Blogs Centerpoints Residencies

eavesdrop 04.01.08: Bamuthi in the house

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOArYHrfVqg[/youtube] On the Walker Art Center calendar, you’ll find dates (April 10-12) for the premiere of the break/s, Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s new dance/theater piece. What you won’t see on the calendar are the weeks Bamuthi spent here in January and February leading a residency with local teen poets and videographers. This video opens a window […]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOArYHrfVqg[/youtube]

On the Walker Art Center calendar, you’ll find dates (April 10-12) for the premiere of the break/s, Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s new dance/theater piece. What you won’t see on the calendar are the weeks Bamuthi spent here in January and February leading a residency with local teen poets and videographers. This video opens a window into the residency–the first half marking the beginnings of the residency, the second half delving into the teens’ work in February. The fruits of their labor, inspired by the upcoming Republican National Convention in St. Paul, are on display in a free program Thursday in the Walker Cinema.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph in words, in motion

Before catching his Walker-commissioned the break/s, April 10-12, catch this glimpse of Marc Bamuthi Joseph. This video, mixing an interview with footage from a 2006 performance at New York City’s Lincoln Center, is part of Encounters: USA Fellows, a series of video shorts by the nonprofit United States Artists and film company City Projects. Click […]

Before catching his Walker-commissioned the break/s, April 10-12, catch this glimpse of Marc Bamuthi Joseph. This video, mixing an interview with footage from a 2006 performance at New York City’s Lincoln Center, is part of Encounters: USA Fellows, a series of video shorts by the nonprofit United States Artists and film company City Projects.

Click back here next week to check out video documenting Bamuthi’s Walker residency in January and February with local teen poets and filmmakers, who show off their creations 7 pm April 3 at a free program in the Walker Cinema.

Intermedia screens film by Walker residency artist

Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, a New York filmmaker, follows the pioneers of Cuban hip-hop into their homes, on stage and on their travels abroad in Inventos: Hip Hop Cubano, screening 7 pm Saturday at Intermedia Arts. Jacobs-Fantauzzi is working with Bay Area hip-hop artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph in a residency with the Walker’s Teen Programs and also […]

inventos.jpgEli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, a New York filmmaker, follows the pioneers of Cuban hip-hop into their homes, on stage and on their travels abroad in Inventos: Hip Hop Cubano, screening 7 pm Saturday at Intermedia Arts. Jacobs-Fantauzzi is working with Bay Area hip-hop artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph in a residency with the Walker’s Teen Programs and also contributing to the Walker-commissioned premiere of Joseph’s the break/s, April 10-12 in the McGuire Theater.

After Saturday’s screening is a discussion with the filmmaker and a performance of Hip Hop Habana from the Real by Melissa Riviera, exploring hip-hop in Puerto Rico and Cuba. Call 612.375.7548 or email teenprograms@walkerart.org for details.

The state shall appropriate

Normally we steer clear of politics on the Walker Blogs, for reasons that are not necessary to enumerate here. However, once in a while something quirky and safe enough comes up to merit a post. So I present to you Minnesota House Bill H0224: 1.5 Section 1. [138.99] POET LAUREATE. 1.6 Subdivision 1. Appointment. 1.7 […]

Normally we steer clear of politics on the Walker Blogs, for reasons that are not necessary to enumerate here. However, once in a while something quirky and safe enough comes up to merit a post. So I present to you Minnesota House Bill H0224:

1.5 Section 1. [138.99] POET LAUREATE.

1.6 Subdivision 1. Appointment.

1.7 The Gov’ shall appoint a state poet laureate,

1.8 Who shall serve for a four-year term.

1.9 Because this appointment will always be great,

1.10 There’s no need for the Senate to confirm.

1.11 In appointing a poet for the public good,

1.12 And to ensure there’s no unjust omission,

1.13 The governor shall consider, if he would

1.14 Thoughts of the Humanities Commission.

1.15 Subd. 2. Removal.

1.16 The poet will be free to write rhyming lines,

1.17 With removal only for cause,

1.18 But we trust that the bard will promptly resign,

1.19 If the verse reads as badly as laws.

1.20 Subd. 3. Compensation.

1.21 ‘Twould be fair to provide some just recompense

1.22 As reward for the poet’s tribulations,

1.23 But because at this time we haven’t the cents

1.24 We’re afraid there is no compensation.

1.25 But we ask as the poet travels the state,

1.26 And the people their ears they lend,

2.1 That our learned Commission take the position

2.2 To provide the poor poet a stipend.

2.3 Subd. 4. Gifts and grants.

2.4 To provide the support that needs to come

2.5 To support our new laureate,

2.6 Gifts and grants received of a generous sum,

2.7 We hereby appropriate.

Whether it is partisan or not, my poetry brain is still deciphering. Either way, it is pretty funny. I can’t help but admire the wit and giddy sarcasm, which is just about never present in legislation. I can just imagine Reps. Kahn, Urdahl, Hilty, Jaros, and Hausman in their offices proud over their tongue in cheek creation. Big hat tip to MNPublis for finding this.

