Saturday, December 20, 2008

There is only science and magic.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dream Night of 13/12/08

People were trying to capture me in order to tattoo my entire body with the line drawings I've been doing. At first I was terrified, but after they captured me and I was waiting in a cell, I became really fond of the idea of being covered in my lines.
haha Maybe this is a sign I need a break from them? Or a tattoo?

Everything is Made Again

This Friday I took part in the exhibition Out of Place, featuring the work of the eight exchange students from this semester. My piece was a live drawing and removal titled Everything is Made Again.
The idea came from a wall drawing that I did in my studio a few months ago. It was during an open studio day, so many people were walking around. I starting doing one of my intricate line drawings on the wall to see how the drawing would look and feel to do in such a big scale. While making the drawing, I was fascinated by people's reactions. Naturally, almost everyone was surprised by my persistence to make such a large and detailed drawing on the wall, but the most interesting thing was their expressions of sadness in the fact that I would have to leave it behind in the studio when I left; that I couldn't take this drawing that I had spent so much time and effort on with me as an object. This sparked my interest in the piece being about temporality. I became extremely interested creating a piece of art that is not only a product of the space that it is in, but also the moment in which it exists. It wouldn't just have to be left in that specific place, but I would take it away myself. The personal construction/creation of the very tedious to be deconstructed/destroyed.

At the opening, I began drawing on the front window with ink at about 6 pm; the show began at 8 and most people arrived by 9.
Since this was the opening, people were very distracted, and some didn't notice my piece at all, even though I was standing at the front of the gallery, next to the entrance (sometimes on a chair) drawing it. I also had a table with a typewriter and a note on it, inviting people to record any thoughts or reactions they wanted to. I thought this would be more successful as it was an informal gallery setting and people are more likely to feel comfortable reacting to and interacting with the work. But disappointingly, not very many people seriously responded to it.
The process of ink on window was very fast, and I finished it around 930. I took a break, had a beer and walked around, pointing to the window when some people asked where my piece was.
Although people told me I should leave it up for people to look at longer, I think this missed the point of the temporariness, so at 10 pm despite objections, I washed it off.
I didn't feel overall like it was very successful, but I guess this was the first time I've done anything like this, and am still very new to the way you present this kind of piece and also the way you get people to participate with your work.
However, I think the most compelling moment of the night, was when I went to wash the drawing off. I went to the bathroom and came back with a tub of water and sponge, a girl I know from school (though we're not very close) came and stood between me and the window and said "What are you doing?"
"Washing it off" I responded, of course.
She shook her head at me in protest, "No, you can't do that. I can't let you do that." She seemed almost offended. This is what I wanted; I immediately instructed her to write on my typewriter.
A lot of people who missed the wash off were surprised that it was gone. Some wished it had stayed up for longer. My friend Christie took a video of some parts. But I guess now I just have to reflect a bit and refine the presentation and invitation so that I can make this a better performance/interactive art for next time. This will be in the BFA Show in March, so I have some time to improve it.
Any feedback you have would be appreciated.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holy Shit V

Mark Schettler shared this with me: Pretty amazing.
Medicine, micro and biotechnology have become increasingly influential in my thoughts and work. I've also noticed, in an effort of humbling ourselves, we state how small and insignificant we are in the "grand scale" of things, that is in the scale of this massive universe we are part of. But there are these particles and processes and systems thousands and millions of times smaller than ourselves and our own, things that are part of us that go unseen and unnoticed in their smallness; absolutely not in their insignificance. So it seems inconsiderate to cast off our importance in this world just because we are not "the largest" or "the smallest" piece or system, because in a scale of infinite measure there is no such thing anyway. We are here too.

Actually, this is what I'm interested in for my graduate thesis.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Just an Update

Here's another silkscreen. Like the one posted before, but this wont be going in the book, just a print on its own on a single sheet of rice paper. Sorry it's a shitty image. Book is coming along slowly but surely, finished printing half the text, but the prints take a while because of all the preparation involved.

