nascent art

Monday, August 01, 2005

nascent art

The Actual Art Foundation was founded in 1985, to promote and encourage the support and development of Actual Art and to educate, assist and instruct the public toward awareness of this important genre of art which is related to environmental issues by the unique way the art works with nature in a positive mind set. To this end, the Actual Art Foundation has curated and sponsored art exhibitions in Princeton, New Jersey, Hartford, Connecticut; Regensburg, Germany; and the City Gallery, New York City. The Foundation is currently organizing shows world wide and had several group shows at the Fvlcrvm Gallery SoHo.

The Foundation has worked with other not-for-profit organizations such as The Public Art Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and City Walls to assist artists in realizing major works of art throughout the City, both temporary installations as well as permanently installed site-specific works. The Foundation also works with many major international corporations towards the completion and promotion of temporary art exhibitions as well as permanent installations of art, and to assist in the education of the public, especially school children, about art in general and environmentally conscious art in particular.

The Foundation is working with private individuals to realize their dream of creating a living monument to the memory of the late A.H. Dean,. This is being done in the form of living trees, created by artist Robert DuGrenier, incorporating hand-blown glass, marble, gold, silver, and stone, which will grow into the trees as they mature. The works are planted at Cornell University, Smith College and Princeton University.

Currently, the Actual Art Foundation is also dedicated to raising funds for the San Andreas Fault Sculpture Project by artist Tery Fugate-Wilcox, This $9,500,000 project is being constructed over the San Andreas Fault in Palm Springs, California.

Los Angeles Times Magazine Tectonics
The Crack-Up
It took 5 million years, but someone finally wants to use the San Andreas fault the way teen-age boys use cherry bombs on public-school restroom plumbing.
To wit: New York artist Tery Fugate-Wilcox' proposal to pour an acre-sized, 20 foot-high concrete slab directly over the San Andreas near Palm Springs. Because the fault slips about two inches a year there, the slab would almost certainly tear into two rectangles that will creep apart as the north American & Pacific tectonic plates grind past each other. The adolescent weird-science id fairly gapes in wonderment:
..........What a cool idea.
The scale of the project is heroic even by Christo standards: 188 feet by 232 feet (visible from space, claims its creator), 65,424 tons of low-exothermic, uncolored concrete (the type used in dam construction). To ensure that it actually breaks apart, the slab would be anchored directly to bedrock, with no reinforcing rods spanning the fault. "The earthquake people told me the crack there runs right down to the mantle," Tery enthuses, "that's why it moves so beautifully."
Time & decay, mortal enemies of most artists, are Tery’s close personal friends. Most of his creations - he's shown at New York's Museum of ModernArt - are literally works in progress: He bolts together strips of metal (gold, copper, lead, silver, etc.) & decrees the pieces unfinished until the metals fuse (2,000 years in some cases). Other works are kept in constant flux by gravity or deviations in humidity & temperature.
Plate tectonics are another matter. At the San Andreas' present rate of slip, the 32,000-ton halves of Tery’s- concrete slab would separate in about 1,200 years; the western half, along with Palm Springs & Los Angeles, would theoretically be in present-day Alaska in roughly 43 million years.
The project will cost about $9 million, half of which, Tery says, has been raised. "The people who have supported this are international businessmen who could fund it with change from their limousine ashtrays," he notes. Much of the money will go toward preparing the ite, including bringing in a rail spur to deliver the concrete.
The U.S. Geological Survey & other earthquake-related organizations, Fugate-Wilcox says, have expressed interest in rigging the interior reaches of the slab with seismic measuring devices. If all goes according to plan, the project would be ready for viewing in 2006.
As for the inevitable but-is-it-art? assault, Fugate-Wilcox says of his slab: "The fault is a very negative thing--I had ranchers yell at me when I was out looking at it. I just want to bring out the positive aspect of it--& make a big brush-stroke statement about the energy of the earth."
Response to the LA Times article:....
All That It's Cracked Up To Be
Tery Fugate-Wilcox' project involving a one-acre-sized slab placed over the San Andreas Fault would be one I'd be willing to back if I had the means ("The Crack-Up," by Michael Walker, Palm Latitudes, Dec. 3). Californians greatly fear earthquakes because they've been bombarded by silly myths. No, our state is not going to fall into the ocean, nor is the ground going to open up & swallow us. Those back East stand a far greater danger from the immense power of tornadoes.
Perhaps such a display as Fugate-Wilcox's will bring enthusiasm to future prospective seismologists. There will always be earthquakes in California; the state is geologically alive. But instead of living in fear, we should cherish a great learning opportunity such as this. Dennis Chamberlain, Hollywood
Actual Art Foundation is a 501C-3 charitable organization and all donations to it are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

