Part Three

Time is Out of Joint

Box Three

Each box, produced in a limited edition three-box set, corresponds to one of the three exhibitions that was installed at the MAK Center in Fall 2020, acting as both an exhibition catalogue and an experimental mobile group show.

Box Three is available for purchase here: https://time-out-joint.square.site/

Artworks by Karlis Bergs and Lucy Kerr, Mia Yao Meng, Minga Opazo, Alexeis Reyes, Freddy Ruiz, Kenneth Yuen, Xiaoyun Zeng, Jiayu Zhang

Limited edition box of artworks, Edition size of 30 + 10 Artist Proofs
Curated by Scott Benzel
Designed by Ella Gold
Produced by hannah rubin, Casey Baden, and Ella Gold

This is the first box, in a limited edition three-box set, that presents a variety of artworks produced in conjunction with the Time is Out of Joint exhibition at MAK Center for Art and Architecture’s Mackey Apartments in the Fall of 2020.

THREE corresponds to the third exhibition that was installed at the MAK Center, from October 15 – October 31, 2020. It is both an exhibition catalogue and an experimental mobile group show. This work is in active dialogue with the following questions:

How can art meaningfully touch and transmit during a global pandemic?
How can we experience the multiplicity of narratives that occur through social connection when we must be indefinitely isolated from one another?

In the tradition of Fluxus artists fluxkits and yearboxes, the Time is Out of Joint box set seeks to sit with these questions by inviting viewers into the physical process of creating personal relationships with a collection of original miniature artworks made during the pandemic.

The three-box set includes 28 original artworks commissioned for Time is Out of Joint and created by the CalArts 2020 graduate cohorts in Art, Photography and Media, and Art and Technology. Works in this box include limited edition metal sculpture, performance documentation, artist maps, textile works, digital sound art, digital video, and printed photographs.

Contents:

Karlis Bergs and Lucy Kerr, /dark green of neither earth nor sky, 2020 Mia Yao Meng, Smoke, 2020 Minga Opazo, Residue, 2020 Alexeis Reyes, I wish your wish lives in my wish, realized, 2020 Freddy Ruiz, Pain as object of perceptual experience, 2020 Kenneth Yuen, Body Edition (Time is Out of Joint), 2020 Xiaoyun Zeng, One Month, 2020 Jiayu Zhang, Walking practice, 2020

Essay by Claudia Grigg Edo

“Perhaps never has there been a historical moment when rejection of linear progress was so apt. Our climate is being rendered unliveable by unfettered economic growth, the racial and colonial violence integral to white, Western state-building are being addressed anew, and contemporary capitalism is shown to be completely unfit to safeguard people’s lives and wellbeing in a pandemic. ‘Time is out of joint’ is a visceral metaphor that feels applicable to the temporal bewilderment we’re living through. But it is also a misleading one: when a bone is out of joint, there is a single solution—the solution Hamlet takes upon himself—‘to set it right’. The play shows the inefficacy and meaninglessness of this individualised solution. The works in Box Three linger in the logics of many present disjointed Times and the regimes of understanding they produce. They borrow, salvage and detourne technologies of past and future, reflecting on violence and solitude but also reaching for connection and pleasure. They do not try to ‘set it right’ but they do not disengage with the present either. I see them as moving on to Hamlet’s very next line:
‘Nay, come, let us go in together.’”

Excerpted from Claudia Grigg Edo’s essay “A Time of Many Times” published in THREE

Time is Out of Joint

Part Three

An interactive digital exhibition was published alongside each new installation at MAK Center, which hosted launch events, film screenings, and digital translations of each artists’ work.

Phase Change

Sound Installation / sculpture, Salt, Pipes, Fishing line, Meshes, Push-Pull Solenoid, Contact Mic, 8-Channel Mixer, Arduino Board

Phase Change is a sound installation that shows the sifting procedure as a specific ritual. The artist tries to involve the audience in this work, and this happening structure aims to achieve the phase changing associated with sound, movements, and body.

Dance Machine

Kinetic Sculpture, Stepper Motor, Arduino UNO, Gears, LED lights, Fishing Line, Card boards, Laptop

Dance Machine aims to discuss how space/environment functions the body, the connection between bodies and spatial configuration, considering how the body manipulate/share/limit space for multi-purpose. The artist uses a dynamic body structure to explore the visible and invisible inside the frame.

As I was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Thought About Eating

Mixed-Media Installation / Sculpture, Camera, Assembled acrylic box, Mini speakers, Silicon, Raw Metal, Stuffs from studio, Projector, LED lights, Plastic tube, Mini Fan

As I was moving ahead Occasionally I thought about eating is a mixed-media installation. The artist tries to reconstruct her studio in a gallery space, the measurement references relate to the physical dimension of her studio, kinds of stuff, and bodies.

