Archives for category: Performances and Exhibits

Last year Arts Interstices introduced a program called Open Your Curatorial Eye to train people from various professional backgrounds to curate art exhibitions.  Now we celebrate the opening reception for Amie Ziner, first to complete the training. Her show, People in Nature, features work from three continents by six artists for eight weeks at The Grove.

Amie's Flier

Says Amie, “The theme describes what each of these artists has achieved; an intimate relationship with the places they work and live. They pay homage to their country’s landscapes, plants and animals, and to the human spirit, both as made evident, and implied. Traditional media and digital media were brought together to create this show. There are acrylic and gouache paintings, digital prints of handmade 3D objects (made from recycled materials) and paintings, digitally created coloring books, and sumi ink paintings on handmade paper. This reality is what our world, the world seen through artist’s eyes, is all about now. It is a delight to me to share this diverse and beautiful art.”

The reception takes place Sept 11, 2015, 4-7pm at 760 Chapel Street in New Haven, CT.  The event is free and open to the public. An elevator is available. Parking in the State Street Public Lot can be validated at 50%. Refreshments will be served.

An international circle of participating artists makes sense for the theme. They include:

Linda Cato: As an artist, educator, and artivist, Linda believes in the power of creativity to ignite change on the personal, community, and global levels. She is passionate about using the visual arts as a tool for changemaking, shining the light of art in places that need it the most. Linda has facilitated numerous public art events in Tucson as well as on the national level, working with youth and adults to explore and solve community issues through creativity and empathy.

Linda has developed visual arts programs at several Tucson schools, and worked directly with community organizations to offer arts programming to diverse communities. Currently, Linda is the Assistant Director and Artist-in-Residence at Changemaker High School, Arizona’s first high school to be accepted into the Ashoka Network of changemaker schools. Her curriculum at CMHS is designed to lead students to research and address social issues through art. As a changemaker artist herself, Linda has developed a “green” studio practice, working solely with non-toxic and sustainably sourced materials to create innovative works that explore the human relationship with the natural world.

David Sandum: Born and raised in Sweden, David Sandum moved with his wife to the United States in the early 1990s. They settled in Salt Lake City and David attended the University of Utah, graduating in 1999 with a BA in speech communication.

Soon after, he returned to Scandinavia with his young family and ultimately secured a position in IT sales. The demands of his new job, on the heels of many years of stress, took a toll on his health, and he fell into a severe depression. It was during this difficult time that he began to draw and paint, inspired by Edvard Munch’s philosophy that we should all write or paint our life story.

In 2002, David had his first exhibit in his new hometown of Moss, Norway. Over the years since, he has pursued a career in art, participating in many group exhibits and annual solo gallery shows. He was also awarded several public art commissions in Hvaler, Norway, and Skagen, Denmark. In 2007 David completed a series of Auschwitz-Birkenau paintings in honor of his grandmother, who was a survivor. One of the pieces was acquired by the Mizel Museum in Denver, Colorado.

More recently, David has embarked on several study trips to New York City, Prague, and Amsterdam. In October 2014, he was accepted to work at the prestigious printmaking studio Estudi de Gravat Ignasi Aguirre Ruiz in Barcelona under master printer Ignacio, who has worked with a number of renowned artists, including Dali, Tapies, and Miro. For his etchings, David primarily uses aquatint, drypoint, or carborundum.  Just published: “I’ll Run Until the Sun Goes Down”, a memoir about Depression, and saving his life through Art”.

Florence M’Bilampassi Virginie Loukoula “Ma Flo” was born in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, in 1972. In middle school, she enjoyed embroidery, and then adapted her embroidery impulses to paintings. She is completely self taught. She has participated in many local exhibitions, meetings, workshops and demonstrations. Very eclectic, she expresses herself in diverse media, such as: painting, wood sculpture, antique replicas, sand paintings, raffia, wool weaving, mosquito netting, using natural pigments. She designs logos, and makes sculptures out of recycled materials such as milk and sardine tins and bottle caps from beer and soft drinks. Florence is extremely dynamic, motivated and a motivator, who is keen to transmit her knowledge without charge. She is the current president of the Women Painters and Artists Club (CFAPS), a renowned association which aims to guide young single mothers, both Bantu and indigenous, to develop their spirit of creativity in art and handicrafts. Florence is showing a stunning painting here.

