drew this great image in summation, merging our facial features and making connections between us.
Posted by Katy Asher at Tuesday, June 02, 2009
May 21, 2009
My MFA show is up and running.
Monday-Saturday, 12-5PM (except for Memorial Day)
Today through May 29.
Where: PSU Autzen Gallery, 2nd Floor Neuberger Hall
(SW Broadway between Harrison and Hall)
I'm gallery sitting the entire time, so come say 'hi!'
In Box Set: The M.O.S.T. Remastered, Katy Asher reconfigures the gallery space into a museum displaying the complexities and rewards of working as part of a collaborative arts group. Organized around artifacts and an interpretive archive space, Asher introduces visitors to The M.O.S.T. – a tight knit social group whose membership prior to their dissolution in 2008 included Khris Soden as “The M.,“ Katy Asher as “The O.”, Jen Rhoads as “The S." and Rudy Speerschneider as “The T.” The exhibition focuses on the cosmology, worldview and philosophies related to the group itself and its primary area of research, Mostlandia.
On display are the complete archives of artifacts from all 30 projects created by the group between 2003-08. The objects displayed give a glimpse into the breadth of the group's conceptual interests, ranging from a 63-card trading card set to handcrafted ambassadorial uniforms, a specialized stamp kit and free ice cream sandwiches. * Asher provides access to volumes of emails and file cabinets packed with research and meeting notes showing the depth of the group's investment in the collaborative decision making process.
*While supplies last!
Katy Asher investigates how artists and audiences create shared meaning around ideas of place through group work, participation and facilitative practices. As a founding member of the four-member arts group The M.O.S.T., Asher performed in festivals, galleries and museums including TBA:05, the 2006 Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Victorian College of the Arts Margaret Lawrence Gallery (Melbourne, AUS) and Blackfish Gallery (Portland, OR). The M.O.S.T. received official recognition for their work as Mostlandian ambassadors from the mayors of Melbourne, Australia and Tilburg, Netherlands. In addition to creating socially engaged artworks in Matthew Yake’s living room, Melbourne’s town hall and Portland’s city streets, Asher toured Eastern Europe with Red76 during their DIY artist-as-rock-group project Building Batteries. Her projects have been included in Art Journal, Utne Magazine, Oregon Humanities Magazine and the catalogues for Core Sample: Portland Art Now and The Group Group Show. Katy and collaborator Rudy Speerschneider, recently showed work at The Pomona Museum College of Art (Pomona, CA) as part of suddenly, a series of publications, exhibitions, and other public events concerning the new shape of cities.
Posted by Katy Asher at Thursday, May 21, 2009
May 11, 2009
Opening Date: Monday, May 18
Here are some pictures of my more recent organizational efforts.
Paper files accumulated by members of The M.O.S.T., indexed by project and owner.
Posted by Katy Asher at Monday, May 11, 2009
April 12, 2009
I'm on a roll with my graduate project - an archival display of The M.O.S.T.'s work from 2003-2008.
Right now, I'm using an extra room in my house to collect and sort through all of the ephemera from Rudy, Jen, Khris and my closets, drawers, boxes, basements, and filing cabinets.
It looks kind of like this:
February 27, 2009
While in Los Angeles for the opening of suddenly at the Pomona Museum College of Art, Junior Ambassador and I decided to personally invite Mostlandian citizens living in LA to contribute to the mapping project.
Junior made a connect-the-dots style map from the place where we were staying in Los Feliz to the beach, and we made our way across town over the course of about 6 hours, getting lost, sitting in traffic, stopping for lunch and generally enjoying ourselves.
As part of our efforts to understand the future of Mostlandian mapping, Junior Ambassador and I decided to visit the actual location of the first map of Mostlandia, the one located on Matthew Yake's apartment floor. On Thursday, February 19th, we donned our safety helmets and clip boards and met with Matthew to discuss the current status of the spot. My classmate, Motoya Nakamura, joined us to take the photos appearing in this posting.
Junior and I met outside of Matthew's apartment to discuss our questions, which were:
-Have you noticed any physical changes to the spot in terms of its dimensions, wear and tear, or surroundings?
-Has the spot changed due to any changes in relationships you may have had with other people related to it, such as the woman who painted it, Paige, The M.O.S.T., or any other friends related to your experiences with the spot?
-Have you thought about making any modifications or changes to the spot?
-How can we address the spot in a way that leads to it having a more positive or more desirable relationship to your apartment?
According to Matthew, the spot itself hasn't changed much at all, aside from a little bit of wear and tear, and his storage of record on top of it. During one of our visits to the spot in 2004, Matthew mentioned that most of the objects in his apartment occur in pairs, such as his lamps, paintings, mannequin head decorations, etc. As seen in the picture above, many of these items still do occur in pairs. Rudy and I both noted how the actual spot has more detail than either of us remembers, and commented on how memory has a way of blurring the sharp edges, scratches, and tears of reality.
