Devil’s Tower has officially become an LA Monument, at least for a little while, until the clay dries in the exhibition of Matthias Merkel Hess‘ new work, which comes down on October 2nd at Las Cienegas Projects. The notion of recreating an iconic natural wonder (the original is located in Wyoming) in an urban setting, even in a gallery, is a novel one. Hess, who is the creator of the EcoArtBlog and editor/publisher of Mammut magazine, which he launched in 2008, is also a recent MFA graduate from UCLA (and undergraduate in Journalism and Environmental Sciences). For his first solo show in a LA gallery, he has chosen to combine his interest in art and ecology with his love of clay, in a brillant “outpost” installation where visitors can purchase handmade postcards, paperweights and miniature color glazed clay replicas of Devil’s Tower, all under $20 each. Wall posters are original works of art and go for a lot more, but still under $1,000. If you cannot afford to go to Wyoming to see the real Devil’s Tower, it is highly suggested you head on over to La Cienega near the 10 Fwy and catch a glimpse of Hess’ handmade wonder ASAP.
Recently I’ve been traveling back and forth to Philadelphia working with five artists who are installing temporary public art projects along the Manayunk Canal in Philadelphia. These projects open on September 25th and 26th in conjunction with Destination Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Eco Arts Festival. Destination Schuylkill River is a NPO whose mission is to celebrate life along the river and to connect communities to the river through planning, programming and projects. The weekend event brings together artists, crafters, green businesses, and ecologically-concerned community groups to share resources and education about green and healthy living and will be a celebration of artistic, sustainable, and local green initiatives. Manayunk is located a few miles west of Center City, Philadelphia.
The Manayunk Canal is part of the Schuylkill River Trail and is designated as a National Historic District. Once a navigable waterway for industrial cargo, the Canal was completed in 1818 and runs for several miles adjacent to banks of the Schuylkill. The river ends its 128-mile journey in Philadelphia, passing through East Falls and Manayunk before emptying into the Delaware. A recently restored towpath on the banks of the canal is the site for five artist’s projects that address issues of sustainability.
For some background history of the site – in papers dated 1686 between William Penn and the Lenni-Lenape, the Lenape referred to the Schuylkill River as “Manaiung”, their word for river, which literally translates as “place to drink”. As fate would have it, this once industrial mill town has become a trendy bar and restaurant destination.Early settlers farmed the land above the hills of Manayunk, and the abundance of natural resources and the Industrial Revolution spurred development of the community. Along the Schuylkill mills sprung up with products as varied as cloth, paper, gunpowder, lumber, milled wheat and corn, and pressed oil from flax. The Schuylkill Navigation Company Canal provided power to the mills along the river and allowed coal to be transported to the steam engines of Philadelphia from a hundred miles upstream. The original towpath was the path used by mules as they pulled canal boats carrying coal and passengers through the water. As a part of Pennsylvania’s earliest slackwater canal system, the original navigation system was a 108-mile series of dams, locks, slackwater and canal segments created to bring coal from Schuylkill County to Philadelphia.
Today, the Canal is no longer in use for industry, most of the mills have closed and the city has eventual plans to open the locks and revitalize the water system.The original mule path has been restored for pedestrians and bicyclers to become part of a river greenway system that stretches for miles. Destination Schuylkill with funding from the William Penn foundation asked ecoartspace to invite several artists to create temporary site-specific works along the canal for the festival.
Wisconsin based artist Roy Staab spent over two weeks working at the site. First he carefully selected the best location along the Canal where his ephemeral sculpture would be most visible, while at the same time protected from strong winds. He chose to work between two trees whose branches overhang the water, and in between two bridges so that visitors would have different perspectives for viewing the work. He then set out to find wild plants nearby that he harvests in order to create the lines to make his sculpture. He used invasives such as Japanese Knotweed and Purple Loosestrife which were both flowering and actually quite beautiful, (though no one wants these invasive and fast spreading plants – so it was great that he could make use of them.) Roy also used Goldenrod and other native plants. He then created 4 long lines using a weaving and knotting procedure with biodegradable sisal rope. The lines measure approximately 180 ft long in length and suspend 20 ft from the trees. He titled the work, “Suspended Between the Living and the Dead” referring to the two trees being used as his support. Roy mostly worked alone but he had a few college interns and great support from Destination Schuylkill and the Manayunk Development Corporation staff, in particular, board member Garrett Elwood spent a lot of time on the water. Roy entertained neighbors in the community and got a lot of attention, both positive and negative (local fisherman were not happy). However, mostly the town appreciated having a world traveler like Roy working in their midst. He has created ephemeral installations such as this one around the world for the past 30 years in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia. His works may last days or a couple of weeks, or months depending on weather and the forces of nature.