M’Bilampassi Tonda Judith Armel: Judith was born in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on August 9, 1974. After high school in Congo, she became a businesswoman. Five years later, she became a painter, influenced by her sister Florence M’Bilampassi. She is an active member of the Women Artists and Painters Club (CFAPS). She makes sculptures from recycled materials and other media. Her first exhibit was at the French Cultural Center in July 2009, followed by a show at the Brazzaville Town Hall in October 2010. She also exhibited at the first forum on violence against women at the Parliament building in September 2012, and at the Ouibeko Association Forum at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in October 2012. In October 2012, she displayed her work at the French cooperation, and in again at Congo’s French Institute (formerly the French Cultural Center) in February 2015 as part of a group exhibit themed “Women’s Look.” These days she paints landscapes and open air markets.

Harry Stooshinoff is both a painter and teacher who holds a B Ed, BFA and an MFA. He has been producing artwork almost on a daily basis for over 35 years. A few decades ago he started making small pictures so that he could start and finish the piece in one sitting. The work is small because an intimate scale encourages maximum intuition, freedom, and experimentation.  He lives in the rolling countryside of the Oak Ridges Moraine, an ancient landform located just north of Lake Ontario, and is inspired by what he sees every day. “I roam this unique place in all seasons, and document my impressions. At first view, rural environments may seem natural, but they have been continually altered and reshaped by man. The landscape will be very different tomorrow; it seems negligent not to record how it looked and felt today. It’s a big NOISY world, so I make small, quiet paintings.”

Amie Ziner uses both digital and analog media during drawing sessions, switching back and forth, often for the same pose. “I’ve been making fine art, commissions, and commercial illustration for more than 40 years, and there is so much more to learn. I’m pleased to share my work, and what technical knowledge I have with students, other artists, and aficionados of the visual arts.”

The exhibition may be viewed through Nov. 6th during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. View Amie Ziner‘s website, email her at amie@amieziner.com and follow her on Twitter @aziner.

The Grove in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, invited Arts Interstices to begin a program of bringing art into its coworking space in 2013. To date, a total of nine exhibitions have fueled workplace inspiration and helped to visualize changing organizational paradigms. Here is a recap!

Navigate Complexity explored the theme of the 2013 Drucker Forum through the work of 17 artists.  Recently it was referenced in a business article authored by a European entrepreneur.
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Portraits & Pop Art presented paintings by Raheem Nelson, Kwadwo Adae and Gordon Skinner
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Dream Scenes presented drawings and paintings of urban youth from the Future Project & next generation Grovers, with works by special guest artist-instructors Katro Storm & Krikko Obbot
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Building Hope Through History was guest curated by Mark Landow of the New Haven Adult Education’s High School Credit Program, whom we were introduced to through independent curator Debbie Hesse. The show featured three-dimensional models of actual local buildings based on original research by students ages 18-25.

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re:Generate – Art Based on Code was co-curated with Brian Monahan.  It was an assemblage of generative software projects and their artifacts by Alexander Gross, Brian Monahan, Dan Gries, Danielle Kefford, Robert McDougal, Dan Bernier, Giulia Gouge, Michael Romano and Milton Laufer.  A special event featured generative music performed remotely by the UK band Meta-eX.

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I am Mosaic: Connecticut’s Many Faces of MS was guest curated by the artist Mike Marques.
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Uptake was a study of flowers by Mick Brown in hyper-realistic detail with saturated color palettes.  He has since produced a calendar with these images.

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Citywide Open Studios: Transported included Amie Ziner’s drawings and a special event with Amie Ziner & Raheem Nelson. Live iPad demos were projected at street level and broadcast on television.
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Wonder, co-curated with Christina Kane, featured Irene Leibler’s art of the image.

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The Grove’s curatorial program has garnered attention from artists and technologists as well as global companies.  Sococo has invited Elinor Slomba to serve on its Virtual Life Panel to represent arts and culture.

Have an idea for an art exhibition? Learn how to apply for a guest curator spot at The Grove.  Sign up for Open Your Curatorial Eye, a three-session program that can be scheduled at your convenience.

We are also experimenting with crowdfunding to support Community Curation.  Our first campaign just launched, and we invite your participation.

Artful Agilists is a group multimedia exhibition intended to demonstrate one of the intrinsic rewards for working in an Agile way: bringing more of ourselves to work.  The success of this demonstration rests on the vulnerability of respected Agile practitioners sharing who they are as creative art makers and practitioners. It is scheduled for Saturday, February 21, 2015 in the Agile Leader Hall, a virtual space in Sococo .

