Common Goal

BiodiverCITY for 5 x 5 in Washington D.C.

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace
Amy Lipton curator for ecoartspace NY has been busy working on BiodiverCITY, her curatorial public art project for 5 x 5 in Washington D.C. opening on March 24th. Hosted by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, 5 x 5 includes five international curators who have each selected five artists to participate. The 25 temporary public art projects will encompass all 8 wards of D.C. and the stated goal of the project is to activate and enliven publicly accessible spaces and add an ephemeral layer of creativity and artistic expression to neighborhoods across the District. The 5 x 5 will be presented in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, one million plus people are expected to take part in the nation’s greatest springtime celebration.

March 2012 marks the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. The cherry blossoms are a symbol in Japanese culture that indicates rebirth. The Festival commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC.

Amy has chosen to work with five artists whose focus is on biodiversity both in scientific and cultural terms. Biodiversity refers to the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms including humans, animals, plants, their habitats and their genes which all contribute to life on Earth. These five artists all take a participatory approach and intend for their projects to engage, inspire and raise awareness about various issues related to the natural environment in the urban setting of Washington D.C. The common goal of these works is to connect people and communities aesthetically by bringing attention to the sometimes hidden relationships between city dwellers, urban nature, human and non human life forms.

If we wiped out insects alone the rest of life and humanity with it would disappear in a few months  - E.O. Wilson, biologist and author of BioDiversity

Tattfoo Tan will create p:ARK, (March 24 – July 20) a large-scale, walkable labyrinth in an open grass field at Yard’s Park along the Anacostia riverfront. The field will be planted with weeds, grasses and whatever volunteer plants grow and left unmowed. Just before the 5 x 5 opening the field will be mowed into a labyrinth pattern. Visitors to the site can walk into this path and consider the differences and relationships between public space, cultivated lawns and weeds. Tattfoo wants his audience to understand that we are all part of nature and migration (including weeds and invasive plants) is a natural process that will continue regardless of the changing positions on immigration. In this way his art hopes to inspire thinking about ways we can all live together in a world that is getting smaller as population increases and people move around globally.

The term weed in its general sense is a subjective one, without any classification value, since a “weed” is not a weed when growing where it belongs or is wanted. Indeed, a number of “weeds” have been used in gardens or other cultivated-plant settings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weed

Tattfoo received a 2010 “Annual Awards for Exellence in Design”, Public Design Commission of the City of New York, for the Rehabilitation of the Bronx River Art Center. He received a public art commission from Percent for the Arts and New York School Construction Authority at PS 971, Brooklyn, New York for his permanent wall installation “SOS (Sustainable Organic Steward) Pledge” in 2010. Tattfoo’s work has been shown by various institutions including; The Queens Museum of Art, The City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Fashion Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute and Project Row Houses, Houston, TX. Tattfoo received a Proclamation Award from City Council, The City of New York for his for his effort, service and artistic contribution to the community.

Let’s change our aesthetic of what is beauty and stop trying to tame nature by poisoning it. Ultimately, we are slowly killing ourselves in the name of cohesiveness, dare to be different and embrace diversity. – Tattfoo Tan

Natalie Jeremijenko will suspend her work, B Bridge (March 25 – July 25) to help butterflies cross obstacles in a busy urban street location. The B Bridge project creates a quiet spectacle that facilitates the lifestyle and environmental services of these beautiful and popular urban cohabitants and demonstrates how we might re-imagine our infrastructure to account for the diverse nonhumans with whom we share territorial resources. Butterflies will bounce along the bridge which makes use of enticing flowering vegetation to safely guide them over a heavily trafficked intersection in order to connect to fragments of habitat. The presence of different species of butterflies and moths is vital to maintain and preserve the biodiversity in urban areas. They represent a significant proportion of pollinators, thus maintaining the diversity chain and gene transfer between plant species.

