Participatory Projects

And Tossing and Turning And 

As with previous projects sponsored by UMM, this work draws on materials collected from UMM’s local neighborhood, in this case from residents responding to the question “What recent news headline has caused you to lose sleep?” Soto-Díaz collected the responses to create an installation using bedsheets also from the neighborhood, as a way to capture the affective dimension of our current political moment. 

Painting with Balls

At UMM’s opening reception on May 28th, 2016, Abstraction at Work invited participants to contribute to a jocular painting titled “Painting with Balls,” a work on drop cloth gradually built with the accumulation of colorful and largely failed ball gestures aimed at three painted geometric targets. The project’s underlying critique is two-pronged: a critique of the competitive tennis culture in Orange County and a critique of heroic abstract painting. More on this work…

Light to Dark Brown: A Meditation on Brown and All Browns 

On December 6, 2014, during the opening reception for UMM’s inaugural exhibitions, Abstraction at Work invited anyone who shared a sense of injustice and sadness around the recent cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner to participate in a meditative conceptual monochrome painting project titled “Light to Dark Brown: A Meditation on Brown and All Browns.” The work was later selected to participate in the Response show at Smack Mellon in New York City, which was reviewed in the New York Times, The Guardian, Hyperallergic and others .  More on this work…

Testing Antidotes for Tones of Beige: A Chromatic Exercise

At UMM’s opening reception on April 4, 2015, Abstraction at Work invited participants to create a work to reimagine the color palette of residential homes in Irvine. For the first, “current colors” collage, participants used colored paint chips that resembled the exterior colors of their own house or apartment building, and for “desired colors,” they chose freely from a wider range of colors.  More on this work…

On the Translation of Signals

At UMM’s opening reception on October 3, 2015, Abstraction at Work invited participants to contribute to an art-letter to the local police, which will be comprised of 140-character individual messages translated through Morse code. The project is prompted by recent events in UMM’s own neighborhood as well as nationally, and is also inspired by the use of Morse code by contemporary artists, including Claudia Bertucci, whose work is part of UMM’s current exhibit. The art-letter is intended to address both the difficulties and potentials of communication. More information and images will be posted here after the project is complete.