I'm very busy lately- 12 Dec is our exhibition in Das Bilt (really amazing little space) the student run gallery of HKU, 15 Dec the final evaluation. By Friday, I also have to write a response for my theory class concerning the article Art in the Age of Biopolitics (by Boris Groys) which is actually very relevant to my work at the moment. A brief writing on my art taking the form of performance up soon.
The BFA Graduating Exhibition/Reading applications (in March and May) are due soon as well. I can't believe we already have to decide what we want, I have an idea, but it's still so early. I'll let you know soon when the date soon if you'd like to come.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


As the semester trucks on, I really want to take advantage of the facilities available to at HKU. So, although I spent a good two or three weeks, everyday, doing the drawings for the little animation, it will be put on hold temporarily for the more site specific silk silkscreen and letter press.
For the past 2 months I've been advised in a silkscreen course with the other exchange students. It was my first time doing this type of printing, and I've really enjoyed it although the process can simultaneously benefit from and exasperate any obsessive-compulsive tendencies I may have... I've included an image of "Phantasmagoric Gold" an edition of 10 prints. For this print I used the drawing/watercolor that I did by the same title; I scanned it and printed four different levels of contrast as four layers. Preparing the screen is somewhat difficult, but our instructor Hendrick, is both kind and extremely patient.

This past Tuesday was my first instruction in the letter press; totally awesome. It's just the tedious type of thing I like to do. There are shelves and shelves of all the different styles and sizes of fonts. The letters are small pieces of lead that you fit into each line you want to print; a group of lines is called a text block. You have a little map of reference to the placement of the letters in the drawers but often they are all mixed up and creating a text block is like completing a personalized backwards puzzle. Manuel, the book arts and letter press teacher advising me for this is one of the more excited and animated people I've met here. This upcoming Tuesday, I'll begin to print on paper.
So, right now I'm working on a book to bring these two disciplines together. I will be focusing on cellular imagery in both the prints and the text. I am trying to experiment with the materials I print on. On the image I have included, the cells are printed on a vellum-like paper, and the lines are printed on a really great (and therefore expensive) rice paper. I'm interested in layering the images with the different thicknesses of paper.

I'm trying to experiment with this project. Letting things happen as they will while trying not planning obsessively. In the words of Samuel Beckett, "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Some words I've recently been trying to live by. More thoughts on that later.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Holy Shit, The Fourth

Marc showed me this video today. Watch it and be amazed:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dream Night of 2/11/08 and Holy Shit Pt. 3

I dreamt of dancing; I often have dancing dreams like this, where I'm the only one doing the right steps and the other girls are messing them up and should I follow what they're doing because that's how you make the performance not look terrible if someone completely messes up? I was with old dancemates, and my old instructors. My hair was long in a ponytail that went down to my lower back.
I also dreamt of a plane crash; We were flying over a large canal and couldn't get any air and sank into the water. There was a fire as well. There were small children who I love as my own. I had my phone-cord purse with my cell phone, camera, Ipod and wallet in it, and I kept trying to take it with me when we evacuated even though they tell us not to. Finally I just left it because I was scared of what was going to happen to us.

I've been reading this book recently on blood cells, specifically red blood cells. The book is from the 70s but it's filled with these beautiful negative-looking images of these microscopic cells that keep us alive. Red blood cells are 6-8 micrometers in diameter. A micron is one millionth of a meter.
It's amazing how the processes and makeup of our bodies are all basically identical. For the most of us, our cells are all the same size and shape, moving in the same paths through our body almost effortlessly. The malleability and resiliency of our blood is quite amazing as well. There's so many things that could go wrong that don't because our bodies just work. For instance, there are some arteries in our bodies in which our red blood cells have to go through one at a time. It's so bizarre that all this is just going on inside of us right now. Think about that... And that ladies and gentlemen is a Holy Shit moment. Take a look at Red Blood Cells on wiki. And maybe I'll be able to post some quotes from the book I'm reading that blew my mind.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Animation. Coming Soon.

Ok, so this was going to be a post of the animation that I've been working on. I can't get the file to work on my blog just yet, but I'll tell you about it regardless: I am using about twelve frame per second, so this bit that I have so far consists of about 76 drawings; all by hand (without a lightboard ugh!) and then scanned into the computer for compilation. It amounts to a little over six seconds.
I've always had a respect for the tediousness of animators, (I quite love tedious drawings as you can tell) however I guess I really didn't know what it was like until I tried it. You never really know until you try.
I made another 80 drawings this week. My back hurts from hunching over my work! haha. And my animation isn't even close to as clean and consistent as some people I know. For instance check out Benjamin's animation. He's taking courses and has the proper tools mind you, but regardless, it really takes a lot of time, effort and precision to make a nice animation.
Utrecht hosts the annual Holland Animation Film Festival next week; the venue is right down the street from my place so I'll definitely check it out. The Holland Film Festival was at this place as well, but the films were all in Dutch. At least for animation, even if I can't understand everything I'll be able to admire the craftsmanship.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's been too long.

