While I don't consider myself a Bed-Stuy Gentrifier (I'd be living in a neighborhood that is similar in demographic composition, regardless of its locality) I am becoming more conscious of the fact that I haven't been contributing to the community in an active way. I can't use my skin color as an automatic entrance into the club, I've got to pay dues. In keeping with this line of reasoning I've connected with the staff at my local public library to participate more fully in the development of community programing and offer my creative energy as a volunteer.
Who's coming with me?!?!?!
B15 to Lewis Avenue & Macon Street
B26 to Macon Street & Lewis Avenue
B25 to Fulton Street & Lewis Avenue
Eastern Parkway to Troy Ave. Left on Troy to Lewis Ave. Branch is at the corner of Lewis & Macon.
I am again reminded how important it is to stay connected to a creative community. Ms. Erika Ranee blessed Brooklyn today, stopping by for an all too brief studio visit. Please visit her WEBSITE for more information and images.
Tarzan, 2010 | mixed media on canvas | 72"x 98"
"My recent paintings address the seduction of "bling" culture. The action of the paint mark and the implication of sex inherent in the medium's viscosity demand a magnanimous and chaotic presence. The work is primarily large-scale, saturated in a bright and often neon palette, and heavily layered with the detritus of the video girls' day-to-day toil. Band-Aids, false eyelashes, sex ads and other discarded items are obscured and embedded in the shellac and paint like remnants of prehistoric insects in amber--a new kind of nature."
“Florida, an academic whose field is regional economic development, explains the rise of a new social class that he labels the creative class. Members include scientists, engineers, architects, educators, writers, artists, and entertainers. He defines this class as those whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology, and new creative content. In general this group shares common characteristics, such as creativity, individuality, diversity, and merit. The author estimates that this group has 38 million members, constitutes more than 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, and profoundly influences work and lifestyle issues. The purpose of this book is to examine how and why we value creativity more highly than ever and cultivate it more intensely. He concludes that it is time for the creative class to grow up-- boomers and Xers, liberals and conservatives, urbanites and suburbanites—and evolve from an amorphous group of self-directed while high-achieving individuals into a responsible, more cohesive group interested in the common good.”
- Mary Whaley
If we consider Mr. Florida’s assertion of a Creative Class to be true, how do we reconcile the class tensions that often exist within the art world? Does financial success necessarily create division? And, most importantly, can success be defined broadly for the Artistic community?
- Kenya (Robinson)
Bring your humanity, BYOB.
6 to 8 Months | 7-9 pm 265 W. 37th St., 18th Floor
A few research suggestions from "La Peanut Gallerie"...
Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement (October 3, 2010–January 3, 2011) presents eleven building projects on five continents that bring innovative architecture to underserved communities. The featured architects address the functional requirements of their designs but also aim to have a broad positive effect on the communities they work in, as partners in social, economic, and political transformation beyond the boundaries of their often modest sites. In addition to new modes of participatory design, the projects on display incorporate pioneering site-specific ecological and socially sustainable practices, including the exploration of both new and traditional materials. Populations that have previously rarely enjoyed the attention of architects are engaged in designs incorporating innovation worthy of the broadest attention. The renewed commitment of these architects and many of their colleagues to socially responsible architecture is reminiscent of the ideals of twentieth-century masters, but these designers eschew their predecessors’ utopian, wholesale blueprints for change imposed from above. Small Scale, Big Change presents radically pragmatic, “acupunctural” projects—limited interventions with wide-reaching effects.
Three Internet-based networks—forums in which community leaders, architects, and nongovernmental organizations share information and experience—are also featured in the exhibition, extending its scope beyond the individual projects to include stakeholders in various areas of practice around the world.
These projects have been selected from an increasingly large number of similar initiatives around the world because they exemplify the degree to which architects can orchestrate change, prioritizing work that has social impact but also balances very real concerns of cost, program, and aesthetics. They succeed in providing communities not only with physical spaces but with opportunities for self-determination and an enhanced sense of identity. As a result, these architects are both designers of buildings and moderators of change. Their integrative methodologies could serve as models for the profession at large.
