Blogs Field Guide Laura Holway

Laura Holway is a choreographer, curator, and the current Open Field Coordinator. She's interested in community building, loneliness, unexpected acts of creativity, and your favorite karaoke number.

Artists Respond to Fluxus

What do Walker Open Field, the avant-garde art movement Fluxus and socially-engaged art practice have in common? That is what the Walker’s Education and Community Programs department explored through this summer’s program, FluxField.  This project took advantage of the concurrent timing of Open Field and the opening of Walker exhibitions Art Expanded: 1958-1978  and Radical […]

What do Walker Open Field, the avant-garde art movement Fluxus and socially-engaged art practice have in common? That is what the Walker’s Education and Community Programs department explored through this summer’s program, FluxField.  This project took advantage of the concurrent timing of Open Field and the opening of Walker exhibitions Art Expanded: 1958-1978  and Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, both containing a strong Fluxus presence.

We invited a range of artists to create projects or events for Open Field inspired by or in some cases in reaction to the works, philosophy, and cosmology of Fluxus.  FluxField artists included Beatrix Jar (Bianca Pettis and Jacob Aaron Roske), BodyCartography Project (Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad), Andy Ducett, Mike Haeg, Rachel Jendrzejewski, Chris Kallmyer, Maria Mortati, and Margaret Pezalla-Granlund. The indomitable Laurie Van Wieren also jumped into the flux fray with her Open Field piece, 4×4 = 100 Choreographers Dancing Outside.  Key Fluxus figures Alison Knowles and Benjamin Patterson were invited to perform their work during the summer and fall.

We asked several of these FluxField artists to share their thoughts on working with Fluxus, and what follows is a compilation of their responses.


 Part One: What is Fluxus?

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Alison Knowles walks down Nicollet Mall with Jacob Aaron Roske, photo by Lacey Criswell

Fluxus is People

I think of Fluxus first and foremost as the loose network of artists in the late 1950s into ’60s who first carried the name – who understood art as inseparable from everyday life, and vice versa, and performed lots of public experiments accordingly. And who also constantly disagreed with each other about what “Fluxus” was about. I think of names like John Cage, George Maciunas, Alison Knowles, George Brecht, Nam June Paik. So in that sense, I think Fluxus is people.

Rachel Jendrzejewski

Fluxus began as a network of ad-hoc, often disputed, orchestrated acts that turned noticing into craft. These orchestrations were performed around the world, and have infected all fields of art.

Maria Mortati

Maria Mortati's FluxField Interpretive Trail

Maria Mortati’s FluxField Interpretive Trail

Fluxus is the Score

If you were to say one true thing about Fluxus, you could say that Fluxus is about the primary experience itself. The vehicle for exploring the now moment in Fluxus is through the Event Score or the Fluxkit. To create a score, we have to envision ourselves as someone uninitiated with our ideas. We put ourselves in the shoes of another person—an act of empathy—and we offer an experience to anybody who would invest time to decode the document and act it out in real time and space. A score is a set of rules for engagement. It is the same for a recipe, a manual, or a blueprint.

Chris Kallmyer

Event Scores involve simple actions, ideas, and objects from everyday life re-contextualized as performance. Event Scores are texts that can be seen as proposal pieces or instructions for actions. The idea of the score suggests musicality. Like a musical score, Event Scores can be realized by artists other than the original creator and are open to variation and interpretation.

Alison Knowles (via Chris Kallmyer)

Through the Fluxus score, I find a great closeness in the contract between the artist and participant.

Mike Haeg

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Rachel Jendrzejewski’s Walker Yam: 100 Scores for Open Field, photo by Steve Cohen

Fluxus is Contradiction

I think of Fluxus as a kind of fluid philosophy and practice, which is still very much alive today— a view that art is indeed inseparable from everyday life, and vice versa, and an embrace of constant contradiction. You can’t actually pin Fluxus down because it’s always moving:  Fluxus says that all of life is art, and yet it’s deliberate in its framing and rigor; Fluxus says that art is for everyone, but it’s not necessarily people-pleasing or meaningful;  Fluxus simultaneously disowns and embraces institutions, not to mention the very concept of “art.” And I believe all those contradictions are exactly what makes it true to everyday life- it’s a way of seeing that embraces the complexities of the world, that doesn’t pretend anyone or anything is static.

–Rachel Jendrzejewski

Fluxus is an insular form speaking to the art world’s nuanced concepts of the object, vision, and experience. Simultaneously, Fluxus is an open initiation to life and living, enabling the public to take the scores into their own everyday.

–Chris Kallmyer

In the words of founding Fluxus member Ben Vautier, “Fluxus was a pain in art’s ass.”

–Maria Mortati

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Chris Kallmyer’s Play Catch, All Together, photo by Gene Pittman

Fluxus is Experience and Togetherness

Fluxus is changing together.

—Mike Haeg

Wandering in a field is experiential, and fit the notion that I needed– for people to be, do, and have the opportunity to ‘participate’ as well as reflect; to take in and try it on for size, in a low stakes way.  The public wandered along, beer in hand, taking a picture or two. Near the “Play Ball” score, a giant poodle took off with all the balls. In the end, the question of “What Is Fluxus?” came down to experiences.

—Maria Mortati

[Fluxus Drawing Club] didn’t just point at the art history and try to teach someone something, but facilitated doing — and that doing was the Fluxus part. The doing — everyone doing — is the art part and the experience part; the understanding part, and the “it” of it.

Margaret Pezalla-Granlund

 Part 2: Why Fluxus?

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Chris Kallmyer leads catch with lemons, photo by Gene Pittman

I’ve always been drawn to Fluxus for the way it can both disrupt us from and draw us deeper into everyday life. Those sound like two different actions, but both are wake-up calls. I particularly love the early Fluxus event scores – the text as well as the actual doing of them. They feel simultaneously sacred and disposable, which I think signals a certain kind of wisdom – related to loving fully while not clinging too hard, or honoring all life while accepting nothing lasts forever, or keeping a healthy sense of humor about serious hard things – in short, getting comfortable with letting contradictions co-exist. I think our culture could use way more of all that, hence the ongoing appeal and relevance of Fluxus.

–Rachel Jendrzejewski

I’m inspired by the playfulness of Fluxus and the simplicity. But most of all, I’m moved by Fuxus’ spirit of kindness and revolution: change the world with a box full of smile– hell yes!

–Mike Haeg

I saw the original Walker Art Center Fluxus show years and years ago, and have remembered and thought about it often since. What has stuck with me is the sense of wide-ranging curiosity and creativity, the willingness to cede some seriousness to get at something engaging, and the feeling of wit and humor and shared experience. I also think it’s really smart: as much as Fluxus was about freedom and play, it was also about context and care and a kind of precision. Simple is not easy.

