Chad and I have some art up at Thunderbird Coffee (1401 Koenig, Austin, TX 78756) for the month of July — all for sale at super-steal prices! Yes, this is a show where we are really trying to get the art to go away and become parts of other people’s homes.
We will be having a small reception for the art with our friend Chris Hutchins, who plays phenomenal music that will reach deep into you and make a smile or laugh come out. Tuesday, July 27th, 6:30-8! That is during their Pint night, with $1 Lonestar + happy hour prices all day (in case you’re into that kind of thing).
It’s really difficult to take pictures in there with so many windows and reflections, so you’ll have to come see the rest of it that I couldn’t photograph.
“Beginning with an Assignment (DEMAND) to create a list of Materials (SUPPLIES), Hopper and Jones engage in a closed-economy art experiment, wherein the elements themselves are also used as tools without any additional means.
1) Create a list of mutually agreed-upon supplies limited to 20 different elements with specified quantities.
2) Gather all supplies on list individually.
3) Install supplies at Co-Lab on specific sides of room, working independently except for at the meeting point (somewhere in the middle).”
Ahh, how Time does gallop, and the wind does blow…
There were a lot of little details.
And different contributors.
And, hey, these apples are still for sale!
In the spring semester of 2000, I was enrolled at Hampshire College in the first class that REALLY got me excited– It was “Inter-Arts 101: Working Across the Arts” team-taught by Paul Jenkins (poetry), Thom Haxo (sculpture), and Ellen Donkin (theater).
It was the first time that this experimental class was taught, and the professors were all charged up and giddy, bubbling over with anticipation of the creative cross-fertilization that was to occur.
The structure of the class was one week all together just discussing this concept of inter-arts, and then the class split into 3 groups. In our smaller groups, we spent 3 weeks with each different professor in the team, and in the final weeks, we worked on and presented a final project, which could be done individually or in groups.
Our final projects had to try to create a new art form that was a hybrid of the different forms we had used during the semester. The challenge was motivating, and the result was a lot of amazing work.
The piece I produced for my final project has been returning to my mind a lot lately. The only evidence I have is some water-damaged photos.
My inspirations at that time were:
- Working in the school cafeteria on weekends, I got to prepare the brunch buffet, which included fresh fruit. I was pleasantly astonished to discover that the pears came individually wrapped each in a piece of colored tissue paper! Who knew! I saved a bunch of the green and purple wraps.
- The rest of my academic attention was mainly focused around social issues spanning from the local (unionizing work study students, fighting standardized tests in the schools, getting our school to divest from companies that supported private prisons) to global (IMF and World Bank policies, the history of imperialism, etc.). It was getting really heavy, trying to work with various groups who were doing different things for social change, yet inevitably getting tangled and divided by various personal, socio-economic, or ideological differences. A certain phrase that my dad used to say, that I think my mom reminded me of, was: “We’re all looking at the same ballgame through different holes in the fence.” I wanted there to be more understanding between people, and compassion. I thought a literal interpretation of (part of) this adage would make a very interesting structure for a sculpture-poetry-theater hybrid…
[Photos by Ernest Chapman, 2000.]
So, why am I posting about a class project from more than 9 years ago?
Partly, it’s just as I said: it has crossed my mind lately.
And the piece still excites me to think about, in the way that a lot of things excite me now. Excite=inspire. I had a vision, after I finished the performance, of improving it, making a “road” version, and taking it to some traffic median in New York– or Hartford. Just for the hell of it! Boy, that was a romantic idea.
Anyway, I didn’t; I “struck the set” that day, and saved but a single pear wrapper as a memento.
Beyond that, now I’m finding that writing and thinking about that class really gives me some good clues about what kind of teacher I want to be, and what kind of education is alive and vivid.
- The “mini-session” format – 3 weeks per subject (with assignments every day!) in rotation – was wild. And by wild, I mean memorable! Interesting, almost frightening, like a fast horse. (See, I learned that in my 3 weeks of poetry. haha.)
Maybe it worked better for the teachers, too, because they seemed very much more alert and engaged than any of my other teachers! Perhaps because they were experimenting, collaborating, enjoying a challenge?
- Something I’ve been enjoying looking at lately is a textbook from 1978, called Television Studio [written by Judy Lever and published by Macdonald Educational Ltd.]. It details the entire process of making a TV show, featuring “close-up” looks at all the careers that exist in the field, and what their work is like. Set designer! Make-up artist! Producer, director, writer, researcher! The production team. I like this book because even while the process is explained, it still seems magical. It’s like that moment when a quiet looking lump of earth gets disturbed, revealing a massive city of ants who are all working desperately fast.
There was this similar quality in that class that I took, only we were the ants, and there was no hierarchy but the unspoken Edict – -> Create Great Art.
I’m out of words. What do you think?
(with Time Tunnel)
Come see the Amazing Feet, whiskers–
No, really. If you wanna just get out of the house, rifle through some garage sale items, vintage clothes, comic books, ART, fortune eggs, puppet kits, unique stencil-covered wearable objects… and/or converse with neighborly types + iguana-dog-cats, crawl through a tunnel into the land of the future, enter other mystical portals, etc., we’ll be here. Probably’ll have goodies to eat, on the grill, as well. Bring your ham or pemmican, currency or other goods to trade.* 10am-7pm, Saturday and Sunday. Rain or Shine!
*If you are BARTER inclined, I know that I for one (Amanda), could certainly use: flower pots/planters, cinder blocks, mortar, rocks, plants, soil, etc. Chad mainly needs currency and/or publishing connections, since he is about to get a bunch of teeth pulled; but, he might trade for some awesome old magazines or picture books. I’m not too sure about the druthers of Lori, Leah and Kevin, who are bringing stuff to sell, but if you are totally broke and have nothing to trade, you can still come and just enjoy the festivities and weird landscape!
2608B Rogers Ave. – right across from Campbell Elementary School –
MORE PHOTOS coming soon. Here is batch one:
Here’s a jumbly corner-view of the works in progress on Dec. 27th.