Minga Opazo

mingaopazo.com  /  @mingaopazo

Overload

Recycled Fabric, string, 2019

The structure of weaving is enmeshed in our everyday lives—from our bedding to the way we dress. As a fourth-generation, Chilean textile craft person living in the U.S., my focus is the examination of how Chilean textile history and design, climate change, and trash displacement are interconnected with the social and cultural realm and contemporary art practice.

In my most recent work, I question the textile industry by creating a series of cultural works that explore the idea of solastalgia, a term which describes the mental or existential distress caused by environmental change and living in an era of excess, constantly consuming and throwing away. According to my research, only 15% percent of the used clothing donated to thrift shops in the US is actually sold. The other 85% is sent to other countries, like Chile, where the majority goes into landfills in the desert, where it is buried or burned. The cycle of our ancient textile industry is broken from beginning to end. I am dedicated to researching and studying this industry further and to creating work that exposes and reflects the current situation of our broken system.

Core Sample

Recycled Clothing, mud, wood, metal, 2020

Traditionally, textiles start from raw natural materials which are then woven together to create shelter and protection from nature. During the industrial revolution, the process accelerated as traditional techniques that used natural dyes and looms were replaced by machines and dehumanizing the assembly lines. This shift created unsustainable, chemically infused garments, which can no longer recede back into the natural world.

Good and Cheap

Recycled clothing, metal, 2020

Historically, hand produced textiles have been one of the most important parts of Chilean’s textile industry. Hand produced textiles shaped Chilean culture, providing communities with work, artistic expression, and a sense of identity. Although this industry is still part of the culture, Pinochet’s dictatorship changed how crafters are valued and perceived. Chile opened its door to the free market, which shifted production value, made a negative impact on crafter communities, and is now destroying the environment. This piece includes a video titled, “Conversacion” (2020), which investigated how four generations of female textile crafters in my family experienced the consequences of this industry in Chile.

Mia Yao Meng

jellyberg.com  /  @myyaoo

Tap into Screens

custom motorized track, flat-screen TV, video (looped), 4 minutes 31 seconds.

We Live as We Dream - Alone

virtual reality program, mirrors

Apocalypse Now and Ice Cream Mic

ice cream, waffle cones, mic stand, speaker, speaker stand, audio composition, 9 minutes 59 seconds.

Crashing Waves

16mm and digital video, 18 minutes

With Jess Harbeck, Court Schwartz, and Kelli Scarangello
Directed by Lucy Kerr
Cinematography by Alexey Kurbatov
Edited by Lucy Kerr and Karlis Bergs
Sound by Sara Suarez

"There is always this paradoxical contrast between the surface of an image, which seems to be in control, and the process which produces it, which inevitably involves some degree of violence." Edward Said

Crashing Waves follows a testimony from a stunt performer who discusses both the ecstasy and peril involved in their labor to defy gravity. The testimony meanders through the performer’s complicated narrative, which parses out all of the elements that go into an extremely fast moment of violence. The film meditates on the stakes of the real in the dominant culture’s production of images and emphasizes the ethics of care.

Four Girl Trick

Excerpts from performance piece, 15 minutes, 8 performers, 2 wooden plinths

Directed by Lucy Kerr
Choreographed by Lucy Kerr and performers
Performed by Arantxa Araujo, Lir Katz, Elyse Desmond, Molly Gorin, Stacy Collado, Morgaine DeLeonardis, Kristen DeLillo, and Bailey Anglin
Plinths constructed by Kenneth Yuen

In Four Girl Trick, the choreography was derived from the internet girlhood game circulating on young women’s YouTube channels, Four Girl Chair Trick. The choreographic systems are based on the instructions the young women give one another in the videos - sometimes challenging one another and other times resisting the challenges proposed by their friends. My appropriation of this game uses the instructions to create a networked object out of the women’s simultaneous cooperation and resistance to a system. The work reveals the materiality of the game as a networked interdependency of women both supporting and restricting one another, not just physically, but aesthetically and politically as well. I put the game up on pedestals to speak to the fetishization of the young women’s bodies, considering these women’s production of images for YouTube that would allow themselves to be surveilled and the hundreds of thousands of views on their YouTube pages.

