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January 6, 2012

Long View Talk in Minneapolis

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I’m excited to be giving a talk about the Long View project at Target’s Spark lecture series in Minneapolis on January 26. Each month Target’s creative teams host a speaker with a unique practice or story to relate. Past guests include film director Pete Docter, polar environmentalist Will Steger, and comics creator Stan Lee, placing me in esteemed company.

Big thanks to Target’s Ted Halbur for designing the poster above and to Marsha Trainer for arranging my visit. I’m honored to be the first Spark speaker to be asked back twice!


Filed under: Updates, Events, News, Info, Interviews — mbartalos @ 1:30 pm

April 16, 2010

Antarctic Art Panel at The Lab

I’m participating in an Antarctic art panel with fellow Antarctic artists Cheryl E. Leonard and Lisa K. Blatt tonight at The Lab in San Francisco. The presentation is part of the thirteenth annual Activating The Medium festival featuring two nights of performances from local and international sound artists.

Cheryl E. Leonard at Palmer Station.
Cheryl E. Leonard at Palmer Station.

Each year, the festival is curated around a specific theme that underscores connections between artists working with various methods and materials. This year’s theme is ice and its physical, geographic, metaphoric, and mythological attributes as manifested through sound and image.

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Michael Bartalos at South Pole Station.

The program kicks off at 8:30 PM with Cheryl, Lisa and I each giving a short audiovisual presentation about our Antarctic projects and experiences on the Ice. We’ll follow that up with discussing topics concerning art in Antarctica and answering audience questions.

Lisa K. Blatt at McMurdo Station.
Lisa K. Blatt at McMurdo Station.

The festival’s featured sound artists are G*Park (Switzerland), Pedestrian Deposit (Los Angeles), Joshua Churchill (San Francisco), Adam Sonderberg (Berkeley), Rale (Los Angeles), Jesse Burson (Alameda) and Cheryl E. Leonard (San Francisco).

Join us! The Lab is at 2948 16th Street, San Francisco CA 9410.
415.864.8855 | http://www.thelab.org

More information on The Lab’s event page.


Filed under: Updates, Events, News, Info, Interviews — mbartalos @ 1:29 am

December 20, 2009

Long View Project Update

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Greetings Long View followers, it’s been a spell since my last post and an update is long overdue. Despite recent travels and various commitments, the Long View project is alive and well and continues to take shape with new sketches, studies, and progress on the string of final art panels. I’m working on freeing up the panels’ compositions and the ‘flow’ between them by linking the series in freeform fashion with rope, wire and various projectiles in addition to the hinges I’d originally proposed. Expect photos and a return to more regular and frequent postings on my return to the studio after the holidays.

In the meanwhile, I want to extend a big thanks to all those who attended my Long View talk at the Calacademy’s NightLife event. It was great fun to do and I got a lot of positive feedback from the audience. Special appreciation to Rhonda Rubinstein, Cat Aboudara, and Gary Sharlow for facilitating my presentation.

In other Calacademy news, I’m currently creating the graphics for the Extreme Mammals exhibit slated to open on April 3. The show arrives from New York City’s American Museum of Natural History which I had the pleasure of visiting today. The exhibit delivers on its promise of The Biggest, Smallest, and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time, providing great material to illustrate. The graphics will be stylistically consistent with those I previously created for the Calacademy and will again be featured on apparel and merchandise throughout the museum’s three retail stores.

Happy holidays to all!


Filed under: Updates, Events, News, Info, Interviews — mbartalos @ 11:46 pm

August 4, 2009

Long View on Vacation

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The Long View blog returns next week from summer vacation. In the meanwhile, Antarctica is never far from mind. We sighted a penguin today on our road trip, a fascinating species we dubbed Legonicus legoliae. An entertaining variety, but not
nearly as active as the CalAcademy’s African Penguins.


Filed under: Updates, Events, News, Info, Interviews — mbartalos @ 11:10 pm

June 28, 2009

Antarctic Sun Interview

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Learn more about the Long View Project in my post-Ice Q & A with The Antarctic Sun,
the official online news site for the United States Antarctic Program. The site provides
news articles and features about polar science and life in Antarctica, and is edited by
Peter Rejcek who conducted the interview.


Filed under: Process,Updates, Events, News, Info, Interviews — mbartalos @ 10:24 am

December 15, 2008

Introduction

HMS Endurance photographed by Frank Hurley, February 1915.
HMS Endurance photographed by Frank Hurley, February 1915.

