Mars Attacks Fragonard! Print series

Mars Attacks Fragonard! Print series

Vanessa Vobis - Mars Attacks Fragonard! Print series

Close-up view of "Plot" installation

Close-up view of "Plot" installation

Vanessa Vobis - Close-up view of Plot installation

Close-up view of "Plot" installation

Close-up view of "Plot" installation

Vanessa Vobis - Close-up view of Plot installation

Close-up view of "Plot" installation

Close-up view of "Plot" installation

Vanessa Vobis - Close-up view of Plot installation

Plastic sandwich bags filled with water, "Crystal World" installation, CSPS | Legion Arts

Plastic sandwich bags filled with water, "Crystal World" installation, CSPS | Legion Arts

Vanessa Vobis - Plastic sandwich bags filled with water, Crystal World installation, CSPS | Legion Arts

"Blue Crystals" from Plot installation, CSPS | Legion Arts

"Blue Crystals" from Plot installation, CSPS | Legion Arts

Vanessa Vobis - Blue Crystals from Plot installation, CSPS | Legion Arts

Magnifying glass over specimen

Magnifying glass over specimen

Vanessa Vobis - Magnifying glass over specimen

Magnifying glass over specimen

Magnifying glass over specimen

Vanessa Vobis - Magnifying glass over specimen

From milk carton series, carton and fiber

From milk carton series, carton and fiber

Vanessa Vobis - From milk carton series, carton and fiber

"Body Beasts", video still

"Body Beasts", video still

Vanessa Vobis - Body Beasts, video still

Installation collaboration, Estonia, 2007

Installation collaboration, Estonia, 2007

Vanessa Vobis - Installation collaboration, Estonia, 2007

"Sprouting" series of fungi screen prints

"Sprouting" series of fungi screen prints

Vanessa Vobis - Sprouting series of fungi screen prints

Lint roller print

Lint roller print

Vanessa Vobis - Lint roller print

Lint roller print

Lint roller print

Vanessa Vobis - Lint roller print

Fiber and print, installation view

Fiber and print, installation view

Vanessa Vobis - Fiber and print, installation view

"Fungal Specimen #4", fiber

"Fungal Specimen #4", fiber

Vanessa Vobis - Fungal Specimen #4, fiber

From "Body Beasts" installation: plexiglass, fiber dustmites

From "Body Beasts" installation: plexiglass, fiber dustmites

Vanessa Vobis - From Body Beasts installation: plexiglass, fiber dustmites

"Crystal World", installation view

"Crystal World", installation view

Vanessa Vobis - Crystal World, installation view

"Flying Agariac", fiber

"Flying Agariac", fiber

Vanessa Vobis - Flying Agariac, fiber

From milk carton series, carton and fiber

From milk carton series, carton and fiber

Vanessa Vobis - From milk carton series, carton and fiber

"Body Beasts", video still

"Body Beasts", video still

Vanessa Vobis - Body Beasts, video still

"Alchemical Kitchen", excerpt image from page 94

"Alchemical Kitchen", excerpt image from page 94

Vanessa Vobis - Alchemical Kitchen, excerpt image from page 94

Wardian cases, biospheres, and vivariums

Wardian cases, biospheres, and vivariums

Vanessa Vobis - Wardian cases, biospheres, and vivariums

Slime Mold on Straw in my Los Angeles backyard

Sep 3rd, 2012 by vanessa | 0

Last night I deep-watered our fig tree in the backyard, a spot that I had covered with straw about a month ago to help protect moisture. To my surprise, this morning I woke up to a yellow organism on top of the straw. At first I thought a leftover can of Great Stuff from my ‘Plot’ project had leaked. But on closer inspection it turns out to be Slime Mold, Fuligo septica, commonly known as dog’s vomit. The measures that slime mold undergoes are just as impressive as their bizarre looks. Within hours during the night mold must travel to a conducive surface, re-structure itself, in order to release spores the next day.

South LA Edible Gardens

Feb 17th, 2011 by vanessa | 0

South Los Angeles, my new neighborhood since 2010, is home to kind and diverse people in a vibrate landscape situated between urban and suburban.  Yet even with its affordable, the area is lacking a much-needed component to a healthy lifestyle: fresh and inexpensive produce. Over the course of the last year, a group of us are joining others looking for an internal fix: helping set up edible gardens in South LA homes, and teaching folks how to care for their gardens.

Our goal is to empower community residents to grow delicious and organic fruits, vegetables and herbs right in their own backyard. Green Grounds (the name of our organization) hosts monthly “Dig-Ins,” free and open to all.   Check out our next Dig-In, February 26th, by keeping up-to-date at http://lagreengrounds.org.

