Artists Residency Program at Camera Obscura Explores “Precious Plastic,” Bottle Weaving, Ocean Sonification and More

April 3, 2019

Artists Residency Program at Camera Obscura Explores “Precious Plastic,” Bottle Weaving, Ocean Sonification and More

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Sculptor Dahn Gim and composer Alex Wand are the latest pair of artists-in-residence at the Camera Obscura in Palisades Park. Their residencies will last fourteen weeks, from April 20 through July 17, 2019. The Camera Obscura Studio Residency program offers local artists temporary studio space and opportunity to share their work and process with the public. For more information about the Camera Obscura’s Artist Residency program, visit santamonica.gov/camera.

Dahn Gim is a sculptor/artist/curator who explores a wide range of media and technique to create her work, utilizing sound, video, textiles, drawing, digital prints, sculpture, and performance. Currently she is researching and exploring various materials that can replace animal leather such as gampi (paper) fiber, sausage casings and bacteria/yeast cultures, in preparation for creating her next body of work. For her residency project, she is archiving and transforming beach plastics into a series of sculptures, keeping this abundant material out of the waste stream, and highlighting both the problem of “forever waste,” and the overlooked utility of plastic as a resource. Riding with City beach cleanup crews on their tractors, she is gathering waste “at the source” and bringing her findings to the studio. For her Camera Obscura public events, she is leading a variety of craft activities utilizing recycled bottles, fabric/leather remnants and mechanisms to transform waste into usable materials. To learn more about Dahn Gim, visit www.cargocollective.com/dahngim.

Alex Wand is a Grammy Award-winning musician and composer based in Los Angeles. He performs as a solo artist and with the groups Desert Magic and The Partch Ensemble. He often collaborates with filmmakers, dancers, and coders to create music scores that utilize his interests in just intonation, sonification, folk music, and sound art. For his residency project, he is translating the visual data available from the Camera Obscura mechanism and the kinetic information from ocean waves into music. Both activities are part of his continuing study of the range of sounds that can be drawn from the environment. During his public events, he leads music-making and ear-training events open to all. For more on Alex Wand’s various projects, visit www.alexwand.com.  

Events with Dahn Gim: 

WHAT: Scrap Leather Wall Hanging – Gim provides leather remnants from her old projects for you to create a simple wall hanging to take home. Bring needle nose pliers if you have them; shared equipment available. All other materials provided; fabric available as a vegan substitute. Register for this event here, smgov.net/reserve (search “Dahn”). The cost to attend this event is $5.

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Saturday, May 4, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. | repeats Sunday, May 5, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.   


WHAT: Found Plastic Block Printing – Practice printmaking with Gim on fabric with upcycled materials! Make simple repeating patterns using plastics collected from the ocean by Gim as part of her ongoing project at the Camera.  Register for this event here, smgov.net/reserve (search “Dahn”). The cost to attend this event is $5.

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Saturday, May 11, 12 – 2 p.m. | repeats Tuesday, May 14, from 12 – 2 p.m.   


WHAT: Bottle into Rope – While it’s best to reduce our bottle use entirely, there are still single use bottles clogging our waterways. Learn how to make a simple and portable plastic bottle cutter and leave with yards of plastic to use as heavy-duty cordage, for weaving and basket making, in jewelry applications, and, with a little heat, as a way to join items together. RSVP for this free event here, santamonicaculturalaffairs.eventbrite.com.  

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Saturday, May 18, 7 – 8 p.m. | Monday, June 10, 12 – 1 p.m. | Saturday, June 22, 12 – 1 p.m.  


WHAT: Plastic Beauty – Try various methods of cutting, heating, and assemblage to create anything from sea creatures to flowers. These can be joined into wreaths, wall hangings and mobiles, or other décor that is easy to clean, never needs watering, and will last for years. RSVP for this free event here, santamonicaculturalaffairs.eventbrite.com.   

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Monday, May 20, 12 – 2 p.m. | Saturday, June 8, 12 – 2 p.m.  


