Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Show down

Well thats it, I am 100% out of the gallery. Four 16 hr days to set up, 9 days to show. and 2 days to take down. I took lots of footage of both "30lbs" and "This seemed like a job for robots" as well as photos. I am in the process of editing "robots" down into something viewable. I will also post a better (non youtube) version of 30 lbs on mnartists.org when I get around to it.

(by the way, I have started a homepage at mnartists.org/Christopher_Schommer - thanks to the Walker for hosting this great site)

So what did I think of the show? Well it was a great learning experience thats for sure. Making it was very hard this time, I think the show would have been better had I got my act together sooner. But I don't think that could have happened. I had to quick learn how to transfer my creative energy from you're-in-school mode to self-motivated mode and for a long time, it was very frustrating.

Also doing installation work, I could not really sit back and think on the work until after it was up! So changes that I see now that I would have made become lessons for next time rather than structural changes to the work.

"30 lbs" became my last minute favorite. It really came from me - a combination of Shy flower and Average color of campus (link soon I hope), and this pice by Roxy Paine called "Erosion Machine" where he was sandblasting wheather data on to a huge slab of stone to crete these bizarre topographies.

I also found out the the speaker was from Peter Becker Nelson who was an apprentice two years ago. We used the same studio, and he had left it there! Thanks Pete. I have also been interested in mass produced food since I read something about the price of flour over time. I think this is what I read. I bought 5 lbs of flour for $.99 - and at my salary I had to work about four minutes to make that. But flour at many levels is still sacred stuff, just as rice and corn are in other parts of the world.

What I am trying to say is it had a history, something that "Robots" had less of. In some ways "Robots" was a shadow of Rabbit Logic. Sure it had lots of new elements to it, but it never really got to the level I wanted it at. Rabbit logic was so successful because I managed to strip it down to the barest of elements. Me and the rabbit following each other. But this led to many questions and ideas that I loved.

With "Robots" while I think my concept was strong I fumbled a little at execution. The key element - the fact that the robot was live and right behind you - was lost on most people. Every one kept saying that they wish they could see it and I rebuffed them. Now I am not so sure I should have. The concept was to make people think about what they see projected, be it news or anything media related. You understand it to be reality but you are content not to see it. So when I show you something that you could see but can't, what does that tell you?

Well I will tell you what they told me, they hate it! They want to see it, and rather than giving it to them I strictly forbade it. I think people would have gotten more out of it had I had the robot visible, but located some place else in the gallery or the world. That would further distort the sense of scale. Top down camera - it looks really small. POV camera, it looks car size, and then you see the real thing on its 4'x6' stage.

People kept suggesting that I have a hole in the wall, but I think I would do away with the walls entirely. Or have 3 walls like "30 lbs." Something that would allow people to approach the action and see my "pet" working live. It would also make maintenance a hell of a lot easier.

Phew long post. I think this has been more for me than any one else. I have to make sure I sort this all out in my head before I move on. More pics and video of everything as I get it done.

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