Friday, November 20, 2009

Billboard at I-10 near 45 South exit

Interview with KUHF's Bob Stevenson on the program the Front Row

Listen to this two-part interview with Bob Stevenson from KUHF's program the "Front Row." The first part is a driving tour of the billboards with Bob Stevenson. The second part took place in KUHF's studio with composers Joel Love, Paul Wadle and music director Dr. Rob Smith. I commissioned two student composers to create a score for the billboards which were performed by The Aura Contemporary Ensemble. Once the "soundtracks" were made, I created two videos to accompany the music. This collaboration premiered at the ensemble's fall concert this past Monday.

Here's the link to the interview and music samplings--

http://app1.kuhf.org/houston_public_radio-news-display.php?articles_id=1258410147


Here's a segment from Houston's public radio station KUHF

Melissa Galvez from KUHF reported on Inbound:Houston this past Monday morning

http://app1.kuhf.org/houston_public_radio-news-display.php?articles_id=1258154376

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fox News interview

Check out this short segment that aired on Fox News the other night.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Map of billboard locations

Click the link below to get a map of locations!

Inbound: Houston's Podcast is finally available!!

Click below for directions on downloading the musical score composed for Inbound: Houston. You will also find directions on how to tour the billboards with the musical accompaniment!



North belt near Hardy Toll Rd exit

video

Monday, November 9, 2009

59 North at Mt Houston


Things have been super hectic.
Just did a little interview for KUHF (the NPR station down here) News which will air next Monday. I will be on the arts and culture program "The Front Row" next week as well.
This past weekend we worked on the video which will accompany the musical score for Inbound: Houston. For now, here's another billboard image.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

bumper sticker


I'm looking into making a bumper sticker of this image

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mention on KPRC's Bumper to Bumper blog

Jennifer Reyna of KPRC's Bumper to Bumper blog wrote a short piece on Inbound: Houston


http://www.click2houston.com/bumpertobumperblog/index.html

Rehearsals for recording session

A lot of notations were made during the rehearsal
Here are the members
Paul Wadle's score

I am collaborating with the University of Houston's Moores School of Music. Two graduate student composers have created original scores inspired by my billboard installation. The scores will be performed by Aura Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Professor Rob Smith. Yesterday I sat in on the rehearsal of Paul Wadle's piece titled "Exertion/Distortion". It was wonderful and thrilling. This evening there will be a recording session for both pieces, which will be available for download through KUHF's website. The two scores (the other composer is Joel Love) will also be performed by the ensemble at Moores Opera House with an accompanying video I am creating with the assistance of Grant MacManus, a graduate student also at the university. The concert will take place on November 16th.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Houston Chronicle story

Check out the story in the Houston Chronicle.

BAD WEATHER

The billboard unveiling will be postponed until tomorrow morning. There is word of a bad storm coming in. Big big bummer.

Will keep you posted. But the launch party at Diverseworks is still on for 6 o'clock tonight!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Inbound: Houston Media Alert

MEDIA ALERT

‘INBOUND: HOUSTON’ BILLBOARD UNVEILING

Major public outdoor art exhibition along Houston’s highways revealed on October 26

WHAT: University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts visiting artist Karyn Olivier is replacing 13 billboard ads along Houston’s freeways with life-sized photographic representations of what drivers would see if the advertising did not exist: sky, buildings, homes, trees and other elements of the environment. Olivier’s major public art project, “Inbound: Houston,” will reveal this new view of the city Oct. 26 through Nov. 22.

With Karyn Olivier’s assistance, CBS Outdoor will transform the 13 billboard ads across the city into artwork the morning of Monday, October 26.