Fractal Cylinder, Artist Dan Gries (middle)

Fractal Cylinder, Artist Dan Gries (middle)

The venue is the online home of Bill Krebs’ Distributed Agile Study Group.  Offering workshops to help Agilists gain fluency in virtual worlds, this is a global community of practice for what Fast Company columnist Scott Anthony calls “associational thinking.” Associational thinking is defined as the ability to make surprising connections. Members are co-present in the Agile Mindset across distance, methodologies and domains.

Here is the rationale behind the exhibition:

During the Industrial Revolution, people in the workplace distinctly separated what we think of now as “art” from “technology.” Though engineers held the well-oiled machine in high esteem, it was in a realm far from the bright ornaments with which the Victorians populated other spaces. Thus efficiency was divorced from beauty. Engineering was divorced from craftsmanship.

We suffer when we reinforce this false split while trying to accomplish knowledge work. The boundaries hurt because they no longer apply.

As Agilists, we want to hone our aesthetic senses and re-integrate art and technology. This is one path to healing the wounds of an inhuman workplace. We seek to apply artfulness to our roles as makers and users of technology. We also respect and promote art’s function as an embodiment of culture.

Artist Robert McDougal, Yale

Artist Robert McDougal, Yale

This is an online gallery where you can interact with the viewers in real time. If you’d like to participate, here’s how:

MANY THANKS to Lyssa AdkinsDoc List and Paul Sutton for their early commitment to participate,

to the members of New Haven Artful Agilists for their continuing on-the-ground inspiration,

and to Esther Derby for providing valuable insight and moral support.

Intrigued but not yet ready to contribute? LEARN MORE about the platform of Sococo and check out Elinor’s mentor Lee Devin, co-Author of Artful Making and The Soul of Design.

Last week, near Yale…

full invite RE

Members of New Haven Artful Agilists saw the grid-like structure on the face of the oldest working elevator in Connecticut and thought they looked like pixels.  The only next sensible thing to do was to cut up pool noodles into three-inch slices and insert them into appropriately color-coded spaces to recreate a portrait of Marilyn Monroe!

Marilyn9

More steps in the process of installing this work can be seen here.

The results are in the exhibition re:Generate / Art Based on Code on view at The Grove now through September 20, 2014.

Other artists and works in the show include:

focuslessness, a writing/art collective that experiments with ways of generating, composing, processing, displaying, publishing, using, and experiencing language. It was founded in Buenos Aires in 2012 by Milton Laüfer, an Argentine writer, computer programmer, and digital artist currently living in Brooklyn and Michael Romano, an American writer currently living in New Haven. The group’s first experiments aimed to break out of conventional writing/reading formats and practices to explore memory and transience. Says Michael, “The reader can never go back to what she has just encountered and has no control over what she will encounter. She’ll never know what would have arrived if she had stayed. Her reading—each of her readings—is unique and irretrievable.”  Focuslessness is also participating in “Vagaries of the Commons” at Artspace.

Robert McDougal, a mathematician turned computational neuroscientist. He develops techniques for using computers to help understand the brain.

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“Every thought we think and every moment we spend appreciating art and beauty is made possible by the collective activity of nearly 100 billion neurons in our brains. In an ironic case of ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ we tend to forget about these important cells. And though we all have them, they are too small to see with the naked eye and most people have never even seen one in a microscope. This work physically manifests real, traced neurons on a human-interpretable scale, allowing us to appreciate them not just for their raw computational power, but also for the beauty inherent in their delicate branching structures. The six neurons displayed in the piece each come from different parts of the nervous system and relate in different ways to how we perceive the world around us.”

Giulia Gouge

“I work in communications daily, and have to be very clear and concise and leave very little wiggle room when it comes to interpretation.  Tone is important.  As we move into the digital age, we find the balance of communications shift from hyper ambiguous with abbreviated text and lack of punctuation to hyper emotive with…well…emojis.  Then we find ourselves lost in translation.”

Dan Gries

“A mathematician and educator by training and vocation, computer programming came to me later in life as a way of creating interactive instructional applications. Later, code become a way for me to express myself artistically. My work follows no hard and fast rules except that I aim to create objects which are visually appealing. I am particularly fascinated with the idea of creating aesthetic imperfection, by harnessing and controlling randomness. I also prefer to do only a bare minimum of post-processing in the form of image editors, so that each image is purely a visual representation of an algorithm.”