–Margaret Pezalla

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Mike Haeg’s Fluxus Running Club, photo by Gabby Coll

This is the thing that surprised me about the Event Scores: the works are a direct invitation to play, as well as an invitation to presence. Serious focus and purposeless play are both intensely human and increasingly rare. Goofing off is another form of presence, or rather a complete lack of presence when we abandon our veneer to embrace a purposeless sense of wonder. We goof off and are human. In this way, Fluxus and their Event Scores point to our human condition in a way that is wildly dynamic. The score is an invitation, a call to action, and first-hand study and performance of these scores would be healthy for any of us.

–Chris Kallmyer

Part Three: Making Something Out of Fluxus

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Mike Haeg’s Penny Event, photo by Gabby Coll

Fluxus is all about change right? So, why not shine a spotlight on change? That’s why I made the Penny Event change tray sculpture emblazoned with its inherent and unintentional score “LEAVE-A-PENNY / TAKE-A-PENNY”. I placed the pieces on the counters in gas stations and bodegas to spark an artful exchange in an unexpected moment of the day and to spark a thought of commerce at a point of give and take that has been obscured by the credit process.

–Mike Haeg

I’ll be the first to admit that “living the life of the idea” of Fluxus was not something that came easily. On projects I take the deep dive into the world of the place, space, or community until I can swim around with it. It was a harder start to get my brain around and into Fluxus. I am accustomed to museums wanting to pin things down, so working with the antithesis was both liberating and focusing. It sharpened my thinking around the historical trajectory of social practice art, and around opportunities to bring the public into art and vice versa.

–Maria Mortati

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Walker Yam: 100 Scores for Open Field, photo by Steve Cohen

My performance/writing practice is a kind of awareness practice, and Fluxus always has served as an influence in that sense, but I’ve never really written Fluxus-style scores. Talking with Sarah Schultz about why Fluxus matters in 2014, and how Fluxus might live in Minneapolis on the Open Field, made me want to write my own Fluxus-inspired scores to find out. I spent a lot of time reading through the Fluxus Performance Workbook, and I started writing my own scores in response to some of them, and then spinning off some of them, and then writing some completely removed from them. I wrote them quickly (and I don’t usually write quickly) because I really wanted to let them be disposable. I wrote them on the bus and in my apartment and in parks and on an airplane. I thought a lot about the field, and people coming and going from the field to other places. I edited them down to a batch of 100 that felt the most rooted in this time and city. I don’t know why the number 100 felt right — but it feels like just the beginning. Now I want to write 1000.

–Rachel Jendrzejewski


Benjamin Patterson, a key figure in the Fluxus network of artists, visits the Walker on October 9 as part of the exhibit Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art.  Art Expanded, 1958-1978, which explore the expanded arts of the 1960’s and 70’s, is on view through March of 2015, and includes the work of Alison Knowles and George Macunias, among other notable Fluxus figures.

4×4 = 100 Choreographers Dancing Outside

What do Walker Open Field, the avant-garde art movement Fluxus and socially-engaged art practice have in common? That is what the Walker’s Education and Community Programs department explored through this summer’s program, FluxField.  This project took advantage of the concurrent timing of Open Field and the opening of Walker exhibitions Art Expanded: 1958-1978  and Radical […]

What do Walker Open Field, the avant-garde art movement Fluxus and socially-engaged art practice have in common? That is what the Walker’s Education and Community Programs department explored through this summer’s program, FluxField.  This project took advantage of the concurrent timing of Open Field and the opening of Walker exhibitions Art Expanded: 1958-1978  and Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, both containing a strong Fluxus presence.

We invited a range of artists to create projects or events for Open Field inspired by or in some cases in reaction to the works, philosophy, and cosmology of Fluxus.  FluxField artists included Beatrix Jar (Bianca Pettis and Jacob Aaron Roske), BodyCartography Project (Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad), Andy Ducett, Mike Haeg, Rachel Jendrzejewski, Chris Kallmyer, Maria Mortati, and Margaret Pezalla-Granlund. Key Fluxus figures Alison Knowles and Benjamin Patterson were invited to perform their work during the summer and fall.

Choreographer and curator Laurie Van Wieren also jumped into the flux fray with her Open Field piece, 4×4 = 100 Choreographers Dancing Outside, a celebration of the Twin Cities’ thriving dance scene. She describes the process of putting together the piece below.


Laurie Van Wieren prepares the audience for the coming event

by Laurie Van Wieren

When Laura Holway, coordinator of Walker Open Field, asked me if I had anything that I might want to share this summer, I realized I knew something that most people aren’t aware of: there are more than 350 dance-making entities in the Twin Cities. I suspected that, if I designed a structure that lasted just 30-minutes and was very clear about the parameters, I just might be able to gather together 100 choreographers at Walker Open Field on a Saturday afternoon. This was a chance to demonstrate the diversity and quantity of choreographers in the Twin Cities, as well as to explore my own dual role as choreographer and curator.

Background

My connection with the Walker Art Center started early on in my life in the Twin Cities. I was a guard at the Walker, and as a dancer and visual artist, I was influenced by many of the choreographers and performance artists that came through, including the Fluxus artists. My first work of choreography was presented at a Walker Choreographers Evening in 1981– a dance made up of looped gestures, performed by my fellow guards (artists themselves) within a grid pattern.

Dance community members reunite, including Molly Van Avery, Chris Garza, Baraka de Soleil and J. Otis Powell

Dance community members reunite, including Molly Van Avery, Chris Garza, Baraka de Soleil and J. Otis Powell

I have been working as a choreographer and performance artist in the Twin Cities since then. Ten years ago we didn’t have many places to show works in progress or talk about dance work, so I started 9×22 Dance/Lab at the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater. Every month, I invite three dance-makers to show and discuss their work. With that experience, I stepped into the role of curator at the Southern Theater, and then the Ritz Theater. My hope was to help grow the presence of dance in those venues. Unfortunately both of these mid-sized theaters have folded as presenting institutions, and are now struggling to find their footing.

The numerous props are set for 4x4=100 Dancing Outside

The numerous props are set for 4×4=100 Dancing Outside

For artists and choreographers, it is a new, not-so-brave world. The low economy pushed performing art onto the back burner in the minds of the audience community. Yet, the artists are still out there creating work in ever more expansive ways, as well as blurring the lines between presenting, producing, curating and making art directly. To survive and thrive, dance artists are compelled to create new models all the time. I am hoping that we can find new ways to sustain ourselves. Until then, we work with what is in front of us.

Motivation and Logistics

The impulse to create 4×4=100 Choreographers Dancing Outside came from a handful of different ideas and influences: an interest in experimenting with Curation-as-Choreography and the artist as curator; my visual arts background; the Fluxus score; my interest in compositions of live action. I am especially proud of being a part of an extremely engaged and active dance community. I wanted to showcase this profusion of talent. For me, curation is about making space and time for artists to do their own specialized work. I created parameters within the piece that allowed all participants to simultaneously perform their own dance and be seen within a large community group.

