How To Build A Rocket Pack In Five Minutes Or Fewer: John White Hosts New Art By Pete Ippel



Breaking news, one night only: “How To Build A Rocket Pack In Five Minutes Or Fewer” New art by Pete Ippel to be presented during John White’s curated 5x5x5 performance evening. The event will be hosted by Sylvia White Gallery in Ventura, California. The show begins promptly at 8pm on Friday, March 2nd 2012. Come on by for a unique contemporary art experience.


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MacGyver Helps White People Understand the Concept Of Rasquache With Positive Connotation



MacGyvero (adj.) MacGyverismo (noun) is a portmanteau coined by Pete Ippel and Peter Roberge that aids English speakers in the United States to understand the Chicano concept of Rasquache, that is both functional in American-English and sounds like Spanish.

The intent of MacGyverismo is to create positive associations among Mexican-Americans (Chicanos), original problem solving, new methods, and creative thinking.

Ask an American-English native speaker to think of someone who did the most with the least in tough situations: MacGuyver, the pop culture reference of resourcefulness, comes up consistently…often with a half-smile of nostalgia.

The starting of a car with a cactus, a nickel, and a string may be a bit of hyperbole, and MacGyver has his fair share of parody…yet the general connotation is positive.

Why is that? Because the main actor is white? Because MacGyver isn’t poor or in a marginalized culture?

There is contradiction because when performed by a non-white American, innovative repairs are castigated by pejorative words such as ghetto, hack, and jury-rigged which often have a negative connotation.

MacGyverismo is functional in explaining a complex notion to someone who only has the capacity to describe objects with the aforementioned terms. MacGyverismo imbues an odd sense of respect to an oft-dismissed practice of solving problems with available materials…a key trait of artists in any culture.

Inspired by the exhibition at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, California entitled Chicano Visions

Roy Lichtenstein Is Influenced By Asian Printmakers And Brushwork



And this is my favorite piece of his work, as far as I know after this was auctioned by Sotheby’s it’s out of the public eye. Bummer.

Still Life with Oysters, Fish in a Bowl and Book

Still Life with Oysters, Fish in a Bowl and Book


Roy Lichtenstein (1923-97)
Still Life with Oysters, Fish in a Bowl and Book
Executed in 1973
Oil and magna on canvas
132 by 105 cm. (52 by 42 in.)
Estimate ($4,350,000-$5,540,000)

Inspiration at Libre Graphics Meeting 2010, And What Led Me To Brussels



There are certain moments that drastically alter the trajectory of a life-path. Being open and aware to those instants is absolutely essential regardless of one’s career.

I returned from the Libre Graphics Meeting that was rife with inspiration. The event was hosted at the Pianofabriek in Brussels, Belgium May 27-30. Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on the experience, here’s what I learned:

Generosity is contagious
I had ordered a computer as soon as I found out that my talk The New Folk Tradition: Aesthetic and Community Resonance between Open Source Graphics and Fiber Arts was accepted at the beginning of May. It was to be my first new computer since 2004, and boy was I due! Unfortunately the delivery from Lenovo did not arrive by the 24th when I left. So in a bind I decided to stop by Fry’s on the way to LAX and pick up a little Acer Aspire One netbook.

I arrived in London, downloaded Jolicloud which is based on Ubuntu and started to play around on the train to Brussels. The issue was that I’d not used Unix/Linux since I worked in Motorola in 1999…my how things have changed, so easy to use (yes I like GUI)! So I thought that I was going to give my presentation using Open Office, well when I saw How to Run an Art School on Free and Open Source Software by Florian Cramer, Aymeric Mansoux, Michael Murtaugh I was blown out of the water by their image-centric presentation. I got to chat with them after the talk, and they told me about the FOSS program Impress!ve.

At this point, Christopher Adams showed me how to use a shortcut (alt + F2) to access the repository by calling on gksu synaptic.

So at that moment I scrapped my plans of the standard Power Point-esq (gasp) presentation. After just a few hours at the LGM I already knew how to utilize new tools, and put down some roots with other artist do-ers with similar interests. Rad.