“Green Lens” talk at USC’s IML: September 22, 2010

Sep 20th, 2010 by vanessa | 0

Social Media Week iPhone APP: Vanessa VobisLos Angeles is hosting part of Social Media Week, this week!  Featuring an array of workshops, parties, talks, and online components, the distributed conference is proceeding in all parts the networked world.  I’m excited to give a SMW talk this Wednesday at USC’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy.  It’s open to the public, so please feel free to attend.

A Green Lens: Special Talk on the Natural History Museum by Vanessa Vobis
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 6:30 PM (PT)
USC Institute for Multimedia Literacy (map)

The talk will intertwine three components via a historical timeline: The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, my creative work, and a hands-on workshop. Here’s what will happen: I’ll start out with my timeline (including videos) and each time a new historical change occurs in the timeline, materials will be placed on the table (for the workshop).  By the end of my timeline/talk all materials will be on the table to construct individual vivarium jars by each participant.   I’ll procure all materials (including containers), but feel free to bring along your own jars or plants to share.

Image: Social Media Week’s iPhone App featuring the talk

Bug Fair at the LA Natural History Museum: May 15 & 16, 2010

May 15th, 2010 by vanessa | 0

Amongst the roaches, butterflies, and scorpions lining the tables of this weekend’s Bug Fair at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, you’ll see something on the macroscopic scale: large stuffed dust mite sculptures made out of re-claimed sweaters from second-hand stores.

Featured in a few of my previous installations and videos, the mites feel right at home this enthusiastic bug-centered event! I had a number of great conversations with bug experts and novices alike on Saturday. If in the LA area on Sunday, come check us out!

Bug Fair
May 15th: 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
May 16th: 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Free with museum admission
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Mushroom Foray in Beverly Hills

Jan 24th, 2010 by vanessa | 0

Vanessa Vobis: Mushroom in Beverly HillsAfter a week of unusually intense rain showers and hail I set out to discover LA mycological specimen. From the spongy and slimey, to the statuesque and colorful, LA does have quite a variety! Most had sprouted above the ground within the last two days, with the oldest being about seven days in age. Unfortunately, 75% of the mushrooms found were poisenous, distasteful, rotten with maggots, or eaten by snails.

Nevertheless, people in the U.S. are becoming increasingly aware of and interested in learning more about mushrooms… maybe it’s some combination of the economy, sustainability interests, change in values and life styles, delicacy, and medicinal uses (which are so common in Asian pharmacies).

Thanks to a lecture by the Los Angeles Mycological Society, hosted at the LA Natural History Museum, where we saw four hundred images of fungi specimen shown in one hour. This gave us a firm grasp on three fungi categories:

Magic: August 21 to September 25, 2009

Aug 30th, 2009 by vanessa | 0
Magic starting image prototype
Screengrab of installation center image, presented at Without Borders, August, 2009. (Left: Nicole Starosielski; Right: Erik Loyer)

Presently in production, Magic looks at the increasingly varied ways in which artists — or, perhaps more generally, makers — collaborate to bring disparate pieces of a project together to form a coherent whole. The project itself is also a product of these same collaborative forces.

Craig Dietrich, John Bell, and myself, in collaboration with Vectors staff, this summer’s NEH Vectors fellows, and many more have contributed to Magic.  As often happens, the nature of the partnership is dictated as much by the personalities and backgrounds of the collaborators as by the specific technical or production needs of the project. Magic is presently installed at Without Borders VI: Conjunction, a gallery show on the University of Maine campus, through September, 2009. The public opening is September 10th, at Lord Hall. We’ve placed up a Web-based version of the installation interface, and stay tuned for the release of the prototype Web-only project.

Science Species Lab: An Interpretation of Natural Phenomena
April 17 to May 22, 2009

Apr 16th, 2009 by vanessa | 1

Science Species LabIf in the wine country of Northern California this month, come by to see Science Species Lab featuring ecology-themed installations created with Anneliese Vobis and Craig Dietrich!

Opening reception Friday, April 17th, 5-7 PM, at ArtSpace404, run by the great people of the Arts Council of Sonoma County.

Mad Science Lab Event, Friday, May 8th, 4-6 PM featuring vavarium creation, lint roller excavations, and home-made print and felt production workshops!

Maine Tree Fungus

Apr 5th, 2009 by vanessa | 2

Maine Tree FungusWhen Fungi Ruled the World:
4.2 million years ago many new fungi species flourished during this active time. Fungi’s bizarre cylindrical forms became a prominent element of the terrestrial landscape and some grew as tall as twenty-four feet (see Prehistoric mystery organism verified as giant fungus, University of Chicago News Office). Humans have an intrinsic fascination with the dominant life forms—such as dinosaurs or giant mammals—but here was a landscape dominated by a goliath organism: the giant fungi. These fungi were titans stretching themselves toward the sky and held the stature of trees.

