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FULL EPISODE

¡COLORES! March 7, 2014

Santa Fe's Peter Sarkisian sees video as a new medium for art making. Graphic designer Michael Cina fuels his commercial work with abstract paintings. Two Houston artists construct an ode to the forgotten era of mom-and-pop shops. And Nick Cave takes visitors on a journey through his imagination.

AIRED: March 07, 2014 | 0:27:20
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TRANSCRIPT

THIS TIME, ON COLORES!

SANTA FE'S PETER SARKISIAN

SEES VIDEO AS A MEDIUM

FOR EXPLORATION.

"Essentially what I'm doing

with video is I'm trying

to transform an experience

killing medium. Video itself

does away with the experience,

it replaces it with

information and there's a lot

of value in that information

but it's not enough."

MICHAEL CINA'S ABSTRACT

PAINTINGS ADD ANOTHER

DIMENSION TO HIS GRAPHIC WORK.

"I'll take something and I'll

scan it in and use it

as a background layer or I'll

just manipulate itinto

Something completely different

that has really crept

into my design work

and my process."

TWO HOUSTON ARTISTS CONSTRUCT

AN ODE TO THE FORGOTTEN ERA

OF MOM AND POP SHOPS.

"We recreated our

grandmother's living room

and put it outside."

USING MASKS AND MOVEMENT

IN A MULTI-SENSORY, IMMERSIVE

INSTALLATION, NICK CAVE TAKES

VISITORS ON AN IMAGINATIVE

JOURNEY.

"Here we're talking a lot

about masquerades so here

we're hiding race, gender,

class so you are forced

to look at the objects

without judgment."

IT'S ALL AHEAD ON COLORES!

PETER SARKISIAN PLAYS WTH

ILLUSION IN HIS VIDEO

INSTALLATIONS.

>>Peter Sarkisian: I thinks

it's ironic how artists come

from all over the world

because of the beautiful New

Mexico light and here I am

blocking it out.

>>Sarkisian: There's a lot

of tension between the tools

that I use, video is a very

grid-like technological tool

and where I live and where

I produce the work...

I couldn't live New York.

I couldn't live in a big city

that's very grid like and use

this medium that is also grid

like because there would be

no tension.

>>Sarkisian: One of the tricks

here is to create this

situation, this platform, this

sculpture, projector, and all

these images I map using

a motion graphics program

right here in the situation.

So I don't do this

on a screen, on a monitor.

I do it projected

on the actual surface so I'm

able to takethese shapes

and place them on there.

>>Sarkisian: The discussion

that is happening in these

robots has everything

to with the way video is being

used and sort of re-mapping

video, re-inventing video.

Taking video out of the frame

line and applying it, and sort

of mapping it over a contoured

surface in a way that makes it

tangible, it makes it

something you can hold

and grab. And that you know,

for these pieces that's kind

of what I'mexploring. I'm

trying to push the limits

of what you can do with this

medium. So all these images,

all these gears in here that

you see spinning; they were

all photographed up in Los

Alamos at the Black Hole.

In a back room I set up all

these old gears and I filmed

them. Just short little

sequencesand then I animated

them later on to create these

ongoing patterns. But each one

of these gears is an actual

gear from the Cold War. Really

they are just sitting

on shelves up there gathering

dust. They'll never be used

in any other way. They have

sort of this nefarious dark,

sort of past. I wantedto

re-incorporate them, sort

of bring them back to life,

and give them a new purpose.

>>Sarkisian: Essentially what

I'm doing with video is I'm

trying to transform

an experience killing medium,

which video itself does away

with experience. It replaces

it with information and there

is alot of value in that

information, but it's not

enough. We need more than

that. We need the experience

that comes from encountering

people and places in the world

because in that experience

there is an inherent quality

that we can't get anywhere

else and it's feedback, it's

consequence.

>>Sarkisian: I very rarely use

monitors or screens

because those are fixed, flat

surfaces that have frames. One

of the things that I really

try to control is the frame

line, the edges of the device

that's presenting this

information. You see

the frame; you understand that

image as being false.

The frame gives it away.

You understand the image

as representing something that

was photographed somewhere

else at a different time

and now it's just being

mediated to you. And the way

they do that is they coax

the viewer into a narrative

or they use music, or sound,

or colors, you know, narrative

plotline, and they use all

these tools to sort of remove

the viewer from their actual

experience. And so frame is

this telling characteristic

for me that takes all

the tension out of

the contradiction thatI'm

trying to create by using

media or video to create

illusion. If you see

the frame, you don't have

the illusion. So what I do is

I map images for example what

would normally be a rectangle,

rectangular frame is now

the shape of this book

and you don't see the frame

line you just see the book.

And so then you have

the figure crawling out.