The choreographers parade into the chalked grid, including Arwen Wilder, Sharon Picasso, Kristin Van loon, Morgan Thorson, Deborah Jinza Thayer, Stacy Sabin, Dylan Fresco, Chris Schlichting, Max Wirsing, Emily Gastineau, Chris Holman, Neel and Pramila Vasudevan, April Sellers, Judith Howard, Megan Mayer, Matt Regan, Paul Stucker, and Anat Shinar

The choreographers parade into the chalked grid, including Arwen Wilder, Sharon Picasso, Kristin Van loon, Morgan Thorson, Deborah Jinza Thayer, Stacy Sabin, Dylan Fresco, Chris Schlichting, Max Wirsing, Emily Gastineau, Chris Holman, Neel and Pramila Vasudevan, April Sellers, Judith Howard, Megan Mayer, Matt Regan, Paul Stucker, and Anat Shinar

This summer’s Open Field had ties to the Fluxus art movement, which felt like a happy coincidence. My interest in Fluxus started in art school, where I was drawn to the work of John Cage and Yoko Ono. In 1993, I was invited to work with Fluxus artist and archivist Larry Miller on the Walker exhibit In the Spirit of Fluxus. We performed the scores of Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Dick Higgins, Lamonte Young, Emmett Williams, Yoko Ono and more. I loved that the actions of the Fluxus scores were simple and restrained, but also exciting and fun; every Fluxus artist seemed to have their own style of putting a score together. Fluxus influenced 4×4=100 Dancing Outside in a number of ways, from the organization of the grid pattern, to the simple score (or set of instructions) described below.

Akiko Ostlund and the other 30 minute performers begin

Akiko Ostlund and the other 30 minute performers begin

The piece was an open call, with a notice put in the dancemn newsletter and on Facebook. The first week of the notices, 25 people signed up. By the middle of June there were 80, and one week before the show, 100—plus a waiting list. Some people had to drop out at the last minute, and all waitlisted folks got in. In the end we had exactly 100 choreographers.

Dustin Maxwell cuts a piece of grass

Dustin Maxwell cuts pieces of grass

Each choreographer was instructed to perform in an assigned 4’x4’ space, within a larger 40’x40’ square for one of three intervals: 10, 20 or 30 minutes. There were no restrictions or stipulations on what they performed (it could be an improvisation or finished work or anything else), other than that they stay exactly within their 4’x4’ space. There were no group rehearsals, although the performers were invited to practice on the field if they chose.

100 Outside

Judith Howard and April Sellers spray paint squares outside of the 40'x40' space

Judith Howard and April Sellers spray paint squares outside of the 40’x40′ space

The night before the performance, Laura Holway and I created the grid with a baseball field chalking machine, aided by the very helpful math and spatial skills of Jael O’Hare. Fortunately, it didn’t rain…yet.

Pramila Vasudevan and her son Neel in their 4'x4' space

Pramila Vasudevan and her son Neel in their 4’x4′ space

The next day all 100 choreographers showed up, raring to go. We talked through the score, made sure that everyone knew the location of their assigned square, and set props. It was a quite pleasant day; the weather folks predicted showers later in the afternoon, but we remained undaunted. The group prepared to parade towards the grid, dancers costumed in bright, beautiful and sometimes extravagant attire. It was a cacophony of riotous color. And then, 8 minutes before show time a very dark and ominous cloud parked itself immediately on top of us.  With this not-so-subtle prompt, I started us off early. As the large mass of choreographers and dancers moved up the hill, the dark cloud began to leak. Out went the 30-minute performers. The rain quickened, and I sent out the 20-minute performers early. Suddenly the steady sprinkle became a downpour and the audience, surrounding all sides of the 40’x40’ grid, grabbed their umbrellas and let out a collective shout… and NOT ONE PERSON LEFT!

Deborah Jinza Thayer pours water over her head

Deborah Jinza Thayer pours water over her head

Jennifer Arave performing as the rain begins

Jennifer Arave performing as the rain begins

Erika Hansen dances, surrounded by Courtney Baga, Leah Nelson, Galen Higgins, Dylan Fresco and HIJACK

Erika Hansen dances, surrounded by Courtney Baga, Leah Nelson, Galen Higgins, Dylan Fresco and HIJACK

It poured buckets! The wonderfully diverse (and drenched) mix of dancers stayed and continued to perform with even more focus: modern, post-modern, ballet, Cuban folk, belly dancing, character dancing, jazz, Flamenco, percussion, Butoh-like, comic…and more. From the audience, the group felt like an orchestra: you could pick out one dancer, or take in the whole group. Everyone became more themselves in the rain. With a frenzied concentration, it was wild, wonderful, glorious and transformative. The wind whipped up; the skies became even more ominous. The Walker Security bellowed over their loudspeakers, “You must clear the field now!!!” When I heard something about a tornado, I cut the piece short…not wanting to wipe out a large part of the dance community in one fell swoop. The performers bowed. After a speedy group photo, we all ran for the Walker lobby.

Members of the first and second groups dance together, including Jael O'Hare, Robert Borman, Meriam Colvin, Sherry Saterstrom, Jennifer Arave, Stacy Sabin, Morgan Thorson, Heather Klopchin, and Edna Stevens waiting to go on

Members of the first and second groups dance together, including Jael O’Hare, Robert Borman, Meriam Colvin, Sherry Saterstrom, Jennifer Arave, Stacy Sabin, Morgan Thorson, Heather Klopchin, and Edna Stevens waiting to go on

The audience huddles as the rain increases

The audience huddles as the rain increases

Pam Plagge performs a set of dances from the Orisha tradition, including a rain dance, while her teacher Rene Thompson looks on; Billy Mullaney reaches new heights on his ladder

Pam Plagge performs a set of dances from the Orisha tradition, including a rain dance, while her teacher Rene Thompson looks on

Dancers in the pouring rain, including Kenna Cottman, Kaleena Miller, Sherry Saterstrom, Mary Easter, Charles Campbell, Jennifer Ilse, Penny Freeh, Maggie Bergeron, Jeff Wells and Tom Kanthak

Dancers in the pouring rain, including Kenna Cottman, Kaleena Miller, Sherry Saterstrom, Mary Easter, Charles Campbell, Jennifer Ilse, Penny Freeh, Maggie Bergeron, Jeff Wells and Tom Kanthak

Reflecting

At the beginning of the project, Laura Holway asked me what audience members could expect the piece to look and sound like. I responded: A mass of chaos and beauty, framed. It will sound like Conlon Nancarrow, John Cage, Britney Spears, birds calling and children yelling. It might remind people of a flash mob, but an anti flash mob- no one will be dancing the same way- they will be doing their own singular work at the same time as everyone else, in the same very 40×40 foot grid.

This was all very accurate, but with torrential rain and more joy!

