Monday, June 1, 2009

SNAG Conference in Philly: Part 3

On day 3 of the SNAG conference, Neri Oxman started the day off with her lecture, "Craft by Ecology." Although mostly over my head, her talk was captivating, energetic, and really really interesting. She discussed the differences of design in nature and the man made world. She talked about how we as humans design by separating environmental concerns from structural and functional concerns. Nature has no such distinctions. She gave the example of an egg and how when squished vertically, the egg won't break, but when squished horizontally the egg cracks immediately. This is because a hen needs to be able to sit on the egg, but when the chick needs to hatch it breaks through the side of the egg. She talked about how she has been researching how to design by letting the materials dictate the form of the object. By programming complex algorithms into the computer, she lets whatever materials she is using control the form of the object she is creating. The chair above is one of her more recent pieces.
Neri Oxmans talk was very interesting and even though not directly applicable to metalsmithing (or at least the way I work) it was definitely worth attending.

Camille Paglia spoke next on "Art and Sex." I opted not to attend this lecture and instead went to the Fabric Workshop. It was an awesome space with work by tons of my favorite artists, but my favorite piece was a 52 foot felt whale (inflatable inside) made by Tristin Lowe. Thanks to sokref1's flickr stream for the photos. The Fabric Workshop was definitely worth the trip!!! It was awesome! That afternoon was Myra Mimlitsch-Gray's talk, "Anti/Icono/Clastic". Myra showed images and talked about her work, focusing on her recent residency at the Kohler Center. There was so much of her work that I had never seen and it was sooo great to hear her thoughtful explanations behind the pieces. Here are some images from her flickr stream:
That night was the Gallery Night tour, which was tied with the Jewelry in Motion show for my favorite part of the conference. There were sooo many shows to see, we didn't even get to see half of them, but we saw SO much work!! Among my favs were Wexler gallery and Philadelphia Art Alliance.
Stay tuned for one more post (Day 4) and my post conference thoughts.