New work by Robin Rhode

The BBC has posted flash animations of three new pieces by South African artist Robin Rhode. Less political than his earlier work, he still has that witty interplay between the second and third dimensions. Rhode’s first US show was our Latitudes in 2003. While he was here he did a residency with the Walker Art […]

The BBC has posted flash animations of three new pieces by South African artist Robin Rhode. Less political than his earlier work, he still has that witty interplay between the second and third dimensions.

Rhode’s first US show was our Latitudes in 2003. While he was here he did a residency with the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC), and as part of it he did a teen-assisted art project that was exhibited around Minneapolis on bus-shelter posters (to see some, go to the WACTAC link above and click on “Storage”). Showing teens interacting with drawn scenes–a pair of kids conversing, their words appearing above their heads until the air is cluttered with their arguments; an office overflowing with papers from a printer; a skateboarder doing tricks on what’s actually a wall, etc.–each was created in offices that were about to be gutted for the Walker expansion. Below is Skateboard.

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Artist-in-Residence, the album.

This has got to be the Walker’s first appearance on an album cover. Jazz pianist Jason Moran’s Artist in Residence (Blue Note), to be released September 12, includes compositions created during his residency here last May and commissioned by the Walker, the Dia Art Foundation, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. During his time here, Moran […]

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This has got to be the Walker’s first appearance on an album cover. Jazz pianist Jason Moran’s Artist in Residence (Blue Note), to be released September 12, includes compositions created during his residency here last May and commissioned by the Walker, the Dia Art Foundation, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. During his time here, Moran was moved by art in the collection, especially works by Adrian Piper:

Milestone, an evening-length theatrical jazz suite, had its world premiere at the Walker in May 2005 following an artist residency in which Moran drew inspiration from artworks in the museum’s collection, most specifically the work of Adrian Piper. Moran’s fascination with Piper’s The Mythic Being: I/You/(Her) (1974) and his subsequent research of her life and writing led to the conception of a parallel creation, transferring Piper’s combination of the personal, political, and theatrical into the context of a jazz composition and concert form. Piper lent her full support to the project, including use of her voice and writings.

“ I now understand that much of jazz’s success is owed to its inherent abstractness,” says Moran. “ I’ve recently created more music associated with people, places, and events as opposed to pretty chords and nice grooves. Adrian Piper says that I’m in what artists call a mannerist phase’ now. I like how that sounds. . . . Adrian’s pieces tell stories, as seen by a black woman in the art world. They are poignant outpourings of her life. This was a goal we had for Milestone.”

Hear “Artists Ought to be Writing,” from the new CD.

Mel Chin’s “invisible aesthetic”

“If Michelangelo takes a block of marble and starts to make a David, he carves it and carves it. The art is this idea transformed into reality. But what happens if your material isn’t marble, but a toxic, dead medium–earth that can’t sustain life? Scientific process, not artistic process, has to be the tool. To […]

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“If Michelangelo takes a block of marble and starts to make a David, he carves it and carves it. The art is this idea transformed into reality. But what happens if your material isn’t marble, but a toxic, dead medium–earth that can’t sustain life? Scientific process, not artistic process, has to be the tool. To take that soil and make it live again, to sculpt a diverse ecosystem from it–that to me is beautiful.”

In 1990, as part of a Walker residency, sculptor Mel Chin began a work every bit as monumental as Michelangelo’s but far less visible: with USDA scientist Rufus L. Chaney, he planted hyperaccumulators, plants that can extract and store heavy metals from soil, at the Pig’s Eye Landfill in St. Paul, a plot so polluted by incinerator ash that it’s on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Permanent List of Priorities. The work, a fenced-in area reminiscent of a crop circle, was called Revival Field and consisted of a target-shaped square of land circumscribed with a circle with an X in the middle, a reference to the project’s pinpoint cleanup. As Pruned quotes:

The divisions are also functional, separating different varieties of plants from each other for study. In the circular field the intersecting paths create four fields where six types of plants and two pH and two fertilizer tests can occur in each quadrant. The land area between the square and circle functions as a control plot where plants will be seeded with local grasses. The design for revival field facilitates the chemical analysis of each section.

When the project concluded in 1993, research showed that Alpine pennycress was the best at leeching heavy metals, although no plants were effective enough at cleaning up the land. But it did seem to provide an expansive definition of art. Chin said, “For a time, an intended invisible aesthetic will exist that can be measured scientifically by the quality of a revitalized earth. Eventually that aesthetic will be revealed in the return of growth to the soil.”

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Revival Field

Mel Chin

1990

blueprint on paper, mounted on Foamcore

For more on Land Art, visit the Center for Land Use Interpretation‘s catalogue of projects.

One man’s art: The fungal counterpart to Chin’s art might be mycoremediation, the use of mushrooms to clean up everything from oil spills to pesticides to chemical weapons and deal with problems from termite infestation to roads destroyed by logging operations.

(Thanks, Alex and Pruned.)