Tag Archives: workshops

Chloë Bass & Teal Gardner | Urban Design Lab

Urban Design Lab

UDL_roomshotUrban Design Lab
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE
July 15 – November 1, 2014

In Summer 2014, I invited Chloë Bass and Teal Gardner to participate in the Bemis Center artist-in-residence program where they collaborated with 18 local researchers to shed new light on the nature of our urban landscape. Recruited from local high schools, the researchers first completed research for the Department of Local Affairs. Each teen filled out one of the templates listed below, sharing information about his or her experience of Omaha: making a map, designing a pamphlet, writing a review or offering advice. The shared information ranged from an account of where one student’s relatives lived in the context of her neighborhood to advice about how (and how not to) use particular parks for social activity.

Once trained in the Department of Local Affairs’ interactions and processes, researchers went into the community and asked local residents and workers to share information with the Department. One research day focused on the Old Market area, where teens engaged people at the Omaha Public Library, a coffee shop, an antique store and on the street. The second research day was focused in North Omaha, where teens collected information from people at Carver Bank, Love’s Jazz and Art Center and the Union for Contemporary Art.

Bass then organized the collected materials into a subjective guidebook. The Department of Local Affairs office installation is on view as part of the Urban Design Lab exhibition at the Bemis Center.

The Lab participants, who were recruited from local high schools, toured various parts of the city as field researchers and then synthesized their data in the Bemis’s gallery space, which consists of two parts: Chloë Bass’s The Department of Local Affairs and Teal Gardner’s Reading the City.

At the end of each week of data collection through Department of Local Affairs and Reading the City, the researchers worked as teams to develop as an intentional form of play. They were charged with the task of repurposing the sights and sounds they recorded into new tools and bodies of work, which will be offered to other visitors and participants in this space throughout the exhibition.

Taken as a whole, the Urban Design Lab provides deep, media-rich data about the city in which we live, as well as a new synthesis about the meaning of that data. As a place where new ideas and work are created, the Lab also echoes the ongoing creative processes that are at the heart of the Bemis Center’s internationally-recognized artist residency program.

The outcomes of research were shared at a Presentation Day on August 5, 2014

Curriculum
Department of Local Affairs
Reading the City workshops
Maker Days

Chloë Bass also realized her Department of Local Affairs over the summer of 2014 with the Laundromat Project, and also wrote a series of posts, Learning Omaha, on Hyperallergic during her residency.

About the Artists
Chloë Bass
In creating conceptual art (performances, situations, installations, publications), Chloë Bass’s goal is to investigate the potential of the everyday as a catalyst for intimacy. She is captivated by the common denominators of the human experience, such as the things that people always do, and she seeks to highlight the seemingly normal as a means of questioning its stability. Bass’s primary medium is people, and she uses performance as a metric to evaluate the successful function of interaction and engagement – person to person, and between people and their surroundings – rather than a spectacle for passive enjoyment. The artist has been a resident at POGON (Zagreb, Croatia), D21 Kunstraum/5533 art space (Leipzig, Germany and Istanbul, Turkey) and Eyebeam (NY, NY) and has shown her work at venues such as the Neuberger Museum (Purchase, NY), Künstlerhaus (Stuttgart, Germany), Kunstkammer AZB (Zürich, Switzerland) and the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (Detroit, MI). Selected profiles of her work have appeared in BOMB, Entorno, ArtInfo, Art Observed, the New York Times and Hyperallergic. She is the recipient of a 2013 Fellowship for Utopian Practice from Culture Push and a 2011 & 2012 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Individual Artist Grant Nominee. The artist earned her BA in Theater Studies from Yale University and an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) from Brooklyn College.

Teal Gardner
Teal Gardner’s work centers around an interest in children’s play and the conceptual and physical spaces that are available for that play. The political, social, aesthetic and ecological facets of children’s play environments provide ample fodder for her investigation. Through a practice that is concerned with praxis, she utilizes social scenarios to bring about action. This can mean installing a show with children as collaborators or transforming a gallery space into a ‘free play zone’ and inviting the community to participate. Gardner binds together this work with writing, informed by research into pedagogy, design, landscape architecture, public policy, neuroscience, developmental psychology, ecology, philosophy and art history. A former fellow at the Union for Contemporary Art in Omaha, the artist attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she majored in Anthropology with minors in English and Art.

