Homeshop, Beijing

enthusiastic audience posing in front of the weather and smog report
enthusiastic audience posing in front of the weather and smog report

Location: Homeshop, Beijing, China
Date: June 7, 2012
Description: Two small stools, ink, watercolor, paper.

I set up in front of Homeshop a small arts and social space. I painted penguins taping them to the front of the building and giving them away to passing school children. I asked the children to let me take their pictures with their penguins.
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Kunming Markets


Location: Kunming City, Yunnan Province, Yong He Xing Market and Zhuan Xin Market
Date: August 7-8, 2012
Description: Sumi ink, watercolors, brushes, paper, painting sad penguins in popular fresh food markets.

I was selected by the curators to participate in Kunming Markets, a project bringing contemporary experimental art to fresh food markets. I spent two days painting in a smaller neighborhood market named Yong He Xing Market. This small covered market of family operated stalls has green grocers, butchers, dry goods, street food stalls, and cheap manufactured household goods. I made friends with the children who spend the day with their parents working at the market.

photo credit: orion martin
photo credit: orion martin

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sad penguin: ontographies

sad penguin ontographies
sad penguin ontographies

Location: Lijiang Studio, Lashihai, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Date: July 2012
Description: Improvised display of watercolor paintings on molding ecophilosophy articles on 8.5″ X 11″ printer paper. The paintings diagram the performance of “sad penguins” at Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History thinking through O0O.

remember the flies eating the watercolors.

i was painting O0O schemes on a some moldy pages of:
Morton, Timothy. “Here comes everything: The promise of object-oriented ontology.” Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences 19, no. 2 (2011): 163-190.


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the projects, portland


Location: The Projects, Portland, Oregon
Date: September 20, 2012
Description: Participatory sad penguin painting workshop, sumi ink, watercolor, paper, tape.

The Projects is an annual experimental narrative arts and comics festival in Portland Oregon emphasizing collaborative doing and making. sad penguins was invited to participate in 2012. sad penguins at the Projects took the form of a participatory sad penguin paint in. Previous performances included audience members painting penguins, but this was the first version that attempted to make the whole audience into participants. We had a big table and everyone piled around some folks painting only one penguin, while others painted for the entire couple of hours of the workshop.

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Ecopoetics, Berkeley 2013

photo credit: jen coleman
photo credit: jen coleman

Location: Ecopoetics Conference, University of California, Berkeley
Date: February 24, 2013
Description: Participatory sad penguin painting at an academic panel, sumi ink , small paper cups, paper.

On a panel at the 2013 Ecopoetics conference, I proposed to start the session with participatory sad penguin painting. The conference panel session titled, “Ecopoetics, Object Relations, and Object-Oriented Ontology” included presentations from Anthony Camara, Julia Fiedorczuk, Devin King, Sarah Lewison, Eileen Myles, and Tze-Yin Teo. We, the presenters and the listeners, began by all painting sad penguins together for my fifteen minutes. I invited everyone to continue painting throughout the panel. sad penguins tuned the talks.

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Online and mobile application prototype


Location: the internet and mobile phones
Date: Ongoing
Description: Online and mobile phone sad penguins application prototype, developed with UC Davis Computer Engineering students, Zachery Ennenga, Connie Nguyen, and Arie Knyazev. Special thanks to Professor Devanbu.

click here for painting sad penguins online app prototype

In Spring 2013 I contacted Professor Prem Devanbu in Computer Science about finding collaborators to make a sad penguins app. The following fall quarter, he suggested to his senior design class that a team take the project on. Arie, Connie, and Zach worked tirelessly winter and spring quarters. Our collaborative poster of the project pictured here was selected to hang in engineering building.

Davis, California

Sad Penguins UC Davis November 2014
(Watch here, it looks better)

Location: In front of Memorial Union, University of California, Davis
Date: November 20, 2014
Description: Three hours sad penguin painting, sumi ink , oak gall ink (made from on campus galls) watercolor, paper, milk crate, cardboard, digital camera, sound recordings of ice floes and penguins.

I set up in front of the UC Davis Memorial Union in the row of tables where student clubs and associations flyer and bake sell. I painted sad penguins and gave them to students. The video is edited from the first hour and twenty minutes. Subsequently, the camera ran out of battery and the sky with rain. The penguins and I took cover under the eves. I painted with both sumi and oak gall ink made by artist Kim Zitzow from galls gathered on UC Davis campus.

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