POINT A, POINT B, POINT C
In “How Long is the Coast of Britain”, one of Benoit Mandelbrot’s first papers on the subject of fractal geometry, the author explores the coastline paradox; the notion that the length of a coastline depends on the method and accuracy of the tool used to measure it. Point A, Point B, Point C consists of two iterations of a larger project interested in locating three places in Pittsburgh where from each the other two are visible. Informed by the coastline paradox, fractal geometry and the philosophical writing of Timothy Morton, these installations metaphorically address the potentially infinite nature of measurement in relation to the experience of place and the task of locating the aforementioned viewpoints. The first iteration consists of three viewfinders designed to be installed at each viewpoint, and a pamphlet 36 addressing the conceptual development of the project. The second takes the form of a triangular video feedback loop. Modeled after the Sierpinski triangle, a fractal that subdivides recursively into ever-smaller equilateral triangles, the feedback loop’s video content was collected during the search for these places.
SEARCHING FOR THE SUBLIME
A one month community art project in Homer Alaska, exploring narratives concerning romantic notions of individualism, epic adventure, and the search for self within the sublime limitlessness of nature, anchored around the act of building an ephemeral clay house on Bishop's Beach.
Over the month of may Jimmy Riordan, Michael Gerace and Jesus Landin Torrez III engaged the Homer community through interviews and the collective design, building and firing of a clay cenotaph, serving as a catalyst for a discussion of the sublime and alternative forms of building and living.
Now deep in the process of sorting through the resulting images, ephemera, video and audio, the Search For the Sublime hopes to continue next year in the form of a radio show on local Homer station KBBI.
Photograph Credit: Jesus Landin Torrez III and Michael Gerace
Riordan organized this cross-disciplinary conversation on the subject of language and translation. Journalist Kathleen McCoy moderates four panelists include historian and translator Alice Rearden, Eyak language specialist Guillame LeDuey, Community Coordinator for the Eyak Language Project Barb Sappah and Riordan himself, speaking about translating Le Roman du Lièvre without knowing French. The musical group Pamyua contributes to the panel by exploring the topic through song. This conversation brought together people from diverse practices — from art to oral history and language preservation — to explore various interpretations and applications of translation and the fluidity of language.
LE ROMAN DU LIÈVRE - READINGS/MEALS
Since September 2014 Riordan has been touring his translation of Le Roman du Lièvre, reading from the text and annotating the story with insights about translation, the letterpress printing of the book and accounts of the project's history, which he is currently exploring through the creation of a multi-volume graphic novel. The readings begin with a casual discussion of letterpress and the sorting of lead type used in the printing process and concludes with the ceremonial melting of this monotype, resulting in a unique form. Many of these readings are accompanied by themed meals.
SEEKING THE SOURCE
Seeking the Source was a week long mapping expedition that took place from May 17 – 23, 2015 along the Chester Creek in Anchorage, Alaska. A residency of sorts, Seeking the Source focused on the Chester Creek, the Lanie Fleischer Chester Creek trail, and adjacent parks and neighborhoods. The eight crewmember mapped the trail, each in their own way, while also attending public gatherings with individuals with either cultural, historical or scientific expertise on the area. The crew also met with different individuals and groups that use the trail on a regular basis. The project was documented through an augmented reality guidebook and on the website www.chanshtnu.com.
SOCIAL OBJECT ORGANIC LINE
Is art a hyperobject? Can you practice philosophy through doing instead of writing? How can materialist philosophies contribute to social practice/social justice? How do aesthetics relate to causality? What does it mean to deanthropocentrize relation based artmaking? Social Object Organic Line was a series of public projects Riordan developed in collaboration with the Institute for American Art in Portland, ME. Made up of walking groups, workshops, screenings, and reading groups, each event explored a different caveat within the philosophy of new materialism, through art, phenomenology, science, participation, and critique.
Two installations at the Anchorage Museum, Points of Interest and 14,000 Feet were a part of the Museum's Polar Lab project and installed in the summer of 2015.
For 14,000 Feet (right) Riordan installed panoramic images of the view from the 14,000 foot basecamp latrine on Denali into some of the Museum's restroom stalls. The image was cropped from a larger photograph taken by Coley Gentzel.
Points of interest (bellow) was a series of six 3D printed viewfinders spread around the Museum's galleries at the time of the Anchorage Centennial. Each viewfinder was designed to direct the users vision towards a single point of interest (POI) outside of the Museum, in the Anchorage area, important to local Dena’ina Athabascan peoples. The viewfinders were accompanied by specific site information, instructions for use and a downloadable augmented reality app designed to assist users in visiting each POI.
LE ROMAN DU LIÈVRE - 1902/2008/2014
In 2008 Jimmy Riordan translated the poet Francis Jammes’ turn of the century novel Le Roman du Lièvre from French into English not knowing French. In June 2014, after over five years working around the text, he finally printed his translation.
With the help of the community at Zygote Press in Cleveland, OH, printing was approached through a participatory process modeled after the educational philosophy of Jacques Rancière’s Ignorant Schoolmaster.
The edition of 250 was set in mono-type and hand-printed on a Vandercook press. The cover was printed on paper hand made at the Morgan Conservatory specifically for the project. The finished book is sold bound or as an unbound manuscript.
In the fall of 2014 Riordan was informed that he had a huge tumor growing in his abdomen. The growths initial description was limited to a single measurement. Its longest dimension 20.5cm. Made up of experiments in a variety of mediums, including AR, video and sculpture, 20.5cm explores the body, trauma, mortality and the use of metaphor to imagine the internal as landscape.