A Colony of Drifters

Collaboration by Lani Asuncion & Emcee C. M., Master of None [Colin McMullan]

CWOS: Alternative Space Commission, the Attic
290 Goffe Street Armory, New Haven, CT
Oct. 10-11, 2015

Colin McMullan and I was commissioned to participate in City-Wide Open Studios: Alternative Space weekend with the theme DWELLING in mind. The work was designed for the dimly lit, quiet, secret space of the attic. We created a dreamlike world of images, objects, and actions. Two videos played side-by-side, one played then subsided and the other began. The work incorporates objects, materials, and themes from our individual practices along with new work we produced together for this multimedia collaborative installation.

2 channel HD video projections 15′ x 8′
Front room displayed two parallel projections, at the same time the golden house to the left and handmade boat to the right into could be viewed through parallel doorways.

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Installation materials:
handmade boat [modeled from a Irish Currach & Umiak design]:
willow saplings & split locust gunwhales, grape vine, nylon sailmaker’s twine, canvas, tar, driftwood
chess set: whittled wood, stone, metal
duck house: 1 channel video loop, cedar, dried duck feet
golden house: emergency blankets, pvc pipe, electrical tape
wooden post & sprouted acorn
pile of sprouted acorns
yak hat w/ headphones playing live 24/7 weather feed

Photo credit: Judy Rosenthal

Media:
Home Is Where The Art Is
by Brian Slattery from the New Haven Independent wrote a piece on our work in By Water.

To find out more about what influenced the making of the Golden House in this piece go to this blog this blog post that talks about the VAGABOND project. It is an extension of this concept and this collaboration is considered part of the series. white_sands_standing_still

Here is the book Colin McMullan wrote ‘A Boat to Find Christine Period,’ a small hand-stitched photocopied book in an edition of 31, documenting his research and building process, and incorporating 6 woodblock carvings and engravings, as well as some drawings and a bibliography. Copies of the book are for sale in the Emporium. Head to his webpage to view the full contents.

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LINCOLN OAK TREE PROJECT: Cement, Paper, & Copper

After somehow lifting an 80 lb. bag of cement into my car (with the help of getting a second bag from Dustin DeMilio, thank you for the help I don’t think I could have lifted another one alone) brought it into my studio and casted the form for the shrine portion of my piece.

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Then after careful preparation (wearing gloves & respirator), taping down the forms that would become the negative of the piece and spraying the inside of the mold with silicon, I began the mixing. Man does it take a lot of energy to mix cement, was not an easy task. After about an hour the piece was all poured into the mold that I left for a week to cure. Thankfully cement is caustic so the fact that my water to cement ratio may not have been 100% accurate did not ruin the mold.

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Returning after a week of letting the piece sit, at first the piece did not budge but after a bit of nudging with a mallet the piece separated from the mold. The glass forms were not easy to remove and had to be smashed with a hammer. All and all casting cement was not as impossible or difficult as I thought it may be and love how the piece came out.

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The head pieces for the dancers was tricky to conceptualize. I wanted the pieces to be light visually and physically and have a unit like multiplicity, the triangle form worked perfectly. At first I wanted to use copper, but the metal was to hard and I was worried it might hurt the dancers when then were wearing and performing with it. I decided to use vellum paper because it had a nice translucent quality but was durable when put together in units. This is one week in.

Last week I added the copper leaf to the inside of the cement bowls.

AOI Collaboration | An Open Invitation

I was invited by my dear friend Kasey Lou Lindley  to participate in the Sarasota Visual Arts e-mail collaboration, An Open Invitation  [AOI Collaboration].

This project was inspired by Miranda July‘s We Think Alone and mail art. AOI e-mail collaboration began September 2013 and was completed January 31st, 2014. Using text, image, video, sound, or a mixture of two or more, 17 participants — both local and nationally based – responded to an e-mail they received that was created by the previous participant. Below, each participant is organized into numerical order — indicating the order in which they participated and who created what piece, along with their bio [bio’s are found on the main Sarasota Visual Arts site].

