︎
May 20 - May 29

Opening reception
Friday, May 20, 6-8PM










April 2 - April 24
Opening reception April 2, 6-8PM





Eric Ramos Guerrero
Age Of Majority








Eric Ramos Guerrero is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City whose work investigates The West through landscapes of suburban California, the US/Mexican border and the tropical spaces of western expansion. Eric exhibits work internationally, including The Drawing Center NY, El Museo De Barrio NY, The Knockdown Center NY, Beaux Arts FR, Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, White Box NY, ICPNY, Inside-Out Museum Beijing, Mathilde Hatzenberger Gallery Belgium, and Green Papaya Philippines. Eric has been a resident artist at The Drawing Center, Marble House Project Residency, and Triangle Art Organization. He received his MFA from Columbia University, BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and BA from San Diego State University.





April 2 - April 24
Opening reception April 2, 6-8PM




Julieta Gil
Field Recordings






Julieta Gil creates work from an in-depth analysis of how power structures materialize as symbols that occupy public space. Experimenting with digital and analog media, her process originates from routine walks and participation in public protests around her native Mexico City, thoroughly documenting public architecture, monuments and statues. Gil’s record-keeping system consists of photogrammetric scanning procedures that are traditionally used to create 3D models as simulations of physical objects. Gil devises methodologies that register and catalog her bodily interaction with these, reconfigures and materializes them in ways that put the very idea of the archive into question. Gil’s practice spans installation, sculpture, 3D renderings and time-based media, and incorporates themes of feminism, fiction, memory, and technology with a focus on confronting hegemonic and exclusionary narratives.

In 2020, Gil received the Lumen Prize for Art and Technology for her project “Nuestra Victoria”, envisioned as a response to government censorship around a prominent Mexico City monument which served as a site of protest and intervention by feminist groups. She has exhibited at Nevada Museum of Art, Palm Spring Art Museum, SCAD Museum of Art, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Museo Tamayo, Laboratorio de arte Alameda, Centro de Cultura Digital, among other institutions. She is currently Visiting Assistant Professor within the Department of Art at the University of Oregon.



Quilt Bloc


Max Adrian
Frances Andonopoulos
Andrew Douglas Campbell
Sonja Dahl
Noah Greene
Irene June
Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos)
February 12 - March 20
Opening Reception Feb 12, 6-8pm













Ditch Projects is pleased to announce the opening of Quilt Bloc — an exhibition in partnership with the Springfield History Museum.

Historical quilts loaned from the Springfield History Museum will be displayed alongside the work of seven contemporary artists at Ditch Projects. This exhibition connects Ditch’s 13 years of making and exhibiting contemporary art with The Springfield Museum’s over 40 years of collecting and exhibiting artifacts.

Additional works by Max Adrien and Frances Andonopoulos will be on view at the Springfield Museum alongside their exhibition Glenwood Untold.

“When we grant quilts authority, we expand our conception of who can tell meaningful stories and how these stories are preserved” — Jess Bailey, Many Hands Make a Quilt

Quilts have been selected from the museum’s archives that are tied to the early history of Springfield and to Ditch’s location in particular. Ditch’s 2,000 square foot gallery space is located in the former site of the Booth-Kelly lumber mill— a business central to the early development of the town of Springfield. One quilt on display is from the town of Wendling, Oregon, the former company town for the Booth-Kelly lumber mill.

The quilts on loan from the museum were made with a variety of intentions: to cover and warm, to commemorate, to adorn, and to tell stories. They were made by hand and with care, through the collective efforts of mostly unknown makers from the 1870s through 1980s. The Springfield quilts are a window into the memory of the city.

The contemporary artists exhibiting alongside the historical quilts pull on different threads present in the quilt collection — the conversation between them amplifies what is visible and reveals what is present in the gaps. They variously address textiles as living objects, indexical of the human body and as means of communication, time made evident through materiality, and indigenous craft traditions in existence before the city.

Utilizing archival research and support from the Springfield History Museum the exhibit aims to expand the legacy of Oregon craft by exhibiting artists working from a diversity of perspectives.

Quilt Bloc brings forth and puts into question the quilts on display: bringing together the local history of Oregon craft and textile work with contemporary artists who, in their work, tease apart expectations of craft objects, material realities, and dominant historical narratives.

Quilt Bloc is co-organized by Ditch Projects Artist Members Laura Hughes and Krista Raasch.





not in between
October 2 - October 31, 2021

Opening Reception
6-8pm, Saturday October 2nd




I once stood under a 1000-foot vessel. It was a dangerous and exhilarating place, and beneath the totality of steel and bulk I saw smallness in a manner I’d never known. I was nothing, and I was nowhere. I became driven by an aspiration to enter a union of the unseen, cursing authority, while maintaining a fidelity to the pack. I sought a paradoxical freedom marked by toil and offset by unrepented play. Yet, my desire was just a daydream, a longing to be fierce and fearless. I was out of place. I could walk to the edge, but I would not jump.

The middle is rarely celebrated. At times it is even shunned, rejected as an undecided position, a destination yet reached, or a situation amid tension. Betweenness is ultimately defined by the conditions that mark, limit, confine or restrict. Longing to escape from in between indicates restlessness, a desire to be elsewhere, to be over there rather than here. Without ends there are no in-betweens, only presences.

My creative endeavor is a manifestation of practice, a repeated return to actions of searching, making, and reflecting. The exhibited works become moments of exchange, temporal incarnations and placeholders, emphasizing a provisional language of materials and processes in flux. Courting failure and seeking conditional outcomes within normative constructs, the makeshift confronts accepted structures and logistics, leveraging instability as a condition for change.

*The title not in between is inspired by the writings of Fred Moten, particularly his profound critique of normalized societal and institutional constructs that segregate, marginalize, and terrorize.




