Opening Saturday, April 14:


For further information visit the Surrey Art Gallery website



antonia_hirsch_orbitas_2 antonia_hirsch_orbitas_3

January residency at Orbitas—workspace with a view.

Gold ruby glass: this glass comes completely clear, but contains gold that with the right temperature and duration turns red.

Here’s the “before” picture: kiln packed with test in the foreground.


Here the test later in the process… it’s not there yet, a cool red: keep holding at 700 degrees.


Proper gold ruby opening the kiln after the cool-down period:


“Beyond [gold ruby glass’] aesthetic qualities, there is an alchemical connotation: Since ancient Greek times, descriptions of the sorcerers’ stone agree that it was believed to be a red substance and the key to the transmutation of metals, principally the making of gold. Whoever discovered how to color glass red must have thought himself to be on the right track to attaining the ultimate goal of alchemy… Red glass of some sort was produced almost from the time that glassmaking began. Knowledge was gained and then lost, and while there were rediscoveries on several occasions, this glass does not seem to have been produced again until it was revived in Brandenburg in the late 1670s and 1680s. It is here, with the arrival of the alchemist, pharmacist, and glassmaker Johann Kunckel (1637?–1703) in early 1678, that the real story of gold ruby glass begins.”

Source: Corning Museum of Glass

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 12.04.47The Surplus Library on Affect & Economic Exchange will be part of this fantastic Reading Room organized by Wendy’s Subway for the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. The illustrious list of extraordinary (in the true sense of the word) libraries: Aeromoto (Mexico City); Aleph B° (Beirut); Ashkal Alwan (Beirut); AND (London); at land’s edge (Los Angeles); Beta-Local (Puerto Rico); Bureau of General Services—Queer Division (New York); CC Catálogo Contemporáneo (Mexico City and other locations); Chimurenga Library (Cape Town); dispersed holdings (New York); Feminist Library on Wheels (F.L.O.W.) at the Women’s Center for Creative Work (Los Angeles); Free Black Women’s Library (New York); Fundación Alumnos47 (Mexico City); Interference Archive (Brooklyn); Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles); P A L / Pilipinx American Library (Queens); Parmer (Brooklyn); Press Press (Baltimore); Provisions Library: A Project for Social Change (Fairfax and Washington D.C.); Reanimation Library (Queens); The Surplus Library on Affect and Economic Exchange (Multiple Locations); Temporary Services (Chicago); Vancouver Women’s Library (Vancouver); Ulises (Philadelphia); Yale Union (Portland)

Check out the details here.


antonia_hirsch_glass_kiln_8-17Here we go again: another set of molds packed for kiln casting, awaiting their crucibles and glass.

IMG_0898More raw material: two cardiac pacemakers, the “Phoenix” a demo, the “Dialog II” the real (and used) thing.

raw_materialRaw material: black glass billet.

IMG_0885Next set of molds ready for the kiln!

bostonglobe(click here for the article)

Prop (verb vs noun)


A shot I took at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens in April that I can’t get out of my mind: perennial perplexities of display.

Persistence of Vision



I just realized… there is this sketch I made a couple of years ago and ended up putting aside. Compare with recently completed 16×9



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Getting to the core…

After the cool-down:



Form filled to the brim with black glass.



Glass drip frozen in mid-air…



The glass billets left a nice “imprint” in the crucible/funnel…



So you open the kiln and behold: none of the molds broke and the glass seems to have melted nicely into the forms. casting continues!



2hrs at 850° C when everything is glowing red hot, then venting the kiln to rapidly cool it down to 480° C. 40 more hours of cooling after which I’ll find out whether all this led to any interesting results—or not.



Here is the inside of the kiln. The forms at the bottom, buttressed with bricks and flower pots as crucibles with the black glass inside. Next: bringing these babies up to 850° C!


wax_stillOK, remember those plaster forms—with the wax iPhone still inside? What you’re seeing here is not a DIY distillery, it’s my not-so-fancy, but effective setup for steaming out the wax.