WHAT: Weaving Plastic – Utilize plastic cording recovered from empty PET bottles to make a flat or 3D weaving. Bring cording you've created in the "Bottle into Rope" class or bring clean smooth PET bottles (such as soda liter bottles) to create cording for your use. RSVP for this free event here, santamonicaculturalaffairs.eventbrite.com.  

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Sunday, June 23, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  


WHAT: Bioplastic Exploration – Join Gim in an exploration of how bioplastics can be made using vegetable and other matter as raw material. Dahn’s new sculpture series will use animal leather substitutes, and she is trying new techniques. She’ll provide an overview of unusual sculptural materials that she has used and their pros and cons. RSVP for this free event here, santamonicaculturalaffairs.eventbrite.com.  

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Monday, June 24, 12:30 – 2 p.m. | Saturday, July 6, 12:30 – 2 p.m. | Sunday, July 7, 12:30 – 2 p.m.  


Events with Alex Wand: 

WHAT: Singing Rounds – Experience the joy of group singing with guitar accompaniment. Rounds and canons are musical forms with harmonious overlapping phrases. Musicians and non-musicians alike are welcome! RSVP for this free event here, santamonicaculturalaffairs.eventbrite.com.  

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Saturdays, April 24, May 25, June 22, 1 – 2 p.m. | Saturday, July 27, 3 – 4 p.m.  


WHAT: Deep Listening Sound Walk – In the tradition of Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening sessions, we’ll take a walk and listen to the sounds of our environment. Perhaps we’ll walk in the park, along the street, or on the beach. After we’ll regroup and journal about our experiences. RSVP for this free event here, santamonicaculturalaffairs.eventbrite.com.  

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Saturdays, May 4 and July 6, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  


WHAT: Collaborative Songwriting – Write poetry and music that suits the setting in this collaborative songwriting workshop. Each participant will compose an anonymous text about the ocean, put it in a hat, then we’ll set the poems to music and spoken-word pieces to be performed at the end of class. No particular experience required!RSVP for this free event here, santamonicaculturalaffairs.eventbrite.com.  

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Saturdays, May 11, June 8 and July 13, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  


WHAT: Folk Songs for Everyone – Join Wand in singing and playing folk songs! We’ll learn some Woody Guthrie songs and some tunes from "The American Songbag” (compiled by Carl Sandburg). Feel free to bring instruments and perhaps a folk song to teach the group!RSVP for this free event here, santamonicaculturalaffairs.eventbrite.com.  

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Saturdays, May 18 and July 20, Sunday, June 30, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  


WHAT: Movement and Music – Move your body to the sound of the sitar and synthesizer. Wand will perform while Jessica Hemingway leads an improvisatory movement experience. RSVP for this free event here, santamonicaculturalaffairs.eventbrite.com

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN:Friday June 7 and Saturday June 15, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.   


WHAT: The culminating exhibition of studio residents, Dahn Gim and Alex Wand, exhibiting new sculpture and sound works. Dahn Gim will be exhibiting work in an open studio format. Alex Wand will lead a session of round singing at 3 p.m. and discuss his Camino de las Monarcas project at 4 p.m.  Light refreshments provided at this free event, RSVP here COALGimWand.eventbrite.com

WHERE: Camera Obscura Art Lab (1450 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Saturday, July 27, 3 – 6 p.m.   


Notable Offsite Events:  

WHAT: Camera Obscura Studio Resident DaEun Jung and dancers perform her “Earthian Folk Dance” at the 18th Street Art Center’s annual Pico Block Party. RSVP for this free event here, 18thStreet.org

WHERE: 18th Street Art Center (1639 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404) 

WHEN: Saturday, June 1, 3 – 6 p.m.    


WHAT: Alex Wand and his band Desert Magic perform in the Santa Monica Main Library’s Soundwaves series at the Martin Luther King Auditorium.  RSVP for this free event here, soundwavesnewmusic.com  

WHERE: Santa Monica Main Library (601 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401) 

WHEN: Wednesday, July 10, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.   

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