BILLBOARD UNVEILING & INTERVIEW OPP

  • Photos of the unveiling of one of the 13 transformed billboards
  • Interview with artist Karyn Olivier
  • Interview with Nancy Zastudil, Associate Director of the UH Mitchell Center for the Arts

WHEN: Monday, October 26, 2009

10:00 AM Billboard Unveiling

WHERE: 11939 EastTex Freeway

For best view, park in parking lot of shopping center with T-Mobile store and Club Ritmo Latino

MORE: Presented by the UH Mitchell Center in collaboration with the Moores School of Music, Creative Capital, DiverseWorks and CBS Outdoor, “Inbound: Houston” will be located along Houston’s major freeways including eight points along U.S. Highway 59 (Southwest Freeway), one location along Interstate 10 at Wood St. (in between I-45 and Hwy 59), and four points along North Beltway 8.

Houstonians can celebrate the launch of this exciting project at a free kickoff party on October 26 at 6 p.m. at DiverseWorks (1117 E. Freeway). The event will feature an artist talk with Olivier and billboard viewings as well as live music and details of a special geo-caching scavenger hunt.

For more information, visit the Mitchell Center online at www.mitchellcenterforarts.org or Olivier’s blog at karynolivier.blogspot.com

ON-SITE CONTACTS:

Susan Elmore Jordan Oberthier

Cell: 713.702.4331 Cell: 903.240.5269

Friday, October 23, 2009

University of Houston News

There's a story on my project Inbound: Houston under Top Stories. See the link on the right

Houston Chronicle

Yesterday I did a phone interview with Houston Chronicle writer Douglas Britt. It was a fun interview and should go to press in Monday's paper. I think there will be an image too of one of the sites!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Earlier this evening I took part in Spacetaker's Artist SPEAKeasy via Skype (I'm teaching at Tyler in Philly and couldn't make it down to h-town). I took this from their website--it's an evening of artist networking where three artists present in an informal atmosphere their creative dialogs/talks/presentations about their work, followed by a question and answer period from which the audience can glean further insight into the artist and the artist’s aesthetic and creative process. Spacetaker is a Houston-based organization that provides artists and small non-profits access to economic, educational and networking opportunities. Check out their website!

Spacetaker's Artist SPEAKeasy

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Press Release

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                                                                                                                                                               Media Contact:  K.C. Scharnberg

                                                                                                                                                                                  Elmore Public Relations

                                                                                                                                                      713.524.0661 or kc@elmorepr.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

 ‘INBOUND: HOUSTON’ TO REDEFINE COMMUTERS’ VIEW OF CITY’S BILLBOARDS

Visiting artist Karyn Olivier replaces billboard ads with life-sized images of surrounding environment

 

HOUSTON, Texas (October 14, 2009) – Drivers on Houston’s freeways are used to seeing billboards promoting fashion, fast food, beverages and other items. Starting October 26, they will have a new view of the urban landscape that lies beyond the ads, courtesy of the University of Houston’s Mitchell Center for the Arts.

 

UH Mitchell Center visiting artist Karyn Olivier is replacing 13 billboard ads across Houston with life-sized photographic representations of what drivers would see if the advertising did not exist: sky, buildings, homes, trees and other elements of the environment.

 

Olivier’s major public art project, “Inbound: Houston,” will reveal this new view of the city

Oct. 26 through Nov. 22. Houstonians can celebrate the launch of this exciting project at a free kickoff party on October 26 at 6 p.m. at DiverseWorks (1117 E. Freeway). The event will feature an artist talk with Olivier and billboard viewings as well as live music and details of a special geo-caching scavenger hunt.

 

Presented by the Mitchell Center in collaboration with the Moores School of Music, Creative Capital, DiverseWorks and CBS Outdoor, “Inbound: Houston” will be located along Houston’s major freeways including six points along U.S. Highway 59 (Southwest Freeway), one location along Interstate 10 at Wood St. (in between I-45 and Hwy 59), three points along North Beltway 8 and two locations along Loop 610 North near Main Street.

 

“We are thrilled to present this wholly original event in Houston,” said Karen Farber, director of the Mitchell Center. “Karyn Olivier will bring a totally new experience to our daily trips on Houston’s freeways. What is invisible will become visible, and vice versa.”