 
Ghost Rider: Performing Fugitive Indigeneity
Ka'ila Farrell-Smith
July 31 - August 29, 2021




‘Ghost Rider: Performing Fugitive Indigeneity’ consists of twenty-seven abstract paintings in the 2019-2021 Land Back series. The paintings created at my studio in Chiloquin consist of wild harvested pigments from Klamath lands and aerosol stencils of metal detritus found on the ranch land at Modoc Point Studio. Living and working on ranch and forest lands has become a ritual in reconnection. Walking the land, watching for snakes in summer, watching the prints of who walked before me in the snow in winter, selecting trees to trim for fire prevention. I collect detritus from the land: shot up cans, old ranch equipment, parts of machinery, barbed wire, grids, bullets. I take these objects and use them as stencils in my paintings. Combined, these marks with harvested wild pigments constitute layers that bridge contemplation of colonizers violence and trauma, offering a matrix for resiliency and transformation of perception and memory. Formally, the twenty seven works examine improvisational composition and abstract exploration, additional layers of thicker paint utilize text and imagery cited from my research.

My chapter for the book “Transnational Feminist Art Pedagogies at the intersections of [De]Coloniality” (edited by Injeong Yoon-Ramirez and Alejandra I. Ramirez) is titled GHOST RIDER and focuses on the lynching of the Modoc War leaders as legal precedent for the 2003 US Torture program, the history of the Ghost Dance and the Iron Horse, documentation and public spectacle of lynching and torture, stopping the Jordan Cove LNG (liquid natural gas) projects in Southern Oregon, and the fugitive Indigenous pose in relation to the Land Back painting series. The writing that inspired the title of this essay as well as my 2019-2021 work is “Fugitive Indigeneity: Reclaiming the terrain of decolonial struggle through Indigenous Art” by Jarrett Martineau and Eric Ritskes, 2014.

Indigenous art evokes a fugitive aesthetic that in its decolonial ruptural forms, refuses the struggle for better or more inclusion and recognition (Coulthard, 2007) and, instead, chooses refusal and flight as modes of freedom.[1]


Indigenous Art is inherently political. (Wanda Nanibush, 2014)


The role of creative fugitivity in a corporate colonial Empire has become essential. As a content creator, writer, mark maker, and mentor, I’ve removed my labor from the urban center focusing my conceptual practice of performative painting with the land. This performance of refusal and flight is rooted in learning decolonial modes of resistance and freedom from my ancestors and contemporaries.

/

Ka'ila Farrell-Smith is a contemporary Klamath Modoc visual artist, writer and activist based in Modoc Point, Oregon. The conceptual framework of her practice focuses on channeling research through a creative flow of experimentation and artistic playfulness rooted in Indigenous aesthetics and abstract formalism. Utilizing painting and traditional Indigenous art practices, her work explores space in-between the Indigenous and western paradigms. Ka’ila displays work in the form of paintings, objects, and self-curated installations.

Ka’ila is a 2019-2020 Fields Artist Fellow with Oregon Humanities and a Board Member of Rogue Climate. Her work has been exhibited at Out of Sight, Museum of Northwest Art, Tacoma Art Museum, WA; Missoula Art Museum, MT and Medici Fortress, Cortona, Italy; and in Oregon she has work in the permanent collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Portland Art Museum. She is a featured artist at SCALEHOUSE Creative in Bend, Oregon, MESH curated by Kathleen Ash-Milby at the Portland Art Museum, Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea at The Boise Art Museum, The Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Whatcom Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Ka’ila has recently been selected to attend artist residencies at Djerassi, UCROSS, Institute of American Indian Arts, and Crow's Shadow.

Ka'ila Farrell-Smith received a BFA in Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MFA in Contemporary Art Practices Studio from Portland State University. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder and is a Land Defender on the front lines, fighting resource extraction projects across the Pacific Northwest.



[1] Martineau , Jarrett and Ritskes, Eric. “Fugitive indigeneity: Reclaiming the terrain of decolonial struggle through Indigenous art” pp. 3-4. University of Victoria, University of Toronto, 2014. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society. Vol. 3, No. 1, 2014, pp. I-XII

Ghost Rider: Performing Fugitive Indigeneity is generously supported by the Springfield Arts Commission and Oregon Arts Commission.

  
 
Umbo Room
Curated by Ka’ila Farrell-Smith
July 31 - August 29, 2021





The Umbo Room at Ditch Projects displays protest art from the frontlines of the NO LNG campaign to Indigenous water protectors of the Klamath basin to the Pacific Ocean. Communities across Southern Oregon have worked for over a decade to stop the Canadian owned Jordan Cove LNG energy projects, which is a proposed compressor station in Malin, OR, a 230 mile pipeline across tribal ancestral lands to an export terminal in Coos Bay, OR. The Pacific Connector Pipeline would have crossed 500 waterways in Southern Oregon including the Klamath, Rogue, and Umpqua. Currently, Oregonians have won through grassroots organizing, protests, community art making, and submitting massive amounts of concerned public comments. However, due to FERC approval in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic the foreign corporation could still take landowners property away using eminent domain.

Please learn more at www.nolngexports.org.

The Klamath Tribe and tribal members are concerned for the endangered C’waam and Koptu (Lost River and shortnose sucker fish) threatened by low water levels in the Upper Klamath lakes during this severe drought year. Works included translate the creativity from the frontlines of the water wars and reflect the cross-tribal collaborations to protect our waters and save the endangered C’waam, Koptu, and Salmon from dams, diversions, corporate cattle, and industrial agriculture. This installation of the Umbo Room celebrates the Klamath Tribes as Senior Water Rights holders in the Klamath Basin and urge Oregonians to honor the treaty of 1864.

Please learn more at the Klamath Tribe’s website www.klamathtribes.org.



  
 
A Line, A Mollusk
Marissa Lee Benedict & David Rueter
Feb 27th – March 28th, 2021
In Conversation: Marissa Lee Benedict & David Reuter with Jovencio de la Paz and Cameron Hu

Tuesday, March 23rd @ 3pm

Zoom Meeting ID: 853 6270 3785

A Line, A Mollusk is the first solo exhibition of drawings collaboratively produced by Marissa Lee Benedict & David Rueter.







