|Current Reblogger: Chloë Bass|
Chloë Bass is an artist, curator and community organizer based in Brooklyn. She is the co-lead organizer for Arts in Bushwick (artsinbushwick.org), which produces the ever-sprawling Bushwick Open Studios, BETA Spaces, and performance festival SITE Fest, which she founded. Recent artistic work has been seen at SCOPE Art Fair, CultureFix, the Bushwick Starr Theater, Figment, and The Last Supper Art Festival, as well as in and around the public spaces of New York City. She has guest lectured at Parsons, the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, and Brooklyn College. Other moments have found her co-cheffing Umami: People + Food, a 90 person private supper club; growing plants with Boswyck Farms (boswyckfarms.org); and curating with architecture gallery SUPERFRONT (superfront.org). Chloë holds a BA in Theater Studies from Yale University, and an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) from Brooklyn College.
Saturday: September 18
Today was yet another busy day, with the Green Prix, workshops, and performances. I spent most of my time in performances today.
I began my day with voicing my opinion at the Trading Voices booth. We had a choice to “speak” or “re-speak”, and the questions were about gender equality/inequality. I decided to “re-speak” which was state another person’s opinion as my own to trade a voice and add confusion in opinions. I thought it was cool to play a part that I was not, and act a little bit.
Next I went to my first performance of the day. I went to O+A Requiem for Fossil Fuels, which was an orchestra of digital sounds and sonic voices. There were about 5 people, and the composer circled around a podium. The singers sang high and low notes beautifully, and chanted while there were sounds of traffic, horns, buses, footsteps, sirens and more in the background. At first I wasn’t sure what to think of this combination. After listening to it for a while I began to like the mix of the human voices with the sounds of man and machine-made sounds supporting the voices.
Right after, was the Zoe Keating and Robert Hodgins performance at South Hall. I had been looking forward to this for a while, as I knew that Zoe Keating was an established cello musician and Robert Hodgins was a talented flash animation artist. Zoe Keating played 5 pieces. In the beginning of every piece, she would state her inspiration and speak a little bit about what the piece will entail. I really appreciated that, because she received an inspiration and put it to use, rather than put together pieces of music randomly. She is a true artist. Once she started playing I could not take my eyes off of her. She absorbed me fully, and I sat there awestruck at how amazingly she played the cello, and how precise she was with her loops. I thought to myself: she is a true musical genius. How did she know that a certain loop will sound good with another loop? It was amazing to see her work. After her pieces, her last piece was with Robert Hodgins visual. I was a little skeptical only because I loved Zoe’s cello all by itself and was afraid that a visual will take the beauty out of it. When the visuals started coming in, it did not take away from the beauty, it added to it. The cello and the visuals were perfectly in sync and the vibrations, long notes and short notes were all seen in the visuals. At the end, everyone clapped so much that she played an encore piece. It was the best performance I had seen throughout the entire biennial.
At the end, there was a reception/party. I enjoyed some food, and had a wonderful time with friends. It was the end of a great day, and was a great time to celebrate.
Today was a wonderful day, and the highlight of my day was Zoe Keating. I think I will be listening to more of her songs to be inspired while I am creating artwork.
Sunday: September 19
The last day of the Biennial, and the least hectic day.
Today I played “Blast Theory”, which is a game engaging a person, a machine and a phone. I received a call about an hour before my summons time, asking me if this was the phone I would be using. I said yes. It told me to meet at a certain place in San Jose and from there on, it gave me a series of instructions. It was a little weird at first because a machine was giving me instructions. Geographically, it knew everything. It told me to wait under an awning and meet up with a partner. There was no partner to greet me so I continued alone. I can’t say everything it told me to do, but I will say at one point it told me to devise a plan to rob a bank! It was a pretty interesting experience.
Afterward, I went straight to South Hall to see Dark Dark Dark play. There were a cool Indie band with some nice tunes. They also already had a great fan base, and played the theme song of the film screening to follow after.
Today was a short day, and I was still exhausted from the weekend. All in all, it was a great four days.
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Brody Condon has uploaded two videos documenting LevelFive, a live action role-playing game/performance modeled after 1970s self actualization seminars such as Erhard Seminars Training. (The LevelFive site provides a clip of one of these sessions, from Adam Curtis' documentary Century of the Self, here.) Participants, all of whom are volunteers, take up a character for the entire duration of the weekend, and engage in a series of intense self-actualizing exercises and seminars as this person. Similar to Condon's previous project TwentyfiveFold Manifestation, the immersion and duration of the game work plays on the "bleed" between the participant's original self and that of their character. LevelFive took place at the Hammer Museum of Art from September 4-5, 2010 and again at the San Jose Convention Center on September 17-18, 2010, during the Zero1 Biennial.
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I was out in San Jose last week for the 01SJ Biennial and I took a few snapshots of the exhibits for the blog, below. I organized Rhizome's live performance event "Domain," which was part of 01SJ's film program. "Domain" included artists Jeremy Bailey, Petra Cortright, Constant Dullaart, and JODI.
