MASS will transform its gallery space into a working studio for two artists this summer. The third annual Hotbox Residency program will take place over a 4-week period and will give selected artists the opportunity to explore new ideas or practices, while allowing them to engage with the Austin community. Taking advantage of the prime production time of the summer months, MASS hopes to nurture projects through this program that would not be realized otherwise.
MASS is pleased to present the artists selected for the 2015 Hotbox residency program this summer: Josh House (Austin, TX) and Rachel Simone Weil (Austin, TX).
Each artist accepted as a Hotbox resident is obliged to participate in MASS’s public engagement series, Close Encounters. Close Encounters is a program designed to provide new methods of engaging the public’s curiosity. Open and broad, this prompt can be approached from a multitude of ways: performance based, passive, or completely radical in execution or thought. This program is a challenge to an artist’s current practice and designed to provide audiences with a new way of encountering and understanding the creative process.
2015 Hotbox Close Encounters Schedule:
Zine Workshop with Josh House
Wednesday, August 26 at 7 PM
Josh House will be demonstrating book-making and zine-making techniques useful to artists or enthusiasts wanting to self-publish. Using accessible photocopying and at-home techniques, Josh will show the process he uses to document and publish his own projects, including his upcoming book for the MASS Hotbox residency. After the demo, Josh will be available for any informal questions or comments.
Thursday, August 27 at 7 PM
Rachel Simone Weil will discuss the history of girls’ video arcade in the 1980s and 1990s and how the legacy of these spaces persists through artistic reinterpretation. This informal artist talk will be followed by an open studio and an opportunity for Q&A or discussion.
Friday, September 4 from 7-11 PM
Please join us for an open studio to see what our resident artists have created. Come see Josh House’s installation The Gate is Open, and Rachel Simone Weil’s playful collection of 1980s and 1990s femme video arcade ephemera.
Josh House (b. 1986, Colorado) is a printmaker and painter from Colorado, now residing in Austin. He employs a variety of methods used to invoke a dream-like state, exploring the subconscious roots of intelligence, the power of symbols, and the human necessity of the supernatural experience.
While in residence at MASS Gallery for Hotbox, Josh plans to construct a large installation piece featuring architecture and figures integrated into the facade of a wall utilizing recycled shipping materials and homemade paper mache’. “The Gate Is Open”, explores the connection between the burden of history and its effect upon place. Allegorical beasts from the past over-saturate and begin to drip back into space through the wall. The architecture is a mixture from various ancient cultures, referencing the dawn of thought and the weight of human civilization as a collective whole. The figural elements will be made through a wet drapery casting technique, with volunteers used for the basis of molds. Light, smoke, and sound will be used to create an overwhelming environment for the viewer.
Rachel Simone Weil (b. 1984, Grand Prairie TX) is an experimental designer and historian whose work explores alternative, ultrafeminine histories of video games. Weil designs sugary-sweet, girly, video-game nostalgia for nonexistent pasts, employing methods as varied as graphic design, textile crafting, and obsolete assembly-language programming. She received an MFA in Design from the University of Texas, where she now teaches an undergraduate course in video game history and critical theory. In addition, Weil is the founder of FEMICOM Museum, an archive of femininity in twentieth-century games and electronic toys, and she co-organizes Austin’s monthly independent games event, Juegos Rancheros.
During her time in the Hotbox Residency at MASS Gallery, Rachel Simone Weil seeks to reimagine nostalgia for the twentieth-century arcade, drawing inspiration from various visual rhetorics of 1980s and 1990s girlhood in the US and Japan. In creating physical ephemera for femme arcade spaces that never were, Weil questions a prevailing belief that the visual language of stereotypical, commercially-produced femininity is especially harmful, vacuous, or absurd. The works to be created during the residency call for nuanced understandings of girlhood, video-game nostalgia, and their relationships to gender, feminism, and love.