Lead Researchers
Nia Allison
Giovanni Barraza
Serenity Bryce
Hayley Danielson
Tori Dunston
Ta’Riance Harris
Michaela Hawkins
Cecilia Hoggatt
Tasheonna Lewis-Kent
Imani Murray
Eva Philips
Ana Pineda-Gutiewez
Daniel Pinto
Luis Salazar
Eros Shreve
Eva Taylor
Claire Tweedy
Brent Walker
Solomon Washington
Owen Zahm

The Urban Design Lab is generously supported by Lincoln Financial Foundation.

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Mary Mattingly: Flock House Project: Omaha

Mary Mattingly: Flock House Project: Omaha

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Mary Mattingly’s Flock House Project: Omaha, was a city wide workshop and exhibition developed during her residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, in Omaha, Nebraska.

What if migratory homes with autonomous systems for rainwater collection and food production were the building blocks of the city of the future? Inspired by patterns of global human migration and pilgrimage, the Flock House Project is a group of mobile, sculptural, public habitats and self-contained ecosystems that are movable, modular, and scalable.

This multi-phase project was part fantastic and part practical. It kicked off in Omaha on March 13, 2014, with an exhibition of Mattingly’s work at the Bemis Center. The exhibition included selected works from her Island (2009-2011), Anatomy of Melancholy (2007-ongoing), Second Nature (2006), Nomadographies (2009-2011), House and Universe (2013); and Wearable Portable Architecture (2011) bodies of work, as well as new works for her Tools series made at the Bemis Center. The centerpiece for the exhibition was one of the three portable structures from her 2012 Flock House Project, New York City.

Mary Mattingly: Flock House Project: Omaha exhibition brochure.

Unlike traditional exhibitions, however, the spaces also served as the artist’s active research hub while she was in residence at the Bemis Center, offering a space where she engaged the local community to develop plans for, and fabricate, new mobile living systems to be installed outdoors at both the Bemis Center in the Old Market and at Carver Bank in North Omaha. Omaha artists were then invited to occupy these living systems in order to promote and implement a broader integration between Omaha’s creative and urban design communities.

At a time when urban populations are faced with environmental, political and economic instability, dislocation and relocation become increasingly important to consider and reconcile. Addressing these themes and concerns, Mattingly first presented three Flock Houses across New York City during the summer of 2012. Her intention is to choreograph Flock Houses throughout urban centers across the United States. By constructing them, she seeks to enhance community-based interdependence, resourcefulness, learning, curiosity and creative exploration. Interactive community programs, workshops, lectures, performances and narrated tours focusing on Omaha’s history, current surroundings and future opportunities occurred throughout the summer. By engaging in a direct dialogue with Omaha’s history of community and innovation, the Flock House Project provided local residents and visitors with an opportunity to ponder the future of urban living.

During May 2014 a series of design/build workshops was held to develop a local iteration of her Flock House Project. Omaha residents had an opportunity to consider just how our urban landscape might look in the decades to come.

Mary and I talked with Justin Pazera of KMTV about the project.

Two Flock Houses were installed over summer in Omaha’s Old Market district and at Bemis Center’s Carver Bank location in North Omaha. To read about the process and about the participants’ experiences, visit the Tumblr account here.

For a listing of Old Market Flock House projects, click here.

For a listing of Carver Bank Flock House projects, click here.

