5 podiums at the Chicago Cultural Center

Five podiums at the Chicago Cultural Center as part of a Year of Public Art Chicago.

5 podiums by Jim Duignan, Chicago Cultural Center.

These are a series of heavy, hand-built wooden podiums from materials of Chicago neighborhoods to provide a public platform for children and others, invited cultural spaces, youth performers and activists , and towards spaces in and out of schools to stand behind.

Billboard proposal Chicago

The billboard proposal is a work about the manic incantations of a year and a half period. My school photos will be placed on a billboard overlooking my old neighborhood at Irving Park, Milwaukee, and Cicero in Chicago.

22nd Congress Stockyard Institute

22nd Congress Stockyard Institute

Revolutsiia? Demostratsiia!: Soviet Art Put to the Test

Stockyard Institute will convene a 22nd Congress at the Art Institute of Chicago with Jim Duignan, Curated by Rachel Harper, Regenstein Hall, 2:00-4:00, December 15, 2017. The gathering recognized artists involved over the life of Stockyard Institute, including Ian Duignan, Edra Soto, Adelheid Mers, Sabrina Huchthausen, Sandro Murrillo, Corey Jenkins, Bruna Duignan, and Rachel Harper, (with Mike Norse). The gathering was audio recorded. 

Revolutsiia? Demostratsiia!: Soviet Art Put to the Test.



Hull House swing video

This was a commissioned by the Hull-House Museum to build a swing which they referred to as the ‘Jolly Romp’ for a year-long exhibition called The Right to Play’. The swing is a symbol of my childhood and a memorial for the Hull House where my great-grandmother taught. 

Chicago swing

Works by Michael Joaquin Grey, Ane Hjort Guttu, Priscila Fernandes, Luis Camnitzer, Jim Duignan, Markus Kayser, Eva Koťátková, James Mollison, Calvin Seibert, Renzo Piano, The Society for a Merrier Present and others. Curated by Jaroslav Andel. 

portable fast pitch

My childhood revolved partially around finding a baseball game often at or around the school yards of Chicago. It was a proving ground for boys and a deep place to wonder in the public. Drawing the rectangular crossed markings of the fast pitch strike zone on any available wall. I was deftly skilled at creating the perfect ‘fast pitch box’ for our baseball crew.
public school drawing board and tape, In the collection of Regin Igloria.

Oxbow swing

In 1987 I visited Oxbow for the first time amidst a short but uninterrupted group of months, maybe 7-9 months without drinking. There was always connecting tissue between living as an artist and the means I found to explore ideas however mind altering. There was some need in protecting myself from the unknown forces upon which no reasonable act worked. I attempted everything at getting sober. I stood unsettled in 1987 and against a Michigan tree looking at the bend in the lagoon that seemed to soothe my soul. A moment of knowing, that my life as an artist was not tethered to anything other than my will, imagination, and insistence upon simply taking my own advice.

In 2017, I returned warmed by reconnecting to a space that settled some matters of deep stirring. I walked to that place where the tree-lined up that spot perfectly for a clear view of the bend in the lagoon. This was a mystical spot I needed to mark. It was a place that helped without any real effort in 1987 other than time and distance. I built and installed a simple swing from my youth that summer. The steel and wood drawing board seat, steel chain hung, flying machines that worked to quiet my thoughts of childhood. The swing was an interrupter of grand proportions. It is there now for another 30 years, for those who wish to sit as they cast their eyes upon the bend in the lagoon and make their wish.

Smart Radio

Stockyard Institute created Smart Radio and worked with David Ladon, Davion Mathews, Sabrina Huchthausen, Nikki Jarecki and museum docents to teach them how to use the radio and broadcast their recordings of the general public on what it means to belong. Photo by Sabrina Huchthausen.