Fractal Cylinders

These three works were the result of experimentation which began with a simple question: how would you program a computer to draw a circle the way a human would – imperfect and wobbly? A method for producing such circles was worked out based on fractal subdivision. This led to the creation of “fractal cylinders,” by allowing closed curves to smoothly sweep across the canvas, as the curves morph from one of these imperfect circles to the next. The resulting objects marry jaggedness in one direction with smoothness in a perpendicular direction. The variations in the resulting images were created by tracing curves either along the length or around the “waist” of the cylinders, by changing colors and transparency and the way the light blends together, or by allowing two fractal cylinders to intersect each other. The images were coded in JavaScript, and methods were worked to push a web browser to extremes to generate these large, high resolution images.

Cellular Boids (live animation)

This animation is essentially a mashup of two classic algorithms: cellular automata and the boid algorithm. Each cell (square) in this two-dimensional array contains a color, and on every refresh of the screen each cell changes color according to the behavior of its neighbors. The rules for changing colors are somewhat technical, but have simple underlying ideas: each cell wants to be a similar color to its neighbors (cohesion), but without being exactly the same (avoidance), while also changing with a color flow similar to the average flow of its neighbors (alignment). Colors are defined by red, green, and blue components, and as colors change this corresponds to a motion through this three-dimensional color space. This is the flow direction that the cells attempt to align with their neighbors. The animation begins by giving each cell a randomized color, but once this initial state is set the animation proceeds without any influence of randomization. Although the tapestry of color evolves endlessly, unpredictably, and chaotically, it is a completely deterministic consequence of the initial state.

 

Alexander Gross 

The world that we live in is unimaginably complex. We are awash in a sea of information. Autonomous agents act and interact everywhere around us, with each other, and in ways that are impossible to predict or truly understand. As a society we exert considerable effort towards isolating and presenting patterns, rules, theories, “truths”; attempting to tame our fear of the unknowable sublime and replace it with “understanding.” But ultimately these understandings remain merely models of a reality we will never master.  As creative researcher, I seek intervention into the neat little models and equations we use to define our world. Technological interventions provide a way to explore potential worlds and to reconnect with the fragility of our own complex existence. Towards this end I cultivate a liminal practice situated at the border of the unknown. A place where disparate areas of research can fuse horizons in previously inconceivable ways. A place where a relaxation of assumptions can lead to new conclusions.  A practice of this type is, I believe, critically important, because loathe though we may be to admit, it is not the things we think we understand which make this life worth living, it is only mystery.

 

Danielle Kefford

“I am a software engineer in a corporate environment during the day but I have always had a curiosity about graphics programming over the years. I also drew a bit from time to time when I was younger, but only during the last 8-10 years have I elevated my drawing to an actual hobby. Generative art is a satisfying fusion of those two passions by allowing me to be expressive through code.”

Dan Bernier

Fractal Circles

Take a square, subdivide it, repeat; but each time, maybe we stop and draw a circle instead, and maybe it’s solid, or hollow, or maybe even missing.

 

These pieces originally started as a way to explore combinations and permutations of members in a set. Combinations with one or two circles could be large, but combinations with more would have to be smaller, to fit. I liked the effect of mixing multiple sizes, but I had to choose each set of combinations, and choose how to organize them, so I abandoned that idea for randomly-generated fractal layouts instead.

 

Brian Monahan

Structures is a simple piece that is built in processing (a program language.) The pieces were created by moving a mouse and create points that are then connecting to one another, in realtime. The prints are artifacts of the process. The structures that I created in this were meant to resemble an organic or fluid substance, that had the structural components within, in many ways supporting the overall form.

Source Code

 

int[] xpos = new int[100];

int[] ypos = new int[100];

 

void setup() {

size(1920, 900);

 

for (int i = 0; i < xpos.length; i++ ) {

xpos[i] = -100;

ypos[i] = +150;

 

background(255);

}

}

 

void draw() {

smooth(2);

if (mousePressed) {

for (int i = 0; i < xpos.length-1; i++ ) {

 

line(xpos[i], ypos[i], xpos[i+1], ypos[i+1]);

xpos[i] = xpos[i+1];

ypos[i] = ypos[i+1];

smooth(10);

float distance = dist(xpos[xpos.length-1], ypos[ypos.length-1], xpos[i], ypos[i]);

float b = map( distance, 4, 2, 1, 1);

stroke(2,2,2,50);

 

if (distance < 105) {

line(mouseX, mouseY, xpos[i], ypos[i]);

