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Make a Salad, Making a Salad, Made a Salad

“. . . that’s what you’re doing. You’re only making a salad. And these are the best salads.“—Alison Knowles As summer days slip away, perhaps you’re thinking back to your “best salad” of the season. For me, it’s the one documented below, the salad Alison Knowles made for Walker Open Field on July 10. Knowles […]

. . . that’s what you’re doing. You’re only making a salad. And these are the best salads.“—Alison Knowles

As summer days slip away, perhaps you’re thinking back to your “best salad” of the season. For me, it’s the one documented below, the salad Alison Knowles made for Walker Open Field on July 10. Knowles is a founding member of the avant-garde art group Fluxus, and her work is currently on view in the exhibition Art Expanded, 1958–1978. Known for her sound works, installations, performances, and publications, Knowles came to the Walker to present one of her most iconic event scores, Make a Salad. What follows below is a sequence of images and thoughts that long to reinstate the moment itself—the moment when it was happening—when we were only doing what we were doing. Making a salad. The best salad.
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The artist introduces herself and her collaborator, Joshua Selman. A fresh tarp is on the ground. The late afternoon light is soft through overcast skies and it’s pleasant.
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Listen to subtle and sporadic sounds: a recorded voice set in static, silence, the voice again, then the  buzz of an amplified paper shredder. Notice a faint scent as sheets of nori become thin ribbons, slipping into the bowl or drifting to the ground.

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The choppers are ready. The artist signals. The choppers begin.
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Radishes thud as they strike the tarp. Greens, dressed in balsamic vinaigrette, make softer smattering sounds. The artist cuts and reams 3 lemons. She pours the mouth-watering juice over the salad. The citrus scent wafts.
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Helpers toss the salad. The mass of vegetables provides resistance to the rakes. Shovel back and shovel forward.
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Serve a salad. Be served a salad.
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Share a salad. Notice what you’re doing. Remember this for later.

Of course, if I say, “remember a salad,” that’s vastly different from my saying “make a salad.” What remains once the action ends? And how did the artist’s instruction exist before being enacted? These questions point to abstractions: suppositions, ideas, memories, residues. The in-between, while arguably more ephemeral, is less complicated, as Alison Knowles eloquently expresses of her iconic score, Make a Salad:

“. . . that’s what you’re doing. You’re only making a salad. And these are the best salads.”

All photos by Gene Pittman

Drawing Club at #Catvidfest

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People came to the picnic tables on Open Field and were prompted with cat-themed phrases to encourage them to draw the many cats on their minds and in their imaginations.

Some of these phrases included: Fat Cat, Leonardo Di-Catprio, Catastrophe, Digi C@, Cat Burglar, Live Long and Pawsper, and many more. People also took liberty and drew cats unprompted, because… well, why wouldn’t you?

Here are some of the wonderful drawings made at the Internet Cat Video Festival.

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A First-Timer’s Take on Open Field (2014)

Born and raised in Minneapolis, it is rather unsettling to me that I had never experienced the magic of Open Field before this year. Lucky for me, the Field welcomed me – the intern – with open arms and heart and it didn’t take long for me to feel at home within all its chaos […]

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Born and raised in Minneapolis, it is rather unsettling to me that I had never experienced the magic of Open Field before this year. Lucky for me, the Field welcomed me – the intern – with open arms and heart and it didn’t take long for me to feel at home within all its chaos and beauty.

Open Field knows how to do it big. 

We set a Guinness world record, made a salad and shared it with 274 people, and hosted a Cat Video Festival that attracted over 9,000 kitty fanatics. But we also know that the more intimate is just as valuable. Open Field offers a place and a time that allows us to connect, create, and explore – together, of course.

This year, Fluxus-related activities took over the field.

Fluxus also serves as an appropriate metaphor for the field and its various happenings: seemingly random and disorderly, yet in specific ways orchestrated and controlled, with ample space for inspiration, improvisation, and spontaneity.

