Kiki Smith, Lucy's Daughters, 1990, 
silkscreen on cloth, 60 figures: 8 to 12 inches high

a corporeal solution for serving sizes

As artists, we talk about moments quite a lot. Some of us strive to create moments for our viewers in our works; moments where they feel-something. That something is an experience condensed in a moment where two things connect.

After hearing the Radiolab show about moments of death, filmmaker Will Hoffman went out in search of moments of life...

a few of my favorite Radiolab shorts...


The Secrets of Success

Vanishing Words

The Bus Stop

The Good Show


The 10,000 Martyrs
Connected: #1, 2009

The Life of a Yeti, 2000

I tried to build us a home, 2008
Ron Lonsdorf

Figurengruppe / Group of Figures, 2006-2008
Katharina Fritsch

Mathew Day Jackson

Against the Mythology of Linearity

Marc Swanson

Antler Pile                                                                          Killing Moon II

Lisa Williamson

A Pair of Mike Kelley's Garbage Drawings

Garbage Drawing #14

Garbage Drawing #59 

Chris Burden

 Medusa Head

Exposing the Foundation of the Museum, 1988

This installation by artist Chris Burden is a permanent installation at the MOCA in Los Angeles. The work is essentially three trenches dug into the corner of the museum that exposes the foundation rock material of the location on which the museum was built.

Allison Smith


Pewter Forks

Hobby Horse

"We Care About You" is a show of sculptural installations, made up of found objects and materials such as couch cusions, light-bulbs, wire, ceramic figurines, lighters and push pins by artist Andy Coolquitt.

There is something honest a gallery space that is made to feel like a formalist yard sale. Like an aesthetic force detatched and arranged the perfect parts of junky house hold items and furnature scraps into a clear reimagining of the role objects play in interior spaces. This obsurd repositioning of parts opens up questioning about our tendency as humans to accumulate objects of which we are convinced help increase the functionality of a room and comfort of a space.

Coolquit's work immediately references a DaDa sensibility through a reoccurring use of
salvage materials that might be at home in a back yard storage shed or child's playroom. The identity of these materials is one that is between states. Between domestic use and dusty storage, complicating both our ideas about residential and gallery space.

The Body and Work: art labor

Working on someone else artwork is a peculiar thing. The process highlights aspects of art making that in your own work, stay camouflaged by enthusiasm, anxiousness, excitement, boredom, or sheer panic. So the question is, what part of making is left when it is not your vision you are working on??

One very specific experience you get from assisting another artist’s practice, is the isolation of physical labor with in the art making process. For once your association with art is as mechanical as it can be. The exertion of the body is front row when your thoughts are quiet and detached. Maybe that is because there’s more of an emptiness in your head, which tends to fill up with physical sensations.

The idea is: You have an amplified awareness of your strength, weight and precision while you work. There is something significantly human about any activity that reconnects you with your body. It is a reminder of your own functionality. And with functionality comes the freedom of pace and repetition.

The truth is, a large amount of the time an artist spends is laborious; the more comfortable and appreciative the artists becomes with that time, the better. One of the most important lessons of being an assistant is learning the importance of “labor.” It is a great skill to be able to disconnect a bit from what you are doing so that you can actually do it. Lets face it, there’s usually a pretty ugly period during production when doubts creep in and you ask yourself “what is this thing?” But if you are properly committing to your ideas, and remaining flexible and aware you will progress as planned.

Being able to purely concentrate on work is not just good practice but along with your experience and self-awareness comes technical confidence. Soon you become invested more than ever, in the quality of the physical objects (or object-parts) and your ability to take on new tasks. I always thought that my ideas and ability to look for inspiration in the world was more a strength than my material skills but now I’m starting to feel a balance in my art muscles...

Becoming an artist that is an experienced laborer is useful in many ways. It may be applied through developing an ever-expanding technical skill set or understanding how to tune his or her own thoughts out long enough to make some serious progress. I was one of those artists that will sit and think and think and talk to every person in the studio before cutting down the stalk I need, well not anymore.

Making artwork is a mysterious mix of physical labor and inspired belief that we must balance during production in order to see things into reality.