Chrysanne Stathacos has traveled to Philadelphia from Toronto to create an 8ft wooden flower poem which she plans to float on the Manayunk Canal. For the past several weeks she has been researching water plants such as Lilies and Lotus Flowers to determine which plants will be best to tag a ride in her floating sculpture, which spells the word PURIFY. She chose this word as a reminder of the importance of wetlands and clean water, and that we can all do our part to help heal the environment. Chrysanne is a multi-media artist whose artistic concerns intersect with spirituality and a communion with the natural world. Her art is influenced by Eastern and Western traditions and she works to connect indigenous ritual to contemporary art.
Habitat for Artists is a Hudson Valley-based collaborative group initiated by artist Simon Draper in 2008. ecoartspace has worked with HFA on several previous projects including last summer in the exhibition Down to Earth at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. One of HFA’s studio/shed structures will be located in a park in between the Canal and Main St. Parts of this shed were previously used at SCEE, so they have a small travel footprint. The sheds are comprised of recycled material, old lumber, windows and doors and are used by artists as studio spaces (each only six by six feet) both inside and out to examine how they might redefine their creative space, needs and process. The Manayunk HFA shed will be open during the Festival, artists Simon Draper, Todd Sargood and others will be on site for visitors to engage with and participate in the making of art.
Women’s Work by NYC performance artist Chere Krakovsky will be an extension of her recent Clothesline performance held at Solar One, overlooking NYC’s East River. This will be her third performance piece in Philadelphia, following her 2008 work, The Neighbors Next Door at International House at UPenn. All of Chere’s works are situated where the everyday
and the creative co-exist. She will wash her clothes and hang a clothesline along the Manayunk Canal to address issues of energy conservation, domesticity and traditional women’s work. Looking back to her own grandmother, Chere reminds of a not too distant past where wind and sun power were harnessed to dry the laundry. The work asks us to reflect on our over-consumption of energy in a time of economic decline. Chere has invited the community to participate by bringing an item of clothing that will be hung on the clothesline.
RAIR (Recycled Artist-In-Residency) is an exciting, new non-profit in Philadelphia located within a construction and industrial materials recycling facility. Initiated by Fern Gookin, a recent graduate from Philadelphia University’s Sustainable Design Program, RAIR’s mission is to create awareness about environmental issues by encouraging creative ways to divert waste from landfills. RAIR works to bring art and sustainability together through an artist-in-residency program. RAIR currently has two artists piloting the program, Billy Blaise Dufala and Machele Nettles, and they will be located on Main Street exhibiting their works and hosting a kids art making project.
Images top to bottom:
Historical Canal photograph, 1918
Roy Staab, Suspended Between the Living and the Dead
Chrysanne Stathacos, Purify (work in progress)
Habitat for Artists at Schuylkill Center
Chere Krakovsky, Clothesline at Solar One
RAIR, Billy Blaise Dufala, Tricycle
This year’s Story of London Festival will be arriving before we know it during the first week in October from the 1st through the 10th. As part of the festival, Arcola will be hosting Future Arcola Open Day, a FREE event at our future home on October 2nd. We want you to explore the building in its current state and tell you about our future plans so you can participate if you are interested. This will be an afternoon filled with innovative discussion, learning about the Dalston community, and plenty of entertainment. Make sure you check this event out as Arcola opens up its new location to the community and public for the first time!
At this weekend’s Tipping Point conference, there’ll be a panel discussion on the first morning at the Examination Schools, Oxford (pic), which will examine ‘A History of Cultural Responses to Climate Change’.
The discussion is chaired by Quentin Cooper (presenter of Radio 4’sMaterial World) and the panel includes Diana Liverman, Nigel Clark,Siobhan Davies and Wallace Heim, the Ashden Directory co-editor, and guest blogger here.
This blog will be reporting on the panel discussion and, more widely, on the two days of the Tipping Point conference.