OF2014_100Scores_0731_03Look Sideways, Listen Close: 100 Scores for Open Field – Rachel Jendrzejewski

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Fluxus Running Club – Mike Haeg

OF2014_Baseball_07 (2) (1024x768)Play Catch, All Together – Chris Kallmyer

OF2014_Salad_0710_06 (2) (1024x768)Make A Salad – Alison Knowles

Open Field is a place where the line between being a casual spectator and an active participant is thinly drawn, and where one is always gracefully toeing both sides.

No matter where you stand at any given moment, there is always an opportunity to sit back and take it all in; but never as an outsider.

OF2014_Choreographers_0712_21 (2) (1024x768)4×4=100 Dancing Outside – Laurie Van Wieren

OF2014_ChopsInc_0703_06Anatomy of a Drum and Bugle Corps – Chops, Inc.

OF2014_StereoTrees_0719_04Stereo Trees – Areca Roe

OF2014_Compline_0720_4113Pesher Compline – Brian Dowdy

We cracked our knuckles before coercing and refining our creative skills.

OF2014_Cursive_02 (2) (768x1024)Cursive Writing for the Contemporary Artist – Alyssa Baguss and Jenni Undis

OF2014_AnimationCreation_0628_08Animation Creation Station – Peter Nelson and Michon Weeks

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Into the Blue: The World of Cyanotype – Nathan Lewis

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Drawing, Far Away So Close – Keith Braafladt and Margaret Pezalla

We stretched, expanded and exercised our minds and our bodies.

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Gorilla Yogis

OF2014_StarTrekYoga_0731_03Star Trek: A Narrated Yogic Adventure – Yoga Quest

Open Field was even edible.

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Get Soaked (With Local Muesli) – Karin Norby

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Take a Bite, Shape the State! – Presley Martin

In the midst of all of this, communities were formed and connections were discovered because Open Field offered a place to do some cool stuff and meet some cool people. I took part in Paige Tighe’s Walk With Me project, where I walked and talked with someone whom I may never have done so with otherwise. I also watched as strangers collectively played “Find Your Spot” with Scooper.

I got to spend this summer learning, growing, and making new friends, and watched as art and other such crazy experiments united interesting people. Open Field would in no way be possible alone or within a vacuum – it really is what we make together.

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Can I Have an Idea

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MobileCartFamilyphoto!

The new Mobile Cart is just right for summer in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. On weekends, the grounds are teeming with visitors from all over the world. We’ve seen wedding guests dressed to the nines, families picnicking in front of Spoonbridge and Cherry, and mini golfers waiting for tee-times. Like our visitors, the Mobile Cart has a purpose for being outside.

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Designed for pop-up outdoor activities, the handsome and nimble cart reflects the genius of Museum Exhibit Designer Maria Mortati. It has a casual feel, like a food cart. In fact, someone tried to order ice cream from us! Seriously, people have approached us with practical questions concerning weddings, mini-golf, and the location of Garden Café, which contrary to its name, is inside the Walker Art Center.

The Mobile Cart is a magnet for visitors desiring more interaction with art and ideas.

A stop at the Mobile Cart outfits visitors with supplies for Can I Have an Idea, a hands-on drawing experience. This activity is loosely related to the exhibition Art Expanded currently on view at the Walker Art Center. Can I Have an Idea plays with decision-making and offers a simple direction for action. It resembles a musical score that comes alive when someone actually performs it.

Can I Have an Idea looks like this. There are 2 bins with instructions for drawing typed out on small paper cards. The first bin is labeled “Take an Idea and Make a Drawing.” It contains single directions, such as, “draw the nearest sculpture” and “spin around and draw a spiral.” The second bin, “Take 2 Ideas and Make 2 Drawings,” is for participants who appreciate experimentation.

The girl pictured below was eager to try as many ideas as possible.

Her grandma turned to me and said, “She’s from an arty family living in Winnipeg, Canada.”

