Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sound(less) bites from Jonny Farrow, AiOP 2009

Fresh off his recent show in the Video Composition Workshop (VCW) at the Diapason Gallery, Jonny Farrow was very excited to be featured this week on our blog. He was part of Art In Odd Places in 2009. His work , a "soundwalking" tour of 14th street, gave its participants a different side of 14th street not usually heard. Creative performances, such as his work, are just one of the ways how Art in odd Places explore the spectacle of daily life in 14th street.

One would think he'd give us an audio response to our questions. Yet, he decided to stick with written responses for the interview. You can still lend your ears though as you click the links to hear his previous work.

So, lend us your ears and eyes as Art in Odd Places presents Jonny Farrow.

Aiop: Tell us about you Jonny Farrow
JF: I am a sound artist/composer/performer, and I also work with video and composition for video performance. I make/use field recordings in my practice, so soundwalking is central to what I do—I am always listening for places where soundscapes overlap and for other sonic/acousmatic phenomenon.

Aiop: How was your Art in Odd Places experience?
It was fantastic. My New York Society for Acoustic Ecology (NYSAE) colleagues and I led a series of soundwalks over several weekends for AiOP in the fall of 2009. Most of my walks centered around Union Square Park, so it was nice to listen to the same place several times (at different times) and notice its particular sounds while almost always discovering some new sonic texture.

Aiop: Walk us (or should I say "Sound walk us"?) through your thought process in creating your piece for Art in Odd Places.
JF: The creation of these walks was really a collaboration between me and my colleagues Jamie Davis, Edmund Mooney and Todd Shaolm. Everyone has their own style of leading a walk—variety is important in this endeavor, especially for the participants—and we wanted to cover as much of 14th street (and in as many ways) as we could. As for my soundwalking work, it is both performative and pedagogical. It's performative in the sense that I am using my ears as the final arbiter of where the walk goes even if I have to deviate from a pre-planned route. The walks are pedagogical in that I deliver a bit of the history of the practice of soundwalking and give people exercises/tools to help them develop their own listening practice.

Aiop: Where was performance along 14th street?
JF: Our/my walks were in Union Square and all along 14th street, above and below as well. There's a list and descriptions of what we did on the NYSAE blog for those who love details.

Aiop: Any words of wisdom for artists who are interested in becoming part of this year's Art in Odd places festival?
JF:I usually charge for dispensing wisdom :) but since you asked, I would say use the resources of the festival. The organizers do a great job in supporting/promoting the artists and in offering advice about what is possible (and legal!), so it's a great opportunity to learn through engaging them.

Aiop:What projects are you currently working on and where can people reach you?
JF:I just had a sound piece in a Hostess Project event at the PPOW gallery in Chelsea as a sonic response to their *Debris* show, and I perfomed a video composition on 4/28 at Diapason Gallery in Brooklyn. As for other new projects, I plan to expand my video work and continue exploring the soundscape through listening and composition. For more info and to contact me. my web-location is:

Aiop: Any final words?
This should probably be philosohical, eh? (awkward pause...)

We heard you loud and clear, Jonny. Thanks for the responses.

Anyone can get up-to-date information about our featured artists today by visiting his website

To learn more about the New York Society for Acoustic Ecology, visit

The deadline for submission for this year's Art In Odd Place is fast approaching (May 14). If you have a great idea in mind, why don't you take a "CHANCE" and apply? Visit for details.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Interview with Chris Twomey

Art in Odd places caught up with Chris Twomey, AiOP alum 2005, after her recent successful show ASTRAL FLUFF: Carnal Bodies in Celestial Orbit” at the Creon Gallery.

Who is Chris Twomey?

Chris Twomey is an award winning artist living in New York City. Awards include a Ford Grant, CAPS, the Kitchen Center, Experimental TV grant and American Film Institute Directing Internship. Recent 2009 group exhibitions include BRIDGE ART FAIR - NYC/MIAMI, Broadway Gallery, NYC, Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, NYC, and Creon Gallery, NYC. Other exhibitions in 2010 included ASTRAL FLUFF:Carnal Bodies in Celestial Orbit solo show @ CREON Gallery, Fountain New York (March 4-7) and upcoming Westbeth Gallery (July 10 -August 1).

AIOP: How was your Art in Odd Places experience?
Chris: Great – I installed a stroller in front of the store Enchantment at 9th Street between Second and Avenues.

AiOP:Walk us through your thought process in creating your piece for Art in Odd Places
Chris: I imagined a stroller that had the room of a 16 year old in the space of a two year old, chained up to a railing, unattended. It was an interesting experience.

