Friday, October 28, 2011

Join AiOP favorite, LuLu LoLo, for a fundraiser this Saturday at Flux Factory

Insect Exotica LuLu LoLo Crowns Habitable Spaces Halloween Fundraiser Party

At Flux Factory  - 39-31 29th Street Long Island City, NY 11101
Saturday, October 29
6pm – 2am
Art Auction: 6pm-10pm

In the spirit of Habitable Spaces Insect Exotica LuLu LoLo will harvest the audience for materials to create a sculptured headpiece celebrating Habitable Spaces, assisted by the multi-talented Marissa Hiller. The sculptured headpiece will be on sale to benefit Habitable Spaces.
So come to support Alison Ward and Shane Heinemeier’s Habitable Spaces project at Flux Factory.

"Wash" "Closely" as AiOP 2011 artist , Michael Borowski, shares his festival experience

Michael Borowski

Photo provided by Michael Borowski

During the week of Art in Odd Places, exhibiting Wash/Closely, which dealt with rituals of the domestic bathroom, acquired the rituals of daily labor. Each morning I would arrive at Wix lounge at 10am. If I hit rush hour and the trains were packed, I would be late. Not that anyone seemed to mind. The mornings were slow. I think we both hoped for more of an audience. I had only one intentional visit during the week, from a group of dutiful Parsons undergraduates. At noon I would leave for a lunch break. The first day of the exhibition I could barely eat because I was so nervous about the public response to my work. My thoughts were focused on a potentially ambivalent or even aggressive public, or even being asked to leave by the police. I should have been worried about the transportation. Moving the human-sized sculpture, on its four indoor casters, down heavily trafficked sidewalks, and across cracked asphalt streets, was no easy task.

Each day at 1pm I would walk alongside my sculpture, rolling at a snails pace. My eyes were fixed on ground in front of me, looking out for cracks or bumps that might catch my wheels. It was physically exhausting. Once I reached 14th street, I would set up the piece, take a few photographs, and then pass the hours watching people’s interactions. Most people walking past gave it an odd look, doing a double take as they passed. I heard a few people say “What’s a sink doing in the middle of the street?” or “Only in New York!”. But every so often someone would briefly stop to look at him or herself in the mirror. They did it without asking what it was, or to whom it belonged to. It didn’t matter that it was a sculpture, or part of the Art in Odd Places festival. The sink and mirror were familiar enough. These brief moments contained everything I hoped my work would address: people exhibiting a level of vulnerability that comes with fixing your hair in the mirror, and a willingness to perform these subtle, intimate rituals in public.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Call this one "Shapes in Odd Places"

Remember that previous blog entry about an open letter from a mother whose kids thoroughly enjoyed the Art in Odd Places festival?

Well the kids were truly inspired by outdoor art and decided to create their own. Looks like we found our next artists for the following Art in Odd Places festivals. May I introduce you to Nora (age 6)  and Josie (age 3). They call this piece "Shapes in Odd Places"

This made our day! Thank you very much.

All photo credit by Alex Lando

If these cocoons could talk, what would it say? You better read this entry then

There was no question "Cocoon Sojourn" was one of the many memorable performances during the festival. You saw those colorful cocoons move, and possibly heard them whimper. Sherry Aliberti of @CocoonNYC shares her Art in Odd Places experience.

The Cocoons (Sherry Aliberti in the back)  photo credit Mila Matveeva

Depending on who is inside the Cocoon, the public is engaged in many ways.  The "fixtures" of the city like telephone booths, bike racks, bikes and our favorite, scaffolding, become things to interact with.  The performance-installation is defined by how we occupy physical space at our own human scale.  When three humans perform in the Cocoon, it becomes a temporary installation.  Others must move through this same space that the Cocoon has been "installed in/at."  They can stay in a pack, interacting with each other or spread out so passersby meet each one separately. Each performer brings something new to the Cocoon Project, and I am beginning to call them "muses" rather than performers because people are amused by the performance, they have a hard time looking away, even interrupting their path or phone conversation to explain what they are witnessing, snap a picture, or just watch.  Yes, that's right, this project can even stop traffic without even setting foot off the sidewalk.  People will watch from the bus, they will cross the street to get closer.  They will follow us for a block, pose for a picture, dance with us or even tickle our feet.