}

 

}

if (mouseX != 0 || mouseY != 0 ) {

xpos[xpos.length-1] = mouseX;

ypos[ypos.length-1] = mouseY;

smooth(100);

}

save(“outputs/dots12.tif”);

}

}

This article was originally posted in The Whiteboard, a blog serving Connecticut’s entrepreneurial community.  Michael Romano is the editor.  Read more Whiteboard articles here: http://newhiteboard.com/

Elinor Slomba is the founder of E. Slomba Arts Interstices as well as a Whiteboard Community Startup Journalist. In addition to covering the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Connecticut, she has written for The Whiteboard on the Scrum and Agile approaches to collaboration and project management. As a consultant and curator, one of her main concerns is bridging the worlds of art and business, helping artists be more entrepreneurial and businesses more artistic. The exhibition she recently curated, Navigate Complexity, is currently on view at The GroveThe work pictured above, from the exhibition, is “Nebulae #1,” by Jennifer Davies (handmade paper, string, 17” square).

13-007 Jennifer Davies

Monday evening, an exhibition I curated opened at the The Grove in New Haven, showcasing the work of 17 Connecticut-based artist-entrepreneurs and one timely business topic: Navigating Complexity.

The opening reception drew approximately 50 people from the arts and startup worlds, resulting in sales inquiries as well as rich conversation and invitations to participate in future shows.

The exhibition’s theme deliberately addresses a current obsession among the business world’s top-tier thought leaders. Indeed, this year’s Drucker Forum, which just concluded in Vienna, convened under the banner “Managing Complexity.”

The business world is finally catching on to what artists know every time they go into the studio. It isn’t viable to enter a change process with a well-defined plan and expect to follow it. Instead, creative leaders need to trust the emerging solution.

Startup Weekend New Haven Art

Judy Sirota Rosenthal’s “Unfinished Prayer” watches over a StartUp Weekend New Haven team burning the 9pm oil last weekend at The Grove.

As a curator and a connector of the arts and startup worlds, I hope to amplify the role that artists have to play as guideposts and model generators for what complexity theorist Esko Kilpi defines as “the science of uncertainty.”

I was introduced to Kilpi’s work this week by a publisher who was reading the introduction to the “Navigate Complexity” catalogue, a passage of which reads:

“Navigating complexity is all about patterns. Selectively reducing the data we absorb is an act of creative intention. The world has become a fiercely complex competition for headspace, so we must design criteria for engagement. The quality of the paths we find and the sense we make reflect not only trust in our relationships but also our orientation to uncertainty.”

In his 2012 essay titled “Complexity, Patterns, and Links,” Kilpi writes:

“Complexity refers to a pattern, a movement in time that is at the same time predictable and unpredictable, knowable and unknowable. Healthy, ordinary, everyday life is always complex, no matter what the situation is. There is absolutely no linearity in the world of human beings.”

13-007 Jennifer Davies

Jennifer Davies, Nebulae #2, handmade paper, string, 17” square

Helping people visualize new paradigms for organizational design is a service provided by visual artists like Jennifer Davies, whose “Nebulae” series graces the space where Independent Software works to help entrepreneurs build products and companies.

I see in Davies’s work the shift we are making from “the net” to “the mesh,” a concept put forward by author Lisa Gansky describing the way web-based businesses are advancing innovation through shareable goods. Says Gansky: “Every part is connected to every other part, and they move in tandem…. Mesh businesses are knotted to each other, and to the world, in myriad ways.”

Italian-born Giada Crispiels has installed ivy made from upcycled newspaper and magazine pages between the office of Big Bang, an industrial design firm, and a conference room. The effect adds organic energy and a touch of whimsy to the space.

Navigate Complexity may travel to other locations after February. A closing reception is planned for February 13th at The Grove.

Staff and youth from The Future Project http://www.thefutureproject.org/ joined E. Slomba Arts Interstices for the program “Opening Your Curatorial Eye”  (see Juicy Programs tab!) at City Wide Open Studios, an annual event produced by Art Space Gallery http://cwos.org/.  The Future Project helps local teens discover their passions and turn them into projects.  Dedicated staff members are called Dream Directors.

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A former Erector Set factory known as Erector Square http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erector_Square houses the personal studios of hundreds of local artists in New Haven, Connecticut.  This high-density of creators made it an especially exciting place to be during City Wide Open Studios.

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Participating teens visited the studios, met with artists and selected works for an upcoming exhibit, Navigate Complexity, to open at The Grove on November 18, 2013.

