Friday, August 28, 2009

Pep Talks

I suppose I'm not the only one that gives myself pep talks every once in a while.  I learned many years ago that if you need someone to pat you on the back, and there's no one there, it's good to go DIY!  But there's another woman out there, Rachel Simpson, who has a blog called Daily Pep Talk from a Best Friend.  What a great positive idea! 

She and I are both members of a Linked In group and she asked artists to send links to their work.... and whamo here you go:
http://dailypeptalkfromabestfriend.com/post/174115169/atlantaabstractafterthetornado-by-ann-tracy

A big shout out Thanks to Rachel for featuring my artwork.

Today I will go over to the Enotria Annex, where I will have my solo show this coming October.  Since I've never really shown the big light box pieces in Sacto (just Reno and Vegas), I'll need to measure the wall space and see what the electrical outlet situation is so I can display them.  I also will have some new work as well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where's Waldo?

Remember that? The book was released in 1987 by illustrator Martin Handford. Who has apparently made a franchise out of it! There are six books now and word on the street - OK, the internet - says that it's being made into a movie !?! Check out this link or copy and past the following into your browser: http://www.worldhum.com/travel-blog/item/travel-movie-watch-wheres-waldo-20090602/
A few weeks ago we went to San Francisco and of course had to go to MOMA as they had some great photography on exhibit... a showing of Richard Avedon's work from 1946 to 2004; a showing of Ansel Adams photos along with Georgia O'Keefe's landscapes (which ends Sept 7th) and great photos by Robert Frank (ends Aug 23rd) whose work I was not familiar with, but really liked.
As we were walking down the stairs, I glanced out the window and who should I see but Waldo!?!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Workshop Reading of New Play Coming Soon

Go ahead, call me lazy, but I'm just going to put the news release here. This will be a one-night-only event, but it will be free or if you can spare some change, donations gratefully accepted...
The money’s gone, the Vineyard must be sold, but Lucy Ravine and her brother Leo are living in the glorious past, not in 1980s California Wine Country. Ann Tracy’s “The Vineyard” is an adaptation of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”, a story of rural development, lost love, losing your home and how absurd people can be when facing change. This Playwrights Collaborative workshop reading of “The Vineyard” is set for 7 PM, September 6, 2009 at the Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815. The event is free but donations are gratefully accepted.

  • Tracy is not only a playwright, but also an actor, director and artist. She founded Beyond the Proscenium Productions in 1994, where she directed dozens of world and regional premieres. She has written nine scripts, seven of which have been produced in California. She is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, alumnae of the Directors Lab West and a member of the Dramatists Guild.>She was the first female voice on the air at KTLK, Denver in 1977 as an overnight radio news announcer. This first job in radio news led to a ten-year career as a broadcast journalist in the Denver, Milwaukee, San Jose and Sacramento markets. Ann is also an artist working in the digital and video mediums. Her fine art has been exhibited from Japan to Maui to New York City. In 2003 her work, “Stop” was included in the catalog of the “Violence Against Women”, Group 78 Amnesty International show, Tokyo, Japan. Her digital painting “Message 3” appeared in the 2008 edition of American Art Collector.
  • The Playwrights Collaborative is an organization of writers, actors, directors and others interested in the theater, working together to promote the development and production of new plays in Sacramento and elsewhere. Through a cooperative process of peer review, Playwrights Collaborative assists in making plays ready for production and helps in finding suitable venues where shows might be performed. For further information or if you have a play you would like workshopped, contact Gary Agid, chairman, at gary@agid.com (916-383-9267). See I was able to give a plug to the Playwrights Collaborative and Big Idea Theatre!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Can you hear it?

I can't hear the ocean from the 90 miles off the coast that I live, but I love the sound of waves crashing on the shore. It has a very soothing effect on me that rivals none! Hence the interest in this project - Sea of Seas, an international video/photography project. Artists are being asked to shoot 2 min of video of the ocean and then send it to her and upload onto You Tube.
It was conceived by Orly Aviv, an Isreali photographer, and will be exhibited 6th October to 13th October, 2009 at the Slade Research Center, Woburn Square, University College London, Camden, London WC1H, UK. If anyone is in London at that time, pop by the show and let me know how it looks!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Goldwell

is an outdoor art museum near the ghost town of Rhyolite, about 100 miles north of Las Vegas in Nevada. In efforts to clean up my hard drive, I'm trying to use all the little stuff that's been hanging around since this past spring... Enjoy and thanks Kevin MacLeod for the use of your music, it's a perfect fit!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

No Comment

This very funny sign was seen in a bar in Ashland, Oregon. I made me think of my "beware of ____" series that is posted from our Santa Fe Trip on the Flickr page.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Passages - Part 2

Here is the 2nd part of JD Jarvis' thoughts on meaning in art, something that I have thought about as well. Much of the work I've done not only in the visual arts, but in the performing arts as well, has had a specific meaning for me, but was sometimes obscure for an audience. And he got to be at the same table with two other of my art heroes!

In 1975 I was sitting in a cafe in Berkeley, CA with Jerry Hunt a friend and electronic music composer from Dallas, Texas. We were there to attend a banquet marking the end of The National Center for Experiments in Television, which had played a formative and supportive role in my study of Video Art. Up to the table came John Cage and Merce Cunningham who turned out to be friends of Mr. Hunt. I was flabbergasted and spent most of the encounter just sitting and listening. I did not even marshal the gumption to mention to Mr. Cage that as a result of his writing and theories I had created a video composition (which I had dedicated to him) using chance operations and had set it to the music of one of his compositions "HPSCHRD" which had also been composed by chance. Perhaps my hesitance was due to my star-struck condition, but maybe I kept silent because of my own doubts concerning the piece.