After a vegan lunch we relaxed in the courtyard drinking Belgian beer (thank goodness for the Westmalle tripel) and getting to know our peers.
Libre Graphics Meeting, 2010
Another important aspect for me was the instant application of what I learned. WiFi was free and available all over the complex, so while you were watching a talk you could download and try out the software to apply the concepts that were being explained. In addition, birds of a feather (BOF) meetings were scheduled so that people with similar interests could gather to speak about a topic. In my case I was inspired by Susan Spencer’s talk and her project relating to OPEN FASHION. You can learn more at Sew Brilliant. In the BOF meeting, she pulled out one of the most amazing contraptions I’ve ever seen, it was a brass pattern adjuster, that would change scale by rotating a series of screws in a certain order. She even had the manual that dated from 1888.
Libre Graphics Meeting, 2010
Basically it was a slide rule for tailors and seamstresses. Susan’s and her partner Steve Conklin (who is a developer for Ubuntu) have a vision where a designer can upload a pattern, another person (who may not be the same size) can adjust it to fit using the program which is based on scalable vector graphics, print and tape up the pattern and sew the custom garment. What an excellent idea, so naturally I included it into my talk. Now check out the video of Pete Ippel relating Asian stitching, 80′s sweaters,Tron, quilts, and weaving to open source graphics.

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Great planning matters
Each day of the conference the organizers kept the program on schedule, and the diversity of the talks really demonstrated an expanded view of Libre Graphics. Thanks to River Valley TV for archiving all the LGM 2010 talks.
Libre Graphics Meeting, 2010
In addition to software development, there were presentations about metaphor, Tight Pants, Community, publishing, font design,multimedia sound performance, and some miraculous demos. I was particularly impressed with Laid Out and the new brushes for Krita.

Confused? Ask for help
It is incredible how generous people were at the conference, as a n00b it was invaluable to be able to ask a question and get a straight answer, and if the person asking didn’t know, they would refer you to someone who did…The organizers wore aprons and buttons and were always available for help.

Reclaim your tools
I began to understand this overarching theme after a few days into the conference. Formerly I’d been envisioning code as magic. After seeing the Nodebox 2 demo, I downloaded the beta and was able to modify an image or a line of code to make changes to an output. That was a huge breakthrough for me I saw directly that through transparency comes understanding. That’s what F/LOSS gives when code is viewable and modifiable the developer and user are on an even plane, and both can create new tools to suit their needs. There exists a sense of community that is absolutely impossible with closed code.

Work together
I’ve been licensing my art under Creative Commons for a few years, and I am confident that as the young people who have “grown up digital” and the first generations of free culture pioneers continue to push for more openness and transparency on many facets of life from government to software, clipart to color we are in for a very exciting ride.

Please visit the review page for other articles, photos, and a video archive of all the Libre Graphics Events.

If you find yourself in Brussels, use the map below to visit the Pianofabriek. It’s an amazing arts / culture venue with a lovely courtyard, gallery space and cafe.


View Libre Graphics Meeting, 2010 in a larger map

Resources for downloads mentioned in this post
Desktop publishing Scribus
Vector graphic editing Inkscape
Bitmap editing Gimp
Bitmap editing and painting (check out the new brushes) Krita
3d modeling and animation Blender
A new software application for creating generative art using procedural graphics and a new way to approach graphic design Nodebox 2
Ditch hierarchy Peer-To-Peer Design Strategies

How I got involved in Free Culture / F/LOSS / Creative Commons
Often growth is sparked by a change in community…prompted by a different geographic location.

In October 2002, I had just moved to San Francisco and was looking for community. Leaving the comfort of my undergraduate institution and support network in New York, I was seeking attachment to my new home.

I initiated a project called “Free Memory” where the intent was to give away an anonymous gift that brought attention to technology and our relationship with memory both on a disk and in our mind. Looking back at the task I stated that free meant free from price, obligation, need to pay, and also free content.

I desired to connect with the folks on the street, and get out from behind the computer screen…to enrich online life with offline life and vice-versa. Looking back, mobile computing was not an option for me, I had a desktop computer. That project grew and spread so that I even got a video response from across the country:

The Free Memory Project from Thorsten Claus on Vimeo.

Alan Toffler states in his book Future Shock from 1970, “…that enormous changes ahead…overthrow our values with respect to money and success.”

After creating the project OBAY.INFO I was contacted by council for Ebay.com and subsequently looked to Lessig’s Group at Stanford (which lead me to Creative Commons), was fingered in a Canadian Ad Campaign, and was invited to the To Share Festival in Turin Italy. Read all the posts about Obay.

Following Obay project I took a job working as a mentor for pre-professional dancers at the San Francisco Ballet. Over the six years I was there, I learned that a robust community was built with freedom. What I found was that kids would act more like adults when they were given the opportunity to do so. The same was true when I coached high school basketball for 4 years.

I left the Ballet at the end of 2009, and when I moved from San Francisco to Ventura, California, I began an intense production phase to kick-start my full-time art career. By comparing pixels to patchwork, vectors to stitches, bitmaps to patterns, and layers to quilts, I started to discover the aesthetic and community relationships between open source graphics and the fiber arts.

