Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer: Miracle Report

January 10, 2014

GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER
A Unit of California State University, Fullerton
College of the Arts
125 N. Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701
714.567.7233

Public Reception: Saturday, February 1 from 7-10pm
Grand Central Art Center Residency: January 12 – 19, 2014
Original ASU Art Museum Residency: December 26, 2011 – January 20, 2012

JK

Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer: Miracle Report
January 19 – May 11, 2014

Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer spent their Social Studies residency at the Arizona State University Art Museum looking for miracles. The artists explored the miraculous through people’s perceptions of it in their lives, interviewing students, school children and community members of all ages and backgrounds. They combined their findings in an installation of fleeting vignettes playing on all of the available sound and video equipment in the museum’s possession. In the words of the artists, “Our installation strives to embody some beauty, some hocus-pocus and some unexplainable magic.”

The artists’ decision to focus on people’s hands provided the comfort of anonymity as participants shared intimate stories. They filmed at various locations, using only the Arizona sun to highlight the hands against a shrouded background, an effect that preserves and enhances the mystery of the miracle. Throughout their reporting on miracles, the artists grappled with the balance between the sacred and profane, belief and skepticism. This complexity is reflected throughout the installation in the video vignettes, the darkness of the gallery and the layering of sound.

Using all the available sound and video equipment at Grand Central Art Center, the artists created this new site-specific installation of the work.

Miracle Report was first realized at the Arizona State University Art Museum and supported by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of the Social Studies series. John D. Spiak initiated this project. Upon Spiak’s departure to accept his new position at Grand Central Art Center, Heather Sealy Lineberry with Nicole Herden curated the exhibition at ASU Art Museum.

The artists and curators thank the following for their assistance and participation: the staff of the ASU Art Museum; Andrea Feller, Curator of Education; ASU School of Art intermedia faculty and School of Art Director Adriene Jenik; Peter Bugg; Robert Madera; Sean Deckert; Christian Filardo; Ben Mack; Barbara Perez and Tesseract School students; Amy Hardgrove and students from Academy with Community Partners High School; J. Eugene Clay and Mark Woodward from the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies; Beth Ames Swartz and John Rothschild; and especially all of the people who lent their stories and viewpoints to this project.

MIRACLE REPORT
Mission Statement

We spent our Social Studies Residency at Arizona State University Art Museum looking for miracles.

We sought the miraculous through other people’s perception of it in their lives.

We interviewed many local residents and asked each to “describe a miracle you have experienced.”

Interviewees were of varied ages and backgrounds. We gratefully recorded anyone who wished to retell his or her own miracle.

We recorded audio and video from these interviews, but identities were obscured.

The recordings were edited into fleeting vignettes that attempt to establish “the miraculous” through entirely subjective perspectives.

To display the recordings, we use all of the institution’s available audio and visual equipment.

Our installation strives to embody some beauty, some hocus-pocus, and some unexplainable magic.

Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer

More information on Julianne Swartz:
http://www.julianneswartz.com/

More information on Ken Landauer:
http://kenlandauer.com

Click this link to see the recent activities at Grand Central Art Center and information on the installation of this project:
https://grandcentralartcenter.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/busy-end-to-2013-even-busier-beginning-to-2014-gcac/




Open Engagement, AAM, Social Practice and a Forward Vision @ Grand Central Art Center

May 24, 2012

Social Practice is a major focus of our Forward Vision at Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), so we were honored by an invitation to participate in the Open Engagement conference in Portland, Oregon (May 18-20).  GCAC was represented on two panels by Director/Chief Curator John D. Spiak, which included:

René de Guzman, Dominic Willsdon, John D. Spiak, Stephanie Parrish, Allison Agsten

It Turns Out There Is Room For Everyone: Museums and Social Practice – with panelists Dominic Willsdon (SFMOMA), Allison Agsten (Hammer Museum), René de Guzman (Oakland Museum of California), Stephanie Parrish (Portland Art Museum) and John D. Spiak (Grand Central Art Center). Moderated by Harrell Fletcher (Portland State University).

and

Gregory Sale, John D. Spiak, Pete Brook, Julie Perini

Prison Communities: You Can’t Arrest Your Way to a Solution. Social Practice Engaging the Criminal Justice System – with panelists Gregory Sale, John D. Spiak, Pete Brook, Rachel Marie-Crane Williams and Julie Perini.