AiOP: Any words of wisdom for artists who are interested in becoming part of this year's Art in Odd places festival?
Chris: Think out of the box. Don’t go for the usual. Stretch limits.

AiOP: What projects are you currently working on?
Chris:Working on a survey exhibition of my work over the years at WESTBETH Gallery. A catalogue with an essay by Eleanor Heartney will accompany the exhibit. Opens July 10, 2010

AiOP: Any final words?
Chris: Keep up the good work AiOP!

Thanks Chris and we look forward seeing your exhibition this coming July!

Chris was generous enough to share some photos from her most recent work at the Creon Gallery:

Chris Twomey ASTRAL FLUFF INTERVIEW for Routledge’s “Reframing Photography” series by Rebekah Modrak, Bill Anthes

If you can't get enough of Chris' recent work, please visit the reviews/interviews/events she curated for “ASTRAL FLUFF: Carnal Bodies in Celestial Orbit”


Just a reminder: The Art In Odd Places call for artists submission for AiOP 2010:CHANCE deadline is fast approaching! Visit the website for more details

Visit us next week for more featured AiOP artists.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Artist known as LuLu LoLo

Portrait of LuLu by Vince Evans / Photo by Paul Takeuchi

For this week's entry, we touch base with one of our favorite performance artists who recently returned from France. Allow me to introduce LuLu LoLo, or should I say the Fabulous LuLu LoLo. She was part of Art in Odd places 2009: SIGN. Unlike last week's artist who used silence to communicate, LuLu LoLo utilizes an active approach to attract people: her larger than life personality. What makes Art in Odd Places such a wonderful event is the idea of embracing such creative differences in approaching themes. And rest assured, the festival will continue to capture this idea of "unity through diversity" this year.

You wonder how LuLu LoLo's approach worked? Read on.

Aiop: What’s in the name?
LL: LuLu LoLo is my name. My Italian grandmother called me LuLu. As Twayla Tharp says in, “The Creative Habit, Learn it and Use it for Life” ‘There is a magic and power invested in our names…done wisely and well, a change of name can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.’

AIOP: Kindly share your Art in Odd Places experience?
LL: My performance for AIOP on 14th Street as 14th Street NewsBoy— was very exciting—because of the wonderful response from the many people who stopped to take one of my newspapers about the history of 14th Street. Each week I gave out over 300 newspapers—because there were different issues, people were emailing to get the next issue if they missed meeting me in person. I performed on the corner of University and Union Square— in front of the Strawberry Store down the street from Whole Foods. It was interesting to see what type of person took my newspaper—young or old—male or female—student—I wish I had made a study of the demographics of who took my newspaper. Also by shouting out an intriguing headline I was able to get someone who resisted to take my newspaper—some of my favorite headlines that I would shout were: “Oscar Wilde’s play was a flop!” “Lillian Russell’s mother ran for Mayor! First Woman to run for Mayor—she got 4 votes!” “Oscar Wilde swindled by a Bunco Artist” –By engaging the people walking by—they would stop and take a newspaper. I would have returning people who said—“Oh I loved the last issue—can’t wait to read the next.” When I thought of my performance on 14th Street—I knew a lot of history of 14th Street but as I researched the history of 14th Street---I learned so much that I wanted to share this history—and I thought of a newspaper—my biggest problem was editing the wealth of images and information that I collected about 14th Street.

Photo by Paul Takeuchi

Aiop: Any words of wisdom for artists who are interested in becoming part of this year's Art in Odd places festival?
LL: My words of wisdom are really think about location and time of day of your performance. Early morning as people are going to work—they seem focused on getting on the subway—I thought they would want a newspaper to read going to work—but they seem more leisurely when they returned from work. People going to the Greenmarket on Saturday morning were very relaxed —and happy to take a newspaper which I had to stuff into their overflowing Greenmarket shopping bag. Do not stand by bus stop—too noisy—think of traffic noise—Also people are either listening to music or talking on cell phone—so they don’t hear you or notice you. If you are giving them something—they won’t take it if they think it is a store promotion. You should stand at a spot you are thinking of selecting—and get the feel of the kinds of people that pass by and the time of day which seems best for their interactions with your performance.

Aiop: Sounds like a moving performance. If you had to do it again, what would you have changed about your piece?
LL: I think I should have been at same spot at the same time each week—as people wanted to find me for the next issue—I staggered the time to see what kind of response I received at
different times.

