April 12, 2010


Friday, May 14, 2010, 5-9pm
Saturday, May 15, 2010, 1-5pm

Art Studio located at 503 Tunnel Ave. San Francisco, CA 94134

Admission is free and open to the public, all ages welcome, wheelchair accessible.

San Francisco, CA–The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Josh Short and Ben Burke on Friday, May 14th, from 5-9 pm and Saturday, May 15th, from 1-5 pm. This two-person show will be the culmination of four months of work by Short and Burke who have scavenged materials from the dump to make artwork and promote recycling and reuse.

A retrospective exhibition celebrating the life of artist and former Artist in Residence Program staff member Henri Marie-Rose (1922-2010) will be held concurrently at 401 Tunnel Avenue.

Josh Short

Josh Short: Break in Case of Emergency
Using home appliances, car parts, stereo equipment, and electronic toys pulled from the waste stream, Josh Short deconstructs, and subsequently reconstructs objects, creating art imbued with new functionality and symbolic meaning. In a time when the dominant nature of American culture seems oppressive or guilt inducing, Short looks to its roots, reinvigorating an old-school notion of American ingenuity and celebrating  home hobbyists, inventors, tinkerers, and those who find communion in beers shared over the engine of a car.

Short, who received an MFA from UC Davis, also explores a darker side to the plentiful materials he has collected—consumerism and waste as signs of a coming apocalypse. Through “in case of emergency” pieces he anticipates a time when we all might need to rely on our ingenuity—and garbage—to survive. In addition to presenting objects in the gallery, Short will be grilling on his mobile bar-b-que/dj station, made from a real car grill and hotplates, replete with disco lights, smoke machine, and a turn-table spinning found vinyl. The public is encouraged to come and partake in the ritual.

Ben Burke

Ben Burke: The Uncanny Valley Orphanage
Ben Burke explores the concept of the “uncanny valley,” a term coined for robotics or animation that too closely resemble the human form—figures that are incredibly familiar, yet disturbingly wrong. For Burke’s cast of uncanny characters he has vivified found mannequins and other forms through lo-fi animatronics to create interactive assemblage pieces. Sculpture meets theater as this troupe of misfits become actors in a presentation which will include performances by Burke, whose interests lie in traditions of theatrical showmanship. Informed by carnival and vaudeville, Burke’s art incorporates fables, story-telling, and dark comedy to explore the magical or arcane, using the past to contextualize, or even reinvigorate the present. The works may channel the ghosts of performers of old, or perhaps just prompt a night of crazy dreams.

The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind program started in 1990 to encourage people to conserve natural resources and instill a greater appreciation for the environment and art in children and adults. Artists work for four months in studio space on site, use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public. Over eighty professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies, and applications are accepted annually in August.