As you know, I've been away and will be off again this weekend for another week. I've been traveling in places short on cell reception and internet access. I actually had to make a call last week while standing in a swamp in two feet of muddy water. I used one eye for dialing, the other for tracking a few alligators who were lazing nearby. I'll blog as much as I can meanwhile and then I'll be back for a good long stay. Nice to be chatting with you again—I suffered from severe blogmissitis!
Continuing with our media thread, Stacey Williams-Ng is painting a new series in which the paintings are a response to the significance of social media, and in particular, to status updates. As we know all too well, status updates are a mainstay of social applications like Twitter and Facebook, answering the question “What are you doing right now?” The result is collaborative and democratic—everyone is visible, and equal.
In her heavily textured oil paintings, figures are seen performing mundane tasks, such as cooking pancakes or reading while other more quixotic pieces contain no explicit narrative other that the status update that inspired it, such as the peculiar “Rafiq A. Spring…the end of my winter of discontent or just the next pithy chapter?”
Travelling without cell reception deep into the mountains, Really. Will be offline until next wednesday. In the meantime, here's a new movie — companion to my paintings in an odd sort of way. It has beautiful music by Conrad Cummings. That's one of the benefits of being an artist, while you always have doubts about your own work, you are never unsure about how wonderful and brilliant are the efforts of your friends. If you crave more of Conrad's music...
Michael's Snow — a film by Susan Shaw
Michael’s Snow is a reference to two very different kinds of seminal events in my life. The first has to with art experience. I saw Michael Snow’s Wavelength in 1967. In the film a camera zooms slowly—from the end of a room to a photograph of waves on the wall at the opposite end. The zoom is accompanied by a sine wave as it gradually progresses from its lowest note to its highest and passes through color filters, film stocks, positive and reverse exposure. I have never seen the film again but it has always remained with me—thus I know it was/is a seminal art experience.
The second has to do with sadness and loss, relational in proportion to the people I love. When I made this film I thought it was about snow, now I know it is about the winters of my heart.
Susan Shaw is an internationally exhibited painter and photographer. Private and public collections include the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Shaw is the recipient of two New York State Artist’s Fellowships and 2007/2009 residency fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center.
Kurt Hoss is a freelance photographer capturing the exuberance of
New York City for 35 years. A favorite project has been documenting life in south western Louisiana, culminating in two recent books, Going to Lafayette and Bosco Swamp.
Shaw and Hoss recently received an AVA gold award for video production, as producers of The Mermaid Parade.