Get Lucky: The Culture of Chance


Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
SOMArts Cultural Center will present a centennial birthday celebration of art icon John Cage, December 17 through January 26, 2012. Get Lucky: The Culture of Chance, curated by Justin Hoover and Hanna Regev, provides a multimedia and multidimensional look at a vast array of fine art practices investigating the implications of chance operation in the arts and across cultural beliefs, values and practices. New works and site-specific installations created by more than 30 exhibiting artists hinge upon human interaction, explore varying levels of control in production, and experiment with structured randomness. Get Lucky includes works which conflate Wiccan-based Tarot practice and corporate culture, I-Ching with installation art, and the aesthetics of Zen pottery with Western abstract painting. Chance operations filter into both the activation of the artwork and the curatorial structure of Get Lucky: The Culture of Chance. David Molina and Garrett La Fever create an ongoing audience activated musical installation for the annex of the SOMArts Main Gallery. The experimental instrument, which draws inspiration from the Koto, a Japanese harp, is accompanied by a mercurial digital projection with video source material by Micky Tachibana. Sculptor Michael Bartalos offers a 3D installation involving boxes the public can arrange to create mutable structures. An evolving wall displays a different selection each week of 25 from a set of 44 EXCOR (Exquisite Corpse) images chosen randomly by a roll of the dice by the curators.

Kenneth Baker review in San Francisco Chronicle

http://www.flickr.com/photos/somarts/sets/72157628796258599/

http://www.somarts.org/getlucky/

Dates: December 17 - January 26, 2012
Location: SOMArts, 934 Brannan St. between 8th & 9th, San Francisco


Keeping an Eye on Surveillance


Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
In “Surveillance” artists explore various facets of today’s blurring of boundaries between public space and private life, between what is visible and invisible, between the observer and the observed. The context is the dawn of the 21st, where we find ourselves culturally confused and conflicted due to society’s mass-fascination with reality TV programs, Web cams, and eight years of an administration that included the invasion of Iraq, warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens, and harsh interrogation tactics.

“Surveillance” invites the public to engage in a dialogue over its ever-present obsession with security, fueled by global fears of terrorism and grapple with the meaning of spiraling erosion of privacy during a period of increasing fear. “Surveillance’ will feature the works that deal with today's concerns with safety (community and individuals ) and the host of problems surrounding public spaces, and to those watching and being watched.

The following questions come to mind:

Does surveillance protect the innocent?
Does surveillance give us a false sense of security?
Has surveillance helped in deterring acts of terrorism?
Is surveillance use for security reasons always justified? What are the legal ramifications?
How much has the pervasive surveillance eroded our privacy?

Dates: September 10- October 22, 2011
Location: Performance Art Institute, 575 Sutter Street, SF


GEOMETRIC ABSTRACTIONS: An Enduring Legacy


Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
This exhibition features Nancy Genn’s very deeply personal style of navigating between geometric abstraction, landscape and architectural motifs, light and calligraphic images.

Genn's work reflects her own sharp and appreciative eye for detail in both natural and architectural settings. These are part of a series of three-dimensional abstract works of paper on canvas and the three-dimensionality of sculpture. The works reference exotic travels creating a new sense of place rich with personal significance and memories that are drawn from the deep colors she found in Rome, the haunting luminosity she discovered in Turkey's Lycian shore, or the powerful, solitary ruins she encountered rising up from the desert of Yemen. "I enjoy the possibilities for subtle change; it allows for the thorough explanation of an idea.”

Reframe: Making Sense of Waste


Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Consumer consumption of goods and resources is one of the numerous factors that underlie environmental decline. In “Reframe: Making Sense of Waste,” 14 artists were selected to present how they grapple with the meaning of all that waste through the use of scraps and discarded material in their work. The resulting pieces demonstrate their resourcefulness, imagination and creativity.

Through “Reframe,” the public is invited to reflect on their own individual role in generating waste and environmental pollution. The undisputed and alarming fact remains that today, one-fifth of the world’s population consume 86% of the world’s total resources. Consumer demand is stimulated by an irresistible and powerful advertising industry and is interlocked into our economy. Consequently, any imbalance can easily lead to economic disequilibrium and thus trigger recession, depression, and massive unemployment. The solution to this problem is not easily attainable; however, each of us can make a dent in reversing the trend. We all have a stake in the well-being of the global society. Can we as a society make a real commitment to sustainable development and reclaim part of the waste in a meaningful way? Perhaps these works can inspire a dialogue that can contribute to exploring this question.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32775635@N03/4593242460/

Prints Byte: Cutting Edge Printmaking at SOMArts


Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Prints Byte surveys the field of contemporary Bay Area printmaking and presents an expanded definition of what constitutes a print today. This body of work features some of today’s innovative digital technologies, shapes and transforms the boundaries of printmaking, moving the notion from the conventional concept of two dimensional works on paper into a new realm of immersive environments, installation, video and sculpture. By employing new digital tools, Prints Byte showcases the depth of local contemporary talents and practices in terms of emerging aesthetics and subversive political content.

Prints Byte is premised on multiple definitions of the words “byte” or “bite” simultaneously signifying the base element of digital information, the media framework for contemporary news dissemination, namely the sound bite or the media byte, and finally, the conventional application of engraving techniques as in acid bite marks on copper plates. This multiplicity of meaning expresses the various forms of experimental approaches to printmaking, and how they interweave to inform us about new directions and pathways in the realm of fine arts. Printmaking continues to be one of the most powerful and socially accessible channels for political expression and representation within the larger socio-political landscape.
http://www.somarts.org/tag/prints-byte/
Installation photos.

The Seduction of Duchamp: Bay Area Artsts’ Response


Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
The Seduction of Duchamp / Bay Area Artists’ Response is a traveling exhibition featuring over thirty local artists who were invited to create new works representing their response to the influence and importance of Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968). He was the founder of Dadaism and closely associated with futurist and surrealist movements. The exhibition features a wide variety of art practices and media.

It was first presented at the Slaughterhouse Space – an alternative art venue on the grounds of the Duchamp Winery in Healdsburg, CA. The show draws its inspiration from the historic 1949 West Coast Roundtable Discussion at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Duchamp was the main speaker and was joined by prominent invited guests for a discussion on Modern Art.

http://www.artzone461.com/1001-duchamp/the-seduction-of.html

Banned and Recovered: Artists Respond to Censorship


Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
At a first-time collaboration, the San Francisco Center for the Book (SFCB) and the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO,) HR Productions presented an exhibit featuring work from more than 60 artists working in a variety of media. With most artists interpreting a banned book of their choice, the project provided a unique forum for visual artists to respond to the suppression of literary art. “Banned and Recovered” considers the long history of placing limits on freedom of expression and freedom of access to certain works of art and literature. In our schools and communities, intellectual freedom and freedom of expression are increasingly under attack. The exhibition focused and explored questions such as: What are the ramifications for our culture? What can visual artists do to counter this fundamental threat to freedom of expression? What can we do as a community?

http://www.sfcb.org/html/2008banned.html
http://www.ceraexhibits.org/