Alternative Materials Panel Discussion with James Hubbell and Debby and Larry Kline (SD Art Prize recipients 2013) and selected NCVI artists Timothy Earl Neill, James Enos and Brennan Hubbell with moderator Jim Gabriel: ARCHITECTS Hanna Gabriel Wells
at the Sparks Gallery
at the Sparks Gallery
I want to start this report with the announcement that we are delighted to announce the SD Art Prize 2013 emerging artist recipients. The established artist James Hubbell has chosen Brennan Hubbell and Debby and Larry Kline have chosen James Enos, These four artists will show together at the SD Art Prize 2013 at Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair : November 7 - 10, 2013 and again SD Art Prize at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in April of 2014. It will be very exciting to see what these two pairs of artist present in the near future.
The panel was very stimulating and although not controversial there were some wonderful quotes and points made about the process of creation. Questions included the criteria for choice of materials, the most challenging material, the symbolic role of the materials, the longevity of the materials, and thoughts on renewable materials and new technology. The panel was ably facilitated by Jim Gabriel. Great thanks go to Sonya Spark and Sparks Gallery for hosting this panel. I am paraphrasing and summarizing here, so please do not take this as an exact reporting of what the participants said. Many, many examples are excluded so that you get the gist of the conversation.
James Hubbell: Art and Religion is all about what we do, not what we see. How we use materials to go inside ourselves to reveal content is important. Materials take you someplace whether it is to the past, present or future and have an influence on your journey. For example, we come from clay and return to clay, so clay’s very nature has an influence on the work. If you make a maquette from wood, the final piece in what ever medium, will be influenced by that wood. In the west we think, “In the beginning, there is the word”. In Asia, they think, ‘In the beginning, there is the brush”. We have to imagine the world in order to make it. There is a rhythm and a pattern to life and it is not necessary linear. Times changes everything and what was once old fashion become essential again. "We can begin to see a manifestation of many future-primitive technologies asserting themselves across industry i.e. carbon fiber loom weaving for airplane wings" (James Enos). Hubbell uses the easiest material to get and the most affordable. Those local materials are an integral part of our language. We should learn from our land and our wind. When we use new technology, what are we giving up? All art is a prayer. It might be a prayer that is a message or a cry for change. It does not need to last to fulfill that destiny.
Brennan Hubbell: Materials can be thought of in a more abstract way for example, art as a gathering space which is in constant flux. The space needs to accommodate its function and have upkeep and re-arrangement to suit its changing purpose. There is a village which makes a spiritual action of repainting the designs on their adobe homes everyday with rice paint. Used materials which are recycled already have an innate history and this adds meaning to the new work. Not only should we use local materials but we should encourage all to buy local.
Debby and Larry Kline: Although most of our ideas come first, and we quest to find the right materials to manifest them, some of the work is influenced by the materials at an early stage. We love to learn about new materials and the restraints and advantages that they put on us is a wonderful part of the process. With new technology, the challenge is to use it in ways it was not intended to be used and to incorporate new technologies to create works that have lasting impact and meaning beyond the novelty of those technologies.
James Enos: "We are amidst a post-pop re-pop generation. Many of us have been socialized by transitional global capitalism foremost via Internet organized modes of representation. This certainly affects our understanding of materials, and affects our conceptions of what is “local”. This is technocratic knowledge distribution at work. I agree with Jim Hubbell that our conversation needs to be about space. In considering the ways in which space is organized, we can come to understand the place and meaning of materials whether through our experience of formal ordering principals like sun, wind and light, or by way of our relationship to political power, economy, and own means. We are here to explore, and to participate in the construction of our environment. Creative’s often do use fiction to re-direct fact or vice versa, and this has immense transformative agency. However, often we fight amongst themselves for survival, and fail to organize collective approaches for social change."
Timothy Earl Neill: . From Marshall McLuhan, “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.” The glow of the screen is now a fetish. We see it everywhere. It allows us to be two places at once and travel faster than a speeding bullet. Can new technology make objects that last forever?
|Jim Gabriel, Brennan Hubbell, Timothy Earl Neil|
|Larry and Debby Kline|
|James Enos, James Hubbell|
|Observer, Irene de Watteville, Rosemary KimBal, Raymond Elstad|