Photo credit  by Alex Gryger
Photo credit by Alex Gryger

 I may have conceived this project in a way to create spatial forms but it's certainly taken on a life of its own and each performer is teaching me more about the project. Learning as I go, movement, interaction, forms and noises inform how I move forward and direct performers, even describe the project. Needless to say, I couldn't have done it without these muses.
Gillian Barlow Sollenberger, Evan Leed, Stacey Shapiro, Sylvana Tapia, Suzy D, Karen Go, Laura B, Cory Snyder, John Swan, Calin Fernandez, Liz Meals, Karesia Batan, Anna Brown Massey, Bex Burton, Ryan Fitzgerald, Ken Again.
Special thanks also to photographers John Aliberti, Cindy Ruddy, Steve Aliberti, Mila Matveeva, Alex Gryger, Rose Sambrato and Daniel Talonia's crew.

I've reflected a lot on what Martha Graham learned about her Revelations performance with the "Body in a Bag."  The story goes that a woman experiencing this performance was so moved because it unlocked something inside of her that allowed her to cry for the first time about her young son's tragic death.  I think that many people are moved emotionally by the figure's abstraction in the fabric.  Observing the Cocoons, people are clearly inspired, have a hard time not watching and smiling.  They look around at each other and sometimes shake their heads.  Others become upset by it, like their toes have been stepped on, or worse.  Something about the body, moving, exploring this same space but in an entirely unpredictable and spontaneous way that renders these viewers entranced.  No matter what, people are having an emotional response.  My artist peers recognize that there is something liberating in being in a Cocoon but also by witnessing it, by taking the sidewalk and making it a not entirely empty canvas.  The discussion of street art, public art, performance art, installations and interactive art gets messy, as we try to define the hazy edges of where the Cocoons belong.

Maybe it is that the Cocoon performances allow people to let go of some of their urban baggage.  Those rules about personal space, about what you're "supposed" to do on the sidewalk, or "whose" it is. What, how and why Art is, even. These are ideas that the whole scope of Art in Odd Places aims to make transparent and further muddled at the same time; pushing the envelope.  

People will react to the Cocoons, and as we consume the public with colorful, morphing sculptural installations, there are some truths that people can't deny.  It does resemble dance, and it's hard to not be entranced by something that is recognizably another human, just acting in a completely irrational way.  But it's beautiful, it's hard to not watch and photograph.  Hard to take a bad photo of the Cocoons, but you're missing each performer's distinct sounds and the jingling of the costume.  Sunlight, site and color are just a few things that the Cocoons do differently than Graham's piece.  Clearly the performers are less sombre, sometimes even miming, squacking or barking to get laughs from the others waiting for the light to cross the street.  Graham's piece, when it was first performed was revolutionary because of the abstraction of the shapes and the way it made people FEEL.  I cannot deny that this is the same for the Cocoons.  But we're trying it out in a contemporary way.  That was almost a hundred years ago!  The body is still a form of inspiration for artists and I'm fascinated that this project, so very similar to Graham's in execution can come from such different concepts and still get such a phenomenal response from people.  After all this time, people still find it interesting.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rob Andrews presents: DOOR WORK --> OPENING OCTOBER 22

October 22-November 5, 2011
/opening Oct 22 - performance begins at 8pm/
English Kills Art Gallery