Maine Lichen and Moss

Jan 24th, 2009 by vanessa | 0

Maine Lichen and MossThe moss collecting hobby in the late 19th Century led to the establishment of mosseries in British and American gardens. For a dynamite mossery, see http://…/dsmoss.jpg. While the images here were taken in the forest behind my backyard in Maine, the following is a recipe for growing moss and some related thoughts on green art.

For growing moss, you will need:

Maine Mushrooms

Jan 19th, 2009 by vanessa | 0

Maine MushroomIn 2008, Maine had an unusually high amount of forest mushrooms (described by local residents). While joining the University of Maine faculty during the fall semester I dedicated extensive time observing and documenting the forests surrounding campus.

Maine’s forests brought back memories: when I was a kid in Germany my parents took me on long hikes through the Black Forest. The composting floors–fertile with moist leaves, ferns, twigs, logs, and saturated moss patches–smelled of wild mushrooms. The sensory connections between past and present were fantastic.

Freese Pop, December 12th to 17th

Dec 10th, 2008 by vanessa | 0

Come to downtown Bangor, Maine to see Freese Pop , an installation show featuring students of UMaine’s Intermedia Graduate Installation Seminar !

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Mars Attacks Fragonard!, September 13th to October 4th

Sep 15th, 2008 by vanessa | 0

Come see Mars Attacks Fragonard! at the (106) Gallery, 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids, Michigan . This new show coincides with the three day International Sculpture Conference at the beginning of October in Grand Rapids, and combines elements of past installations Plot and Crystal World . Closing reception will be Friday, October 3rd from 6-10pm.

The show’s title was coined by Mel Andringa, director of CSPS | Legion Arts , describing my installation there in May ‘08 . Jean-Honoré Fragonard created the rococo painting "The Swing" in 1767 in which a young nobleman receives an interesting view up his lady’s skirt while she is pushed into a provocative position (delightfully loosing a slipper in mid air) by her priest. Mars Attacks! is a Tim Burton science fiction film from 1996.

U-Maine Graduate Installation Seminar Fall 2008 Overview

Sep 13th, 2008 by vanessa | Comments Off

This class will create conditions in which students evolve their conceptual and aesthetic installation skills with an eye on video/sound, ambient, interactive, performative, and site-specific installations. We will have hands-on experience in the production of installations while readings, field trips, media screenings, and discussions provide context.

Image: Marcel Duchamp, "Etant donnés", 1946-66.

Galaxies, Utopias and other Ecosystems

Jul 6th, 2008 by vanessa | 0

Alongside recent installations that were very physical and collaborative, I’ve set aside a few hours each week to work privately in my studio on these prints. Layers of silkscreen and digital images appropriated from ongoing installations are collaged into made-up landscapes. I thoroughly enjoyed writing my MFA thesis and the research for the document has inspired these works. (Related: Mel Andringa, gallery owner of CSPS | Legion Arts , called Plot “Marsattacksfragonard” as the many details and colors remind him of Jean-Honore Fragonard’s rococo paintings , mixed with sci-fi and black comedy.)

Floods: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Jun 20th, 2008 by vanessa | 0

Right image by Cliff Jette/The Gazette

The artist-run gallery CSPS as well as many Cedar Rapids-based artists have been affected by the floods. Please visit CSPS’ web site to find out more about donating to their artist fund:
https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=2091

Nitpickers, April 2nd extended to June 1st

Mar 27th, 2008 by vanessa | 0

Nitckpickers at Legion Arts | CSPS in Cedar Rapids.

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U-Iowa Intermedia I Spring 2008 Overview

Mar 14th, 2008 by vanessa | 0

intermediachart.jpgThrough research and presentation, we will become familiar with the process through which art content is conceived, researched, reworked, and materialized. We will have the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects and push the boundaries of mediums including installation, time-based media, and site-specific work with emphasis on conceptual development of individual interest. Slide lectures, presentations, and reading assignments will provide a historical context for media unique to the development of Intermedia art forms. Grades will be based on attendance and participation, discussions, completion of assignments, and synthesis of final projects.

U-Iowa Introduction to Printmaking Spring 2008 Overview

Dec 30th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

rhino.jpgBeginning Print is a general survey of the art of printmaking. The emphasis is on studio activities and practices promoting visual literacy and sensitivity to the various printmaking conventions. Students have the opportunity to learn basic techniques and concepts of relief, intaglio, lithography, foil, monotype, stencil and computer applications. Slide presentations and critiques will augment studio exercises to facilitate greater awareness of the cultural context in which printmaking functions.

