"Harmony in the Making/Hózhó Náhásdlíí is a significant step toward integrating Native and non-Native conceptions of that time and place when/where land and spirit coincide. Coming from very different directions, inventive projects by Diné and Anglo artists in various combinations offer a collage of meaning and intent that should illuminate new facets of where we stand - whether it is Diné Bikeyah or New Mexico."

                                                          -Lucy Lippard

NATION BUILDING RIGHT HERE IN THE SOUTHWEST

The Art in Public Places Program of New Mexico Arts commissioned eight artists (Matthew Chase-Daniel, Andrea Polli with Venaya Yazzie and Esther Belin, Raven Chacon, Don Redman, Will Wilson, Chrissie Orr with Bruce Hamilton, Susanna Carlisle and Robert Johnson, Shane Hendren, Anna Tsouhlarakis) for the temporary, environmentally based artworks to be exhibited at Arizona’s Navajo Nation Museum courtyard and Navajo Nation Zoo in Window Rock, Chinle, and Canyon de Chelly Visitors Center. In New Mexico, locations include Waterflow, Tse-Bonito, and the courtyard of Santa Fe’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.

Navajo Nation Museum provided each artist with a Native cultural advisor (including a Navajo astronomer, a medicine man, a family of traditional weavers who dye sheep’s wool, and an environmental activist from Navajo Nation). The Skylark Foundation sponsored the advisors. Manuelito Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum, says, “There has never been a project of non-Natives and Natives collaborating on a land-based artwork on Navajo land, and we are hoping that young, budding artists are inspired by these profound art concepts instead of traditional mediums in art.” Wheeler avers that this unique art project brings Navajo communities together in a way that has not happened in centuries. He also describes as “healing” the “nation building” going on within the Diné communities as well as with the state of New Mexico. Wheeler continues, “The land-based art project is a perfect example of cutting-edge artwork right here at home.” Formerly a conceptual artist, Wheeler notes that exhibiting installations for TIME 2012 this year at Navajo Nation are excellent examples of ecologically and time-based art.

TIME - 2012 from Dylan McLaughlin on Vimeo.

TIME catalog: PDF

TIME map: PDF

Diné Bizzad Translations for TIME: PDF

Eight artists reflect on the theme Hózhó Náhásdlíí, Diné for “Harmony in the Making,” and their installations are exhibited in various public locations in the Navajo Nation.

Matthew Chase-Daniel

Wool Pole

2012 • Churro Sheep Wool, Four Traditional Dyes, 24 ft. Wood Pole • Navajo Nation Museum, AZ

Wool Pole is part of Matthew Chase-Daniel's ongoing series of site-specific Pole Sculptures, placed in environments around the world. Each work in the series is made from locally collected materials which are part of the region's culture and ecology. Wool Pole is two pole
sculptures with traditional Churro sheep wool raised in the area, and dyed in the four traditional Navajo colors.

Working with local master dyer and tool-maker Mark Deschinny and others, Chase-Daniel has dyed, spun, and felted the wool for the top areas of the poles. The sculpture is installed outside the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock.

“These sculptures are not static objects. They are installed in outdoor settings. They are affected by wind, rain, ice, snow, heat, and cold. Over time they will break down in a natural process of decomposition, redistributing their bounty to the surrounding landscape. They are living weather vanes, alerting us to the elements: to wind, rain, snow, sun, and ice. These sculptures speak of the relationships in nature, of the living cycles of plants, of the relationship of the earth to the sun, of birth, death, and regeneration, of the cyclical aspect of nature, and of our human relationship to these cycles.”

The sculpture speaks of living cycles of plants and animals, of the relationship of the earth to the sun, of birth, death, and regeneration, of the cyclical aspect of nature, and of our human relationship to these cycles. Chase-Daniel has exhibited his sculpture and photography internationally, and is the co-founder of Axle Contemporary, which facilitates alternative art exhibitions in a mobile gallery based in Santa Fe.

