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Kenzi Shiokava | Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only | Hammer Museum
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"Kenzi Shiokava’s work of the past fifty years has revolved around two very different sculptural forms, wood carving and assemblage. His elegantly carved totems and his staged groupings of plastic figurines offer a stark contrast in materials and methods. While wood carving is as old as the human species itself, assemblage is a form squarely rooted in the history of the twentieth century. Together each tradition bookends an art historical narrative, whose opposing poles are the sacred and the profane.

Born in Brazil, Shiokava is ethnically Japanese. His parents were among thousands of immigrant families fleeing severe economic hardship in the early twentieth century. Over the course of three generations, beginning with the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in 1908, there was little if any assimilation. Yet Shiokava’s work embodies a cultural hybridity that is readily played out in the distinction between his wood and macramé totems, which he says represent, respectively, the Japanese and Brazilian sides of himself.

Prompted by his older sister’s move to the area, Shiokava arrived in Los Angeles in 1964. He attended art school in the city, receiving a bachelor’s degree from Chouinard Art Institute (a predecessor of California Institute of the Arts) in 1972 and a master’s degree from Otis Art Institute in 1974. Among Shiokava’s peers were a notable number of African American artists—including John Outterbridge, Noah Purifoy, and Betye Saar—all of whom were engaged with assemblage, a practice that by the early 1970s qualified as a Los Angeles tradition. Found objects are featured in Shiokava’s various types of work, such as the sculptures, reliefs, and totems. His assemblages are often marked by their juxtaposition of natural and industrially produced forms. Featuring plastic cartoon figures—the Hulk, Power Rangers, and Smurfs, to name but a few—the dioramas are a discrete turn away from the natural world, focusing instead on the lowest form of entertainment industry merchandising. But no matter how industrial, these figurines are for Shiokava a form of culture ripe for resuscitation from the places where they were once discarded when tastes changed. Paying keen attention to their poses, he arranges the figures within various found box forms, crafting ensembles whose costumes, gestures, and expressions, set within an arena and juxtaposed, produce a form of theater. They are restored and reanimated as products of the imagination."

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kenzishiokava  artists  art  losangeles  assemblage  wood  totems  hybridity  johnoutterbridge  noahpurifoy  betyesaar 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Molds and Totems: Nonhumans and the Constitution of the Social Self
"The role of nonhumans in social life has recently generated significant scholarly interest. The two main paradigms for explaining the sociological significance of nonhumans are constructivism and actor-network theory. We propose a pragmatist synthesis inspired by George Herbert Mead, demonstrating how interactions with nonhumans help constitute the social self—that is, the identity one constructs by imaginatively looking upon oneself as others would. Drawing upon observations of humans interacting with objects, animals, and nature, we identify two complementary ways that nonhumans organize the social self and enable people to experience group membership in absentia: (1) by molding how one is perceived by others and constraining alternative presentations of self and (2) by acting as a totem that conjures up awareness of, and feelings of attachment to, a particular social group. This formulation moves beyond constructivist claims that nonhumans reflect people’s self-definitions, and it offers a corrective to actor-network theory’s neglect of sociality."
nonhumans  totems  pragmatism  self  actor-networktheory  sociality  objects  animals  nature  georgeherbertmead  colinjerolmack  iddotavory  via:oddhack 
december 2014 by robertogreco
The Data on #CastMeMarc, Marc Jacob's Instagram Campaign | TOTEMS
For Marc by Marc Jacobs’ Fall/Winter 2014 collection, the brand decided to turn to social media to find its models. Via the #CastMeMarc hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, everyone could submit their application. How did the campaign go? What did the public think of it? We’re dissecting the news in this article.
MarcJacob  Instagram  socialmedia  creativeshowcase  fashion  Totems  2014 
july 2014 by inspiral
"Eye miniatures"
"In any event, the love affair between the prince of Wales and Maria Fitzherbert popularized these objects and spawned a fad that lasted well into the 1830s — and even later, past Queen Victoria, who was known to have commissioned a number of these objects during her reign. There are even artists to this very day who are painting lover’s eyes...Only someone with really intimate acquaintance — a lover, a spouse, a close family member — would recognize an individual’s eye, so they could be worn in a more open way. They didn’t have to be encased inside of a locket..."
looove  totems  eye  ~to:retag  *Category:history 
february 2012 by tealtan
Object memory on Vimeo
“‘This trade’, he said, ‘was not the trade as you Europeans know it. Not the business of buying and selling for profit! Our people’s trade was always symmetrical.’

