Seattle Art Fair 2016: Projects & Talks

Seattle Art Fair
Jun 16, 2016 6:09PM


The Seattle Art Fair Projects will debut a new series of special activities, performances, and installations to engage the fair’s public spaces, organized by Artistic Director Laura Fried. Spanning sculpture, performance, and installation, the Projects will take place both at the fair and in adjacent neighborhoods, reaching a wide and diverse audience, and spotlighting Seattle's position as a vital cultural capital. Explains Laura Fried, Artistic Director of the Seattle Art Fair, “This year’s Projects and Talks spotlight the incredible artist production that is emerging from the West Coast and beyond. Immersive installations and artist driven projects will contribute to a rich audience experience inside the fair itself, while performance and sculpture extend into adjacent neighborhoods. Our goal with the program is to connect with a broad audience at a time when locals and tourists alike alight this beautiful city, and to offer encounters with contemporary art in meaningful and surprising ways.


An ambitious lineup of solo projects by an intergenerational group of emerging and established artists will be on view at the CenturyLink Field Event Center during fair hours. Glenn Kaino and Timothy “Speed” Levitch will lead uncanny fair tours, while Dawn Kasper will present an alternative cosmology with a room-sized forest of motion-activated cymbals. The exhibition platform Public Fiction will trace the roots of artists who used new technologies—like early video art and public access television—at their inception. The Projects will also spotlight large-scale sculpture by artists who examine the relationship between materiality, craft, and technology— such as Roxy Paine’s ominous diorama of a CIA observation room and Adam McEwen’s fullscale sculptures of supercomputers made of graphite—and will explore the simple but powerful way a line can take shape in space, from Claire Falkenstein’s nested orbs to Kishio Suga’s dramatic balancing-act assemblages. Projects include:

  • Adam McEwen, Blue Gene 1 and Blue Gene 2, 2016 – Adam McEwen's replicas of the exterior of IBM’s supercomputer (Blue Gene 1 and 2) nod to Tony Smith and Stanley Kubrick’s2001: A Space Odyssey. These larger than life monoliths, meticulously recreated in graphite, belong to the artist’s recent examinations of movement: of people, of vehicles, and information through controlled channels.  Image credit: Adam McEwen, Blue Gene 1 and Blue Gene 2, 2016. Graphite. 80 3/4 x 131 1/2 x 48 inches each.

Courtesy of the artist and Petzel Gallery, New York.

  • Brenna Murphy, SequenceSource_Array, 2016 – Brenna Murphy creates a new, site-responsive, sculptural installation comprised of modular "hieroglyphic" sculptures produced by digital fabrication, arranged as a spatial poem that accumulates and evolves over time.

Brenna Murphy, Lattice~Face Parameter Chant, 2013, sculpture installation [detail]. Courtesy of the artist and Upfor, Portland.

  • Selection of historic works by Claire Falkenstein – Throughout her career as an artist from the postwar period until her death in 1997, Claire Falkenstein rigorously explored media, techniques, and processes in her sculpture. Between her work in the Bay Area, Paris and New York, and finally in Los Angeles, she was involved with such art groups as Gutai in Japan and art autre in Paris. Falkenstein is best known for her wire and glass sculpture, and her work in three dimensions, which were radical and ahead of her time. This tribute to Falkenstein includes several examples of her snarled, nested, copper and glass structures, which evoke molecular and cosmological structures.Image credit: Claire Falkenstein (1908-1997), Untitled, c.1970. Copper and glass, 31 1/8" x 17" x 12" / 79.1 x 43.2 x 30.5 cm.

© The Falkenstein Foundation; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

  • Dawn Kasper, Cluster (WC2), 2016 – New York-based artist Dawn Kasper presents Cluster (WC2), an interactive installation including dozens of cymbals and cymbal stands. Each cymbal is wired with motion detectors and motors in order to activate the space musically as the viewer steps around and through the instruments. The layout of the installation was conceived as both an astronomical chart or diagram and an interactive, improvised orchestration. In a marked departure from Kasper’s larger practice, the artist-as-performer is conspicuously absent here. Instead, the viewer performs the work: activating the cymbals and composing a new score with each step. The installation becomes a map of the constellations; a metallic dream-forest; and a delicate, ambient, celestial drone.
  • Dawn Kasper, Cluster, 2015. Cymbals, cymbals stands, ardunios, motors, motion sensors, power strips, extension cords and AC adapters, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and David Lewis Gallery, New York; and Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles.