The audience joins in for the annual dance community photo

The audience joins in for the annual dance community photo

To all the participants: Thank you so much for coming out and taking a chance on being involved in the piece. You were fantastic! It was a joy to watch you collectively and individually. It was obvious that we have a hunger to convene; let’s find more ways to do it.

To the Walker: Open Field is an outstanding project, and it was great to be involved. I cannot say enough about how encouraging and helpful you were! Thank you especially to Sarah Schultz, the Education and Community Programs staff, Walker interns, and Laura Holway.

4×4 = 100 Choreographers Dancing Outside included the choreography of

Berit Ahlgren, Arlys Alford, Gabriel Anderson, Nika Antuanette, Jennifer Arave, Courtney Baga, Emma Barber, Maggie Bergeron, Bonnie Berquam, Olive Bieringa, Blake Bolan, Young-Tse Bolon, Robert Borman, Emma Buechs, Tim Cameron, Charles Campbell, Tom Carlson, Mike Cohn, Miriam Colvin, Beverly Cottman, Kenna Cottman, Angharad Davies, Ryan Dean, Baraka de Soleil, Mary Easter, Torre Edahl, Rachael Freeburg, Penney Freeh, Dylan Fresco, Emily Gastineau, Lazer Goese, Izzi Gorowsky, Susanne Grochett, Robert Haarman, Marilyn Habermas-Scher, Annika Hansen, Erika Hansen, Lara Hanson, Deborah Heltzer, Galen Higgins, Chris Holman, Judith Howard, Alison Hoyer, Colette Ilarde, Jennifer Ilse, Kalila Indiver, Margaret E. Johnson, Justin Jones, Tom Kanthak, Ellen Keane, Robert Keo, Missa Kes, Tara King, Heather Klopchin, Amy Lamphere, Nick LeMere, Jim Lieberthal, Erin Liebhard, Jennifer Mack, Theresa Madaus, Megan Mayer, Dustin Maxwell, Kaleena Miller, Julia Moser-Hardy, Kara Motta, Motion Arts, Billy Mullaney, Blake Nellis, Leah Nelson, Jael O’Hare, Akiko Ostlund, Jane Peck, Sharon Picasso, Pam Plagge, Otto Ramstad, Matthew Regan, Sally Rousse, Stacy Sabin, Sherry Saterstrom, Chris Schlichting, April Sellers, Anat Shiner, Sean Smuda, Darius Strong, Paul Stucker, Deborah Jinza Thayer, Jennifer Theodore, Monica Thomas, Morgan Thorson, Svitlana Shtilman, Michael Sommers, Edna Stevens, Kristin Van Loon, Pramila Vasudevan, Vanessa Voskuil, Jeff Wells, Arwen Wilder, Josie Winship, Christopher Yaeger, and Nan Zosel.


Benjamin Patterson, a key figure in the Fluxus network of artists, visits the Walker on October 9 as part of the exhibitRadical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art.  Art Expanded, 1958-1978, which explore the expanded arts of the 1960’s and 70’s, is on view through March of 2015, and includes the work of Alison Knowles and George Macunias, among other notable Fluxus figures.

A FluxField Research Residency

What do Walker Open Field, the avant-garde art movement Fluxus and socially-engaged art practice have in common? That is what the Walker’s Education and Community Programs department explored through this summer’s program, FluxField. This project took advantage of the concurrent timing of Open Field and the opening of Walker exhibitions Art Expanded: 1958-1978 and Radical […]

What do Walker Open Field, the avant-garde art movement Fluxus and socially-engaged art practice have in common? That is what the Walker’s Education and Community Programs department explored through this summer’s program, FluxField. This project took advantage of the concurrent timing of Open Field and the opening of Walker exhibitions Art Expanded: 1958-1978 and Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, both containing a strong Fluxus presence.

We invited a range of artists to create projects or events for Open Field inspired by or in some cases in reaction to the works, philosophy, and cosmology of Fluxus. FluxField artists included Beatrix JAR (Bianca Pettis and Jacob Aaron Roske), BodyCartography Project (Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad), Andy Ducett, Mike Haeg, Rachel Jendrzejewski, Chris Kallmyer, Maria Mortati, Margaret Pezalla-Granlund, and Jenni Undis. The indomitable Laurie Van Wieren also jumped into the flux fray with her Open Field piece, 4×4 = 100 Choreographers Dancing Outside. Key Fluxus figures Alison Knowles and Benjamin Patterson were invited to perform their work during the summer and fall.

In the post below, museum exhibit designer and Walker artist-in-residence Maria Mortati shares the process behind her summer FluxField projects.


 

AllArt-resized

A score from FluxField Interpretive Trail

by Maria Mortati

This past summer Sarah Schultz and the Open Field team invited me to come to the Walker and consider the movement Fluxus. This research-based residency encompassed three projects: transforming the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab into a visitor and residency space; creating a mobile cart for use in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden; a series of Fluxus-based projects that I developed for Open Field, including an installation known as FluxField Interpretive Trail.

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Cart developed for staff and visiting artists, photo by Gene Pittman

Living the Life of the Idea

“Living the life of the idea” was an expression that Sarah put forth as a sort of central challenge as I approached Fluxus. I soon learned that it was not something that came easily; Fluxus led me down several rabbit holes.

I am a San Francisco-based museum exhibit designer with an affinity for social practice. When I work on projects, I take the deep dive into the world of the place, space, or community until I can comfortably swim around with it. Often my work with museums involves engaging arts movements through the lens of the originating historical moment. Fluxus, however, is about a series of moments amongst a distributed group of artists that don’t necessarily agree on what the movement is, so it got messy fast.

Since Fluxus artists never seem to agree on anything, Fluxus has become “a pain in art’s ass” in the words of Fluxus artist Ben Vautier.

Hannah Higgins, Fluxus Experience

 Considering an Art Movement is an Endeavor Best Shared

Before coming to Minneapolis, Chris Kallmyer (another San Francisco-based FluxField artist) and I met a few times a month to prepare for our residencies. He would explore ideas and approaches around working with (or through) Fluxus, and I wrestled with how to engage with an amorphous movement through my practice. We took a stab at writing a Manifesto for Field Lab Residencies, which seemed to fit with Fluxus philosophies. This manifesto reinforced the first rule of residency: a freedom from externally imposed constraints—especially the traditional constraints of museum exhibition development.

need sod - portrait

Another FluxField Interpretive Trail score

In anticipation of the summer, Chris and I came to the Walker for a week in March.  A group of local artists were invited to learn more about the work we were doing, and to think about FluxField projects of their own. We had freeform conversations around Fluxus philosophies and possibilities for our work. It was evident that choosing these artists was an act of curation and subtle matching-making on Sarah Schultz’s behalf. Three of them, Mike HaegMargaret Pezalla-Granlund and Jenni Undis, became collaborators on my summer projects.