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Artwork pictured above (middle photo) by Jaime Kriksciun.  Studio pictured above (lower photo) is Daniel Eugene’s.

Today for Monday/Collaborate, Artbux interviews Stefanie Lynx Weber, an action-based artist based in Pittsfield, MA who specializes in dance, movement and performance.

hooping_1

Stefanie is presently developing with collaborating artist Monika Pizzichemi, They Dance For Rain which is an on-going Tap Dance (and Hoop Dance) project in Nairobi, Kenya. Exhibitions of photo work from the project (see above) are slated for various Tap Festivals through the US.

We spoke about an article The Washington Post published in August 2012 claiming that dance is the most successful category on Kickstarter.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/kickstarter-for-dance-choreographers-could-be-a-gold-mine/2012/08/23/62329816-ea6c-11e1-a80b-9f898562d010_story.html

AB: What experience do you have using Kickstarter for dance?

SLW: I have used Kickstarter for dance projects twice. The first campaign was to complete a 50-minute live performance piece, habitat (de)fragmentation, and be able to pay the performers for the many hours of rehearsal time needed in order to make something ready for a premiere. I also needed some funding for costumes, props, and video editing. I made it a little beyond my goal of about $2000 with much help from my community and many hours plugging away at it. The second time I used Kickstarter was for bringing that same piece eight months later to the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. I needed to cover expenses of travel, hotels, and performance fees. I reached that goal as well.

I also did two more crowd-funding campaigns on another site, Indiegogo, for my dance project They Dance For Rain in Nairobi, Kenya. (For more info on this and other current projects, please visit Stefanie’s blog: http://fertileuniverse.com/about )

AB: What skills do dance artists practice all the time that might make them more successful than others in this space..?

SLW: There are three things that come to mind. One is that dance artists are often not strangers to taking risks. Launching an online campaign to raise money for your vision as an artist is risky business. To those of us used to falling on the floor and getting back up it becomes just another necessary part of the process.

The next thing that comes to mind is that dancers are used to grinding away at something till it flows. Practicing something over and over. Finding what is working and what is not. Crowd-funding can be a grueling and time-consuming process. Again, we are used to trying again and again to get something just right. And that is what you have to do with something like Kickstarter. You have to show up everyday and be willing to try another way to reach that next person.

Most importantly, many dance artists have to be able to really connect and reach others in order to make their work.  If you have other performers in your work, you find out quickly what makes this a different situation from other art forms. Paint does not talk back or have children to feed or need health insurance. Clay is not injured and then not available for 2 weeks or more. I think that dance artists, especially individually-based ones, develop an empathy, understanding and deep view into the human condition make it easier to reach out to others.  This makes it more likely that you would even try something like Kickstarter because you have to really appeal to your audience for their support.

nairobi

You have to create an audience, not only a dance. You have to understand that most people funding you through Kickstarter are going to be people you know, or people they know, and so being connected to them as humans and not just a profile on a screen or a hand with money is invaluable. Most of the people that donated to my campaigns were people who not only believed in my ability to do the work, but worked hard for their living also and saw themselves as becoming a part of the creative process.

Generally speaking, dance artists already have the skills needed to bring people together to make something unique happen.

AB: Does word that dance kicks butt on Kickstarter seem like “news” to you? Why or why not?

SLW: I have not done a lot searching around on Kickstarter so I was not aware of what is working and what is not. I did see a lot of videos, movies, and film-type campaigns being featured often when I was using Kickstarter. I am not surprised at all that individual dance artists (especially), companies and organizations would use a source like this and be successful at it.

Dance is not generally funded broadly and dance artists often use other people to make their art. People need to be paid for their time, skill and energy.  And today’s dance artists are often on the edge, coming up with new perspectives and ways to say something that needs to said. Much of this goes over the heads of larger funding sources or doesn’t fit into their antiquated and limiting funding structures.  Also, dance artists often don’t want or have the ability to wait for long grant cycles, gain “permission” to carry on, or cater their work to a theme or criteria that does not really support their unique or complex process and vision.

Platforms like Kickstarter give more power and visibility to the many kinds of dance-making processes that exist. Dance art is cutting edge because it always involves bodies. Bodies are and always have been radical forms of expression. It’s nice to hear that individual dance artists (especially) are getting what they need from this community-based source because they certainly are not getting it from any corporate, government or nationally structured funding source. Maybe Kickstarter is helping to make the value of this need in our culture more visible.

