Blogs Field Guide

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 […]

Clothing and Story Swap (1024x789)

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

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.”

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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Coming Soon to Open Field

Head over to our Facebook page to get a recap of the whirlwind of events that took place on the Field last week. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store on Saturday, July 12th: Into the Blue: The World of Cyanotype – Nathan Lewis Did you know you can create a photograph without a camera? Are you […]

Head over to our Facebook page to get a recap of the whirlwind of events that took place on the Field last week.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store on Saturday, July 12th:

081812_Cyanotypes_Hair-1024x768Into the Blue: The World of Cyanotype - Nathan Lewis

Did you know you can create a photograph without a camera? Are you fascinated by the antiquated processes of creation and creativity? Do you know what the root of the word photography is? (Hint: photo = light, graphy = writing). In this project, Nathan Lewis will provide supplies, instruction for a process that dates back to the 1840s, and inspiration for creating images with found objects using only light. Visitors will learn the mechanics of exposure and what it means to create a photograph as opposed to just take one.

 

Nancy Walk 9 Pic 1Walk With MePaige Tighe

This exploration of the mundane and/or the extraordinary will encourage participants to step outside of their comfort zone (or stay within it), talk to a stranger (or don’t), and do something adventurous (or un-adventurous). Share a moment of intimacy with a stranger or a friend in a world that is becoming increasingly un-intimate in this seemingly simple exercise of walking while holding someone’s hand.

 

100 Choreographers, Megan Mayer4×4 = 100 Dancing OutsideLaurie Van Wieren

In this communal dance performance, 100 choreographers will simultaneously perform a piece within a 4×4 foot space (together forming a 40×40 foot square) on the field. In this performance, the thriving dance community of the Twin Cities will come together on a large scale, and as an audience we will have the opportunity to experience the work of an array of movement artists in a unique setting.

 

Cake

Let Them Eat Cake! - Genna Deprey

Join pastry chef Genna Deprey to learn how to make buttercream frosting, practice piping, and eat cake! Share a pipette with a friend and take advantage of good company while making and enjoying cake.

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.

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