Estonia: Impact 5

Nov 16th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

tallinn_bunny_combined1.jpgIn October 07 I was invited to participate on an International collaborative project and present at “Impact 5,” a biennial print conference held in a different country each year. I spent 8 days in Tallinn, Estonia and worked on a collaboration that was then presented to the public as an installation.

Plot

Oct 22nd, 2007 by vanessa | 1

img_2099.jpgHoping to be an agent of change in this world.. I am currently creating an ecology, an environment encompassing species that are synthetic, beautiful, and 100% composed of artifice. First round of material brainstorm: car headlining, fly trips, beads, Joanns fabrics treasures, shrunken sweaters, foam, foil stamping, and flocking. I hope to have the entire environment smell like Herbal Essences or Rainforest laundry detergent. More to come with a 50’s vintage feel and fantasy.

Fungus and other Shadowy Growths

Oct 21st, 2007 by vanessa | 0

funguscloseup.jpg Etherial images with references to Japanese decorative landscape paintings as well as malignant growths. I found that car headlining works very well as a maleable surface to hover between a soft print and a sculpture. Images are melted into the fiber via a heat gun. Nature vs. Artifice: Innocent, beautiful, fantastical, and idyllic worlds. Packaged nature for human consumption while teetering on kitsch and visual indulgence. In the middle two prints a slow accretion toward a black shape occurs-a massing of string among hundreds of pins.

Mite

Oct 5th, 2007 by vanessa | 1

Body Beasts videoAccompanying Body Beasts is a six-minute film depicting used sweaters manipulated and sown into shapes of grotesquely enlarged bugs. The abject creatures traverse the landscape of the human body as well as domestic environments and provide jarring relationships through shifts of scale and contexts. We see them fly through the air, crash to the floor, analyzed in labs, vainly vacuumed, and given back massages. The video examines our instinctual repulsion for the millions of creatures that live, eat, and sleep with us in a continuously symbiotic relationship.

Performance: Knitting on Paper

Sep 25th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

img_2220.JPGMonotrace on a sheet of clear plastic. A knitting mistakes included to create a stretched, torn, and worn fiber mesh feel. Drawing a line is simply the documentation of a performance. The knitted structure is two feet wide and approximately five feet tall. Here, the prints or virtual fiber mesh growths organically as sections are added through time.

Cumulus

Sep 17th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

dsc00526.jpgIn the basement of the old International Center at the University of Iowa. Car headlining painted, burned, printed, and weathered. Clouds form when the dewpoint of water is reached in the presence of condensation. The Atmosphere is a dynamic system consisting of many types of clouds. At the same time, minerals occur naturally through geological processes. The site of “Cumulus” is warm and moist with a concrete echo that travels through the adjacent rooms.

(Re)Searching Translatability

Sep 17th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

dsc06124.jpgInstallation focusing on the relationships created by smell, food, fungus, and scale. The baked objects, containing flour / detergent / yeast / soap / ramen noodles, are hybrid experiments referencing mad science. They are treated as specimen, dissected, documented, and meticulously labeled to become abject microcosmic dissections. Much like a visual haiku, half a loaf of bread is positioned next to a gigantic fungus.

Documentation / Studies

Sep 17th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

watercolor021.jpgAn eclectic array of drawings executed in conjunction with the multimedia projects. The drawings are studies of objects, that resulted from my research, and function as a way for their documentation. I focus on the quietude and direct hand-eye coordination when engaging in these pencil or watercolor drawings. More to come as I continue to scan them in. The trompe loeil renderings, especially, allow me to dissect and conceptualize the ideas, images, and things I work with.

U-Iowa Intermedia I Fall 2007 Overview

Sep 2nd, 2007 by vanessa | 0

intermediachart.jpgThrough research and presentation, we will become familiar with the process through which art content is conceived, researched, reworked, and materialized. We will have the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects and push the boundaries of mediums including installation, time-based media, and site-specific work with emphasis on conceptual development of individual interest. Slide lectures, presentations, and reading assignments will provide a historical context for media unique to the development of Intermedia art forms. Grades will be based on attendance and participation, discussions, completion of assignments, and synthesis of final projects.