AB: What message would you like people to take away from the article?

SLW: Sources like Kickstarter (and Indiegogo, etc) are making it possible for dance artists to bypass the worn out roads to funding their valuable and unique visions by providing a concise template and well-organized platform for reaching out and finding financial support. Dance artists therefore have more of an opportunity to successfully blaze their own trails. This is not a walk in the park, it is hard work! Most dance artists who are actively and consistently putting work out are used to that and will step up to the plate.

MORE BIO ON STEFANIE:

Stefanie Weber has worked with many organizations: Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Opera Company, Simon’s Rock, Williams College, Berkshire Community College, Terpsichore Dance Studio, Lenox Community Center, Hudsons’ Operation Unite, East Harlem Union Settlement Association,  Somerville’s ArtBeat, and Cambridge River Festival; as an artist, educator, performer, or choreographer.  Presently she is on faculty with Community Access to the Arts, Berkshire Dance Theater, and Kinesphere Movement Arts Studio.

Stefanie is the founder and artistic director of the Creatures Of Habitat Physical Poetry Public Performance Project and Pittsfield City Hoopla. She is a performer and co-director of the performance ensemble Silver Swimmers (USA) , was in the Commonwealth Tap Collective based in Boston and is a performer with Nutshell Playhouse. A dancer with Caryn Heilman’s LiquidBody Dance for six years, Stefanie immersed herself in the the work of movement pioneer Emily Conrad. She collaborates frequently with various local and international artists, musicians and community development enthusiasts. Her work and development has been supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Stefanie is a certified Gyrotonic instructor, former Americorps Member, graduate of UMASS Amherst with a degree in Environmental Sciences (focus on toxicology), and has taken artistic residency with The Storefront Artist Project (02-06) and Dana Bixby Architecture (07).  She is a former board member of Topia Arts Center in Adams, MA.

In Spring of 2007, Stefanie was recognized as a “Young Woman Moving the Berkshires Forward” by the Berkshire Eagle newspaper and awarded certificate as an asset to the community by State Senator Benjamin Downing.

The image below is included not because anyone paid for it, but because it is directly relevant to the Story.  And, okay, the colors match!

picture Etsy

The other day The New York Times speculated that “hundreds of visitors in expensive suits will rush in a stampede elbowing each other like soccer fans to get in ahead of the competition” in the Netherlands this weekend at the 26th European Art Fair.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/09/arts/In-Maastricht-the-Trump-Card-of-Art-Fairs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&goback=%2Egde_41332_member_221612094&#038;

Ummm…is that a bad thing?

Business models are always needing to change and adapt.  The business model of the big art auction houses – the main source of Old Master paintings in past decades – has been disrupted.  And so, now in comes the “Art Fair” as the trending replacement model.

It is interesting to note that part of the value proposition of the auction houses was their function as imprimatur.  In most other sectors of the broader culture, the role of “Tastemaker” has waned as the crowd wants direct access to participatory experience, not spectacle.  The traditional art auction is indeed just that: Spectacle with a capital “SP – ECTACLE.”

The very word “fair,” on the other hand, albeit in English, connotes a sense of egalitarian access, a flattening of hierarchies.  The opportunity to leap over the gatekeeper and directly sense what is appealing is, in effect, a powerful chance to curate one’s own gaze.   The opportunity for a more considered negotiation process helps would-be collectors gather intelligence to match up with and learn about their own instincts.  This process of developing embodied knowledge on an individual basis is part and parcel of participatory experience.

Do we want hordes of art collectors honing their own sense of what is worthwhile to look at and purchase, irrespective of those topheavy auction houses that used to control the art market?

Ummm…what do you think?!

Pop action hero Elizabeth Streb hosted the 2012 Bessie Awards at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, honoring New York dance artists who have broken new ground and/or made discoveries in the art form.  “Our moves are our message,” she remarked from the stage.  How true!

In that spirit, ta-DA! Here’s a move from business back into the arts today, hoping some people who might not normally follow “who’s who” in contemporary dance might just get curious.  It’s an illustrious roster, with a lot of great work to back up each name.

