The Arizona State University Ceramics Research Center was recently host to Recorded Matter: Ceramics in Motion (March 21st -July 19th, 2015), the inaugural exhibition by its new curator Garth Johnson. The show highlights ten young ceramic artists using video as an important aspect of their practice. Many of the videos were influenced by our relationship with social media, to be commented on, liked, and shared, carving a new facet in the history of clay in film.
“With the dawn of social media comes a new generation of artists who innately grasp the power of video not just as a tool to document process, but as an inextricable element of their work. Recorded Matter is an exploration of the range of expression that video offers—from viral videos showing artworks being used (or more often, abused) to mysterious inquiries into material and philosophical properties of clay.”
Moiré by Sam Brennan documents his unique methods and perfectly captures the slight flexibility of his fired sculpture in a startling moment. Documenting ceramic studio practice has a rich history. Comparing Tompkins’ video with the 1961 film A Potter’s World, featuring Bernard Leach, exposes massive strides in cinematic technology, along with unchanged romance and methods, even in a modern day studio.
Sam Brennan, Moiré
One completely absurd video by Florida-based artist Cheyenne Rudolph is a retro infomercial spoof for her sculpture called Center-Peas. Rudolph superimposes the history of single-function ceramic objects (like salt cellars or tulip vases) onto their modern day counterpart, the infomercial product (like the Shake Weight or the Magic Bullet food dicer). Her production combines cheeky humor and handmade ceramic design into a smart video. Her “product” is a small tool made to improve one’s ability to eat peas and avoid a horrible “pea mess.” After all, “2 out of 3 individuals will encounter a horrific pea mess over the course of their lives.”
Cheyenne Rudolph, Center Peas
Asked to reflect on the genesis of the exhibition, Johnson remarked:
“I honestly don’t think that this exhibition would have happened if it weren’t for social media. A new generation of artists has emerged that innately know how to use video to tell their story.”
The artists in Recorded Matter were Sam Brennan, Forrest Sincoff Gard, Ben Harle, Joseph Kamm, Roberto Lugo, Jeffrey Miller, Thomas Schmidt, Cheyenne Rudolph, Jason Lee Starin, Eva Vogelsang, and Man Yau.
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Justin Crowe is a Writer and Director of Operations at CFile.
Jason Lee Starin, This Amorphous Moment
Joseph Kamm, Dangerous Games