Sensible Ecstasy

3 channel digital video installation, 4 minutes on loop

Performances by Lucy Kerr, Elyse Desmond, and Kristen DeLillo

Under what conditions is ecstasy sensible? Sensible Ecstasy reflects on the desire of the self to extend beyond the limits of the body and touch the sky, revealing a tension between this desire and the apparatuses and systems that capitalize on this desire. The performances resemble historical representations of female ecstasies, particularly in Catholicism, rendering an uncanny similitude between religious depictions of ecstasy and the experience of ecstasy at theme parks, which are emblematic of capitalism in the United States. The title references Amy Hollywood’s writings on female mystics such as Beatrice of Nazareth and Christina the Astonishing.

Untitled Dish; Basket (2019)

Bamboo, Sea Grass, Automotive Paint (Audi Manhattan Grey Metallic), 48 inches x 48 inches x 16 inches

A concave/circular form woven from bamboo and seagrass, then painted in Audi Manhattan Grey Metallic Paint automotive paint.

Monument to A Specific Cultural Phenomenon 2.0 (2019)

Etched Cor-Ten Steel, 30 inches x 30 inches x 30 inches

A 30x30x30 cube fabricated via cor-ten steel. Said form is chemically etched into with graphics of LBC Express, a shipping company based in the Philippines that operates internationally, providing flat rate shipping for Filipino forgien workers.

Dreaming of Gold; Dreaming of Home (After Hsu) (2020)

Wood, Steel, Enamel Paint, Bamboo, Dimensions Variable

A series of back rectilinear forms in two parallel stacks, connected via painted steel rods and a piece of painted bamboo in between them.

dark green of neither earth nor sky

photographic installation opening at The MAK Center; online publication, Matte paper, 300gsm, 22inch monitor

About 5,000 private surveillance cameras around the United States are available online because the owners connected them to the internet, but never changed the login and password. These cameras were set up to guard various spaces that are or were once considered precious to the owners of the cameras, for one reason or another. Since then, the owners may or may not have forgotten about the cameras, and because the owners did not change the factory settings, anyone on the internet can observe moments when the subjects in view think that no one is watching them. Our virtual presence has a very material presence, as our online actions are archived, traced, and stored, waiting to become exploited as useful information available to those with access and power. At the moment these owners connect their private camera to WiFi, any preservation of the data for its original purpose, lost.

dark green of neither earth nor sky is composed of photographic short stories derived from this archive. These spontaneous and mundane moments, rendered in stillness, speak to this current period of increased physical isolation and solitude and dense digital connectivity and surveillance. Voyeurism is directed back at those who sought to control what they could of their property, creating a profound loss of personal space. However, as theorist Claudia Grigg Edo writes: “....the originary purpose of the cameras stains the images, recalling the violence instigated to protect private property in the last few months alone – and the private property furiously and triumphantly destroyed in the wake of that violence.” The photographic sequences are coupled with a text written from the point of view of a technological subjectivity that has emerged from this network and has “molded to power,” in Grigg Edo’s words.

The opening of our exhibition at The MAK Center will be accompanied by an online publication including a text by artist, writer, and theorist Roopa Vasudevan. While artists are often critical of how neoliberal corporations exploit data in order to accumulate power, artists also often mine data for their own purposes. In this project, we are rendering poetry out of data that originally had a far different purpose. Vasudevan will engage the project with the intention to investigate the ethics of new media artists working in the digital sphere, in order to initiate conversations around data accumulation, not only in Silicon Valley, but also in the art world.

Walking Practice

photo on matte paper, digital video, 2020

On Feb 24th, 2020, I walked from my bedroom at North Hills to California Institute of the Arts, to attend a class at 1pm. It took 7 hours to walk the 15 miles distance where it usually takes 15 minutes drive on highway. Driving is the primary transportation in Los Angeles, most places are not walking friendly. This project is a physical contest to the social normalcy constructed within the landscape of Los Angeles. I examine my relationship with the surroundings while navigating the gaps between time and spaces. In the last part of my journey, I have to take an Uber to arrive in class in time. I presented my failed presence in class at 3:30pm.

Guerrilla’s Song

performance documentation, digital video, 10:14, 2020

Guerrilla’s Song 游击队之歌 is a stand-alone complex of ethically Chinese artists from CalArts. We came together through public performance facing COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. We are a group of Chinese students in CalArts who are closely in concern with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) epidemic which has deeply impacted millions of people in China and other countries.

Through out our eight weekly performances at gallery, online and in nature, we took our body as a witness of the ongoing pandemic and. Together we intended to hold space in the collapsing presence and express solidarity, bewilderment, pain, fear(ed), dignity, anger, hope and much more.

Can you hear me? is a video documentation of the public performance happened on Feb 28th, 2020, at Main Gallery of CalArts. That day was the 26th day of the total lock-down of Wuhan where everyone in the city were quarantined at home.

Unbuilt Door

a collaborative sound installation created by Jiayu Zhang and Joana P. Cardozo.

