Thursday, January 5, 2012 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The Works Weeknights series brings local, regional, and national talent to the café and art space on Thursday evenings. On January 5, the band Sea Rhapsody, whose members attend the University of Connecticut in Stamford, will do a semi-acoustic set on site from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Please join us and enjoy the music, the café, and our current exhibition, Slipstreams: Contemporary Artistic Practice and the Shaping of Time!
Time is wine’s friend and foe. Wine needs time to evolve from a fermented grape juice into nectar capable of soliciting a range of sensory responses. When neglected, wine can be ruined; and when crafted with a watchful eye to the clock, it can transcend the processes involved in its making. Wine and time have maintained a very complex relationship during the past eight thousand years, and this relationship continues to develop. Join host and wine enthusiast Anatoli Levine (creator of the popular Talk-a-Vino blog) for an informal glimpse into the complex relationship between wine and time! Gain insights into the delicate art of making and tasting wine while sampling some stellar varietals Thursday, January 19, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. in the cozy ambience of Franklin Street Works’ café. This event is designed to complement our current exhibition, Slipstreams: Contemporary Artistic Practice and the Shaping of Time, which will be on view before and during the tasting.
To assist us with planning, Franklin Street Works invites interested parties to RSVP for this event at terri@franklinstreetworks.
Franklin Street Works presents a series of video exhibitions titled Heavy Rotation. The exhibition will be on view from February 24 – March 16, 2012.
Reception: March 1, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Through multiple, short-lived, thematic shows, Heavy Rotation aims to provide an adrenaline rush of shifting contexts, fresh curatorial perspectives, and highly varied technologies. The show’s fluid structure also asks us to imagine an exhibition as a series of changing visual events, rather than a static installation.
In Heavy Rotation‘s roster, one grouping includes artists who harness specific elements from nature (including rocks, water, snow, and a snail) as imagery while simultaneously foregrounding a handful of unique approaches to “process” in the act of art making. Love and interpersonal relationships inform another show, which explores romantic communications, desires, and miscommunications via a variety of platforms and situations, including Chat Roulette, Craigslist singles ads, and public display of affection. A third installation maps psychological and sociological landscapes that engage the viewer in privately-informed, off-kilter narratives situated in culturally specific, mentally imaginative, and geographically peripheral environments. Finally, New York-based curator Anthony Thornton rounds out the schedule with a selection of videos that explore the public inevitability of private performance within our increasingly connected world.
Participating artists: Bobby Chirila, Petra Cortright, Tim Davis, Keith Edmier, Lindsey Eskind, Don Evans, Jesse Fleming, T. Foley, Alexa Gerrity, Matteo Giordano, Ilana Halperin, Seth Kelly, Noriko Koshida, Karsten Krejcarek, Camille Laurelli, David O’Reilly, Ariana Page Russel, John Pilson, Cheryl Pope, Joshua Seidner, Rbt. Sps., Brent Stewart, and Grant Worth.
Installment Dates and Artists:
Naturally / February 24 – 29 / Keith Edmier, Jesse Fleming, Ilana Halperin, Seth Kelly, Cheryl Pope and Brent Stewart. Click HERE for more on Naturally‘s theme and artist bios.
Let’s Talk About Love / March 1 – 4 / Lindsey Eskind, T. Foley, Noriko Koshida, David O’Reilly, John Pilson, Joshua Seidner.
Peripheral Landscapes / March 8 – 10 / Tim Davis, Don Evans, Alexa Gerrity, Karsten Krejcarek / Rbt. Sps., Grant Worth
INTO-ME-cy curated by Anthony Thornton / March 11 – 16 / Bobby Chirila, Petra Cortright, Matteo Giordano, Camille Laurelli, Ariana Page Russell
Thursday, March 8 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Franklin Street Works presents a free, seated Wine Tasting with Grapes of Norwalk’s Jim Winston from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Jim will begin with a sparkler, then walk us through two whites and six to seven reds, sharing a mixed bag of styles, textures and levels of complexity. He will conclude with a dessert wine. While the event is casual, this tasting has a specific start time so participants should arrive at 6:00pm. Please RSVP to terri@franklinstreetworks (Limit 26 people).
Thursday, March 15 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Franklin Street Works presents The Imagined City: A Multimedia Work-in-Progress by Renee Kahn, Thursday, March 15, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Join us for a one-night event where the artist will share her new project and invite audience input! Also included is a related animated film by Cici Artist and, following Kahn’s presentation, a screening of Lionel Rogosin’s award-winning film “On the Bowery.” This event is free and open to the public.
Thursday, March 22 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Videographer Bob Albert of Take Notice Productions and visual artist Gordon Skinner discuss the making of their short, collaborative documentary at Franklin Street Works, March 22 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. For filmmaker Bob Albert, the project serves as an artist statement about Skinner’s paintings, creating a cinematic platform for the visual artist to describe his influences and overall perspective. You are invited to join them for a screening of the eight-minute video followed by a lively discussion about the triumphs, pitfalls, and lessons learned during this project!
Thursday, March 29, 5:30 – 7:30
Franklin Street Works proudly presents a night with the writers, producers and directors of a local, up-and-coming network for new online comedy programs. NPeaches creates original and often humorous shows such as the satirical “Ronaldo Tours,” where an Italian-American character explores cities — from New Haven to Toronto — giving his humorous, fish-out-of-water take on local cultural phenomena. Based in the Stamford area, NPeaches aims to contribute to social and political change through the lens of comedy. We invite you to screen “Ronaldo Tour” episodes and chat with the producers, directors, and other collaborators on this, often mischievous and always provocative, creative enterprise. This free, public event is March 29, 5:30 – 7:30 at Franklin Street Works. The evening will begin with a short talk, which will be followed by a casual, social reception with cast, crew, and creatives.