This colorful kiddie ride comes courtesy of gleeful art prankster Banksy, an artist well known for his graffiti and politically charged installations. In his most recent creation, the artist transformed a coin-operated ride into a searing statement against the BP oil spill.
Last year, Stolen Chair launched the country’s first Community Supported Theatre (CST), an innovative new program connecting theatre-goers and theatre-makers. Our 45+ members watched us develop Quantum Poetics from its earliest research stages to its world premiere, which Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich called “Very very funny. Metaphysics with a big fat grin.” Along the way, CST members munched truffle popcorn during our Movie Night, enjoyed exclusive talks from some of the science communinity’s hottest speakers, and danced the night away at the scientastic Atoms & Eves Valentine’s party. The CST was profiled in American Theatre, theChronicle of Philanthropy, and Greenwich Time.
The CST kicks off its second season this November, but before it does, we’re looking for a fresh new name for this one-of-a-kind community.
Furniture puns welcome. Thievery puns also welcome.
The contest is open only to new members. The winner will recieve a free membership for Season Two, devoted to the creation of Stolen Chair’s 14th original play, Cut Paste Corset Perfect, a new work inspired by the curious world of Victorian photocollage.
- How: Click Here to submit your name suggestion.
- When: All submissions must be received by September 16
Stay tuned for more news on Season II: Cut, Paste, Corset, Perfect coming soon!!!
October 2 – December 4, 2010
Kim Abeles, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Frau Fiber, Garnet Hertz, Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, Seth Kinmont, Liza Lou, David Prince, Mark Newport, Alyce Santoro, Shada/Jahn (Steve Shada and Marisa Jahn), Eddo Stern.
Inspired by the cultural currents represented in the popular magazines MAKE and CRAFT published out of Northern California, MAKE:CRAFT includes contemporary artists who combine handmaking and building techniques to create, engineer and hack unique, mostly functional devices, objects, machines and accessories; making either a sociopolitical statement, creating new markets for individual styled products, or creating inventive ways to experience the tactile world, non-virtual, the “real.”
The exhibition is guest curated by Patricia Watts, founder and west coast curator of ecoartspace, who feels that recent trends in the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) movement of making and crafting have empowered contemporary artists and designers to create more socially relevant work that supports sustainable communities.
Go to the Maker blog HERE
Go to MAKE:CRAFT Facebook page HERE
Destination Schuylkill River – DestinationSchuylkillRiver: The River is your destination for ART this Fall
This fall along the Schuylkill River, art that celebrates the environment and our connection to the Earth, “Eco-Art”, is on the agenda. A series of three diverse locations will feature art installations by multiple local and national artists on three successive weekends:
Sep 19th – November: Ground Play: Nexus at the Schuylkill Center
Opening Reception, September 19
4pm – 6pm, Ground Play/ Family Friendly Activities
6:30pm – 8pm, Artists’ Tour and Performances
In Ground Play, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education invites six artists from NEXUS Foundation to respond to the history and physical space of its Brolo Hill Farm. The work in Ground Play is an expression of the insightful ways these six artists use color, scale, sound, texture, humor, fear, storytelling and performance as their own artistic playground, coming up with new modes of expression and creating experiences meant to delight and provoke visitors. Featuring the work of Susan Abrams, Nick Cassway, Jebney Lewis, Michael McDermott, Leah Reynolds, Jennie Thwing.
Exhibit will be up through November. Find out more HERE.
September 25 & 26: Destination Schuylkill River curated by ecoartspace
Starting one week before the 1st Annual Manayunk Eco Arts festival, five artists from across the country will be in Manayunk installing eco-art along the canal and in other Manayunk public spaces. Come out and watch the process, see the completed pieces at the Eco Arts Festival on September 25 and 26, and then visit the installations as they slowly return to the Earth over the coming months.
Milwaukee-based artist Roy Staab will create a work suspended over the Manayunk Canal using plant materials. Toronto-based Chrysanne Stathacos will be creating a poem of flowers to float on the Manayunk Canal. Habitat for Artists’ installation will examine how our culture approaches conservation. NYC-based artist Chere Krakosky will hang a clothesline along the Canal to talk about issues of energy and domesticity. Finally RAIR (Recycled Artist-In- Residency) an exciting, new non-profit in Philadelphia will also take part. Find out more HERE.
