The Ruins at Mitla, a Legacy of Proto Surface Design

I visited the Zapotec architectural ruins at Mitla, about an hour from Oaxaca City, Mexico. Like many legacies of pre-hispanic cultures much of the site was taken apart and used to build new buildings that supported the visual supremacy of conquering forces. What is significant however is what has been left. The walls of the ruins are made of decorative repeating motifs, or “grecas” in Spanish. Wave forms, repeating “eye” elements and undulating interleaved diagonals. All of these design elementsRead more

Natural Dye Intensive: San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico

In February of 2019 I attended a natural dye intensive taught by sustainable fashion designer and master dyer Nereida Bonmati of Naive Slow Fashion, at the Tlapanochestli Grana Cochinillia in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.   During this fascinating and academically rigorous engagement with the practical application of natural dye I learned about the following natural dyestuffs: Pericone; Brazilwood; Huizache; Cochineal; and Anil (Indigo). I also learned about the history of natural dyeing in Mexico, the colonial history of cochinealRead more

Captive Animals

“Speed and efficiency are not in themselves signs of intelligence or capability or correctness. They do not carry with them any moral value. They don’t necessarily make any social contribution. The most horrifying, violent moments of the twentieth century have centered around regimes wedded to efficiency and to speed” (John Ralston Saul, 2013: 260). “Born Ready” @Mark O’Connell 2017 Michael Snow’s flock of Canada Geese perpetually take flight, their frustrated bid for freedom encased in a great glass ceilinged atriumRead more

Desanctifying the Monastary of Modernism

Desanctifying the Monastary of Modernism: a Multidimensional Exploration into the Conjoined Processes of Construction and Destruction that the Application of the Philosophy of the “Modern” Generates. A Performative Meditation on the creation of “Modernity” November 21, Ryerson School of Fashion Mark O’Connell “We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and sensation of Time. And there are but two means of escaping and forgetting this nightmare: pleasure and work. Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose.” BaudelaireRead more

Reposition the Canon, an Arts Based Exploration into Post-Structuralist Theory and Art Historical Biases

  “Reposition the Canon, an Arts Based Exploration in Post-Structuralist Theory and Art Historical Biases” Mark O’Connell@2015 no reproduction without permission The visual narrative of this piece is based on the concept of knitting an unbroken narrative with a beginning, a logical progression towards an ending. Which in my opinion has been part of the process of constructing a cohesive modern art history. I have knitted a swatch to represent this historical progressive process, and then built a sculpture aroundRead more

Ductile Truths: The Malleability of the Reproductive Image. Creative Reflections on “The Precession of Simulacra” by Jean Baudrillard

Ductile Truths: The Malleability of the Reproductive Image. Creative Reflections on “The Precession of Simulacra” by Jean Baudrillard, Mark O’Connell@2015 No reproduction without permission “. . . In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whoseRead more