House Arrest is a group exhibition where artists intentionally challenge assumptions about the comforts of home. Works feature everything from Corin Hewitt’s disquieting still life photographs to Elizabeth Demaray’s upholstered rubble couch to Martha Rosler’s
politically charged collages. The result is a crosscurrent of alternative meanings and meanderings that flip the domestic on its head, exploring the complex relationships between daily life and everyday objects. The exhibition is on view April 5 – June 10, 2012. A free public reception will be held April 5 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
House Arrest is curated by Terri C Smith whose approach to the installation will significantly alter the physical qualities of the space’s three galleries, creating living rooms of artworks that are informed by the history of Franklin Street Works’ Victorian row house buildings — originally working class homes –as well as the makeshift domestic situations at recent political protest sites such as Occupy Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park.
Participating artists are: Hector Arce-Espasas, Francis Cape, Alex Da Corte, Elizabeth Demaray, Stuart Elster, Marley Freeman, Jared Haug, Nate Heiges, Sean Hemmerle, Corin Hewitt, Rachel Higgins, David Horvitz, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Justine Kurland, ROLU, Martha Rosler, Heather Rowe, Penelope Umbrico, Se Young, and Helen Zajkowski.
House Arrest also features a curated shop and zine by Talisein and original publications curated by David Horvitz in collaboration with several independent publishers: andreview, Dominica, Fillip, and Triple Canopy. The exhibition features a PDF catalog that includes an interview on curating with ordinary objects between Taliesin and Bodhi Landa, an exhibition essay by Terri C Smith and Lisa A Porter’s essay on Zuccotti Park from a material culture perspective.
Demaray provokes complex questions concerning memory, knowledge, and the collaborative cognitive process that exists between artist and viewer [while] making a body of work that has consistently confounded expectations by creating connections between diverse and often contradictory bodies of knowledge.
–Richard Klein, Exhibitions Director, Aldrich Museum
Enjoy a fun-filled workshop upholstering your favorite rock with internationally exhibited artist Elizabeth Demaray! Join the New York artist and Rutgers Associate Professor for an evening of unusual upholstering practices. Demaray’s artwork Whatever’s Left is currently on view at Franklin Street Works as part of the group exhibition House Arrest. The couch sculpture of found sidewalk rubble and fabric was made especially for the exhibition, which explores the domestic in artworks, including shifting relationships to cultural and social norms.
Demaray will be leading us in a free, hands-on-workshop of pattern making and upholstery techniques on May 24 at 6:00 pm. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-253-0404. For this event bring your favorite rock. Upholstery fabric will be available, but attendees are welcome to bring their own. After all, you might want your rock to match the couch! Light snacks will be provided. Beer, wine, coffee and sodas are available at the café whose sales support the art space and its programming.
Elizabeth Demaray is a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture and the National Studio Award at the New York Museum of Modern Art/P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. Demaray knits sweaters for plants, fabricates alternative homes for hermit crabs, and creates listening stations for birds that play human music. These and other upholstery-related projects may be seen on the artist’s web site at http://www.elizabethdemaray.com/
At the conclusion of this workshop, attendees are invited to submit their upholstered artwork for an online gallery that will be posted on Franklin Street Works’ website!
Franklin Street Works presents an evening with two Internet entrepreneurs living in Fairfield County whose reach extends far beyond the geographic boundaries of Connecticut. Young and dedicated, they have each developed a website that reflects their interests in the Internet’s ability to organize and share data on a single subject. For EveryTornado.net, Sam Sagnella spent several years conceiving and building a website database project whose goal is to provide a broader insight into United States tornadoes by supplementing statistical data with first-hand event video gathered from those who were there. He will give a multi-media presentation, highlighting his efforts. For the second half of the talk, website designer and programmer Jeff Schram of Schram Industries discusses his experiment in gathering data from Twitter with PoopStats.com. His site investigates the phenomenon of people tweeting with the hashtag #pooping. This identifier indicates that the author is pooping while tweeting. Schram programmed a site whose home page is in constant flux as the number of #pooping tweeters changes with the ebb and flow of this one thread of Twitter activity. With PoopStats, the quirky and curious can see how many people in the world are tweeting while pooping at any particular time!
Franklin Street Works named this exciting program S#!T/Storm: The Art of Data to reflect the themes, humor, and freshness of these digital thinkers and their projects! Through projected images, informal lecture, and performance, we will learn more about the thinking, logistics, and interfaces of these nascent websites. This free, public event takes place from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at Franklin Street Works on Wednesday, June 13.
EveryTornado.net is a unique tornado database project that includes riveting videos, allowing for site visitors to learn about the details of specific tornado events and also to “witness” them. Since launching in August of 2011, EveryTornado.net has chronicled nearly 1000 tornadoes, and archived event videos for more than half of them. In the present-day social media world, the sharing of experiences has become a way for people to learn from what others have gone through without ever meeting them. EveryTornado.net captures people’s recorded tornado encounters, and organizes them in a way that produces a dramatic perspective into what experiencing a tornado can be like. Featured videos come from every type of scenario: from storm chasers using their professional High-Definition video cameras, to commuters caught in traffic on the highway using smartphones, to people in their backyards with family camcorders. Tornadoes have impacted every state in the country. Connecticut has been hit 79 times since 1950, with 12 occurring in the last six years alone. The Nutmeg State’s 79 modern tornadoes have caused in excess of 300 million dollars in property damage and killed at least three people.
A more humorous approach to collecting data, PoopStats.com is the brainchild of web designer Jeff Schram, who splits his time between Stamford and New York City. With PoopStats.com, Schram created a homepage that monitors how many people are using #pooping while tweeting at any given time. According to Schram, “At any given moment, there are roughly 300-500 people #pooping on Twitter. Seriously, we can’t make this shit up,” adding “PoopStats.com was created as a fun experiment to investigate this phenomenon of Twitter users adding #pooping to their tweets and the motivations behind people wanting to let you know the most private moments of their lives.” In his presentation, PoopStats creator Jeff Schram talks about the inspiration and creation of the website, what he’s learned so far, and what he hopes to discover venturing down this bold path.
