Terra Forma: disaster, recovery, and aesthetics of a tsunami coast

Art Journal Open presents Terra Forma, an immersive, interactive digital project and scholarly text by Andrew Yang. Following a 2017 trip to the Sanriku coast of Japan, Yang traces the area’s recovery and rebuilding efforts after the devastation of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Yang explores the terraforming of the coast, “a kind of garden-making on a planetary scale,” pressuring the categories of “natural” and “man-made” in our landscapes.

Inhabited Divinity

Risham Majeed reflects on the current exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination at The Met Cloisters, looking at how the disjunctions of architecture, costumery, and religious iconography “join to create cohesive desires, unmoored from historical boundedness.”

Medias Res

By Nick Herman

Art Journal Open presents Medias Res by artist Nick Herman, which features Herman’s exploration of his artworks and texts related to his interests in static, rastering, layering, and other transmission processes. These interests have led Herman to create two new works to be viewed on Art Journal Open: Comm 1 (2017), which takes the shape of a unique and experimental pop-up GIF experience, and MERROR ERROR TERRIOR (2017), a downloadable image. “Static or noise as a record of transmission becomes its own reward, reflecting its innate complexity and, in the process, some greater truth about its origin.” Herman writes, “To me, the GIF does something similar, capturing the unpredictable rhythms and constituent raster of their source.”

To Listen

By Anna Craycroft

In “To Listen,” artist Anna Craycroft considers the role of the voice of the artist and reflects on her process of creating her exhibition Tuning the Room (Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, January 28–April 16, 2017) in relationship to her research into the archives of photographer Berenice Abbott for Craycroft’s exhibition The Earth Is a Magnet (Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, November 16, 2016–March 26, 2017). This is the second installment of Craycroft’s two-part series for Art Journal Open.

2017: Indigenous Futures

By Kate Morris and Bill Anthes

On November 15, 2016, a “National Day of Action,” demonstrators in cities from Los Angeles to New York took to the streets in support of the efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline (DAPL). According to tribal leaders, the presence of the pipeline constitutes a dire threat to the tribe’s water supply, and will desecrate scores of sacred, historical, and cultural sites along its intended 1,172-mile route.

Building a Table

By Ryan Kuo

In “Building a Table,” artist and writer Ryan Kuo discusses his use of HTML to construct the data tables in his artist’s project, Tables of Content, and the profound implications that seemingly benign systems of ordering have on society. With an introduction by Art Journal Open’s former web editor, Gloria Sutton.

Restructuring Place in Hawaiʻi: Jaimey Hamilton Faris and Margo Machida in Conversation with Sean Connelly and Lynne Yamamoto

By Jaimey Hamilton Faris and Margo Machida

Jaimey Hamilton Faris and Margo Machida speak with Hawaiʻi-born artists Lynne Yamamoto and Sean Connelly to discuss their sculptural works for the inaugural Honolulu Biennial, Middle of Now|Here (March 8–May 8, 2017). Connelly’s Thatch Assembly with Rocks (2060s) (2017) and Yamamoto’s Borrowed Time (2017) recognize the significance of locality and place in illuminating the enduring impact of entwined histories and shifting alignments among the native, local, and global.

The Prehistory of Exhibition History

By grupa o.k. (Julian Myers and Joanna Szupinska)

Art history has long included studies of exhibitions as episodes or turning points within more expansive narratives. Such moments have opened art histories based in the studio, or among the members of a small, bohemian circle, to a larger social field that includes politics, audience, and market, before returning to the private or small-group interactions that have equally served to drive art’s internal means.

Introduction: The Politics of Legacy

By Rachel Middleman and Anne Monahan

In 1974 news that David Smith’s executors had stripped paint from some of his sculptures catalyzed a long-running public conversation about executors’ responsibilities to artists, artworks, and art history. Forty years later, news that the same estate’s administrators tried to stifle the exhibition and sale of Lauren Clay’s diminutive, painted-paper objects inspired by that earlier incident has yet to prompt a similar critical response.

Art Embedded into Protest: Staging the Ukrainian Maidan

By Nazar Kozak

Around 9:00am on January 24, 2014, Maxym Vehera, an amateur artist, comes to Hrushevskyi Street in Kyiv, mounts his portable easel some one hundred yards from the riot police line, and spends five hours painting the scene of a street fight in progress. Black smoke from the burning barricade veils the sky, tear gas irritates the frosty air, a stun grenade explosion shuts all senses down. The canvas falls to the ground, into the mixture of snow and ashes. Vehera picks it up, wipes off the dirt, and continues to paint amid chaos.

In Submission

By Ryan Kuo
“As platforms from Submittable to Snapchat streamline personal publishing into drag-and-drop gestures,” writes Ryan Kuo, “the work being submitted becomes not the work, but a signpost redirecting us to a semblance of the work, subject to Terms and Conditions.” “In Submission” is the first of a three-part series by writer and artist Ryan Kuo for Art Journal Open.

Communing with Dore Ashton

By Michael Corris

A tribute to Dore Ashton, “one of the most energetic, widely published, and politicized American writers on art, and one of the chief proponents of the artists of the New York School (she decried the label Abstract Expressionism).” Michael Corris shares his remembrances of Dore Ashton as well as the audio and transcribed text from their 2011 conversation about Ashton’s experiences with the New York art world in the 19650s and 1960s. Alfredo Jaar’s film, Dore Ashton, you know (2015), and photographs by Madeline Djerejian and Polly Bradford-Corris are also presented here.