>>Sarkisian: In the case

of the Cup of Joe piece, it's

a large cup of coffee sitting

on a desk and inside

the coffee cup I've poured

a plastic resin, polymer resin

and on top of that I project

this little image of a person

floating dead in their coffee.

So you don't have a frame

line. What you have is

a coffee cup and the frame

line has been sort of consumed

by the coffee cup

and you don't question

the frame line.

>>Sarkisian: I'm using coffee

and I'm using this vintage

character and his vintage suit

and the vintage check

and tabletop to sort of point

back to a different time,

an older time.

>>Sarkisian: But I kind

of wanted to connect this era

and this crash with

a different era and

a different financial crash.

Some pieces really only sort

of force perceptual traps,

they only go to that place

with a viewer. They don't

involve in political

narrative. They don't tell any

narrative story.So I'm using

references and metaphor

and images to construct

scenarios that the viewer then

has to interpret. And I never,

ever, ever try to beat anybody

over the head with what I'm

doing. I don't want to provide

answers in my work. I want

to pose questions and that's

my role in all of this,

posingquestions. Answers are

fleeting. Answers are

an illusion, they don't exist.

>>Sarkisian: You know

the artist has many roles,

but I think at the heart

of what I'm doing is it's

exploring ideas. What does

this mean? What is

my relationship to this? Both

in terms of the narrative

of the individual pieces

as well as the means by which

I'm staging these

installations.

>>Sarkisian: Intention is

different number one. Painters

use paint. Commercial car

manufacturing corporations use

paint. There is a big

difference between Jackson

Pollock and the Ford Motor

Company. They both use paint.

So artists have this role

to play in so far as they are

helping shape the way weare

all going to incorporate

or live with these tools.

>>Sarkisian: Every viewer that

walks in and sees something

and doesn't understand it

and has a real,sort of,

a notable life experience

watching one of my pieces.

That's kind of what I'm going

for. Because then they become

aware that maybe there's more

to this medium than meets

the eye. Maybe this can be

used in a way that actually

gives something back to us

on a daily basis.

AWARD-WINNING GRAPHIC ARTIST

MICHAEL CINA LIKES TO GET AWAY

FROM THE CLEAN LINES THAT

INFORM HIS COMMERCIAL DESIGNS.

Michael Cina: I do a lot

of different kinds of work

which is unusual for a graphic

designer. Normally, you're

known for either your style

or you work on one type

of project. But really for me,

I see design as everything.

I love to design you know

doors to door handles,

to an album cover to a type

face, you name it.

And so that's what keeps me

interested in design. I don't

see it as one specific field.

I want to do everything.

This one is really close

"Ramsey." I work on a lot

of branding and type face

development. That's my main

specialty. I spend month,

you know, just trouble

shooting the font. So I'll

export it and print it out

and will just look at the gray

value of it, like what does it

look like upside down. When

it's upside down, it's more

abstracted and things will

appear more rapidly.

I first became interested

in typography when I was

working for the University

of North Texas and they had

eight type faces

on their computer and I just

became really bored of using

the same type facesover

and over again. So I started

to end up drawing my own type

faces and using hand painted

or hand drawn typefaces.

A large amount of work

in graphic design contains

types, so to ignore them is

to probably ignore a third

of graphic design so I see it

as just a huge part of graphic

design.

I've worked with a lot

of different large companies.

I've done work for Pepsi

and Coke. I did the Fox Sports

rebrand. I try to do fifty

percent commercial work

and fifty percent completely

non-commercial slash

experimental. So that's where

the art comes in as I really

devote a lot of my schedule

toexperimentation, to having

fun and painting and gallery

shows.

I work on a lot, a lot

of paintings at once. So I'll

have just partially finished

paintings lying around.

And a lot of times I'll just

throw it away or go over it.

But I have stacks and stacks

and stacks of paintings. I'm

not like a hoarder, but I have

a hard time throwing things

away, like this piece has

no right being saved, but I'll

go over, then I'll paint on it

and I'll have extra paint

from another painting and I'll

go over that. It's very common

that I'll just stop at a piece

and paint over it. I don't

know why. I like texture

and I feel like this gives

a different type of material

to paint on. It's not paper

anymore. It turns into a more

rough surface. And then,

over here, I have ones that

I kinda like. I paint

because I like exploring. It's

an important thing

for an artist to do is really

go like, is this

an interesting idea or not

and do I want to pursue it

more. Cause if you stick

to one style of painting

and I'm just improving one

style of painting, I don't

feel like I'm really growing

as an artist. I don't feel

like that's exciting at all

For me, art is about being

in the moment and it's

about reacting to what's

happening. So a lot of time

this helps get me jump started

into doing something and I'll

go, oh this is kind

of interesting. A lot

of times, these little

paintings have ended up

becoming bigger ones.