ABOUT THE PRESENTERS:
Sam Sagnella, a 25-year old Westport, Connecticut, native with a lifelong passion for weather, founded EveryTornado.net. By his sophomore year at Staples High School he was enrolled in an “authentic science research” class, which allowed students to choose a project that interested them and invest school hours in researching it. Sam’s project “Severe Weather Preparedness of Fairfield County, Connecticut Towns” involved interviews with emergency management personnel from around the county, and its success led to an eventual presentation of his findings on live television through ABC affiliate WTNH-TV in 2003. After graduating from Staples in 2004, Sam moved to Oklahoma to continue to pursue a career in the field of meteorology, and began chasing storms there in 2005. It was during these next few years — during which he witnessed more than a dozen tornadoes — that the idea for EveryTornado.net was born.
Jeff Schram has been working in the web industry, based in NYC, for the last 7 years. Though he started off as an independent freelancer, he’s recently enjoyed working alongside such companies as The Cutting Room, Modus Associates and Crush + Lovely. He combines his love of art, music and creativity with an in-depth knowledge of the inner-workings of the web and is the owner of Schram Industries, a web design firm.
This event is sponsored, in part, by Lamburt Corporation Insurance, Stratford, Connecticut, www.lamburt.com
Franklin Street Works presents: An Evening with Dekit Magazine. For the event, Dekit’s creators discuss how their nascent online magazine is a platform for emerging cultural producers and a catalyst for dialogue with both a local and global reach. Similar to Franklin Street Works, Dekit is decidedly interdisciplinary, featuring the visual arts, fashion, music, and more via shared themes such as “What does it mean to be human?” and the materiality of identity. A small but growing independent online publication based in Stamford, Connecticut, Dekit has featured street artists, photographers, painters, videographers, and musicians. Dekit’s experiments in artistic discourse encourages unique ways of approaching creative enterprises.
On June 21 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Dekit magazine founder Stephanie Harris and the magazine’s Creative Director Nina Irizarry will share their story, leading a casual conversation about DIY-spirited publishing and the emerging artists they have collaborated with since the magazine’s inception. Additionally, Dekit will screen a video project that highlights some of the magazine’s featured artists, especially for this event.
According to Dekit’s creators, “The inception of the Internet and the innovation of technology have resulted in a shattering of geographic boundaries. Having a digital world at our fingertips has impacted the way in which we communicate, the types of dialogues we engage in or create, and the ways we influence one another,” adding, “This age of cutting edge innovations has also created a golden age of flux.”
Franklin Street Works and Dekit Magazine collaborated to produce this informative event that highlights the magazine’s mission, its challenges and its goals for the future. This event is part of Franklin Street Works’ commitment to providing an alternative space for contemporary art while providing a discursive platform for other independent ventures in art and culture. The event is free and open to the public.
Franklin Street Works and the Avon Theatre are happy to be collaborating on an event for the first time. Please Join Us! for a night with emerging filmmaker Bridget Stokes to screen her movie, Herman and Shelly, Wednesday, June 27. Reception 6:00 – 7:00 pm at Franklin Street Works. Screening is at 7:30 in the Avon Theatre. We are walking distance from each other so enjoy a summer stroll in downtown stamford between events! This event is sponsored by the Loft Artists Association and Reckson.
The Avon Theatre and the not-for-profit contemporary art space Franklin Street Works celebrate the first feature from local filmmaker, Bridget Stokes, titled Herman & Shelly with a screening on June 27th at 7:30 p.m. It is preceded by a reception at Franklin Street Works from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., which features a signature cocktail by Rodizio Grill and Thomas Hooker beer. As creative platforms for art and film, Franklin Street Works and The Avon are committed to original programming for creative professionals. Sharing kindred missions, these alternative spaces are embarking on an initial partnership for what will hopefully be the first of many joint-efforts moving forward. In addition to the reception at the art space, there will be a post-film Q&A with the filmmakers. Ticket prices include the reception and are as follows: Carte Blanche: FREE, Members: $6, Students & Seniors: $8, Nonmembers: $11. For advance tickets, please call the Avon business office at 203-661-0321 or the box office at 203-967-3660. For our more spontaneous film enthusiasts, tickets will also be available at the door the night of the screening. This event is sponsored by the Loft Artists Association and Reckson.
ABOUT THE FILM: In this offbeat, quirky romantic comedy, high school chums Herman and Shelly navigate the odd transition from much-hyped youthful art prodigies to overlooked adult artists. Ambitions are pitted against lifelong bonds, with the zany mess of the art world acting as an ever-changing backdrop. A fresh take on coming of age, the murky space between lovers and friends, and the personal sacrifices endured for one’s art.
ABOUT THE AVON: The Avon Theatre is a member-supported, non-profit cultural hub, dedicated to presenting film in its highest form, and thriving because of the support of our patrons and community. In addition to an exciting slate of new releases that are hard to find anywhere else, The Avon brings you phenomenal special events and monthly programs. We are proud to provide a forum for in-person, community dialogue with directors, actors and other luminaries in a vibrant “Main Street America” setting.
