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About Amanda

Baltimore City

I grew up in southern Appalachia, graduated with my BA in Studio Art from Hollins University in 2011 and received my MFA from MICA in 2015, graduating from the Mount Royal School of Interdisciplinary Art. Currently based out of Baltimore, I have shown work locally, and regionally from Vis Arts in Rockville, Maryland to Petzel Gallery in NYC.   Employing both digital and traditional forms of creation, I attempt to excavate a better understanding of the Anthropocene. I think of most of my objects,... more

Colere

2018

It takes millions of years for mountains to be built up, and millions more to shed some of the looser and more fragile rocks, until what’s left is the strongest and most enduring part of the substrate. Everything else are valleys of illuvial soil. A relic is something that remains after everything else has gone. This show is made up of the remains of mountains and relics of their existence. The territories represented have been visited by the artist, collection of soil samples were made, and materials dyed and painted from these illuvial soils.

These works reflect on how both mountains and civilizations are melted down to ingots and swallowed whole, forever lost in the belly of envy and desire. For this exhibition, Amanda Agricola investigates mankind’s tendency towards violent acquisition and demolition of land. She created carved maps of landscapes with precious resources and painful pasts. The CNC, which carved the wood, traces specific areas of the map, digging into the plywood revealing hidden layers within the wood. As it delves deeper into the wood, possible blemishes and flaws are revealed as well as hidden beauty in the grains beneath the surface of the ply. She imagines a future where there is nothing left to mine; these relics of terrains with embedded cryptocurrency mining computers are all that we have left. “Table Strategies” is a terrain of the land where she once played war-games with siblings and cousins. Viewers are invited to play a hand of war, a children’s card game in which the winner is the person who holds all the cards.

While touching on our nation’s painful past and present, Agricola offers glimpses of hope for a future reciprocity between man and earth in augmented reality. Grids of digital stones and recordings traverse the relics of the show, like lingering spirits of a world long gone. They reinforce the feeling of a here-ness and a not-here-ness, as the viewer becomes involved in a digital exploration. The url offers an alternative perspective, but it comes at a cost as their device begins to mine cryptocurrency as long as the url is open. Once again, reflecting on the relationship of the user and the used.

“The term colonization is derived from the Latin colere - to till, cultivate, promote growth. Thus colonization can be thought of in terms of the steps involved in a process of cultivation: taking control of the indigenous soil, uprooting the existing indigenous plants (peoples), overturning the soil (the indigenous way of life), planting new colonial seeds (people) or transplanting colonial plants (people) from another environment, and harvesting the resulting crops (resources) or else picking the fruits (wealth) that result from the labor of cultivation (colonization).” Newcomb, Steven T.. Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (p. 14)

  • Reciprocity Quilts

    digital, quilt, augmented reality
    Tapestry titles from left to right “Acceptance: Blood in the Hands, Snake in the Grass”, “Reciprocity: Breath of Empty Space", “Abundance: Jorge’s Search for Pizarro’s Garden" , each 2’x 8’, digital print on cotton, copper, chains, 2018 These works’ formal references are drawn from religious funerary rites and American quilts. They explore aesthetics of various power structures and reflect on histories of colonization of lands caught in the crossfire of humans’ thirst for power and material possession.
  • “Abundance: Jorge’s Search for Pizarro’s Garden"

    digital, quilt, augmented reality
    This is the AR view of one of the digital tapestries. The video that maps the 3d stone is of my father-in-law searching digging in his back yard in Medellín, Colombia in search of a mythical buried treasure. The video was taken in 2015 and he has not stopped digging. The hole can now be seen from Google Earth. The wedding ring quilt pattern is made from scans of quilts that I made from fine clays collected all over including some from my home in Alabama and some from Medellín.
  • Table Strategies

    games, colonization, landscape
    ”Table Strategies”, 3’ x 3’ x 2’4”, Baltic Birch, steel, 2018 This sculpture is a cnc carved terrain of the land where I once played war-games with siblings and cousins. On top of the table is a deck of playing cards called “Trails of Tears”. Each card has a different print of a painting that I made right out of meditation. A symbol would come to me and I would trace it with a mixture of water and dirt from this location where I grew up. The water tension would build until it broke and would create a tear or two.
  • Succession Plan: Appalachian Blockchain

    Succession Plan: Appalachian Blockchain, steel, Baltic Birch, computer mining cryptocurrency Minero
  • Succession Plan: Superstition Blockchain

    "Succession Plan: Superstition Blockchain", Baltic Birch, steel, computer mining cryptocurrency, Minero
  • Wisdom of the Pawn

    "Wisdom of the Pawn", resin printed pawn, clay dust collected from various sites used for dyes, wood, chain, string

Tabernacle

2018

I began to draw an imperfect torus doodle over and over, exploring these energetic curves of life and death, paths taken and not taken - cyclical thought patterns made visual by a simple line. The idea of tents, coverings, skin, or some amalgamation of those came into play as I began to take these lines off the page into three dimensional space. I imagined these objects as having some power to hold the human spirit, like the sacred coverings that we call Tabernacles used in Christian funerary traditions to drape over the deceased as they journey on to the next destination.