The Invisible Hand (After Adam Smith), installation view at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 2010

The Invisible Hand (After Adam Smith) is getting another outing: opening today, March 9, 2017, as part of Under Super Vision an exhibition and symposium at the University of British Columbia.


This is what is left of the nightshirt my mother had with her at the clinic in Paradiese (no joke, it’s a district of the German city of Soest) where she died in 2010. Even though it wasn’t totally my style, I continued to wear it for six more years and when it started to give out, I began to use the material as rags. Now that it’s almost gone, it occurs to me that I may be trying to make the thing “pay”—or work until its last gasp for the outrageous audacity of still being around, in all its frivolity, while the body it clothed has long disappeared from the material world. Of course it’s not particularly surprising that things last longer than bodies, but the sense of outrage at this circumstance is.




For some (like me), thing theory is still a thing…



stomach_phone_sm copy

It seems to be fundraising season: my contribution to Decad‘s ACLU fundraiser. Silent Auction this Sunday, February 26, in Berlin.

From the studio: glass molds in progresss




Four out of eight plaster forms for casting iPhone6-future-relics in black glass.


…for now with the wax still inside the mold.

Solanum I & II

solanumThis small diptych (Solanum I & II) is what I’m donating to the Western Front‘s 44th anniversary fundraiser. More potatoes (see 433 Eros and Cosmic Night Shade)! Picking up on amateur meteorite photography and 19th century spirit photography.

Opening today:

This Now, More Than Ever
Simon Fraser University Gallery, Vancouver, CA

“What is this moment, this now, this present that we are encountering?”

Amir Atouani / Awa Dembele-Yeno / Léa Incorvaia / Mico Mazza, Lorna Brown, Clint Burnham, Adrienne Callander / Neil Callander, Dana Claxton, Brady Cranfield / Jamie Hilder, Thom Donovan, Samir Gandesha, Rosemary Heather, Antonia Hirsch, Am Johal, John O’Brian / Marina Roy, Marianne Nicolson, Karine Ng / Jayce Salloum, Genevieve Robertson, Carol Sawyer, Michael Turner, Althea Thauberger, Kika Thorne, Peter von Tiesenhausen, Urban Subjects, Tania Willard, and Jerry Zaslove, among others.

February 9 to March 03, 2017

Herbert Marcuse's gravestone in Berlin (my contribution to the show)

Image of Herbert Marcuse’s grave in Berlin (my contribution to the show); “weitermachen” = “carry on,” “continue”




fcf6e013248253.5636985e3354a…and then there is this little gem. An image of a thing by Kevin McNamee-Tweed, that I found on some time back.




Profane waxes... casting continues.

Contemporary Magic

Left: iPhone with hymen; right: Anonymous Tantric painting from Rajasthan, circa 2002.

“Magie der Gegenwart”: Süddeutsche Zeitung on the iPhone as pure surface and contemporary magic.

In the Open

photography: Blaine Campbell

photography: Blaine Campbell

In the Open
Western Gallery, Bellingham, WA

“…artists looking at ‘open’ space and how it has been defined, surveilled and controlled.”

Michel Auder, Fiona Bowie, Dries Depoorter, Janice Guy, Antonia Hirsch, Ron Jude, Garry Neill Kennedy, Evan Lee, Wanda Nanibush, Roxy Paine, Bettina Pousttchi

January 4 to March 10, 2017



ex-voto wax objects Photography: © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 3.0

ex-voto wax objects
Photography: © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 3.0



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Ball of Wax







Model of the moon by Julius Schmidt (1825-1884), astronomer and geologist.

Model of the moon by Julius Schmidt (1825-1884), astronomer and geologist.




rocks_greenscreenfakes in the making

mighty potato


Spent a day at the Pitt Rivers Museum’s study room last Thursday, looking at lucky charms from the reserve collection, coincidentally furthering my knowledge on the secret life of the potato (this one from 1897; to be effective against rheumatism it had to be stolen and then carried in one’s pocket).

Potato used as a cure for rheumatism. Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, accession no. 1897.83.3.

Potato used as a cure for rheumatism. Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, accession no. 1897.83.3.