Bernie Díaz (Faculty @ SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts), Ariel Gentalen, Karla Monterrey, Shannon Jackson (Director of ARC @ UC Berkeley), Carlin Boyle

We were able to encourage, with the help of GCAC Artist in Residence Jules Rochielle, a few California State University Fullerton students, a faculty and staff member to attend the conference.  Those in attendance included: CSUF students Carlin Boyle, Ariel Gentalen, Karla Monterrey; CSUF faculty member Gretchen Potts; and CSUF staff member Mylan Chacon.  The conference allowed the opportunity for these individuals to connect with national figures of the art world, including artists, theorists, educators and curators.  It was clear that these individuals were truly inspired by the experience.  We are sure this will have a major impact on GCAC and the CSUF College of Art, especially starting next semester, as these individuals are playing key roles on the campus community – Karla leading CSUF Arts Week this coming year; Ariel leading the CSUF Arts Inter-Club Council; and Carlin through her Evoke Unity efforts.

Three weeks ago, Spiak also represented GCAC through two panels at the American Association of Museums Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which included:

Getting into the Bones: Museums, Dance and Social Action – with panelists Gregory Sale (Arizona State University), Robin Conrad (Fullerton College), Elizabeth Johnson (Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts) and John D. Spiak (Grand Central Art Center)

and

Kris Morrissey, Robert Garfinkle, John D. Spiak, Emily F. Zimmern, Thomas M. Finkelpearl

New Roles/New Culture: Tackling Tough Topics and Engaging New Audiences – with panelists Thomas M. Finkelpearl (Queens Museum of Art), Emily F. Zimmern (Levine Museum of the New South), Robert Garfinkle (Science Museum of Minnesota) and John D. Spiak (Grand Central Art Center).  Moderated by Kris Morrissey (Director, Museology Program, University of Washington).

The inspiration and knowledge these conferences provided inform this institution as our Forward Vision document develops and becomes more refined.

The in-progress Forward Vision for Grand Central Art Center focuses on the belief that the key to success in Social Practice Residencies is complete honesty, trust and openness by the institution, curator and artist with all potential collaborators and participants. GCAC is open to exploring, through artistic practice and conversation, the complexities of society – acknowledging that we may raise more questions than perhaps answer.  This institution is open to flexibility and adjustment throughout a project/residency as envisioned by the artist, leaving the opportunity for new discoveries to develop – creating the possibilities for even greater, successful and mutually beneficial outcomes for artist, institution and collaborator.  We use the term “successful” loosely, as we acknowledge that failure of a process also brings knowledge.  These rules should apply to any institution exhibition, program or project, but they are even more essential when working with community and artists through Social Practice residence.  Without an honest approach, trust cannot be secured to build connections with diverse individuals through an artist’s vision.

Shannon Jackson (Open Engagement Keynote)

We also acknowledge the kinds of results that often occur at the conclusion of a residency or Social Practice based project are not always easily measured, in the traditional sense.  For example, attendance figures, tour numbers and budgets may not be the most appropriate measures of “success.”  Unfortunately, these are the most common types of statistics that funders and agencies require in grant reports, usually due immediately upon completion of the project.

GCAC understands that many projects in Social Practice should not, and can not, be limited by a set timeline for completion.  Therefore, it is our goal to provide an artist time needed to realize their vision.  Often the first question asked by individuals when inquiring of our Artist in Residence program is “how long is each residency?”  To this we will answer, “we do not know,” as each will be determined by the artist, their project and their collaborators working through GCAC.  We also understand that even though a project might be considered complete, impact of that project, and even the project itself, may continue beyond the artist and institution.

If It Doesn’t It Should (Open Engagement Panel) – Ted Purves, Harrell Fletcher, Cassandra Thornton

GCAC will look at traditional and standard matrix measurements for each project, but we will also measure, validate and share the success, and/or failure, of each Social Practice Residency through the following:  gathering of personal stories and testimonials (artist, institution, organizations, community); presenting at national conferences (American Association of Museums, College Art Association, Open Engagement); creating web and print based documentation (website, blog, catalogues); writing and publishing articles in national journals (Museum and Social Issues, Art Education, Journal of Art for Life); and direct sharing with colleagues of peer institutions and through society itself.

The Social Practice Artist in Residence is just one component of our institution, but the philosophies of this program will guide GCAC in the further development of Forward Vision documents for our exhibitions, education, public programs and outreach.  Their outcomes will be measured in the same fashion and be accountable to our mission as a contemporary art center.  We will raise questions, allow inquire, be open to opposing view points, be challenged and/or criticized, in the hope of understanding greater society, the role of contemporary art and our shared, or unshared, experiences.  It is important for us as a contemporary art center to acknowledge that we may not be able to change lives or minds, but it is our hope to change moments.