Monday, January 26, 2015

Last Day on the Runway....(Back in September)

Well, time got away from me and I'm just now having a moment to post the images from my last visit to the runway just before the dedication in September.  I was fortunate to have another chance to spend time with a group of school kids that I had toured the site with earlier in the year, and it was pretty fantastic to see their response to the now finished runway.  We also had a chance to go back to the Aviation offices and play around a bit, and make some art.  Similar to the workshop I conducted with the Broward College students earlier that week, I asked the kids (ranging in age from about 8-9 years old to 16-17, I believe) to create their own personal response to the site, using paper and pencil, modeling clay, colored paper, and various bric-a-brac that I brought in. They used their imaginations as well as my own photographs as a starting point. The results were pretty impressive, to say the least.  These kids are smart, and amazingly creative.  This experience was, for sure, one of my highlights as artist-in-residence for the project.

A few images from the site visit and workshop are below (click on any image to enlarge):

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Broward College Visiting Artist Lecture and Workshop

I had a really enjoyable experience getting to know some of the students at Broward College during my talk at their North Campus on Thursday evening, as well as during the workshop the following Friday afternoon at the airport.  I’ve set up my “community studio” again during this visit, and this time I’m encouraging visitors to join in the creative process by taking a stab at making a little something of their own on the fly, in the moment (no pun intended, necessarily, but such an approach seems appropriate, given the transient nature of airports and the ephemeral aspects of the construction project).

Any rate, this idea formed the basis of the workshop for the Broward College students on Friday.  After talking with them about my own process, and viewing my installation of 10, backlit photographs on view in the Lee Wagener gallery, I tasked them with coming up with their own creative response to the airport’s transformation in relation to their own experience and understanding.  I had a variety of basic art materials on hand – modeling clay, paper and pencils, charcoal, tissue paper, sculpting “sand”, carving tools, backdrop cloth, etc. – as well as a stack of about 300 photographic work proofs that could be used as inspiration and/or incorporated into new works.  The students also took a brief wander outside to gather natural materials and random debris, which they used to great effect! 

I have to say, it was a really fun afternoon and these students inspired me with their creative energy.  A few images of the students at work as well as their resulting artworks are below.

Click on any image to enter into slideshow view, which provides a larger image.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cloud Puffs and Blue Air

I was really taken with the sky on this last visit, more so than usual.  Having spent the last 15 months fixated on the ground, and the transformation of that same stretch of earth, I realized the sky above had changed just as much – in fact it never stopped.  Over the duration of this process (the construction itself, my wandering excursions, the dead time on the site between spurts of activity) at no two points in time would what was once above, directly correspond to what was below.  The constant movement of the clouds through the atmosphere, and the incessantly shifting hue of the blue above make sure of this.

Of course I couldn’t help but think of the relation between this on-ground experience to our in-air perception of the same – seemingly so similar, yet entirely distinct. 

Below are a few images from my recent visit to the site:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Piled Earth From Near to Far

I couldn’t help but be impacted by my recent research trip to Iceland (where I took part in an artist’s residency in the northern part of the island) upon my return to the Floridian, tropical landscape that surrounds the still-shifting site of the airport’s runway construction. The Icelandic landscape evoked many of the same responses I’ve had to the runway site over these last 15 months – albeit in a much more extreme manner.  With the runway site in the front of my mind, the otherworldly terrain I encountered while traveling resonated in a particular manner it may not have otherwise – I found myself questioning piles of dirt and various formations, and having difficulty discerning whether they were man-made or naturally occurring, in some instances.  The visual results of the modification of the land, impacted by either geology or technology can seem strangely in harmony and discord, simultaneously.

These thoughts were at the forefront of my mind as I captured new images of the site – returning to many of the spaces that have become so familiar, taking note of the variance in accumulation and coloration of earth and debris on my favorite little “mountains”, and looking again to the palms and mangroves that line the periphery.

A few rough composite images from my last visit are below.
Click on images for larger view, please.