Access is a museum’s jewel, and our group was invited to intimately examine the Walker’s Fluxus collection while talking with Registrar Dave Bartley. Viewing this material oriented me towards the historic, intellectual and social craft of Fluxus. It’s ironic to think that a movement so ephemeral could inspire with its bits of paper and odd performances.

fluxus artifact review

Artifact viewing with Walker staff and visiting artists

I’m a Misfit and so are We

At the Walker Library I came across reviews and articles about the “Festival of Misfits.” It was billed as an event “…by people who sometimes… are artists, sometimes not… we make music… that may fit poetry, poetry that may fit paintings, paintings that may fit… something.” Much of that content was formative for my work. In their humor and rigor, I began to see a trajectory from Fluxus towards experimental museum projects and social practice. My prior work in the experimental realm has included the Giant Hand at the Hammer Museum, and the Big Table Gallery at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Giant Hand pushed against the framework of the museum experience, and the Big Table pushed against ways to convey a concept in contemporary art (vs. a work of art) to the public.

This type of project is often difficult, working against traditional definitions of a museum and how it operates. But this is where the innovations and interesting questions lie. Like these previous projects, Fluxus was able to collectively play in the space of uncertainty.

Scores for People Who Don’t Know How to Write Scores

Sarah encouraged me to use event scores as a central part of my endeavors so I wanted to have a suite of experiences rather than a singular one. This seemed truer to Fluxus and left room for differences in subjectivity and different types of visitors.

As I researched, I kept coming back to this notion that Fluxus artists were making art out of noticing everyday moments and realized how ridiculous they would think things are today: we notice and share everything. Regardless, I’m old enough to know the world before cheap electronics and Ikea. Moments lasted beyond a tweet and were often reflective and quiet in nature, if not sound. Fluxus was where these artists began to share moments, through scores written, mailed, reinterpreted and performed around the globe.

fluxus drawing club score box

Score box for Fluxus Drawing Club (Mortati/Pezalla)

Finding a Path

The pieces of my projects for Open Field came together organically. Drawing Club, a collaborative and participatory drawing event, was already a weekly Open Field program, and I decided to create a Fluxus Drawing Club. I worked on this in collaboration with Margaret Pezalla-Granlund, one of the local FluxField artists, who seemed to share an affinity with Fluxus in both concept and craft. Together we wrote, shared, edited and designed scores, making and distributing a series of Flux Kits with light instructions printed inside. I also asked Margaret and her family to make a recording of Dick Higgins’ book A Child’s History of Fluxus, as background for the evening of projects. You can listen to it here.

While planning this Open Field programming, I realized that displaying artifacts or defining Fluxus for the public wasn’t possible or appropriate: Fluxus is a constellation of orchestrated moments and experiences, and a way of thinking. But wandering in a field, just like Fluxus Drawing Club, is experiential. It fit my intentions by allowing the public to participate in Fluxus in a low-stakes way.

For me, Open Field + Fluxus = FluxField Interpretive Trail.

I generated scores that were letter pressed by local printmaker Jenni Undis to capture the Fluxus philosophy of art that was “neither an exhibition of objects or a performance, but somewhere in between.” (George Brecht, Wikipedia).  My scores included commentary on Fluxus (“The most ambiguous club in the art world”), quotes from founding Fluxus artists, and field observations (“Need Sod”). Humorous #hashtags became an organizing principle of the trail, helping the public understand if the scores were foundational, descriptive, or invitational.

FluxField Interpretive Trail began with George Maciunas

FluxField Interpretive Trail began with George Maciunas

On the culminating evening of my residency, scores were installed on low stakes and throughout the field. Members of the public wandered along the giant trail of scores, beer in hand, taking a picture or two. A giant poodle took off with the balls stationed next to the Play Ball score. Artist Mike Haeg’s Penny Event was incorporated around the edges of the field adjacent to the trail, which caused delight and confusion. At Fluxus Drawing Club, participants sat and worked at length on their score drawings and children happily stamped “Official Fluxus Approved Score” all over their papers. In the end, the question “what is Fluxus?” was best answered by the experience of Fluxus.

fluxus drawing club horizontal

Fluxus Drawing Club

Go Where the Interesting Problems Are

Throughout my residency, my driving question changed from ‘what are participatory strategies for the public to engage with an art movement?’ to ‘what can ‘living the life of the idea’ look like as we create museum experiences?’ How can we answer questions together? Who is included in ‘together’? I hope that the museum field can make space to support posing and playing with these formative questions. Open Field was a powerful incubator. I want to expand on ways of thinking about interpretive experiences, creating new tools that are intelligent, nuanced and in synch with the artworks or movements, as well as the contemporary public.

Hannah Higgins, the daughter of founding Fluxus members Dick Higgins and Alison Knowles, described Fluxus as having an “elasticity of its social formation.” It is precisely that elasticity which made it possible for us to interpret, create, and disseminate along the way. It became a perfect umbrella, full of holes and sunshine.

score hole china


Benjamin Patterson, a key figure in the Fluxus network of artists, visits the Walker on October 9 as part of the exhibit Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art. Art Expanded, 1958-1978, which explores the expanded arts of the 1960’s and 1970’s, is on view through March 2015, and includes the work of Alison Knowles and George Macunias, among other notable Fluxus figures.

Look Sideways, Listen Close: come together at Open Field

This Thursday, playwright and interdisciplinary artist Rachel Jendrzejewski  shares one hundred newly published Fluxus event scores written just for Open Field. In a program titled Look Sideways, Listen Close: 100 scores for Open Field, she invites participants to perform these  “playful prompts designed to sharpen senses and stoke imaginations” using a microphone, and a variety of props. The […]

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This Thursday, playwright and interdisciplinary artist Rachel Jendrzejewski  shares one hundred newly published Fluxus event scores written just for Open Field. In a program titled Look Sideways, Listen Close: 100 scores for Open Fieldshe invites participants to perform these  “playful prompts designed to sharpen senses and stoke imaginations” using a microphone, and a variety of props. The scores ask us to notice details (“Be with the clouds”, instructs Listening Event 1), and  approach old problems in new ways (“Full time salaries for independent artists, cut all the strings with scissors” reads Allocation Piece).  This call to imagination and attention fits perfectly with the evening’s other Open Field programming, which invite us to participate in similar ways: look  sideways, listen close; let your senses be sharpened and your imagination stoked.

Look sideways

Scooper the Clown

Scooper the Clown

With their program Drawing, Far Away So Close, artists Keith Braafladt and Margaret Pezalla take a new approach to drawing. The two encourage participants to use a microscope to draw the extremely small, then use a telescope to draw a scene placed far in the distance. Braafladt and Pezalla are both “fascinated with drawing and looking for the nearly invisible.” In another Thursday night program, Scooper the Clown invites your to play “Find Your Spot”, Scooper (Shannon Forney) explores the way a clown and her game might help you engage with your community. “Find Your Spot” points to commonalities between strangers: “Find your spot if you live in zip code 55403! Find your spot if you took public transportation today!” You might leave the field with a greater appreciation for your neighbors.