The given elements of the exhibition are: a roughly square gallery space with a garage door (approximately 34’ x 38’ feet, or around 1500 square feet, of floor space, with an estimated 24’ maximum ceiling height with an estimated 30 degree slope); and fluorescent lights. Within the exhibition space are a small sculptural installation and drawings.

The drawings are produced by machine and by hand. They are executed with fine pen on absorptive mixed media paper, or on Rite in the Rain waxed or PET paper with layers of water, calcium carbonate, and oil based materials. Some are partially enclosed or mounted on panel. All are open to the air.

The drawings address conditions more than subjects. They refer to visual rhetorics and material grammars of enclosure, from cadastral systems, fortifications, accident theory, industrial process flow, hardware and software architectures, and blueprints (for a garage). The drawings are intimate with the violence of the lines that shape them. Some are chalky, and some are chalked.  A few of the drawings are fugitive. The drawings work within, against, and through written logics of encapsulation and permeability. The drawings are inscriptions. The drawings are containers.

Bio

Marissa Lee Benedict (USA, 1985) and David Rueter (USA, 1978) began their collaborative partnership with the 2015 exhibition of Dark Fiber, a video projection that depicts the artists laying a strand of fiber optic cable. Since then, the artist team continues to work on the subjects of technology, the built environment, and the material culture of industry. They have collaboratively exhibited work at The Arts Club of Chicago (with Daniel de Paula, 2020), 68 Projects in Berlin (2019), Wrightwood 659 in Chicago (2019), the Venice Architecture Biennial (2018), and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago (2016). From 2016-17 Benedict & Rueter received a National Endowment for the Arts "Art Works" grant for their collaborative project Gary Lights Open Works, which was developed under artist Jan Tichy's Heat Light Water Cultural Project in Gary, Indiana. Benedict was most recently a 2018-19 participant at the Van Eyck Academie (Maastricht, NL). Rueter is an Assistant Professor in Art & Technology at the University of Oregon.



 
Open Cover
Nazafarin Lotfi and Lindsey Dorr-Niro
Feb 27th – March 28th, 2021
In Conversation: Nazafarin Lotfi & Lindsey Dorr-Niro with Marissa Lee Benedict

Friday, March 26th @ 3pm

Zoom Meeting ID: 841 3031 7943

One flattens space in order to open it up. Abstraction, extraction, making new out of the old, giving form to things lost and dematerialized. To create spaciousness inside flatness, one has to wander under, among, and between folds or layers. Where layers overlap and two sides meet, making new worlds becomes possible.












Lindsey Dorr-Niro received her MFA from Yale University-School of Art (2008) and BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2006). Dorr-Niro is a trans-disciplinary artist who aims to make art a practice of critical consciousness, calling viewers deeper into themselves and relation with the world. Her installations disrupt and reorganize our vision and being in a way that enable us to see, imagine, and be differently -- facilitating embodied, contemplative, and ecstatic détournement. Lindsey currently lives and works as an artist and educator in Chicago, Illinois. Her most recent (solo) exhibition object / coda was held at Regards, Chicago (2020). Other upcoming exhibits in 2021 include a residency/exhibition at Wedge Projects, Chicago.

Nazafarin Lotfi received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and her BA from the University of Tehran in 2007. Combining drawing, painting, and sculpture, Lotfi creates transitory spaces to explore the temporal and spatial experience of bodies out of place. Recent solo exhibitions include: Subtle Time, University Galleries at Illinois State University, Normal, IL; Become Ocean, Soon.tw, Montreal, QC; Negative Capability, Regards, Chicago, IL, among others. She is currently a resident at Artpace International Artist-in-Residency program. In 2015–16, Lotfi was awarded an artist residency from Arts + Public Life and Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture at the University of Chicago. She is the recipient of Phoenix Art Museum’s Contemporary Art Grant, stArt Grant from the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, and CAAP Grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events at the city of Chicago.

 
Prism
curated by Masami Kawai
Screening Saturday, Sept 5th @ 9pm

Ditch Projects is pleased to present Prism curated by Masami Kawai and featuring short films by Sky HopinkaIyabo Kwayana, Alisha Mehta, and Adam Piron. The drive-in style projection starts at 9pm. There will be a limited number of marked parking spaces and social distance circles to watch projections. For everyone’s safety there will be no indoor or bathroom access, BYOB, masks are required if outside of your car.

*The screening is free but donations appreciated



Practice / Iyabo Kwayana / 2018 / China / 10min


Filmed near the Shaolin Temple in Henan, China, Practice is a visual metaphor that moves from the mundane realm of arduous and repetitious rehearsal to the fantastic fulfillment that comes as a result. Told non verbally and without a main character, "Practice" is an immersive guided meditation into a simple moment in time that relays brief and diverse experiences of a group of students engaged in a collective process.

Yellow / Adam Piron / 2019/ USA / 8min


This experimental documentary short lays out a triptych of the Kiowa Tribe, triangulating tribal language lessons, the meaning of landscape and space.

Losing Light / Alisha Mehta / 2019 / USA / 7min


Off the edge of Highway 138 lies an old telephone relay station. The space lies witness to the incessant passing of freight trucks and travelers. As the sun sets patterns of light and shadow emerge but the rumble of the highway continuously intrudes on the rhythms within. Losing Light is a portrait of a house I once lived in.

Fainting Spells / Sky Hopinka / 2018 / USA / 11min


Told through recollections of youth, learning, lore, and departure, this is an imagined myth for the Xąwįska, or the Indian Pipe Plant - used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted.

Dislocation Blues / Sky Hopinka / 2017 / USA/ 17min


An incomplete and imperfect portrait of reflections from Standing Rock. Cleo Keahna recounts his experiences entering, being at, and leaving the camp and the difficulties and the reluctance in looking back with a clear and critical eye. Terry Running Wild describes what his camp is like, and what he hopes it will become.

