From the act of peeling fruit to the theatrical staging of movement, Aki Sasamoto’s work explores the peculiarities of everyday life and gestures. She functions as storyteller and performer, drawing the viewer into her created narratives. Tonight she is joined by Culture Push, the arts organization she co-directs, to premiere a new series of experiential workshops, Storm Your Brain.
Culture Push is about hands-on learning, group problem solving, serious play, and interdisciplinary connections. Aki directs one of the company’s signature programs, DOING Symposium, in which invited specialists share their expertise with each other through hands-on experiences. Each participant brings activities that are specific to his/her field and shares in all the activities—there are no spectators!
My Turn invites artists to create programs for the Whitney’s public that are an extension of and informed by their own artistic processes and methods. Taking their contributions to 2010 as a point of departure, six Biennial artists explore key aspects of their practice to create distinctive evenings of performance, discussion, demonstration, and engagement.
A Wound Drawn Together
By Saul Melman
An Emergency Room doctor controls chaos while avoiding error to efficiently identify a singular correct answer. An artist welcomes accident in order to create more questions in the search for meaningful ambiguities. "A Wound Drawn Together” is an activity that invites participants into the space where these two seemingly polarized practices collide.
Racing Mousetrap Powered Cars
By Dustyn Roberts
Mechanical engineers design things that move and work well. There are a lot of factors to consider—forces, torque, friction, materials selection, speed, environment—and a lot of possible outcomes. In the “Racing Mousetrap Cars” activity, participants can see how subtle changes in parts and materials can affect the performance of the final mechanism, as well as how they can construct models to ensure success.
Mathematically Correct Breakfast
By George W. Hart
As a sculptor, George Hart sees mathematical beauty everywhere, creates geometric examples, and shares them with others. A quest for elegance can start with a question like “how can you slice a bagel into two linked halves?” In this activity, participants will answer that question by slicing bagels in an interesting new way.
The Ephemeral Edible Art
By Deborah Gorman
As a chef, Deborah Gorman creates little masterpieces, labor-intensive edible sculptures. Diners may take a moment to visually honor these creations, and then in mere seconds the art is masticated, digested and ultimately defecated. This evening, participants get to play the role of a chef and create small edible sculptures, which can later be savored.
Rainforest Crunch (For electric kalimbas and electronics)
By Matt Bauder
In “Rainforest Crunch,” sounds from homemade electric kalimbas and effects pedals create complex notes and textures. These sounds are brought in and out of audibility by a mixing board with separate volume controls for each instrument. Participants are invited to improvise on the instruments as well as alter the effects settings. Surrendering to the architecture of the “forest,” participants should not be attached to what they are doing; rather, everyone should trust that they are one part of an ecosystem of sound.
Release and Score Technique
By Yvonne Meier
Release technique uses specially designed images to let go of hidden tensions in the body and realign with the natural forces of gravity and counter balance. Yvonne Meier extends these imageries to Score technique, to invite spontaneous movement explorations into her dance.
Matt Bauder is a saxophonist and composer who has studied with Ed Sarath, Anthony Braxton, Ron Kuivila, and Alvin Lucier. In the past ten years he has been an active member of the new music scenes in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Berlin, and New York, where he has performed with, among others, Braxton, Bill Dixon, Jeff Parker, Taylor Ho Bynum, and The SEM Ensemble. He appears on recordings with Jason Ajemian (Locust Music), Rob Mazurek (Thrill Jockey), Neil Michael Hagerty (Drag City), His Name is Alive (4AD/TimeStereo), Saturday Looks Good to Me (Polyvinyl), and Bill Brovald (Tzadik). He has received wide critical acclaim for his recordings as a leader and co-leader on 482 Music, Clean Feed and Eye & Ear Records. myspace.com/mbauder
Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels is a metalsmith and designer. Born in the valley of the Appalachians in Tennessee, she went on to study social psychology at Stanford University and researched how socially constructed situations both cause and resolve mass conflict. She has taught environmental education at a Melbourne urban organic farm, researched the ability of women to increase their income through craft collectives in Brazil, and studied blacksmithing and silversmithing at the Appalachian Center for Craft. Serra Victoria investigates the intersection of social psychology and design, specifically how social connections, communication, and community can be strengthened through exquisite and sustainably created products and environments. Her design company Will Be Victorious launches this fall.