Listen Close

The Ericksons

The Ericksons

Bring an ipod of your favorite songs and transcend your fear of dancing in public thanks to Don’t You Feel It Too?, a project that is “the practice of freeing your spirit through dancing your inner life in public places.” Together we’ll dance on the field, listening close through our own set of headphones. Mindfulness: Be Here NowTM, a series of fifteen-minute meditations in Sky Pesher, encourages participants to listen close in another way, tuning into breath and the present moment. Close out the evening by listening to Acoustic Campfire with Lydia Liza (Bomba de Luz) and Eric Mayson (Crunchy Kids), followed by local folk favorites The Ericksons.

Let your senses be sharpened and your imaginations stoked

Star Trek Yoga Quest

With Star Trek: a narrated yogic adventure, Yoga Quest aims “to explore the power of storytelling and engage minds and bodies in a yogic adventure; to find ways to make wellness appealing to folks who otherwise wouldn’t engage with it.” While some like to bring their imaginations to life via Star Trek-themed yoga, others prefer games. Grown-up Club returns with more Recess Games, if you haven’t had a good dose of Kick the Can and Capture the Flag this summer. If you prefer a less action-packed activity, join the Drawing Club team at the picnic tables.

Find it at Open Field: Mindfulness

We are happy to introduce Dawn Bazarko, DNP, MPH, RN and Certified Mindfulness Facilitator, sharing information on Mindfulness: Be Here NowTM, an Open Field program brought to you by Moment HealthTM, a UnitedHealth Group business. What is mindfulness? Mindfulness — the practice of focusing attention in the present moment, with a stance of openness, acceptance […]

We are happy to introduce Dawn Bazarko, DNP, MPH, RN and Certified Mindfulness Facilitator, sharing information on Mindfulness: Be Here NowTM, an Open Field program brought to you by Moment HealthTM, a UnitedHealth Group business.

Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness — the practice of focusing attention in the present moment, with a stance of openness, acceptance and non-judgment, is a powerful tool for enhancing health, happiness and well-being. Mindfulness has become mainstream, twice making the cover of Time Magazine, and has been the focus for numerous other news features.

Why mindfulness?

As a long time meditator and expert in the field of mindfulness, I have witnessed the profound benefits of living life in the moment and  believe that everyone can benefit in some way by slowing down, pausing versus reacting, and deepening relationships through the gift of presence. Mindfulness can be particularly helpful in dealing with the uncertainties and stress of daily living, which we all inevitably face from time to time. Mindfulness helps us to deal with life’s challenges more effectively by creating the space to respond in an even-keeled way, with less emotional reactivity.

Can you share some of the science behind mindfulness?

The scientific community now recognizes mindfulness practices as a means to improve focus, performance, health and well-being —  even our happiness. Mindfulness has been shown to result in a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes. In fact, research shows that even short-term mindfulness programs enhance the part of the brain associated with working memory and attention. We now know that we have the power to change our brains to increase focus and enhance our decision-making! And when we focus our attention on the present moment, studies indicate that we are happier, have less anxiety and have an increased sense of well-being.

How are you bringing mindfulness to Open Field?

We are delighted to be working with the Walker Art Center to introduce you to the practice of mindfulness as a part of Open Field. On Saturday  July 26 or Thursday July 31, we will be holding 30 minute free introductory mindfulness sessions which include a brief discussion of the science and benefits of mindfulness and then a short meditation. We hope you will join us.

Until then, there are a number of mindfulness practices you can try on your own to help focus on the present moment, including yoga, painting, or even spending time in nature. You can read here about one mindfulness practice mentioned in the Boston Globe that is particularly appropriate when spending time at the Walker Art Center. Wishing you all peace, ease and happiness.

dawn

Mindfulness: Be Here Now will be presented at Open Field on Saturday, July 26 and Thursday, July 31.

Dr. Bazarko is the founder and Senior Vice President of UnitedHealth Group’s Center for Nursing Advancement and the founder of Moment HealthTM, a UnitedHealth Group business focused on bringing mindfulness solutions to the work place, to health care workers and into health care delivery to improve the patient care experience.

Open Field 2014 is sponsored by United Health Foundation

An Introduction to Pesher Compline

For the next three Sunday evenings, choral director and musician Brian Dowdy brings Pesher Compline to James Turrell’s Sky Pesher sculpture as part of Open Field. Below, he answers a few questions about the event, and the history of Compline. What is Compline? Compline is an end-of-day service that originated in monastic Christianity. After gathering for Compline, monks and […]

Photo by Dylan Hester

Photo by Dylan Hester

For the next three Sunday evenings, choral director and musician Brian Dowdy brings Pesher Compline to James Turrell’s Sky Pesher sculpture as part of Open Field. Below, he answers a few questions about the event, and the history of Compline.

What is Compline?

Compline is an end-of-day service that originated in monastic Christianity. After gathering for Compline, monks and visitors to the monastic community would retire into the “Great Silence,” during which they would not speak until morning. Pesher Compline retains this spirit, but it’s intended more as a musical “offering” to the community than either a religious service or a performance. As an aesthetic experience, it is quiet and contemplative. The room is softly lit. Singers and visitors alike enter the space quietly and with a spirit of stillness. The music itself is mostly ancient chant, sung in Latin. Woven around that chant are bits of improvisation and choral polyphony. It’s the kind of music that, upon its end, leaves the space quieter than before it began.

Why are you choosing to present the event in Sky Pesher?

Sky Pesher is, like a church or monastery, a space set apart. However, it’s not a church — it’s in no way explicitly religious. Still, the architecture, the unique play of light intended by James Turrell, and the unique acoustics do make the space feel somehow sacred and spiritual. Also, the play of light and dark for which Turrell designed Sky Pesher is akin to the play of sound and silence that characterizes Compline. Finally, in the open spirit of Open Field, anyone can wander in to the space without feeling that, in order to belong, they must assent to certain beliefs or know how to participate. You get to just show up and receive the gift of space and sound.

What should participants expect from these Sunday evening events?

Around 8:30, one of us will enter the room and ring a bell, and, after a brief period of silence, the rest will enter in song. For about 30 minutes, participants can expect to simply sit amongst their neighbors, take in the chants and songs, and also take in the silences in between. Because the events will take place around sunset, they can also expect to look up and experience Turrell’s intended effect of architecture disappearing into the changing light, or, as he calls it, “bringing the sky down.” At the services end, we will recess in song, just as we entered. Participants can feel free to remain in the space to appreciate the quietness and waning light, and each person can leave when they are ready. We hope they take with them the same sense of inner calm and quiet that Compline inspires in us.

Pesher Compline will take place Sundays, July 20, 27, and August 3, and will be sung by Aaron Humble, Blake Morgan, Adam Reinwald, and Paul Rudoi, with direction from Brian Dowdy.

