artXposium in West Chicago

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It was another great year for artXposium in West Chicago. Diana had a chance to hang some of her new work. They were 3 small pieces from a new body of work that she began developing last year. I think that this idea started taking shape when she started searching for ways to make lines without ink or paint by using tape, string, light, branches as well as with the computer.

I’ve usually seen Diana’s work on paper but something gave her the urge to sew her lines into a painting. The beauty of this piece is that it intermingles common household products; pencil, string and electric tape with very basic art supplies to make something playful and organic. I can’t say that I understand what this piece means to her as the artist but, as a gamer and puzzler, I like to look at the lines and wonder why they overlap in some places and intersect in others.

This is one of two pieces aren’t as improvised but that doesn’t mean that you can’t lose yourself in the design. They both expand on a concept that came out of a commission from Harper College, where Diana turned the Harper logo into an intricate line design. Taking it one step further, she replaced the ink from the Harper piece with string to create more depth within the piece. This use of string and tension to create lines is echoed in an installation that Diana is developing in her studio.

Aside from Diana’s work, there was more art and live music that was curated by Anni Holm and Sara Phalen at People Made Visible. One piece that I was anticipating was Detention Club because artist in residence, Stine Marie Jacobsen, had invited me to shoot for her a few days earlier.

Her process that isn’t entirely unlike my own but it’s still radically different. I was envious of her ability to get a group of high school students to commit to the film so thoroughly after just a few weeks of interaction with them. She essentially got the students to agree to give themselves detention in protest of the injustice of the high school detention system.

The online version of the film is slightly different than what was screened at artXposium but the stark feel was there even though the sparse soundtrack was replaced by the various musical acts that played through out the night. My favorite viewing was watching it while a harp player performed in the next room. The Local Music Night performance gave the film a peaceful air that was probably not intended but helped me enjoy it on another level. Mandy Rakow organizes and curates the monthly concert series that happened to coincide with artXposium this year.

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