Greetings and welcome to The Long View Project blog. My name is Michael Bartalos and I’m pleased to be designated the Academy’s first Affiliated Artist. I’ll soon be on my way to Antarctica on an exciting project at the crossroads of art and science, and you’re invited to follow along.

My ultimate objective is to create a very long piece of sculptural artwork using recycled materials from polar research facilities in order to raise international awareness of resource conservation and eco-preservation practices in Antarctica, and by extension, to promote and inspire sustainability worldwide. In the process, I expect to learn a whole lot about environmental issues, scientists’ lives on the ice, the history of polar exploration, and creativity’s role on the southern continent. I look forward to sharing my discoveries with you here through text, photos, artwork, videos, fun factoids, and perhaps even tales of spine-tingling adventure. (My two young sons are counting on it!)

My project, fully titled The Art of Recycling in Antarctica : The Long View, is supported by an Antarctic Artist’s and Writer’s Program grant from the National Science Foundation. This award allows me to access the U.S. Antarctic Program’s waste management system throughout January to collect recyclable material specific to research conducted at McMurdo Station, South Pole Station, and a Dry Valleys field camp (most likely Lake Hoare).

The completed artwork (to be assembled back in San Francisco) will consist of 100 individual sculptural vignettes hinged to one another for display as a continuous, free-standing accordion-fold book structure. With this conspicuously lengthy form, I’ll be drawing analogies to taking “the long view” in regards to worldwide environmental consciousness as exemplified by the stringent recycling practices in Antarctica.

The project is inspired by the environmental mandates of the Antarctic Conservation Act and its principles. In an act of exceptional recycling, nearly all the refuse generated by the U.S. Antarctic Program is periodically removed from the continent. I’ll be looking for a variety of usable material representative of the 3.64 million pounds of solid waste generated by McMurdo and South Pole Stations, and I’ll be referring to Antarctic waste management data to conceptually structure my compositions and determine the relative amounts of each material to include.

Aurora Australis front cover and title page, 1908. Edited by Ernest Shackleton, illustrated by George Marston.

Aurora Australis front cover and title page, 1908.
 Edited by Ernest Shackleton, illustrated by George Marston.

Why 100 vignettes? The number is significant to the project in three ways. As I mentioned, the U.S. ships nearly 100% of its refuse off the southern continent. Secondly, the number commemorates the centenary of an early instance of polar recycling. In 1908, Ernest Shackleton fashioned wooden covers from provision crates to bind numerous copies of Aurora Australis, the first book ever published in Antarctica. (This is a fascinating story — look for a separate post on this shortly.) In an homage to this legacy, each of my 100 vignettes will symbolically correspond to each year passed since Shackleton’s example of innovation and resourcefulness. Thirdly, the number represents a coming century (at least) of sustainability. Hence the title The Long View.

By using material unique to each of the three research station’s fields of study, the vignettes will differentiate to form a comprehensive picture of each. For example, I expect to find more recyclables relating to biological and oceanographic fields of study at McMurdo, while South Pole will be heavier in astrophysics and geomagnetism.

These reclaimed elements will be the centerpiece of each artwork. I’ll supplement these compositions with my own drawings, materials, forms, colors, textures, and pigments in order to create a uniquely Antarctic ‘portrait.’ To this end, I’ll also use my time at McMurdo, South Pole and the Dry Valleys to sketch, photograph, and otherwise document the technologies and practices of Antarctic researchers more extensively than could otherwise be possible. Contact with scientists in the field is valuable to my inquiry. I hope to converse with them, take notes, and join excursions if possible, which will all feed into the artwork’s imagery — and consequently, into this blog.

Here’s the anticipated timeline: From December 15 through 25, I’ll be in Singapore with family; then off on my own to Christchurch, New Zealand where the U.S. Antarctic Program will outfit me with ECW (Extreme Cold Weather) gear. On December 30, it’s on to Antarctica to collect cool stuff to make art with. Then back to Christchurch on January 23 to surrender the ECW, and on to San Francisco on January 28 to build the Long View artwork in the coming months.

The entire process will be documented online here exclusively, so please visit often. I’ll also be posting information about upcoming presentations and workshops at colleges, art venues, K-12 youth arts programs and, of course, the California Academy of Sciences. Much gratitude to the Academy for its enthusiastic support of my work and the opportunity to share it with a broad, diverse audience. For me, this project promises to be the learning and creative experience of a lifetime. Thanks for tuning in.



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