IT IS NOT ART………..yet

The Actual Art Foundation is the first in history to show artists’ creations that are NOT ART…YET. The exhibition titled "Nascent Art" continues as an evolving project. The show will travel, continuing its evolution.
Actual Art has always been the focus of the foundation, whose artists create natural art incorporating the effects of time. That is, they tend to use materials in their natural state, allowing the finished works to be influenced, if not actually formed by the effects of the forces of nature on the materials of the art at some time in the future.

Nascent Art examines the point at which an object becomes a work of art. Actual Artists do not finish works of art; they only start them. Then the works leave the artists’ hands and go out into the world to be "finished" by weather, dust, oxidation, temperature, humidity, human and/or animal interaction or simply time, as the inner structure of the materials change or interact with each other. At some point, during that evolution, the materials become a work of art…on their own…without the artist’s intervention.

Nascent Art begins with a preview exhibition at Shakespeare’s Fvlcrvm. The project will expand through a "Call to Artists" for objects that are not yet art and will continue its expansion through an invitational exhibition that will evolve over a two-year period. The exhibition will include outdoor works, affected by the weather, works exhibited in a glassed conservatory, affected by direct sunlight and living art, as well as indoor art that evolves by other means.

Nascent Art concentrates on that period before an object becomes art, and focuses on the precise moment when the object is art. Who decides if and when it is art? What does the collector purchase if he buys before the object is deemed art and what does she do if the artist decides it is not art, (ever)? Who but the artist can say? What is the role of the critic in assessing Nascent Art? How can one determine its potential?

To submit objects or works that will become works of art, send slides or photos along with a $20 entrance fee Payable to:
Actual Art Foundation & send to:

Valerie Shakespeare
Actual Art Foundation
158 Church Street #7, NYC 10007

ALL WORKS ACCEPTED for this show WILL BE PURCHASED by the Foundation


ACTUAL ART FOUNDATION was created to present "Actual Art", a genre initiated by Tery Fugate-Wilcox, who discovered the other artists in the group, introduced them to each other, supported & championed them. He is the creative force behind the designs & focus of my gallery Valerie Monroe Shakespeare director