ABOUT FRANKLIN STREET WORKS: Franklin Street Works is a new, not-for-profit contemporary art space, café, and social gathering place in Stamford, Connecticut. Located in renovated row houses on Franklin Street, the two-story space includes three galleries and a café. Franklin Street Works is located at 41 Franklin Street in downtown Stamford, Connecticut, near the UCONN campus. On street parking is available on Franklin Street and paid parking is available nearby in a lot on Franklin Street and in the Summer Street Garage (100 Summer Street), behind Target. For more information call 203-595-5211 or visit www.franklinstreetworks.org
ABOUT OUR SPONSORS: Loft Artists Association provides artists with a supportive environment, opportunities to exhibit their work, and networking opportunities and to reach out to the community at large with education and artistic expression. Reckson, a division of SL Green Realty Corp. is Westchester and Fairfield counties’ largest Owner of class A office space, comprising 30 properties over 4 million square feet of commercial space. Avon Theatre Film Center, 272 Bedford St, Stamford, CT 06901, Box Office: (203) 967-3660, Business Office: (203) 661-0321, Website: www.avontheatre.org,Twitter: @avontheatre, Facebook: www.facebook.com/avontheatre
These Transitional Spaces is a group exhibition organized around contemporary art objects whose representational imagery crystallizes the temporal. The exhibition is curated by artist Seth Kelly for the not-for-profit art space, Franklin Street Works in Stamford, Connecticut. The art in These Transitional Spaces was chosen for its ability to simultaneously represent the time of its making and suggest the impossibility of a specific time and space being fully captured. These qualities allow for the works to serve as visual thresholds within the gallery, prompting viewers to imagine alternative spaces and histories. Artists include Matthew Buckingham, Matt Ducklo, Ilana Halperin, Dana Hoey, Adam Putnam, Karsten Krejcarek, John Miller, Matthew Ronay, and Aura Rosenberg. The exhibition is on view June 30 – August 26, 2012. The free, public reception is Saturday, June 30, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
Can representational visual systems evoke presence and absence of space transforming it in the same ways that abstract works using light, color, and shape do? These Transitional Spaces proposes spatial transformations that expand beyond an abstract game of the senses. Everyday scenes, objects, and shared histories act like a distorted mirror that transitions viewers from actual time/space to imagined eras, interiors, and worlds via videos, sculptures, and photographs. These works alter our sensory and psychological relationships to physical environments, including those of exhibition spaces themselves.
With Matthew Buckingham’s The Six Grandfathers, Paha Sapa, in the Year 502,002 C.E. the grand symbolism of a nation’s leaders, fathers in stone, is transported into the future through photo manipulation, sparking viewer imaginations and challenging them to cognitively contextualize an unforeseeable future. Ilana Halperin, on the other hand, evokes the past via new, cast objects made of the mineral composition found in cave formations such as stalactites. In both, the past and present are shifted through suggestions of other times and places.
The real and imagined take a more whimsical, sometimes satirical, turn with the inclusion of Dana Hoey’s Rainbow Painter – the photo features a romanticized, lounging artist and his muses; a floating plastic pear that is John Miller’s sculpture Pear Ubu; and the plastered smiles and stiff styling of Matt Ducklo’s WTVY Dothan, 2011, from The Newscasters series. These works suggest other spaces through the inclusion of set-like elements. With Ducklo’s photograph, characters that usually enter our homes from the virtual dimension of television in the form of light and sound are frozen, waiting for their cue. In Hoey’s photo, a “rainbow painter” and two young women recline by a tree, framed by a rainbow painted onto a concrete wall. The painting within the photograph is made in a style that straddles trompe l’eoil and street art. Its artifice is obvious and a bit out of place, creating a tension in the photograph between the urban and pastoral, between the earthly and the heavenly. With Pear Ubu, the humble plastic pear escapes the fruit bowl and gravity itself, simultaneously becoming a mental prompt and a theatrical prop in the gallery.
These Transitional Spaces also expresses its spatiotemporal concerns through the visceral. With Adam Putnam’s live video feed of an architectural model, the breathing “bones” of a building’s interior anthropomorphizes domestic space, creating a “living” room from a static object using a “live” video feed. The location becomes the subject, sexualized, yet devoid of human bodies — a place of projected space and fantasy existing silently on its own. In The Astrological Ways, Sagittarius, by Aura Rosenberg, inverted silhouettes of paint on canvas float within the field as the canvas floats on the wall. Like a pear hovering in the gallery or a rainbow painted on cement, these white bodies drifting in black space are plucked from any typical living situation and are then aligned thematically with a heavenly pseudo-science through the artwork’s title. Also grounded in black and relating to the figure, Matthew Ronay’s Cloak of Tears is a collage painting on black canvas that references ceremonial dress, transforming the wearer into a sign of cosmic totemism. Finally, a disembodied voice hovers over the art space’s threshold, a location symbolizing transition between architecture and the world, in Karsten Krejcarek’s Nueva Era de Santo Daime. In this sound piece, a voice calls to the woods from a fictional time in the future. With Nueva Era de Santo Daime, time, space, and body coalesce in a fictitious, time-bending narrative that aids in transitioning the visitor from exterior to interior as they enter the gallery.
The venue of Franklin Street Works is an exhibition space with a history of physical alterations. A nineteenth-century house with elements of the interior organized by the Bauhaus line via recent renovations, this location offers a unique setting in which to highlight the shared nature of these artists’ concerns surrounding the spatiotemporal. The art space’s transitions, whether historical through use and renovation or from room to room as visitors travel the building itself, create a metaphorically rich environment in which to examine art’s aptitude for transitioning our space via imaginative conjecture, subject, and compositional structures.
Franklin Street Works presents an evening with PoemAlley, a local poet organization based in Stamford, Connecticut, on Thursday, August 23, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Please join us for this free, public event that includes poetry readings inspired by Franklin Street Work’s current exhibition, These Transitional Spaces! A zine of exhibition-related poems will also be featured in the art space and café and will be free to visitors. Similar to Franklin Street Works, PoemAlley is a non-profit organization that encourages openness, innovation, and discussion, meeting every Tuesday at Curley’s Diner in Stamford for poetry readings, debates, and food.
