The Sound of Snow

I wonder as I wander the land. Am I in a dream? It’s difficult to live in two different homes. Being in one place, I’m always thinking of the other.

While I’m busy with my own thoughts and the weather, my good friend, and artist James Jenkins from the Chicago area is busy with a dream of his own.

Jim is the latest artist to become the Artist-in-Residence at Fermilab, in Batavia, Illinois. He is working on several pieces for a show opening next December.

As artists, we keep and collect thoughts of the past to use as the foundation for new works in the future. One of Jim’s pieces started 44 years ago in 1973 on a trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to visit a dear friend. It was the 5th of December as he traveled through Grand Forks, North Dakota to cross the border at Pembina, North Dakota to Emerson, Manitoba, Canada. 

I remember the landscape being flat, featureless and covered in snow. My thought was it would be interesting to stretch a wire or wires across the landscape. I even made two drawings that still exist one titled... "A North Dakota Landscape in a Word" and "The Four Directions of a North Dakota Landscape.” Both were minimal and sparse. There was lettering used in both though I've continued to play with up till today. Later on, perhaps two years later, I thought it would also be interesting to record the sound of snowflakes hitting the wire/wires. I kept the idea going and now I can execute the project. I was also missing an important feature of the project until 3 years ago..."Bone Jazz"! 

Jim’s piece entitled Ring Around the Ring is an art experiment in recording the delicate impact of a snowflake onto a wire or wires stretched across the landscape above the decommissioned ring at Fermilab. 

© 2017 Nate Strayve, Jim Jenkins working on "Ring Around the Ring"

© 2017 Nate Strayve, Jim Jenkins working on "Ring Around the Ring"

Jim speaks in more detail of Ring Around the Ring

The distance of the stretched wire/wires is based upon the function of the relationship between a Lightfoot and the Δt of a distressed fetal heart rate of homo-sapiens. 
The recording instrument and sound pickup system will provide evidence of the impact/sound/ring. The disparate materials will be combined within the extended metaphor of the art experiment: an OB/GYN fetal stethoscope, a fabricated record lathe, x-ray film, an historical reference to the Cold War smuggling of jazz music into the Soviet Union disguised as Bone Jazz and our environmental impact upon Mother Earth. Our impact upon the Earth should be as minimal as a snowflake striking a wire. It is a dream.
© 2017 Nate Strayve, Jim Jenkins working on "Ring Around the Ring"

© 2017 Nate Strayve, Jim Jenkins working on "Ring Around the Ring"

Brian O’Keefe from SoundCloud visited Jim Jenkins to learn a little more about his art, and what it means to be ‘artist in residence’ at Fermilab.

Being in his element, Jim is enthusiastic about his work. I hope his dream continues into a successful exhibition. Good luck Jim!

Somewhere it's 3 O'clock

1/2 Measure Studio is on a few weeks hiatus.

Life often impedes on art. While life is taking over, I thought I would pass on the link to a video entitled Pixel - extraits to inspire this quiet time.

A fitting video for this period, it's a show at the crossroads of arts and the crossroads of the universes of Adrien M, Claire B, and Mourad Merzouki.

Pixel - extraits, a dance with eleven dancers in a virtual and living visual environment. A work on illusion combining energy and poetry, fiction and technical achievement, hip hop, and circus. 

Tell me about your universe and what it's like these days?

See you soon!

Incessant Journey Opening Night

I can breathe now with the opening over, or can I?

I took photos for those of you who could not make it to the show.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, a panorama of the show

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, a panorama of the show

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the introduction to the show

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, the introduction to the show

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Traverse and A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Traverse and A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, a peep of City Shields, A Day Filled with Onomatopeias, Perception (middle), Equinox (top right), Parade (far right), and Ambivalence (bottom right)

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, a peep of City Shields, A Day Filled with Onomatopeias, Perception (middle), Equinox (top right), Parade (far right), and Ambivalence (bottom right)

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Parade (left), Ambivalence (back), Perception (front) and City Shields (final display was different)

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Parade (left), Ambivalence (back), Perception (front) and City Shields (final display was different)

The setting and presentation of my work made this exhibition successful. Equinox projected on the wall was effective in showing my obsession as an artist with the banality of every day for 9 years. Projected images lower to the floor made it possible for the viewer to relate to the daily archiving of my life and environment—thanks Michael for helping to set this up. 