To make a long story short, there was a section in that video that (even though it had been determined by chance) I felt did not work at all. It was a dead zone, not energetic, not restful, not in anyway poignant or interesting. When I showed the work I sat and cringed through this segment. I wanted to go in and change things... to make it "better"... but that would require breaking with the intention of the piece to be composed strictly by chance. So, I found myself in the predicament of having created a piece I did not like and could not change due to my own self imposed dogma. Where did my responsibility lie? To the process or the piece? Chance did not care about the outcome so why should I? But, then chance did not have to sit and watch the video or show it to others.

My way out of this dilemma was to admit that I am too much of a sensualist to let chance and randomness make all of my decisions for me. And, since the whole premise behind using chance was to free the work of meaning, chance itself was not the point but rather the effect that using chance had on the issue of meaning. Meaning was an important point for me in that I had noticed that even when I created an abstract video piece devoid of any intended narrative that people went ahead and created a narrative of their own. Further, that they then took this narrative, which they had created and used it to evaluate and discuss my work. For purposes of my thesis I called this a "quasi-narrative", because of a combination of effects having to do with motion and the fact that each piece had a beginning, a middle and an end and was being presented on a TV screen. People expected a story from the TV and when there wasn't one, they created their own like a kinetic Rorschach test. But we know that what people where seeking was meaning.

So, I decided in order to avoid creating what I saw as cold-hearted work which could get bogged down even by the lightest form of dogma that I would create compositions that in various degrees of coding held meaning for me. But in doing so I had to remove any shred of ego concerning the desire or expectation of that coded meaning actually registering within the viewer a meaning that was in any way similar to mine. In my mind this was the way to create work that held the ember of human warmth but retained its freedom from meaning. If the work is to convey or "communicate" anything it was just this presence of a human hand and nothing more... the rest being a reflection of the viewer's own quest for meaning and therefore their own mind.

Well, guess what... people are not at all comfortable with their own minds and still want to blame or award their creations on the artist. Thus, my own feelings about art as communication. There is none. This, remind you, comes from a student of so-called "Mass Communications." I have studied all the various models of communication... sender, message, receiver... message, sender, transmitter, receiver, message... all as arcane, incomplete and worthless as economics equations. Depending on one's intent and how direct you want to be in your presentation an artist may claim a degree of communication, but this is variable and spotty at best. This is why I say that art is a presentation with slim hope of communicating an intended message.

There is another definition of "communication" that being simply a "connection"; such as, this artery communicates with that vessel. In that respect there is communication in that the artist and viewer are connected in the experience of presenting and viewing a piece. This definition being devoid of any intended message, therefore, better describes my understanding of how I approach and what I expect from my artwork and those that view it.

Peace, Paint and Pixelate,

JDJ

http://www.dunkingbirdproductions.com/

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Passages

This post is written by JD Jarvis, one of the members of the digital-fine art yahoo group that I belong to.... I too have been very influenced by these artists in my creative techniques and thought I would share this with you. Thanks JD for letting me re-post it!
With the recent passing of Merce Cunningham and (last year) Robert Rauschenberg and much earlier the death of John Cage, a group of artists who began shaping contemporary art about the time I was born has died out. Of course, I knew little of these artists until I had to come to grasps [sic] academically with the work I had been doing in pursuit of an MFA in Mixed Media and Video. By then, chance operations, electronic music and art, the nature of performance, multi-layered visual experience all took on an enhanced degree of importance.
Ultimately their work brought into question the role and place of "meaning" in a work of art; more specifically the role of the observer in creating art's meaning. This is a rehash, perhaps, or (more kindly) an extension of earlier Dadist theorizing. But removing meaning from the work did not remove thinking from the process, in fact, their work often required more of it. Their work was often seen as uncomfortable, challenging, and provocative and offered lessons that I have continued to exploit and explore in my own work. Which is why I write about art so much. Nothing helps straighten out your own thoughts more than writing them out and reading them as if they are someone else's.
As for meaning, I have come to the conclusion that if the work I am creating has no meaning for me then I cannot expect it to mean anything to a viewer. At the same time, I have no need or expectations that the meaning a work holds for me will be the same meaning that is created in the mind of that viewer. I do not believe art is communication, but rather a presentation of experience. As in life the experience is yours from which you create your own meaning.
Personally, I do not think that digital media's primary role will prove to be to recreate or simulate that which has been done before. At the same time, I do not expect that a single digital style will prevail, as did all the previous "isms" within art history. The digital creation of art is something much deeper. What that is I cannot see or say. I feel as though it is almost evolutionary in scope. What I do carry with me from these three artists is the realization that the thoughtful, uncomfortable, challenging art we make today describes a society that lies perhaps two generations ahead of us.
JD Jarvis www.dunkingbirdproductions.com

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Webism's largest Internet Museum

And I'm part of it! Woo Hoo!! if you click on this link here or copy and paste the following into your browser
http://www.lastplace.com/EXHIBITS3/NatureAsArt09/index.htm
scroll down until you see the word Exhibits and then click on the number 3, then enjoy the work of many other talented artists from around the world until you find the two submissions I created for the show.
another place you can see some new work is on You Tube, I made a small edit in Salt, the video that I made based on a clip I shot at a salt mine when I was in Bacau, Romania. I like the opening better, do you? And now, here's the link or copy and paste this into your browser
http://www.youtube.com/user/anntracy

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Help a Local Gallery

I'm donating work and so is Cherie Hacker! Although I won't be in town for the reception, go ahead and go and buy some great work! Help the ladies at Tangent.