The Studio of Eric Valosin

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I claim it!!

It's mine!  I claim intellectual property rights (or however that works...) for this discovery, which I made earlier this semester - it was pointed out to me that no one I've talked to has ever heard of this being done, and I decided to do a bit of internet research and so far have found no examples of it in google search or google images:

It turns out that if you digitally project an image onto a surface that's coated with glow-in-the-dark paint, the paint is actually activated to varying degrees by the different wavelengths of colored light, and therefore actually captures a record of the image in its glow!

I'm installing an art piece that uses this idea as we speak for this projection class exhibit next week.  I'll go more into that later, but for now I just wanted to solidify record that I have made this discovery and posted proof of it here at exactly 12:26 am, on 4/28/2012, before some internet savvy artist beats me to the punch!

Here's an example - when playing around with projecting white light onto the glow in the dark paint, exposing it for various durations, I accidentally projected just an image of my desktop onto the surface for a moment:

When I hastily covered the projector so as not to expose the paint (and therefore have to wait for it to stop glowing before continuing my experiment) this is what I saw...

CRAZY, HUH?? (yeah I know. whoopee. let's move on)
then when trying to turn off my projector, it flashed the "press the power button again to power off" sign, which then also got recorded on the board, superimposed on the fading desktop image.  You can see the darkened horizontal rectangle below.

The image then remains for a good half minute, even when the projection (at 300 lumens from roughly 4 feet away) only shines on it for no more than 5 seconds!

So let this be confirmation that today I have laid claim to this discovery (which was actually made, according to the timestamp in the images I posted, on Monday, March 19 2012, at 3:11 pm).

More on what I'm actually doing with this discovery soon!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finished Shadow Project, and an Exhibition!

At long last, I've finished the shadow projection/painting project, just in time for my Gallery Show at the school!  If you're near Montclair, NJ, I highly encourage you to come by the MFA gallery in Montclair State University's Finley Hall to see the two person show (myself and E. Dannielle Slaughter).  It's quite a show, if I do say so myself.  I know, I know, NOBODY knows where Finley Hall is.  Well here, now you have no excuse!

BUT, I do understand we live in a virtual world, so in case you don't have the luxury of coming by and spending some time with the work in person, here's a video walkthrough of the show for you!  Enjoy!

Since this show is the culmination of projects that spanned the better part of the semester, here are some links to my posts of the development of the project, so you can look back and track the history of this show!

Which leads us to here:  The installation.

my notes for the layout of the installation

arranging prints of each frame of painting from the video projection
I wanted the room, upon entrance, to reflect the feeling of "trying to figure something out," so I arranged images of the stages of development of the video painting, mixed with some of my drawings.  Then I arranged the shapes I used and lit them to project shadows onto the arrangement, which I then traced in charcoal.  All of this essentially amounts to the process, both mentally and physically, of arriving at the video projection, which would be hung opposite it inside the room.

This is where it got really interesting - trying to figure out a way to jerry-rig a projector ceiling mount.  I wanted to solve the issue of technological clutter that so many of our MSU shows have encountered, by essentially hiding everything in the ceiling.  Thank God for drop ceilings, because they are excellent for suspending milk crates and concealing power cords, surge protectors, extension chords, and computers.  Yes, even the computer is stashed up there!  I was then able to build a platform to hold the projector, housed by the milk crate as follows.

lining up the image with the canvas: lots of shims involved 

I was then able to use black mesh fabric to soften the lighting, giving the warm orange glow and shadows, but lessening the impact it had on the projection.  I had to do a lot of messing with the projection to simulate the conditions/visual effects I got when creating the piece.  For one, lining up the projected image with the canvas was a nightmare!  Secondly though, the projector I had in my studio was 800 lumens dimmer than the one in this installation and also had different color settings.  So I had to play with the brightness of the projector and adjust the color settings to reproduce all the wonderful things that happened in my studio (Documenting this piece will be tough because of these sort of "intentional accidents" that can only really exist when viewing the piece in person).

I also used moveable walls in the back of the space (to cover up a whole bunch of pipes) and to create a hallway from the main gallery into this project space.  Finished the job with some directional signs, hung my drawings, messed with lighting, and voila!  The final touches included papering over a window so that, in the midst of the sanctuary-esque moment my installation would provide, you wouldn't see Dannielle's video of a woman taking a bite out of the head of a chocolate baby in your periphery!  Kinda ruined the mood.

I'll update my website with the finished projection piece soon, but until then, here's the raw compiled video footage of the piece (about 18 min long, ordinarily projected on a loop).  Sometime I'd like to play around with audio for it too... some sort of Radiohead/Brian Eno/drone music seems appropriate, but it has to be just right.  Anyway, enjoy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Shadow Update

I've been back to work on the shadow projection piece once again, so I wanted to post some updated progress.  The shadow video portion of it is now largely finished, and I'll spend the rest of this week trying to finish up the painted portion so that I can edit it all together and get it ready for my gallery exhibit here at MSU in a couple weeks.

I had posted a video of me working on it a while back, but since it ended up all washed out and over exposed, I wanted to give it a second try.  Here's a much more interesting video (unless you enjoy looking at nothing and just pretending to see the progress).  The background music is my iTunes on shuffle, so don't blame me if you hate it.  If you love it then it was totally intentional and integral to the concept.  Enjoy!

Here's another picture of a moment in it's process - an interesting moment; the introduction of this really strange red glow in the video who's origins I can't really figure out.  Maybe it has sensed how long it's been trying to reach a finished state and resorted to self-immolation...  Either way it looks nice.  I wish the glow and dynamism of the projection could be captured in still shots better.  It's quite powerful in person...