Mad King Thomas Tests the Bounds of Collaboration

Post-modern performance trio Mad King Thomas is known for pushing boundaries and questioning limits. They skirt a thin line between dance and theater, dive into messy investigations of gender roles and power dynamics, and somehow manage to blend copious amounts of props, over-the-top costumes, and  irreverence into a result that’s utterly sincere and even profound. […]

Photo by Cameron Wittig

Photo by Cameron Wittig

Post-modern performance trio Mad King Thomas is known for pushing boundaries and questioning limits. They skirt a thin line between dance and theater, dive into messy investigations of gender roles and power dynamics, and somehow manage to blend copious amounts of props, over-the-top costumes, and  irreverence into a result that’s utterly sincere and even profound. This Saturday night the three bring their latest work, a collaboration with New Orleans-based playwright Justin Maxwell titled The Weather is Always Perfect, to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden as part of Open Field. The piece marks the end of an era as the three performers get ready to push boundaries in yet another way: taking their nine-year collaboration long-distance.

Like many partnerships, Mad King Thomas admits to their share of squabbles and challenges, but Tara King, Theresa Madaus, and Monica Thomas are in total agreement that their collaboration is a life-long one. The three met as students at Macalester College in 2001, where they studied with notable Twin Cities choreographers that include HIJACK, Judith Howard, and Emily Johnson. In 2004 they made their first dance together, a just-for-fun endeavor that they soon realized held a lot of potential.  By April of 2005, over ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day, they made a serious decision to mold their future around their collaboration. King changed her post-graduation plan to move to Japan for a job, and the three committed to staying in the  Twin Cities for a year, at which point they planned to move somewhere more desirable, together. Thomas admits they “were more committed than many romantic relationships are.”

Photo by Cameron Wittig

Photo by Cameron Wittig

Nine years later, Mad King Thomas has remained in the Twin Cities and built an impressive list of performances, grants and awards. Their work has been presented as part of Naked Stages (2007), Momentum: New Dance Works (2011), Choreographer’s Evening (2007, 2009, 2011), the Red Eye’s New Works: 4 Weeks Festival (2008, 2009), and the Southern Theater’s New Breed series (2010), and has included dance films, vignettes, and evening-length pieces. Regardless of the form, experimentation drives the work and, as Madaus explains, also creates a safety net from artistic paralysis: “At the beginning of every new project we often say ‘it’s an experiment’ because we feel daunted by whatever the last thing was, and wonder how we can ever do anything again. I think that this, along with permission for failure, have always been helpful tools for moving us forward.” And moving to a long-distance working relationship is one more extension of their experiments.

Photo by Mad King Thomas

Photo by Mad King Thomas

The trio recently announced that two of their three members have plans to leave the Twin Cities this fall. Thomas will move to Boston to pursue a degree in dance/movement therapy with a specialization in mental health counseling, and King to Los Angeles with her partner to experience new scenery. The three insist that they have no plans to break up: “We can’t; we have a death date,” Madaus says, referencing their joint agreement to die on stage at the age of 103, together.  “But yes, [the collaboration] will look different for sure.” The agreement to stick together is one they take seriously, and has led to making a temporary work plan where they will take turns serving in month-long Artistic Director positions for the group. As Artistic Director, each will be “responsible for taking us through an artistic process that is theoretically fulfilling to the individual, and unaccountable to the others’ tastes,” Thomas says. The logistics remain flexible, but might involve written assignments and Skyped rehearsals. And fans can rest assured that there will be future Twin Cities performances– plans are in-process for a 10-year birthday celebration show next summer.

For this Saturday night’s performance, Mad King Thomas plants themselves on Mark di Suvero’s Arikidea sculpture to tell the story of Violet Jessop, a woman who survived the sinkings of the Britannic and Titanic, as well as the collision of the Olympic with another ship: “Lady was unlucky,” says King. “We’re exploring ordinariness, class struggle, and folded bath towels. We’re enamored with mermaids, what it is to be above or below the sea, and life vests.” Expect the work to include more text than many of the trio’s past pieces, as influenced by Justin Maxwell’s contributions.  And, as usual, prepare to be surprised. Mad King Thomas gives you a few directions for the night: “Bring a flashlight; wear fancy, old-timey clothes; be ready to get a little wet (maybe) (no promises). Follow us as we follow the truly extraordinary true story of a fairly ordinary person, Violet Jessop.”

Laurie Van Wieren Returns with 100 Choreographers

Nivea Cream Piece First performer comes on stage with a bottle of Nivea Cream or (if none is available) with a bottle of hand cream labeled ‘Nivea Cream.’ He pours the cream onto his hands and massages them in front of the microphone. Other performers enter, one by one, and do the same thing. Then […]

Nivea Cream Piece

First performer comes on stage with a bottle of Nivea Cream or (if none is available) with a bottle of hand cream labeled ‘Nivea Cream.’ He pours the cream onto his hands and massages them in front of the microphone. Other performers enter, one by one, and do the same thing. Then they join together in front of the microphone to make a mass of massaging hands. They leave in the reverse of the order in which they entered, on a signal from the first performer.

–Alison Knowles, 1962

Variation on Nivea Cream Piece

Large quantities of Nivea Cream must be available, at least one large jar per person. The performers enter and each lathers up his arms and face, then his colleagues, in a fragrant pig-pile.

–Alison Knowles, Date Unknown

Laurie Van Wieren performs in Nivea Cream Piece by Alison Knowles. Performed February 14, 1993, during the In the Spirit of Fluxus opening.

Laurie Van Wieren performs in Nivea Cream Piece by Alison Knowles. Performed February 14, 1993, during the In the Spirit of Fluxus opening.

At the Walker’s 1993 opening for In the Spirit of Fluxus, Twin Cities choreographer and curator Laurie Van Wieren performed in Nivea Cream Piece, an event score by Fluxus pioneer Alison Knowles. When Van Wieren reminisces about the event, she’s quick to point out that she and her four cohorts rehearsed with precision, detail and a bit of caution, making sure they got the score’s directions just right. Their efforts were interrupted by Alison Knowles herself giving stern feedback that they were rehearsing it all wrong– they needed to lather up with force. Van Wieren recalls that the five performers were soon in an enthusiastic, vigorous and maybe slightly inappropriate “fragrant pig-pile”, just as the second score describes.

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Before the ‘fragrant pig-pile.” Laurie Van Wieren performs Variation on Nivea Cream Piece.

Laurie Van Wieren is known as a driving force in the Twin Cities dance scene. She creates idiosyncratic performance works, helps steer Dance MN (the Twin Cities’ dance newsletter and website), and founded 9×22 Dance/Lab as a space for choreographers both established and emerging to experiment with movement. But what’s less known about Van Wieren’s choreographic career is that it has strong roots at the Walker, where she worked from 1975-85. Though she was formally a guard, she often stationed at the front desk where she greeted everyone and secretly worked on grants: “I was lucky. I got to meet most every dance artist who came into town, and I saw everything. The first show I worked at night was Merce [Cunningham]. I was also awe-struck by Grand Union.”