Matthew Chase-Daniel (né Chase) was born in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1965, spent his first year in the green pastures of Harvard University and the late 1960's in New York City. In 1970 he headed north with his family to the rolling hills below the Berkshire Mountains where he raised tadpoles, minnows, and a raccoon, learned to fall off a horse, and hunt morels, wild violets, and rainbow trout. Following several harrowing years in an exclusive New England prep school, he reeducated himself through exhaustive readings of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Ram Dass, and found his way to the Ojai Foundation where he spent a year studying Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, Lakota Sweat Lodge ritual, and Northwest Coast carving, while growing his hair into ragged dreadlocks, eating macrobiotic food, and wearing bedsheets in the style of a South Indian monk.

In the mid and late 1980’s, Chase-Daniel spent three years at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York (B.A.), and three years in Paris, France, where he studied cultural anthropology, photography, ethnographic film production (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes & Sorbonne), and how to speak mellifluously in French. Since 1989, he has lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, renovating old houses, growing green chard, and making family and art. His photography and sculpture have been exhibited across the U.S. and in Europe and Japan. He has created public art projects in New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, Italy, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He is represented in Santa Monica, California by Craig Krull Gallery. He is the co-founder, co-owner, and co-curator of Axle Contemporary, which facilitates alternative exhibits in a motor vehicle based out of Santa Fe.

Matthew Chase-Daniel's website: www.chasedaniel.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Shane Hendren

"Tse Ninajhi

2012 • Local Rocks, Found Objects at Historic Site • Chinle, AZ

Shane Hendren grew up in Moriarty, New Mexico. His proposed site is the Chinle Holiday Inn at Canyon de Chelly, where one can also view historic cairns in reference to his project: “tse ninajhi (Cairn). "Cairns have been employed by the Navajo people since long before contact with Europeans. Some of the uses for cairns were spiritual, as identifiers of water locations and as guide markers. Cairns can still be found throughout the Navajo Nation, although their use and maintenance has become significantly diminished in recent times."

Traditionally, they were built from the resources available within the nearby area, although in some instances they are made up of material transported to the cairn site from far away. Those constructed of stone have the longest physical life span but what really maintains their significance is their continued use by the people. This continued connection to the land and a place, by maintaining the cairn and passing on to future generations the purpose for its installation through oral tradition, ensures its purpose and life.

In this way the cairn becomes an entity in a sense that ties the people to the place and connects all who recognize and maintain it as part of that extended family. It provides a physical marker for all to reference and relate to, which ties them together. The area proposed is also surrounded by non-Native invader plants including Russian thistle and willows, which are some of the natural materials the artist will use to construct the cairn at this proposed location. The historical and contemporary uses of this location make it ideal for a cairn and serve to reintroduce their use to the community by involving them in the construction."

Shane is suggesting that visitors bring an offering to cairn site and add to his interactive project.

Shane R. Hendren is a Master Metal Smith and Artist who has spent his lifetime working at his craft. For the past twenty years his principal focus has been on jewelry rooted in his Navajo heritage, incorporating traditional iconography and symbolism while employing advanced metals techniques such as Mokume Gane, and Engraving.

His work can be found in public and private collections around the globe as well as being featured in magazines and books. His hard work and dedication to his craft has been recognized by awards from all the major art markets with the greatest recognition to date being the 2007 Artist of the Year, awarded by the Indian Arts and Crafts Association.

Buttressing his traditional rearing is formal training, having received an Associates Degree from IAIA in Museum Management and a BFA in all Disciplines from the University of New Mexico. Shane’s dedication to the arts extends to service of the industry by first serving on the Advisory Board of AtlAtl and currently serving on the boards of IACA and IACA EF, currently the Ex Officio of both boards. Recognized in 2010 on the floor of the NM House of Representatives for his service to the arts.

Shane Hendren's website: www.shanerhendren.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anna Tsouhlarakis

Edges of the Ephemeral

2012 • Aluminum Signage, Reclaimed Wood, Found Wire and Other Found Objects • Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, NM

Anna Tsouhlarakis, “I am Sleeping Rock Clan and born for the Meadow People,” earned her Master of Fine Arts from Yale University. Her Edges of the Ephemeral is about the mythology of the fifth world and what led up to the creation world. “For this project I will explore Navajo narratives of the future worlds and how we as a people might find harmony. Do the people believe we can find that harmony in this world? Or do we have to travel to the next world? Some say there are two worlds above us and some say this is the final world. Different regions around the reservation sometimes hold different beliefs or variations to a story. At times, stories even vary a bit from family to family.”