U-Iowa Relief II Fall 2007 Overview

Sep 2nd, 2007 by vanessa | 0

flyer.jpgThis class will reinforce techniques previously learned while exploring and pushing the multi-faceted boundaries of relief and printmaking. Heavy emphasis will be placed on individual research, conceptual development, work, and critiques. The course is conceptually driven as we continue to hone in on craftsmanship. Consideration for alternative relief methods, via field research, will also be stressed. We will have the opportunity to explore alternative ways to relief printing, thereby investigating our definitions and understanding of contemporary printmaking.

Slide lectures, presentations, and reading assignments will provide a historical context to investigations into the media unique to the development of relief’s art forms. Grades will be based on attendance and participation, discussions, completion of assignments, and synthesis of final projects.

Various dimensions

Jun 18th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

milkcartonresized.jpgRe-assembled from the architectonic designs of milk cartons after they were printed on different surfaces, such as knitted wool or shop rags. With minimalist fascination, by the angles and planes of intersection, the cartons are translated into two-dimensional prints and sculpted objects. The removal from the carton’s function for consumption, its transference onto cloth and its three- dimensional reconfiguration out of other material, refers to some sort of intimacy, mythology, and Joseph Beuys-like aesthetic.

Drawing: Pancakes

Jun 16th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

scan61.jpg Alongside the installation, that used dried pancakes to mimic tree fungus, I also drew the yellow, flat, disks. I documented the various stages of the pancakes via detailed sketches leading me to further investigations on food; drawing parallels to scientific research and centrifugal forces. In the United States pancakes are known to be thick, round, and dry. In England they are thin, slightly oiled and taste best rolled up with sugar in the middle. In Egypt they are eaten as a snack, folded in half, deep-fried and soaked in sugar. The creation of a pancake has fascinated me since childhood as I watched my mother make Pfannkuchen.

Wonderbread Prints

Jun 16th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

img_0417.jpgI am interested in the organic flow of thoughts and how one contemplation, during mental meanderings, weaves itself into another. I see my practice analogous to the act of having a conversation where participants start with one subject and meander to another in a creative, free, and organic way. It is similar to the German author W.G. Sebald whose stories undulate through seemingly disparate fictions, facts, memories, and narrative. Within the last two years my work has traversed through bread, fungus, fiber, lint rollers, dust mites, and so on. I glean, record, expose, map, in order to investigate the materiality of things.

Special thanks to jendanderson at printeresting.org for mentioning the prints in her post, January 14th, 2008! http://printeresting.org/2009/01/14/wonder-bread-prints

Alchemical Tree Fungus

Jun 14th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

d5.jpgAlongside my fiber work I am also interested in the alchemical potential of food. As a dollop of dough drops into the frying pan it spreads from the center outward and forms concentric rings. With each stroke of the spatula the edible disks are widened. In dry weather the pancakes become brittle and hard after several days. I dissected the disks and formed a wall installation wherein the dehydrated pancakes took on the pattern and shapes of tree fungus.

Fungus: Sweaters

Jun 14th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

l21.jpgI currently interrogate the culture of domestic activity and it’s environment as fertile ground for an existence between the artificial and organic. Wool sweaters are manipulated to look like microscopic topographies. Through them I explore dualities of sensual tactility and abject/fungal references. I enjoy co-mingling disparate sentiments, like repulsion and attraction, in a single piece.

Collecting and Mapping Residue: Lint Roller Portraits

Jun 13th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

o8.jpgWhenever used, the sticky roll traces its environment and creates an index. It accumulates what washing machines or vacuums have neglected and partakes in the cycle of personal cleanliness. The lint roller’s function, to collect and transfer detritus, is what interest me in them. Perhaps this series is ultimately overshadowed by my other work but ranks amongst my favorite projects conceptually.

Crystal World

Jun 12th, 2007 by vanessa | 0

This project was very much inspired by my recent journey to Las Vegas where I saw a Cirque du Soleil show. This work is comprised of over 700 water-filled clear plastic bags, projectors, and mushroom-shaped lamps illuminating the ground, gave an otherworldly sense to the viewer. One was immersed in warmth and color reflections as the crystal-like drops, suspended from string, refracted light while slowly twirling around their fastened threads. During creation, the ritualistic activity of filling clear bags and binding them onto string gave way to repetition and focused precision. The recurring physical action located me in a serene state that was reflected by the installation’s peace and lightness.

Body Beasts

Jun 12th, 2007 by vanessa | 1

006.jpgBody Beasts was a multimedia investigation into the uncanny nature of dust mites. The research resulted in disjunctive relationships through shifts of scale and contexts. I explored dualities of sensual tactility and distrusting, fungal, and microscopic references, as I co-mingled disparate sentiments, such as repulsion and attraction, in single pieces. Because my work has a strong natural science overtone I explore viewer’s perception between inspecting vs. experiencing.