Ever since she was old enough to reach the counter, Deborah Gorman knew she was destined to be a cook. Deborah started her professional culinary career working under Dan Barber, Executive Chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. After learning the value of “farm to fork” organic cooking, Deborah worked at A Voce where she spent time learning the art of being a pastry chef. Subsequently, Deborah gained invaluable skills from Executive Chef Gray Kunz at his New York City restaurants Grayz and Café Gray. Since leaving Café Gray, she took a break from restaurant kitchens to work as a personal chef. In 2008 she started a catering company, The Good Knife, with Andrea Lennon. Deborah’s television and web series appearances include Kitchen Conspirators on the Food Network’s Food2.com and competing on February 16th episode of Chopped, Raw Enthusiasm.
George W. Hart is an interdisciplinary sculptor, scholar, mathematician, engineer, writer, computer scientist, and educator. His geometric sculpture is recognized around the world for its mathematical depth and creative use of materials. He is a pioneer in using computer technology and solid freeform fabrication in the design and fabrication of sculpture. Examples of his artwork can be seen at major universities, such as M.I.T., University of California at Berkeley, and Princeton University. He has received numerous awards and accolades, including a New York State Council for the Arts Individual Artist’s Award. He has been invited to lecture and show his art across the country and around the globe, including many major universities. Hart’s publications center on mathematical applications in sculpture and other fields. georgehart.com
Yvonne Meier was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and she has lived and worked in New York City since 1979. As a choreographer and performer, she has created numerous full-evening pieces, several large-scale spectacles and several very personal improvised solos. Following a seven-year hiatus, she began choreographing again with the piece This is not a Pink Pony, which was performed at the Kitchen in New York City. In 1986, she received a Bessie Award for her piece, The Shining. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards from the New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts Interarts, Franklin Furnace, and Pro Helvetia, among others.
Saul Melman is a Brooklyn based artist and doctor. He uses sculpture, installation, and performance as principle means to investigate ideas of impermanence and the visceral struggle against it. Saul received an MFA in sculpture from Bard College in 2009 and completed Emergency Medicine training at Cook County Hospital in 1999. He was a resident artist in Culture Push Genesis Project 2009. saulmelman.com
Igal Nassima is a programmer and an artist. He works with data, and mediums of sound, text and graphics are his areas of interest as an artist. He directs 319 Scholes Performance space in Bushwick, Brooklyn (319scholes.org), and he is currently a candidate in the Masters of Professional Studies in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. Igal bikes back and forth on the Williamsburg Bridge. You can follow his work at materials.nassima.com.
Ashley Rawlings was born in London, and after graduating from the Japanese Studies Faculty at the University of Cambridge in 2005, he lived in Tokyo, where he researched postwar Japanese art at Sophia University and worked as an editor and translator for Tokyo Art Beat. From Tokyo, he contributed regularly to online and printed publications such as The Japan Times, ART iT, Artforum.com, Saatchi Online, ArtReview and ArtAsiaPacific. He is the author and editor of Art Space Tokyo (Books We Make, 2010), an in-depth guidebook to the Tokyo art world, and the co-editor of the exhibition catalog What is Mono-ha? (Tokyo Gallery + BTAP, 2007). He is currently based in New York, where he works as Features and Profiles Editor of ArtAsiaPacific.
Dustyn Roberts is a mechanical engineer, teacher, and author. She started her career at Honeybee Robotics as a design engineer on a project for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, scheduled for launch in 2011. After consulting James Powderly and Michelle Kempner for their Eyebeam residency in 2006, she founded Dustyn Robots and continues to engage in consulting work ranging from gait analysis to designing guided parachute systems. In 2007 she developed a course for New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program entitled “Mechanisms and Things That Move,” which led to her book, Making Things Move, forthcoming from McGraw-Hill in fall 2010. Dustyn holds a BS in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University with minors in Robotics and Business, and an MS in Biomechanics & Movement Science from the University of Delaware. dustynrobots.com
Tim Hyde is a Brooklyn based artist who works with photography and video to explore the intersection between place and perception. In 2009 solo exhibitions of his work were held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Max Protetch Gallery in New York City. Tim received an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts in 2005, and was a resident at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in 2007.