  • Glenn Kaino, Aspiration, 2016 – Working closely with phoneticians and linguistic experts, Los Angeles-based Glenn Kaino has designed two new dialects for our imagined future: Lunar French (LF) and Martian English (ME). Here Aspiration takes form as a series of mytho-geographic walking tours at the fair and in the city, in which a negotiation of the past, present, and future of the social landscape occurs in real time. The tours will be led be famed New York tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch, who will deliver the tours in Kaino’s Martian English. Aspiration is an ongoing project of Kaino’s based on an invented series of dialects—linguistic variations that differ in both syntax and phonemes—for anticipated human colonial activity in outer space. The intention of Aspiration is to reveal and articulate markers of colonialism by creating aesthetic and intellectual vantage points from which to observe an effect that normally takes generations.  
  • Glenn Kaino, L’ènetènafionale, 2015. Wood, aluminum, brass, Xbox Kinect, electronics, starch, and French moon accent. 40 × 40 × 80 inches. Private Collection, Miami. Photograph by Tim Johnson, courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta, Chicago.

  • Selection of new works by Jeffry Mitchell – For over twenty-five years Seattle-based Jeffry Mitchell has produced idiosyncratic drawings, prints and sculptures. His work weaves together high and low references that span religion, sex, nature, folk, craft, and decorative arts traditions. At the fair, Mitchell presents a selection of new outsized ceramic sculptures, screens, and large-scale drawings, each imbued with his characteristic urgency, curiosity and experimentation. With a specific visual language often comprising alphabet primers, flowers, elephants, bears, and other flora and fauna, Mitchell responds to specific aspects of the history of art, craft, and visual culture, while blurring the distinction between each and exploring the possibilities within the decorative and the theatrical. 
  • Jeffry Mitchell, Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell [installation view]. 2012-2013. Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle.  R.J. Sánchez. Courtesy of the artist and PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Portland.

  • Kishio Suga, Correspondence, 2006 – Kishio Suga presents Correspondence, a singular, large-scale sculpture. Suga, one of the leading figures of the Japanese movement, Mono-ha, a loose group of artists that rose to critical prominence during the late 1960s and early 1970s, takes natural and industrial materials, such as stone, wood, wire, rope, and water, and arranges them in nearly unaltered, ephemeral states. His ongoing investigations focus as much on the interdependency of these objects and the space around them as on the materials themselves.
    • Public Fiction, a.public.fiction.announcement. (PFA): A Witness and A Weapon., 2016 – Public Fiction presents an installation of early video art for Public Access television. These segments screen alongside video works by contemporary artists, who similarly engage with new technologies and new modes of distribution. This is the first in a series of exhibitions that will episodically pace the growing of an archive interested in citizen journalism, the artist as a witness, and the circulation of ideas. 

    A concurrent program of a.public.fiction.announcement. (PFA): A Witness and A Weapon will be held at The Henry Art Gallery. 

    Founded in 2010, Public Fiction is a project space and journal based in Los Angeles. Its program presents a series of exhibitions on a theme, each theme lasting three months and culminating into a journal. Related talks, film screenings, secret restaurants, concerts, and performances are held within the installations and around the topic at hand. Public Fiction’s program is intergenerational, interdisciplinary, and treats the exhibition as a medium in itself. Public Fiction has been invited to present exhibitions in venues locally and internationally, including The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The UC Berkeley Museum of Art; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Frieze Projects, New York; and Artissima 19, Special Projects, Turin, Italy. 

    Courtesy of Public Fiction.

