Oakland, California based artist and educator, Lauren Hartman‘s artwork responds to current topics, which serves as a record in our cultural conscience. She received an MFA in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute in 2010 and a BFA in Printmaking from Columbus College of Art and Design. Select exhibition locations include Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Kala Art Institute, and SACI in Firenze Italy. One of her most recent projects, the Society of Submerged Culture, was in residence at StoreFrontLab in San Francisco. She teaches textiles to both adults and children, digital storytelling to adults with special needs, and hosts community art workshops including diorama fabrication and artifact creation.
Duplex: Tell us about your background.
Lauren Hartman: I grew up in Atlanta Georgia. In the summers I spent lots of time swimming, collecting shells, and spending time with my large extended family at the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey. This is where my love of the sea began. I was a mixed media printmaker at Columbus College of Art and Design. I focused primarily on silk-screening on fabric, and would work back into the image with embroidery. After college I lived in NYC, where I focused more on embroidery and painting. Space and facilities were limited and I found embroidery to be really relaxing and meditative amidst the energy of the city. This is really where my interests in maritime culture, and the highway of the sea began to form.
D: How did the concept of Traces of the Arctic progress?
LH: I had been reading the book Narwhals by Todd McLeish. This book helped inform me about their habitat, scientific studies, and the complicated fishing practices of the narwhal. They are such magical and mysterious creatures! I’ve spent time looking closely at photos of them and their facial and dental structure. Male narwhals’ tusks are actually their left canine tooth. Sometimes the right canine will develop and the narwhale will have double tusks. I have also been watching tons of documentaries about the Arctic and following international news about the many countries laying claim to the region and the shipping routes.
D: Your work comes to us right after the protests in Seattle and Portland against Shell’s drilling in the Arctic, have you been following this?
LH: Yes! Icebergs and the Arctic have woven their way through my work for many years. Lately, the controversy around drilling and shipping lanes in the Arctic ignited my focus again. Locally, there have been many protests at the ports, aiming to stop Shell’s drilling in the Arctic. I understand its human nature to explore and conquer far-off lands, collect and exploit natural resources, pushing the boundaries of nature. Eventually nature fights back, but not unscathed. I think it is denial to think global warming is not partially a result of humans’ energy production, expansion, and natural resource extraction. Now we have better documentation devices and research studies to measure our impact on nature. With the warming of the Arctic, sea ice has been receding and melting like never before, clearing a path that icebreakers can chisel through. As a result shipping lanes can now be routed through the Arctic during the summer months. Many countries bordering the Arctic have been increasing production of icebreakers and strengthening their fleets; impacting the wildlife and geography of the region. I think it is wonderful when people take their argument and protest to the sea. It made me feel good that someone was protesting the huge impact drilling will have on the Arctic… and pushing back. Read More «In the Studio – Lauren Hartman»
Duplex: What does the title Decimate Mesh mean?
Ryan Woodring: Decimate Mesh is a command in 3D software that reduces the amount of faces in the geometry while trying to retain important shape information, like the relationship of a jpg to a raw image. But also the word decimate has its roots in destruction and murder. Someone at work sent me an article that claimed that ISIS was using rudimentary visual effects in some of their videos. So for example they digitally made themselves look taller while walking prisoners to their deaths. I guess identifying as an artist who has worked in the American film industry for several years; I had a strong reaction to these claims.
D: How did you dive into this subject matter?
RW: I have been really interested in digital remembrance for a long time, and in another body of work I’ve been extracting YouTube videos of people on rides at amusement parks. In the piece Great American Scream Machine Sendoff Footage, I used footage capturing the final ride of the coaster before it is dismantled. I layered 20-something frames in resin to try to recreate the scaffolding of the coaster and get at that impossible space where memory sits. I was kind of relieved to at least know that there was camera footage from the destruction of Mosul and Hatra. It gives a lot of importance to the camera operator because he could have just as easily filmed the floor. I am therefore interested in the exact amount of frames that were recorded. The camera holders in these videos have all the power. Not only do they show the strength and brutality of this group, but also, they are educating people on these sculptures right before they are broken apart. That is why I am really focused in on what the camera angles themselves make available to be printed.
Read More «In the Studio – Ryan Woodring»
This project deposits the viewer into an endless Syracuse, New York winter. Images build a bizarre, collective psyche shared by a community of people who know they are about to hit an existential impasse. Readers discover a group of friends taking comfort in their camaraderie, questioning life after grad school, and desperately trying to keep control.
Jay’s upcoming book tour schedule:
September, 2015 – Solo Show at Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA
October, 2015 – Artist Lecture at the SPE Conference in Pittsburgh, PA
November, 2015 – Artist Lecture in a Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY
November, 2015 – Book signing with performance and live music at Spark Contemporary Art Space in Syracuse, NY
April, 2016 – Solo Show at Duplex Gallery in Portland, OR