12 December 2010

art + artists

Janette MacKinlay moved to New York City in 1997 and lived across from the World Trade Center. She was home on 9/11 and survived when the windows to her loft were shattered by the cloud of dust created by the collapse of Tower One.
     She had studied Ikebana [Japanese flower arranging arts] since 1995 an used her skills in Ikebana and her interest in contemporary art to heal from the trauma. She wrote about her experiences in a book called, “Fortunate, A Personal Diary of 9/11”. Since 9/11 Janette concentrated on a series of “Organic Assemblages”using natural materials in exciting and dynamic ways.
     Ms. MacKinlay passed away on 9 December 2010. The very dust that may have killed her, gathered from the 9/11 blasts, she collected and provided samples of to BYU Professor Steven Jones – who’s study revealed unreacted thermitic material in the same dust (a military grade explosive), resulting in a scientific paper published in the Open Chemical Physics Journal. http://tinyurl.com/2ehtdz8.

Chris Jordan. Jordan documents images of anguish and pathos [see the Hurricane Katrina works], as well as creates artwork from things as apparently mundane as lists of non-profit environmental and human rights organizations.
     Photographer Chris Jordan trains his eye on American consumption. His 2003-05 series "Intolerable Beauty" examines the hypnotic allure of the sheer amount of stuff we make and consume every day: cliffs of baled scrap, small cities of shipping containers, endless grids of mass-produced goods.
     The online conference-center site TED, says of his work "Chris Jordan runs the numbers on modern American life -- making large-format, long-zoom artwork from the most mindblowing data about our stuff.
     One of his series of photographs, "Running the Numbers," gives dramatic life to statistics of US consumption. Often-heard factoids like "We use 2 million plastic bottles every 5 minutes" become a chilling sea of plastic that stretches beyond our horizon.

Walter McClintock. McClintock was a contemporary of photographer Edward Curtis. In 1896 he traveled west and began documenting the wilderness and, like Curtis, the people and lives of the Native Americans. For over 20 years, supported by the Blackfoot elder Mad Wolf, McClintock made several thousand photographs of the Blackfoot, their homelands, their material culture, and their ceremonies.
     McClintock believed that Indian communities were undergoing swift, dramatic transformations that might obliterate their traditional culture. He sought to create a record of a life-way that might disappear. He wrote books, mounted photographic exhibitions, and delivered numerous public lectures about the Blackfoot.
     McClintock's work, some 1,426 hand colored glass plate slides and negatives, are preserved at the Yale Beinecke Rare Book Library, in New Haven Connecticut.

IMAGE SOURCES: Janette MacKinlay, cover photo from her book. Image found at the weblog Mikiverse; Chris Jordan, "Ball field, St. Bernard Parish". the link provided to "Running the Numbers" warrants looking at closely. It appears to be Georges Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," but the pointillist style, in Jordan's photo, is comprised of soda cans; Walter McCormick, Blackfeet Indians on horseback - Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
THANKS TO: Jason King for the link to Janette MacKinlay, Pat Guerard for the link to Chris Jordan, and to Wood's Lot for the McCormick link.

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