This activity also intrigued two visitors from the Museo d’Arte Modernae Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto in Italy. Full disclosure, these museum educators asked to replicate Can I Have an Idea in their museum, and I gave them what they needed.

Closer to home, we’ve engaged families from the Twin Cities who were visiting the Garden for the first time. The presence of the Mobile Cart generated conversation about Family Programs and encouraged a number of families to return to Walker’s Free First Saturday offered throughout the year.

This summer, Yaneth Quintero, a STEP-UP Intern, hosted the Mobile Cart with me. She wraps up her internship at the Walker this week so  it’s appropriate to record her impressions about the Mobile Cart. When asked, she quickly replied, “I realized how much I miss drawing. When I was a child, I drew all the time.”

Ilene: What did you notice about the crowd?

Yaneth: There were many curious on-lookers. Young and old people approached us and loved the cart. Some even asked me if they were too old to participate! But, as Ilene says, ‘There’s no age limit to creativity’. They were eager to try out the scores; just draw!

Ilene: What did they want to know?

Yaneth: I had a multitude of people ask me when we’d be out with the cart again. Others asked about the Walker and were curious about activities happening inside the building. We were a mini info hub. I also got questions about the master mind behind the Mobile Cart or directions to places.

Ilene: How did they interact with the drawing activity?

Yaneth: Some people came to try out one score while others got deeper into it. They made more personal drawings based on their interpretations of the scores. Some just kept coming back for more ideas.

Ilene: Thanks, Yaneth, for being so attentive, welcoming and creative. Keep drawing!

 

A final Pesher Compline Performance – August 3rd

For the past two Sunday evenings, Sky Pesher has been filled with the melodic harmonies of compline set against a sunset backdrop. If you are unfamiliar with compline performance, check out choral director and musician Brian Dawdy‘s description and discussion on why he chose to bring compline to Sky Pesher. There’s no mistaking that this is a unique […]

For the past two Sunday evenings, Sky Pesher has been filled with the melodic harmonies of compline set against a sunset backdrop. If you are unfamiliar with compline performance, check out choral director and musician Brian Dawdy‘s description and discussion on why he chose to bring compline to Sky Pesher.

There’s no mistaking that this is a unique space in which to perform compline; with the sunlight waning, the humming melodies and play between silence and subtle sound become increasingly distinct and tangible. Entering and exiting one by one, meditating on each movement and sound, the performers invite audience members to sit and relax in peaceful contemplation.

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When: Sunday, August 3rd

Where: Sky Pesher (at the top of the hill)

What: A compline performance sung by 4 choral performers

 

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: Clothing + Story Swap

Introducing Asher Edes & Dan Hnilicka’s Clothing + Story Swap What memories are woven into your clothes? Are you ready to hand them on? Bring an item of clothing or an accessory you used to wear. You’ll be invited to scribble a story or drawing about its personal history onto a tag. Attach the tag, pin the […]

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Introducing Asher Edes & Dan Hnilicka’s Clothing + Story Swap

What memories are woven into your clothes? Are you ready to hand them on? Bring an item of clothing or an accessory you used to wear. You’ll be invited to scribble a story or drawing about its personal history onto a tag. Attach the tag, pin the garment to a clothesline on Open Field, and pick a garment and story that used to belong to a stranger to take home.

Aims to: Bring together strangers to swap used clothes and the stories that accompany them (through words or a drawing). Come to explore the blurring of personal identities when possessions are traded.

Looks like: Conversations, connections, chaos and compliments.

Will remind you of: A treasure chest or a time machine.

Useful if: You want/need new clothes, want to make room in your closet or want to hear or share a story with a stranger.

Invite your friends on Facebook and come prepared to share (more than just clothing) on Saturday.