 
#FFFFFF
Avantika Bawa
Feb 1st - Mar 1st, 2020



#FFFFFF, is the fourth iteration of the ‘Scaffold Series’. In these site-specific installations, utilitarian structures (scaffolds) are transformed into objects of beauty by their altering color and formation in response to site. In so doing they cease to be objects of function and become instead objects of their own being.

The first two installations of this series were completed in Mumbai, India (Another Documentation, 2012) and Astoria, Oregon USA (Mineral Spirits, 2016).

The third and most recent, A Pink Scaffold in the Rann, highlighted the vast landscape of the Rann of Kutch in India (the White Salt Desert). Through a grand gesture, evident in its large scale, it embraced pink, a dominant color during sunrise in the Rann, and also popular in the local crafts.

#FFFFFF further advances the ‘Scaffold Series’. Here the scaffolds are painted in a glossy white and arranged with a deliberate attention to pure form, in response to the interior of Ditch Projects and the seeming quietness of the space.

Stage lighting creates dramatic shadows leading to a dance with positive and negative spaces and shapes. The physical weight of this tall white structure is visually altered as it blends into the white space, while the ethereal shadows become more visible and present.

Modified field recordings, projected intermittently in the space, are interrupted by stretches of silence. Generated from the construction and painting of the scaffolds, they further dodge  our sense of space and place, absence and presence.

#FFFFFF is the code for white in the hexadecimal color system used in HTML and other computing applications to represent colors.



Avantika Bawa is based in Portland, OR, and often resides in her hometown, New Delhi, India.

Bawa has an MFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in the same from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India.

She has participated in the Skowhegan, U Cross, MacDowell Colony, Kochi Biennial Foundation and Djerassi residencies among others. Noteworthy solo exhibits include shows at The Portland Art Museum, OR, Schneider Museum, Ashland, OR, Suyama Space, Seattle, WA, The Columbus Museum, GA; Saltworks Gallery and the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, Atlanta, GA; Nature Morte and Gallery Maskara in India; White Box, Tilt Gallery & Project Space and Disjecta, Portland, OR.

In April 2004 she was part of a team that launched Drain - Journal for Contemporary Art and Culture, where she still serves as part of the Managerial and Editorial board. In 2014 Avantika was appointed to the board of the Oregon Arts Commission. She is currently Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Washington State University, Vancouver, WA.

www.avantikabawa.net

 
Set
Anna Kristensen
Feb 1st - Mar 1st, 2020


But then what are you up to with these images and objects that seem to speak so calmly? I think it’s this appreciation of making a method out of moments that I find intriguing; of unhurrying time; of turning distractions into acts of attention, details into events, where each object or image is a riddle to the discipline, labour and patience that it takes to make it. In this way (I hope you don’t mind me saying) there’s something very untimely about this work. I’m not talking about the paintings speaking back to the history of photorealism (which, if not ignored completely these days, is usually a punching bag in theoretical debates that have always seemed too rehearsed for my liking). Nor does it seem all that necessary to consider your glass sculptures from within traditions of minimalism (these objects don’t exactly reject representational content and craftsmanship). No, I’m talking about the way your process refuses a dominant version of time that by its very nature and implementation is rushed, extractive and heavy. Rather than abiding by the logic of the audit where “moments are the elements of profit” (Marx quoting a factory report in Capital) your work affords a slowness and care to moments in the form of objects and images. And if we all have to participate, in some way, in what Marx called usurped time, I want to suggest that, by working in the way you do, you somehow return time as form.

An excerpt from ‘A Window is a Verb’ by Tom Melick, for the occasion of Set, Ditch Projects 2020, booklet published by Cooperative Editions and Anna Kristsensen



Anna Kristensen (b. 1983, Sydney, Australia) lives and works in Brooklyn, NYC. Set is her first solo exhibition in the US, and was developed on residency at the Vermont Studio Center and Mass Moca in 2019, and at Urbanglass, Brooklyn. The exhibition is funded in part by an Australia Council Career Development Grant. Anna received an MFA from the University of NSW Art & Design, Sydney, in 2009, where she taught from 2009-16. She has undertaken residencies at Art OMI, NY (2017), The Australia Council for the Arts’ Greene Street Studio, NYC and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, NE (2013). Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Artbank, the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, University of Western Australia, Shepparton Art Museum and Wollongong City Gallery. Anna is represented by The Commercial, Sydney and teaches painting at Rutgers University, Newark NJ.

www.annakristensen.com.au

 
A Good Way to Invent the Future
November 16, 2019 - January 18, 2020



Part archive, part reading room, part installation, A Good Way to Invent the Future hosted the work of thirteen artists, and a series of programmed events, from November 16, 2019 to Jan 18, 2020. Structured as a “show within a show,” the 2,000 square foot exhibition featured a partial reconstruction of Ditch Projects’ original gallery space (active from 2008 - 2011) hosting works by founding members of the artist collective – Jared Haug, Dave Siebert, and Jesse Sugarmann – alongside a large installation of works by John and Wonhee Arndt, Tannaz Farsi, Ron Jude, Rainen Knecht, Young Joon Kwak, James Lavadour, Donald Morgan, Lisa Radon, and Stacy Jo Scott. Used books, re-printed texts and images, and sonic intervals punctuated the exhibition, circulating in and around the installed pieces. Visitors were asked to slow down, and to spend time with, and alongside, the works in the exhibition.

Pausing to reflect on Ditch Project’s decade-long trajectory as an artist-run project space in Springfield, OR, A Good Way to Invent the Future jumped off to land sideways in a pool of designed objects and works of visual art that speak, in glances and meandering gazes, to Oregon’s history as a ‘white utopia’ and a frontier state, with its particular libertarian leanings, punk sensibilities, and hippie counter-cultural romanticism. Sitting with these histories of the Pacific Northwest, the exhibition critically addressed the impulses of self-determine communities, sorting through the projections of desire, ownership and belonging within the landscape of Oregon. Boundaries between individual and collective, object and environment, space and place become queerer as the exhibition mapped an entangled sense of the future, with a vanishing point in the trailing fog of the past.

Programming during the exhibition included a screening of Dan Graham’s 1982-84 video “Rock My Religion”; a performative reading by Stacy Jo Scott of “The Sign of the Enterer,” accompanied by Jovencio de la Paz’s original composition on a Moog Mother 32 system and Korg ms20; a performative reading by Lisa Radon from her new text “Age of Sand”; and three atmospheric performances by artists sunLime (Ryan Carlile and Shannon Kerrigan), Iowa (Tom Greenwood and Hannah Mickunas), and Jason Urick.

A Good Way to Invent the Future was co-curated by Ditch Projects Co-Artistic and Executive Directors Mike Bray and Marissa Lee Benedict, and generously supported by a Documentation and Exhibition Grant from the Ford Family Foundation.

Exhibition Programming Schedule (Dec 2019 - Jan 2020)

 
When the water comes to light out of the well of my self
Amina Ross

Oct 5 - Nov 2, 2019



An undisciplined creator. Amina Ross creates boundary-crossing works that embrace embodiment, imaging technologies, intimacy and collectivity in physical and digital spaces. Amina has exhibited work, spoken on panels and taught workshops at venues throughout the United States. Amina's intention within a media-centering practice is to engage sensuality and sense-perception as modes of reclaiming the body. Amina is currently a 2018-2019 Artist-in-Residence at Arts & Public Life and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago.

As an educator Amina is currently an adjunct lecturer in the Contemporary Practices department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Co-lead artist of Teen Creative Agency at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

As a curator and cultural organizer Amina is curator of ECLIPSING, a multi-media festival celebrating darkness.

aminaross.com



Amina Ross’ solo show, When the water comes to light out of the well of my self, is part of their ongoing inquiry into the mechanical and conceptual intersections of objects and the containers that give them meaning. Ross is specifically experimenting with how objects ranging from fluid to wavelengths to textiles to bodyforms come into contact with their containers—namely, time, space, and scale—in order to understand where these points of contact might be (re)shaped. Using a variety of digital and material handcrafting techniques, Ross hones in on these points of contact as deeply expansive sites where we might refigure basic networks of interaction in ways that might prompt other, perhaps more radical, ways of seeing, engaging, and feeling.

In this, Ross’ technical processes of rendering objects and containers are inextricable from the understanding that black bodies and black people have been constructed as objects (particularly, instruments of labor) and containers that host a myriad of racist, classist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic projections. The 3D animations, hard and soft sculptures, and photographic processes that drive the exhibition reflect Ross’ multidimensional and multisurface attempts to build real and imagined environments that break down the object-container relation in ways that demand richer vocabularies for describing how inhabiting the very category of “black” looks and feels like. As each element of When the water comes to light out of the well of my self crafts a lush environment that defamiliarizes the presumed relations of objects and containers, they may also generate more liberatory modes of individual and collective well-being that are rooted in self-awareness, vulnerability, empathy, and pleasure.

Ross’ queries into microgestures of connection are perhaps most potent in their treatment of the figure of the body. 3D animation software provides users with model avatars whose body shape, size, position, and skin can be molded at will. The skin and clothing of these avatars is contained in one flat jpg file: the body’s contours are stretched out in a kind of gruesome sewing pattern or paper-doll cutout that will then be applied to the avatar’s mold. The avatar’s skin is quite literally a finish, a surface applied onto another surface to complete its decoration. In their works, Ross works with this idea of skin as finish, or as a surface in its own right, and is so able to pose points of contact that are not otherwise materially possible. In some of Ross’ recent animations exhibited elsewhere we find bodies that leak into and out of one another, and we find fluids that may be solids and back again; we can sometimes see through forms that should be opaque, and forms that should be distinct and autonomous melt into one another. Here in When the water comes to light out of the well of my self we find skins mapped onto digital and material surfaces that may not fully support or contain them; maps of avatar skins and images of bodyforms are placed new scenes and on unexpected textures to render evermore complex fields of contact.

As they work within and beyond the digital, Ross is enabled to imagine and do bodies (read: objects) and their environments (read: containers) differently. They explain that “I have to work harder or be more creative in my imaginings of the potential of what a body can do in space.” In the digital environment, Ross is “not constrained by gravity. If I'm not constrained by any principles in this world, what do I want to do? What principles do I want to keep?” As Ross reconfigures the boundaries around how bodies look and move—where light and liquid move across them, and in what ways they do and do not simulate “reality”—they also reconfigure the very commonsense logics of the spaces they construct to contain them. Ross’ digital environments subsequently defy laws of contact that invite us to reframe our own understandings of bodily autonomy, of density and porosity, ask us in turn to reframe in our own understandings of the (sonic-spatial) conditions under which intimacy and vulnerability might surface. When you are not constrained by any principles in this world, what do you want to do? Where do you do? How do you want to feel? Where would you mesh with another _________?

Ross’ productively uncouth movements through digital terrain are matched by their experiments with containers and objects in material space. They build armatures that may be able to hold, but not necessarily contain, the on-screen avatars, should they ever leave the space of the screen. And just as the digital armatures giving structure to skins can be out of scale, off-kilter, or seemingly unfinished, the armatures constructed in the gallery space pressure unhinge our own centers of gravity and senses of scale. Throughout their practice, Ross has undone the familiarity of objects like bed frames, pillows, extension cords, towels, jewelry, and construction materials by undermining their scale, texture, color, solidity, etc. In the process, they both invite yet forestall our own memory-based attachments to our surroundings. Ross’ movements between animations and hard and soft sculptures thereby offer a deeply technical explorations of wildly ephemeral attachments to feeling and feeling good. At times, what we feel is the discomfort of getting up on structures that we can’t quite mount, or the mental exhaustion of trying to make out singular forms that may actually be many, or the taxing work of tracking the refraction of light in an image or within an animation that casts further light across the gallery.

