Written on Oct/13-08 by Marco
Independent Production NYC 2008
Part One: Reimagining the Establishment
Curated by Jonathan Berger for KIOSK
Friday, October 17th
95 Spring Street, 2nd floor (between Broadway and Mercer)
FOOD, DRINK, MUSIC, CONVERSATION
In recent years, NYC has seen a significant and exponentially growing shift in the motivation and role of creative production in relation to contemporary culture. Commercial pressures including real estate, an inflated art market, and the mass marketing of historically avant garde and marginal aesthetics and ideas have increasingly limited the possibilities for new and unique independent points of view. It is, and has always been the minds that live outside the seeming possibility of the present, and prophesize the future of culture through their work, who are able to affect an evolution. By and large, we are presently stuck, asleep in a spin cycle where the structures set up for making and experiencing art and culture are in total control of what continues to be made and experienced.
This first installment, on October 17th, in a series of talks on independent production, focuses on four creative endeavors which reinvent and redefine the function of the ‘institution’ or ‘venue’ in relation to their work. The minds directing these projects have built their own establishments—each a unique, often hybrid context or space designed specifically for engaging with and distributing the work they wish to do.
Writer and director of distribution for Electronic Arts Intermix, Rebecca Clemen will reflect on an ongoing series of recent conversations with Leslie Thornton about models for distributing film and video as a central and dominant question facing media artists. Leslie Thornton is best known for her extensive investigation of contemporary media aesthetics, and early works which were amongst the first to employ the simultaneous use of cinema, video and digital media.
New York historically has been a collection of close-knit neighborhoods and small, locally owned businesses, where residents from all walks of life come together and interact every day at their local butcher or vegetable market or bakery. Monica Von Thun Calderón’s Grandaisy Bakery strives to preserve the role of the small business as a public space, while offering products that make history and culture alive through food. A pride and investment in a good work environment, the relationships between bakers and customers, the emphasis on small batches and local ingredients, the nature of food as a common language and vehicle for ideas, all are at the core of how Grandaisy operates as a business and determine where and how it will grow.
Play A Journal Of Plays is devoted to reinventing the life of plays on the page. The journal, edited collaboratively by Sally Oswald and Jordan Harrison, publishes open texts, instruction manuals, scenarios, song cycles, choreographic notations, and other evidence of events that seldom resembles standard formatting. In embracing the format of the page, and elevating the form of notation, Play journal has eliminated the theater as an inevitable or desired destination. Much as culture has come to embrace drawing as its own complete form, not destined to be subservient to and further developed through painting, Play journal has expanded the role of playwriting to foster the farthest possibilities of what the description of an event can be. In doing so, the Journal has made a space where impossibility yields vistas of new and uncharted terrain.
Dennis ‘Citizen’ Kane’s work encompasses the fields of painting, music, theory, design, journalism, and curatorial projects. Kane has exhibited work in various contexts and shows, among them: The Drawing Center, Dia center for the Arts, DFN gallery, and Takeo Kacuchi gallery in Japan. He is founder and director of the Disques Sinthomme record label where he has worked on projects with Silver, Professor Genius, Nick Chacona, The Beat Broker, Lars Behrenroth, Smith & Mudd. Citizen Kane maintains DJ residencies at his Deep End party begun in 2000 at APT, and adult section a collaboration with Darshan Jesrani. The Strobe Lodge party was established by Kane and Jesrani as an attempt to create a more Utopian social environment and as a way to respond to the constraining syntax of commercial venues. Taking cues from David Mancuso’s “Loft” parties and the early “House” parties of the Detroit and Chicago underground, the format of Strobelodge removes any mediating any third party, giving complete control of the space, bar, visuals and décor, and music to the selectors. The event is invite only and attendees pay a single modest cover charge which includes admission, drinks, and food for the entire evening. This approach encourages a community dynamic and non- hierarchical genuine social exchange. The music is tailored for an extended evening with a long build up and decent to and from the platform of contemporary dance sounds.