Tsouhlarakis will install man-made materials and natural objects which will be intertwined to emphasize the oral versus written dynamics with a few projected video and audio components. “While I have created large-scale installations before and worked with the surrounding Native community, I have never worked directly with my own tribe on a communal project.” The installation will be at Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe from May 18 to September 15, 2012. The museum will host the opening for TIME 2012 and have a storyboard with information on the site-specific installations as well as all concepts translated to the Diné language.

 

Through a minimalist lens, Anna Tsouhlarakis creates spatial constructions of reality and myth that converge at moments of pause where text and object illustrate predictions of the Navajo future. Her materials suggest a hindered return to the natural while her palette subtly evokes the industrial. Tsouhlarakis studied at Dartmouth College and received her MFA from Yale University. She has upcoming exhibitions at the Thunder Bay Gallery in Ontario and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York. Her installation will open at Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 

Anna Tsouhlarakis(Navajo/ Creek/ Greek) was born in Lawrence, Kansas and graduated from high school in Taos, New Mexico. Her family comes from the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and the island of Crete, Greece. In 1999 she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College in Native American Studies and Studio Art. She then attended Yale University and received her Masters of Fine Arts degree in 2002. She has been participated in various art residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Yaddo. She has been part of exhibitions at the Wave Hill Gallery in New York, Dreamspace Gallery in London, England, McMaster University Art Museum in Ontario and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. She has upcoming exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe and the Thunder Bay Gallery in Ontario. In 2011, she was a recipient of the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art. Her work consists of various media including sculpture, installation, video and performance art. She is currently living in Washington, DC with her husband, 18-month-old daughter and trusty dog.

Anna Tsouhlarakis' website: www.naveeks.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Andrea Polli, Esther Belin,  Venaya Yazzie,  Social Media Workgroup

Binding Sky

2012 • Sound/Radio, Smartphone App, Video, Stone/Metal Benches • 8 x 5 ft • Male and Female Cloud Shapes • 1 Bench at Sweet Meat Market, Waterflow, NM • 1 Bench at Diné College in Shiprock, NM

Over the past 50 years, the air in Navajo Nation and beyond has been transformed by emissions particles from massive coal-fired power plants. Travel with us through Navajo Country and explore how the changing air has transformed the spiritual and physical health of the Navajo people and beyond.

 

Your journey has 3 stages:

 

1) Begin at the first brick bench at the new library at Dine College Shiprock where you can download the Binding Sky app onto your android phone or pick up an audio CD, printed maps and audio transcripts at the library's front desk. From this bench, shaped in reference to the Navajo male symbol for 'cloud', you can observe the sacred site of Shiprock while listening to Part 1: Beauty

2) By car, follow the map in the app or on paper to the 2nd site on route 36. Observe the impacts of the APS and San Juan coal-fired power plants and listen to Part 2: The Problem

3) Continue driving on to the Original Sweetmeat in Waterflow where you will find the second brick bench shaped in reference to the Navajo female symbol for 'cloud' facing the San Juan power plant. Consider the ongoing activism in Navajo country by listening to Part 3: Healing

Binding Sky is a 3-fold experience that involves public art, oral history and education in and around Navajo Nation. This project aims to bring the complexities of the inter-relationships between air, people and technology on the Navajo Nation to greater public attention. The project itself uses the medium of air to convey its stories, through audio, and new media (cell phone apps, websites, video, etc.) to bring audiences on a journey through Navajo country - as participants and observers of this transforming biosphere. Audio interviews with tribal members from varied expertise have been packaged into 3 approx 10-minute sections, interspersed with sonic scores. The site-specific components include two brick benches in the four corners region of New Mexico. Near or attached to each bench is a container that houses maps of the journey, audio transcripts, journal to record audience comments, etc.