Urban contexts, surprisingly, are islands of biodiversity — or as we like to spell it: biodiverCITY. This characteristic of our urban systems is perhaps the most critical in producing a healthy and resilient urban future that is robust to climate destabilization and ecological transformations. – Natalie Jeremijenko

Natalie Jeremijenko is an artist whose background includes studies in biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering. Jeremijenko’s projects which explore socio-technical change have been exhibited by several museums and galleries, including MASSMoCA, The Whitney Museum and Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt. A 1999 Rockefeller Fellow, she was recently named one of the 40 most influential designers by I.D. Magazine. Jeremijenko is the director of the environmental health clinic at NYU, Assistant Professor in Art, and is affiliated with the Computer Science Dept.

Embracing the international status of Washington, DC as the capital of the United States, Chrysanne Stathacos will present a public art project titled Natural Wishing (March 20- July 20) to enable participants to connect with “wishing actions” from around the world. The viewing public will be able to take a journey using their own cell phone while riding a city bus or by tying a wish to a tree at various locations throughout DC. Printed wishes will be available to be hung on trees or kept, in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Some of the included trees in this project can be seen at: The Textile Museum, Sasha Bruce, and The Hill Center/ Old Navy Hospital. One can participate in this project by leaving a wish by voice or text, accessed by mobile phone to a QR code or phone number seen on printed posters. Over 200 of these posters will be installed on DC Metro buses from March 20 – April 30th.

Wishing rituals are personal performances; blowing, throwing, speaking, drinking, singing, holding, to name a few. In today’s challenging landscape, one finds the need for hope and wishing as fundamental in order to create a better world . People’s need for hope cannot be underestimated, as often hope provides us a deeper understanding of our mutual interdependence, and results in our world flourishing . – Chrysanne Stathacos

Toronto and NYC based Chrysanne Stathacos’ interdisciplinary art practice draws on photography, printmaking, book-works, video, installation, public art, and participatory interaction. She aims to make new connections between cultures, historical periods, technologies, and environmental issues, which mirror the human processes of change, hope, healing and mortality. Stathacos has exhibited her work extensively in museums, galleries, sculpture gardens, and public spaces internationally including The Wish Machine, presented by Creative Time in Grand Central Station, New York City. She received a 2001 award from the Japan Foundation, for The Wish Machine project, which enabled her to do creative research in India and Japan for six months.

Love Motels for Insects (March 24 – June 10) is an outdoor light installation by Brandon Ballengée for the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. The Love Motel uses ultra-violet lights on enormous blank fabric to attract insects and creates an opportunity for public interactions with nocturnal arthropods, which are not often seen. The sculpture is fabricated in the form of giant dragonfly wings and is intended to construct situations between humans and non-human life-forms. Versions of Ballengée’s black-light sculptures and public nocturnal field-trips have taken place in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. At each location the arthropods leave traces and create abstract pheromone paintings on the fabric surface.

Exploring the boundaries between art, science and technology, Brandon Ballengée creates multidisciplinary works out of information generated from ecological field trips and laboratory research. Ballengée has collaborated with scientists, members of the public and students to conduct environmental research and ecological artworks. His transdisciplinary works involve collaboration with participants from diverse age, economic, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. His artworks have been exhibited in museums, galleries, sculpture parks and public spaces in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. He currently is finalizing his Ph.D. through a collaborative program between the University of Plymouth, England and Hochschule für Gestaltung in Zürich, Switzerland. He is a Professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Working and communicating with diverse groups is vital to the creative process. It allows the works to function as site-specific- not only in geographic terms, but also culturally. This intellectual exchange also permits the work to grow in novel directions guided by group ideas instead of a solitary artist’s hand — like organisms evolving to changing environmental stimuli.
-Brandon Ballengée

