Nina Katchadourian

Self-portrait of the artist as an artist

While I tracked myself across the unviewable landscape of poetsyville, I flooded my senses with attempting to pick more information out of the air in regards to the "Random Poetry" of the delightful Christian Bök. Though the trek was discovered, I found other unexpected backwashes of slippery-bait that struck my interests with an alarmist-jolt to the 'noggin-rut (as flimsy as a hammock).

Meet Nina Katchadourian. From there, her bio: Nina Katchadourian was born in Stanford, California and grew up spending every summer on a small island in the Finnish archipelago, where she still spends part of each year. Her work exists in a wide variety of media including photography, sculpture, video and sound. She is represented by Sara Meltzer gallery in New York and Catharine Clark gallery in San Francisco. Her work has been exhibited domestically and internationally at places such as PS1/MoMA, the Serpentine Gallery, New Langton Arts, Artists Space, SculptureCenter, the Palais de Tokyo, and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. In January 2006 the Turku Art Museum in Turku, Finland featured a solo show of works made in Finland, and in June 2006 the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs exhibited a 10-year survey of her work and published an accompanying monograph entitled "All Forms of Attraction."

Get this: She dissected Maps. Yes. She dissected road maps for an art-installation piece that absolutely floored me!

Map Dissection I

She explains: "I dissected a AAA road map of the USA, removing all the land and leaving only the connected road network. The map was sandwiched between two large pieces of glass and suspended."

Map Dissection II

She explains: "A second dissection was made of an identical map, extracting those places were the roads came together to form small knots or clusters and placing them between glass microscope slides. Many of these extractions became quite figurative."

A glass-slide from the Piece

Oh, but there is plenty more from where this brilliance comes from. How about Talking Popcorn?

Talking Popcorn

She explains: "Talking Popcorn is a sound sculpture that evolved out of my interest in language, translation, and Morse Code. A microphone in the cabinet of the popcorn machine picks up sound of popping corn, and a computer hidden in the pedestal runs a custom-written program that translates the popping sounds according to the patterns and dictates of Morse Code. A computer-generated voice provides a simultaneous spoken translation."

She continues (in regards to the "Popcorn Journal"): "The Popcorn Journal is a running record of Talking Popcorn's speech. Each day during the exhibition, a sample of popcorn is placed in a capsule alongside a text output of the machine's complete speech for that day."

Dabbing through the handkerchief of her work is like sneezing and not blowing it. The collection builds and builds, therefore a reinactment is needed to actually sift through the chaotic-beauty, like sifting for Kleenex (er!). The symphonies of this amazing woman's art could never sound better and the fresh pulp is completely (and satisfyingly) refreshing.

From Here: Nina Katchadourian is a conceptual artist, famous for her eclectic projects, some of which involve her mending a spiderweb or sorting a bookshelf. Often her work consists of either a whimsical intervention into a geographic mapping or an uninvited modification of an ecological terrain. She might, for example, dissect a travel map [as previously showcased!], extracting all the landmass, while retaining, intact, all the highways—or she might augment a car alarm, installing a new bullhorn, which screeches out a birdcall instead.

It's worth a visit. The wide-range of work includes mediums such as Video, Sound, Photography, Paper, Sculpture/Mixed Media and Public projects.

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