To make this project possible, PoemAlley members were invited to see the exhibition, These Transitional Spaces, and to write poems inspired by the exhibition or a single work. Many of the poems were written in the Franklin Street Works café! These Transitional Spaces, curated by artist Seth Kelly, runs from June 30 – August 26, 2012, at Franklin Street Works. A thematic, group exhibition, These Transitional Spaces evokes the impossibility of time and space being captured, prompting audiences to imagine alternate realities and histories. The lyrical breadth of and the somewhat self-reflexive curatorial approach to the exhibition makes a group show with a cloak of tears, a rainbow painter, and a floating pear a perfect fit for a poetry project. This is Franklin Street Works’ first literary event, but is in keeping with the organization’s mission of providing innovative art, cross-disciplinary programming, and “takeaway” literature (such as zines and artists books) as a way to engage the community. This is also Franklin Street Works and PoemAlley’s first collaboration and creates a unique opportunity for the two groups to expand their roles as hubs for creative exchange and dialogue in Stamford. “Contributing PoemAlley members are particularly enthusiastic about taking part in this ekphrastic program,” said PA Advisory Committee member Rolf Maurer, “The intimacy of Franklin Street Works’ multi-media space inspires interpretive probing on the part of casual visitors and artists of all types.”
Founded in 1998 by Ann Yarmal and Catherine Ednie as a non-profit creative venture of the Unitarian Universalist Society in Stamford, PoemAlley continues to provide a weekly opportunity for poets, confessional/anecdotal writers, spoken word, and hip hop artists to share and discuss one another’s work –all within the warm and enduring walls of Stamford’s own Curley’s Diner.
Over the years, PoemAlley’s growth has included prominent guest speakers, themed poetry events throughout the Stamford/Greenwich area, and a series of original anthologies (for more: http://poemalley.blogspot.com). The group is open to anyone living in Fairfield County and the surrounding area. PoemAlley meets Tuesday nights at 7:30 pm at Curley’s on 62 Park Place (behind Target).
Franklin Street Works is proud to present the talented, and sometimes mischievous, visual artists Seth Kelly and Karsten Krejcarek in a lecture/performance hybrid that is likely to be provocative, informative, and entertaining. Seth Kelly who curated Franklin Street Works’ most recent group exhibition, These Transitional Spaces, will revisit the space during a time that Franklin Street Works is in transition between shows. For the presentation Kelly will present sound works with long-time collaborator and friend Karsten Krejcarek. The two artists are joining us in person (Kelly) and remotely (Krejcarek) to share sound recordings and performative repartee. This free, public event takes place at Franklin Street Works on August 30, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.
Kelly and Krejcarek will present and introduce several audio recordings in this public talk. Both artists have independently incorporated audio and field recordings into their practices and research over the last several years. They will share assorted examples with one another while discussing their content and the medium of sound at large. Kelly’s work explores time/space displacement through a collection of recordings that diverge from deep space murmurs to antiquated baseball commentary. Krejcarek has recently returned from Bolivia where he chronicled two-and-a-half months of unusual occurrences in over fifty field recordings for a project titled “El Otro,” which the artist describes on the project’s website as “audio recordings habitually sent from the peculiar country of Bolivia”. It was played on a loop at the Franklin Street Works café during These Transitional Spaces, accompanying sandwich and salad enjoyment with the sounds of everything from an amateur band playing AC/DC covers to bird calls to melodic funeral music.
About the Artists:
Seth Kelly: Working in sculpture, drawing, and performance, Seth Kelly has exhibited widely since receiving his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1995. Venues have included New York galleries PPOW and Marianne Boesky as well as the Greater New York exhibition at P.S.1 in Long Island City. His work has been covered in Art in America, the New York Times and the Brooklyn Rail. Recently, Kelly began curating as well, organizing “The Audio Show” at Friedrich Petzel Gallery in 2009.
Karsten Krejcarek: New York-based artist Karsten Krejcarek is a sculptor, photographer, and video maker. Karsten’s work is concentrated on esoteric narrative, mystical symbolism and natural landscape. In the recent past, Karsten participated in ceremonial, unworldly and magic plant rituals with a shamanistic healer in the jungles of the Upper Amazon. It was during this time in the forest that he expanded upon ideas of multiplicity, telepathy, and symbiotic relationships between nature and the unconscious—concepts that have largely influenced his practice and informed the narrative structure of his recent work. Karsten received a MFA from Columbia University in 2000, is an adjunct faculty member of New York University, and has regularly exhibited his work over the last twelve years.
VHS The Exhibition: September 6 – October 14, 2012
Free, public reception, Thursday, September 13 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Gallery Walk Through, Thursday October 6, 6:00 – 6:45 followed by cocktails in the cafe.
(Recommended Reading for this show: Stamford Advocate article by Scott Gargan; VHS The Exhibition Catalog, also available on site; and Rebecca Cleman’s article “Ghosts in the Machine” on VHS and the horror film genre. Click HERE to see installation photographs)
The black VHS tape, a brick-like relic of the pre-digital age, is a dark talisman of analog video culture. Now a mysterious and outmoded technology that necessitates a physical ritual of loading the tape into the jaws of a temperamental VCR, the widespread marketing of a home video system of video cameras, recording decks, and cassette tapes in the 1980s represented a sea change in how individuals engaged with television.
VHS The Exhibition, which is the brainchild of guest curator Rebecca Cleman, will explore the use of this format for artistic experimentation. The exhibition will include works by Robert Beck, Sadie Benning, Dustin Guy Defa, James Fotopoulos, and Trevor Shimizu. Artworks will be accompanied by ephemera from ‘80s-era home video culture, such as the glitchy computer-generated, anti-corporate corporate spokesman Max Headroom, to give a broad perspective on the cultural shifts created by this technological phenomenon in entertainment, life, and art.