October 1 & 2: East Falls Eco Art Project
A special feature of the 5th annual Arts by the River and Eco Fair in East Falls (October 2, 10-5 at Inn Yard Park) will be fish-themed eco art. Eleven unique pieces of fish-themed art which use repurposed or natural materials are being commissioned. Chosen works will be revealed complete or in-progress at the festival and will ultimately be installed along the East Falls Riverfront Business District. One additional piece will be created through a community-process at the festival itself; “Waffles the Catfish”, a 4’5” tall, 80 lb. sculpture will be decoupaged by festival-goers. Attendees are invited to bring something about themselves or their families on a 3×3” paper, and have their memory preserved on Waffles.
Also new this year is the East Falls Weekend Gallery, which will feature local artists’ work displayed at the Masons’ Building, 4200 Ridge Avenue. Artist reception on Friday, October 1, 7-9pm with gallery hours continuing on Saturday from 10am to 5pm.
Find out more HERE.
Tanna Center for the Arts will be a 6-hectare/14.8-acre off-the-grid artists retreat, cultural preservation and technological education space. Its site is situated on the island of Tanna’s northern up country in the archipelago of Vanuatu.
Our vision is to build an eco-haven using a majority of local materials and talent, engineer it using energy efficient design fueled by renewables, and fortify global understanding of one another and the changes we face together by making art to share with the world in this inspiring place.
Preserve local communities, language & pristine lands through collaborative art & tech projects. Engage Tanna’s youth in applying select mainland technologies that serve island tradition. Invite artistic and inventive exchange with a global art community in a retreat and creative lab at The Center. Create a project that is candid about navigating the competing economic, cultural and ecological aims presently confronting island nations.
To preserve his culture, respected island leader Isso Kapum – son of Chief Jack Kapum of the Naihne Tribe – reached out to Paul D. Miller(aka DJ Spooky) to create opportunities for Tanna’s native population through an artist retreat. This can generate jobs, cultural exchange and, most importantly, training for youth who leave home in search of work. Training in sustainable construction, water & waste management, permaculture, and renewable technologies can offset this loss. These practices have been extinguished from the culture and are needed for the survival of Tanna’s eco-system, currently threatened by status quo, carbon-heavy practices.
Building skillsets for Tanna’s youth that drive a localized, sustainable economy along with international tourism remain key aims expressed by island leaders. Bringing artists who’s work and acclaim can magnify global awareness of both climate and cultural concerns faced by the Tannese is one way Paul feels such aims can be met.
Common Ground on Shrinking Islands
Of Vanuatu’s 83 charted islands, the archipelago’s 243,304 citizens inhabit 65 of them. Issues associated with rising sea levels currently affecting the islands include saltwater intrusion that has severely affected drinking water, food production and export crops. Increased storms, inland flooding and cyclones have already affected coconut harvests and coastal erosion. This increase, along with bleached coral reefs, results in lost tourism revenue that feeds island families.
The ecological impacts of unsustainable development have also brought near-shore overfishing, fish poisoning from waste disposal and deforestation in recent years. A lack of employment opportunities and inaccessibility to markets can lock rural families into subsistence mode, putting tremendous pressure on local ecosystems.
With an economy centered firmly on tourism, contributing 72 per cent of GDP, and agriculture, coconuts make up 31.1 per cent of exports, these losses devastate island society. The late 2005 relocation of an entire coastal village on Tegua Island in northern Vanuatu to higher ground rendered them among the first documented climate change refugees.
As islands lose revenue they also lose inhabitants, culture and languages, forever. According to Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Languages, Vanuatu is considered to be the country with the highest density of languages per capita in the world, with an average of about 2,000 speakers for each of the 100 indigenous languages. Some of these languages are endangered, with only a handful of speakers, and several have become extinct in recent times.
Every two weeks a language disappears from Earth forever and with it a completely unique view of reality. This is a natural resource as valuable as fresh water and clean air. It must be preserved as carefully as we would an endangered plant or animal species.
Shared goals of stabilizing climate and preserving cultures render Tanna an ideal location for the project’s aims.
The “Happiest People on Earth” Have Things to Teach
Amid such instability, the NEF Happy Planet Index found the Vanuatuans to be, not just happy, but the happiest people on planet earth in their inaugural research of 2006. The Tannese social bonds and ideas of interdependence are ones that the world needs now.
Our hope is that Tanna becomes a home for global sustainability that remains rooted in Melanesian society.
