Sorting through more film I shot over the past four months.

Spent the day in my studio going through my personal archive of images, objects, and past work for upcoming issues of auto / bio. Here is a sneak peek from Issue 3 / Fall 2014 (in progress).

Above is a piece I made in 2013 when I was learning how to make handmade paper in a shed-turned-studio in rural Idaho. The self portrait is an image transfer embedded within the cotton paper.

Arboreal Anomalies, Portland Palm Searching, and Making the Unfamiliar Familiar current work in progress / process.

correspondence to myself: an ongoing impulse to archive moments, reminders, observations, failures, anomalies, and unintentional poetry. 

Going through some film I shot over the summer just in time for fall. Brainstorming for upcoming auto / bio issues.

My piece From Maine to Georgia installed in the group show Following the Prescribed Path in Los Angeles.

Following the Prescribed Path
September 13 – November 23, 2014
Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles

The seven artists in Following the Prescribed Path took diverse journeys into both urban and natural landscapes over the course of six decades, and ultimately transformed their experiences into a range of media. The artists’ projects suggest diverse reasons for stepping out our doors—to follow in someone else’s footsteps (whether they are just in front of you or whether they have long since passed), to trace historical wounds, to make a pilgrimage, or to pursue a hero’s journey in search of a transcendent experience. While it might be counterintuitive to think that following a predetermined route is creatively stimulating, the artists in this exhibition suggest otherwise.

Standing upright and walking on two legs distinguishes humans from most other animals. As long as we have been ambulatory, the urge to walk out the front door and just explore one’s environment has been part of the human psyche. Motivated by this basic desire, each of the exhibition’s seven artists embarked on such a journey, but with a twist. The artists’ routes followed a “prescribed path,” one in which the parameters were established before they ever ventured out. Mark Ruwedel followed the seventy-two-and-a-half-mile route through Los Angeles previously taken by an urban hiker. Vito Acconci decided to let strangers on the streets of New York lead him. Kim Abeles allowed a mountain, smoggy conditions, and “the way the crow flies” to determine her walk. Diane Meyer traced the ghostly existence of the Berlin Wall. The urban grid and the romantic pull of the ocean directed Bas Jan Ader. Gabrielle Ferrer developed schemes for herself inspired by earlier wanderers and thinkers. Erin Mallea set out on the well-mapped Appalachian Trail.

Their projects suggest diverse reasons for stepping out our doors—to follow in someone else’s footsteps (whether they are just in front of you or whether they have long since passed), to trace historical wounds, to make a pilgrimage, or to pursue a hero’s journey in search of a transcendent experience. In the process, they articulate dreams and fears that we all share, and maybe they will inspire us to step out of our daily routines to follow our own prescribed paths. 

- Carolyn Peter, Director & Curator, Laband Art Gallery

From Maine to Georgia, 2012–14
Erin Mallea

Following the Prescribed Path presented me the opportunity to reexamine and develop From Maine to Georgia, a project I began in 2012 while hiking the Appalachian Trail. During the five-month, 2,180-mile hike I became interested in my reality compared to idealized narratives of wilderness. Affected by the inaccessibility of my customary communication methods and the importance of written language within the AT hiking culture, I began to share artifacts of my experience through the USPS. Recipients experienced the project’s evolution by collecting regular drawings, letters, found objects, and poems by post. For some recipients, these mailings demystified components of my journey.  For others, the mail mystified my history further, weaving the experience with characteristics of the sublime and transcendent and blurring lines between fact and fiction, the routine and the romantic. The objects became personal and shared markers of time and place—pin drops within a larger concrete and immaterial geography.  

images:

  1. Installation images courtesy of Brian Forrest and Laband Art Gallery
  2. From Maine to Georgia, maple table and benches, map: pen and pencil on mylar and rice paper, mailings: mixed media, 2012–14
  3. Erin Mallea, details of individual mailings from From Maine to Georgia, mixed media.

A few photos from the artists’ panel and opening reception of Following the Prescribed Path at the Laband Art Gallery earlier this month. Thank you for all the support from friends, family, and mentors in person and from afar. It was an honor and privilege to speak and exhibit alongside such incredible talent.

Following the Prescribed Path presents work of seven intergenerational artists that spans six decades: Kim Abeles, Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Gabrielle Ferrer, Diane Meyer, Mark Ruwedel, and me. The exhibition showcases approaches in contemporary art practices rooted in experiences of walking—whether following others’ footsteps, investigating historical trauma, pursuing a hero’s journey, or making a pilgrimage.

From top to bottom

  1. Pre artists’ panel, Murphy Recital Hall, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
  2. Discussing my work, From Maine to Georgia, alongside exhibiting artists Diane Meyer and Gabrielle Ferrer and Laband Director Carolyn Peter.
  3. Me sitting with/at/on my work during the opening reception.

Thank you to Jessica Csanky for images 2 and 3!

“I think my art lands in a gray zone and still remains confusing to people, because it doesn’t have all the watchwords of conceptualism and does not exactly fit into any particular movement. I’m just slightly outside it all—my performances are not performances, my Conceptual Art is not Conceptual Art, and my paintings are not paintings. You can’t recognize any of it, so it can’t be placed anywhere, which is either a major blessing or a curse.”
— Jeffery Vallance, interview with Damon Willick, "In the Valley with Jeffrey Vallance," East of Borneo, December 03, 2013

correspondence to myself: an ongoing impulse to archive moments, reminders, observations, failures, anomalies, and unintentional poetry. 

“Guggenheim Retrospective: retrospection involves memory. Old Works are borrowed, some I haven’t seen for thirty years. Dusty artifacts. I cannot replace a screw without permission from the the owner. The dust of language covers the works. Their identities give way to the balance of how this one looks against that in a given space. … Memory vanishes”
— Robert Morris in conversation with W.J.T. Mitchell, Artforum, vol. 32, no 8 (April 1994)

Following the Prescribed Path is on the horizon! I am ecstatic and flattered to be exhibiting and joining the conversation alongside incredible artists that have been mentors and inspiring voices.

The exhibition presents the work of seven intergenerational artists that spans six decades and showcases unique approaches in contemporary art practices by highlighting work rooted in experiences of walking—whether following others’ footsteps, investigating historical trauma, pursuing a hero’s journey, or making a pilgrimage.

Laband Art Gallery
Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, CA
September 13 – November 23, 2014

Kim Abeles, Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Gabrielle Ferrer, Erin Mallea, Diane Meyer, and Mark Ruwedel



above, from top to bottom:

  1. Diane MeyerFormer Guard Tower off Puschkinallee, 2013
  2. Bas Jan AderStudies for In Search of the Miraculous (One Night In LA), 1973

David Dunlap. Plus a good read written by Melissa Tuckman about his work at CUE Art Foundation in New York.

Details from my culminating self portrait created at Anderson Ranch Art Center earlier this month. 

Colorado bound! Looking forward to taking a course with artists Ryan Burghard and Ben Buswell at Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

above, from top to bottom:

  1. Ryan Burghard, Man | Women, 2008
  2. Ryan Burghard, Marriage Studies, 2014
    Dial bottle containing 7.5 FL OZ (221 mL) of Ultra Palmolive concentrated dish liquid. Palmolive bottle containing 10.FL OZ (295mL) of Dial gold hand soap with moisturizer.
  3. Ben Buswell, Horizon No. 2, 2013
  4. Ben Buswell, Event No. 1, 2014