Monday, September 16, 2013

Where it's at

I will continue to post school work on this blog for Professional Practices class, but the process blog on which I am required to post before each critique is now located on my website.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Look at ME

Practicing writing press releases in Professional Practices class.

For immediate release                                                                                     


Expanded cinema installation gets second life for SculptureX

Liz Roberts will revise her immersive cinema piece “Always Nowhere” as an outdoor installation to be exhibited during SculptureX Symposium 4: Performative Objects and the Everyday Spectacular. The two-day event, hosted by Columbus College of Art & Design [CCAD], includes a keynote address, interactive discussion panels, and emerging artist exhibitions. The opening reception is Friday, October 11, 7:30pm – 9:00pm at 380 E. Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio 43215.

CCAD, in partnership with The Sculpture Center, will host the 2013 and 2014 Annual SculptureX Symposium, an intensive learning event to encourage collaboration among arts educators and artists.

Martin Kersels, a well-regarded sculptor, installation artist, and Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture at Yale University School of Art, will provide the keynote address. Several interactive discussions will be led, one by the noted art historian, Terry Smith as well as one by a panel of highly regarded sculpture faculty: Chido Johnson, Osman Khan, Youmna Chlala, and Michael Mercil. Liz Roberts will participate in a group discussion of at least ten national emerging artists whose work will be shown on campus in a special exhibition.

For more information about the event visit:
More information on Liz Roberts:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dead End

The school year is over. After some winter turmoil the semester ended quite well. Thanks to all my fellow travelers who helped with the Always Nowhere project and to everyone who came out to our one-night-only show. The car crash in me bows to the car crash in you. Namaste.

Always Nowhere from Liz Roberts on Vimeo.

Many thanks to Shelley Kilgore for shooting this documentation video with her kickass wide lens.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I'm always nowhere

Struggling with the documentation of this project. Nothing I do in photo or video quite does the experiential part justice. I guess that's life though, the real thing is usually better than the replicated image.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Get in the car

Always Nowhere rolls forward. Building a 3D movie in the sense that you can get in the car - serving as readymade - has been challenging but thrilling.
Mount building:
Projector hanging results:
Wiring sound continues tomorrow.

The post-cinema drive-in 3D movie. You can get inside it!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Always 8 1/2

I was heartened today when a visitor told me the Always Nowhere car reminded him of the opening scene from Fellini's 8 1/2.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

There's no place that's home.

The Always Nowhere project trudges forward. I have made a short film that is a companion piece to the installation. It has a voice over constructed of small narratives that are tied to the vehicle as a repository or receptacle for memory.

A car can be,
1. A place where things may be put for safekeeping.
2. A warehouse.
3. A museum.
4. A burial vault; a tomb.
I purchased a non-running 1998 Mercury Mystique for the installation. Here is a photo of "Dirty Mike," who sold me the car, and Dave Stockwell, who has been intrinsic to the installation being realized.

Thanks to Dave and CCAD Facilities, the car is now on the 2nd floor. I am prepping the glass for the window film and will be adhering it next week. The inside will be wired for sound. I have 4 different picture edits, one for each of the projectors that surround the car. The narrative story from the short film will be played as a voice over via speakers.

I am reading a book recommended to me by Elena H, graduate of the first class of MFAs at CCAD, Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity by Marc Auge. In his introduction he writes,

Perhaps today's artists and writers are doomed to seek beauty
in 'non-places', to discover it by resisting the apparent obviousness
of current events. They may do this by highlighting the enigmatic 
character of objects, of things disconnected from any exegesis or
practical use, by putting a spotlight on the media that try to pass
for mediators, by rejecting sham and mimicry.[...] They are fragments
of utopia, in the image of our time divided between passivity, anxiety
and, despite everything, hope or, at the very least, expectation.

I spent some time in Christian Marclay's The Clock on it's last night in Columbus. Pondering time, mobility, meaninglessness, and the narrative tropes we impose on our experience so that we can make sense of the world. The piece evokes a feeling that am striving for in Always Nowhere. A non-specific unease, just enough to bring awareness to a sense of non-place. And then see what happens there.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Transparent and Opaque

I've been testing different materials to serve as rear projection screens on the car windshield and windows. Wax paper woven and ironed together, shower curtain liner, and today, vellum. The vellum worked beautifully and I feel the joy of a small success. Now I push forward with completing the 4 separate video edits I need, as well as the sound design. And the car, I need a car....

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Over the river and through the woods.

Phil Garrett graciously drove me to get 4x8 ft insulation boards at Lowe's. I plan to use these as my projection surfaces. We had to duck on the way back.

I've making a montage edit of driving shots with a voice-over of me telling a story about how I crashed a car and what driving symbolizes to me in addition to the car/projections installation. I'm currently writing the (nonfiction) dialogue. More shooting. Testing hardware. Keep rolling forward.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Projection's metaphor moves deeper into our skulls.