The exciting thing about collaborating in this manner is you do not know who the other artists are and you have no idea who’s work you’ll get to respond to. I was given  Memo a audio piece by Regan Stacey. While walking into work that day the sun was shinning brilliantly, the sky was so blue, and the trees outside were such a bright vibrant orange; I thought, “The leaves could fall of any day now, how can I capture this moment?” Then I received Stacy’s piece and all I could think about was the beautiful vibrant orange trees. I grabbed a gopro, attached it to my head, and walked circles around the trees. It is great because some of my students stopped to see what I was so excitedly infacuated with, “The trees, look!”

AOI Collaboration from Lani Asuncion on Vimeo.

Now that the project has been posted I now see what Jeremy Fisher did in response to my video. I love it, and can recognize fragments of my work but it is entirely his own piece. I sat for a long watching the stillness of the foreground as the background moved just right with the audio, waiting and watching to see if the small deer would also move but I am glad it did not.

It is interesting when viewed as a whole you can see bits and pieces from everyone’s work, but no one knew what the other one was doing. There is something beautiful in common consciousness. I don’t think all of the pieces totally work together but there is a point where they all touch somewhere, that I find interesting. It is always great to be encourage to make things outside of your normal art practice. I talked with both Nicole Shift and Ben Piwowar and they both said that they had fun working on something they might not have done otherwise. It was fun to hear Ben explain his process of taking the original image he was given to respond to, and his reasoning for making certain decisions that all rotated around ‘having fun with it & messing around.’ I loved hearing how Nicole took parts of pieces she had worked on in the past and brought them back to life in this project.

I’m so glad to have been able to be a part of this project and look forward to participating in more like it in the future.

Lincoln Oak Tree Project: Collecting Wood

Today I meet up with project director Jason Bischoff-Wurstle and Zeb Esselstyn with East Rock Park. I was also able to briefly meet some of the other artist participating in the project; there will be another meeting to introduce all of us to one anther and discuss who will work best in which space at the New Haven Museum.

The next part of the project will incorporates finding dance artists to work with and creating the sculptural forms that will be used in the piece. Now that I have the wood I have a better sense of how the forms will be created and have begun thinking of how the video element will fit into the overall installation. I have already been able to get connected with a couple of dancers and hope to communicate and possibly collaborate with the Elm City Dance Collective and the Broken Umbrella Theater. Depending on how many dancers participate the clothing aspect could possibly become a immensely large part of the project.

Once materials are in hand a project wheels always begin with good consistent momentum forward. I am very excited to see these pieces of wood take form and cannot wait to know who is going to commit to being involved in the dance/video portion of the piece.

DEVILS HOPYARD SERIES

My residency at I-Park Foundation was a very fast paced and busy one but I feel despite the loss of 1 1/2 weeks me and my peer group was able to make a good amount of work. Once I was informed about being selected for the May residency I began to do research on the Haddam, CT area trying to see what kind of stories I could find. Much like the dilemma with the 3 Sisters project of not being able to find a substantial original story I contacted the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center and was lead to the book Legendary Connecticut: Traditional Tales from the Nutmeg State by David Philips (July 1, 1995), and found the story of Moodus Noises Devil’s Hopyard about the Devil’s Hopyard Park near the residency. The story I referenced my work on was the story of Dr. Steele, and how he loosened a huge carbuncle form the mouth of Cave Hill. 

Loud were the Moodus noises that night. The mountain shook and groans and hisses were heard in the air as he pried up the stone that lay across the pit-mouth. When he had lifted it off a light poured from it and streamed into the heaven like a crimson comet or a spear of the northern aurora. It was the flash of the great carbuncle, and the stars seen through it were as if dyed in blood. In the morning Steele was gone. He had taken ship for England. The gem carried with it an evil fate, for the galley sank in mid-ocean; but, though buried beneath a thousand fathoms of water, the red ray of the carbuncle sometimes shoots up from the sea, and the glow of it strikes fear into the hearts of passing sailors. Long after, when the booming was heard, the Indians said that the hill was giving birth to another beautiful stone. (190-95)

I also created a hood made out of 700 ft. of white nylon rope that was influenced by Haddam, CT being one of the main producers of fishing nets & mother of pearl button in New England during the early 1900’s. These stories, legends, and histories helped feed my work ask I began exploring the tucked away treasure of I-Park lush and extensive grounds and the Devil’s Hopyard & Machimoodus State Parks. WATCH VIDEO HERE

PRE-VIDEO SHOOT: BLESSING