LOS ANGELES – Look for our 1951 Spartan trailer at the Leimert Park Art Walk on Sunday, October 28 where multimedia artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle will present “Kentifrican Travel Narratives,” a performance piece exploring the nomadic cultures of Kentifrica, a continent where the history of Kentucky and the ancestral heritage of West Africa converge. The event will feature a concert with Kentifrican songs for safety on the road and other music performed on instruments made from and inspired by Kentifrican culture. A café with Kentifrican food will offer food to the public.
Kenyatta Hinkle (Cal Arts, M.F.A. ’12) was the youngest artist to participate this summer in the Hammer Museum’s “Made In L.A.” Her work is currently on display at a group exhibit, “BAILA con Duende”at Watts Towers (September, 2012 – January, 2012. ) In October, she will be at the Bindery Projects in St. Paul, MN. In November her work will be shown at another group exhibit at The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Kentifrican Travel Narratives: Transversing Boundaries Leimert Park Art Walk Leimert Park Village, Los Angeles, CA 91804 mapSunday, October 28 – 12 pm – 4 pm This event is a co-production with Ben Caldwell’s Kaos Films
Downsized: Real Stories of Homeless Children, A Multimedia Exhibit
Trailer Trash is taking it to the streets. We want to tell the stories of children living with their families in cars and trailers parked along the streets of Los Angeles. We’re also want to hear from children whose families are facing foreclosure. To get started, we need to buy a used van to tow our mobile recording studio – a 1972 Aristocrat trailer. Trailer Trash is a member of Fractured Atlas. Donations through our Indie GoGo Campaign are tax-deductible!
”…a concerted effort to place children’s rights at the centre of urban decision-making is the only way to narrow the gaps [of inequality] and build a more equitable and prosperous urban future.” -UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2012
About 15 members of Occupy L.A. set up tents in Bertha Herrera’s back yard. They were there in solidarity with Bertha when the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department broke into the house and carried out a court ordered eviction notice. A day later, the house is on sale by Coldwell Bankers Residential Brokers.
The rain didn’t stop us from having fun on Sunday November 20 when our 1951 Spartan Trailer served as a video booth for people to record their stories about food access and equity at Cornerstone Theatre’s Block Party. The party was the last in a two-week series of events called Creative Seeds – performances, discussions and learning opportunities – that kicked off a major Cornerstone Project, The Hunger Cycle – nine world premiere plays that will be performed over the next five years. In preparation for a show we plan for July, Sam Breen performed Bob Dylan’s poem “Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie” accompanied by musician Kevin Robinson. Share YOUR stories of hunger and food at www.cornerstonetheater.org. Cornerstone will post them on their blog and use them to inspire their work on the Hunger Cycle.
The NOMAD Lab Art Project for children celebrated Human Rights Day on December 10 by envisioning a world – real or imagined – that they would like to live in. Multimedia artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle and musician/composer Kevin Robinson led the event, held in an apartment complex at the Valle del Oro Neighborhood in Santa Clarita, CA., where the children live. The Trailer Trash Project organized the event in collaboration with NOMAD Lab founder Evelyn Serrano, who uses art to encourage children to work together build a peaceful, tolerant multi-cultural neighborhood. Musician/Composer Kevin Robinson with NOMAD kids
Tenor Saxaphonist Kevin Robinson, who is a firm believer in the power of music to heal, demonstrated how the sound that comes out of his instrument is influenced by his stance, breath, emotions – even the rate of his beating heart. He showed how musical instruments can be fashioned from found objects such as hat stands, lamp stands and shades. Even the voice, hands and feet can be effective instruments, he said. A lesson in learning about how the music becomes one with your body came with Kevin encouraging the kids to clap their hands to a set beat, while he riffed and a NOMAD kid repeated sounds to a tune.This winter, the Kevin Robinson Ensemble (KREation) will be on tour in New York City and Baltimore this Winter (see dates)
For her part, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle recounted tales from her Kentifrica homeland, providing maps and drawing of the people who live there and the instruments they play. She encouraged the NOMADS to draw maps of their own home country (real or imagined) and then asked them to describe what life was like there.
Artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle's shows her portrait of a fellow citizen of Kentifrica to kids with the NOMAD Lab Art Project
Kevin Robinson, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle and the NOMAD Lab Art Project collaborate with Sam Breen’s Trailer Trash Project in its mission to foster creativity and a sense of community through a program of art performances, exhibits and residencies in local Los Angeles neighborhoods.
NOMAD Lab founder, artist and CalArts faculty member Evelyn Serrano
In recognition of Human Rights Day, two international human rights lawyers based in Geneva, Switzerland joined the group. Tom McCarthy and Anna-Lena Svensson McCarthy who were in California on a family trip, provided an opportunity to explain to that shelter is a human right.
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housingand medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” (article 25(1)) Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Sam Breen joined a group of students and graduates presenting “CalArts Plays Itself” (September 29 – October 2, 2011) at PACT Zollvereinin Essen, Germany, one of Europe’s up-and coming culture centers. The show featured original, cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary work, including Breen’s “Trailer Trash Project: Life Meets Art in a Tin Can.” Using a 15-foot inflatable model of a travel trailer he told the story of how he lost his family home after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. He explained how his mother—a former filmmaker for the United Nations refugee agency—was left without a place to live after the storm. A few years later, he took on unlikely
Musician Archie Carey presented at "CalArts Plays Itself," part of PACT-Zollverein 2011
project: he began transforming a 33-foot long trailer into a green place to live (for his mother) and a moveable place for him and his fellow artists to showcase their work. Even in its un-restored state, the 1951 Spartan trailer soon became a emblem at CalArts for student-driven creative work, the backdrop and the catalyst for many cultural events around the
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
institution. In Essen, Breen’s gallery space was crammed with the oversized blow-up model, making it hard for guests to ignore his invitation to step inside. The inflatable served as a dominating yet fragile symbol, a reminder of those who turn to transient living as a last resort.