Habitat For Artists is a collective project that uses the idea of the artist’s studio as a catalyst for mutual engagement between artists and communities. The “habitats” are small, temporary, 6 by 6 foot art studios installed at a variety of locations. HFA invites local and member artists for periods of residency to work in these small studios. The studios are made from recycled and reclaimed material and are reused for each new iteration of the project. From March 20 – April 27th, HFA at THEARC in D.C.’s 8th Ward will invite D.C. artists and local youth, after school programs and community groups to participate on weekly projects both inside and outside the studio to explore creative expression in a collaborative setting with a changing member of the HFA team each week including artists Simon Draper, Matthew Slaats (Freespace), Chere Krakovsky, Todd Sargood, Michael Natiello, Michael Asbill, and Jessica Poser. An exhibition of works created throughout the HFA residency will be exhibited at the end of April at THEARC’s Corcoran Gallery through the Corcoran Art Reach program.

These intimate work spaces not only ask artists working in them to explore their creative needs, BUT also act as a metaphor for our OWN domestic needs. How might we be more creative about our consumption of materials, our use of energy and land? Could we be doing more with less, yet still create a vibrant, relevant society and culture? - Simon Draper, founder of Habitat for Artists.

The four other selected curators for 5 x 5 are: Richard Hollinshead, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK; Laura Roulet, Washington, DC; Justine Topfer; San Francisco, CA and Steve Rowell, Culver City, CA

http://www.the5x5project.com/25-citywide-public-art-installations-to-be-unveiled-in-partnership-with-the-national-cherry-blossom-festival/

TWITTER: @thedcarts @CherryBlossFest
FACEBOOK: /thedcarts /CherryBlossomFestival
WEBSITE: dcarts.dc.gov nationalcherryblossomfestival.org

 

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

ISEA2012 Albuquerque – Machine Wilderness: Re-envisioning Art, Technology and Nature

SYMPOSIUM + COLLABORATION • Fall 2012 • www.isea2012.org

New Mexico Arts and Technology Symposium with the International Society

for the Electronic Arts (ISEA), hosted by UNM, 516 ARTS and partners

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In the fall of 2012, a group of New Mexico arts organizations will present ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness, a symposium and series of events exploring the discourse of global proportions on the subject of art and technology, in conjunction with the prestigious International ISEA Conference. Held every year in a different location around the world, ISEA has a 30-year history of significant international acclaim (www.isea-web.org). The symposium will consist of a conference, a series of art exhibitions at various sites, public events, performances, screenings, tutorials and workshops.

The Albuquerque/Santa Fe area is fast becoming a national and international center of media production, visualization and art/science collaboration. However, in the US, New Mexico is geographically isolated, and within the state the many initiatives in the electronic arts are spread out and isolated from each other. ISEA2012 will not only give the region international exposure, but will provide an opportunity for centers of electronic art and media in New Mexico a chance to work together towards a common goal, to build audiences and to help revitalize the urban center of Albuquerque.

The title for the symposium is Machine Wilderness. As part of a region of rapid growth alongside wide expanses of open land, New Mexico presents a microcosm of this theme. Machine Wilderness will present artists’ and technologists’ ideas for a more humane interaction between technology and environment in which “machines” can take many forms to support and sustain life on Earth. The project focuses on creative solutions for how technology and the natural world can co-exist.

Themes for the ISEA2012 collaboration in Albuquerque/Santa Fe include: a bilingual focus, as this project has the potential to draw significant international participation from Latin America; an indigenous thread, focusing on Native American and other indigenous peoples woven into the main symposium; and a focus on land and skyscape. Because of our vast resource of land in New Mexico, proposals from artists will be solicited that take ISEA participants out into the landscape. The Albuquerque Balloon Museum may offer a unique opportunity for artworks to extend into the sky as well. Subthemes of the conference and symposium include: Ancient Cosmologies and Electronic Art; Getting Off the Planet; Land, Energy and Environment; and The Future of Creative Economies.