Special thanks to: Norman Patrick Brown, Elouise Brown, Mike Eisenfeld, Damien Jones, Blackhorse Mitchell, Jack Loeffler, Dine College, Karen Willeto, Herman Peterson, Original Sweetmeat, R. D. Hunt, Don Edd and The University of New Mexico Center for Advanced Research Computing and Art & Ecology Program in the Department of Art and Art History

Videos about the work with interviews with the collaborators can be found on the Social Media Workgroup's Youtube channel:: Here

Andrea Polli

Andrea Polli is a digital media artist living in New Mexico. Her work with science, technology and media has been presented widely in over 100 presentations, exhibitions and performances internationally, has been recognized by numerous grants, residencies and awards including a NYFA Artist's Fellowship, the Fulbright Specialist Award and the UNESCO Digital Arts Award. Her work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art News, NY Arts and others. She has published several book chapters, audio CDs, DVDs and papers in print including MIT Press and Cambridge University Press journals.

Polli is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Ecology with appointments in the College of Fine Arts and School of Engineering at the University of New Mexico. She holds the Mesa Del Sol Endowed Chair of Digital Media and directs the Social Media Workgroup, a lab at the University's Center for Advanced Research Computing.

Andrea Polli's website: www.andreapolli.com

Venaya Yazzie

Dziłnaodiłthle (Huerfano Peak) located on the eastern region of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico & San Juan Valley at Tota', NM is where Venaya spent most of her childhood. Born into the Hooghanlani' (Manyhogans Clan) and To'aheeglii nii (Waters Flow Together Clan) from her mother and the To'dichiinii'(Bitterwater clan) and Hopi (Pueblo) heritage from her father, she has come to understand and appreciate the ways in which she was endowed with the divine gifts of the artistic way of life.

Venaya’s contemporary American Indian work has been called “visionary” as she strives to create images that work outside the boundaries of what society sees as stereotypical Native American art. She has great affinity for the work of Russian painter, Vassily Kandinsky and therefore believes that the spiritual connection between the artist and their art is innately strong and always present in the process of creating art. Yazzie believes that her art should always tell a story and thus hopes that her two-dimensional images via painting or photography of the 21st century American Indian will stir discussion of modern issues of social justice, self-awareness, the environment, and the cultural ties to the modern American Indian and their historical past. Her continuing poetry, prose, personal narratives and dialog are perpetuated in hopes that such messages created from the Indigenous female's perspective will continue well into the 21st century.

Venaya Yazzie's website: www.yazzgrlart.com

Esther Belin

Esther Belin, artist and poet, interplays risk with resistance. Indigenizing her tribal existence into a hybridity of mixed languages and blended cultures is an extremely risky ideology. As she continues to experiment with resistance to estrange the English language verbally, the results are a visual embracement of English as a tribal language. Belin emerges from the Diné nation enveloped inside of the southwestern United States. The sticky gummed seal from the Bureau of Indian Affairs has marked her history; a legacy of inscription imprinted on every tribal member. Belin is in constant dialogue with the burdened and fleshy wound formed from the word “Indian” and re-imagines herself at every moment of creation.

Although English is not her first language, it is not her only language. She uses her Diné language as a declaration manifested into her poetry presented as a temporal product: an educated Indian at peace, balance, or what the Diné would translate to as hozhó, the beautyway.

Belin’s thoughts on her recent work: “I started a query tracing a 21st century tribal identity down to its emergence, and the examination transferred into a biographical discourse, an internal fascination with the dimensions created from Federal Indian Policy, particularly the BIA Relocation program. The ideograms in syllabary, text, culture and media are all manifested in my recent work. More recently, I have been part of conversations around the centennial history of Fort Lewis College, a quest of detanglement through a complex mass of ideograms, however a much needed exploration.”

Esther Belin has been teaching in the Writing Program at Fort Lewis College for the last 4 years. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2000, she won the American Book Award for her first book of poetry, From the Belly of My Beauty. She received her MFA in creative writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles. She lives in Durango, Colorado with her four daughters and husband.

Esther Belin's website: www.bitterwater.weebly.com

Social Media Workgroup

The Social Media Workgroup investigates the social and ecological impacts of media technology through practice-based research. Based at the University of New Mexico, the group designs and creates projects related to media technology, environment and social change. Learn more at: socialmedia.hpc.unm.edu. Below are bios of the Social Media Workgroup's current researchers:

Estevan Ramirez

Estevan Ramirez (videographer, editor) is a student at the University of New Mexico with a major in Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media with a focus on production. Estevan spent his third year in Würzburg, Germany for a semester abroad, during which he helped on numerous films, such as “The Color of The Sky” and “Fuer immer Fabre” as well as his own film “Candela-A Visual Interpretation of Skateboarding”. He is currently working on a Capstone student film named “Haley” as well as a documentary called “Learning from Parents”. Estevan did videography for Binding Sky.