” Sam Breen’s inflatable trailer project … lays bare contemporary America’s white whale: the housing problem, its connections to the current economic crisis, and to Hurricane Katrina. Like Jonah in the Old Testament, Breen was swallowed up by the whale. Several months later, he has been vomited out: the whale has turned into a screen onto which new stories are projected. The contemporary state of collapse has turned into a space of play, where new individualities and collectivities emerge”
Breen, who recently received an MFA in acting from CalArts, considered his 10-
Sam Breen in Essen with his inflatable trailer by sculptor Michael Darling
day stay at the PACT-Zollverin festival as a residency, using the opportunity to develop his presentation with his audience. He invited fellow artists— musicians taking part in other performances at the festival— to impromptu jam sessions inside the trailer. Daily conversations with patrons helped shape the installation. Many noted how the inflatable, sustained by two household fans, appeared to “breathe” as people entered and exited. It had a similar effect on Breen, who returned to Los Angeles energized with a new perspective on his project. He is planning to conduct more residencies, this time inside his actual trailer, which he will bring to the parking lots of cultural institutions in and around Southern California to continue renovating the trailer and performing art.
The Center for Cultural Innovation has awarded Sam Breen an Investing In Artists Grant, given to individual artists to acquire equipment or materials that will support them in their creative process. The $6,500 grant will be used to build a performance space inside the 1951 Spartan trailer that Sam has been working on since September, 2010. Thanks to CCI, Trailer Trash is able to engage Eddie Paul Industries to open up the trailer’s now-fixed front windows, making the indoor performance space accessible to outdoor audiences. The process requires considerable re-engineering, since it means cutting into the trailer’s aluminum skin the structure that gives the trailer 80% of its strength (see monocoque design.)
The banquette will be used for readings and discussions. It can fold away and become a small performance stage for indoor or outdoor audiences.
The work should be finished for up-coming performances this Fall, including one in December for the NOMAD Lab Art Project for kids. Like Sam, most artists pursue their work with little outside help – often by holding down low-paying, no benefits jobs. CCI understands that at certain points along an artists’ creative path, material and organization support can be critical. In addition to material assistance, CCI provides training organizational support and networking with organizations like USA Projects.
On Saturday Sept. 24, Trailer Trash will help power a KPFK fundraising event at MacArthur Park to help the radio station go solar. Bring your e-waste, enjoy some great food truck eats and listen to featured music. Then pay us a visit inside our 1951 Spartan that we’re restoring into a green and mobile space to showcase art. We’ll show you how we operate off-grid with solar. Get a preview of our composting toilet (Relax, it’s not hooked up yet!)
Bring along these items to donate to KPFK: computers, monitors, printers, scanners, copiers, routers, hubs, modems, peripherals, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, A/V equipment, cell phones, and answering machines No large home appliances like microwaves, refrigerators or air conditioners, please. For more info on KPFK’s solar plans, click here.
Featuring Music by KPFK’s Chuck Foster, Sergio Mielniczenko and DJ Boxy D! Raffle, Food Trucks, Good Vibes & Green Energy! Other participants: Lime Truck, Rebel Bites, Nomad on Wheels, ANEW, Grid Alternatives, Energy Upgrade California.
Boxetti wall unit incorpates desk, lounge chair and storage
We are always on the lookout for cool ways to conserve space; we’re especially interested in modular design ideas for furniture and fixtures that can fold into the wall or transform into something else. These ideas were shared with us by Dovid Feld, the SCI-Arc student who is design for our trailer was featured in a another post.
In the YouTube video below, Michael Harboun’s “Living Kitchen” features kichten fixtures made from nanobots, devices made from materials that transform along a programmed path then fold back into the wall when no longer needed:
Sam and his cousin Sasuke make templates for plywood that will be used to cover the walls and ceiling.
With graduation over, work on the Trailer Trash restoration has heated up. The 1951 Spartan Royal Mansion left it’s CalArts home on June 15 and was towed 10 miles to a canyon on the the outskirts of Santa Clarita, where lizards and coyote are almost as plentiful as motorcycles rushing to the Angeles National Forest.
In June, Sam’s cousin, Sasuke, came from Japan to help out. A recent graduate in geology from Kyoto University, he spent a month working with Sam inside the trailer. (Sasuke has an interest in nuclear energy and hekept us posted on recent happenings at the Fukushima nuclear reactor.)
The task at hand was to the walls and ceiling. First, Sasuke attached wooden strips to along the ribs where the cabinets and closets will eventually be installed. Then he fashioned carboard templates which will be used as a pattern for the plywood that will cover the walls. The job isn’t as easy as it looks; it requires lots of measuring, precision and patience. Although he had little building experience, it is hard to imagine how Sam would have gotten the job done without Sasuke’s help!
If you are considering volunteering your time with The Trailer Trash Project, this slideshow might show you the kind of work we’re involved with now: