Tuesday, February 26, 2013

just for fun

An animated gif I made as an in-class demo for Video Art II, inspired by Terry Gilliam's Do It Yourself Animation Show.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kiln and Convection Technology

Eighteen years ago during the spring of 1995 on a small island in the Mississippi River off the shores of St. Paul MN at an abandoned power plant a group of artists observed Beltane using the medium of fire.

Without knowing that Beltane translates as "fire of the god"(1), or 
that cakes played an important role in Beltane, or that one piece of cake would traditionally be marked and he who received it would be sacrificed to the fire...

         I cooked giant pancakes with a marble hidden inside.

Earlier in the day, I had dug a pit and assembled a stove with a sheet of salvaged stainless steel and some bricks.

Earlier in my life, I had unknowingly come to understand convection principles through observing my mom opening and closing the damper to control the heat of the kiln. When my giant pancake stove needed more heat, I intuitively pulled out a brick to create a heat transfer current that would stoke the fire thus raising the temperature of the cooking surface.

I used a snow shovel to flip the pancakes.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Ancient and Contemporary Mediums

This is Jackson Li (Li Jiansheng) director of the Sanbao Ceramic Institute and Museum (Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, China) discussing characteristics of Minyao pottery traditions of present day China. Here he connects the personality of this pot to the work of ceramic artist Marie Woo, from whose collection it comes. Last weekend's Chinese Folk Pottery Symposium at the University of Michigan Museum of Art was the culmination of decades of Marie's research into the traditions of Chinese folk pottery. She has followed this quest deep into China numerous times to uncover the surviving practitioners of ancient ceramic vessel-building and firing techniques. For various reasons, industrialization is bringing about the end of these centuries-old traditions, creating an imperative to act quickly in regards to their study and documentation.

My mom is Marie Woo. Her ceramic art and research (in tandem with my father's architectural work) is the ground upon which my own art practice stands. I am humbled by the social and cultural history of clay as a material as I extend my reach in the studio with the contemporary digital tools of moving image art.