how hotbed happened

THIS SCRAPBOOK IS a compilation of "clippings" that reveal developing, refining, producing, installing and performing moments from HOTBED Miami 2010.

Go to each artist's clippings page at the links below for more details, and to play a film that captured the final 24 hours: an all-night build and one-day solo show at Fountain Art Fair.

(To see all 4 films together, click here.)

jessica laino clippings

limchoy lee clippings

jose felix perez clippings

sleeper clippings

Click the image and go to the HOTBED Miami Livestream Channel to see a selection of real-time webcam recordings of several 5-hour spans of the exhibition.


4 established artists of multiple disciplines each reviewed, critiqued, advised and challenged the HOTBED artists... conducted at the de la Cruz Collection library, sponsored by New World School of the Arts

THE 3-HOUR WORKSHOP is here excerpted with pointed moments of the discussion...


THE HOTBED ARTISTS PRESENTED THEIR IDEAS, responded to clarification questions... the mentor artists reviewed the presentation documents and visuals and came back to the table...

(see each artist's clippings page for visuals and concept descriptions)

Haden (to Laino): Yours is interaction without you, everybody else is kind of playing a role.

Laino: I kind of want the sculpture to represent my own presence.
Haden: Are you going to be somewhere else operating this? Because you're not really interacting, the machines and the technology is.
Laino: I thought about being part of the performance but I think I want the viewer and the objects to be more animated, they're the ones who are creating the performance. But, the thing I need to look into is, if I want to do it by remote, do it individually for the person, whether they know I'm there or not. Or a timer, or a sensor.

Haden: It would probably be simpler to do it remotely--
Laino: --to get exactly what I want.

Haden (to Perez): That's your main thing, painting, so are you going to have any of that?
Perez: No, I don't think so, no.
Haden: So you're totally leaving your normal work behind and doing something totally unfamiliar?
Perez: Kind of, but I don't feel like it's incredibly unfamiliar. As a child you kind of build these things, haphazardly. And that's kind of the nature of it, being a little haphazard but also being safe. Structurally sound but looking haphazard.
Haden: I like the idea you're jumping into something new, that's good.

Moreno (to lee): Although this piece is a critical statement, I'm not sure the people who are seeing you doing this aren't going to enjoy it.

lee: When I think about all these things, especially when it comes to women of color, it's such a thin line, it's almost invisible-- the idea they can say "This is my body, I do with it what I will," and then people thinking it's objectification.
Arjona: I know part of the idea came from doing the store window where you were working, which is a great thing because it's a personal experience, but now you're in a different space. The act of you pasting these advertisements, questioning identity, criticizing certain things, and then painting it with white in this very impeccable box...

I think there is a bit of a contradiction in what you wrote here and what form is exhibited afterwards. I cannot see how the gestures, the repetitive performance, connect to all of these situations here just by the fact that you're painting it with white at the end.
lee: I'm not painting over everything, it's certain parts that will be covered, and I'll put more advertisements up, and I'll cover certain parts of the image. Like at some point I'll be covering their faces and at some point I'll be covering their body parts if they are exposed.

Arjona: And then you're having this video that is also performers, that you're not covering. So I feel a detachment of certain things and a repetition that is maybe unnecessary.

I understand what you're trying to do with the piece, but I'd really think about the performance side of it. Of course I'm very passionate about the performance part, and I want to see that "thin line" you talk about, materializing. Also, this wall will be what is left behind, how are you going to transform this surface into saying something beyond what we're seeing on the video as it loops and loops and loops and loops. It would be interesting if you go deeper.

Moreno: You all have to do this performative event that engages the public. I think performing or not-performing is what, as artists, you still have in relation to other immaterial workers. Like, whoever makes websites, they have to perform. Whoever makes coffee at Starbucks, they have to perform. What the space of art still offers the possibility of, is saying "no". And it's not that you have to say no to doing this, it's that the possibility of "no" is a critical space from where you could question what this performative imperative they're imposing on you is-- and why you should play to it. That hasn't happened.

My other comment is this idea of having this massive infrastructure that you tap into-- the fans for instance, where you're tapping into the infrastructure of the city, of the fair, the habits of the fair-goers. And those posters-- behind each of the posters is a massive system that's producing them, a system that's creating capital, images.
And this goes throughout all of the ideas. You're using these super-abstract systems and you're producing these very figurative moments with them. There's a potential to speak to reality itself rather than a bracketed space where you make a figurative piece in relation to these infrastructures-- they're things you live with every day. And you're somehow shying away and producing these figurative moments.

Arjona: These are big concepts you guys are dealing with but the resolution is too, like, easy to get. There's no digesting what you're talking about, it's a fast situation. You're talking about very complex problems of identity and objectification but you're playing with the images we see all the time.

Haden: I like that, and what Gene's talking about, analyzing structures and systems. But then there's also just-- which is okay with me-- is that you're trying to introduce a sense of humor and be playful. There's something to be said by that too. You can try to be not so serious but still play with deeper ideas. Playful things are deep too.

Moreno: I don't think it's mutually exclusive the fact that you're funny and then you engage these larger webs or models.

Arjona (to sleeper): You mentioned these clothes were for Haiti, you're bringing something that's linked to a huge system but then the way it's executed it's not allowing the understanding of these invisible situations, which are very important to your work because you're picking those clothes for some reason. You picked those clothes, not whatever clothes in your house; there is a specificity. You can go deeper into certain things without leaving your project.

sleeper: You're saying that there's an opportunity to draw lines about where these materials are coming from and what significance they have, illustrating each of these different elements in the installation. To me the work is more of a contradiction of more serious topics than the material that's come out of them. Addressing these webs or drawing those lines, I'd be like trying to put them back together. I'm trying to more, displace them.

Moreno: I think it's a question of articulating invisible but very real things. Real material things with real, material consequences.


Stark: I would say definitely do this work for yourself, but keep in mind you guys are presenting at an art fair. There will be an audience of thousands of people and opinions and eyeballs, so if you just did it for yourself it would stay in your house all the time and no one would see it.


[ OCTOBER 17 ]

ON A SUNNY SUNDAY AFTERNOON each artist described their first thoughts about the kind of work that in just 6 weeks we'd film them install; here are snippets:

jose: "basically what I want to do is kind of a treehouse, but the problem is there's not really gonna be a tree in there..."

limchoy: "I know I want to deal with technology, probably something really interactive, and if a performance it would probably just be me..."

jessica: "I had three ideas I've been thinking about; I want to roof an entire room as if you're standing on the roof but it's being sucked in kind of like a black hole, or I was thinking about flocking the entire space, or, making a giant conveyer belt that would divide the space and speed up and slow down..."

sleeper: "I totally thought it was going to be outside, where, in my head, things that are performative and installation based are TALL, so if it's inside it would be a little more dark and intimate, more narrative..."

AND AT THAT POINT IN TIME knowing only the preliminary floor dimensions of the booth space, jessica said: "the biggest challenge might be to make something that would be flexible when we finally get in there and say, 'hmm, well now I'm going to change it a little bit'"

DURING THE NEXT 2 WEEKS the artists develop their ideas and email us a short description (see clippings links at page top)

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HOTBED Miami 2010
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