Much to be done, and therefore much more to come!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Erik Sanner, Wave Hill, and More Drawings

After dropping off my piece in Chelsea (see prior post), I was able to grab coffee with new media artist Erik Sanner and light/installation artist Kazue Taguchi, who was in the U.S. for 5 days for a show at Chelsea Piers and staying with Erik while in town.  Erik and I are actually up to some very similar things; he's using a combination of projection and painting to create what he calls "paintings that move," examining the pixelated mediation of our interaction with art in the 21st century.  I had originally been introduced to his work by critic Sarah Schmerler, who recommended him to me in a studio visit.  I ended up including him in a paper I wrote, and so it was fantastic to meet in person and discuss the nature of the concepts and media we shared.  We sipped some java, traded installation anecdotes, squinted at iPhone pics, speed-walked towards subways, and he was generous enough to invite me to the opening of his show at Wave Hill up in the Bronx a couple days later.  It was refreshing getting out into the "real world" and spending time with artists who are truly in love with their craft and simply do it because they get a kick out of it.  It's also nice to know how supportive and interdependent artists tend to be (at least some of them).  Just what the doctor ordered.

Wave Hill is a garden/horticultural center with a gallery space.  The show Tending Toward the Untamed asked the artist involved to create work that responded to the garden in some way.  Erik's first piece involved spliced, pixelated, randomized video taken of the garden throughout several seasons projected onto a painting of the garden.  The other had video of the process of creating the painting projected onto the finished painting.  Take a look!

(proof I was there in case you didn't believe me)

It was a great show, and I was able to have some great conversation with Christine Licata, the curator.  I recommend you check it out - it'll be up through the summer!

In other news, 

Here are some recent drawings, trying to suss out the various techniques I've been developing in prior drawings.  Ultimately I'd like to gain a mastery of these techniques that frees them from their representational subject matter and allows them to function conceptually on their own, still speaking of the grasping for truth and meaning through the revealing and concealing of Aletheia merged with the divinity of a correspondence model of truth, and the grace of working with the given.

detail of window on left

 In them I'm mixing 3 techniques: erasure (Heidegger's revealing and concealing, pushing and pulling etc); graphite (correspondance model of Plato's representational truth); and a sort of graphite impression technique in which I draw in pencil on paper on top of my blank sheet.  I then remove the paper, and the sheet underneath is etched with an invisible impression of the drawing.  The charcoal than reacts to that and makes it manifest in the way it fills in the grooves or leaves them empty, and the charcoal drawing becomes contingent on the given impression composition.  I'll talk more about the theology implicit in this technique after my next few drawings, which will explore this idea expressly.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Come See Me in Chelsea! No, Really!

April 3-15
Family Business, 520 W 21st St, Chelsea, NY
Curated by Hennessy Youngman

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I can unequivocally say that I do indeed have a piece on exhibition in a Chelsea gallery AS WE SPEAK!  Feel free to take a second to soak in how grand that sounds before I explain the circumstances...

Ok, done soaking?  Feels nice, huh?  So here's the scoop:  A brand new gallery has opened in Chelsea called Family Business.  Self appointed artist/critic/youtube personality Hennessy Youngman was asked to do something special for this comically small glorified closet of a gallery.  This was his solution...

Considering my participation in the show would most likely be dismissed as resume fodder anyway, I couldn't help but do the most tounge-in-cheek thing I could think of.  Might as well at least have a good story to answer the question "so what did you submit," right?

Given the fact that the show essentially functions to make artwork disappear in the first place, I decided to preemptively coopt that circumstance.  My submission for this gloriously ridiculous show was a wall text for an equally glorious piece of art that doesn't actually exist.  So assuming you can find the 6x7 foam-core placard at all, you'd see a text describing an immersive, experiential, transcendent piece of installation art.  But of course the corresponding construct is nowhere to be found.  I've always wanted to do this, and this show seemed the perfect outlet!

The title alludes to the fact that the truth of the piece exists in the word only, and in the undercurrent reason and logic that allows it to exist as an extension of your imagination and experience.  The materials are a rough approximation of everything that may be in its vicinity, subsuming all of the rest of the show's art into the materials for my installation.  In light of that, if read carefully and taken as metaphor, the text does actually describe the experience of being in the gallery itself with a spiritually aware perspective.  So essentially it is up to the viewer whether or not the piece exists; the text is entirely farcical, but includes no lies.

On Friday I went and dropped of the piece.  As you can see, the 125 square foot gallery is no wider than the shot, and Hennessy (in the red hat) stands at the back wall!  6 of them would have fit inside my old one bedroom apartment (which my wife and I promptly outgrew with the addition of a cat)!

Much to my dismay, I was not able to attend the opening yesterday, but here's a video from  documenting the event.  Seems there were over 500 submissions and probably nearly as many people in attendance, apparently ranging from the likes of college students to legendary critic Jerry Saltz,  Maurizio Cattelan, and Marilyn Minter!

In truth, as easy as it may seem to write off this exhibit, I'm inclined to believe that Hennessy Youngman is in fact brilliant, and has accomplished something the New York art scene may never be able to accomplish again:  the demystification and destratification of the Chelsea gallery, unmasking it for what it has always been underneath all the politics and pretense - a place to show and see art.  His show tears through social barriers and shoves the red tape of privilege and access in the shredder.  He may be ridiculous, but he's the real deal.

I encourage you to go check it out while the show is up!  It promises to be worth the experience!