Apologies for the long delay.

Some updates:
On my art: I have come to realize that I want my art to have consciousness - sorry that is put in the worst way possible. Rather, I'd like my art to evoke that feeling of consciousness. That is to say, this holiness or spiritual feeling that we get when we're having a revelation, or panic attack or de ja vous. This elevation what people can feel like when they experience God.
I need to make my own name for it...
For me, it is infinity. I suppose infinite consciousness. But that has too much baggage... I don't know, the name will come later.
But when Dr. Sacks was talking about this "double consciousness" that people can get, I really felt the connection. And it feels real. Like time in addition to the time that is literally there.
I know this is a very very high expectation and initiative for my work and myself, but this is so important to me.
This feeling is what I live for. When you remember a memory and it feels so real. Or look into the sky and realize that it's immeasurable and that you too are immeasurable, but relatively so much smaller. Or you hear that chord of a song, embedded with memory, but also the technical notes that are being played, that minor to major change, changing something in yourself. Old home videos - to hear voices from your past preserved. To hear your own voice and not to recognize it. To not even remember that that moment happened but to be give that moment in an image. To be reminded, to remind your neurons of a certain neuronal path. To replay it. To smell your childhood. Dreams.
This is what I want to do. I want my art to be that smell, that home video, that epiphanic pre-seizure lull, that voice, that infinity. Realness. (freewrite in journal on 6/10/08)

I'm currently working on an animation, there should be a post up this upcoming week with my progress in that.

Last week I was in London. I went to the Tate Modern, and saw a Rothko exhibition. Here are some thoughts:
"If people want sacred experiences they will find them here. If they want profane experiences they'll find them too. I take no sides." - Rothko

The feeling as if you are praying or wishing as a child and you truly believe that something will happen. The feeling is in a similar spot as when you are moved to tears but cannot cry and you're forced to hold it in this spot in your chest up to your throat.
But this is a transition moment; a feeling of the instant before being moved.
I am in a sanctuary. I am most in myself and am myself.
Why I am moved: (list)
-the size
-the effortless subtlety
-the depth of it (the color, the color against color)
I am being pulled out of myself into myself, forward, the painting literally moving me into it. The feeling is caused by holding on.
-the shape
-the shapes
The subtle violet reflection of me in a Rothko.
They are beyond the landscape.
As if standing before some holy alter.
This. This is what I'll do with my life. (response to exhibit on 10/10/08)

I will update more frequently. A lot is going on. A lot of thinking happening. A lot of art is being made. A lot of change. More images soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Holy Shit. Part 2

I decided to make this a continuous section of the blog. Because I am constantly finding things that blow my mind. This site is somewhat dumbed down, but still the concepts are amazing.

"mini-black holes are primordial leftovers from the Big Bang and affect space-time differently because of their close association with a fifth dimension." (if that's not a holy shit, I don't know what is)

Monday, September 22, 2008

More Work!

Top to Bottom: I'm Tired; Idol; and Phantasmagoric. They're unfinished.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dream, Night of 19/9/08

Last night I dreamt of a women who fell into a tank of body parts in water. She struggled to get out, but because all the parts were so similar to her own, she was mistaken for parts. People grabbed and poked her from the outside because she was just the parts to them. 

Then I diagnosed a man because the blue outline of a box appeared to me that enclosed the spot of his illness. He was a wheelchair dancer. 

Then a powerful schizophrenic shape-shifter disguised as a woman's husband. I was the woman. She pulled the covers off his face to get in bed, but his face-shape was off; too long. He turned to his original form; a small rodent skull in purple gelatinous blob; and rolled violently about the room biting at her. The woman and her husband tried to throw a hammer at it, to no avail. The finally she grabbed the skull between her fingers and squeezed it out of the blob. Instantly, both forms disappeared and the non-form of an iridescent human brain appeared. It was the energy of this thing, and it was pure evil. Because it had no voice to speak, it began to write in the air with its iridescence about it's energy; the G Force; and our utter inability to understand words on the level it did, even something as simple as "yea". To it, we were pathetic. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some Works in Progress.

