One of the most interesting projects of freeters is the permanent collaboration with the art laboratory ESMoA. ESMoA is conceived as an urban catalyst in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Here, artistic processes are connected in their immediate form and are changed through engagement with the community. ESMoA focuses on aspects of shared understanding and exploring, and in its Experience projects, continuously builds bridges into contemporary issues through collaborations in science, research, and art. Artists of the freeters collective have been involved in further developments of ESMoA through the curatorial support of founding member Bernhard Zünkeler. There is a constantly renewing participation of Freeters artists in the ongoing Experiences at ESMoA. These include, in particular, the group initiatives ELSEGUNDISSIMO (2017) and STARDUST (2020) and also the individual projects of freeters artists Amely Spötzl, with PHYTOMAGNETIC (2014) and PLANT (2019), and Michael Sistig, with ANTI-ARK (2013) and MATTER (2016).
Michael Sistig, 2015
MATTER aims to stimulate curiosity about the myths of life. Mythology and science have historically been intertwined, as people throughout time have used mythology to understand the natural world. The new ESMoA Experience explores the convergence of mythology and modern science, with its constantly changing theories, through the eyes of young German artist Michael Sistig. In his first solo show in the United States, Sistig will invite us to take a glimpse into his approach of negotiating modern science through the media of painting and sculpture.
While we are used to seeing scientific theories translated in numbers, symbols and words, rarely do we see them presented like this as inspirational, confusing, yet somehow still comforting images. With Experience 23: MATTER, a new form of dialogue will unravel, challenging our mystified knowledge of modern science. Through the enchanting art of Michael Sistig, MATTER will reinvigorate in us a sense of wonder and magic toward numbers, geometry, and heroic archetypes.
What are scientific theories? Why do we create these theories? How do we make sense of things we don’t understand? To what degree are we enlightened by new knowledge? Do our values develop based on this new enlightenment? How does scientific language affect our lives? How can we understand the world, when science wants to explain it in binary codes of 0 and 1? When we try to understand the world today, do we create myths, like the ancient Greeks did? Have those myths ever left us? Do technological advancements actually make us smarter, or more able to find awareness?
Paradox disposition: Since his childhood, artist Michael Sistig has repeatedly encountered the same, simple aesthetic questions that he could never answer. Through painting and the intensive study of philosophy, he began to find answers, and he felt himself getting closer to Truth. Today, he is engrossed in the achievements of physicists and hopes thereby to come even closer to answering these open, elemental questions. He has become fascinated by the language of physics and scientific formulas, and he loves to create enthusiasm for modern science in others. With his interdisciplinary approach, Sistig allows himself to be inspired by various scientific facets. For the length of MATTER, the artist will transform ESMoA with his incredible, intuitively created imagery that explores the relationship between myth, magic and modern science.
Begin Exploration: MATTER will show that you do not have to be a scientist to be inspired by the grand magic of science. Maybe the source for curiosity and scientific progress is not only to be found in numbers and formulas. Surprisingly, maybe art is the vehicle through which to understand science. Rather than explaining life through scientific theories, perhaps the way to understanding is through finding visuals for worlds no one has ever seen.
ESMoA invites everyone to experience the fi rework of Michael Sistig’s extraordinary artwork by feeling its inspiring spark. The artworks in MATTER might look naive and childish, but who doesn’t want to see life on other planets? Los Angeles, 2016
Bernhard Zünkeler with Freeters and more, 2020
STARDUST explore the different pathways of thinking. Art is a state of mind. Artworks are able to prime and inspire your brain activity. They can wake you up, where intuition has put you to sleep. Through STARDUST the visitor will experience the underlying laws of creative thinking. STARDUST is a backstage pass to the world of artistic stimulation and a showcase of the power of an artist collective.
The ESMoA Experience Award recipient for STARDUST is Rachel Reid, a Los Angeles based artist, transforming stardust into a sequence of ceramic variations. Rachel Reid is an artist and master printer. She received her BFA in sculpture from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Heavily influenced by the simplicity of form and color, Rachel navigates both 2D and 3D media, most extensively in lithography as well as stoneware ceramics.
Amely Spötzl, 2019
ESMoA presents Experience 43: PLANT, the fi rst solo exhibition of German based artist Amely Spötzl, on view from October 24, 2019 through January 25, 2020. The Experience invites visitors to peek inside her studio and experience the ephemeral nature of plants.
Since childhood, Spötzl has played with, and been intrigued by, plants and structures found in nature. In her public interventions, the outline of a plane leaf becomes a silver live drawing on the side of a building in El Segundo (Phytomagnetic, 2014) and strategically placed acrylic boxes filled with flowers on L. A.’s Westside inspire spontaneous actions and reactions by passerby (Just a Moment, Please, 2009). For her sculptures and drawings, Spötzl often incorporates dried flowers and plants, creating geometric artworks that replicate number sequences and repetitive systems. On view for PLANT will be 20 artworks that Spötzl has documented and created as part of her evolving study of nature, including but not limited to photographs, drawings, and sculptures. Her latest work, Chapel of Process will be reveled for the fi rst time as part of the Experience.
A replica of Spötzl’s studio will also be built into the gallery providing guests with further insight into an artist’s laboratory based on fascination, connectedness, play and curiosity.
Additionally, PLANT will include an interactive artwork, Thicket, where visitors can actively contribute to its formation using drawing tools created by Spötzl. Also on view will be photographs of Spötzl’s artworks created in collaboration with photographer Bernd Zoellner.
Born in 1975 in Biberach on Riss, Germany, Amely Spötzl resides and works in Bonn, Germany. She studied sculpture at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Science, Bonn / Alfter Germany. In recent years, she has lectured, drawn, sculpted and worked in mixed media there.
Spötzl has shown in Germany and the United States, including the Montalvo Arts Center. ESMoA has previously shown her work in Experiences DESIRE (2013), SILENCE (2014), SPARK (2015), and EAT (2019). Spötzl’s work appears in collections in the U.S. and Germany.
The ESMoA Experience Award recipient for PLANT is Jasmine Nyende. Nyende is a new media artist from South Central Los Angeles whose work explores the fi elds of fi ber, music and community-based social practice using poetry, plays, and experimental performance. Her work has been shown at institutions throughout Los Angeles including the Hammer Museum, Human Resources, and Sade Gallery. Nyende’s installation, Experience 22: A Love Letter to the California Coast is a large-scale embroidery work on burlap that will be installed in ESMoA’s Entry. Visitors will have the chance to add to the installation during the run of Experience 43:PLANT.
Collective Exhibition, 2018
Experience 27 is about you, the citizens of El Segundo, as you celebrate our city’s 100th anniversary. And it is about you, visitors from all parts of the world, coming to LA. ELSEGUNDISSIMO* will be a crowd-sourced Experience, based on your feedback. What could be done better in our city? What are the sore spots, the sticking points, the areas that need improvement? How can we strengthen the connection between the east and west sides of Sepulveda? Whatever you can think of will be addressed.
Would you like to put a smile on your face when you enter the City? What would put tears in your eyes when you leave town?
In fall 2016, ESMoA collected your thoughts and wishes, and in a unique democratic process will ask local, national and international artists and architects to come up with solutions. When Experience 27: ELSEGUNDISSIMO opened its doors in March 2017, visitors were able to vote for the best ideas.
Ideas are born from ideas! Let’s make this a combined effort! Let’s make it ELSEGUNDISSIMO!