You know, lately, I have been

using a lot of the painting

because really, I have so much

of it laying around, I'll take

something and I'll scan it

in and use it as a background

layer or I'll just manipulate

it into something completely

different that has really

crept into my design work

This piece was done just like

this. I mean, just messing

around like this. This was

for Henry Threadgill. It was

called "Tomorrow Sunny/The

Revelry." And he actually

didn't like this, the darker

part,so we just kept the top

part and that turns

into an album cover. I like

working on album covers

because it gives you a certain

level of freedom that

you don't get in graphic

design. I see it almost like

doing personal work that

actually gets produced.

In the future, I'd like

to continue doing a lotmore

branding work and a lot more

type work, but I'd also like

to continue doing a lot more

of the projects that give me

a wide level of freedom

because I mean the goal is

to do both. I never want todo

exclusively one or the other.

To me, just painting all day,

to most people it would seem

like a dream, but to me, it

doesn't interest me. I love

working on corporate work.

That's one of the thingsthat

really fuels the painting

and fuels the artistic side.

I don't know why that is,

TWO ARTISTS TRANSFORM A FORMER

BEAUTY PARLOR INTO A VITAL

WORK OF ART AND SOCIAL

COMMENTARY.

My name is Robert Hodge.

My name is Philip Pyle.

And this is the Beauty Box.

RH: About three years ago,

I found this chest of Third

Ward back in that time period.

And I mean thelawns were

immaculate, I mean, like,

nicely cut, the kids were

dressed great, the houses were

painted, it was like the sense

of pride. And I was like wow,

like this is not the Third

Ward I kind of know. I know

parts of this, but, like, this

RH: You think about it,

you had your pharmacist,

you had your tailor, I mean

everything you got donewas

in your neighborhood.

RH: And so, when we kind

of got here, we kind of got

the idea that we wanted

to recreate that time period

and, like, what happened.

And some people say that was

integration, that you had...

You are allowed to leave

and you kind of want

to explore, and like just

to say I made it, living here

now. When those people left,

that was a big chunk of people

that were really progressive

and were doing things,

and they left. And so, it just

changed the whole landscape

of Third Ward.

RH: Of course it was drugs

that kind of got in the mix.

But, that time period was like

a really special time,

and I really wanted

to recreate it.

PP: I feel like their kids

left. They stayed, they got

old, and their kids left.

RH: Well, the space was

abandoned. You've got to think

of this space being raw,

with like, you know,trash,

needles. And it's right,

directly across from

a playground-

PP: We had to clean that up,

out of the space. Basically,

we recreated our grandmother's

living room, essentially,

and put it outside.

RH: we put up plywood and then

we covered it up

with a wallpaper roller we got

from London. That's the one

where you just put the paint

in the roller and then roll

out, and it makes the wall

paper design. And then

from that point on, we just

started loading the bulk in.

We bolted everything down,

everything was glued and still

screwed in but that didn't

help everything.

RH: So at that time period,

you definitely had Coretta

and Martin; you definitely had

JFK and Jackie; and

you definitely had a Jesus

somewhere in your house

at that time period.

PP: My grandmother actually

has that exact image

in her house, of JFK

and Jackie. On her kitchen

table, she has pictures

of Jesus underneath

the plastic covering,

and that's the reason we did

the table this way.

PP: ..... (Like)

your grandmother didn't

necessarily have like a -

you didn't know what style

she was going for that day,

but you definitely knew that

she like flowers, and she like

chickens.

RH: this guy, from

the neighborhood, He came in,

and he said, "When I saw this

table, I almost cried. This is

the same table that my mother

wouldn't let me eat

on for dinner". He just loved

it. He said, "I promise,

no one is going to mess

with this space".

And for the most part nobody's

stolen big items- little

things were stolen. He said it

really touched him. And that

really touched me

because he wasn't someone

from the art world.

And I said, that makes

the whole space. And no matter

what happens, that night was

the most special to me

because they connected

and they knew exactly where

we were coming from with it.

RH: More about wanting to tell

the story of the space,

we wanted to activate a space

that was nothing. There are

so many spaces in Third Ward

that have to be activated. So,

we kind of wanted to be

at the fore front, and saying

like, take a space

in your neighborhood, or that

part of Third Ward whereyou're

in, and just activate it. Make

it into something else

because you can change

the landscape when you do

that.

PP: take a second to like

think about that time period.

Maybe like a family respect,

that sort of thing.

RH: Well, you know, we're not

unrealistic. We just want

to have discussions

and we want to- we're here now

and a lot of young people are

moving back, and we just want

to have these discussion

of what can we do? How can

we just convince people,

you know, like: man, pick up

the trash. You're drinking

a beer, there's a trash can

right here, just throw it

away. You know, why do

you have to walk and just

throw it on the ground.