Recap, 2010 01SJ Day 1:
Today was the first day of the biennial! Everything that I had spent months promoting and working for and it was finally here. The first day was mainly hectic and exciting. Hectic because I did not know what to expect, and exciting because I was able to meet a bunch of new artists from the Out of The Garage workshops.
I saw workshops which studied people’s shopping/clothing trends, a solar sculpture from Solar Circus, precision cut cardboard and materials from the tech shop, and other exciting things I would like to take part in throughout the weekend.
In the evening, the performances at open ceremonies were spectacular! There were audio ballerinas, Taiko drummers, and the featured artist, The Freshmen. I had never heard of The Freshmen before this, and when I listened to them for the first time I was surprised at how awesome they sounded! They really got the crowd up and moving, and a few die-hard fans came in later to join the fun. There was also Rockwell group’s amazing light show installation, and it was turned on during the middle of the performance. It was great seeing the lights change with traffic lights.
At the end of the day, I attended a midnight concert at Trinity Cathedral. It was an Untitled Piano Composition. I found the performance very eerie yet soothing. The composition was creative, and the sounds were beautiful.
All in all my first day went great, and I am looking forward to the next three action-packed days for 01SJ.
Recap, 2010 01SJ Day 2:
Today, I was a little bit more familiar with the workshops and Out of the Garage events. After meeting with the other builders, I decided to go to the first performance of the day, which was “A Season in Hell” at the San Jose Stage. I had no idea what to expect when I walked in, but when I was greeted with Randall Packer shouting in the middle of the stage, I knew this was going to go well.
The performance was both political and artistic. It was video art tightly merged with performance art, and it was truly magnificent to see. What I appreciated most about the performance was the pre-recorded bits they showed on the screen and on Orf, who was the secretary of art and technology’s guide to the underworld after America’s “death” during the Bush Administration. This performance required an enormous amount of skill, both technical and in acting. Only two actors made this performance entertaining.
After the performance, I had a D.I.Y. Solar Sculptures workshop to attend, so I went in and was happy to see that the workshop was fully packed. Kids of all ages, as well as adults. She gave us solar sculpture kits in which we are able to make a puppy, windmill, spin boat, and many others. I picked the airboat, and started hacking and putting together the pieces because at the end, our mini-sculptures were going to be part of a large rolling wagon filled with sculptures everyone has made, and each little moving, spinning piece was to take part of the Green Prix.
After D.I.Y. Solar Sculptures, me and some of the builders and volunteers attended the V.I.P. reception, and listened to some wonderful artist talks. There I saw Zoe Keating in person! It was exciting.
Next, was the AbsoluteZero street festival. I invited some of my friends to come with me, as this was a very hip place to be for a lot of young artists. I saw booths with art projections, an “Over the Top” two-person carousel, the Red Cross “CURE” booth, performances, and more! It was a wonderful experience walking around and checking out the galleries.
At the end of the day, I was exhausted and went home to get some sleep before the next day, which was the Green Prix.
-Shilpi Tomar [Builder]
Performances & Out of the Garage
Jon Cohrs and Morgan Levy are selling bottles of Alviso's Medicinal All-Salt: hand-harvested medicinal cure-all salt for $52.50 each.
Are you feeling depressed? Sick of paying exorbitant rates for birth control?
Traditionally, medical conditions are treated through expensive appointments and prescription drugs. Alviso's Medicinal All-Salt is a unique low-dosage cocktail of all our most commonly used drugs, brought together in one simple salty remedy, naturally.
The All-Salt process harvests two popular commodities, sea salt and recycled pharmaceuticals from water treatment plants, to produce one fine medicinal product: a cure-all salt for every condition, hand harvested and sun dried for purity.
Inhabitants of San Jose have long harvested sea salt from the San Francisco Bay's ocean waters. Today, Bay waters are fed by more than ocean tides and freshwater streams. Sewage piped from urban Bay Area communities to water pollution control plants along the Bay's edges drains into the bay. Wastewater treatment plants filter out most toxic contaminants, but not the pharmaceuticals that many of us flush down our toilets - anything from antibiotics to antidepressants that are not completely absorbed by our bodies. Valuable drug compounds make it through treatment intact and collect in Bay saltwater, where they are available to be re-harvested and re-used.
Medicinal All-Salt products are for sale now! And, research and instructions on how to understand and make use of the bounty of the yet-unregulated pharmaceutical disposal industry available at All Salt
Thursday, September 16, 7:30pm
Please join us this Thursday, September 16 as we continue our programming series Open-Sourcing the City: Invited and Uninvited Participation. In the last event, professor/author Miriam Greenberg established the relationship between city branding and urban development agendas like Bloomberg's "Luxury City". Against this backdrop, how can cultural creatives and spatial practitioners participate productively? What are constructive forms of critical engagement?
Drawing from her own practice and from first-hand research, artist/activist Emily Forman will take us on a visual tour of the contested Neoliberal City, highlighting the ‘uninvited participation’ of its discontent inhabitants; grandmothers, squatters, and artists, joined together in a shared struggle for spatial justice.