During a whirlwind trip to New York last week (that's me with a view of Brooklyn) I saw a mother load of art and shot a ton of video on the way there and back. I'm still experimenting with different cameras and shooting techniques. Hope to get a mount on the outside of the car next week.

Today I met with my mentor/adviser for this semester and we did some projection tests to see what type of surface I will want to install in the space. Shiny white won over fabric, paper, and matte white.

I read a fascinating article written by Donna K. in Filmmaker magazine. She writes about Neurocinematics; how the film projector mimics the mechanism of the human eye, and the digital projector goes farther by mimicking the electrical impulses of our brains. Fascinating stuff, as I proceed with this project full of projections in a "post-cinema" experience.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Strange highways of human experience.

I've been exploring a book of Mell Kilpatrick's work, Car Crashes and Other Sad Stories, thanks to the suggestion from Chase Bowman. Kilpatrick has been dubbed "the Weegee of the West." He had been a movie projectionist in the mid-1940's in California; when he began photographing highway fatalities his photos had a noirish chiaroscuro that lends a cinematic remove to ghastly images of dead bodies.

This accessing of the sublime inherent in automobiles - in the sense of recognizing the large destructive powers of our safe everyday machines - gets at the unknowable darkness I want in my work this semester.

This week I will drive from Columbus to New York City. I plan to shoot video footage along the way, amassing a collection of different moving landscapes. On the way back, I will stop in Centralia, Pennsylvania. A deserted town, Centralia was declared eminent domain by the government in 1992, the result of an underground mine fire burning since 1962. The roads have cracked open; the fire is expected to burn for over 200 years. I will record video of this shattering asphalt to use in my projections and short film.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I am the passenger.

Thoughts on driving, riding, and running away.

From Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger.
What are you running away from? Turn your back to the front seat.

Iggy Pop and The Stooges "The Passenger."
I am the passenger. I stay under glass.

Progress/process report on the post-cinema installation "Always Nowhere."
I continue to amass the camera equipment I need and am consulting with Eric Homan from Cinematic Arts, who is also currently making work with the GoPro Hero2. I have met with my mentor for this semester, Phil Garrett, to show him the space I will use and discuss building materials and projector throw ratios, as well as concept. I am reading Bachelard's The Poetics of Space and continue with Baudrillard's The Illusion of the End. I will also explore Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams and Car Crashes and Other Sad Stories by Mell Kilpatrick
I never learned to drive. As a kid, I saw too many fatal accidents and I grew up hating the idea. Automobiles slaughter 40,000 people a year, maim a hundred thousand more, and bring out the worst in men. Any society where a natural man — the pedestrian — becomes the intruder, and an unnatural man encased in a steel shell becomes his molester, is a science fiction nightmare. -Ray Bradbury

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The true detour is straight ahead.

Year one. Semester two. I am making a road movie of sorts. Shooting video with a GoPro camera mounted to my car. I am bringing a vehicle (anyone have an extra car you don't need for a few months? it could be used in the service of art!) onto the 2nd floor of the building in which I have a studio. I will then set up multiple projections around the car, in the style of rear-projection, but surrounded. There will be a sound design. These are the things I know. There are many things I don't know.

Change is imminent, eminent, and immanent. Change is the constant. See you there.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In my end is my beginning.

This is how it all went down at the end of last semester.

The average human adult is jacketed in 21 square feet of skin. These are 63 photo prints I made of abstracted images of flesh. I removed distinguishable body parts and got up close with the camera to examine what we really look like. The cultural beauty standard demands that we should have no pores, hair, pimples, scars or veins showing on the surface of our body. These realities are usually wiped away by the media. This project is a visual representation of the amount skin each person is wrapped in, with all the imperfections we accrue throughout life. Each row is a portrait of a separate individual.

I also made a 7 minute video that is a companion to the “Jacketed ” photo project. The video is intentionally shot very simply and quietly, something of a rebellion against all the special effects, bells and whistles that are prevalent in current technology. I wanted to strip it down to the essence of images that move. It is titled “Flesh Suitcase,” considering what it’s like to be in one’s own skin. Thinking about this thing I take my life journey in as a container that carries me. I was asking very basic questions with this concept.
Is the body a protective covering, like a house?
Am I imprisoned?
Or is it simply a surface that delineates the boundaries between the world and my self?
I am interested in how these questions can seem meaningful in one mood and vacuous in another. Regardless, having a body is a deep experience in vulnerability, loss of control, and acceptance. It is the clothes I never get to take off.

Flesh Suitcase from Liz Roberts on Vimeo.

Thanks Shelley Kilgore for the photo.