Notes on Looking occupies the format of a blog but fills that online space with the content of an intellectual journal. This project began as a personal exploration of the Los Angeles art community and of Los Angeles itself, through my eyes and coming from the history that life has given me – as well, perhaps, as the history that I have created.
I am lucky and proud that in recent months several additional artists and writers have contributed their work to Notes, and with this new and growing team I assure you Notes on Looking shall continue to push at the boundaries of what is possible in the still new world of online journalism.
The writing in Notes on Looking emphasizes subjectivity but Notes replaces with intellectual and psychological curiosity the diaristic, self-referential maunderings of much online content. Each of the contributors to Notes on Looking produces her or his text, image or video-based content from the position of cultural producer. In this way, the discourse at Notes on Looking comes from within the practices of artists working in Los Angeles and internationally. Instead of being offered a puppet shadow theater of critical thinking, readers are invited into a living conversation.
In the eighteen months since its launch, the scope of activities at Notes on Looking has evolved. Notes has become a cultural force that finds many ways to spread its mission of support, inquiry, inclusiveness and adventure; for instance, beginning in July of 2010, David Richards and I have organized a number of artist retreats to the picturesque V6 Ranch in Parkfield, California. Outward Bound for Artists hosts artists, organized in groups of five to ten people, on long weekends of exploration in the central portion of California; we relax around a fire and exist outside the institutional/academic/professional system of the city. In its first year, July 2010 – September 2011, twenty-six artists attended four retreats; they enjoyed heat and rain and temperate weather, a rushing stream, a salt water pool, fascinating conversation and bawdy jokes, visits to oil rigs, almond groves and a restored California mission. These weekends are grounding for city people, and they inspire a sense of community as well as an increased awareness of nature.
The recently published Parkfield Review #1 – 2010-2011 documents the experiences of these artists, each of whom contributed to this ‘artist book’ type project. This book may be viewed at and purchased from Blurb at Parkfield Review #1.
We take seriously our commitment to supporting and exploring art and culture. Notes on Looking is based in Los Angeles and we have contributors in Germany, in New York, and in a growing list of places where artists travel and work. The website, Notes on Looking, has become a database, an archive, for cultural activity in Los Angeles – if you search within our site you will find that someone on Notes has interviewed or written thoughtfully on the work of many Los Angeles artists. In addition to text, we have uploaded images that you cannot easily find anywhere else and hyperlinks to exhibitions, artists’ sites and further research.
One of my beliefs is that for information to have value, it must be free. I recognize the naivete of my statement, as well as its bold-faced idealism, but I stand by this as a practice.
Notes on Looking and the Parkfield Review have received generous financial support from Donna Gottlieb, Ann and Olin Barret and Marsha and Vern Bohr. During the course of 2012 we shall continue to seek financial support for the publication of Notes on Looking as well as to expand Outward Bound for Artists. If you know us at all, then you know that we shall crow from the treetops the name of each new supporter.
If you are interested in becoming a supporter, and having your name, business, or a favored charitable institution placed before the eyes of 4,000 creative and intelligent and sometimes wealthy readers each week (and growing!) – drop me a line. We are creative folk here and we will work to spread your word with integrity and with enthusiasm.
Geoff Tuck, the most trusted name in Los Angeles contemporary art.
Biographies of contributors
Ariane Vielmetter is an artist and writer based in Los Angeles. She received her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and will graduate with an MFA from CalArts in the spring of 2012. She has worked for Printed Matter, Inc. in New York City and is currently the studio manager for the Los Angeles-based artist Edgar Arceneaux. Her writing will be included in the next issue of Night Papers as well as the Parkfield Review. Her work has been shown at Night Gallery and the Torrance Art Museum, and will be included in an exhibition at Human Resources in the spring.
Carlyn Aguilar – Carlyn Aguilar grew up on the East side of Los Angeles as a 1st generation Mexican-American. After living abroad for 10 years in 5 different countries, she realized that LA was where she wanted to be more than anywhere else. Carlyn plays many different roles throughout her day: In the morning she works as a bilingual Speech and Language Pathologist for LA county and in the afternoon she is an art lover and writer. She also often collaborates on art projects with her artist husband Daniel Lara. Carlyn received her BA in English from UCLA, her MA in Postmodernism: Literature and Contemporary Culture from the University of London, and a postgraduate diploma from the London School of Journalism.
Carrie McILwain – coming soon
Geoff Tuck is the founder of Notes on Looking. He is an amateur, an autodidact and an aspiring polymath who who writes and makes art from a funny point of view. (‘Funny’ odd and personal, as well as ‘funny’ haha.) Geoff makes his home in Los Angeles.
James Krone is an artist and writer living in Berlin.
Jason Ramos is an artist, curator, and teacher. He maintains his painting practice at RAID Projects, where he serves as proprietor and Director. He is also the Assistant Curator of the Torrance Art Museum and part of ARTRA Curatorial. He has shown in group exhibitions nationally and internationally and was formerly represented by co-operative gallery initiative Durden and Ray.
Justin Thomas Schaefer – coming soon (until soon happens, please visit http://justinthomasschaefer.tumblr.com/ and http://www.midwayart.org/exhibitions/10_01_justin_schaefer/images.php and http://monument2gallery.com/site/index.php?/past/justin-thomas-schaefer/)
Lauren Mackler – Lauren Mackler is a curator and graphic designer based in Los Angeles. Originally from Paris and New York and with an MFA from RISD, she is the founder of Public Fiction. Public Fiction is both a space and a quarterly journal. The physical space, a storefront in Highland Park, gives a site to experiment with installations, performances and shows on a changing topic. The publication of the same name combines ephemera from these experiments with things that happened outside and around LA on the same subject.
Leila Hamidi is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. She worked closely with LA based conceptual artist Eugenia P. Butler whose practice involved large-scale collaborations and a curiosity for all disciplines. Leila has held positions with Taschen Books, the Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee and currently serves as the Project Assistant for Pacific Standard Time. Recent publications include a series of articles in X-TRA, a contemporary quarterly art journal. Leila is also a proud member of the LA Art Girls.
Lesley Moon is an artist and writer, born in Santa Monica, CA. Before studying Art and Comparative Literature at UCLA, she worked as a commercial photographer taking pictures and cataloguing Hollywood ephemera and rarities for an associate of Sotheby’s. In 2006 she co-founded Deixis, an occasional journal for intersections of art and text. She worked with artist Mateo Tannatt to produce 2008’s Boofthle Booth-Booth: Deux Doox – The Hollywood Biennial at the Pauline Gallery and recently was a part of New Atlantis Enterprises, a collective founded by Piero Golia dedicated to specialized research and production. In 2010, her public project, a large-scale photographic mural entitled The Golden Veil (Et in Arcadia…), was installed at the 7th and Fig Ernst & Young Marketplace in Downtown Los Angeles. Her solo project, Tortoise-On-Domino, opened at workspace in March 2011 and most recently she curated On Forgery with Andrew Berardini, the first group exhibition to be held at LAXART. She has exhibited at the Frederick Gallery, Five Thirty Three, Workspace, LAXART, Cirrus Gallery and See Line Gallery in West Hollywood, CA.
Michael Shaw – Michael Shaw is an L.A.-based artist, writer, and podcast host. He launched The Conversation: An Artist Podcast in November of 2011 with Geoff Tuck. He has a B.A. from U.C.L.A. and an M.F.A from Hunter College, C.U.N.Y.
Nancy Gamboa – is a Los Angeles based writer and mother of one. Born in Los Angeles Nancy grew up constantly on the move, living in and around Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, England and Peru. Nancy studied Fashion and Communications at Meredith College in North Carolina and received her BA in Political Science from UCLA.
Sheridan Brown – coming soon
For the moment, this “About” page will appear as the home page for Notes on Looking. I invite you to use the menu at the left to navigate throughout the site. Thanks very much for your patience.
On December 31 Geoff wrote:
I would alert you that a film by Adam Janes and a song by Brian Getnick, performed by Claire Cronin, are now available for your viewing and listening pleasure here, and in a new post titled “Reverence and quiet grandeur: Ariane Vielmetter writes of the floor” Vielmetter shares with us some thoughts on the work of Herakleitos, Julia Fish and Sylvia Plimack Mangold.
In their work, each of these four artists reveal a little something about their own practice as well as give us insight to working as an artist in the present moment. I urge you to click through.
There may be more before 2012 and at any rate you can be sure I’ll be thinking of you.