Aiop: This year’s theme is Chance. What is your take on the theme?
LL: All of my work is about Chance: An encounter on any street in any city in the world, where strangers spontaneously interact with me as I appear as one of my many personas. Even my
scripted theater plays have an element of chance—as I sometimes improvise the dialogue each evening. Being a performance artist is taking a “Chance”—a risk. Michel Seuphor (author of “Piet Mondrian, Life and Work”) said, “Art stands still if you are afraid to take a chance.”

Aiop: Tell us about your work as an artist
LL: My work alternates from performance art to scripted one-person plays based on history. Recently I performed an excerpt from my play: “Soliloquy for a Seamstress: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire” at Judson Church for the 99th anniversary of the fire. I am involved with our coalition is developing projects for the 100th anniversary in 2011.
Performance at Judson Church. Photo taken by Iris Selke

Recently, I was in France—where I performed a few days ago in LeMans France—a series of performances for the Ghost Art Gallery “Les Errances de l’eau a Le Mans” “The Wanderings
of the Water” an exhibition connecting LeMans France and Campagna, Italy.

My performance was “The Cosmic Grand Prix” uniting two miniature racing cars—one carrying water from the town of Campagna, Italy and the other street dust from LeMans. Continuing my performance work as LuLu LoLo, Dust Collecting Specialist, (The dust I collects forms a microcosm of our culture and civilization). I collected dust in the City of LeMans, encasing the sacred dust in a precious vial attaching it to one of the racing cars. In the performance the two cars raced around the gallery. At the finale of the Cosmic Grand Prix the sacred water and the sacred dust carried by the Cosmic Race Cars were sprinkled on site by LuLu LoLo as an act of consecration for the healing of the Earth.

Aiop: Please let our readers know about your upcoming projects? LL:
April 24- Participating in “Wherever There is Water Night Parade” in Philadelphia,
April 25- A performer at the Fund Raiser for Revolution Books, 146 W. 26th Street 5-8 pm
May 13- “You Know Who I Am: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen”, Conceived and realized by Joel Allegretti performed by Davidson Garrett, LuLu LoLo, and Jane Titus, Cornelia Street Café,
29 Cornelia Street, cover $7 (includes one house drink)
June 1-4- LuLu LoLo Dust Collecting Specialist with Sean Miller and the John Erickson Museum, at the Musei
di Nervi - Raccolte Frugone, Genoa, Italy
Summer 2010: “Dust from My Ancestral Homeland: An Act of Immigration Reinvented” continues my work as a worldwide Dust Collecting Specialist celebrating the mystical nature of dust. I will travel to Southern Italy to the home towns of my grandparents who emigrated from Melfi and San Fele in Basilicata collecting dust particles from churches, palazzos, statues, fountains, etc . These dust samples will be displayed at the Spazio Utopia Gallery (Campagna) as Immigrants gathered for departure to America and brought to New York docking at Ellis Island where the samples will be arbitrarily admitted for entry or rejected. The samples admitted will settle in East Harlem, NY at the sites where my grandparents lived for a unifying street performance. Also in Italy I will be “Basilicata NewsBoy” hawking a free newspaper about the Italian immigrants in New York City and highlighting the work of my parents, community activists who devoted themselves to the community of East Harlem—the street I live on in East Harlem/El Barrio is named for my father: Pete Pascale Place.

Thanks LuLu! You certainly have lots of interesting things to say!

For more information about this vivacious performer, visit her website I can assure you the website definitely doesn't disappoint.

Do you think you have what it takes to show a compelling piece along 14th street? Take a "CHANCE" and submit a call for artists application available here

Come back next week as we feature past Aiop artist, Tattfoo.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Art in Odd Places 2008 Artist:: Alicia Grullon

Next stop on our featured artist series is Alicia Grullon. She hails from New York City, but spent a significant amount of time traveling. Alicia was part of Art in Odd places in 2008 with her piece called "Revealing New York City: The Disappearance of Others" where the theme was "Pedestrian". Her projects tends to be in public spaces, focusing on the dynamics of human interaction in relation to her work.

She does not to talk during her performances, but she did have a lot to say when Art in Odd Places asked about her work.

Aiop: Tell us about Alicia Grullon

AG: I was born and raised in New York City and had a great time growing up here. The world was always at every corner in the people and rhythm of the streets. I went to Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. After graduating, I decided to take a job in South Korea teaching English because I wanted to travel and have a larger context of life on which to base my art. I lived abroad for 4 years in Korea and in the Netherlands and travelled almost everywhere in between. After getting back to the US, I got my MFA at SUNY New Paltz and now live and work in the Bronx. I've exhibited at Mount Holyoke College’s Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, Raritan Community College, Masur Museum of Art, the Peekskill Arts Festival, Samuel Dorsky Museum at the State University of New York at New Paltz, Hunter College Gallery, The Point Community Center, Lower East Side Festival of the Arts and The University of Rhode Island. Awards include: Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art 2007-08, Chashama Visual Arts Award 2007, Research Associateship at Mount Holyoke College 2006 and Arts Council Korea International Artist Residency at Stone and Water Gallery in Anyang, South Korea in 2009.