And those things, a lot

of people just don't know,

so you can get mad, it's just

that's what they've seen

their whole life

and so we just want to have

that discussion of, what can

we do, we're here now, we want

to change the landscape, are

you going to join us and get

Third Ward back to that really

great community that we want

to see.

PP: We've had two movie

screenings, we had a Monopoly

club meeting where everyone

came out and played monopoly,

and then two concert series'

and -

RH: And two artist talks.

We tried to dissect and break

the month up to movies,

to concerts, something fun,

that's not really thought

provoking. We just want

to bring you into this space

and let you have a good time,

cause a lot of people don't

have cars and so in the small

radius block, they can come

and enjoy some free concerts,

free food, and then artist

talks. That way, we can talk

to elders,to young people,

and make dialogue and kind

of come up with some solutions

and not just talk. Like things

we can put down on paper,

and some things everyone can

commit to doing for

the neighborhood.

RH: I think we are planning

to have some kind of a family

dinner, like the last day,

like invite allof our families

out, and we're just going

to eat out here for the last

time before it breaks down.

PP: My grandmother asked that

when we're done with this,

ARTIST NICK CAVE TAKES

VISITORS ON A JOURNEY

INTO A MYSTICAL WORLD

IN SOJOURN AT THE DENVER ART

MUSEUM.

I think I'm a messenger first

as opposed to an artist.

I'm here to deliver these

deeds then I'm on to my next

assignment.

The title being Sojourn it's

a temporary stay. So with that

in mind I'm thinking

about what does that mean,

what do I want to leave

behind. What do I want

the audience to sort of gain

from the experience.

And I think it's really

about getting us back to that

place where we dream

and to sort of rejuvenate that

So I think that really was

the sort of beginning of why

I opened up the exhibition

with this object that becomes

an offering, a moment

of silence.

I found this I think it was

labeled a flower pot at this

flea market. It was me

providing you with this window

into my sort of world.

The sound suits are always

sort of evolving

in the studio. There's never,

ever two that are the same.

Textiles, fabrics we sort

of search them out

through travels sort of around

the world as I'm working.

Here we're talking a lot

about masquerades so here

we're hiding race, gender,

class so you are forced

to look at the objects

without judgment. This is me

sort of inviting

I never put them on as I'm

building them I really don't

want to know any of that.

Because I don't want that

to sort of hinder my process

of how it's going to be made.

It's really extraordinary.

We did an open call where

we had people come

to the museum to try out.

And you know there's people

that I took on for the project

that aren't coming

from a trained dance

background. That really

provides an interesting

palette. But it's not

about that. It's about being

fearless. My work is mostly

about movement. It's not

really about dance.

The difference I think is

dance really becomes a sort

of structured choreographed

piece. I think movement is

more emotional.

When I'm working

with performers I don't even

have you put the suit

on at first. I have you look

at it, touch it, and kind

of just imagine what you think

it's going to feel like

on the body.

What I recommend is everyone

sort of take a moment

and identify with what's

happening to the body.

And what have you become

at this critical moment.

You have to sort of submit

to this transformation

of sorts and then when you are

in it I have you just sit

and get quiet because you have

to be willingto make

the transition and then it's

really all about conviction.

It's really about paying close

attention to what's the most

critical and important factor

that holdsones sort of beliefs

together.

I think art should inspire,

I think it should bring

reflection, it should have

purpose.

NEXT TIME ON COLORES!

NEW MEXICO LANDSCAPE

PHOTOGRAPHER DAVID MUENCH

CAPTURES THE TIMELESS MOMENT.

"It's the journey. You find

the magic and mystery

in a place, by letting it talk

to you and just letting it

happen."

HAITIAN COMPOSER DANIEL

BERNARD ROUMAIN'S "EN MASSE"

EXPLORES SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES.

"And I think that as a black

composer it is actually

my responsibility

and obligation to seek out

those voices that are not

necessarily seen or heard

and put them on the stage

right next to me."

PAINTER TIM JAEGER EMPHASIZES

THE ROLE OF VISUAL ART WITHIN

THE COMMUNITY.

"They don't' have to get it

on the level that I get it,

but they can walk away

with something memorable."

JOSHUA SEFTEL DIRECTOR

OF THE DOCUMENTARY FILM,

"ANNIE: IT'S THE HARD-KNOCK

LIFE, FROM SCRIPT TO STAGE"

SHARES HIS EXPERIENCE

FROM SCRIPT TO STAGE.

"One of my favorite things

about the film is that

the people, the key creative

people, like the choreographer

and the set designer - when

they needed to make big

decisions, they looked

to their littlekids

for the answers."

UNTIL NEXT TIME, THANK

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