Gallery Installation Shots:

 

Flock House Omaha design build:

Flock House Project: Omaha was developed through Design/Build Workshops in May 2014. During the workshops, the following people worked alongside Mattingly to create and install both the Old Market and Carver Bank Flock Houses:
Travis Apel: Artist/Organic Gardener/Builder
Dwayne Brown: Architect /Writer for Edible Omaha
Denise Chapman: Carver Bank Artist-in-Residence/Performer
Devel Crisp: Carver Bank Artist-in-Residence/Performer
Matt Cronin: Gardener/Community Activist
Tricia Custer: Video Production/Artist/Gardener
Angela Drakeford: Artist
Chance Frank: Artist/Gardener
Matt Freeman: Community Gardener
Cynthia Gehrie: Artist/Gardener
Neil Griess: Artist/Urban Activist
Catherine Harrington: Gardener/Builder/Cook
George Hewitt: Artist, Post Hurricane Katrina Rebuild Volunteer, Furniture
Dr. David J. Hibler, Sr.: Gardening, Community Activism
Maya Jeffereis: Bemis Center Artist-in-Residence/Installation/Sculpture/New Media/Performance
John Kerner: Architect/Artist
Jennifer Keys: Drawing/NAACP
Kim Reid Kuhn: Artist/Urban Activist/Teacher
Peter Langwith: Artist/Community Activist/Sustainable Living
Kayla Meyer: Landscape Architecture
Christina Narwicz: Artist/Gardener
Linn Norton: Art Education
Sarah O Donnell: Bemis Center Artist-in-Residence/Sculptor
Katie Parker: Bemis Center Artist-in-Residence/Sculptor
Dessi Price: Graphic Designer
Terri Sanders: Great Plains Black History Museum
Dr. Daniel Schober: Heath/Nutrition
Tyler Swain: Trash/Recycle Artist/Tinkerer/Construction
Travis Thieszen: Bemis Center Artist-in-Residence/Sculptor
Susan Thomas: Arts/Omaha Creative Institute
Liz Thrash: Gardener/Hobbyist

About Mary Mattingly:
Mary Mattingly is a New York City-based artist whose work has been supported by the James L. Knight Foundation, Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, Yale University School of Art, the Harpo Foundation, NYFA, the Jerome Foundation and the Art Matters Foundation, among others. Mattingly has been featured in Art in America, Artforum, Dwell, China Business News, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Financial Times, New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and the Village Voice. Mattingly’s efforts have also been covered by BBC News, MSNBC, Fox News, and on Art21’s New York Close Up series.

The artist merges performance, sculpture, architecture and photography to address issues of home, migration, cartography and living systems. She creates photographs and sculptures that depict future and obscure landscapes, makes wearable sculpture, “wearable homes,” and ecological installations. Her work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, the Seoul Art Center, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the New York Public Library, deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Massachusetts and the Palais de Tokyo. Mattingly participated in smARTpower: an initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the Bronx Museum of the Arts as artist-ambassador to the Philippines.

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Our Haus

Our Haus

ACFNY_Entrance 1

10th Anniversary Exhibition
THURSDAY MAY 17 – SUNDAY AUG 26, 2012

Presented by the
Austrian Cultural Forum New York

Artists: SABINE BITTER/HELMUT WEBER, JUDITH FEGERL, RAINER GANAHL, MATTHIAS HERRMANN, JOHANNA KANDL, MATHIAS KESSLER, FABIAN PATZAK, RAINER PROHASKA, TIME’S UP, WOCHENKLAUSUR

The Austrian Cultural Forum has launched the exhibition Our Haus in celebration of its ten year anniversary. Curated by Amanda McDonald Crowley, Our Haus forgoes a typical survey, instead examining the many facets of the Forum’s mission as a place for the presentation of contemporary culture, as a center for the discussion of ideas and establishing cross-cultural relationships. These aspects are presented through recent and newly-commissioned works by ten artists with ties to Austria and New York, who employ the landmark architecture of the Forum to explore themes that celebrate the history and mission of the ACFNY and its role within the city.

The show’s bilingual title, Our Haus, speaks to these bilateral cultural navigations. The works included in Our Haus explore the relationship between the building and it’s environment and the architecture of New York, while simultaneously providing the audience with an invitation to participate in the discussion. Our Haus is an exhibition that recognizes the ACFNY as a cultural center, but also as a space for conversation, contradiction, intimacy, and conviviality.

“Unattended Luggage” by Time’s Up gives visitors a chance to explore personal aspects of immigration and home (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

“Unattended Luggage” by Time’s Up gives visitors a chance to explore personal aspects of immigration and home (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

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Performance: Rainer Prohaska, Cuisine à tous les étages | Austrian Cultural Forum New York , May 2012

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