Aboriginals, in general, had the idea that all ‘goods’ were potentially malign and would work against their possessors unless they were forever in motion. The ‘goods’ did not have to be edible, or useful. People liked nothing better than to barter useless things - or things they could supply for themselves: feathers, sacred objects, belts of human hair.

‘Trade goods’, he continued, should be seen rather as the bargining counters of a gigantic game, in which the whole continent was the gaming board and all its inhabitants players. ‘Goods’ were tokens of intent: to trade again, meet again, fix frontiers, intermarry, sing, dance, share resources and share ideas.”

With Bruce Chatwins quote as a starting point, a group of friends got together to explore storytelling through the trading of objects…"
stories  things  possessions  brucechatwins  totems  tokens  richardhouguez  2011  objectmemory  memory  storytelling  trade  trading  objects 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Animal Projects - multimedia use as welll
multimedia  totems  animals  kids  project 
january 2012 by khawkey
Kombolói: An Anti-Anxiety Device | Near Future Laboratory
"This is a quick, quick sketch for an idea I had for a intimate personable device that is best described as a digital worry bead or Kombolói — not so much a worry bead as something to capture and diffuse your anxiety. It works by capacitively linking your tension through a unique capacitive touch sensor and then harnessing that energy, turning it into light and then diffusing it into more soothing energy."

"This of course yet another mechanism through which I am exploring how Touch, Motion and Time can become the basis for experiencing different sorts of interactive experiences. My conceit is that these are elemental forms of human experience that are largely dismissed in the digital era, but they are crucial and distinct aspects of how we humans experience and make sense of the world around us."

"For communication to the data network, I am thinking about a color-based semaphore system using the built-in camera that many computers come with. The idea is that a simple color sequence can relay certain information could encode the state of the device which could be interpreted by a simple Processing sketch or something."
prototyping  totems  ~to:retag  *Category:design 
january 2012 by tealtan
…My heart’s in Accra » Social lions, fiscally-literate mobile phones
"Rather than scoring the children on good or bad types of interaction, the device characterizes a user as one of nine animals: Lions are very diverse and very intense in their interactions. Their opposites are Polar Bears, who interact infrequently and briefly. Users can change roles over time – the device vibrates when your state changes, but you can only see what role you’ve taken on by “mating” your device with another person’s device, giving the opportunity for conversation and interaction. For “complementary” roles, the animal icons will glow gold."

Love this. Reminds me of His Dark Materials and people's daemons.

"Called current.c, the system lets users make budgets that are available visually on the card, showing how much one has spent towards each month budget, and lets them monitor their spending, assigning funds from one budget to another in the case of an impulse purchase. The card continuously monitors progress towards larger spending goals. The system doesn’t nag or mother – it just shows the current situation in a powerful visual way."

An automated envelope budgeting system.
totems  money  ~to:retag  *Category:education 
january 2012 by tealtan
Ethan Zuckerman writes* about a project from the... - robertogreco {tumblr}
These fidget tools allow students an outlet for physical energy in an environment that too often has them sitting still and being quiet. (I won’t get started on that here.) They also serve to release tension generated through their social interactions as well as other anxieties. Most of the time, students’ engagement with their fidget tools comes without conscious effort. So, if students were provided with a fidget tool in the form of a Kombolói device that recorded the time and intensity of their fidgeting, that information could then be mapped to their experiences throughout the day providing them with a better idea of what is creating their need for a release. More general patterns might appear when reviewing the data mapped to the
totems  ~to:retag  *Category:education 
january 2012 by tealtan

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