Ryan Romero

Ryan Romero (Programmer, System Admin) is from Los Lunas, New Mexico and a computer scientist at the University of New Mexico with a minor in Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media. He primarily works on program designs in high level languages such as Java, and writes back end solutions for servers. A Jack of all trades when it comes to computers and other electronic systems, he worked on Particle Falls (a public digital media project for the city of San Jose), as well as the atmosfeed and freefarmfeed systems. Ryan developed the Smartphone app for Binding Sky.

Eric Geusz

Eric Geusz is a student a the University of New Mexico, majoring in Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media with a focus on computer science. His primary focus is visual effects but also loves building games and interactive web development. Eric did audio work and graphics for the Smartphone app for Binding Sky.

Russell Bauer

Russell Bauer is an interdisciplinary artist interested in living systems. He received his BFA from Michigan State University and has recently begun the Art and Ecology Master of Fine Arts program at the University of New Mexico. Russell designed and constructed the benches for Binding Sky.

Russell Bauer's website: www.RABwork.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chrissie Orr, Bruce Hamilton, Susanna Carlisle, Robert Johnson

Sq' Bik 'ehgo Na'adá

2012 • Composed Earth, Local Colored Earths, Mica, Local Stone, Pumice, Chile, Corn Meal, Turmeric, Seeds, Petri Dishes, and Steel • Navajo Nation Museum, NM

“When all the stars were ready to be placed in the sky First Woman said, ʻI will use these to write the laws that are to govern mankind for all time. These laws cannot be written on the water as that is always changing its form, nor can they be written in the sand as the wind would soon erase them, but if they are written in the stars they can be read and remembered forever.’” 
- Franc Johnson Newcomb

In Navajo,  means, 'we live in accordance with the stars.' This TIME project by Chrissie Orr in collaboration with Susanna Carlisle, Bruce Hamilton, and Navajo astronomer Robert Johnson brings constellations to the earth, addressing the topic Hózhó Náhásdlíí.

Stars have been man’s guides in space and time—the means by which many have navigated on land and sea, the basis of calendars, and for the Navajo, the visual reminders of values that are essential to establishing and maintaining harmony in their daily lives and in the universe.

The artists collaborated with Navajo astronomer Robert Johnson to create an earth drawing inspired by the stars— a map of celestial bodies placed on the land. By bringing the constellations to the earth, they aspire to reconnect the earth with the sky by reflecting unity, beauty, mystery, and sacredness through a visible and engaged aesthetic process that reflects the Navajo words, Hózhó Náhásdlíí, (Harmony in the Making).

The stars in each constellation are represented by natural and reflective materials found in the landscape, including mica. Colored earths represent the four directions, and the lines connecting the stars in each constellation are “drawn” with sand, small pebbles, or other suitable natural materials. All materials and images are appropriate to the unique environment and cultural communities of the Navajo. These “fallen-to-earth” constellations act as a reflection for locally inspired symbols, images, and stories and bring together the wonders of the land with those of the universe and the local community.

The Earth Drawing/Star Map has ephemeral qualities created by the light shifting throughout the day and night. As the paths of the sun and moon and the phases of the moon play upon the reflective materials, a visual dance of illumination suggests the movement of the stars from day to day and season to season. Wind and rain may also alter the work, yet the core concept of uniting sky to earth will remain.

Time-lapse cameras will document the building of the work, community participation and response, and the transformation of this TIME project. Through a thoughtful collaborative process and the convergence of cultures, contemporary and traditional, the artists hope that this project will shift ways of viewing the world and reconnect viewers to what the stars have always been trying to tell.