Artists have used video for personal ends since the release of the first consumer-grade video cameras in the 1960s. This equipment gave them a way to intervene and critique the hegemony of television, often by focusing on themes and subjects that were excluded from mainstream broadcasts. For many of these artists, it was important to characterize these interventions as alternative modes of professional production that could subvert the matrix of corporate television. A later use of amateur home video equipment could also be described as anti-television and countercultural – but the innately low quality of VHS, related to its mass-market appeal, further illustrates how artists self-reflexively work with antiquated technology to provoke art mythologies of value, authenticity, and permanence.
More than being formalist explorations of VHS’s inherent qualities, the works in this exhibition engage the psychological associations of the medium, especially those that reflect the fragility of institutions, whether of self, family or society. The ability to watch TV shows on one’s own schedule or to forego the broadcasters altogether to watch self-procured or self-produced content made the experience of television more private and interactive. Cleman adds, “As an alternative to sanctioned broadcasts, home video enabled the broad distribution of unwholesome entertainment, marking the VHS tape as a carrier of ungovernable, possibly even corrosive content. The ominous VHS tape of dubious origin, referenced in dark-themed films like Hideo Nakata’s Ringu, David Lynch’s Lost Highway, or the forthcoming horror film V/H/S, evokes an unconscious confusion of sex, violence, and death.” Drawing connections such as these, Cleman positions VHS The Exhibition as an exploration of the cultural impact of home video on both a public and personal front. The exhibition will be on view from September 6 through October 14, 2012. A free, public reception is scheduled during the show’s second week, Thursday, September 13 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.
ABOUT THE CURATOR:
Rebecca Cleman is the Director of Distribution of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. She has programmed screenings for the New York Underground Film Festival, Light Industry, Anthology Film Archives and the Migrating Forms Festival among other venues. In 2010 she co-curated the media content for Amnesia at Andrea Rosen Gallery. She has most recently organized two programs within the VHS series at the Museum of Art and Design, NY, and published an essay on the subject of horror movies and home video for the Moving Image Source. Cleman lives and works in NYC.
Franklin Street Works is proud to present an evening of music and readings with Kent Evans, author and multi-platform artist. This free public event is Thursday, September 20, from 5:30 – 7:00 pm and features Kent Evan’s forthcoming novel A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots, which releases on September 17, 2012 (Pangea Books).
Franklin Street Works is excited to be one of the first venues to host Evans after the release of his highly praised novel in this unique event that includes the author reading and related live music performances. Kent Evans will play guitar, Laura Wilson will be on violin, and Andrew Trudeau will join in with multiple instruments. While at the event audiences can also enjoy Franklin Street Work’s current group show, “VHS The Exhibition”! Curated by Rebecca Cleman, the exhibition explores VHS as a tool and inspiration for artistic experimentation, with a heavy dose of ephemera from the ‘80s analogue culture.
Kent Evan’s A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots is a gripping action-adventure novel inspired by personal events in the author’s life. Evan’s explains, “The books is sort of a love song to being an artist, travel, the death of my parents, and disastrous relationships.” The main character, Damien Wood, is a young man whose lived his life as a mere robot, hurling himself with abandon from place to place and from one hollow commitment to another. It is only after a series of tragedies that Damien’s full spectrum of emotions start to emerge, which sends him to Asia on a dark odyssey of self-revelation. The book has been widely praised, including Inés Ferrero Cándenas observation, “Crash Course travels on the wings of poetry, autobiography, relationships and humor to cross-examine modern reality and cultural rebellion.” Kent Evans also collaborated with musicians for an original soundtrack accompanying the book, available now on iTunes.
About Kent Evans:
Half Cantonese and half UK, Kent Evans was born in New York City in 1975 and grew up between New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. After graduating from New York University, he began traveling extensively throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. He is the author of Malas Ondas: Lime, Sand Sex and Salsa in the land of conquistadors, a semi-autobiographical novel about self-destruction throughout Latin America and finding love. A fixture on the spoken word and experimental art scene in the 90’s, the artist has performed at such venues as Madison Square Garden Theatre and Académie Beaux Arts in Paris. His creative non-fiction and opinion pieces have appeared in numerous national pop-culture and literary zines and publications.
Join Franklin Street Works on Thursday, October 4 from 6:00 – 6:45 pm for a guided tour of VHS The Exhibition, with Franklin Street Works’ Creative Director, Terri C Smith, and Gallery Manager, Sandrine Milet.
The tour is followed by vodka cocktails in the cafe courtesy of MINSK Vodka! With mild aromas of nut toast and honeycomb you might want to taste it solo first, but we will also have — celebrating the horror movie sub-theme of VHS The Exhibition — Bloody Mary mix and a couple of other mixer options, so everyone can enjoy a refreshing beverage as we talk about the videos and discuss our memories analog.
This conversational walk through will answer questions related to the exhibition and gives audiences the opportunity to discuss the show’s theme, it’s pop culture and contemporary art relevance, and how it fits within Franklin Street Works’ mission. Join us for a free public event and bring a friend to explore the current show with some of the folks closest to it!
VHS The exhibition, curated by video specialist and writer Rebecca Cleman, is Franklin Street Works’ second guest curated show. The exhibition explores VHS as a tool and inspiration for artistic experimentation with a heavy dose of ephemerafrom the 80s analog culture, such as B horror movie posters and Max Headroom collectibles. Taking advantage of Franklin Street Works’ split-level architecture, Cleman juxtaposes observations from everyday domestic histories and art historical analysis of VHS consumption and artistic creation. Artists in the exhibition include Robert Beck, Sadie Benning, Dustin Guy Defa, James Fotopoulos and Trevor Shimizu. VHS The Exhibition is on view at Franklin Street Works through October 14.
