Artful Green Dot

Once More to Bushwick

Posted in Spaces & Environments by Audrey Tran on November 13, 2010

 

 

The road sign on Bogart Street is twisted so that part of the name is missing, and from one angle, one seems to be approaching a place called, “ART St.” That had been one of the first sights I came across about a year ago when visiting Bushwick during the 2009 BETA Spaces Festival. At the time, I had been new to the area and sights like this came off as especially welcoming. I felt at home.  Now, I regularly trample through this community for shows and talks, and I look forward to annual events like the BETA Spaces Festival, which arrives this Sunday.

Over 50 group exhibitions will open from Noon until 7PM.  Some will appear in the usual gallery setting and a number of others will spring up in unexpected spaces.  See the map and a complete list of shows.

BrooklynBK.com writes of a greater  emphasis on alternative spaces in this year’s festival. Stephen TRAUX highlighted Marni KOTAK’s show, Welcome to My House as one promising example.

L Magazine also decided to spotlight 10 BETA shows.

Here’s a sampling of exhibits that might attract the green minded, art-enthusiast:

CONVERGENCE, a group exhibit organized by Lumenhouse.  See additional images of the show on the AIB BETA directory.

AMERICAN GARBAGE at the Loom. More details here.

Chris Harding’s INTRUDER at English Kills Gallery.

In addition to these visual events, I’m excited for the afternoon panel, “Artists on the Block.” Artist, Laura Braslow will moderate a discussion on the impact of the art community’s effects on the Bushwick landscape.

The photo above comes from Sparkle Motion, a show from the 2009 BETA festival. It was an exhibit creatively stationed in a well-decorated, saucy U-HAUL. Another Sparkle Motion should be on view this year too.

 

 

 

 

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The View From Above

Posted in Uncategorized by Audrey Tran on December 27, 2009

Bird’s Eye View in Fairfield, CT

Originally organized and conceived by Ryan Dean with the help of countless others around the world.

Participants in the Bird’s Eye View have a unique way of petitioning for the reduction of carbon emissions through collaborative installations built on rooftops across the world.  Upon these rooftops, collaborators unload pounds and pounds of plastics, paper, fabric, and other used materials, which they then arrange into the number, “350,” a massive 350 that can be seen from airplanes.

These installations call attention to the reduction of carbon emissions in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, which is a level prominent scientists (i.e. NASA’s James Hansen) have identified as “the only safe level of carbon dioxide in the air.”

The following images come from Birds Eye View pieces around the globe:

Maine, USA

Australia

Democratic Republic of Congo

Brooklyn, USA

China

Bushwick, NY (Beta Spaces ’09)

Ukraine

BEV installations are not just piles of material forming signage. Those working around the BEV think of these collaborations as “nests,” and like birds, these nests require a collection process.

For example, in the installation at Fairfield University, students started a campaign to collect old bed sheets from members of the community. At Beta Spaces, collaborators used recycled materials to create art pieces to form the numbers. In Maine, Ryan Dean (the original creator of BEV) organized lumber yards to donate tarp-like materials for the projects.  For the piece in the Congo, stalks of bark from Banana trees formed the numbers.  At Brooklyn College, people used recycled art work (old paintings) and tarps for the 350. In a sense, each of the nests reflect bits of the surrounding environment.

The Bird’s Eye View has also joined networks with other groups across the world. In China,  participants from an environmental effort known as Greening of the Beige created their own nest using old magazines. Another eco-minded group known as Reverse Garbage in Australia also collaborated with BEV.

These billboard-sized nests attract attention in a fashion similar to the desperate signaling employed by those trapped on uninhabited islands.  I find this very fascinating, but more importantly, the idea behind BEV is to capture 350 from a perspective that allows one to absorb the surrounding environment in such a way that we can actually see the spread of houses, buildings, and other human detritus growing across the Earth.

For many of us, this BEV portrait of Earth isn’t something we confront on a daily basis, for we approach the architecture of our cities and suburbs on the ground. We move in and out of buildings, across streets, and through one city’s end to another city’s end without that ever-present view from above.

In a recent email exchange, one of the collaborators wrote, “Sometimes you have to look at things from a broadened perspective to see them clearly. It is in a global perspective that we may begin to change things together.”

Bird’s Eye View originally began under the direction of Ryan Dean from Cranston, RI. Since its inception during the winter of 2008, people such as Laura Marie Marciano and a network of individuals  have assisted Dean by writing proposals for the project, traveling with him to spread the mission, and putting in hours to construct/document the installations.   I had the pleasure of meeting Laura Marie on a rooftop where she displayed a Bird’s Eye View piece during Beta Spaces ’09.

BETA Spaces 2009

Posted in Exhibits by Audrey Tran on November 12, 2009

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I’m not much of a Bushwick expert, but  I felt pleasantly welcomed by the neighborhood’s energy as I trampled through BETA Spaces ’09 on Sunday.

After last year’s festival, we saw some fine writing that delivered an overview of the event, but for BETA Spaces ’09, I’d like to work on posts devoted to a few of the individual shows that made up this now annual event. Until then, here are some photos from the weekend.

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Bushwick’s BETA Spaces

Posted in Exhibits, Spaces & Environments by Audrey Tran on October 30, 2009

Remember the date– Sunday, NOV. 8TH–if you plan to catch Bushwick’s 3rd annual festival of art in unorthodox spaces. For months, the directors of Arts in Bushwick have been organizing artists, curators, and people with access to spaces to create this day of group shows.

A few of the themed collaborations caught my Artful Green eye:

Allyson Parker’s The Kotel, “(aka “The Western Wall”) will be reconstructed in Bushwick out of recycled fabrics. Paper and pens will be available for the public to write down their wishes and insert them into the “wall”. At the end of the show all wishes will be gathered and faxed to the Israeli Telephone Company a fax service directed to Jerusalem’s Western Wall.”

The Bird’s Eye-View, organized by Laura-Marie Marciano and supported by 350: “The Bird’s Eye View is a network of recycled art installations, constructed on rooftops, in collaboration and support of 350, an international grass-roots organization for the reduction of carbon emissions. Images of the installations will be taken to be spread by use of the media to the general public, raising awareness about global warming. The images send a message of green peace, global solidarity, and a broadened human perspective. ”

BETA-Spaces-2009-Map-Flier

Because of a very wonderful older sister, I now have a lovely digital camera to employ while covering this event.  Look out for more photos of the Bushwick arts scene in future posts.

Happy art-hopping, everyone!

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