English Kills Art Gallery presents DOOR WORK, the first full solo exhibition of Rob Andrews' work after a decade of rigorous investigation into the nature of myth, ritual, and the role of the storyteller.
DOOR WORK hews at the genesis and location(s) of private moments of spiritual transformation, the intersection of the spiritual and profane, the role of ritual in our social landscape, and the boundaries we accept and those we will ourselves to cross.
DOOR WORK  bridges the psychic and material distance between performance and the static art object. Rob will present two new major performance works: one, on October 29th @ 8pm for Bushwick BEAT night, Clean Hrag, is a collaboration with Hrag Vartanian, founder and visionary at, and the other which opens the show October 22nd @ 8pm: Ant--Bird 2, is a ritual designed to open a spiritual and metaphysical door using the power of blood, sweat, spit, and the vocal power of a human chorus.
In 2003, Rob cleaned the floor of the gallery Exit Art for three months. Roberta Smith of the New York Times wrote, "In a piece that suggests interior reconstruction Rob Andrews has been and will continue cleaning the gallery's entire floor with a toothbrush, a few square feet each day. His air of meditative concentration contrasts noticeably and nicely with the prevailing sense of bustle and bulk." DOOR WORK balances performance and the object towards speaking to interior reconstruction: destroying old doors, and opening new ones.
Rob is proud to officially join English Kills Art Gallery. He has shown work at the Museum of Modern Art, Exit Art, Grace Exhibition Space, and travels to Bitola, Macedonia in early November to take part in Exchange Radical Moments, a Pan-European live art festival that takes place in 11 European cities on 11.11.11

DOOR WORK is dedicated to the memory of Jeanette Ingberman. 

This performance/variable media art work was made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.  Major support of the Franklin Furnace Fund was provided in 2010-11 by the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation and Jerome Foundation. Special thanks also to the Gowanus Studio Space, United States Artists, and numerous private donors.

Monday, October 17, 2011

LuLu LoLo as “The Gentleman of 14th Street” in “A Tip of the Hat on 14th Street”

As I strolled up and down 14th Street—in my top hat, white tie, and tails—tipping my hat and greeting the passersby on 14th Street—I was taken aback by the response of the public—this simple gesture of humanity to them—really touched them to the core—they returned a nod, a smile, a thank you—even though they were absorbed in their tech world of communication—for a moment the human exchange replaced the tech exchange. We all connected on 14th Street. On Saturday, Oct. 8th I tipped my hat to and/or exchanged a greeting with 1,074 passersby. Thanks to you all for your artistic support—I enjoyed interacting with all of the artists and staff of Art In Odd Places.

I tip my hat to each one of you.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Did he finally get his clothes back? Art in Odd Places Festival 2011 artist Lawrence Graham Brown shares his story

From Lawrence

Just wanted to share my experience, overall my experience was awesome my last day of performance I had a very pleasant experience when I was at Union Square Park performing a cop  came over within ten minutes of performance and my assistants thought he was going to disturb the performance in a negative way but it turned out he had been a fan of the performance and wanted to get more information on my next event, he also stayed around to keep some order insisting to watch the performance from behind me, my only bad experience I was attacked by mosquitoes even though I was wearing repellent and now I am nursing wounds.

Photo provided by artist

Photo provided by artist

Photo provided by artist

Friday, October 14, 2011

An open letter from a mother during the Art in Odd Places festival

Responses such as this help us carry on what we do.  Thank you Jenny for participating!


I just wanted to say thank you for giving my family the oppprtunity [sic] to explore 14th street today.
The girls were happy to hunt for hidden art and to be presented with performance art as they walked down the street.
Even when we returned home to Astoria they were still looking on lamp posts for magnetic art and wondering if that oddly dressed person was "doing a show".
I have attached a few photos from our day. more than one email will be arriving.
Feel free to use them on your blog.

: ) Jenny Herdman Lando

I should add that my daughter, she's 6, wants to do it in Astoria next year.   Just now she emptied out the little box Amy Young used for her project, filled it with her own drawing and wanted to go stick it on something metal outside on 30th Avenue,
Something to consider.
: )

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Can't get enough Art in Odd Places 2011 ? Here are more images from the festival.

Edith Raw, "Human Rites"

Sheryl Oring, "Offerings to Nature" 

Konstantin Dimopoulos , "The Tattooed Tailor"

Amy Young , "Fourteen Street Saints for AiOP 2011"

Elizabeth Demaray, "Lichen for Skyscraper's Project"

Michael Borowski , "Wash Closely"

To get to know more our artists, visit our website

Video: NY Times / East Village Blog

Art In Odd Places 2011 from Christine Jenkins on Vimeo.