An artists’ books exhibition in Boise created a different experience for most people. Once, a common experience was established with each book, the viewer related interesting comments on their life and the relationship with my books.

However, I had hoped to display City Shields in a more cohesive manner. A wonderful shelf built for the show was not wide enough to fit the whole project. This created a side dish display of the volumes. The volumes should have been on the same shelf or a shelf below the manhole covers to help the observer in relating to the whole project. People asked—Why weren’t the manhole cover images on the floor?

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, City Shields (not the final display)

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, City Shields (not the final display)

I enjoyed sharing my obsession with collecting and archiving the mundane in a unique, creative, and dynamic way for the viewer to experience. A great show reacquainting people with activities that link us together and introducing artists’ books to Boise.


Note received on Saturday about Incessant Journey:

I think your show looks magnificent. It is well presented and engaging. your work stimulates my interest in how your approach to your subject matter embellishes our perception of the ordinary made extraordinary. great job!
Lawrence Manning, hill street studios, Nampa, Idaho

Incessant Journey

Pedestals painted, and white felt affixed atop.

Floors swept.

Windows washed.

Most of the installation is in place.

© 2017 Louise Leergneux, Ming Studios almost ready

© 2017 Louise Leergneux, Ming Studios almost ready

City Shields is awaiting its sixteen feet floating shelf.

Vinyl lettering still to come.

Tired and antsy.

Thursday night is the big event you are all invited to my exhibition!

Please come, bring your smiles and celebrate this event with me!

Tasks...

Tasks at hand this week in my 1/2 Measure Studio... 

The gallery walls of Ming Studios are freshly painted and the pedestals are more or less prepared.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studio Space

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studio Space

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studio, pedestals being painted

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studio, pedestals being painted

I finished the volumes of City Shields, had a couple of boo-boos, re-print time!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, City Shields oops!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, City Shields oops!

Spent three days in Salt Lake City for business and pleasure. Taking some time off to relax.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, hiking in the Dimple Dell Gully Trailhead in Sandy, Utah

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, hiking in the Dimple Dell Gully Trailhead in Sandy, Utah

Received my prints from WhiteWall Photo Lab in Germany. They look great, it’s nice to see the pages of my artists' books in large format.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, prints for the show

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, prints for the show

I cataloged my books for the exhibition and I’m anticipating the big event at Ming Studios.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, six artists' books plus 78 volumes of City Sheilds

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, six artists' books plus 78 volumes of City Sheilds

Thinking of submitting to the MCBA Prize—an international artists’ book award. Here are the links for the submission guidelines and the Book Art Biennial. Good luck to all who submit!

Drafting text for a grant, eager for newer and better equipment.

Twittered for the first time!! 

An interesting and busy week filled with preparations.

Last, but not least, excited to finish a prototype of a recently developed artists' book. Will take photos next week.

 

Planning...

My first week of residency behind me, I’m contemplating the space, the books, the projection of images... 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studios in preparation for my residency

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studios in preparation for my residency

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studios in preparation for my residency

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Ming Studios in preparation for my residency

There are many details and it’s not a good idea to keep details and lists only in one’s mind. Notes, many notes, are required when creating an on-going project or any edition. These instructions are important to keep around for future reference. Writing details, such as the type of paper, colours used in Photoshop, set-up of jigs, binding... because you will forget! I don’t care how young you are! I’m happy to create an edition at once, but when low on cash, printing when needed is the best way to go, and it creates less inventory.