So why does all this happen? Enjoy the following video to gain some insight on the cognitive reasoning:

Thank you to Jon Phillips, Barry Threw, Christopher Adams, Femke Snelting and everyone else at LGM 2010 for helping me feel so welcome in this amazing community.

Introducing 11 Different, Unique, Original, Hypermodern Artists



Introducing 11 Different, Unique, Original, Hypermodern Artists: Pete Ippel

Introducing 11 Different, Unique, Original, Hypermodern Artists: Pete Ippel

Thank you to Stew Birbrower for creating the concept for this poster. Thank you to the GIMP for being rad and open source.

Check it out, I’m having an open house during Ventura Art Walk Saturday April 17th 1:00-9:00pm Sunday April 18th noon-5:00pm. Also I will be open for First Fridays Ventura, and for more info on where I live, Working Artists Ventura, check out the overview on WAV

This is a big weekend for me, and my MOM Diane Ippel is featured in the special dedication event for WAV.

The last time so many artists lived and worked in the same building was 100 years ago in Paris. That building was called La Rouche. This building is called WAV, Working Artists Ventura. Pete Ippel is one of 77 emerging artists from 21 countries with radically different styles. So the next time you want art, come to our house.

Contact Pete Ippel

175 S. Ventura Ave
Studio 213 North Building
Ventura, CA 93001

Dial 1 (234) Pete-Art to order your free educational report: 7 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE BUYING CONTEMPORARY ART.

Free Money, Sticky Fingers



Earlier this month I participated in SOMArts Community Center’s show “MOMENTS (Bringing Back the Now)”. At the opening, Justin Hoover, the newly hired director of the gallery space, re-created the 100 Performances for the Hole that he formerly curated out of his Garage San Francisco’s Pacific Heights Neighborhood.

For 100 Performances for the Hole Take-Two, the dimensions of the hole were expanded, and moved from an automotive trench to a sand casting pit.

I issued four instructions to the group:

  • The hole is defined as the cut in the cement.
  • You may not get in the hole.
  • Any bill that lands outside of the hole must be kicked into the hole.
  • Any bills that you snatch with your sticky hand are yours, any bills left in the hole after the two minutes are mine.

Getting ready for "Free Money, Sticky Fingers" Pete Ippel, 03/06/10
“Free Money, Stick Fingers” involves the art market, memory of childhood games, issues of control, gift giving, and philanthropic aims.

A Day in San Francisco from Rossita Dove on Vimeo.

In addition, there is a cameo appearance of “Free Money, Sticky Fingers” toward the end of the short video “A Day in San Francisco” by Rossita Dove.

Check out the Photos and the press release (below) for more information about the exhibition.

100 Performances for the Hole – Take Two is the opening event (#1 of 3) of a month long exhibition called: MOMENTS (Bringing Back the Now). This show features a series of live art events that transform the gallery into a contemporary art laboratory exploring the intersection between visual mediums, performance art, and time-based sculpture.

Conceived of by SOMArts Curator and Gallery Director Justin Hoover, this exhibition examines the state of contemporary live art in the Bay Are by inviting the collaboration and participation of over 100 performance artists working in a variety of styles and methods. MOMENTS (Bringing Back The Now) is structured around three events examining performance art today: a series of 100 two-minute, site-specific performances performed one after another, a ballet with heavy machinery that was inspired by a previous performance choreographed by youth in a housing complex, and a series of time-based and mobile/ephemeral sculptures.

According to curator Justin Hoover “the lived moment is often greatly under-appreciated, in life and in the arts. Largely, in the mind of the public, fine art is relegated to objects and environments, and rarely is the emotionality and the nuance of a lived moment evidenced as an artwork. In the contemporary moment, art has long surpassed the realm of objecthood and some of the most innovative new forms reside i experience. By highlighting local performance artists and performative installations, SOMArts gives Bay Area artists and audiences a chance to exchange ideas and build attention around a developing form that rarely finds its way into a gallery. MOMENTS (Bring Back the Now) brings immediacy back to the experience of contemporary art viewership.”

Additionally, this exhibition will work in conjunction with the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) to upload this live program directly to cable television.

100 Performances for the Hole – Take Two breathes fresh life into a formerly disused part of the SOMArts Main Gallery, namely what remains of the mechanics pit from the building’s former life as the Union Machine Company. Through a simple hole and an open call for ephemeral performance artwork, 100 Performances highlighting the contemporary timescape of today and invigorates a wide swath of the performance art community, one that is vibrant, innovative, playful, and elusive. This tour-de-force of the ephemeral is juried by Kevin B. Chen, Peter Foucault, Justin Hoover, Jackie Im, Lex Leifheit, and Lucy Kalyani Lin.