Aiop: How was your Art in Odd Places experience?

AG: I think one of the best experiences I've had performing has been for Art in Odd Places. It is always exciting to be at a new location because when doing public performance you never know what is going to happen. The thrill of the unexpected is one of the components I base my work on. I see my projects are never complete until the audience is there interacting with me. The week before I started my first performance for AIOP, I broke my elbow riding a long board. It was awkward moving my arm, not to mention painful, but the show had to go on and it added a new layer. Doing this piece on 14th street was special. I love the people from the East Village, the folks who have been there since forever. They've seen everything throughout the decades and know how to sieve through inauthenticity. So when I got they're approval for what I was doing, it felt incredibly wonderful.

Aiop: Where was your work located on 14th Street?

AG: My piece was on 14th street between First avenue and Avenue A in front of the post office. I performed for 4 Sundays in October from 12 to 5 each time.

Aiop: Any words of wisdom for artists who are interested in becoming part of this year's Art in Odd places festival?

AG: Visit the site you're interesting in doing work at. Sit awhile and imagine the work there. It will help with writing the proposal.

Aiop: What projects are you currently working on and where can people reach you?

AG: I am currently a participant in the first Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Art & Law Residency Program. The inaugural session of the VLA Art & Law Residency will be celebrated with an exhibition and symposium of participant work at Maccarone Gallery in NYC this August. The residency is led by an incredible team: Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, Esq. VLA Associate Director, Program Director and Faculty Elena M. Paul, Esq.VLA Executive Director, Advisor and Program Faculty and Erin Donnelly Exhibition Coordinator and Curator.

On April 10th, I will be presenting “Revealing New York: The Disappearance of Other”,
as part of the Jamaica Flux ‘10 curated by Hen-Gil Han, Jamaica Flux:
Work Spaces & Windows, a project of Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
(JCAL). “Revealing New York: The Disappearance of Other” is a sequel
to my Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art project An Auto-ethnographic Study: The Bronx. The first held in 2008 for Art in Odd Places: Pedestrian in Manhattan. For Jamaica Flux, I will focus on the foreclosure crisis affecting Queens.

My piece “Decolonizing the Image” was selected for publication in the
academic journal Performing Ethos from Intellect Books Issue1/Volume1.
Short Abstract:
Photography has completed the racialization of identity as a vehicle
in colonization throughout modernity. With the emergence of immaterial
art such as performance, the artist has been able to use the body in
order to de-construct identity. As a result, performance documentation, like Adrian Piper’s Mythic Being, begin to unmark
imperialist overtures embedded in images.

My project from this past summer in Korea has been published in “Doing
Art in the Market” from Achim Media. It contains all the exiting work
from the Arts Council Korea’s and Stone and Water Gallery’s
International Residency in Anyang’s traditional Seoksu Market. At the
moment it is only available in Korea.

People can reach me at:

Aiop: Any final words?

Thanks so much for inviting me to do this. AIOP is such an incredible festival. It follows in the tradition of Fluxes and Happenings that started in NYC. It brings thought back to the masses on such an intimate scale. I loved being a part of it.

Thank you, Alicia! Your responses were definitely wonderful and inspiring.

To visit the artist's website, go to
Email her:
Don't forget Alicia upcoming show at JCAL on April 10, 2010.

What's coming up next time: Aiop 2010 curators Yael and Petrushka, performance artist Lulu lolo and more Aiop artists.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Featured Artist: Olek

Art in Odd Places is very pleased to announce its "Open Call for Artist Submission" for the upcoming festival, CHANCE, in October. In lieu of such announcement, our blog will be featuring artists who were part of Art in Odd places in the past to share their experiences and catch up with their latest projects.

First stop, Art in Odd Places recently caught up with artist Agata Oleksiak, or Olek for short. She was one of the artists during the 2009 festival with her dynamic work called "Thank you for your visit, Have a Nice Day". Olek has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, Village Voice and Fiberarts Magazine for her work on mixed media, creating sculptural environments using her amazing crocheting skills. Olek was kind enough to share her thoughts about being part of Art in Odd places.