  • Roxy Paine, experiment, 2016 – Roxy Paine presents a recent iteration of his latest series, the Dioramas. The artist's monumental experiment is a frozen moment in time rendered in forced perspective, illustrating the disheveled interior of a dated motel room seen through an exterior surveillance room. This is a space devoid of human presence and hovers between the temporally relevant and the inherently obsolete. Instead of a literal depiction, Paine’s dioramas offer suggestions of the humans who frequently occupy these—spotsthe empty coffee cups, the slate grey telephone receivers, the mobile toilet—rendered by computer modeling and meticulous hand carving, revealing not a replica but a perspectival shift and an uncanny translation of material form. 
  • Roxy Paine, experiment, 2015. Roxy Paine Studio. Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery.

    • teamLab – As part of its youth program, the fair presents a kid-friendly space in collaboration with the collective teamLab, a creative group that brings together professionals from various fields of practice in digital society: artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects, and web and print graphic designers and editors. Referring to themselves as “Ultra-technologists,” teamLab’s aim is to achieve a balance between art, science, technology, and creativity. The teamLab hub will feature the group’s acclaimed interactive projects for kids.

    teamLab, Sketch Aquarium, 2013. Courtesy of teamLab and Pace Gallery.


    Site-responsive projects in Pioneer Square and the International District/Chinatown will celebrate the many facets of performance, highlighting interdisciplinary work and a collaborative spirit. Projects will include special choreographic works by Bebe Miller + Darrell Jones and Flora Wiegmann at the historic Union Station; a sound work and performance with local artists/musicians staged by Brendan Fowler; Wynne Greenwood’s hometown homage rendered as soft seats for a public park; and a tourist experience conceived by Glenn Kaino and led by Timothy “Speed” Levitch in Kaino’s invented dialect, Martian English. Projects include:

    • Brendan Fowler, Seattle, 2016 | Good Arts Building (110 Cherry St, Seattle, WA 98104) – Brendan Fowler presents a durational performance that exists in two stages, each consisting of a new work that will debut from a storefront in the Good Arts Building in Pioneer Square. The first is a new sound installation created from the détournement of a standard Roland SP404 sampler, generating an ever-evolving, self-improvising musical composition. The installation is ongoing and accessible throughout the duration of the fair. At 6pm on Saturday August 6, and again on Sunday August 7 at 5pm, Fowler and a chorus comprised of local artists will visit the site and add a brand new vocal performance that engages both Fowler’s previous history of deconstructed pop vocal performance (Barr), as well as this new sound work. 

    Brendan Fowler at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Courtesy of the artist.

    • Flora Wiegmann, Halo of Consciousness, 2016 | Union Station (401 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104) – Halo of Consciousness, a new work by the LA-based choreographer Flora Wiegmann, and performed by Wiegmann and dancer Rebecca Bruno, investigates imagined actions that may be unique to Antoinism; historical movement and ailments stored in the dancer’s bodies; and the possibility to activate consciousness through a series of meditative events. The work was initially conceived out of research on Culte Antoiniste, a European religion founded in 1910 that combines elements of Catholicism, Reincarnation, the tolerance of other faiths, healing through simple rites and rituals, and the transcendence of intelligence towards consciousness.

    Flora Wiegmann, Allay Alight (with undertow), performance at 356 Mission, Los Angeles, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and C. Nichols Project, Los Angeles.

    • Glenn Kaino, Aspiration, 2016 | CenturyLink Field Event Center & surrounding neighborhoods – Working closely with phoneticians and linguistic experts, Los Angeles-based Glenn Kaino has designed two new dialects for our imagined future: Lunar French (LF) and Martian English (ME). Here Aspiration takes form as a series of mytho-geographic walking tours at the fair and in the city, in which a negotiation of the past, present, and future of the social landscape occurs in real time. The tours will be led be famed New York tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch, who will deliver the tours in Kaino’s Martian English. Aspiration is an ongoing project of Kaino’s based on an invented series of dialects—linguistic variations that differ in both syntax and phonemes—for anticipated human colonial activity in outer space. The intention of Aspiration is to reveal and articulate markers of colonialism by creating aesthetic and intellectual vantage points from which to observe an effect that normally takes generations.

