Battling The Pacific Northwest SADS With ONN/OF!

UK companies may have invented a earplug for you to shine directly into your brain to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder, but in Seattle, an exciting group show (featuring some REDEFINE favorites like Mandy Greer and No Touching Ground) is here to create warm fuzzies and give Seattlites a place to bathe in the energizing light of one another. The impressive gathering will be curated by Susan Robb, Sierra Stinson and Jim Demetre, with a focus on light, installation, and banishing the wintry blues.

Here are some sample images of what you might expect on January 28th and 29th!

Shaun Kardinal

Shaun Kardinal sews patterns and geometries into found materials, like a collage artist coming face to face with a weaver. The concept is certainly not mind-blowing, in retrospect, but no one else is doing it, and as such, Shaun’s works are little postcards of satisfaction. (Stay tuned for a more in-depth post about Shaun’s work, in isolation!)

Justin Lytle

Justin Lytle self-describes himself as being “interested in the deconstruction and re-evaluation of the found and familiar to reveal the beauty that lies within individuals that comprise a whole.” It’s no wonder, then, that this still image from one of his videos feels like a fractal web — though it is not — and shows the many iterations similar forms can take on within a singular composition. Like cotton candy, like clouds, like cell membranes… they all follow those same rules. (Editor’s Note: Correction, brought to our attention by Mr. Lytyle himself. This still is not from a video, but from a relief sculpture. Even better.)

Zack Bent

Mmm, lard hardening from oil into a white, creamy solid, condensed into a tasty morsel for your easy enjoyment. Says Zack Bent: “This past summer I was making lard for the first time and was inspired by aesthetic transformation that occurred. The process requires you to render pig’s fat by heating it until it becomes liquid. It is then strained off into jars where it slowly transforms from a clear golden liquid to a thickened cottony white substance. As a video this occurrence may go unnoticed or seem too slow for comprehension. However, I am interested in how this phenomenon contrasts our typical interaction with video, which has increasingly become more and more frenetic. In terms of the content, the slowness of the transformation also provides a mediation on change and growth. What might be perceived as stagnant may in fact be developing before our eyes.” (A similar approach was taken to this Eric Chenaux video I posted earlier this week.)

Graham Downing

I don’t know much about this piece, other than the fact that it certainly appeals to the event’s main postulate: a love for lights!

From the ONN/OF website:

“While January brings Seattle a 26% chance of sun and rain turning to showers with a chance of drizzle later in the day, Susan Robb, Sierra Stinson and Jim Demetre are creating and curating ONN/OF an art exhibition and “light festival” that forecasts a weekend of illumination, warmth, and gloom-banishing engagement.

Housed in The Sweater Factory, an 11,000 Sq Ft warehouse in Ballard, ONN/OF was born from 2011’s isolation-inducing, La Niña-drenched winter weather. This year, instead of hiding away on what has been scientifically proven to be the worst, most depressing day of the year, Susan, Sierra, and Jim invite you to engage with a weekend of visual art, performance, installation, projection, music, food and drink, and workshops that in some way use “light”.

Their aim is to create an environment that not only lets people escape the cold and solitude that comes with Seattle’s winter season but to build a warm and energizing experience that might produce enough radiance to help see Seattle through the rest of the winter.”

Visit the website for a full schedule and more details!

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Justin Lytle
11 years ago

Hi there, a quick correction. The Lytle piece discussed above is not a video, and the photo above is a detail of a relief light sculpture. Thanks!

Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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