Thanks to Minsk Vodka for sponsoring this event through their in-kind donation!
Franklin Street Works programming includes on and off site collaborative projects. We were excited to be asked to collaborate with ArtSpace New Haven on a project as part of the City Wide Open Studios alternative space on October 20 and 21!
On view October 20 and 21 at the New Haven Register Building at 40 Sargent Dr., New Haven, Connecticut, Another Crystal Land is a group exhibition curated by Terri C Smith. The show simultaneously explores the crystal’s structural characteristics/behaviors and its history within contemporary art. A starting point for the exhibition is the work of conceptual artist Robert Smithson, who was inspired by crystals, especially salt crystals, leading to his ambitious earth art work, The Spiral Jetty, 1970.
For the exhibition Another Crystal Land artists bring contemporary attitudes, technologies, and approaches to the mix of science/ science fiction references, shamanistic voices, and conceptual art making that Smithson explored in his work, making the crystal their own. Artists include: Debra Baxter & Margot Quan Knight, Ben Goddard, Chris McIntyre, Lucy Raven, Rob Smith, and Robert Smithson. A reading room of Robert Smithson books as well as poster-sized reproductions of critic/writer Ann Reynolds’ “Crystal Land” text from her book Robert Smithson: Learning from New Jersey and Elsewhere will further contextualize this two-day exhibition, which is organically arranged throughout the industrial newspaper production site. This is a collaborative project between ArtSpace, New Haven, and Franklin Street Works, Stamford, Connecticut.
Franklin Street Works presents the original exhibition Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting, and Collective Action, on view from October 27, 2012 – January 13, 2013. The exhibition looks at three threads of alternative art space histories and examines how engaged, inclusive strategies are still being used to break down perceived barriers between contemporary art and its audiences. The themes covered in Working Alternatives are conviviality and food, artists who use media (newspapers, television, and radio) as platforms for artworks, and artist collectives in the US, explored through an open archive gathered specifically for this exhibition.
Originally Working Alternatives was designed to be the backdrop for our first annual fundraiser, but Franklin Street Works is postponing that event until the spring so the indoor/outdoor extravaganza will coincide with warmer weather and have less proximity to long-standing regional art events. If you saved the date for our fundraiser, however, don’t despair and keep Saturday, October 27, on your calendars – there is still a party! Working Alternatives will open October 27 with a free, public reception from 5:00 -8:00 pm. The evening will include a lively performance of San Francisco artist Tom Marioni’s “Beer Drinking Sonata (for 13 Players)” where thirteen people will create music by blowing into beer bottles based on Marioni’s score.
For Working Alternatives, curators Mackenzie Schneider, Terri C Smith, and Jess Wilcox explore three threads of alternative art platforms and production: conviviality and food as components in alternative art space programming and mission (Wilcox); artists using media such as radio, television, and newspapers as alternative venues for presenting work (Schneider); and artist collectives presented in a living archive with weekly changing exhibitions using archive materials (Smith). In addition to historical examples, the exhibition also includes original artworks by contemporary artists that reflect and expand on the showʼs themes. Working Alternatives’ artists include: Paul Branca, Jaime Davidovich, ESP TV, Group Material, Ann Hirsch, Alison Knowles, Tom Marioni, Anna Ostoya, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag. Artist collectives involved will constantly evolve and grow, they include: Basekamp, Conflict Kitchen, Fierce Pussy, Howling Mob Society, JustSeeds, M12 Studios, Paper Tiger, Philly Stake, The Pinky Show, Second Front, SubRosa, Temporary Services, and W.A.G.E.
Franklin Street Works is also excited to collaborate on several off-site artworks, including the live radio broadcast of an Ann Hirsch performance on WPKN, Bridgeport, and collages by Anna Ostoya in the Stamford Advocate via four, monthly ads during the show’s run.
More on Working Alternatives’ thematic sections
In the upstairs gallery next to Franklin Street Works’ café, curator Jess Wilcox presents creative and alternative projects that involve gathering and communing with food and beverages. This “Breaking Bread” theme imagines the kitchen table as an alternative space, presenting contemporary participatory, culinary art projects in juxtaposition with several 1970’s food art projects. According to Wilcox, “This thread of the show traces conviviality as a key characteristic that emerged from and continues to be central to alternative art practices. These artists use food’s dual nature as something that both equalizes and distinguishes as means to explore ideas of collaboration, collectivity, individuality, and community. Food unites us as humans in need of sustenance, but also divides and marks us culturally and politically.” Paul Branca, Tom Marioni, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag take on these ideas through works that incorporate food and drink with performance, sculpture, and interactive installations. There are also several collaborative food-related events in the works. Check out Franklin Street Works’ website in November and December for updates.
The “Art Broadcasting” segment of the exhibition is curated by Mackenzie Schneider and takes a look at artists that have used media as a way to distribute their work. Local newspapers, radio, and cable access have served as alternative spaces in and of themselves, allowing for the exhibition of work that offers alternative perspectives from the regularly scheduled programming. Beginning with a brief history from the 1970’s to today and then leading to works commissioned by emerging artists, the exhibition will explore media as an unexpected venue for art. Historic examples in the exhibition include videos by Chris Burden, cable access broadcasts produced by Jaime Davidovich, and New York Times newspaper inserts by Group Material.
The contemporary segment of “Art Broadcasting” will include three artworks placed into the Fairfield County region via newspaper, radio, and television. Brooklyn performance artist Ann Hirsch explores the contemporary portrayal of women in the media by inserting herself into popular culture through reality TV shows, Twitter and YouTube. For this exhibition Hirsch will perform on public radio for the first time thanks to Bridgeport, Connecticut’s, independent radio station, WPKN. For the television component, a video shoot featuring ESP TV will take place at Franklin Street Works. Slated for November 10, ESP TV will tape an installment of their nomadic showcase of contemporary and experimental art presenting music, performance, and video art in front of a live audience. Bringing print media into the mix, works by Anna Ostoya will be carried in the Stamford Advocate. Ostoya will create a monthly collage in the newspaper using elements from the newspaper itself, simultaneously responding to and inserting herself into the local context.