After answering many emails and particulars for the show at Ming Studios, I took the time to finish another volume of City Shields—Illinois Vol US7 No2. 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, City Shields—Illinois Vol US No2

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, City Shields—Illinois Vol US No2

When I started the project, each volume contained 18 manhole covers. Since 2006, I print and die-cut the manhole covers myself. With thinner paper, I added three more manhole covers to a volume. More manhole covers the better? Right. Now, I print a volume when I receive an order. It has become more complicated to print odd numbers of manhole covers. I could print three sheets of 13 x 19 inches. Voilà, two volumes printed with no math or a headache. With 21 manhole covers, I always have an odd number to keep track of printing without waste. It becomes a guessing game on what manhole covers to print. Aye! The dilemma of an artist! 

Needing a meditation moment, I cleaned my junk. Screw posts anyone? 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, my many screw-posts

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, my many screw-posts


The National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives and the Centre Canadien d'architecture have purchased these new volumes. The volumes are in the mail today.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, eleven new volumes of City Shields

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, eleven new volumes of City Shields

A new week begins, must get ready for more conversations and planning. Check it out

Preparations!

The week flew by with residency and exhibition preparations. Lots of details to iron out as the days are short and timing is everything. City Shields will be part of the show, but not the focus. The attention will be on the idea behind my work, my obsessions, my collecting and my archiving. City Shields is the most obsessive and most popular project of my career, so it is a major component of the exhibition.

Time was spent choosing between all my published books—the ones that best describe my artist statement. Equinox was the first to make the list, but since I found a new home for the books at the beginning of the year, the books won't be present at the gallery—with imagination you might see nine years of my life. Other books in line are: A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias, Traverse, Parade, Perception, and Ambivalence.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of Ambivalence artists' book

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of Ambivalence artists' book

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of Ambivalence artists' book

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of Ambivalence artists' book

WhiteWall Photo Lab will print large prints of certain pages of books, these will adorn the walls. I’m anxious about the proofing—there goes that obsession again! Kristen Cooper the Program Director at Ming Studios is overseeing the printing in Berlin, Germany, where she lives and works. Cooper is a conceptual artist, her work is exhibited internationally, Kristen must know about the printing process. I hope the surprise will be good.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias artists' book

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, spread of A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias artists' book

Set-up of pedestals begins next week—a good start to figuring out the gallery space. I am contemplating on the look of the show, the books, the prints... Stay tuned, here I go!

The Beginning!

I’ve met with the executive director and the program director of Ming Studios to prepare for my residency starting February 6th. 

MING Studios is an international contemporary art center and residency program in Boise, Idaho. The gallery brings international artists to Idaho and introduces new opportunities for regional artists. Ming serves the community by hosting innovative programs including workshops and cultural activities, performances, screenings, readings and artist talks.

Keeping active between meetings and emails, I’ve verified files, edited text, printed and cut the last eleven volumes of City Shields. 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

Through the conversations, the scope of the exhibition has changed. Subsequently, we wanted the viewers to capture the nature of artists’ books. The spotlight is no longer on City Shields but the idea behind my work.  

I appreciate simple moments characterizing our lives, building our history, whether sensational or monotonous. Fascinated by memory and identity, the day-to-day events entertain me. 

I want to familiarize the readers with mundane activities that link us together to regain our childhood innocence. Autobiographical references are characteristic of my work, which centers on the act of collecting and storing my memories, my self-identity, and my environment. I study my surroundings with camera in hand and accumulate memories. My process of investigation continues as I manipulate images in Photoshop and iMovie, re-organize, write and plan my artists’ books. I finish a book when my conceptual framework reads as a physical object.  

A digital method of reproduction gives my books a contemporary look. I work with different binding structures that respond to the book in question. The final product is a limited edition book representing the mundane in a unique, imaginative, and dynamic way for the reader to experience. 

This video is my interpretation of the game Decision of the Flower: She loves me, she loves me not, originally Effeuiller la marguerite. I present this game in the French style making the potential outcomes more numerous. "Il/Elle aime un peu, beaucoup, passionnément, à la folie, pas du tout" (translates to "He/She loves me a little, a lot, passionately, madly, not at all"). I created four small flip books that demonstrate these outcomes: m'aime pas du tout (loves me not), m'aime un peu (loves me a little), m'aime (loves me), and m'aime à la folie (loves me madly).

The exhibition represents how I collect, document and archive using my complex, French Canadian culture.