Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cedric Tai starts his own self-made artist residency, again!

So back at Michigan State I asked the program I was in (ROIAL)  if I could start my own artist in residency program because well, I lived in the same place that my classes took place, and I earned myself control and access to the darkroom that was in the basement of where I lived. Therefore I thought, I can teach others to use the darkroom and I can do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To my surprise at the end of ROIAL, I was handed a certificate that solidified what I had done, it read, Cedric Tai, the inaugural artist-in-residence. It was official, I faked it, and it worked.

I'm stealing this from my friend Quetarshe's blog (her daughter is so professional look at how well designed that website is!):

"Amazingly restored, 71 Garfield apartments and lofts in midtown Detroit has gone through a wonderful transformation – it’s has gone green. This 1920’s historic building in the Sugar Hills Historic art district is comprised of recycled, re-purposed with old and new fixtures, geothermal heating, solar power, and all the things that other buildings green with envy!

Not only has it gone green - local artist were asked to design on the first level an apartment/ loft, their own style, look and feel."

See the PDF invitation here

My 'dream studio'

Ok, so my deal is that I really wanted to make something permanent (like a public work of art) so I designed and installed my own floor! It's a fairly simple design that is kindof like decoding abstract art. Once you see where certain shapes come from (hint hint, where they reflect from) then it makes sense why they are placed the way they are placed and you can imagine a 3 dimensional shape once your brain cracks the code! I was partly inspired by some of the murals in detroit* that are more geometric in nature and conversations with my housemate Corrie about floor installations that Sol Lewitt did. I wanted to have a design that also appeared to unfold... Like if Sol Lewitt were into Transformers?

(blue and green are much more grey than my mockup, also the yellow triangle is supposed represent a projection...)

So my space is meant to be a:

 1. research / brainstorming space (a.k.a. charrette space, to help me with my upcoming show in Sept and my goals!)
 2. collaboration space (hopefully I will be able to bring in other artists who will want to collaborate with me, are YOU interested?)
 3. mini-ted talks space (I'm working on having Dabls from the African Bead Museum give a talk about whatever he wants, because he's awesome)
 4. gallery space (I just want to actually give a couple friends a good local space to do a show and make new work that may or may not have similar goals to those that are being outlined right here.)
 5. clean space (for photographing some of my work)
 6. community space (for bringing in people to use for whatever, doing a film night, staging meetings, brainstorming what we want or what we need)
 7. comfortable space (it has a couch!)

What did I gain, what did I lose?

I had a lot of fun putting this very minimal room together. Surprising enough I had a lot of fun installing the floor and have quite the story to tell. Corrie says I should write a short story about it. Also, my dream shelving has been built, I have no idea why, but all the furniture for kids that Ikea sells are some of my absolute favorite items. Perhaps, I just long for kindergarten. The main table in the room folds up to the wall, but I may remove it in case the wall space is needed for an art show, but I asked for a very high end sink and faucet, and I got it! I am a very happy artist. So far the only things that I've spent 'too much' on since they ran out of money in the very end are extension cables for the projector, a $125 dollar ikea couch and wireless speakers. What I got out of the deal is a sweet dry erase board table, 3 sweet cabinets, and use of a nice white space for 2 months.

As of right now, the last things I did were wax the floor myself, I've also been sanding the grooves of my cabinets so that the drawers slide easier, and I've also been weeding a vinyl sign that will ask people for their spare plexiglas!

The only thing that I think would be cooler would be if I designed my room to look like this:

Oh wait, that's just Mary Heilmann's, All Tomorrow's Parties, Exhibition View, Secession 2003

The last things that still need to be accomplished are: 

1. dropping off the ikea couch that I bought that actually fits in my scion!
2. reformat my computer so that it can be used with the projector, attach the projector shelf to the ceiling and run a power cable from the light bulb in the closet to the projector on the ceiling and also test out my projection and wireless speakers!
3. have the sink installed and test washing a silkscreen in it
4. prepare for visitors which includes putting on a dvd on a loop of me installing the floor, having my book with my work in it out (and a sign that says do not take!), business cards to Re:View gallery, and possibly putting up one of my paintings in the hallway or in the room.
5. replace the wheels on the bottom of my cabinets with ones that don't swivel and cut a corner off so that they can be tilted back and moved around easier.
6. write the goals on the dry-erase board with things that offer interaction with people that will be coming in.

I've been telling people that I haven't been very busy, I don't know if I've been lying to myself or if it's just now starting to get busy and I just can't believe it, or perhaps, I really could be busier but I didn't plan very well ahead so it's past the point of 'getting busy' and now I'm just getting by. Either way, I do hope you stop by to see how well I was able to accomplish my little goals.

My little goals:

1. apply to a juried show sometime this year
2. apply to show work in another country
3. try a new way of framing work
4. create a space for collaborating
5. find people that may enjoy collaborating/using the space
6. make a blog about it, or update thedetroiter.com
7. get someone to help me with my big sculpture for September
8. work as an educator for MOCAD
9. ?