Proteoscope » Ami Yamasaki The Blog of Proteus Gowanus Thu, 12 Nov 2015 16:51:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Opening Reception Was Jammed Tue, 20 Sep 2011 18:28:51 +0000 Last weekend’s Migration year opening reception – and end-of-summer opening of Reanimation Library – was jammed.  Wall-to-wall people made it hard to view the work of our 15 contributors, as well as the many migration-related books and artifacts. So we hope you’ll return during regular gallery hours for a quiet study of what’s on hand.

Lado Pochkhua, Artist-In-Residence, opened the doors to his onsite project, The Anatomy of Georgian Melancholy, about his ten years in a settlement of Georgian refugees from Abkhazia. Many guests brought their own stories of refugee and immigrant life. Ami Yamasaki’s Voices-Feather Composition, after two weeks of ceaseless cutting and pasting, was complete and she inaugurated it with a brief sonic performance, starting with the sound of feathers and layering sound on top of it for a mesmerizing experience. She’ll give a full performance at Proteus on September 29. Very beautiful.

There were some last minute additions to the Migration show: Eymund Diegel created a new installation for the Hall of the Gowanus, glass cubes filled with unearthed local garbage. Trash maps tracing the migrations of our leavings will follow soon along with an event exploring the Gowanus neighborhood’s number one industry: garbage. Proteus project-in-residence The Museum of Matches contributed a declassified CIA document describing the construction of a tunnel from West to East Berlin during the Cold War. And Nene Humphrey lent us several of her embroideries of drawings of brain tissue, an ongoing project exploring the brain mechanisms underlying our most intense emotions.

We’ll have more to say in Proteoscope about the many artists and books on display as the weeks and months unfold. Your own thoughts and comments are welcome.

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Paper Feathers Thu, 15 Sep 2011 23:10:54 +0000 I am sitting in a room (different from the one you are in now), observing Ami Yamasaki attach hand-torn paper feathers along the walls according to the resonant frequencies of Proteus Gowanus.

Yamasaki orients the feathers to the acoustics of the space, which she tests by touching surfaces, tapping on pipes, whistling and trilling her voice like a whippoorwill.  She then maps out the flow of sound, bringing the waves we know in our bodies as vibration and tension, the things we hear and hear past, to the attention of our eyes.

Taking in this process, my senses tune to this space (listening now to my own breathing, to Yamasaki’s fingers smoothing down the paper ends), I am thinking of perception, of the relativity of qualities like fragility, and of what it might be like to be a snail.  How would it be to travel across these endless planes of still white waves?  What languages might I intuit traveling across Braille paper after a lifetime of moving over mud and leaves?

Shifting scale, and in human form again, I now begin to feel the room charged with the pulse of an animal presence, as if sitting in the coil of a huge, feathery dragon tail.  I imagine heat, and half-expect movement.

The paper feathers cannot be contained in one form, however, and they now take my thoughts outside where I can imagine them growing like ivy or crabgrass, up walls, around railings, and thriving, improbably, through cracks of an auto-body parking lot in Gowanus.

Now outside, my thoughts migrate over to the Lower East Side, to the Zipora Fried show at On Stellar Rays, where Fried’s monumental graphite drawings evoke a similar contrast of tranquility and turbulence.  Suspension of time paired with the elegant implication of motion (subtle to my human eye, catastrophic to a snail) ­— a head about to turn, a bird about to take flight.

Attentive once again to the artist-songbird atop her ladder perch, the labor of her body as she covers walls and bookcases and doorways with swirling patterns of whites, and I am here, at Proteus.  I am sitting in a room…


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