Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Inside meets outside, outside comes in

We have been offering various invitations for the public to engage with us or delight in spontaneous play. 

Taking a clay sculpture

Touching the googly eyes on the post-its

The porousness of the outside world is always 
there whether its through activities in the back alley, or bodies pressed against the window, or visits from 
University folks to the space.

Mike from the university inspects our leak

Monday, June 4, 2018

Composing, de-composing, re-composing a life

On May 12th Megan Pahmier, an artist and teacher from Brooklyn, NY visited us at the storefront. She invited us to think about the space through the following prompts:

• Activate existing phenomena (wind, gravity, light . . .)
• Connect 2 things to one another
• Create a line (a path, a fence, a column . . .)
• Mark a site (a landmark, a memorial, a space for  . . . )
• Change the viewer/participant's perspective
• Play with scale (the size of the things in relation to one another)
• Make something visible that was previously invisible

We spent the day making at the storefront.

Watching a video of Merle Ukele 
talking about her "Maintenance art"

Liz drawing

Bridget talking with Gloria

Agnes Martin drawing

Mountains from the outside

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Marking the space

Yesterday (Thursday April 19th), the space called out to me to mark it and so I did. Germania, (a collective member who will appear at the next meeting) joined me in this marking. We both took black charcoal sticks and walked the circumference of the space dragging our chalk, tracing the contours of the space, passing by each outlet, marking just above the trim line. Walking in and out of the different rooms with our charcoal stick felt like the first visible transgression of the beige walls. How could such a simple gesture free the body and mind?

Bridget sketching

Bridget's monsters on the door
Peeking through the frosting

Germania's poem

Bridget came to the space Monday night with pink foam insulation boards and began gluing and cutting the material. We talked about social practice as she sprayed the words OPEN on the foam board. Her beautiful dog, Dizzy guarded the space with intermittent growls as shadows passed by in the frosted window.

Bridget uses a hot carving knife by the back door. We offset the smell of burning foam with Mexican incense.

Bridget using the dry carving knife to work with the foam

Bridget's door deconstruction 

Jia came to the storefront this afternoon (Saturday April 21st) with materials and a project in mind but then the ideas were interrupted by other material offering in the space. 

I asked Jia to help me take the frosting off of the old door downstairs in the basement. We repurposed it on our front door although it's mounted in a haphazard way. The effect of the frosting on the door from the inside feels like a soft blanket of snow covering the ground. Now we are insulted from the outside world except for a small opening at the top of the door. This softness quiets the space. I understand how frosting in a landscape of buildings acquired through eminent domain has a softening effect. It wipes out the memory of people inside. 

Jia fills in various spaces with semi-dry acrylic paint.

Pat plays the singing bowl in the meditation space
by the front frosted windows

Last week Melody and I attempted our taxes at the space. Before diving into the taxes we talked about a book she is loaning me called The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. It's hard to say if Maggie Nelson's word set me in motion marking the walls or if I just felt it was time to break with the clean and naked walls of the space. 

Melody sets up a writing center

Earlier on Sunday morning Donna came by with a dress form. This form appears to have been for a man, straight waist line and no breasts but as I read The Argonauts I think maybe this form doesn't have to be limited to a man's body alone. 

Donna pinning her form

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

We're in the new space - 3412 W. Bryn Mawr

Listening through the window 

to the world outside our space

Open, but not quite public yet. 

We're still in a place of going inward.

An adult says to a child as they walk by, 

"plants and animals die too . . . "


Chasing the solemnity of the sunset down the street,

the light installation in the front window is dimming for the night


Can open space clear the mind?

Can a neutral palette have an anti-spasmodic effect on the body in contrast to our over-stimulated environments in our schools?

What does a surveillance window (behind the table) invite for our site-specific work? 

Chairs for listening to the outside world seeping in through the windows.

Students scream with delight. 

Spring break is here.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The search for a space - real and imagined

A storefront in Uptown, under construction.
All space is political.
Eminent domain at Northeastern Illinois University creates divisions in the community. 

Occupy Wall Street.

Storefront on Bryn Mawr acquired through eminent domain.

Could there be another way to be with space?

Uptown neighborhood in Chicago.
Gentrification stresses a fragile neighborhood.

Artist Mary Mattingly's Flock House, NYC. 

Water damage in our new space - burst pipe.

One of our collective members studio/home.
We toured the space and got excited about 

what our studio might look like.

Collective member Donna in the wood shop 
at Deni's home/studio.

We were close to renting this space but it was not ADA compliant.

Artist Andrea Zittel's Encampment.

Artist Holly White's Orange World.