Friday, May 25, 2012

Bushwick Open Studios

Next weekend is Bushwick Open Studios. I'll be joining in the festivities with The Parade of Art, Saturday June 2nd!  

In collaboration with Spread Art and Animamus Salon, “The Parade of Art” will gather outside the Morgan L stop on Bogart St at noon and promenade with ‘Speaker of the Dead’ gypsy, brass, folk, punk band to the The Animamus Art Salon hub for the weekend, Starr Street Studios (207 Starr Street)!  

Before the parade by the Morgan L stop, I'll have a make-your own-thurible station out of tin cans so that people can billow waves of incense during the parade.  
After the parade (closer to about 3:00pm), I'll be doing giant soap bubble painting  on the block between Starr Street Studios (207 Starr St) and Maria Hernandez Park, one block south of Starr Street Studios with folks visiting from Organic Faith in Buffalo.  

If you're around, stop by and join in!   

Shaving Cream Art Machine

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I've been doing a lot of very sincere flattery.  First of all, it's no secret that much of the inspiration for what I do comes from the guys at Free Style Arts Association.
But recently I've created a Shaving Cream Art Machine, which is a chimera of three individually awesome ideas:

1) The Exploratorium's Drawing Machine in San Francisco, which uses a four point pendulum to move paper under a static marker.

The Shaving Cream Art Machine also uses a four point pendulum to move a board, but because this ministry is highly mobile, the whole thing is made out of the same PVC pipes as the Dry Bones String Sculpture, so that it can be collapsed, transported on the subway, and reassembled without tools.  
Also, instead of using a marker, the Shaving Cream Art Machine uses a felt tip pen, but not to mark paper, to stir shaving cream.  Because the second element is:

2) Shaving Cream Marbling, which uses food coloring dripped on shaving cream and then gently stirred to create a surface upon which paper can be pressed to make prints.  I have no idea who to thank for this, but it's brilliant.

The Shaving Cream Art Machine straight up reuses this idea.  The only difference is that all the mixing occurs based on the pendulum motion of the machine.  This means that participants have less direct control over the outcome.  It also means that multiple people can participate in the creation of a piece by taking turns giving the pendulum a push in whatever direction they would like.  
But the Shaving Cream Art Machine doesn't just stop at making prints! It incorporates a third element:
    3) Free Distribution and Temporary Ownership of Art, a concept by the Italian Relational Artist, Cesare Pietroiusti, in which participants in interactive art make art to give away, often with random conditions about to whom to give the art.  
    The back of each piece of card stock on which a print is made has a suggested donation written on it.  The suggested donations are always to give the art to someone else, with parameters about to whom to give it.  Parameters vary from "give this art to someone who makes you laugh," to "give this art to a poet," to (because it's made out of shaving cream) "give this art to someone who taught you to shave."
    The result is an exercise in carefully planning which colors to use and where to place them, then letting go and watching the forces that govern the universe create something beautiful.  And in the end, you get to share the beauty with someone else.  
    Special thanks to Andy Badge for the photos and to Animamus Art Salon for organizing the event at which they were taken!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Common Ground

This Thursday, I will be teaming up with the folks from Advent Lutheran Church in Manhattan to focus their bi-monthly Common Ground service around the theme of art.  We will be exploring our identity as co-creators with the divine Creator through making some art together as a community.  Please bring (non-returnable) photos of people, places, and things where you have witnessed the presence of God. Dinner and fellowship will follow right there in the sanctuary.
Thursday, May 24, 7pm, 2504 Broadway at 93rd Street.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sermón para mi Mamá

Jesús dijo, “No me escogieron ustedes a mí, sino que yo los escogí a ustedes.” Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.”  Hay un modismo en ingles, “You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.” Puedes escoger tus amigos, pero no puedes escoger tu familia.  No sé que tan cierto lo es, pero sé esto, que en mi vida, mi mamá me ha escogido a mi.  My mother chose me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

First Experiment in Art-Making, Story, and Ritual

It's a lot of fun to tell people about the idea of making and sharing art as worship.  Turns out if you tell enough people about an idea, some of them will actually want to know what it looks like.  So last Thursday a band of intrepid adventures ranging from seminarians to agnostic artists gathered in Williamsburg to experiment with what worshiping through making art together might look like.
In the center of the room was a large cross made out of watercolor paper.  Surrounding the cross, a variety of brushes and liquids that people might encounter in their daily lives were arranged in a color wheel.  At the base of the cross, a font was placed where participants might wash out whatever pigment stained their brushes in order to paint anew.
(liquids from bottom to top:  saline solution, ash, grape jelly)

(spinach juice and blue snow cone syrup)

The evening began with simple movement games to gather us together as a creative community.  Then, using Luke 24: 36-43 as our starting point, we began a series of exercises designed to help us ponder how we relate to the text, listen to how others in the room relate to it, and reflect on how it relates to the larger world.  With each exercise we expressed ourselves through adding another layer of pigment (and at one point newspaper articles) to the cross.  By the end of the evening we had covered the cross with the marks of our lives.
(I love that the font was turned pitch black -- a sign it was well used) 

We finished the evening with a sticky-note based brainstorming session for ways in which we could take the themes we had explored together and make opportunities for others to express, create, and connected to one another around those themes.  
I'll let you know when they happen and when we have further experiments in art-making as spiritual practice!