Art at the Dump: Josh Short & Ben Burke

Recology is pleased to announce a two-day art exhibition and reception for local artists Josh Short and Ben Burke. The exhibition will be the culmination of four months of work by Short and Burke who have scavenged materials from the dump to make artwork and promote recycling and reuse.

A retrospective exhibition celebrating the life of artist and former Artist in Residence Program staff member, Henri Marie-Rose (1922-2010) will be held concurrently at 401 Tunnel Avenue.

Break in Case of Emergency, Josh Short
The Uncanny Valley Orphanage, Ben Burke

Friday, May 14, 2010, 5pm to 9pm
Saturday, May 15, 2010, 1pm to 5pm

503 Tunnel Ave. San Francisco, CA 94134

Break in Case of Emergency

Using home appliances, car parts, stereo equipment, and electronic toys pulled from the waste stream, Josh Short deconstructs, and subsequently reconstructs objects, creating art imbued with new functionality and symbolic meaning. In a time when the dominant nature of American culture seems oppressive or guilt inducing, Short looks to its roots, reinvigorating an old-school notion of American ingenuity and celebrating  home hobbyists, inventors, tinkerers, and those who find communion in beers shared over the engine of a car. Short, who received an MFA from UC Davis, also explores a darker side to the plentiful materials he has collected—consumerism and waste as signs of a coming apocalypse. Through “in case of emergency” pieces he anticipates a time when we all might need to rely on our ingenuity—and garbage—to survive. In addition to presenting objects in the gallery, Short will be grilling on his mobile bar-b-que/dj station, made from a real car grill and hotplates, replete with disco lights, smoke machine, and a turn-table spinning found vinyl. The public is encouraged to come and partake in the ritual.

The Uncanny Valley Orphanage

In Ben Burke’s exhibition, The Uncanny Valley Orphanage, he explores the concept of the “uncanny valley,” a term coined for robotics or animation that too closely resemble the human form—figures that are incredibly familiar, yet disturbingly wrong. For Burke’s cast of uncanny characters he has vivified found mannequins and other forms through lo-fi animatronics to create interactive assemblage pieces. Sculpture meets theater as this troupe of misfits become actors in a presentation which will include performances by Burke, whose interests lie in traditions of theatrical showmanship. Informed by carnival and vaudeville, Burke’s art incorporates fables, story-telling, and dark comedy to explore the magical or arcane, using the past to contextualize, or even reinvigorate the present. The works may channel the ghosts of performers of old, or perhaps just prompt a night of crazy dreams.

About the Artist in Residence Program

The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind program started in 1990 to encourage people to conserve natural resources and instill a greater appreciation for the environment and art in children and adults. Artists work for four months in studio space on site, use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public. Over eighty professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies, and applications are accepted annually in August.

Directions to 503 Tunnel Ave.

Directions from downtown San Francisco & East Bay
Go south on Highway 101 and get off at the exit marked “Candlestick Park/Tunnel Ave.” After the stop sign, continue forward onto Beatty Road until you reach Tunnel Avenue. Turn right on Tunnel Avenue. Go a half block to 503 Tunnel Avenue.

Directions from the Cow Palace
Go east on Geneva Avenue until you reach Bayshore Boulevard. Turn left on Bayshore Boulevard. After a few blocks, turn right on Blanken Avenue, then make a quick right turn on Tunnel Avenue. 503 Tunnel Avenue will be on the left.

Direction from the Peninsula
Go north on Highway 101 and get off at the “Candlestick Park” exit (this is the first Candlestick Park exit). Turn left at the first stop sign onto Alanna Way and go under the freeway. The road curves before you reach the second stop sign. Turn right on Beatty and continue to the end of the road. Turn right on Tunnel Avenue. Go a half block to 503 Tunnel Avenue.

There is ample street parking, unless there is a football game at Candlestick Park.

Public Transit
The T-Third streetcar line and bus line 9 stop within walking distance of 503 Tunnel Ave. (The 9 bus stops at Bayshore Boulevard and Arleta Avenue, three blocks away from our location.) The Caltrain Bayshore Station stop is located directly across the street from our facility. For a schedule of times, please visit Caltrain’s website.

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