Employing materials that have a useful history, I incorporated the Uhaul moving blanket. Reincarnated, these recycled blankets have journeyed all over the country, covering families cherished belongings, until they made it into my hands. Indigo and dirt are both used in dying the works in this show, and they too have a relationship to life, decomposition, transformation and alchemy. Interconnected patterns of circles play into this work again. Rings and circles are a symbol of wholeness and unity, having no beginning and no end, an infinite loop of creation, destruction and rebirth.

Jupiter's Belly Button

2016
Public intervention
Stickers with a website for submitting images of one's belly button were posted in public, transitory places. The images submitted were then used to create a mosaic representing one of the previously sent belly buttons.

Bed = Island

2015

This work analyzes societies’ closeness to devices - and their ability to heal or curb loneliness, pain, stress, anxiety, ect. while also assessing the increasing feeling of loss of self in an advanced technological society (hence the surge of “self-help” and therapy industries with their quest for wholeness and centeredness). What effects (positive or negative) will devices have on the human body and psyche? We are now able to know the physical self in ways which were once very hard to imagine. We can track our heart rate, steps we take, hours of sleep, ect. all through a bracelet that communicates with an ap on our phone. While we are becoming closer to knowing certain aspects of the human body better, there is an increasing separation between body and self.

"Love Bed" is created out of the vocal waves of 60 people saying love. I create a topography out of language on which the body is able to absorb the meaning through touch rather than sound or site. In this resort, Bed=Island, all kinds of love is available through the most simple interactions - lying, sitting, standing, breathing. It is a product that can be misted on and absorbed through the skin as rosewater in an atomizer. On one hand, I naively hope and sort of believe that this is possible, and on the other I am commenting on the simplification of intimacy in our digital age, and healing in the new age.

  • Supported Heart

    This was a yoga and meditation workshop in conjunction with the “Bed=Island” installations in Maryland Art Place geared towards opening the heart using the yoga blocks from "Love Bed".

Say Love V. Luv

2014

Love is a powerful word. It is also loaded and tied to strong emotions. Luv is a modern take on the word love. It is pronounced the same but it holds different connotations. It is used in a more casual and loose manner than the word love. A contributor to urban dictionary defines luv as “a casual way of saying you really like someone without freaking them out by saying I love you. Commonly used by people early on in relationships, where it is too soon to say I love you.”

“Love v. Luv” is a study on how different people say these words. When I record, I ask the person to think of the feeling of each word as they speak them. The frequency and volume with which different people say the words changes the peaks and valleys of the form. A pattern emerges, but every love & luv is different. This is a very rational approach to understanding an emotionally charged subject matter.

There is a lot to be observed in the ways people differentiate these words. I try not to ascribe too much meaning to the way the word has been spoken, but I do make notes and observations about the person’s form of “love” and “luv” based on my knowing them and other circumstances surrounding my relationship to them.

I am interested in the multiple transformations that take place through this process. The word goes from written form to spoken sound which is translated into a string of data that is used to create a form and then that is milled from a yoga block. The block is used in yoga to support the body in uncomfortable positions to let it relax more into a pose. Language is supported by the body, and here I have create a mutual relationship in which the body can be supported by language.

In this installation of “love vs luv” I installed the words which have been carved by a CNC router with a pile of what remains from love and luv along with an instruction for a heart exercise.

Virtual Votives: Unsolicited Offerings

2014

In this performance, each time a new tweet with the word “painful” is received, an electronic candle automatically lights up (for 2 seconds) for that tweet. The idea that there is an undiscriminating machine praying for all pains, big or small, physical or emotional is of interest to me here. It is no more a choice on the part of the person tweeting to be prayed for as it is for the altar to be lighting offerings for those peoples’ pains.
As I meditate on the painful tweets that are coming in, I make an offering by touching my forehead (or third eye) to an i-pad, which triggers a new 3-d model of a vestal. Mateo Marquez participated by writing the code for this trigger and using a video mixer to create visual feedback. I composed the sound using recordings of my voice and cell phone tones. The volume increases with each tap of my third eye to the I-pad.

Reward Center

2015
Maps of the landscape of my bed after two amorous bodies left their marks.

  • Reward Center

    “Reward Center” is a series of prints made by taking scans of my bed after making love, and splitting the 3-d scan into layers in order to create topographic maps. These visualizations of love, created by two amorous bodies in motion, can be looked at as landscapes or maps of the brain in love.

Adopt-A-Crack

2014

Public intervention in the Baltimore Landscape meant to draw the observant passerby's eye down to connect with and become inspired by nature and the growth that can take place despite oppresive conditions and in the most unsuspecting circumstances. These little plants spoke to me, and told me to press on, so I wanted to recreate that experience for others.

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Amanda's Curated Collection

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