Stephanie Syjuco will have an upcoming solo show at the Catherine Clark gallery. It opens June 4!

With Valentine’s day just around the corner (and, yes, I’m excited, I love the day and don’t care if you don’t), I felt compelled to write about interconnectedness. That lost love, that forgettable love, or that unrequited love in your life all seem to hit people at once on the red-and-pink-heart-chocolate-laden day. So, I wanted to lead you to one of Stephanie Syjuco’s older works that shows Interconnectedness in a much more intimate way. In a sexy way, if you ask me.

Her work, “Interpersonal Relationships Based on Fact, Rumor, or Hearsay, and Depicted as Either Molecular Compositions or Constellation Maps (To the Best of My Knowledge), 2003” charted relationships in the Bay Area art scene. However you want to perceive those relationships, it’s up to you but she does a brilliant job at making you wonder and looking at our connections differently. I never grow tired of her work. You can view the chart here.

More lovey-dovey, interconnected, mushy art related stuff to follow…xoxo

KNiiTTiiNG

On my way to work, I was thinking how I’ve been writing about artists that would, categorically, put themselves on opposite ends of the art spectrum. Craft and Technology. Both types of artists may feel marginalized from the main stream art world. Yet, both have certainly found their way into art museums and galleries by using craft or technology as a means of conveying ideas. For instance, take a look at Stephanie Syjuco’s, The Counterfeit Crochet Project, which examines globalization. LJ Roberts’s creates large scale knitted installations forcing the viewer to confront Self vs. Other. Lastly, sculptor, Tara Donovan who takes Styrofoam cups and other everyday objects we may often neglect and create phenomenal organic sculptures that make you think twice about how we live in the world. Craft, in these cases, force the viewer to be in the world with others.

On the other end, you find artists that utilize technological expertise to create works that are interactive. Looking at Brian Knep’s work, the art works physically change based on museum or gallery patrons movements. His use of custom algorithms simulate organic forms in nature and showcase how technology binds us together (through interaction with the space and with each other).  Tim Roseborough’s piece, Singing Garden, the flowers bloom based on sound waves from a viewer’s singing voice. Technology (or New Media), in Knep’s and Roseborough’s work, make the observer part of the creation and brings the viewer full circle back to the self.

I started wondering, what if someone intertwined some type of craft (knitting) and technology (new media). I found this actually exists and not so surprisingly, was featured at the ITAB: International TECHstyle Art Biennial in San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles (San Jose, CA).

From the KNiiTTiiNG ‘About’ section web site

“KNiiTTiiNG was created by an artist and an engineer turned behavioral scientist.  Artist Rachel Beth Egenhoefer works with overlaps between technology and textiles. Scientist Kyle E. Jennings is interested in repurposing technology for creative human machine interactions”.

I’ve been promising myself that I would keep to my art writings and dedicate time to those artist heroes I’ve stored in the large unorganized art bin in my mind.  For the longest time, I’ve been out of commission for reasons not even known to me.  In any case, I digress, as always…

One of the Filipina artists I’ve discovered over the years is Stepanie Syjuco.  Her work, seriously, had a profound effect on the way I view highly conceptual and communal based art.  Syjuco definitely has a way of injecting a healthful dose sociological and cultural issues within her work to make the viewer question the way in which one consumes and perceives ‘other’.  For the scope of this entry, I’ve chosen to focus on one of her Counterfeit Crochet Project, which started in 2006 is an ongoing endeavor.

The characteristics and themes most prominent in her work are ideas of the Black Market and the “Hello Kitty” effect, which a term Syjuco coined whilst working on her master’s thesis in Art Practice from Stanford Univeristy.  For the most part, the consumer is sold, provided a product for consumption, for use, yet the process in which this very product is produced goes through the hands of an individual that may not have the income or even pragmatic use for it (i.e., a handbag, piece of clothing, etc.).  It’s been a wild ride of adventures of Syjuco as she teaches and exhibits across the country.  This amazing artist will definitely have you pondering the goods you purchase but also, much more importantly, contemplating your role on a much more global scale…

Originally Posted: March 15, 2008