In a few weeks I'll be making a presentation about how my art making practice is influenced by photography. I am beginning to consider how I'd like to frame this conversation by doing some research. In my quest I've recently discovered The Commons on Flickr. The commons is an online archive featuring both still and video clips from a wide array of sources. Many selections have no copyright restrictions and are designed for public use. Just thought I'd share...
Emerging performance artist is seeking 15 white females between the ages of 18-35 to participate in a performance work (30 minutes). The final presentation will be showcased at the renowned venue, The Kitchen, in Chelsea. Extreme preference is given to individuals with blond hair (length- at least 12"), theatre experience and dance/movement training. Compensation: Program Credit, 50 dollars, and an 8 x 10 character print. Auditions will be held Sunday, November 20th, 12:00pm-5:00pm at The Kitchen: 512 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011. For further information please contact us, via email at TheProfessionalMuse@gmail.com
So, when Nichelle Nichols went to audition for the role of Lt. Uhura she brought along a copy of the book UHURU by Robert Ruark. A Wikipedia search revealed:
"Ruark's first bestselling novel was published in 1955. It was entitled Something of Value and was about the Mau Mau Uprising by Kenyan rebels against the British rule. The novel drew from the author's personal knowledge and experiences on safari in Africa and was adapted into a successful 1957 film, Something of Value. Later , Ruark delivered Uhuru, a continuing and similar theme, but not intended to be a sequel. "Uhuru" is the Swahili word for freedom. He had intended to write a final chapter in the series with the working title of A Long View From a Tall Hill, but this never materialized."
Check below to view the theatrical trailer for Something of Value...
A week ago my roommate had a dinner party and my (new) and (white) friend B. brought up his favorable experience at Marina Abramovic’s “The Artist Is Present” Retrospective at the MoMA. I rolled my eyes and pelted the words “white”, “boring”, “masturbatory” and “narcissistic” at him. He wasn’t bruised. Days later still intrigued, my smart, critically- thinking-type friend B. did a little smart, critical-googling and sent me a link to this article:
The author, Kenya Robinson, pens a beautiful and tragic piece about a failed picaresque performance effort she called “sit-in” that was designed to call attention to her group of friends of color as they waited on line to see Abramovic. The following is my email response to B. inspired by reading Robinson’s piece:"READ MORE
I'm not exactly sure why I've been on such a nerd kick lately, but apparently I am riding the Zeitgeist- as evidenced by a recent article in The Onion . Perhaps it is the slow recognition of my own nerdiness that is the culprit. Bespectacled, obnoxiously inquisitive, smart and an occasional victim of bullying, growing up I was happy participant in my own world. Drawing from books (fantasy, sci-fi and mysteries were my favorites), my only-childhood offered plenty of opportunities to indulge my hyper-active imagination, penchant for model building, puzzles, joke books, microscopes, and chemistry sets.
But one of the most important figures in my path of Nerd-dom was the wonderful, the lovely, intelligent and capable Lt. Uhura. My mother is a certified trekkie- the movies, the books, TOS, the animated series are huge part of my pop culture memory. I got some invaluable lessons from the chief communications officer of The Enterprise. The most striking? That physical appeal and intelligence are not mutually exclusive characteristics.
...a bit of Uhura trivia:
"Nyota" (Uhura's first name) is the Swahili word for "star"
"Uhura" comes from the Swahili word uhuru, meaning "freedom".
Nichols states in her book Beyond Uhura that the name was inspired by her having had with her a copy of the bookUhuru on the day she read for the part. When Justman explained to Roddenberry what the word uhuru meant, he changed it to Uhura and adopted that as the character's name.
"Never underestimate the power of carefully worded nonsense."
Tomorrow I am giving an artist talk, as I will do a few weeks from now, and I've been recently debating with myself (and my boyfriend) about nature of bullshit within "The Art World". Artists tend to produce the smelly stuff at such an alarming rate and that I'm wondering what the ultimate purpose is. While I am pretty sure that my bullshit ratio was never zero, I find myself talking a lot of junk as it relates to my work and the choices I make in the studio and my career. Perhaps all this bullshit is really fertilizer to grow significant ideas (followed by significant action). What are your thoughts? What's your bullshit quotient? Is it a significant factor in your work?