These estrangements within a single piece, across the gallery space, and ultimately surrounding our own senses of self are underscored by the very title of Ross’ exhibition, which is pulled from Friedrich Nietzsche, the late 19th century German philosopher who has been thoroughly (mis)read for his examinations of religion, morality, and the nature of the self. He was thinking and writing at a time of great upheaval in Europe and his writings continue to take hold in times of uncertainty, when seemingly commonsense definitions of morality, ethics, and politics can feel the most unhinged, making us, in turn, feel uncertain of ourselves. When the water comes to light out of the well of my self is not, however, a Nietzschean exhibition: it does not engage with the (sometimes-contradictory and always Euro-masculinist) proclamations about radical individualism and critiques of systematized governance that Nietschze was famous for. What Ross does do is take up Nietschze’s subtle invitation to think critically about the productivity of entanglement: that water and light may be distinct entities but they are in a blurry loop with one another, and with a measure of work—of stillness and reflection—a possible self emerges, only to make way for the water to come to light yet again.

Ross’ exhibition crafts multiple, overlapping environments that situate us deeply within this process of producing the self amidst the objects and containers that we surround and are surrounded by. They draw us in with the seductive allure of screenglow and the repetitive loops in their animations, pairing them with the comforting familiarity of well-hewn sculptures that read wood, metal, and textile together. Yet they continually press against our reliance on satisfaction therein. Their photographs, in particular, demand a kind of focused attention from our brains working to resolve blur, static, lack of focus, and/or blur. Ross’ management of our expectations for satisfaction—that a loop will productively conclude, that there will be seamless rendering of a digital form, that we will be able to comfortably inhabit a sculpture, that we will come away fully knowing an artwork—enhances their longstanding interest in crafting environments that picture black liberation as not only possible but fully inhabitable. It is here, however, where When the water comes to light out of the well of my self is not merely an architectural prescription for what this black liberation might look like or where it might manifest. It is just as much a complete staging of what it feels like to not yet have access to that object, but to occupy the full affective, sensory-motor disorientation that is the very condition of the container that structures it.

//
kemi adeyemi
thinking/writing/teaching @ the university of washington, seattle

           

Supported by the Springfield Arts Commission Heritage Arts Grant


 
Return to the Great Mother's Infinity
Oct 5 - Nov 2, 2019



Return to Great Mother's Infinity is a traveling exhibition and blanket lending library creatd by Jovencio de la Paz. 

The library currently includes contributions by:


Cathy Barnes
Seah Choo Fen
Yana McClinton
Jeanne Medina
Jovencio de la Paz
Marilyn Robert
Joan Swift
Kokking Ying



Supported by the Springfield Arts Commission Heritage Arts Grant


 
Lambert's
Spectacles
Anastasia Douka & Angharad Davies
Apr 6th - 27th, 2019

A man is swallowed alive, his spectacles fall from his face, yet he opts to stay inside. This extraordinary incident is recounted in F. Dostoevsky’s short story ‘The Crocodile’.

The crocodile rose to the surface over the course of several months in which images and words were exchanged between Anastasia Douka in Athens, Greece and Angharad Davies in London, UK. In response Davies and Douka created a series of drawings and paintings addressing landscape perspectives through the eyes of a human and the eyes of an animal. These landscapes fluctuate between architecture and anatomy, or in other words, how one chooses to remain inside the crocodile.

Angharad Davies
Angharad Davies’ interests lie in notions of consensus, continuity, restraint and intervention involved in and with architecture. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art (UK), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (USA),  and the School of the Architectural Association (UK). She currently lives in London, UK.

www.angharad-davies.com

Anastasia Douka
Anastasia Douka believes that everything constructed can break, be reconstructed and then break once again (or at least it has the potential to). She studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste (Austria), the Athens School of Fine Arts, (Greece) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (USA). She lives and works in Athens, GR.

anastasiadouka.wordpress.com



           
 
Catalog of Traces
Saturday, June 15th from 6-8 PM

CATALOG OF TRACES - ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Particles of dust--pollen, dander, fibers, tiny and various forms of refuse--are everywhere, but escape our attention until they are allowed to accumulate. In collective form, it acts as an index of what has been left alone. Michael Marder describes dust as a “catalog of traces” (where this show gets its title). The work from the emerging artists in this exhibition represent diverse responses to dust, in both its material and metaphorical registers. From the Book of Genesis (“to dust thou art, to dust thou shalt return”) to oft-quoted adages attributed to Auerbach and Picasso (music or art “washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”), dust has found its way into our universal imagination. But it is equally part of more mundane maintenance in the space where this work is shown: as interns and volunteers, these artists have also spent time interacting with dust in less-touched corners and surfaces of Ditch. This exhibition itself serves as a surface where the particulate of these artists’ practices can aggregate and leave a trace.

Featuring work by:
Daniela Cardenas-Riumallo
Elijah Denker
Shelley Gaske
Doug L. Hatano
Jordyn Morrell
Elijah Roth
Allison Schukis
Hayan Yoon

Curated by:
Claren Walker



           
 
Unknown, The Witch
Amy Bernstein
Feb 17 - Mar 10, 2018
“The origins of poetry are clearly rooted in obscurity, in secretiveness, in incantation, in spells that must at once invoke and protect, tell the secret and keep it.”