Laurie Van Wieren rehearses at Open Field. Photo by Megan Mayer.

Laurie Van Wieren rehearses at Open Field. Photo by Megan Mayer.

At the same time Van Wieren, who formally trained at the Art Insitute of Chicago in visual and performance art, began studying dance and teaching improvisation. Many of her fellow guards (also artists) took her class. In 1981 they decided to audition Van Wieren’s work for Choreographer’s Evening at the Walker and the piece was accepted. The event changed how her work was perceived: “People have been calling me a choreographer ever since.”

Chris Holman rehearses 4x4 = 100 Dancing Outside. Photo by Laurie Van Wieren.

Chris Holman rehearses 4×4 = 100 Dancing Outside. Photo by Laurie Van Wieren.

Twenty-three years later, Laurie Van Wieren has curated the Walker’s Choreographer’s Evening twice and continued to share her performance work at the event. This Saturday she returns to the Walker with her newest piece, 4×4 = 100 Dancing Outside presented as part of Open Field. The work places one hundred choreographers within four- by- four foot squares where Van Wieren has instructed them to move in any way they like for intervals of ten, twenty, or thirty minutes. The piece explores Van Wieren’s dual role as choreographer and curator, providing a platform for local dance makers to present their work en masse: “I really like putting people together and seeing what happens. I want people to know how many choreographers there are in town. There are many more than 100—but 100 is a nice number to work with.” In a turn of serendipity, Alison Knowles also returns to the Walker with a performance score this week. She and her collaborator Joshua Selman will re-stage Proposition #2, Make a Salad Thursday evening at Open Field. If the event is anything like Van Wieren’s story of the Nivea Cream scores, we can expect a most exuberant salad-making experience.

Open Field: a glance at the week ahead

Open Field found a week of dry weather at last, just in time for us to contribute to breaking a world record, listen to Anonymous Choir croon Neil Young covers, and create a stop motion animation at the Animation Creation Station. Did you miss out on the fun? Don’t worry: here’s a look at what you can […]

Toussaint Morrison performs at last week's Acoustic Campfire. Photo by Ben McGinley.

Photo by Ben McGinley

Open Field found a week of dry weather at last, just in time for us to contribute to breaking a world record, listen to Anonymous Choir croon Neil Young covers, and create a stop motion animation at the Animation Creation Station. Did you miss out on the fun? Don’t worry: here’s a look at what you can find in the week ahead.

(Note: all activities take place outside unless otherwise indicated)

Thursday

Chops, Inc. Drum & Bugle Corps, Anatomy of a Drum & Bugle Corps, 6-8 PM 

Photo by Jessica Hoffman

Photo by Jessica Hoffman

Experience a behind-the-scenes and up-close view of a drum and bugle corps! Chops, Inc. invites you to observe, listen, dance, clap, enjoy, and otherwise soak in the entire experience of pulling together a drum and bugle corps performance. Help conduct or try an instrument; experience a marching band standing still! It might remind you of a parade– minus the politicians and princesses.

Dylan Hester’s Conservatory Listening Project, 6-8 PM

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Share in a curated soundscape experience in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden’s  Cowles Conservatory. Visitors are invited to stay as long as they please to soak up the sounds of contemporary drone and ambient music in a unique setting where sound and environment work hand-in-hand.  The experience might leave you feeling relaxed, meditative or creatively inspired.

Beatrix *Jar, 33 1/3 + 6 Toys, 5-8 PM (Perlman Gallery)

Local sound duo Beatrix*JAR invitse you to create a hands-on sonic dialogue with John Cage’s 33 1/3 in the exhibition Art Expanded, 1958–1978.

Acoustic Campfire: Michelle Kinney & Gary Waryan, 8 PM; Fort Wilson Riot, 9 PM

Our summertime Thursday night performances continue this week with sets from Michelle Kinney and Gary Wilson, and Fort Wilson Riot.

Photo by Ward Robinson

Photo by Ward Robinson

Gary Waryan and Michelle Kinney of Jelloslave have been forging paths through the worlds of classical music, rock/pop and improvisational new music, and music for theater and dance. On Thursday, we’ll get a peek into their work as a duo – from their exploration of their Western and Indian classical foundations, to their work in genre-blending and improvisational performance.

Fort Wilson Riot recently celebrated the release of their new album trllllun at the Triple Rock and are looking ahead to a slew of shows in the coming months. In their Campfire performance we will be treated to a more intimate show with just Amy Hager and Jacob Mullis, which will offer a unique experience of their sultry, electro-psychedelic sound.

Saturday

Free First Saturday Activities: Sonic Circus, 10 AM – 3 PM

Photo by Emily Floyd

Photo by Emily Floyd

As always, gallery admission is free on First Saturdays, with activities designed for kids ages 6-12 from 10 AM to 3 PM.

This month, Beatrix*JAR shares a curated a day of activities in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Activities include beatmaking, sound collage creation with vintage records and turntables, song-recognition quizzes, DIY wind harps, and a wind chime laboratory. Enjoy live performances by King Baron and Dreamland Faces. A full description of the day’s events can be found on the Walker Art Center website.

Gorilla Yogis present Yoga On the Field, class from 12:00 – 1:30 PM with picnic to follow (bring your own mat and water!)

Gorilla Yogis aim to make yoga accessible to all! Come experience yoga on an open field and explore the community and connection through breath and movement. This program is great for experienced practitioners and first time yogis alike, and offers a great excuse to play in the grass while exploring breath and movement.

Find it at Open Field: Painting with Our Feet

Introducing:  Alison Anderson Holland‘s Painting with Our Feet People of all ages are invited to paint with their feet while moving and/or dancing across a large piece of fabric. We’ll experiment with a range of strategies for creating foot painted artwork that includes everything from a movement free-for-all to a game of “Simon Says”. Play for […]

PaintingWithOurFeet

Introducing:  Alison Anderson Holland‘s Painting with Our Feet

People of all ages are invited to paint with their feet while moving and/or dancing across a large piece of fabric. We’ll experiment with a range of strategies for creating foot painted artwork that includes everything from a movement free-for-all to a game of “Simon Says”. Play for a few minutes, or stay for the whole afternoon.

Come from an interest in: using dance to connect people to one another and their community spaces. I want participants to feel playful, connected to one another, and validated by their contribution to the collaborative artwork.

Feels: playful, inviting, and probably a little silly

Might remind you of: finger painting, but on a much larger scale and done collaboratively.

Might be a good fit if you’re looking for: a fun, easy and creative activity appropriate for all ages– from toddlers to grandparents; a way to get out of the house for a while to play, while leaving the mess behind!  We’ll have water to clean off paint. Come with a group or on your own.

Find Alison: on twitter @andersonholland or at alisonandersonholland.com

Find Painting with Our Feet at Open Field Saturday, June 26 from 12-3 PM

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