 

Chrissie Orr

Chrissie Orr was born in Scotland, a descendant of the Picts, (the painted ones). She is an artist, animateur and activist who focuses on developing “an aesthetic around community and site with issues relevant to both.” Orr has created innovative community based generative art projects in Australia, Iran, Turkey, Europe, Mexico and the U.S. She was the founder of the nationally acclaimed Teen Project in Santa Fe, New Mexico, receiving recognition from Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts and is recognized for her innovative work on the Mexican/American border. In the year 2000 Orr completed a nine-month residency in Georgia as part of the Artists and Communities for the Millennium Project. In 2006 she was the artist in residence at Grand Central Arts Center in Santa Ana, California. Her work has been exhibited internationally. She presently is working on the El Otro Lado: the Other side, a community arts project and Seed Broadcast, both based in New Mexico. She is a recipient of the Santa Fe, 2009 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. She was instrumental in the development of the Earth Based Vocational Course at Ecoversity and is presently the director of the El Otro Lado: the Other side project and a faculty member of the Academy for the Love of Learning in New Mexico.

“I aspire to produce art that is not self- referential but relates and responses powerfully to entities outside itself. My work is about developing an aesthetic around community, and site with issues relevant and derived from both. The work often is a catalyst for social and environmental change. It engages those, who have rarely or never thought of themselves as being creative, to recognize and express knowledge and ideas. My work as an artist/ animateur is to conduct a sensitive process to produce a powerful visual image in spaces readily accessible to a broad public. The art becomes part of society rather than for it.”

Other Projects by Chrissie Orr: www.seedbroadcast.org  and  www.elotroladoproject.org

Susanna Carlisle

Susanna Carlisle studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. After many years designing architectural projects and sculpture, she met new media pioneers Steina and Woody Vasulka and fell down the rabbit hole into video. She has collaborated (and continues to collaborate) with composers Joan La Barbara, David Dunn, Jing Wang, and Rahim Alhaj to create video images for sculpture, installations and performances, choreographers and dancers Mary Anne Santos Newhall, Rulan Tangen, Zuleikha, and others to develop experimental dance videos, and media artist Bruce Hamilton to explore video sculpture, installations, and immersive interactive environments. Her work has been exhibited in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. She also has created architectural environments and sculptural elements for or in collaboration with other artists. Carlisle and Hamilton have received a 1% for Art Commission for the City of Albuquerque and three grants from NM Arts.

Bruce Hamilton

Bruce Hamilton was born in Montreal Canada and received a Bachelor of Commerce from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. He received a Master of Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania where he concentrated on graphics, studying with artist Sam Maitin. He has developed computer programs to facilitate the design of sculpture and other three dimensional forms. His computer designed sculptures have been exhibited at many Siggraph art shows, the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, and other venues throughout the USA and Europe. He and Susanna Carlisle collaborate on new media projects and video sculpture and installations. They have received a 1% for Art Commission for the City of Albuquerque and three grants from NM Arts. For the past twenty years Bruce has worked with pioneers of video art to program the behavior of and assist in the realization of their multi media installations.

Susanna Carlisle and Bruce Hamilton's collaborative website: http://c1h2.net/

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Raven Chacon

Singing Toward the Wind Now / Singing Toward the Sun Now

2012 • Steel, Wire, Solar cells, Speakers, Electronics • 4 sculptures, 5 x 3 ft on stone base • Canyon de Chelly Visitor Center, AZ

"Singing Toward The Wind Now/Singing Toward The Sun Now is a series of 4 metal sculptures which function as musical instruments played by the natural elements. Each sculpture is designed to appear as an electrical utility tower, but incorporated with Navajo geometries which appear in weaving and painting designs. Two of the towers will functions as harps, their strings activated by the blowing wind and sand producing a quiet singing drone. The other 2 are solar-powered oscillators, producing a faint and subtle electronic beating sound.

The sculptures should sit atop a high point. Depending on the approved site, they will be positioned either in a 4 way setup, representation the 4 directions, or in a line roughly 50 ft away from each other. Each sculpture will be approximately 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall and will sit upon a 2 ft high stone base.

 

'Singing Toward' is a recognition of beauty amongst encroaching technological 'monsters'. The geometries of the Diné people crawl onto these 'monsters' to reclaim them and shift them back into structures which will serve our people."

Chacon's installation will be erected on the grounds of the Canyon De Chelly Visitor Center.

Raven Chacon (born Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation, Arizona, United States, 1977) is an American composer and artist. He is known for being a composer of chamber music as well as being a solo performer of experimental noise music. Chacon has recorded many works for classical and electronic instruments and ensembles and has had many performances and exhibits of his work across the U.S. as well as Canada, Europe and New Zealand. He has received commissions from the University of Mary Washington and the ERGO Ensemble of Toronto. His unique musical scores were also featured in the book “Notations 21” published by Mark Batty Publishing in 2009.