– from Madness, Rack, and Honey, Mary Ruefle

Amy Bernstein is an artist living and working in Portland, Oregon. Originally hailing from Atlanta, GA, Bernstein received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been exhibited in Portland at Nationale, The Art Gym, the Littman Gallery, Portland State University, Car Hole Gallery, Worksound, and Carl & Sloan Contemporary and internationally at Galleri Thomassen in Gothenburg, Sweden. She has received grants from Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation in 2010, the Regional Arts and Culture Council in 2012, and the Oregon Arts Commission in 2017.

www.amybernsteinstudio.com







 

Mark
OH, HEAVENLY FATHER, MOTHER OCEAN, AND COSMIC SEED...!
Alexandria Eregbu
Nov 10th - Dec 2, 2018


Alexandria Eregbu (b. 1991) is a visual artist, independent curator, and educator. As a first-generation Nigerian woman and Chicago-native, central to Alexandria's practice is the desire to activate personal narrative as a resource for examining the uses of language, visual storytelling and collectivized efforts towards provoking social empowerment and spiritual transformation. Through a steady mapping of lived occurrences and imaginary dreamscapes, Alexandria calls upon her experience, familial relationships to cloth, and knowledge received from the natural world in attempt to unlock connections between past, present, and future. Under the guidance of writing and research, Alexandria's creative process alchemizes drawing, material studies, performance, textile production, ancestral histories and tradition as a means to honor, communicate, awaken, and further explore that which she considers sacred or ultimately worthy of diligent protection and preservation. Alexandria’s work has been widely exhibited, illuminating pathways globally, nationally, and throughout the Midwest. She has held fellowships with ACRE (Steuben, WI); HATCH Projects, Stony Island Arts Bank, (Chicago, IL); The Center for Afrofuturist Studies (Iowa City, IA), Independent Curators International (New Orleans, New York City, Martinique); and The Camargo Foundation/3Arts Residency (France). Amongst her curatorial projects is du monde noir, an artistically run collective that seeks to identify contemporary evidences of Surrealist activity produced by visual artists and writers of the African diaspora in the U.S. and abroad. Currently, Alexandria serves as a Curator of Commissioned Works for Illinois Humanities and their two-year initiative, “Envisioning Justice.” She is an MA Candidate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Visual & Critical Studies.





Sunday Monday
Bijan Berahimi
Nov 10th - Dec 2, 2018


Bijan Berahimi (b. 1989) is the director of FISK, a multidisciplinary creative studio and art gallery in Portland, Oregon. He is also adjunct faculty in the graphic design department at the Pacific Northwest College of the Arts. In 2013, he graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a degree in graphic design and moved to Portland, Oregon shortly thereafter. His work focuses on the mundane of everyday situations and highlights the normalcy of the visual world around us.

Sunday Monday is a show about what happens during the week. A tall tale about significant and insignificant silhouettes of our everyday. Monday and Sunday define the balance of work and play in our society. The stress of waking up to 100 emails on a Monday, with a looming week staring at a screen ahead and a Sunday, a time to play catch up and be human, social, and good. Utilizing familiar images of clipart, Bijan creates paintings that represent a more complex subconscious: the fear of a digital world and it’s repercussions or, the simple joy of having fresh flowers at home. This show challenges that work can be play, and play can be work. What’s the difference anyways?



Mark
Every Movement Reveals Us
Soil
October 6th - 28th , 2018

Iole Alessandrini
Nola Avienne 
Colleen RJC Bratton
Jana Brevick
Chris Buening
Emily Counts
John Freeman
Trevor Goosen
Ben Hirschkoff
Claire Johnson
Kiki MacInnis
Bradly Gunn
Philippe Hyojung Kim
Paul Komada
Margie Livingston
Nicholas Nyland
Peter Rand
Paula Rebsom
Markel Uriu
Ko Kirk Yamahira
Ellen Ziegler
Ilana Zweschi



Members of SOIL Artist-Run Gallery present Every Movement Reveals Us, an exhibition of both collaborative and individual works based on the methodologies of Hermann Rorschach, whose ubiquitous inkblots, still used today, are considered a sizable contribution to psychiatric theories and practices. The show’s title, a quote by French philosopher Michel de Montaigne, was once used by literary critic Jean Starobinski to describe the significance of Rorschach’s work, the spirit of which resonates within the exuberant discoveries between and among the artists of SOIL.

Founded in 1995, SOIL is a not-for-profit cooperative space in Seattle, WA, established, supported and operated by local artists. SOIL exists as an alternative venue for artists to exhibit, develop, and advance their work, and is committed to exhibiting and celebrating art of diverse media and content. The cooperative has been in existence for 23 years and has been consistent in showing a different exhibition each month that opens on every first Thursday. It has received substantial local as well as national press attention.


soilart.org















Mark
Exactly
Laura Butler Hughes
October 6th - 28th , 2018
Laura Butler Hughes is an artist living in Eugene, Oregon. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Hughes received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and MFA from The University of Oregon. Her work has been exhibited regionally at Disjecta, White Box, and Blackfish Gallery in Portland, and nationally in Miami, FL, Baltimore, MD, Richmond, VA. Hughes was the 2018 recipient of the Georgianne Teller Singer Dean’s Graduate Fellowship at the University of Oregon. She currently teaches at Linn Benton Community College, and is working on Good Time Travelers, a series of multimedia sculptures and editioned books.

www.laurabutlerhughes.com












Mark
Midnight High Noon
Jessie Rose Vala
Jan 14 - Feb 18, 2017
“It was only because she knew the midnight and the high noon that we could see in the dark and the light knowing them to be all edges of a circle”

Jessie Rose Vala (b. 1977, Madison Wi) Received her MFA from University of Oregon and a BFA in ceramic sculpture and painting from California College of Arts. Vala is part of the collaboration Light Hits creating installation, music, and videos with Kelie Bowman. In 2014 Vala initiated Ungrund Collective, showcasing videos of five contemporary artists working within similar humanistic inquiries. Vala’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including exhibitions in Oakland, Miami, Portland, Brooklyn, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Mexico City.

jessierosevala.com






 

Mark
What Makes the City Touch Itself Everywhere at Once?
Chelsea Couch
Jan 14 - Feb 18, 2017
“Even out of context, the two deleted epigraphs betray their weightlessness and make me feel a little sick. If you were here, I would make you some mint tea and turn out the sofa for a little bed. Here you are. There it is. Let’s talk about it tomorrow.Are you alive? One thing next to another doesn’t mean they touch.”