In terms of the more relational/emotional aspects of the spot, Matthew explained that the spot on the floor and the map of the spot hanging on his wall continue to occupy a larger portion of psyche, in the same way a cat or houseplant might, than other items in the apartment. He explained that to him, the spot has a one to one relationship with The M.O.S.T., comparing it to a portrait, or with the death of The M.O.S.T., an urn. At the same time he noted that they don't get discussed much, a phenomenon he attributes to their "seamless integration into his apartment as purposeful objects" that evolved from dialogue and that represent continuing relationships with everyone involved.
In terms of maintenance, Matthew assured us that the spot is not in need of relocation, dusting, or alteration. His relationship with it is benign enough that he is happy to coexist with it until the day he moves from the apartment. Rudy speculated that the removal of the spot map might cause the entire apartment to crumble around us, and agreed to leave it hanging in its current location. We attached and initialed an inspection sticker to the spot map as a conclusion to our visit, and invited Matthew to contact us in the future should he need any assistance.
January 22, 2009
Rudy and I are traveling to Claremont, CA this weekend for the opening of suddenly at the Pomona College Museum of Art. We'll be at the walkthrough and reception on Saturday, and will present our explorations of life post-MOST at The Mandrake Sunday afternoon.
If by any chance you are someone who reads my blog and lives in the LA area, come say hello!
Saturday, January 24, 4 pm
Pomona College Museum of Art
330 N. College Avenue, Claremont, CA.
suddenly exhibition curator Stephanie Snyder will lead a walkthrough of the new exhibition with participating artists. Followed by an opening reception held at the Museum from 5:00-7:00 p.m. (Free)
Sunday, January 25, 2 pm - 3am
2692 S. La Cienega Blvd, Culver City, CA
suddenly Public Speakers: 13 lectures or something “like a lecture” in 12 hours with: Andrew Berardini; Marc Joseph Berg; Zoe Crosher; Michael Damm; Molly Dilworth; Michael Hebb; Michael Orion McManus; Mostlandian Citizens Lady O. and Junior Ambassador; Stephanie Snyder, Matthew Stadler; Storm Tharp, Oscar Tuazon; and Zwischenspiel Puppet Opera Company. Drinks, food, fun, exhaustion. (Free)
SEEKING: CARTOGRAPHERS OF ANY SKILL LEVEL to assist in locating a sense of place. Curiosity, open eyes and ears, and sense of humor a plus. Open to maps on paper as well as movement, music, narrative and video. Please send a draft of how you "map out" your experiences, discoveries and psychogeographical landscapes to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Willing to barter with homemade ice cream. Sincere inquiries only.
January 5, 2009
I am having a love affair with golden beets at the moment. I made some on New Year's Day and can't seem to get enough. This may seem unrelated to my studies, however, I've found that after eating a serving of beets each day of the new year, I've been able to finally start accomplishing some things I hadn't been able to do over the past few months - including post updates on this blog, respond to some lingering emails, organize some of the neglected cabinets/storage places in my house, etc. My chinese medicine doctor would say that this decisiveness has to do with the beet's positive influence on the chi of my gall bladder. I say, whatever it is, feed me more beets.
My current affair was inspired by two christmas gifts: Michal Pollan's In Defense of Food and The Greens Cookbook. I am intrigued with Pollan's instructions to eat food, mostly vegetables and less of it, and the Winter Vegetables with Mustard Tarragon Vinaigrette seemed like the perfect place to start. It was!
Since then, I've also discovered a couple of tasty ways to prepare beet greens here and here.
I'm working on a project with Ariana Jacob and Amber Bell that aims to make a vending cart of maps made by people from Portland.
I came across a link to the projects being created by Art House Co-op of Atlanta, that I think run parallel to our idea in the way that we both are attempting to make collections of subjective information. Art House is collecting and displaying items from their audience such as 10,000 interpretations of one word, or 20,000 objects that relate to keeping time. I don't think that I'm as interested in reaching certain numerical goals, but a collection of time-keeping objects seem pretty interesting.
I've been finding inspiration in this book, the final project by the members of the art group Haha, Wendy Jacob, Laurie Palmer, and John Ploof. I wasn't aware of Haha's work until reading about them in Group Work last spring, and have been surprised to learn that their group interest focused around collective conceptions of place and space, among other things.
I am reading and re-reading "Haha as a Catalyst for Collective Memory" by Doug Ashford and "Getting Lost and the Localized Mind" by Franco La Cecla. Each of these essays is expanding my vocabulary for describing shared social memory and how that shared memory relates to place.