Sonic Pardee

Double whammy: I showed up for the last tour of the Pardee Home Museum during the run of the Here and Now projects, in which Floor Vahn created three sound installations at that historic home in Oakland.

I’ve heard Floor’s soundtracks twice before, and they’ve struck me as moody and evocative invitations to linger and be quiet. There’s something about them that beg to be experienced physically. The compositions involved strings and other acoustic instruments, and are usually played at a substantial volume—the way real acoustic instruments permeate spaces. Her sound pieces partially recorded at, and played back in, three rooms at Pardee Home Museum, upheld and enhanced my expectations. I don’t know much about sound as an art medium, but Floor’s Sonic Pardee pieces were clear and articulate, well-researched, and a bit humorous and sad.

The Pardee Home Museum tour was also a delight.

(I usually have mixed feelings about old estate houses. California’s history involves significant anti-Chinese legislation and sentiment. It may seem like old news to most people, but for me, standing in homes of the 1880s élite reifies the privileged protected by those policies.)

Pardee is a historic home museum that’s more quirky than your average home museum. The Board decided to keep the home as it was in the 1980s. It’s a curiosity. Alongside Belle Epoch artifacts and collectibles, including hundreds of candlesticks and beautiful old symphonias, you’ll see amazing, mismatched chairs and a 1960s television set. There’s a case overflowing with scrimsaws, a beautiful dining room with loads of cut and blown glass sets. Old writing desks feature accoutrements like boxes of labels with gorgeous typography. My favorites were the light fixtures, especially a glass-photograph-paneled-lightbox-chandelier by Carleton Watkins featuring images of Yosemite. There was also an amazing billiards room.

It all seemed a bit mad, and quite enjoyable. Don’t miss the cupola, where 360 degree views can be seen.

Pardee Home Museum offers tours year-round. You can also book high tea in their lovely dining room. On July 4th, they’re hosting a “Stereopticon Ice Cream Social.” Sounds fun.

Art & Development

As Is transcript, Great Balloon Giveaway photos posted!

as is audience and panel

In case you were wondering:

What’s the role of pleasure in art?
How do you gauge sincerity?
Can Pop art transcend radical negative consumerist critique?

You might like to have a gander at the transcript of As Is: Pop & Complicity, the closing dialogue of my solo show, Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) at Sight School, featuring Glen Helfand, Patricia Maloney, and Ginger Wolfe-Suarez.

Some highlights:

The show is like an experiment; it’s a sincere embrace of different things that are supposed to make you happy. She’s taken a lot of objects that supposedly exude a lot of optimism to see what sort of effect they may have. I don’t think the sentiment in the objects is sincere, but the sentiment in her embrace of that possibility is. (Victoria Gannon)

The term that comes to mind in regards to Christine’s work is ‘added value.’ For example, learning what the Banner photographs are made of makes them more exciting to me. They’re cheesy gift bags that have been transformed. Even though they’re working in the language that the materials are intended to be about—the notion of the gift—they become something ghostly. There’s an added layer of what the artist can bring to the materials. (Glen Helfand)

Also, I’ve just posted some beautiful photographs of The Great Balloon Giveaway shot by Paul Kuroda. Here are some sneak peeks:

The site-specific public project and social sculpture took place at the Camron-Stanford House on Lake Merritt in Oakland a few weekends ago. It was part of a series of projects sited in historic Oakland architecture called Here and Now. A closing reception for Here and Now is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, June 26, 8-10pm at Mills Hall, which is also the last chance to see Elaine Buckholtz’ light installation! Prior to that, catch Floor Vahn’s audio installation at Pardee Home Museum.

Full details available at Mills Art Museum or Invisible Venue.

Art & Development

Press Junket #2: 5/28 Adobe Books, 6/5 Camron-Stanford House

lending library

5/28: Lending Library opens at Adobe Books, SF

Tomorrow night, you’re invited to shimmy your way into Adobe Books’ Backroom Gallery, where I, along with 6 other artists, are exhibiting our research materials and studio relics at the behest of curator Dena Beard.

This is part two Dena’s Lending Library project, and it features

tools, materials, and resources from artists Amy Franceschini, Colter Jacobsen, Kevin Killian, Tom Marioni, Emily Prince, Stephanie Syjuco, and Christine Wong Yap.

It’s a fantastic honor to be included with such a dynamic group of artists. Congrats to Amy Franceshini, who was recently awarded a Guggenhein Fellowship, and Colter Jacobsen, who was just short-listed for the SECA Award!

Lending Library
May 28–July 2, 2010
Opening Reception: Friday, May 28, 2010, 7-9 pm
Adobe Books Backroom Gallery
3166 – 16th Street (b/Valencia and Guerrero), San Francisco, CA 94103


June 5: The Great Balloon Giveaway, at Camon-Stanford House, Lake Merritt (Oakland)

The Great Balloon Giveaway, artist's rendering

Next Saturday afternoon, you’re invited to The Great Balloon Giveaway, a social sculpture and public project presented by Invisible Venue and the Mills College Art Museum.

This work is inspired by imagery from the recent Oscar-winning animated film “Up” and re-contextualizes the political histories of the house through the free distribution of 1,000 helium balloons to passersby, with volunteer youth assistance from Chinatown community organization City of Oakland’s Lincoln Square Recreation Center. The Great Balloon Giveaway is made possible with the support of and Trader Joe’s.

Saturday, June 5, 12-3 pm
The Great Balloon Giveaway
Camron-Stanford House, Lake Merritt, 1418 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA

The Great Balloon Giveaway is one of three projects that comprise Here and Now, a series of installations in three historic buildings dating from the early inception of the State of California that also includes site-specific projects by Elaine Buckholtz and Floor Vahn.

Get the details on Here and Now, curated by Christian L. Frock in various locations around Oakland, CA. And join us at the closing reception: Saturday, June 26, 8-10 pm at Mills Hall!