First of all, who is Elizabeth Streb?  I’ve written before about her in the context of garage art.  However, when she’s not throwing open the doors to her Brooklyn studio and inviting in the whole neighborhood, you might find her dancers, oh, I don’t know, walking down the SIDE of a FAMOUS monument in LONDON, maybe?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/gallery/2012/jul/15/elizabeth-streb-london-dance-pictures

Streb Dance London: Dancers bungee off the Millennium Bridge

Among the artists honored with Bessies (named after Bessie Schoenberg, late, great professor of dance at Sarah Lawrence College), let’s hear it for Flamenco artist Israel Galvan, who created La Edad de Oro, performed at The Joyce Theater.  Let’s also agree to use the label of Flamenco loosely, as Galvan delves into the many possible futures such a specific form might take when freed from its original cultural moorings, melting into pure rhythm.  His native Spain has recognized him with a National Dance Award; this clip is from Barcelona in 2007:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfmCd-caWUU&feature=related

Paul Taylor was singled out for lifetime achievement although he is still achieving and may yet bring out another masterpiece.  Author of 137 ballets, “lyrical, muscular, dynamic and humane,” Taylor led himself through layers of rebellion against artistic conventions to create a whole new dance category and vocabulary.  His works are now included in the repertories of 40 dance companies around the world.  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/paul-taylor/about-paul-taylor/719

Outstanding Production in a large venue: Event by Merce Cunningham performed at the Park Avenue Armory.

Outstanding Performer in a large venue: Silas Riener in Split Sides by Merce Cunningham at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Oustanding Performer in a culturally specific form: Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards for sustained achievement in performance and her work with Jason Samuels Smith at the Joyce Theater.  “Our mission was to show the audience what Charlie Parker’s music looks like,” she remarked in her acceptance speech.

Emily Johnson’s The Thank You Bar won for outstanding production in the context of the expanding field of contemporary arts, dance and performance practice.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/12/arts/dance/emily-johnson-catalyst-in-the-thank-you-bar-review.html

Outstanding Performer in the expanding practice category was Nicole Mannarino in Devotion Study #1 by Sarah Michelon performed at the Whitney Museum.

Outstanding Emerging Choreographer: Rashaun Mitchell for NOX performed at Danspace Project.

Outstanding Production in a small capacity theater (under 400 seats): Antigone Sr./Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church by Trajal Harrell performed at New York Live Arts.

Outstanding Performer in a small capacity theater: Omagbitshe Omagbemi for sustained achievement in the works of Keely Garfield, Ralph Lemon, David Gordon, Urban Bush Women, and many others.

2012 Bessie Award for Service to the Field of Dance went to Alice Tierstien, who teaches choreograhy to teens.

Outstanding Revived Work: The Shining by Yvonne Meier, presented by New York Live Arts, performed at The Invisible Dog Art Center.  This was a new award category in 2012.

In the category of Outstanding Sound Design or Composition, Faustin Linkyekula was recognized for the piece “more, more, more…future” performed at The Kitchen in the French Institute’s Crossing the Line Festival. http://www.thekitchen.org/event/274./0/1/

And for Outstanding Visual Design, Doris Dziersk for her design for Blessed by Meg Stuart, in which a cardboard set was pummelled by stage rain at New York Live Arts.  http://www.thirteen.org/sundayarts/blog/meg-stuarts-blessed-channelling-beckett/2101/

A 2012 Juried Bessie Award went to Souleymane Badolo, who performed live at the awards ceremony.

MANY THANKS for the evening’s success are due to the New York Dance and Performance League.  Co-production kudos go to Dance/NYC, an organization I helped jumpstart with Andrea Snyder (as we remembered together last night).  I hope that these moves back and forth between the arts and entrepreneurial business worlds might spark some investigation into a new sector for some people, inviting those rare and precious wow moments of aesthetic, intellectual and purely visceral enjoyment beyond the norm.

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven is now accepting proposals for Reintegrate, an initiative that will pair artists and scientists in Greater New Haven.  Creative teams of artists and scientists are sought to complete a project by May/June 2013. A $10,000 stipend will be offered to each team.The deadline for proposals is Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 by 5 p.m.

If you’re interested in creating a project, but don’t have a team, here is a “matchmaking” event where you could meet possible collaborators at The Bourse Coworking Loft in  New Haven, CT, on Thursday, September 27th, from 5:30-7pm.

If you would like your information published online, so that possible collaborators can contact you, send the following information to Amanda May, Reintegrate Project Coordinator, at amay@newhavenarts.org:
Who I am: What I do: Interest area/specific idea (if any): What kind of collaborator I’m looking for: Contact (email/phone):

If you would like to receive updates about Reintegrate, including details about the meeting for possible collaborators, please send your email to amay@newhavenarts.org.

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