 

According to Olivier, the project’s goal is to confront drivers with an “unsettling and uncanny” experience in which the replacement images suggest a different reality. Photos of the behind-the-billboard landscapes will vary considering they will be taken at different times of the day and during different weather and lighting conditions.

 

“I want to see how each change affects the way people understand the pictures when the landscape is no longer the same as it is in the image,” Olivier said.

 

“Inbound: Houston” is inspired by works such as Rene Margitte’s painting within a painting “The Human Condition” (1933) and Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ 1990 billboard piece detailing an empty bed (symbolic of the artist’s partner’s AIDS-related death). Olivier said it also uses concepts from literature such as Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” and Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities.” Both novels address false appearances and fabricated existence.

 

“Inbound: Houston” also spurred the Mitchell Center to commission a musical score from UH Moores School composers Paul Wadle and Joel Love.  A concert on November 16 at 7:30 p.m. by AURA, the Moores School of Music’s Contemporary Ensemble, will include the premiere performance of Wadle and Love’s compositions, featuring videos and photos of Olivier’s billboards. The concert will be made available as a Podcast on www.kuhf.org that can be listened to while driving past the “Inbound: Houston” billboards.

 

During her residency, Olivier will also work with UH students in the Mitchell Center Mentorships course to produce collaborative projects in the community.

 

For more details on “Inbound: Houston” or to track its progress, visit Olivier’s blog at karynolivier.blogspot.com or visit the Mitchell Center online at www.mitchellcenterforarts.org.

 

Photo by: dabfoto creative

High resolution photos available upon request

###

 

About the Mitchell Center

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston cultivates interdisciplinary collaboration in the performing, visual, and literary arts.  From its base at the University of Houston, the center offers public events, residencies, and curriculum that fuse artistic disciplines, ignite dialogue, and open doors to new ways of seeing and understanding the arts and the world around us. The Mitchell Center forms an alliance among five units at the University of Houston: The School of Art, Creative Writing Program, Moores School of Music, School of Theatre and Dance, and Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston.  For more information about the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston, visit www.mitchellcenterforarts.org.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

And here's what the billboard will look like on site..

Here's another billboard image

Here's what the billboard image will look like on site

Actual billboard Image

Billboard Photos

All of the images to be placed on the billboards were uploaded this past Wednesday to the printing company, Circle Graphics, based in Colorado.
Yesterday we saw the proofs (we needed to sign off on them before they begin printing thirteen 14ft x 48 ft vinyl images!) and they look great. Many thanks to Anthony Thompson Shumate, the image designer and photoshop extraordinaire who worked like crazy to prepare the images for print. Here are some of them...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

great little poem

I think that I shall never see a billboard lovely as a tree. Perhaps, unless the billboards fall, I'll never see a tree at all--Ogden Nash

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Two billboard images

Two sites on 59 South near Almeda

So here are mock-ups for two of the billboards that are just south of downtown. What exist behind the billboards is sky. When you emerge from under the Alabama Street overpass, these billboards immediately present themselves. They are across the freeway from each other and appear to be equidistant from the driver. I think I will use the same image of sky replicated on both billboards. I hope these images will speak very directly on our understanding and perception of artifice vs. veracity.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Creating photographic images

Just got back from a quick trip to Houston. I met with David Brown, a wonderful Houston-based photographer who will help shoot the images for the billboards.
We spent Friday/Saturday figuring out which vantage point to shoot the billboard images from. We spent most of the time making u turns around the freeway exists as we tested each lane. We tried to find the lane that would yield the most interesting landscape image.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Billlboard Locations


This billboard is at i-10 East and Wood. It currently has an ad for Cafe Adobe.

This billboard is next to 59S (Spur) and Jack. It currently has an ad for Hornitos Tequila on it.

