About the Artist

Christopher Atkins: Christopher is a photographer whose is interested in how cities and near-rural landscapes (parks and forest preserves) are altered by seasonal events, observed through the simple acts of walking and looking. This past summer, Christopher returned from Mallard Island and the Oberholtzer Foundation with fresh new perspectives for photographing the landscape. His works in Guess Ready Review are his newest experiments with natural forms and semi-transparent materials that were inspired by the Constructivist concept of faktura and De Stijl aesthetics. During walks in his Minneapolis neighborhood and his Illinois hometown, Christopher became more interested in constructing and composing photographic studies in which artificially colored plates were carefully placed in order to better emphasize organic textures and the sharp geometry of manufactured surfaces.

Laura Bigger: Laura’s work examines how humans can live in the world responsibly. It addresses humanity’s relationship to ecosystems, food, and domesticated or engineered animals. Increasingly, it also actively works toward balancing these relationships, whether by pictorially depicting an ideal or more practically facilitating an experience within an art context that can be applied to daily living. For instance, “Mallard Menu” has applicable utility relevant to the concept of surviving on a minute island. It relates to humans navigating nature and being among a particular food chain.

Kate Casanova: Kate was named one of City Pages Artists of the Year in 2012 for work in which “cultural separations between object and flesh (whether animal, insect, vegetable), idea and inspiration exist to be reconfigured into, as she’s said, ‘poetic moments’ that unveil the taboo. Kate’s work draws from such conventions as the curiosity cabinet, the expedition, the nature book and the natural history museum for inspiration. “I work with both material and living organisms to create visual experiences in which sensation trumps language,” she says, “to create poetic moments that examine our human relationship to the natural world.”

Daniel Dean: Daniel often instigates collaborative projects that address site-specificity, spatial relationships, and our engagement with media and technology. He produces sculpture, video, and public art projects that challenge expectations while reimagining value and exchange systems, personal experience, participation, and our relationship to things. He has exhibited his work at: the Weisman Museum, Minneapolis; The Soap Factory, Minneapolis; The Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC; Nathan Cummings Foundation, NYC; The World Bank, DC; NGBK, Berlin. Daniel has an MFA in Experimental and Media Art from the University of Minnesota.

John Fleischer: John is often drawn to forms encountered at a threshold or transition. From the ordinary doorstop to the metaphorically rich gatekeeper in Kafka’s parable, Before the Law, these forms enable or interrupt movement across a threshold and often provide information about what lies beyond. Japanese House lies on the far west end of Mallard Island, somewhat isolated from the central structures on the island. The path to Japanese House weaves through constellations of trees and over bits of rocky terrain before arriving at a short bridge. At the foot of this bridge rests a curious, grapefruit-sized stone wrapped in rope. Although John had never before seen a form like this, he immediately understood its function. He understood he could simply place this stone in the center of the path and its presence would indicate a request for privacy to anyone approaching. John later found that these stones are called tomeishi and are often used in Japanese gardens.

Will Hutchinson: Will is a singer/songwriter from Lincoln, Nebraska. He is heavily influenced by nature. While on Mallard Island, Will spent a majority of his time working on songwriting, poetry, and keeping a daily record of his interactions with the great outdoors and the other artists on the island. In 2013 Will was an awarded, finalist, in the International John Lennon Songwriting Competition for his song, “St. Croix.” This piece is on his most recent album, “Goldfish Diaries.” He will have a limited number of albums available for sale during Guess Ready Review. During the March 8 opening reception for Guess Ready Review, Will be performing new songs and prose inspired by his stay on Mallard Island.

John Kim: John is a new media artist and theorist. He has exhibited interactive works in galleries and festivals around the world, including Mass MOCA, Dia Center for the Arts, and Northern Spark. His writing has been published widely in journals and other print publications. Recently John has been preoccupied with site-specific media art in both his art making and writing, and how virtual projection can bring attention to the materiality of a site. John’s Guess Ready Review sculpture, “Uneasy Dreams of Civilization” is a reflection on pirate utopias. Three model boats, each named after island utopias, “Libertatia,” “Utopia,” and “Mallard Island,” communicate with each other across the gallery space via light and constitute nodes in an autonomous information network. Together, the ships are a romantic dream of freedom from repression and political control. 

Chris Koza: Chris is a composer and performer living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The works created for the Guess Ready Review exhibition reflect a rejection of the urban for the rural. Among other things, Humans measure height, length, width, weight, and time. Music is not separate from these classifications, but in the wilderness, these units of measurement are freed from their technical meaning and allowed to become an emotional co-inhabitant of their surroundings.

Ben Moren: Ben’s current work stems from his long-standing love of technology and filmmaking. His goals are to find new and interesting ways to combine these loves to yield unexpected results that he can use to stimulate his projects. Following Jean Baudrillard, he refers to the disappearance of separation as hyper-reality. Ben’s continued research of the hyper-real has lead him to create mixed reality, pervasive gaming, and new aesthetic projects. He has recently become interested in the human/digital divide and its ever-evaporating separation. These worlds are constantly clashing and blending together around him and continue to make their way into his work.

Stefanie Motta: Stefanie’s art practice stems from a fascination with the metaphysical world—with what lies beyond our immediate experience of reality. Incorporating a study of astrology, divination tools, the intuitive arts, and meditative states with traditional and experimental photographic techniques, she hopes to inspire a reverence for the mystery hidden in everyday phenomena.