It’s that time of year again! Artomatic is coming up soon! Wait what? Didn’t we just do this last year? It’s hard to believe but it’s true. DC’s mammoth do-it-your-way art event is with us again and far earlier than expected. At last year’s Artomatic, 500 or so artists graced a run down office building in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. This year, 1000 artists are taking over a not-yet-used office building in NE DC right next to the New York Ave Redline Metro stop. And yes, that’s 1,000, 1k, one thousand artists – twice as many as last year. And, unlike last year’s rat-maze (which was fun, but not conducive to finding art), the spaces are much more wide open and visible
Obviously, if I’m posting about it here I must have some interest in it, and I do. Not only am I showing, but my wife Paivi will be there as well. This will be her first art show of any kind and she’ll have some pretty damn cool photographs on display that she put together just for Artomatic. Angela and she (intentionally) grabbed spaces next to each other and are both across from my own space on the 8th floor (come see us!). Angela will be showing (unless she changes her mind) a collection of her more surreal, dreamlike photographs. I’m really a big fan of those and am looking forward to seeing them at the show.
As for myself, Artomatic did approach me to ask about another Second Life installation, but – as much as I would like to – my job/habitation situation (maybe more on that later) is really preventing me from investing a lot of time elsewhere for long periods of time. But, as sad as that might be, it leaves me free to do something a little different.
Over the past year, my friendship with Angela and Paivi’s newfound love for old, cool cameras (and her subsequent lusty relationship with photography in general) has resulted in a complete alteration in my approach to art. Rather than drawing, I’ve taken up the banner of the camera as well (as should be obvious from this blog and my flickr stream).
But there’s more to it than that. I enjoy a lot about photography in and of itself – I get a great deal of personal satisfaction from it – but unfortunately, it will never be “my art”. As an artdc-er not-so-nicely pointed out (I’m looking at you starvingartistdc!), most of what I’ve done in the art the past few years (installations and Second Life excepted) hasn’t been….art. Instead, I’ve considered almost everything I’ve done since my return to doing creative things for fun (specifically the Joy Division piece in Chicago circa 2001) to be technical training. In order to be able to express myself, I couldn’t be getting hung up on details of execution. It would distract me too much. I can recall very few instances where I’ve set out to create art for art’s sake for a long time.
Recently, however (and getting back to the point), I’ve felt like I’ve reached a stage where I can -start- looking again at the art of the work. I’m in a place where I might be able to combine the expressiveness of my teenage years with the technical restraint and maturity I’ve gained since Chicago. I’m not saying I’m any good or you will like my work, only that the mental and emotional viewpoint I maintain on my own work has changed.
This is the opportunity that Artomatic presents to me this year and which I hope to take advantage of.
Everyone, come to check out my new work and see the rest of the great art this year at Artomatic.
It’ll be a circus! Come, have fun!
—–Updated Mon, 04/21/2008 – 10:49pm
For immediate release: March 19, 2008
Up to 1,000 artists and 50,000 visitors expected in D.C.’s most exciting new neighborhood
The NoMa (north of Massachusetts Avenue) Business Improvement District (BID) will host this year’s Artomatic, the Washington, D.C. area’s homegrown art extravaganza. From May 9 through June 15, 2008, up to 1,000 local and regional artists will exhibit their works on eight floors of the Capitol Plaza 1 building, located at 1st and M Streets, N.E., just one block from the New York Avenue Metro station.
Held regularly since 1999, Artomatic transforms an unfinished indoor space into an exciting and incredibly diverse arts event that is free and open to the public. In addition to displays and sales by hundreds of artists, the event features free musical, dance, and theater performances; holiday celebrations; films; educational presentations; and much more.
This year’s Artomatic, occupying 200,000 square feet at Capitol Plaza 1, will be the largest to date. Designed by renowned architect Shalom Baranes and owned by an affiliate of The Polinger Company, Capitol Plaza 1 offers 293,000 rentable square feet of Class A office space, with dramatic Capitol and city views from the upper floors.
“We are thrilled to partner with Artomatic in an event that will bring tens of thousands of people to NoMa,” said Elizabeth Price, president of the NoMa BID. “It is a great opportunity to showcase the transformation that is underway in NoMa and infuse it with the energy and creativity of the artistic community.”
“Artomatic has come back to its roots in D.C. with our largest event ever,” said George Koch, Chair of Artomatic. “We are excited about our partnership with the NoMa BID and their help in bringing this new space to our attention. Artomatic 2008 will have an abundance of exhibit and performance space that will be open to all — from recognized artists to undiscovered talents.”
About the NoMa BID:
NoMa is an emerging mixed-use neighborhood north of the U.S. Capitol and Union Station in Washington, D.C. Private developers have invested almost $2 billion in 2007–2008 alone, with plans to develop more than 20 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space in the 35-block area covered by the NoMa BID over the next 10 years. For more information about the BID, including an interactive development map, see the BID Web site at www.nomabid.org.