ISEA2012 EXHIBITION:

The large-scale, multi-site, international exhibition for ISEA2012 Albuquerque will feature artworks that explore perceptions of a larger universe, space travel, and the science of space and the cosmos. Artworks in all media will combine art, science and technology, demonstrating the role art can play in re-envisioning the world.

The exhibition will be curated through a two-part process, with an international call for proposals and works selected by the ISEA Board and selection committee; and a portion of the exhibition titled Getting Off the Planet curated by guest curators Patricia Watts and Jenée Misraje. The exhibition will feature both museum works and commissioned site-specific works located throughout the state, some in collaboration with scientific and technological communities. Albuquerque sites include 516 ARTS and The Albuquerque Museum.

Curators Patricia Watts and Jenée Misraje state, “‘Getting Off the Planet’ is seemingly in our DNA. If where we are now no longer seems suitable, we seek to go elsewhere. As populations rise beyond the Earth’s capacity to sustain us, leaving the planet appears to be the solution. Perhaps this next frontier is where we will find the inspiration needed to continue our existence on Earth with greater insight. The real and imagined prospects of leaving our planet have inspired intriguing works of art.”

LEAD ORGANIZATIONS:

UNM College of Fine Arts – Conference host
ISEA liaison, conference organizing, co-direction of ISEA exhibition
516 ARTS – Leader of community outreach and marketing for fall collaboration
Collaboration coordination, marketing/public relations, publications, co-direction of ISEA exhibition

DATES:

CONFERENCE: September 19 – 24, 2012
COLLABORATION: September – December, 2012

STEERING COMMITTEE:

Sherri Brueggemann, Manager, City of Albuquerque Public Art Program
Regina Chavez, Director, Creative Albuquerque
Andrew Connors, Curator of Art, The Albuquerque Museum
Andrea Polli, Associate Professor, UNM College of Fine Arts and School of Engineering
Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Director, 516 ARTS

PARTNERING ORGANIZATIONS TO DATE:

516 ARTS
University of New Mexico College of Fine Arts
The Agora Group/Z-Node
Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Albuquerque Museum
City of Albuquerque Public Art Program
Creative Albuquerque
Currents: Santa Fe Video Festival
ecoartspace
¡Explora!
Film for Change & the Albuquerque International Film Festival
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Los Alamos National Labs
New Mexico Museum of Natural History
STEM-A

CONTACTS:

Andrea Polli, Artistic Director, ISEA2012
Mesa Del Sol Chair of Digital Media and Associate Professor, Art & Art History and School of Engineering
College of Fine Arts
UNM Center for the Arts, Bldg. 62 MSC04-2570, Albuquerque, NM 87131
w. 505-266-2327, c. 718-909-5607, andrea@andreapolli.com

Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Producer, ISEA2012
Executive Director, 516 ARTS, 516 Central Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
w. 505-242-1445, c. 505-235-7580, suzanne@516arts.org, ssbarge@swcp.com

Patricia Watts & Jenée Misraje, Guest Curators, Getting Off the Planet, ISEA2012
tricia@ecoartspace.org
jmisraje@gmail.com

Regina Chavez, Director of Economic Development & Outreach, ISEA2012
Executive Director, Creative Albuquerque, P.O. Box 27657, Albuquerque, NM 87125
w. 505.268.1920, regina@creativeabq.org

Jack Ox, Artist/Scientist Coordinator, ISEA2012
Research Assistant Professor, Art and Art History, College of Fine Arts
Associated Faculty Member with the Center for Advanced Research Computing, UNM
t. 505-217-2167, jackox@comcast.net

Mary Tsiongas, UNM Faculty/Student/Alumni Exhibition Coordinator, ISEA2012
Associate Professor Electronic Arts, UNM
tsiongas@unm.edu

Jane daPain, ISEAYouth Program Coordinator, ISEA2012
New Media Artist, STEM-A Founder/Instructor (http://stem-a.org)
jdap.newmedia@gmail.com