    Glenn Kaino, L’ènetènafionale, 2015. Wood, aluminum, brass, Xbox Kinect, electronics, starch, and French moon accent. 40 × 40 × 80 inches. Private Collection, Miami. Photograph by Tim Johnson, courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta, Chicago.

    • Wynne Greenwood, In Loving Memory, 2016 | Occidental Square (117 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104) – In Loving Memory is a set of foam and fabric seats printed with clip art collages. A few years ago, Seattle-based Greenwood began making coloring books for her friends using clip art images found through Google searches. Greenwood uses this mode of image- (and world-) making to create fabric for a set of upholstered soft-sculpture public outdoor seats loosely dedicated to the Northwest towns in which she has lived: Seattle, Redmond, and Olympia. Produced with generous support from Glant Textiles.

    Wynne Greenwood. Screen-printed and upholstered foam. Courtesy of the artist.

    • Bebe Miller + Darrell Jones, 2016 | Union Station (401 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104) – In partnership with Velocity Dance Center, Seattle’s premiere art center dedicated to movement-based art, the fair presents a public performance by acclaimed artists Bebe Miller and Darrell Jones. Every August, Velocity’s Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI) brings the world’s leading dance innovators to the PNW. At the historic Union Station—activated every day by commuters and tourists visiting from around the globe—Miller and Jones’ performance will highlight how choreography is everywhere, always in everything. This presentation is curated by Velocity Artistic Director Tonya Lockyer.  

    Photograph by Dan Merlo. Courtesy of the artist and Velocity Dance Center.

    • luciana achugar, The Pleasure Project, 2016 | Occidental Square (117 S Washington St, Seattle, WA 98104) – In partnership with Velocity Dance Center, choreographer luciana achangar​ will be leading an intensive work period in Seattle, based on the research of The Pleasure Project, with a group of local and international dance artists. Her SFDI (Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation) residency will culminate in a durational public performance on Friday morning of the fair in Occidental Park. This project is curated by Velocity Artistic Director Tonya Lockyer.  


    Seattle Art Fair Talks will present a program of two-person dialogues by an array of artists and leaders in creative fields with deep connections to the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest. The Talks will take place throughout the run of the fair, in the Seattle Art Fair Theater within CenturyLink Field Event Center. Focusing on curiosity and the ways a distinct sense of place can create a powerful cultural context, the Talks lineup includes:

    • Friday, August 5 at 12:00pm, Sharon Johnston + Rita McBride – Los Angeles-based architect Sharon Johnston and Dusseldorf-based artist Rita McBride gather to discuss their recent projects and the many points of intersection between art and architecture.Sharon Johnston, F.A.I.A., is a partner of Johnston Marklee & Associates, based in Los Angeles. Founded in 1998, the firm has been engaged in a range of international projects of divergent scales and programs. Johnston Marklee’s commitment to creative environments for the arts and education, developed in collaboration with artists, educators and curators, defines the firm’s leading voice in the discourse surrounding the role of architecture in contemporary culture.Since the 1980s, Rita McBride’s oeuvre has dealt with the characteristics of and intersections between industrial design, minimalist sculpture, modernist architecture, public spaces, and the gaps they generate. She is the Director of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, as well as a profes-sor of sculpture. Her works have been shown in solo exhibitions at the Wiener Secession (2000), the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2008), and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2014).

