Jeanine Oleson: Conduct Matters

Published in 2019
Edited by Karen Kelly and Barbara Schroeder. Texts by Connie Butler, Jaleh Mansoor, and K-Sue Park
Design by Nicole Killian
104 pages, 56 color images, softcover, 6 x 9 inches
Distributed by D.A.P.
ISBN: 978-1-7336889-0-1


Conduct Matters gathers the texts, scores, and transcripts of Jeanine Oleson’s hopefully dystopic project that was originally shown at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in 2017. The publication presents the exhibited works—including an instrument that reacts to human breath, a handwoven rug based on perspectives visible in three-dimensional modeling, a video installation, and a performance—as manifestations of the artist’s ongoing interest in language and communication lapses through either abstraction or actual bodily distance. Wrestling with a set of ethical concerns around materials we may take for granted but that breach distances through wires and networks—primarily copper—Conduct Matters offers a sharply absurdist response to ways copper is produced and used in 21st-century capitalism. Of her current pursuits, the artist has said, “through material extraction and labor, . . . I’m making catalytic instruments and objects which alter the body’s function in relationship to representation . . . using their bodies as instruments . . . troubling representation of materiality and images.” By exploring conduction as a material, political, musical, and ethical phenomenon in collaboration with an ensemble cast who take the production cycle of copper as the ground to examine communication, technology, and the sensory, Oleson tackles issues of labor, the environment, craft, and performance with humor, pathos, and intellectual rigor.

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