Modeling Alternatives: A Discussion
Friday, April 22:
In recent years many artists have begun to work in non-art contexts, pushing the limits of their creative practice to help solve social problems. Modeling Alternatives Part 1 brings together a group of artists and architects along with their individual collaborators including social workers, urban planners and diplomats to discuss how their groundbreaking teamwork produced uniquely successful outcomes.
Kadambari Baxi will discuss Design for Diplomacy, a studio she taught for Barnard + Columbia Architecture students that explored design in relationship with national and cultural representation, transnational exchange and the engagement of public and political forms of diplomacy. The studio visited and interacted with the US Embassy in Amman, Jordan worked on three design projects at multiple scales: Redesigning Currency, Refilming Glimpses of the USA, and Engines of Diplomacy in Amman.
Kadambari Baxi is a New York-based architect engaged in a collaborative practice focused on architecture and media. She is Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Architecture at Barnard College and Columbia University, a partner in Martin/Baxi Architects, and a principal of imageMachine, a new media collaborative that incorporates expanded architecture and media concepts in multidisciplinary projects. More information at: www.imagemachine.com, http://www.martinbaxi.com
Based on her collaboration with the Department of Transportation, Molly Dilworth will speak about the advantages and potential problems involved in collaborating with government agencies, and will make some practical recommendations about how to proceed including the need to communicate goals clearly and define the specific requirements of a project.
Molly Dilworth is a Brooklyn based artist who views creative practice as a form of research. Using data from a specific site as a structure, she gives form to things that invisibly motivate our actions. Her painting Cool Water, Hot Island was selected as the surface treatment for the 5 block 50,000 sq. ft. pedestrian plazas on Broadway in Times Square. Her 2010 rooftop painting, made in conjunction with the NYC CoolRoofs program was commissioned by 350.org as part of their international climate change art initiative. As a 2011 Art & Law Resident, Dilworth is researching the African American Burial sites in Lower Manhattan.
The dialogical theater work and her sculptural practice both manifest a longtime interest in issues of social and political subjugation. The workshops and resulting performances allow the function of the sculptures and gallery to become malleable, sculptures become stage and seating and gallery becomes community center, moving meaning away from just the metaphorical and into peoples real lives.
Rachel Owens lives and works in Brooklyn. She has been included in exhibitions at the Austrian Cultural Forum, Lehman Maupin, Socrates Sculpture Park, Apex Art and others both nationally and internationally. She recently had her 4th solo show at Ziehersmith Gallery in Chelsea. Her work has been reviewed widely including The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Art in America. She began working with Theater of the Oppressed in her own neighborhood of Redhook with Falconworks community theater group.
Marisa Jahn will discuss her work as an embedded artist in several organizations, most recently The Tangible Media Group at MIT’s Media Lab and Street Vendor Project, an organization that advocates for the social and economic justice of street vendors in New York City.
Marisa Jahn is an artist, writer and co-founder of REV- (www.rev-it.org), a non-profit organization dedicated socially-engaged art, design, and pedagogy. (www.rev-it.org). Jahn recently edited “Byproduct,” an anthology that investigates the work of artists embedded in the government, industries, and electoral politicsA graduate of MIT, Jahn’s work has been presented in public spaces as well as the MIT Museum, The Power Plant, ICA Philadelphia, The National Fine Art Museum of Taiwan, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and SF Museum of Modern Art. Jahn is currently the Deputy Director at People’s Production House, a journalism training and production institute that teaches working families, immigrants, and youth to produce ground-breaking news critical to a vibrant democracy. www.marisajahn.com
Lynn Love & Ann Sappenfield
2010 Supplement, The New Emirati Britannica
Considering their work on the New Emirati Encyclopaedia Britannica, Love and Sappenfield will discuss the responsibilities of artists and writers when they take on the task of representing what is considered ‘public information.’
The New Emirati Britannica is modeled on one of the most famous encyclopedias in modern history, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, published in 1911. An enduring work for its comprehensiveness and style, Encyclopaedia Britannica serves as a cultural artifact that continues to fascinate many scholars and public intellectuals. At the time of its publication, art historian Sir Kenneth Clark wrote of it: “One leaps from one subject to another, fascinated as much by the play of mind and the idiosyncrasies of their authors as by the facts and dates. It must be the last encyclopaedia in the tradition of Diderot which assumes that information can be made memorable only when it is slightly coloured by prejudice.” The Eleventh Edition was also known to be one of Jorge Luis Borges’ favorite works—his references to it as a source of information and enjoyment from his childhood through his working life demonstrate its allure not just as a repository for facts, but also as a spark for the imagination.
Like the Encylopaedia Britannica did in 1911with its United States market, The New Emirati Britannica serves to represent and inform a country balancing its long association with the UK alongside its rapid development of a distinct global identity—both economic and cultural.
The 2010 Supplement focuses on science and natural history, and was commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE. It was created by Lynn Love and Ann Sappenfield.
Lynn Love is a writer whose work focuses mainly on science. She has written for various publications including The Brooklyn Rail, Audubon and The New York Times, and worked as a science writer and media strategist for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The New York Blood Center, NYU Medical Center, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and The Rockefeller University, among others.
Ann Sappenfield is an information designer and illustrator based in New York City. Her recent work includes design for an exhibition of sacred books, Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, at The New York Public Library.
Mayumi Komura & Luna Malbroux
Fashion is both democratic and exclusive; entertainment and serious business. In Mayumi Komura’s fashion shows, in which political refugees model second hand clothes, she manages to transform democracy’s serious business into the most unexpectedly entertaining and moving performance you will have to privilege to witness.
Mayumi Komuro is an artist who grew up in Tokyo, lived in Aomori prefecture and Dusseldorf, and moved to NewYork in 2002. Working mostly video and installation, She has been showing her work in various galleries, Cue Art Center, Jamaica Performing Arts Center, as well as film festivals (Appalachian film festival, Migr@tion film festival, and Washougal International Film Festival) She received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in 2007. Her last project, All Tomorrows Parties, was presented at International Center, NY in December, 2010. She received BFA from Pratt Institute and MFA from Queens College.
Luna Malbroux is the creator and editor of DoGoodFeelGreat.org, and website dedicated to highlighting individuals and organizations working towards social change while also providing insight on positive living. She is also finishing her master’s degree in Advanced Clinical Social Work with a focus in International Social Welfare from Columbia University.