September 19, 2009

Golden Age Work Group is now at Urban Honking

The friendly people at Urban Honking have generously offered to host my blog.
From now on, click on the link below to read more Golden Age Work Group:


September 9, 2009

Friendship and Politics

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.

an excerpt:
"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.


August 28, 2009

Hans Ulrich Obrist, In Conversation with Raoul Vaneigem

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 work,
of trade,
of predation,
of separation from the self,
of sacrifice,
of guilt,
of the forsaking of happiness,
of the fetishizing of money,
of power,
of hierarchy,
of contempt for and fear of women,
of the misleading of children,
of intellectual dominion,
of military and police despotism,
of religions,
of ideologies,
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."


Javier Rodrigo's Art Group Sociograms

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.


August 23, 2009

Summation of August Activities


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July 25, 2009

Stock Portland - Dinner tomorrow!

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:

Roasted Summer Squash & Bean Caponata with Chard
Sweet Beet and Potato Salad - Pink!
Pesto Pasta
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.

hosted by:

Gallery Homeland
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.


July 11, 2009

G-Rad Saturday Soup

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.


Sunday Soup User Handbook

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:


Field Test + Sunday Soup Mashup

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:

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):

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

Next up: Stock

I'm working with Ariana Jacob and Amber Bell on an artist granting program called Stock.

We have a call for proposals out right now at: