• Kim Nguyen

    A curator and writer based in San Francisco, where she is Curator and Head of Programs at the CCA Wattis Institute. Nguyen was formerly Director/Curator of Artspeak from 2011-2016. Her writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues and periodicals nationally and internationally, with recent texts in catalogues published by Pied-à-Terre (San Francisco), Gluck 50/Mousse (Milan), and the Herning Museum of Art (Denmark). Nguyen is the recipient of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Emerging Curators in Contemporary Canadian Art and the 2016 Joan Lowndes Award from the Canada Council for the Arts for excellence in critical and curatorial writing.

  • Lisa Radon

    Lisa Radon has made some books including Infinity Increaser (PICA, 2015), The Plumb and The Wave (Pied-à-terre, 2014), Prototyping Eutopias (2013), An Attempt at Exhausting a Place (2013), The Book of Knots (c_L, 2013), A Reading (PICA, 2012), and Sentences on Sentences on Paragraphs on Paragraphs (Publication Studio, 2011). She recently made solo exhibitions at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and at Pied-à-terre in San Francisco, gave a reading at CCA Wattis Institute, and made work for the Riso Book Portland (Colpa Press, San Francisco) and Ruler #3 (Ruler, Helsinki). She publishes the journal EIGHTS. Radon was born in Carmel Valley, California on 4 5 66. She lives in Portland, Oregon.


[ ]

September 12–October 31, 2015

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Artspeak - Lisa Radon

Another possibility?—the experimental feminine shaping history conceived not as fateful adumbration, but as dynamic coastline where past and present meet in the transformative rim of our recombinatory poesis. … Experiments in every discipline are born out of the unanswered questions, the unfulfilled improbabilities of the past, but also out of the radically unintelligible nature of the contemporary.
Joan Retallack

The mathematics itself suggest a movement in which everything, in which any particular element of space may have a field which unfolds into the whole and the whole enfolds into it. So you have this movement, and I call this the implicate or enfolded order which unfolds into the explicate order where everything is separate. Now [in] the implicate order, everything is internally related to everything. Everything contains everything. David Bohm

“The lever that has fallen through a crack in time.” This is how retired construction worker Wallace “Wally” Wallington describes his “logo” on his website,, which is an animated gif he means to illuminate “how the ancient wonders [pyramids, &c] were constructed.”

With common materials—2x4s, buckets of concrete, scraps of lumber—Wallington constructs simple machines—the beam levers, counterweights, twin pivots, and shims—to transport and raise enormous blocks of concrete comparable in scale to the megaliths at Stonehenge. He documents his researches on a DVD for sale ($17.95/free shipping) on his website.

The word concrete is derived from the Latin concrētus, past participle of concrēscĕre to grow together.

Stonehenge, specifically the great trilithon, the encompassing horseshoe arrangement of the five central trilithons, the heel stone, and the embanked avenue, are aligned to the sunset of the winter solstice and the opposing sunrise of the summer solstice. Construction was begun on the earliest circular bank and ditch enclosure around 3100 BCE; the last construction or modification took place around 1600 BCE. One wonders how long it took for the forgetting, for the Neolithic astronomical machine to become a mystery. William Stukeley’s 1720 drawing of the site, identifying its axis aligning with summer solstice sunrise, was a revelation in its time. Two hundred and forty years later, Gerald Hawkins used the Harvard-Smithsonian IBM computer to analyze 165 significant features of the site, checking every alignment between them against every rising and setting point for the sun, moon, planets, and bright stars in the positions they would have been in 1500 BCE. He found dozens.

The matter of alignment. The alignment of matter. Machines and tools. And what we forgot.

Consider the square bracket and its functions. Brackets as a tool to insert comment, explication, or correction into. Bracketing off as setting aside some subset for the moment to focus on a specific aspect of the whole. Bracketing off as sidelining such that recovery is in order. The square bracket embracing the ellipsis is the void. But also, it is related to the rhizomatic promise of the bibliography, digitized. This is the wormhole and the romance. See also: brackets as protectors. [“Shields up.”] Two little hands cradling the between. The subtext of soft brackets or parentheses as a whisper and a promise. Little moons. The square bracket as a butch version of the crone. As coastline. As standing stone. As sentinel.

Traces of water in the rock, traces of rock in the water.

Foraminifera (Latin, hole bearers) are a phylum (or class) of amoeboid marine protozoa (of over 10,000 species both living and fossilized), characterized by reticulating pseudopodia, with streaming granular ectoplasm and a minute perforated test or shell comprising one or more chambers. The tests of these rhizopodous forams, constructed of calcium carbonate or agglutinated sediment particles, are quite baroque, various, and arresting in form. Tiny holey stars, bone pillows, the tests accumulate to form thick calcareous deposits on the ocean floor that fossilize to form the basis of chalk or limestone.

Sediment, the settling, the trace of this moment, is soon buried by more sediment, and disappears.

Humans have only fairly recently become good at communicating with future humans; thus forgettings and subsequent mysteries.

Consider the tree throw, that hollow left behind when a great tree blows over, roots and all. The mineral-rich soil revealed. Consider that which accumulates there—rain, leaves, fur, scat—and what this accumulation facilitates, not the least of which is a welcoming moment for the decomposers, the end and beginning of things.

“Are you an electrician?”
“In a manner of speaking.”

It is a knot, this, which is to say a tangle pulled tight. Or rather it is a knot of knots of loops of lines, this array of autonomous objects. As a knot, it could be plucked apart, loop by loop, given care and time and patience. The question at hand is whether it is more interesting to pluck its lines apart and lay them straight or to allow oneself to idly run one’s fingertips over its labyrinth.

Touch matters.

Matter matters: white oak, live oak, achillea millefolium, rosmarinus officinalis, and incidences of the Monterey Formation, which is to say calcareous, phosphatic, and siliceous fine-grained sedimentary rocks.

Circumstances matter, stances round the outer edge. Begun, for example, under the new moon, again, again, this was completed under the second full moon in August. The entire enterprise was preceded and grounded in a dance around a center on Mt. Tamalpais, the mountain called “the right eye of the world.” Circumstances? Breath. So much touching. The waters. The sun on skin. Passiflora, cistus, and the accidental fermentation. The yearling compost that amended the bed for the rose geraniums and the failed gourd. The heron and the return of the hawk children. The thinnest threads of white stone. The improvised hair loom. Arms coated in blond sawdust, gypsum dust blanketing everything. The taste of gypsum.

Objects accumulate. They keep secrets. They do works.

On August 13 the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft documented Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko passing through perihelion. As 67P approached the sun the increasing solar radiation heated up the nucleus causing its frozen ices to escape as gas. These gases and the dust particles that they drag along create 67P’s coma or atmosphere and tail. What we see of the comet is evidence of its coming undone.

Postscript 64: Cindy Mochizuki on Lisa Radon



Talks & Events

  • Reading

    October 17, 2015

    Please join us on Saturday, October 17, at 2pm for a reading by Lisa Radon as part of her exhibition, [ ], which runs until October 31.


  • Blind Remembrance of the Swirling Bone


    Title: Blind Remembrance of the Swirling Bone
    Category: Poetry
    Artist: Lisa Radon
    Writer: Lisa Radon
    Design: Lisa Radon
    Printer: Yale Union
    Year Published: 2015
    Edition: 88
    Pages: 46pp
    Cover: Paper
    Binding: Smyth sewn and perfect bound
    Process: Digital and letterpress
    Dimensions: 12.7cm x 17.78 cm
    Weight: 95 g
    Cost: $20
    Sold out

    Published on the occasion of the exhibition [ ] at Artspeak and The Condition of the Waters at Ditch Projects.

    Supported by the Oregon Arts Commission and The Ford Family Foundation.