Just a few examples of what I've been working on in the past week or so. These are all ebony pencil, pen and ink drawings on paper (almost newsprint, but thicker). They are all untitled as well as unfinished. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I began working in my studio yesterday, drawing mostly, and found out, it can be maddening, to work in a studio all day long; to get lost inside your own head so deep you forget most things. I am creating my own world.
I had my first meeting today with a teacher named Andres Wiecherink. He is a charming older man with a Safari-esque hat, who told me to continue making books, to start collecting images to add to my drawings, to collage almost obsessively, always adding to my reference. And so I will begin. Maybe my excessive internet research will payoff.
Above; Day 2: a photo of my studio the wall to the left will soon be overrun with images, and Day 1: first drawing, titled Contract that will hopefully find itself into some kind of bookform by the end of my stay here.
P.S. That window you see was completely covered in paint that me and my studio-mate had to chip off with the paint scrapers you use on garages. Tedious yet relaxing.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Begin: Semester.

HKU (pronounced haa-kaa-yueuw) so far seems to be similar to SAIC, mainly in its approach of the artist as an interdisciplinary individual. I was assigned my studio today in a crazy warehouse, some ways out of the centre, named Tractieweg (pronounced traquesiveg) after the street it's on. It houses about 90 artist from the Fine Arts program at HKU, which includes both 3rd and 4th year students, on three floors. 
I will work independently for the majority of my studies here. Teachers come once a week and we are able to sign up to meet with them; there is one for most mediums, including an "intermedia" teacher who I'll meet for things such as my bookbinding. They come around to our studios (I was under the impression we would have to run around looking for them!) and discuss our work with us, and we can sign up for meetings as frequently as we desire. I will share the studio with Marit (pronounced Maareet) who is here from Norway. She is interested in found sculpture and installation, with a focus at her home institute in Art Education. All we need is a table. I can't wait to begin working. 
The exchange students also have access to the facilities of the IBB (pronounced ee-beh-beh) building, which is on the other side of the centre; as far as the Fine Art program goes, this has the 1st and 2nd year courses, 2nd year studios. It reminds me a lot of the Columbus and Sharp buildings put together. All the mediums are in this building, including painting, printing and sculpture dept, a small photo and fashion dept, an even smaller video dept, and a wonderful bookbinding room with an abundance of letter presses (something SAIC sorely lacks) as well as a cafeteria, a library, a "Service Bureau"-like place and an art supply store. All the other concentrations are in other parts of the building (Art Education, Graphic Design etc) but I do not know anything about those areas. 
We also have, every other week, a Cultural Theory class discussion. It is lead by a man named Klaas Hoek (pronounced Hoouk) who I can already tell is going to be a great mentor. Today in class, we watched a video on the architecture in Las Vegas. So far, I've noticed Dutch people seem to have a pretty stereotypical view of Americans; those kitschy Las Vegas-going-Americans. I guess this is a large majority of our population, however, it's interesting to be outside of that national-demographic yet experience the prejudice towards it first hand. To hear people tell me that I don't seem like an American, or that they hadn't met an American before but I seem different/different from what they thought, etc, etc. 

Something I found out today; It takes 4-6 days for a priority letter to get to the States. That's sweet. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Arrival.

The strangest thing is not to hear a familiar voice for so long when you're used to hearing them for so long. All the streets are winding here and at times I walk in circles. The signs are also vague or absent. However, I never feel afraid. I have begun to unpack my things after spending the last five days with one hundred extra pounds on me. Soon, I will learn to tell weather in centigrade. There are church bells that sound almost continuously.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Untitled WIP

To come into oneself.

Waves like cars crashing
against the shore. Waves
crashing into a shore
of bits of sand and glass.

I am a circle into myself.
I am here too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Visual Complexity

Presenting visual alternatives to looking at complex information.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Facsimile of Another Foreign Body (a little work in progress)

The body changes
the way right down to 
cells mutiny excess
by some other thing. 
It is an accusation
unaware yet reproduce 
unaware produce excess 

I am accusation of myself
I am overgrown extra cells. 

Only reproduction at his command. 
A facsimile of another foreign body. 

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Here's a drawing from a series I'm currently working on. This is called accidental.

Welcome to Nonsource

Greetings Web-users, Welcome to, your only official guide to the interweb.

To give you some background; began as an idea in Spring 2007 with utmost consideration for the common interweb user. We realized, that on an interweb often overpopulated with misleading if not erroneous information, one needed a strong reliable site; a site that could be referenced again and again; a site that could validate the truth in an untruthful world. At, we aim to be that site.

Do not believe anything on

My name is A.Martinez and I will be your host on Nonsource. I am currently a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago or SAIC, going into my 4th year of the newly formed Undergraduate Writing Program. On August 26th, I will be leaving for the Netherlands to spend the semester at HKU in Utrecht to study in the painting program. Here, I'll post work updates from thousands of miles away. (Don't get too lost.)

Generally Yours,