Anything you contribute will cover the construction of an initial ‘outpost’ on-site, a feasibility assessment and design of the first phase solar electricity systems for one village and three new structures between now and May 2011, when our first invited artists will arrive.
In December, local leadership, DJ Spooky, Engineers Without Borders and the Vanuatu Pacifica Foundation have arranged for R. David Gibbs, a New York-based solar and energy engineer with remote-location experience, to undertake a feasibility study with local renewables engineers, village electricians and tech trainees. The first goal is to replace diesel generators with solar PV and thermal systems that can power villages and initiate the design of the Tanna Center for the Arts’ off-the-grid retreat, cultural preservation and eco-education facility.
You’ve probably noticed we’re starting at $10,000 here on Kickstarter but with $20,000 we can complete the solar design phase, engage local craftspeople to build the initial structure(s) and create an ‘outpost’ that allows us to invite collaborators from around the island and the world to begin realizing this vision. Everybody’s help with a little or a lot is welcome, needed and much appreciated! .
(Please be in touch for specs if you can offer any material donations of PV panels, inverters, marine transport, etc.)
Our non-profit sponsor, Islands First, is working to empower South Pacific island nations to navigate the political entropy impeding climate progress.
Our guides in this project are the people of Tanna and a board of advisers comprised of respected artists, businesspeople, scientists, tribal and global thought leaders. With time, we’ll increase local representation beyond the Naihne people to include broader representation from the archipelago.
By using our collective creativity and media savvy, we hope to create an exchange that empowers islanders to offer their unique cultural perspective as a main export and inspire visiting artists from around the world to impact their own cultures with the beauty emanating from this amazing place.
“Smart People. Smart Island. Smart Cultures. Beautiful World.”
More at www.the-vpf.org
About the Exhibition:
TPS Reports: Performance Documents is an exhibition of the “stuff” that results from performances: detritus, photographs, drawings, sculptures, videos, etc. We are not interested in the documentation of the performance itself, just the results. We are mostly looking for the items that were made as the primary goal of the performance.
About The Theme:
How does this stuff live on after the performance? Is it possible or necessary to understand the performance based on what is created through it?
Open to all artists worldwide. Work is limited in size to no more than 1x1x1 meter.
How to Submit Your Work:
Please submit the following items in one email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Up to 5 artworks
- You may include up to 3 views of detailed or 3D work)
- JPG or PDF for non-moving work
- MP4, WMA, or Quicktime for video or other time based work
- Artist Statement about the work
- Artist Biography, 3rd person
- Artist Resume or CV
- Image List including size, media, date, and sale price (if for sale)
- List of special instructions/requirements for installation
- Please include your name in each file title (i.e. Jane Doe, Resume.doc)
- Messages are limited to 25MB
- Links are acceptable for large video files
- All documents must be in either Word or PDF format.
- Any accepted work may be used in promotional materials such as show cards or on the website.
Review and Selection:
Work will be reviewed by the curator. Artists will be contacted by November 15, 2010 and informed what works are selected for the exhibition. Work will be due to the gallery by January 15, 2011.
There is no submission fee to enter or participate, but artists are responsible for shipping both directions. Artists will receive 70% of the sale price for anything sold during the show.
Dates to Remember:
- Submissions due: October 5, 2010
- Artists informed of artwork selected for exhibition by: November 15, 2010
- Work received by gallery: January 15, 2011
- Exhibition: February 2011
- Opening Reception: First Friday February 4, 2011
- Artwork returned: End of February
About the Location:
SpaceCamp MicroGallery is a small contemporary arts gallery located in the Murphy Arts Building in Indianapolis, Indiana. SpaceCamp is dedicated to bringing small (size wise) but large (idea wise) national and international art to Indianapolis. The co-gallerists are Flounder Lee, Paul Miller, and Kurt Nettleton. http://www.spacecampgallery.com
The Murphy is a collection of galleries, studios, and restaurants. It is also the temporary home of the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. The Murphy and SpaceCamp are located in the Fountain Square Arts District near Downtown Indianapolis.
About the Curator:
Flounder Lee is an artist/curator/educator living in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has curated several recent shows such as Double Vision: A Dual Channel Video Festival and One Performative Night. He is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI. He received his BFA from the University of Florida and his MFA from California State University Long Beach.