Billlboard Locations


This billboard is at 59 North and Quitman. It currently has an ad for Jack's carpet.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Scouting Billboard sites

I just got back from Houston where I spent most of my time, driving around the freeways with Ana Kulak, a very sweet account executive at CBS Outdoor. We met on Thursday and tackled 59 North, the 610 loop, Beltway 8 and I-10. We made changes to the proposed list of sites and I am thrilled to say that I will have 13 billboards for Inbound: Houston.

The locations are varied--quite a few are within the 610 loop which is the busiest part of the freeway. I was also able to secure one near Diverseworks, which will host the launch party on October 26th.

Pictures soon

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just received a list of the billboard locations I will use from the CBS Outdoor folks. I'm traveling down next Thursday to check them out. I also need to figure out how to photograph some of the locations while driving! Hopefully there will be a lot of traffic so the pictures won't be blurry.

Friday, August 21, 2009

This is what my life is right now

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I've always loved this Magritte painting

Felix Gonzalez-Torres


When I came up with the idea for the billboards I started to think of works that had impacted me, potentially leading me to the creation of this project. I thought of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' "Untitled" billboard project in 1991. This was before I was an artist or even thinking about studying art. I was working as a manager at Bloomingdale's department store and every day on the walk to the DeKalb Ave train station in Brooklyn, I noticed this billboard. First I thought it was an ad for something—maybe it would change in a week. Some weeks later, I noticed it never changed; this was it. But, somehow, the slow unfolding of the work through repeated viewings over many weeks resonated with me and I began to understand and really "feel" the work. Eight years later when I began my art studies, his work was revealed to me through books, critical theory and museums--all necessary to my growth as an artist. But that initial exposure to Felix Gonzalez-Torres' work remains the most profound.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I took this photo a few years ago in Pittsburgh


It seems relevant somehow to my billboard project in Houston.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Billboard Project in Houston's Third Ward (2004)

With the help of a Houston Arts Alliance grant, I installed a billboard structure at the edge of Dupree Park, a park sponsored by Project Row Houses. I was thinking about the various roles a neighborhood billboard can play. Of course a billboard could and should advertise products and services desired by the community, but perhaps it could also just simply celebrate the people who share that community. For this public project, I casually photographed three frequent park goers. The photograph was taken at the site where the billboard structure was later installed.

Earlier projects that inspired Inbound: Houston

When I moved to Houston after graduate school, I immediately noticed the dizzying number of billboards and signs on the city's freeways. The billboards seemed to look and feel different than they did back home in New York City. Maybe the perpetual traffic and cluttered NY landscape forced you to feel the physical weight of those huge structures in a way I didn't have to experience in Houston. In Houston, I just whizzed by those signs, which seemed to be floating in the sky. For an exhibition in Victoria, Texas I decided to photograph isolated signs along the freeway with only the sky as backdrop. I wanted the signs to become characters, the varied sky in each photo hinting at a narrative. I back-mounted the photos onto 1/2 inch plexiglas to reinsert their three-dimensional properties.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Inbound: Houston Project Description

This public art project will engage the general public and everyday commuters on their drive to work. Photographs of whatever exists directly behind each billboard will take the place of an advertisement. In a way, the project will unknowingly invite the commuter to a game of chance. If the weather conditions do not match those captured on the billboard photos, the art will appear as an interesting statement: Ubiquitous advertising will be replaced with representations of sky, bushes, buildings—whatever it is that would be seen if the billboard wasn’t there. When conditions are such that the weather and light match the photos on the billboard, the experience will be more surreal—a blurring of the line between natural and unnatural, real and fake, art and commerce. How will the commuter react to this potentially uncanny experience? And will commuters who repeatedly travel the same freeways become re-sensitized to the advertisements that they see as a result of this experience? One interest I have is in reengaging commuters with their surroundings. The uniqueness of these images will reassert the presence of the billboard, asking the viewer to notice and pay attention once again to what’s being “advertised.”

Here's another example..

Some of my billboards will look like this...

Here you can see what billboard ads usually look like.

Inbound: Houston