- Bhanu Kapil, Ban en Banlieue

Chelsea Couch (b. 1990, Chattanooga) currently lives and works in Eugene, OR while pursuing her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Oregon in Studio Art. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in Painting and Drawing and studied additionally at King’s College London. Her work is included in the current exhibition, Movement of the Hand or Memory of Touch at Stevenson Union Gallery (Ashland, OR). Other recent exhibition spaces include The White Box (Portland, OR) The Portland ‘Pataphysical Society (Portland, OR), Linfield Gallery (McMinnville, OR), and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (Eugene, OR). Upcoming shows include a group exhibition at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center (Portland, OR).

chelseacouch.com






 

Mark
Binary Primitivism
UBERMORGEN
Feb 25 - Mar 25, 2017
'From the urge to want to understand the world, it becomes apparent that we have understood the world.'

Binary Primitivism helps you see habits as they occur, the departure from the here and now towards any number of things that could possibly be instead. The implications cannot be overstated but most can't see these moves. No organic reach, but Binary Primitivism believes in the kindness of strangers, they are anonymous and that's great. Incredible. Golden hypno-mandala-GIFS will be brilliant, because the present will overflow with so many different versions of what must become possible and Binary Primitivism wants to be all of them. We live in a complex culture where many people act primitive. Many terrific ideas were attacked. Binary Primitivism has been waiting it’s whole life for someone to take on the real enemy, the media. It couldn't be more enthusiastic. Media reset was always the plan, nothing can be done without it. Share these golden images widely. It's going to end poorly for them instead.

Programmatic Statement
Binary Primitivism is found in the binary wilderness. Binary Primitivism isolates clans and groups, exploits theirs aesthetics and nurtures them into becoming easy prey. Then Binary Primitivism infiltrates and colonizes the target-group's digital habitats by playing echo-chamber symphonies and serving exaggerated self-referential comfort aesthetics. Binary Primitivism emulates primitive behaviour. Beyond action lies truth. This form of mimicry represents The New Honesty (Neue Ehrlichkeit) deeply rooted in the balkanization and atomization of truths and aesthetics.

UBERMORGEN lizvlx (AT, b. 1973) and Hans Bernhard (CH/USA, b. 1971) are European artists and net.art pioneers. They tenaciously convert code & language and concept & aesthetics into digital objects, software art, net.art, installation, new painting, videos, press-releases and actions. CNN described them as 'maverick Austrian business people' during their Vote-Auction action and the New York Times called Google Will Eat Itself 'simply brilliant’. Their main influences: Rammstein, Samantha Fox, Guns N’ Roses & Duran Duran, Olanzapine, LSD & Kentucky Fried Chicken's Coconut Shrimps Deluxe. The have shown their work in major international institutions such as the Centre Pompidou, MoMA/PS1, Sydney Biennale, MACBA Barcelona, New Museum New York, SFMoma, ICC Tokyo, Gwangju Biennale and were commissioned by Serpentine Galleries London & Whitney Museum New York. UBERMORGEN currently hold the Professorship for Digital and Net-based Art in the Faculty of Art at the University of Art and Design Offenbach/Frankfurt

Digital Production Assistant: Stefan Endres
Setup Assistant: Alex Wurts
Social Media Think Tank: Mike Cernovich

This Exhibition is supported by Pro Helvetia, Bundesamt für Kultur Austria and swissnex San Francisco

ubermorgen.com





 

Mark
New Deal
Jürgen Beck
Feb 25 - Mar 25, 2017
lt is escape architecture. Little of it is left. Its motif is the glass ticket booth with its (former) occulting eye that saw into the distressed heart and wounded pocketbook. The glass ticket booth was a promise, a promise repeated in the symbolic ticket booth above the marquee (now removed) - a small circular columned temple the architects superimposed like a classical variation of a popular song: "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby."

lt was the oasis between bread lines and relief checks, it washed away the guilt of failure. lt is Hollywood's monument, Hollywood's acupuncture, the biggest pipe organ west of the Hudson. lt does not have the fine lineage of Bullocks Wilshire. lt has the vital juices of illusion.

Esther McCoy, "Wiltern Theater”

Jürgen Beck (b. 1977, Tübingen, Germany) lives and works in Zurich. He studied at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, France and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Leipzig, Germany. He has taught at the School of Architecture, University of Lucerne (2012-15) and has been the artist in residence at Zurich's studio program in Genova, Italy (2015-16). Recent solo and group exhibitions include "Relatively Speaking", Galerie B2 Leipzig (2017), "Sidelights", ZHdK Zurich (2016) and "Escape Architecture", Kunsthalle Lucerne (2016). Currently he is conducting ongoing research on Southern California’s architectural history and is the artist in residence at Coast Time in Oregon.

juergenbeck.com

New Deal is kindly supported by a grant from the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Germany






 

Mark
Javelin
Steven Randall
Apr 20 - 29, 2017
From transmitter to transected, an unintended javelin falls from a sun-bleached facade / Dusty tarpaulins reveal plans patented in camouflage / What was a leaf is now a metal antenna / No signal / Inert shells crumble in decay / Banners hang in tattered remains / Collective directories fade into obsolescence / Printed matter dissolves under whitewashed oblivion / The future arrived too late.

Steven Randall received his MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University and his BFA from Alfred University. Steven is an interdisciplinary artist who makes sculptures, photographs and installations to examine the relationship between consumer, commodity, and transformation.

Past residencies and fellowships include the Border Arts fellowship, the Toby Devin Lewis Award, a Sculpture Fellowship through the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and a Visiting Artist Grant through the Institute for Electronic. Randall's work has been shown nationally and internationally including exhibitions in New York, Aspen, El Paso, Buffalo, Dublin and Beijing.

svrandall.com




 

Mark
Location
303 S. 5th Avenue #165
Springfield OR 97477


Hours
12-4 Friday-Sunday & by appointment