First we will go to Chicago, where the mythic ‘Department of Space and Land Reclamation’ catalyzes a flurry of public interventions around hyperreal governance and runaway gentrification; and where an anonymous PR campaign nearly threatens to implode the City’s careful rebranding of its controversial public housing policies.
Then we visit ‘Miles de Viviendas’, a social center and ‘Pirate University’, housed in a squatted police barracks in seaside Barceloneta; where the neighbors bring culture to the barricades, defending themselves against immanent displacement and tourist-driven Disneyfication using bottom-up urban planning, critical cartography, tactical textiles, and creative direct action.
About Emily Forman
Emily Forman is a cultural activist who prefers that her art, politics, practice, and theory be woven snugly into the fabric of everyday life. She often works collaboratively on public interventions, hybrid documentary projects, and on self-organized convergences like ‘The City From Below’ and ‘Pilot TV: Experimental Media for Feminist Trespass.’ While she aims for ‘realness’ in a world of elaborate fiction, she has been accused of ‘harboring hostages’, of ‘disrupting master plans’ and other utopian intransigence. She is the co-editor, along with Daniel Tucker, of ‘Trashing the Neoliberal City: Autonomous Cultural Practices in Chicago 2000-2005.’ She can be found working at multiplefronts.org
Anil Dash just published an interesting post looking at the social implications of the code fork, and how it has changed from a huge contested point to a feature of the collaborated process:
“While Linus Torvalds is best known as the creator of Linux, it’s one of his more geeky creations, and the social implications of its design, that may well end up being his greatest legacy. Because Linus has, in just a few short years, changed the social dynamic around forking, turning the idea of multiple versions of a work from a cultural weakness into a cultural strength. Perhaps the technologies that let us easily collaborate together online have finally matured enough to let our work reflect the reality that some problems are better solved with lots of different efforts instead of one committee-built compromise.”
This is something we touched upon in the Collaborative Futures book, both in the Multiplicity and Social Coding and the Forks vs. Knives chapters. Anil goes on to suggest a distributed collaborative model that encourages forking might reinvigorate Wikipedia, which follows the more traditional centralized collaborative model:
“Most importantly, the new culture of ubiquitous forking can have profound impacts on lots of other categories of software. There have been recent rumblings that participation in Wikipedia editing has plateaued, or even begun to decline. Aside from the (frankly, absurd) idea that “everything’s already been documented!” one of the best ways for Wikipedia to reinvigorate itself, and to break away from the stultifying and arcane editing discussions that are its worst feature, could be to embrace the idea that there’s not One True Version of every Wikipedia article.”
Extending the distributed model beyond code and leveraging forking in other collaborative processes have interested me for quite some time. In commenting on Anil’s post, I realized something about the inherent difference between Wikipedia and software. Instead of rewriting it, I’ll just quote my comment in its entirety:
I’m happy that both the merging and the network view issues were addressed on the previous comments. I have been interested in extending the git&github models beyond software myself. I understand the interest in considering Wikipedia as the next logical step for networked collaboration right after code, but I think there is a fundamental difference between the two. While software code contains a set of rules that would operate a system, Wikipedia’s model is almost opposite – it documents a system that is already happening or has happened. Wikipedia attempts to document a monolithic past while software attempts to imagine the multiplicity of the future(s).
If there is room for the distributed model to be extended beyond software, I believe we should try to find other creative processes that are aimed at the future. One of these fields which I am very interested in these days (and I know you Anil are to) is legislation.
We’ve already established that “Code is Law”, but we have not realized that it also means we can/should fork it and hack it, and then possibly merge it too. Most Open Gov initiatives have been focused on government transparency – making the past activity of the gov’t more accessible hoping this would make representatives more accountable in the future. We’re often use software to mashup the past data rather than to help create it.
I say, rather than just promote or fight a bill (traditional pre-Internet models of engagement) we should fork it. Don’t send me tiring petitions about why this is wrong, send me a “diff” highlighting your proposed patches (then we can fight together for a “pull request”).
While there will only be one “build” we’ll be able to “execute” together, the git model is not just about forking. It’s about mitigating individual creativity and autonomy with the collective production. In software projects, you can fork and follow your own individual trajectory at the possible high price of losing the benifits of a community. The same can be said about democracy. It’s about open leadership… People largely choose to engage rather than live in the hills, so I believe we should encourage them to fork and trust that they will have enough incentive to merge.
Anil, or anyone else interested in further developing these ideas, I’d love to hear your thoughts here or @Mushon(.com)
So yeah, definitely let me know your thoughts & join the discussion there or here.
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- LAST CHANCE to see video_dumbo! Screenings today until 8:30pm. So many AMAZING artists included in the line-up. $5 tickets at the door @...
- ICYMI: teaser-trailer for one of today's video_dumbo films: http://t.co/KkflaN0KyI. LOTS of screenings today. Come by from 12:30-8:30!
- video_dumbo screening tonight @7: Rachel Steinberg curates VIDEOROVER. 7 films for $10. Tickets online or @ the door! http://t.co/vywnZ2Aafp
- TONIGHT join us for a talk @6 w/ moving-image artist Lauri Astala + curator Aniko Erdosi. "Disappearance" on view: http://t.co/t4f6tq5dIe