“Eight Layers of Dirt” Installation

Eight Layers of Dirt

James Jack

4 channel stereo sound installation

Variable dimensions

2016

_dsc1555

_dsc1404

_dsc1560

Dirt is a part of us. Just as our body is composed of cells, organs and systems—so too is the earth. This fragile earth supports our life, yet we often separate ourselves from it. Art provides one method for healing our fractured relationship with the land we inhabit. It gives us a glimpse into the layers of earth, where the possibility to rediscover ourselves inside the beautiful dirt exists. This work is composed of interviews with eight women, four of whom live in Fukuoka and four who live in Yame. The artist spoke with each of the women about their life stories, focusing on the complicated relationship they each have with the place they live. As these conversations unfold, the spirit of each place gradually comes into view from the ground up. The unique stories collected here provide a glimpse at the current layers of the land seen through the eyes of eight strong women.
Interview Participants:

ASATSUYU: Mari Kanazawa + Haruka Harashima

YAMAKAI: Satsumi Miyazono + Miki Matsunaga

SANMIDORI: Aiko Hara + Sayako Tachi

YABUKITA: Ayako Ohashi + Nami Kurita

 

YAME x FUKUOKA REMIX

October 2016

Organizer: Social Art Lab, Kyushu University

More info (Japanese): http://www.sal.design.kyushu-u.ac.jp/artmanagement.html

Photos by: Akiko Tominaga

 

「八つの土のレイヤー」

ジェームズ・ジャック

4チャネル ステレオサウンド・インスタレーション

サイズ可変

2016年
土は、私たちの一部です。私たちの身体は細胞、臓器、器官からできていますが、地球も同じようにさまざまなものによって構成されています。そんな危うい地球に私たちの生命は支えられているのです。もっとも、私たちはそのことを自分には無関係なことと思いがちですが。アートは、私たちが暮らしている土地と私たち自身の失われた関係を修復する一つの方法を提示してくれます。土地のさまざまなレイヤーを垣間見ることで、私たちは美しい土に囲まれていることを再発見することができるのです。

この作品は、8人の女性––福岡在住の4人と八女在住の4人––のインタビューで構成されています。アーティスは、それぞれの女性のライフストーリーを聞きながら、それぞれの女性の生と暮らした土地との複雑な関係に焦点をあてていきました。会話が進むにつれ、それぞれの土地のスピリットが少しずつ現れ出てきます。ここに集められたユニークなストーリーは、8人の強い女性の目を通して見えてくる、土地のもつ複雑なレイヤーを垣間見せてくれます。

“Small Islands with Big Visions,” roundtable at Sunset House

Place
Sunset House, Konoura, Shodo Island, Artwork No. 086
Date

Monday, October 10th, 13:30-15:30 pm
Participants
Michelle Lim (Curator and Art Historian, Singapore/U.S.)
Yoshitaka Mouri (Cultural Studies Scholar, Japan)
James Jack (Artist, Japan)

jj-sh3

This special event will reflect on art as it engages with society on two small islands: Singapore and Shōdo. What can art do for communities and the social realities of each island? This special event will reflect on the relationship of art activities in the wider social landscape. Current issues will be considered through artistic and scholarly perspectives while searching for alternative visions for today. Together with the opinions of local residents and visitors, creative visions will resound from Sunset House: The House as Language of Being.

small-islands-with-big-visions_map
For more info: [Japanese only]:

Stories of Khayaland Island Exhibit at Passages

Solo exhibition of walnut ink works on paper by James Jack

Passages Bookshop, Portland, Oregon.

August 5- September 17, 2016.

soki-passages0

 

Pulau Khayalan is an island rumored to have disappeared from the Singapore Harbor at the beginning of the 19th century. Stories of Khayalan is a collective attempt to rediscover the island, based on the stories of islanders in the Riau archipelago. During the search, fragments have come to light: a wood scrap from a fishing vessel, a light bulb covered with barnacles, a flat boat nail. Some appear to be artifacts, others tools, but most remain unidentified. To revive their places in the stories, imaginative methods must be utilized. For the current exhibition, the artist has made a special selection of original works on paper, executed in handmade walnut ink. These drawings are part of an active attempt to amplify multiple voices found within fragments from the past.

soki-passages2

http://www.passagesbookshop.com/the-gallery/current-exhibition/

 

Update: Exhibition extended to October 29th!

 

 

“Living Dirt” Symposium

The last dirt samples have been added to “Dirt Stage” today on the last day of the Water and Land Art Triennial in Niigata. After adding the last twelve samples to the grid, a symposium was held to discuss the meaning of this work and its process. It was an incredibly meaningful yet emotional day as we faced the last day of the three-month exhibition in Niigata. Many questions about the work emerged in the symposium together with guest Meruro Washida and artists James Jack, Yoshitaka Nanjo and Shotaro Yoshino at Base Camp.

The symposium titled “Living Dirt: Memory and Rebirth in This Place” was focused on questions that have arisen based on the activities of World Dirt Association. Core issues arose on the topic of the balance between collecting, moving and exhibiting dirt as well as the balance between earth and information. Specifically the focus of this discussion was on the background for this work, the collaboration which ensued as well as the methods for reconsidering our relationship to dirt. The problems of working with living materials was addressed while thinking about the distinctions between interior and exterior spaces.
Together with numerous volunteers in all stages of this project, we found new layers of dirt which lies beneath us. The life of dirt as a medium for other microorganisms, insects and plants was reflected on in the context of art as something that needs to be protected from ageing. This work deals directly with time, specifically mapping the passage of time with the addition of dirt samples into the grid. In a symmetrical structure the spontaneity of dirt samples sent from 115 sites over the past three months has brought together this artwork.

 

Dirt Stage opening

The World Dirt Association (James Jack, Yoshitaka Nanjo + Shotaro Yoshino) opened “Dirt Stage” to the public this past weekend at the Water and Land Art Festival 2015. Seventy-five samples have been collected from across the world focusing primarily on Japan with more than half of the samples from Niigata Prefecture. There was an enthusiastic response to the activities of WDA for the local connections as well as the global relevance of histories of dirt today.

 

As can be seen in these preview images, each sample has its own unique color, texture and history. By arranging them in a grid, WDA aims to open the possibility for reconsidering the relationship of one site with another. Furthermore the formal structure of the installation is contrasted with the contingency of each dirt sample and the site where it was collected.

 

 

An introduction to the activities of WDA is made in a video work shown at the entrance to the work, followed by the grid of soil samples currently in progress. When the grid has been completed there will be 133 samples indoors and 27 additional samples outdoors. Finally the pathway between the sample which forms the stage continues outdoors to a stunning view of the surrounding field and ocean.

 

This final view of the earth which is composed of earth will remain a mystery for those who visit the site. The exhibition is open until October 12th with free entrance to all so come visit to see the World Dirt Association’s new artwork in person.

Stack/File Group Exhibit

Guest Curator: Ana Torok

Artists: Tomie Arai, Ernst Benkert, Lucile Bertrand, Hovey Brock, Stephanie Brody-Lederman, Hedwig Brouckaert, Beth Caspar, Phillip Chen, Yvette Cohen, Grace DeGennaro, Karni Dorell, Pauline Galiana, Marietta Hoferer, Toine Horvers, Richard Howe, James Jack, Damon Kowarsky, Michael Kukla, Stephen Maine, Karen Helga Maurstig, Portia Munson, Florence Neal, Claudia Sbrissa, Matthew Thomas, Josette Urso

June 13 – July 26, 2015
Curator’s Talk: Saturday, June 13, 4pm
Reception: Saturday, June 13, 5 – 6pm

Exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

Stack / File is a dual-platformed curatorial experiment designed to re-create the agency inherent to the process of exploring the Kentler Flatfiles. The first platform, Stack, is a traditional selections show using the layered and stacked storage of the Flatfiles as a theoretical catalyst to explore issues relating to superimposition. The second platform, File, is an online, conceptual record of the curatorial process, including the chronology of significant events leading up to the opening and expanded considerations of each artwork in the exhibition.

Special website for the exhibit

Current exhibit Kentler website link

 

 

“Dirt Stage” in Niigata

A new artwork is being made by the World Dirt Association (James Jack, Yoshitaka Nanjo and Shotaro Yoshino) for the Land and Water Art Festival which will open in Niigata Prefecture during July 2015.

This artwork is being created through the collection, cataloging and display of 100+ dirt samples from across the world. The main goal of “Dirt Stage: 土の時間を育てる” artwork is to find creative ways of representing the life of dirt.

Please contact us if your are interested in sending a sample of dirt from where you live to become a part of this artwork which engages directly with the land we live on. For more information please see the Water and Land Art Festival website

 

”Khayalan Island” exhibition in Tokyo

Sample video clip showing boat and artifact from current exhibition of “Khayalan Island” at Tokyo University of the Arts Museum by James Jack

For more information please see the following website: http://dr-exhibition.geidai.ac.jp/summary/jamesjack/ (Japanese only)

Boat to Khayalan Island

100 Ideas on Tomorrow’s Island: What can art do for a better society?

Momoshima Art Base

September 13- October 26, 2014

100Ideas_lr

How can we find Khayalan Island today? This project starts by reviving stories of this island from the past that might otherwise disappear. Searching for clues to rediscover an island lost during the 19th century, a contemplative boat voyage was taken to Kashima. The view from this nearby island where people are extinct allows us to glimpse at the fragile existence of this island where we currently exist. This artwork is part of a multi-site search for material evidence of this lost island from the turbulent past.

Challenges abound in our everyday environment. This attempt to find Khayalan Island may be met with failure. How are we to create an imaginary vessel within the harsh social and ecological realities of today? Fortunately residents have drawn maps of this island with their expansive and creative minds in a workshop held earlier this year. If participants of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles work together to create a shared vision, travel to this imaginary island might become reality.

Boats in the harbor are fading into the seascape. The search for a vessel to ride on has begun. Recycled materials are collected in each village to build a boat capable of traveling to Khayalan Island. The process of building a boat with recycled parts from the community is intentionally exhibited here as parts are assembled one by one. This vessel composed of discarded materials points the way for rich stories from the past to be recomposed into a bright future.