 

He has a MFA in Music Composition from the California Institute of the Arts where he studied with James Tenney, Morton Subotnick, and Wadada Leo Smith. Chacon has served on the Music and Native American Studies faculties at the University of New Mexico and as a visiting artist in the New Media Art & Performance program at Long Island University. Raven Chacon performs regularly as a solo artist as well as with numerous ensembles in the Southwest. He is also a member of the Postcommodity art collective. He lives in Albuquerque, NM.

Raven Chacon's website: www.spiderwebsinthesky.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Will Wilson

Auto Immune Response Laboratory 2

2005-Ongoing • Steel, Automated Polyvinyl Irrigation System, Earth, Indigenous Food Species • 12 ft Diameter Dome • Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, NM

Will Wilson grew up in Tuba City, Navajo Nation, He holds a Master of Fine Arts in photography from the University of New Mexico. Auto Immune Response Laboratory 2 is a hogan-shaped metal greenhouse which will cultivate Indigenous food and dye species. The greenhouse will be installed at the Navajo Nation Zoo, located next to the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock.

Wilson states, "Since 2005, I have been creating a series of artworks entitled Auto Immune Response, which takes as its subject the quixotic relationship between a post-apocalyptic Diné (Navajo) man and the devastatingly beautiful, but toxic environment he inhabits. The series is an allegorical investigation of the extraordinarily rapid transformation of Indigenous lifeways, the dis-ease it has caused, and strategies of response that enable cultural survival. The latest iteration of the Auto Immune Response series features an installation of a hogan greenhouse, entitled, Auto Immune Response LAB, in which Indigenous food and dye plants are grown. My hope is that this project will serve as a pollinator, creating formats for exchange and production that question and challenge the social, cultural and environmental systems that surround us."

Author Lucy Lippard writes of Wilson's work: "Having explored the downside of invasive forces on the reservation, he is now exploring a more upbeat communal vision also close to home---healthy food and healthy children in the indigenous world."

William (Will) Wilson is a Diné photographer who spent his formative years living in the Navajo Nation. Born in San Francisco in 1969, Wilson’s complex and nuanced oeuvre fully-developed while studying photography at The University of New Mexico (MFA, writing a dissertation on the photography of Milton S. Snow), as well as during his undergraduate studies at Oberlin College. In 2007, Wilson won the Native American Fine Art Fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum and in 2010 was awarded a prestigious grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Wilson is also an educator and has held visiting professorships at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Oberlin College, and the University of Arizona. Recently, Wilson managed The National Vision Project, a Ford Foundation funded initiative at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Wilson has been an important advisor in the development and implementation of the NMA/Navajo Nation TIME 2012 collaboration.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Don Redman

Storm King

2012 • Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Fiberglass, Epoxy Resins, LEDs • 24 x 28 x 24 ft • Chevron Reclamation Site on HWY 264 at Tse-Bonito, NMZ

 

"The wind totems I designed move in moderate wind and reflex in high wind , this is a kinetic experiment. The piece is perceived to make the invisible visible. When the wind pushes upon the airfoils, the object rotates—the higher the wind speed the faster the rotation. At a certain point, centrifugal force pushes the airfoils out from the axis of rotation, which reduces the speed this is called self governing. Working with three natural laws, gravity, centrifugal force, and lift from airfoils propel the object in a counterclockwise rotation. Depending on the velocity of the dominant wind, one law will override another, creating a harmony of movement. This movement will harness the wind to produce electricity which will power LED flood lights to illuminate an object of flora.

“I believe that it is of the utmost importance that the viewers know that this piece is sited on a coal-reclamation site, the McKinley mine off Highway 264, thus illuminating the byproducts produced from the extraction of coal from these sites.”

Don Redman is an multidisciplinary artist and sculptor living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has an an extensive CV of awards, apprenticeships, and grants, and has had solo and group exhibitions throughout Texas and across the country. He studied in the sculpture department at the University of Houston, graduating in 1981.

 

Don Redman's website: www.donredman.com