Unbuilt Door is a collaborative sound installation between Jiayu Zhang and Joana P. Cardozo created during the emergency state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spring 2020. Jiayu and Joana were studio neighbors at CalArts. What would happen if the studios entrances faced inwards, with each artist facing each other? Would more collaborations develop? Would a more collective mindset exist, instead of disconnectedness and isolation? Jiayu and Joana were going to tear down part of the wall that separates their studios to create a pathway, a door connecting the two spaces and experiment working in that new reality. Due to the Institute close down and the current circumstances, participants are now guided by the artists’ voice narrating the process of breaking through a wall and entering the space beyond. Two recordings from two opposite perspectives, the wall-breaker and their next-door neighbor, require the participants to imagine the work and deal with questions of collaboration and transgression.

Freddy Ruiz

@fr_rp100

Pain as object of perceptual experience

Performance/video, sound

Is pain a physical object (condition) confined in different body locations? Or is pain a mental phenomenon, and is it only private to our subjectivity?

Accompanied by intensity, duration, and magnitude, which is only assigned to physical objects, pain generally attached itself to a particular area in the body; however, pain often is understood as a subjective experience. In other words, pain is experience per se; it only happens inside our minds. Furthermore, regardless of pain’s intensity and duration, pain is frequently associated with a positive outlook. For instance, while exercising, we usually experience agony as a triumph, yet if we wake up the next morning with such agony, then we will rush to the hospital. This experience seems open to different interpretations.

In this project, I recorded my brain waves as I performed different physical exercises; then, I transformed the collected raw data into sound, and I later utilized it as the soundtrack for the video/performance.

Misaligned Intelligence

AI, Vinyl Lettering

Considering that AI can learn through machine learning methods, it is worrisome that AI can perform tasks more efficiently than ever before. Also, this puts human intelligence at an enormous disadvantage; therefore, taking a divergent road towards an objective opposed to a human’s goals.

Our minds are all that we have

Gouache and pens, Reflection on the nature of Consciousness

Alexeis Reyes

alexeisreyes.com  /  @fotoarm

I wish your wish lives in my wish, realized, 2019

wall spackle, sand paper, sander, broom, dust mask, goggles

“Our task is to link up the theoretical critique of modern society with the critique of it in acts. By detourning the very propositions of the spectacle, we can directly reveal the implications of present and future revolts. I propose that we pursue… the promotion of guerrilla tactics, in the mass media—an important form of constitution, not only at the urban guerrilla stage, but even before it.”
— René Viénet, "The Situationists & the New Forms of Action against Politics & Art"

Much in the same way Eduardo Favario or Daniel Buren in the late 1960s “closed the gallery for the duration of their exhibition,” I am interested in how their actions still invoke today a “non-complicity with the dominant cultural institutions, which directly negated that which was the vehicle of their voices” while they “held on to it at the same time.” In this context, this project tries to engage with this critical discourse by exploring the space Robert Smithson refers to as the “apparatus the artist is threaded through” (1912). How institutional power structure affects corporeal expression in relation to immigrant labor; linking certain forms of labor as mobility to the control capitalism exerts over the social body, and how representation can also be a disruption of conventions, are questions that drive this work.

The way we think of History, as the classification of events as chronological records in the past, is a paradox because the past exists while it doesn't exist. Paraphrasing William Faulkner, ‘the past is not even a past; it is a living thing that lingers in the present.’ The history of my labor as an artist, as an immigrant, is always present, commodifiable, but rendered invisible by capitalism. Through my labor, I try to point to the fact that historically there is a radical disconnect between classic “presentation---even the self understanding of the museum as an autonomous space of neutral cultural experience--” and the truth of what Pierre Bourdieu calls, “the objective relations” that make it up. By fixing the walls of a public, institutional space, traditionally used as an exhibition site opened to the public, I try to probe how immigrant labor is an invisible force operating with and against power structures. Here, my body, as a vector that transfigures traumatic events into corporeal expression, functions in and opposed to a space of cultural and socio-economic dimensions. As a trace or record of my labor, the island of wall dust on the floor of the gallery space is a kind of echo of an echo, negating the set traditions of art, but not relying on the instance of negation as if it were the truth. In doing so, this project tries to call attention to itself as a temporal and spatial tension between artist and institutional power. The representation of my labor as a ghostly record of wall dust is my attempt to gesture towards a structural logic that is material and immaterial, absent and present, and always already here, but not here.

Lies about the lies we lie about, 2019

Linocut grenade print (20 inches × 20 inches × 20 inches) on burnt victim gauge, human hair (20 inches), motor, fake, golden pearls

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