    • Friday, August 5 at 3:00pm, Lauren Mackler + Emily Zimmerman – For this conversation hour, Henry Art Gallery Associate Curator, Emily Zimmerman and Public Fiction founder Lauren Mackler will stage the format of a talk show to look at the form of the talk show as employed by artists on early public access television and in contemporary practices. This conversation will virtually showcase archival footage as well as a few special guests, live and on air.Lauren Mackler is a French / American curator and graphic designer based in Los Angeles. In 2010, she founded Public Fiction, a forum to stage exhibitions and performances by contemporary artists. A year later she launched a quarterly print journal with the same mission. Mackler has organized exhibitions at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Artissima LIDO, Turin, Italy; and Frieze Projects, New York, amongst others. In 2015, she was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome, where she is currently a fellow.Emily Zimmerman is the Associate Curator of Programs at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington. Previously she was the Associate Curator at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) where she commissioned new work from artists such as Melvin Moti, Gordon Hall, Marie Sester and curated the exhibitions Uncertain Spectator (2010) and Slow Wave: Seeing Sleep (2009). She received the 2011-2012 Loris Ledis Curatorial Fellowship at BRIC Contemporary Art and was a 2013 curator-in-residence at Residency Unlimited.

    • Saturday, August 6 at 2:00pm, Kim Gordon + Branden Joseph – Artist and musician Kim Gordon sits down with art historian Branden Joseph in a wide-ranging discussion about art, music, and language.Kim Gordon studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and has continued to work as an artist since. Her first solo exhibition, presented under the name ‘Design Office’, took place at New York’s White Columns in 1981. For the past thirty years Gordon has worked consistently across disciplines and distinct cultural fields, including art, design, writing, fashion (X-Girl), music (Sonic Youth, Free Kitten, Body/Head), and film/video (both as an actress and director).Branden W. Joseph is the Frank Gallipoli Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. Joseph's area of specialization is post-War American and European art, focusing particularly on those individuals and practices that cross medium and disciplinary boundaries between visual art, music, and film. He is an editor and founder of the journal Grey Room.

    • Saturday, August 6 at 4:00pm, Kyle MacLachlen + Carrie Brownstein – Friends and collaborators Kyle MacLachlan and Carrie Brownstein meet to talk about cultural investment and place-making in the Pacific Northwest.Kyle MacLachlan is perhaps best known for his performance as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in David Lynch’s series Twin Peaks, for which he received two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award. He made his feature film debut as Paul Atreides in the futuristic drama Dune, also directed by David Lynch. This was followed by a second collaboration with Lynch in the highly acclaimed film Blue Velvet. A native of Yakima, Washington, MacLachlan produces the wine label, Pursued by Bear, in Walla Walla. Recent projects include his ongoing role as the Mayor of Portland in Portlandia and the Twin Peaksremake.Carrie Brownstein is a musician, writer and actor who first became widely known as the guitarist and vocalist of the band Sleater-Kinney and later as a creator, writer and co-star of the Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award winning television showPortlandia. Brownstein’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, Slate, and numerous anthologies on music and culture. Her memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, was published last year. She lives in Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles.

    • Sunday, August 7 at 3:00pm, Anne Ellegood + Brian Jungen – Curator Anne Ellegood and Canadian artist Brian Jungen meet for a conversation about Jungen's sculptural practice, their shared interest in the historical, political, and economic specifities of materials, and the place of tradition in contemporary art making.Anne Ellegood is the Senior Curator at the Hammer Museum. Her recent projects include solo exhibitions with John Outterbridge, Charles Gaines, and Lily van der Stokker and the group show Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology, co-curated with Johanna Burton, which explored the overlapping strategies of appropriation and institutional critique in American art. She is currently working on a retrospective of the work of Jimmie Durham opening at the Hammer in January 2017, which will travel to the Walker Art Center and the Whitney Museum of American Art.Brian Jungen lives and between Vancouver, British Columbia, and the Doig River Indian reserve in northern BC, where the First Nations Dane-zaa (pronounced “dan-ney-za”) side of his family is located. Well known for deconstructing Westernized, mass-produced commodities such as leather goods, sports paraphernalia, plastic lawn chairs, and reforming them into sculpture, recently Jungen has focused his practice on modernist concerns and contexts, redefining his object making through the use of new materials and processes that reflect this shift, a more intimate relationship to the body, and his family’s traditions and history. Institutional solo exhibitions include Hannover Kunstverein (2013); Bonner Kunstverein (2013); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2011); National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC (2009); Tate Modern, London (2006); Vancouver Art Gallery (2006); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2006); and New Museum, New York (2005) among others.
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