To Record, to Interpret, to Comment

By Anna Craycroft

In “To Record, to Interpret, to Comment,” Brookyn–based artist Anna Craycroft asks readers to reconsider how we come to know what we think we know about the history of modernist photography and the photographer Berenice Abbott, which draws from Craycroft’s extensive research into Abbott’s writings, photographs, letters, inventions, and other archival materials.

Edges of Action

By Nick Herman

In Edges of Action (2016), Los Angeles–based artist Nick Herman finds a distinctive method of framing his practice, blending the studied delivery of a public artist’s talk with the conversational pace of an intimate studio visit. This is the first installment of a unique three-part artist’s project Herman has created for Art Journal Open.

Candida Höfer’s Türken in Deutschland as “Counter-publicity”

By Amy A. DaPonte

Millions of Turkish immigrants settled in Germany after World War II to answer the call of politicians who needed to refresh the labor force after the war. Images of Turks at work or leisure in the parks, homes, markets, shops, and bars of 1970s West German cities populate Candida Höfer’s large, multiformat series entitled Türken in Deutschland (Turks in Germany, 1972–79).

Lee Miller, Challenging Convention

By Lauren Richman

Lauren Richman reviews Hilary Roberts, ed., Lee Miller: A Woman’s War, and the exhibition Lee Miller: A Woman’s War, and Walter Moser and Klaus Albrecht Schröder, eds., Lee Miller, and the exhibition Lee Miller, aka Lee Miller—Photographs and The Indestructible Lee Miller

P&P

By Kate Costello

The Los Angeles–based artist Kate Costello has created a unique animation of her limited edition book, P&P. P&P conveys Costello’s examination and subjective cataloging of vernacular languages active within contemporary visual culture.

Solitary/Solidary: Mario Merz’s Autonomous Artist

By Elizabeth Mangini

In 1968, while demonstrating students occupied university buildings less than a mile away, the Italian artist Mario Merz hung a handful of neon lights bent into the numerals 1, 1, 2, 3, and 5 above the kitchen stove in his home on Via Santa Giulia in Turin. It wasn’t yet an artwork, just something to think about in the place where he and his wife, fellow artist Marisa Merz, gathered to talk with each other and with friends.

no water, Athens, Greece, 2015: Twenty-four hours with nothing to eat or drink, only smelling the jasmine

By Penelope Vlassopoulou

Penelope Vlassopoulou began her Metamorphosis series in her home city of Athens. The series evolved in multidisciplinary dialogue with diverse urban environments including Berlin, Belgrade, and Chicago. In March 2015, Metamorphosis returned to its point of origin with no water tracing a link between Greece’s historical past and the country’s current predicament.

Happyville in the Rearview: A Conversation between Joel Tauber and Pedro de Llano

By Pedro de Llano

Curator and art historian Pedro de Llano speaks with artist Joel Tauber about Tauber’s The Sharing Project (2012–16), an installation and film project that looks at the socialist Jewish community of Happyville (1905–1908) in South Carolina as a way to consider complex questions about social, political, and economic issues in today’s world.

A New Configuration: Marco Breuer in Conversation with Vanessa Kauffman

By Vanessa Kauffman

Artist Marco Breuer and Vanessa Kauffman, communications and outreach manager of Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, California), discuss Breuer’s experiences as an artist-in-residence at Headlands and other residencies, and the way that the flexibility and differences in the studio set-up at each residency creates opportunities for new discoveries.

Humans Have Been Human for So Long: Shana Lutker and Mika Yoshitake in Conversation

By Mika Yoshitake

Curator Mika Yoshitake and artist Shana Lutker discuss Surrealist fightfights, making sense of the past through the lens of the contemporary, and the research process for Lutker’s exhibition Shana Lutker: Le “NEW” Monocle, Chapters 1–3 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC (October 27, 2015–February 16, 2016), which was curated by Yoshitake.

Space Travel: Trisha Brown’s Locus

By Amanda Jane Graham

In 1974 the choreographer Trisha Brown moved to 541 Broadway in SoHo, New York City. The cast-iron “nexus” for postmodern dance, commonly referred to as “the dance building,” had what the former Brown company dancer Elizabeth Garren describes as a “communal atmosphere.” Purchased and renovated by the Fluxus founder George Maciunas “with dancers in mind,” 541 was wider than the majority of the standard buildings in the neighborhood, and more important, it contained no interior pillars, making it an ideal choreographic work space.

Caitlin Masley-Charlet and Diana Shpungin in Conversation

By Caitlin Masley-Charlet
Caitlin Masley-Charlet, deputy director of Guttenberg Arts (Guttenberg, NJ), speaks with artist Diana Shpungin about her experiences as an artist-in-residence at Guttenberg Arts and other programs, artistic community, and the importance of having space for experimentation. This is the first conversation in a four-part series by Caitlin Masley-Charlet, focusing on artists who were recently in residence at Guttenberg Arts.

The Arctic Plants of New York City: An Annotated Bibliography

By James Walsh

I’ve been working since 2008 on a long, complex project centered on plants that grow in both the arctic (I always use the lowercase) and New York City, of which there are a surprising number. Along with identifying and pressing these plants, I’ve been reading eighteenth-century herbals and floras and more recent works on edible plants and botany generally, and have had a particular interest in mental travel and in writers who combine botany and literature.