"Tourist-In-Chief" Art In Odd Places and the musings of Hamlet.

"To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?"

Hamlet, Act III, Scene I
Hamlet's soliloquy ran through my mind four days before the opening of Art In Odd Places. Without a permit from the NYC Parks Department and an audience eager to know the next move, my choices in proceeding with "Tourist-In-Chief" were stark; TO BE: Install without permission -or- NOT TO BE: Don't install at all.

In my play, to be would guarantee arrest and likely blacklist me on future public art opportunities available in NYC; not to be might result in possible lawsuits and or cash refunds to Kickstarter backers and simultaneously break my obligations to Art In Odd Places. Although Hamlet's question concerned his own existence -to live or to die- my choice was the life or death of my career as attached to the outcome of a single project.

By seeking a permit to dress the statue of George Washington in Union Square, I thrusted my project into the 'slings and arrows' shot at Hamlet or any modern-day struggler. I knew my bid to dress New York City's oldest monument would come under fire. The slings, the arrows of administrative rejection hurt deeply. Yet to anyone following the permit process, the 'outrageous fortune' of my situation was clear: The NYC Parks Department intended to deny "Tourist-In-Chief" while it had permitted other parties to dress George Washington statue. Furthermore, the Department held its position even after "Tourist-In-Chief" received unanimous support from Community Board 5 Parks Committee.

My teenage graffiti impulse longed to 'take arms' and install by any means necessary; my past had certainly prepared me for such a risk. The public artist in me, the man whom considered "Tourist-In-Chief" a stepping stone in a future of larger, permitted artworks advised restraint: Demand your rights within the realm of law, "opposing" and "end them" not by bailing on Kickstarter and Art In Odd Places, or by illicit action, but by arming yourself with words and mediation.

Three days before Art In Odd Places, the NYC Parks Department granted me permission to install "Tourist-In-Chief", thereby releasing me of making Hamlet-like choices. The credit is due to attorney Phillip Z. Kimball who successfully articulated my position to those of authority. Likewise, the credit is due to the NYC Parks Department, for allowing a citizen the opportunity to exercise one of America's most sacred rights (Freedom of Speech) on a statue of America's founding father.

This year's Art In Odd Places festival inspired me to share my life and work to the public in ways that I ordinarily would not, and for that I thank AIOP and all those who stuck by me from start to finish, the "Tourist-In-Chief" team, especially my wife Caroline Reid.



Photos: ©Leon Reid IV 2011. Photographer: Becki Fuller

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Julia Barbee, Art in Odd Places 2011 artist, shares her experience during the festival

Before/After Scenting New York by Julia Barbee 

Photo credit: Julia Barbee

This was my first time to New York, so I proposed a simple processional performance, which gave me the valuable opportunity to introduce my practice of engaging with pedestrians, geography, and architecture by dispersing scent applied to my body. I built in the space to wander the street, collect material, and just be there; it was a calming time of reflection, within the constant flow of the city's energy. Surprisingly, the visit ended up being very meditative, an appropriate end to the festival titled Ritual.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 8: A-Typical Saturday at Union Square

Nobu Aozaki hard at work making smiley bag portraits!

Lawrence Graham-Brown in Gimmie Bak Ma Clothes!

Alejandro Guzman preforming El Santaro across 14th street!

Making wishes with Andrea Cote and Michael Drisgall

Jacklyn Soo performing Circling Square at Union Square

Cocoon NYC Ambushing 14th street

Edith Raw "Human Rites" taking a stroll

Alejandro Guzman "El Santero" found 14th and 4th

Rob Andrews in Union Square doing "Union Square Clean"

The Miraculous Artist, Caroline Mayorga giving her blessing along 14th and 1st

Gretchen Vitamvas "Automaton" walking east

Missa Coffman made us some Haiku Toast along Hudson River Park

Sheryl Oring "Offering to Nature"  in action

Harvey loves Harvey recorded a moment in time along 14th street