Amanda Williams: Chicago Works

Sculpture

Installation view, Chicago Works: Amanda Williams, MCA Chicago. July 18 – December 31, 2017. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Artist and architect Amanda Williams likely never expected her public art project Color(ed) Theory, for which she surreptitiously painted the exteriors of condemned houses in largely vacant Chicago neighborhoods, to garner significant attention.  But in 2015, the Chicago Architectural Biennial highlighted the ongoing project, suddenly giving it a platform with international reach.   In her first solo exhibition, Color(ed) Theory is featured alongside other recent multimedia works by Williams at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Continue reading

Toxic Water

Beyond Streaming: A Sound Mural for Flint, installation view at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, 2017, photo courtesy the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

Intending to save $200 million dollars over the course of twenty-five years, in 2014 the city of Flint switched its water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and, in its place, built a pipeline channeling water from the Flint River.  This resulted in lead corrosion in city pipes, exposing tens of thousands of residents to toxic water, and a state of emergency was declared.  Three years on, the reverberations of the Flint water crisis are still being felt.  Beyond Streaming, an interactive “sound mural” at the Broad Art Museum, addresses the Flint water crisis, but this conceptual sculptural installation is merely a fraction of what this art project actually entails.  Continue reading

Harley Tallchief’s Beaded Sculptures

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Harley Tallchief was born in 1968 on the Cattaraugus Reservation approximately 30 minutes outside of Buffalo, New York. His father was from the region as a member of the Seneca Nation and his mother from the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. From infancy until the age of sixteen, Harley Tallchief’s family moved from one migrant farm field to the next outside the San Francisco area including Stockton, Manteca and Tracy. This line of work was familiar to the family, especially to his maternal grandmother, Florence Owens Thompson, the subject of Dorthea Lange’s famous Depression-era photograph, Migrant Mother. Continue reading

Observing the Second Amendment

Lauren Frances Adams Sculpture

Lauren Frances Adams, “Granny Smith & Wesson” (Detail). Ink, fabric, wooden stool, 2003.

In 2015, there were 372 mass shootings in the United States.  The resultant fatalities represent a mere fraction of the year’s cumulative 13,286 firearm deaths, a number which roughly doubles if suicides are included.  Since 1968, there have been about 1.4 million deaths by firearms in the United States; that’s more than the combined total of all American fatalities from every military conflict in which the United States has taken part since the Revolutionary War.  Continue reading

Rebecca Marino of Pump Project

Pump Project Sculpture

Rebecca Marino, Observatory Floor. Courtsey artist.

Rebecca Marino began her relationship with Pump Project as a volunteer during her sophomore year at St. Edwards University and has been a part of the organization ever since. She is now the Co-Director of Pump Project with a particular focus on curation and development. From the beginning she was taken with the diversity of skills needed to run a hands-on, DIY, warehouse style gallery and studio complex. Now, as the Gallery Director and unofficial head of development, she does everything from painting pedestals and working with artists to writing grants and learning the ins and outs of city funding.  Continue reading

Trevor Paglen: Black Ops

Trevor Paglen Sculpture

Trevor Paglen, Prototype for a Nonfunctional Satellite (Design 4, Build 2), © Trevor Paglen 2015, image courtesy Eli
and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University

Documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 revealed that America’s “black budget” (money allocated for classified surveillance programs) was just under $53 billion. The money financed 16 spying agencies which employed 107,035 people. [i]   Trevor Paglen, a writer, photographer, and multimedia artist with a PhD in geography, creates art that addresses America’s clandestine security agencies, the “black world.”  Through September 27, East Lansing’s Broad Art Museum is featuring his art in the third and final installment of its Genre series in an exhibition loosely arranged on the theme of the landscape. Continue reading