Historically, art has been categorized as either referential or non-referential. Visual arts have bounced around these two categories for centuries, sometimes blending the two, sometimes stretching them to include conceptual & performance arts, but never actually escaping altogether. Both of these labels infer an approach that is virtual. All ordinary art is based on the virtual. There is a third & inclusive kind of art that finds its essence in the actuality of its instrumentation. Virtual art involves a kind of tromp l'oeil approach. It is not really what it seems; the illusion of depth, balance pretended, juxtaposition, unexpected medium or sometimes it simply means more than you actually see. The educated viewer may no longer try to understand what a work of art represents, but still wonders what it means.
Sometimes art is thought of as a mirror of the cultural condition, a reflection of the "times we live in", providing the most obvious statement of the human condition. Cultural art may be historically important in a very narrow sense, or it may make us look at ourselves in contexts that grow weaker with each passing week, but this is excruciatingly limited in an age striving to understand the complex interrelationships of the entire universe. The traditional approach to creating art has been to force the materials to an idea originating with the artist. The artist's statement is conceived, a suitable medium is sought & the materials are manipulated to suit the statement. No more thought is given to the physical life of the art than that it should last until the check clears. If time is actually part of the artist's palette, then the qualities of the materials being used in the art become part of the statement of the art in a concrete physical way. It is this use of time as a tool in the creation of the art that changes the vitality of the art. If the statement of the art responds to the changes the materials experience in the real world, the art is taken out of stasis & becomes a living object. When the art is given life in this fashion the changes it will experience as it exists in the world become positive. The art will be enriched by its involvement in the real world, creating an interface between the aesthetics of the art & reality, as living beings experience reality. The essence of all materials is change. It is impossible to deny these changes. Nothing exists without change. The changes are essential, if the art is actual. Time adds a new dimension to the art. The essence of time becomes part of the statement.
It is an intrinsic contradiction to try to freeze an idea "forever" in any medium. Time is the enemy of art attempting to capture an impression or concept for future appreciation, without actually considering the future of the substance on which the art is carried. The survival of a work of art that does not incorporate time, is a losing battle against the "ravages of time". Sometimes stasis is prolonged by sealed isolation or re-creation by other hands. Future generations are relegated to peering through glass at shadows of once great art or viewing "masterpieces" recreated by the hands of nameless restorers. This art becomes nothing but legend. If traditional works of art are left in their actual state, untouched since they were created, they are overwhelmed by such loud "noise" from the changes occurring in their materials that we can no longer "hear" what the artist was saying. The future becomes a major part of the art when the material of which it is made is interfaced with the idea of art. Instead of fighting the elements of nature, in a doomed battle to remain static, the art is allowed to respond, creating a dialogue with time & becoming enriched by the effects of time. Immortality is pretentious & immoral. Change is life. Art that is allowed to actualize evolves with time. Time & the environment contribute to the work’s statement. "Environment" includes indoors as well as outdoors & can mean people, temperature, gravity or any aspect of the art's surroundings which affect the art.
Art is generally expected to "touch" people who are expected to "respond" to it. These terms are used metaphorically. People are rarely expected to touch art back. Certainly, they are often moved to touch art only to be admonished for doing so. It does seem strange that so many artists make art that is tactually seductive & yet cannot be touched. Actual art adds a new dimension to the spiritual ability to interact with us & with the physical environment. Some works actually require touching to fulfill their being.
Materials are timely in themselves. They contain the technology of their own time. The metal, wood, stone or paint of today are distinguishable from materials of earlier times & will be from those of the future. A material is as much a recognizable product of the culture from which it derived as is art that reflects the time & culture from which it originated. Actual art reflects its time in its materials, then it explores the human condition beyond the limits of time. Time becomes a more important factor than its effects on materials. Timelessnessbecomes the core of actual art.
Actual art speaks to people as natural beings, to the fact that people are a natural occurrence in the world. Inherent in all people is the ability to make materials. "Man-made" materials are natural materials. People are no more capable of escaping their nature, their place in the natural scheme of things than they are capable of escaping their own bodies. People expand & extend the limitations of their instrumentation & then fear those extensions & their dependency on them. They fear their creations, their effect on the world, & fight to control them. All of this is natural. It may be difficult, but it is still natural. When fear is changed to understanding, & the artist works with nature, limitations virtually cease to exist. Actual art is based on this idea. But why art? Why not just philosophy?
Understanding something & doing it are two different things. Language is not what sets humans apart from the other animals. ART is. Art does not need to be a knee-jerk reaction or superfluous luxury. Art is part of the most profound nature of human beings. Art is the only way to reach our basic aesthetic response. Only art communicates at the deepest level of human understanding, surpassing the intellect, language, culture, & time itself. For an understanding of how we fit in context with the universe, without being limited by the culture of our time, art is the universal way to achieve this understanding.
CONTACT: Valerie Monroe Shakespeare
Tel: 212.966.6848