Aiop: Tell us about Olek, creator of “Thank You For Your Visit, Have a Nice Day”

Olek: I was born Agata Oleksiak in Poland. My English teacher told me “Poland is not ready for you, move to NYC”. I was always a good student, so after spending 22 years of my life in a gray, industrial, close-minded city in the South of Poland I escaped to Brooklyn. I rediscovered my ability to crochet and my crocheted journey/madness started. I cover objects and people as I go or as they enter my space, my life. The crocheted connections are stronger as one fabric, as opposed to separate strands, but if you cut one, the whole thing will fall apart. I like choosing ephemeral materials as a statement of the limited life of an art object, as well as an art concept. Unraveling plays a major part in my performance pieces. I can’t really speak to what I want to reveal—to know that, you’d have to find the end of the string and unravel it.

Aiop: How was your Art in Odd Places experience?

Olek: Overwhelming, exhausting but, most importantly, rewarding and satisfying. I planned to present a one day, 3 hour action that grew into a 4 weekend crocheted full body suits public life installation. I am very pleased with the great publicity that followed the AIOP festival and, in particular, my artistic statement for this venue. I couldn’t have done it without help from my friends, friends of friends and… Joshua Suzanne. She invited my piles of signs and yarn to take over her “Rags and GoGo” store on 14th Street where I was able to outfit my species and store the “props” between the performances.

And I cannot forget about the very close and extremely helpful communication with the curator Radhika Subramaniam. Nothing gives you more energy than a curator that believes in your proposal…then the final product.

I wish AIOP festival had a budget for the artists. I am strongly against the fact that we are constantly asked to produce public art, actions without any artist compensation. Actions like “Thank You For Your Visit, Have a Nice Day” needs performers, suits, coordinators, photographers, videographers, food and drink, washing machine, materials, prints, transport…pain killers…
I wish this venue good luck with making it even more successful and powerful. Raising funds would be the next step!

Finally, as an artist I must say I am especially content with the comments I’ve received from viewers. It is a public work and without the strangers who enter the space of my actions, my work couldn’t be completed. All of the five senses are always heightened as the audience develops new means of interacting with the piece, realizing that their response greatly impacts the art and the ways my forms are moving over time. Their response is the art, and my work is a mirror.

Aiop: Any words of wisdom for artists who are interested in becoming part of this year's Art in Odd places festival?

Olek: Everything takes longer then you think. Weather is unpredictable. Count mostly on yourself. Everything is possible.

Aiop: What projects are you currently working on and where can people reach you?

Olek: I am currently participating in a show at ABC No Rio on the LES. I was able to accomplish my project that was on my mind for 5 years. Please go to 156 Rivington Street and enjoy it. It is a public installation and is waiting for viewers to complete it with their energy.
I am an artist in residence at AAI-LES Rotating Studio Program, where we will have open studio in May.

I am also going to need your clothes for an action “Bring Your Clothes” I am preparing for Brooklyn Museum on June 16th. If you are interested in being a part of my work there by donating your garments, cutting them with me or even crocheting a new piece out of “old”, please send me an email to

And there you have it! Thank you Olek and we look forward seeing your projects.

To check out her show at the ABC No Rio, visit
To see more of her art work, visit her website at
To contact Olek or to participate in her upcoming piece for the Brooklyn Museum, email her at

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Art in Odd Places (AIOP) invites artists working across disciplines to propose projects for the festival's sixth installment (October 1 – 10, 2010). Taking place along 14th Street from Avenue C to the Hudson River in New York City, we encourage proposals that explore this location's rich history, configuration, and heterogeneous communities. The forthcoming edition of AiOP is informed by various interpretations of the term CHANCE, including proposition, luck, randomness, risk, and opportunity. Within this context, artists are given the opportunity to apply their practice to an unconventional structure—playing off the idiosyncrasies inherent to the urban plane.

With emerging formats of communication, our culture has become a fertile ground for broad intersections between individuals, ideas and situations. This has resulted in unpredictable exchanges, relinquishment of control, surprise collaborations, and instances of spatial revelation. AiOP 2010: CHANCE intends to provide passersby with a new perspective of an otherwise familiar environment through site-specific installations, social and spatial interventions, video and audio projects, performance, new media, and other inventive practices. In addressing the distinct manifestations of chance, the festival aims to broaden the public’s outlook on art, city dwelling, and social conventions.

2010 guest curators: Yaelle Amir and Petrushka Bazin.

AiOP Founder and Director: Ed Woodham.

Visit for artist application and guidelines.

Application Deadline: May 14, 2010, midnight

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