Stereo Trees: Visual Transportation Through Miniature Viewfinders

Stereoscopic \ster-ē-ə-ˈskä-pik\ photographs are created using a stereoscope, a method which produces images that appear 3-dimensional and solid in form. This description does not begin to give credit to the magic of the images in Areca Roe’s Stereo Trees project, which she shared with us at Open Field on Saturday. If you didn’t get a […]

Stereoscopic \ster-ē-ə-ˈskä-pik\ photographs are created using a stereoscope, a method which produces images that appear 3-dimensional and solid in form. This description does not begin to give credit to the magic of the images in Areca Roe’s Stereo Trees project, which she shared with us at Open Field on Saturday. If you didn’t get a chance to visit, the photos were hung from trees with colorful chords, visible through small viewfinders.

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The photos served as portals to hyper-real natural scenes: crackling campfires frozen in pristine 3-dimensionality, forests shooting high up into the clouds above, and waters perfectly captured mid-crash. The images are an exaggerated version of reality, immaculately frozen and magnified in front of one’s eyes.

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The stereoscopic viewfinders were hung at various heights, allowing for those of smaller stature the opportunity to enjoy the images as well. Friends, families and strangers gathered to view the individual pieces. Though individual faces were obscured and the resulting experience seemed to be completely solitary, responses of surprise and awe were collectively shared as pictures passed from hand-to-hand and eye-to-eye.

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Stereo Trees embodied the true spirit of Open Field, bringing together strangers and friends, and made a direct experience with art accessible to visitors of all ages.

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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.

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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

Learning Together: Saturday, July 19th at Open Field

Some incredible opportunities to learn as a community await at Open Field this Saturday. Several workshops will be taking place: Saturday, July 19th Karen Norby, Get Soaked (with local muesli) Soaking grains is no joke. Join Karen Norby to learn quick, easy ways to make a delicious and nutritious breakfast, snack or treat.  Soak local muesli in […]

Some incredible opportunities to learn as a community await at Open Field this Saturday. Several workshops will be taking place:

Saturday, July 19th

Karen Norby, Get Soaked (with local muesli)

Soaking grains is no joke. Join Karen Norby to learn quick, easy ways to make a delicious and nutritious breakfast, snack or treat.  Soak local muesli in organic milk or almond milk and create your own parfaits- with yogurt, fresh fruit, or dark chocolate. Learn the magic of local, sustainable foods, and enjoy something delicious that will make you feel great. On Saturday, prepare to fall in love with breakfast again.

Muesli

 

Monica Howell, Infant Massage

In many cultures around the world, massaging infants is an age-old tradition. Bring your 0-6 month-old and a mat (activity will be outside); massage oil and instructions will be provided in this hands-on bonding experience with your infant. Infant massage is fun and beneficial for both babies and adults. For parents and other caregivers, it can be a way to get to know your baby’s responses, gain confidence as a caregiver, demonstrate respectful touch, and communicate caring. Babies enjoy massage as well, and it can be especially beneficial for those with symptoms of colic or gas.

 

Fitz's first real bathMay 26, 20113.5 weeks old

Mom giving an infant massage’ by Rusty Tanton, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Jake Voit, Organic Soil Solutions

Soil is an ecosystem that your plants grow in, called the Soil Food Web. Unfortunately, most gardens and landscapes use chemicals and techniques that hurt the ecosystem and create a downward spiral of bad health. Much like the ecosystem that is your body, soil ecosystems must be nurtured and cared for in healthy, sustainable ways. This Saturday, Jake Voit will teach visitors the importance of sustainable, healthy agriculture, and how to do your part to add to the health of  this ecosystem – with benefits such as 50% reduced water use, the elimination of pesticides and fertilizers, the protection of plants from disease, reduced waste from landfills, and improved nutrition levels in food.

Bring a handful of your own soil and receive a free consultation. View this soil through a microscope, marvel at the wonders of the microbes that thrive within it, and receive a to-do list of techniques and natural products to create a flourishing soil and garden.

If you are interested in learning more about sustainable, healthy agriculture, visit Jake Voit’s Blog: http://communityearth.tumblr.com/

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