For the “collective action” component of Working Alternatives Franklin Street Works’ team put out a call for materials from artist collectives working today as an informal exploration of that landscape. There are relatively recent examples of exhibitions and projects that overlap in some ways with this archive/alternative space concept, consequently, curator and FSW Creative Director, Terri C Smith, sees this project as one addition to a layered, ongoing investigation – as one exploratory moment that reflects the pulse of creative collective action today. Materials will be presented in an open archive that visitors can explore as part of an immersive installation that includes changing, weekly exhibitions drawn from the archive’s materials. This section of the exhibition was inspired, in part, by Gregory Sholette’s book Dark Matter and PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution). PAD/D was an activist art group whose stated purpose was, “To provide artists with an organized relationship to society, to demonstrate the political effectiveness of image making, and to provide a framework within which progressive artists can discuss and develop alternatives to the mainstream art system.” The installation will, consequently, also include reproductions of documents from the PAD/D archive as an informative, historical backdrop for the contemporary materials collected by Franklin Street Works.
Franklin Street Works is excited to announce that E.S.P. TV, (http://www.esptvnyc.com/) an analog-based broadcast group in New York City, is taping their latest episode at our space Saturday, November 10, from 3-7 pm. The free, public event will include experimental sound, video, and performance artists from New York and Connecticut. The episode will be filmed in front of a live, studio audience and is slated to air on cable access stations in Fairfield County and/or Manhattan. Please join us for this unique opportunity to be part of the E.S.P.TV audience this Saturday night! The café will be open until 5:00pm during filming, but audience members are welcome to hang out until the performance has ended. Following the event, stay tuned for air times, which will be posted on Franklin Street Works’ website and social media!
Performing artists include: Lea Bertucci; Brooklyn-based band The Dreebs; artist/comedian Heather Guertin; Patrick Higgins (Z’s), with videos by LOGAN OWLBEEMOTH and more, including a handful of collaboratively inclined artists and musicians from the region.
Formed in 2011, E.S.P. TV opened a space in Williamsburg during the summer of 2012. That space serves as a locale for the production of their show and regular screenings, events, and performances. Tapings of E.S.P. TV are in front of an audience with live green-screening, signal manipulation and analog video mixing. The entire night is recorded to VHS and edited into half hour episodes for airing on cable TV in New York City. Many are filmed in a variety of locations ranging from living rooms in Brooklyn, to alternatives spaces around the world. E.S.P. TV episodes are broadcasted Tuesdays at 10pm on MNN4, TW Channel 67, NYC and www.mnn.org.
The E.S.P. TV shoot is one of several events and off-site artworks created as part of Franklin Street Works’ current exhibition, Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting and Collective Action. The E.S.P. TV taping is part of curator Mackenzie Schneider’s “Art Broadcasting” segment. In “Art Broadcasting,” Schneider examines artists using media such as radio, television, and newspapers as alternative venues for presenting work. E.S.P. TV is a contemporary example how artists use broadcasting as a way to share art with the larger public.
Join us for a conversation about food, broadcasting, and socially engaged action in contemporary art!
Do you want to know more about our current exhibition, Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting, and Collective Action? We invite you to meander through the galleries with the Franklin Street Works team this Thursday, November 29, from 6-7 pm. The event is free and open to the public.
We welcome your company and conversation so please feel free to drop by early to enjoy a beer and peruse art books in the cafe or give the exhibition’s videos and artist collective archive some extra viewing time before the tour begins.
Franklin Street Works Creative Director, Terri C Smith, and Gallery Manager, Sandrine Milet, will lead a casual tour of and conversation about the exhibition, which was co-curated by Mackenzie Schneider, Jess Wilcox, and Terri C Smith.
Most of the artists in the show have exhibited internationally, including historic figures — such as a pioneer in creating public access art programming and a founding member of the 1960s art movement of Fluxus — and emerging artists who use food, video, and action to shift our thinking about everything from performance art to women’s health issues, to food as a medium in exploring memorial and democracy.
Artists: Paul Branca, Jaime Davidovich, ESP TV, Group Material,Ann Hirsch, Alison Knowles, Tom Marioni, Anna Ostoya, Legacy Russell, Chris Sollars and Jerome Waag. Artist collectives involved will constantly evolve and grow, they include: Conflict Kitchen, Fierce Pussy, Howling Mob Society, JustSeeds, M12 Studios, Paper Tiger, Philly Stake, The Pinky Show, Second Front, SubRosa, Temporary Services, and W.A.G.E.
Join us for a multiverse performance lead on site by Bibbe Hansen and including a virtual performance by the international artist collective Second Front Saturday, December 15, 2:30 – 4:30pm
Please join Franklin Street Works on Saturday, December 15 from 2:30 – 4:30pm for an afternoon performance by the international virtual performance art collective, Second Front. The event will begin with an intro with Second Front member Bibbe Hansen, followed by a live, streaming performance by Second Front from 3:00-4:00pm, and ending with a casual Q and A session. The group is one of the contributing collectives featured as part of the “collective action” theme in Franklin Street Works’ current exhibition, Working Alternatives: Breaking Bread, Art Broadcasting and Collective Action. Second Front is the first performance art group in the online virtual world of Second Life, where participants create avatars who interact in real time across virtual/actual realities.
Founded in 2006, Second Front is a seven-member troupe that includes Patrick Lichty (US), Scott Kildall (US), Liz Solo (Canada), Bibbe Hansen (US), Yael Gilks (UK), Gaz (Italy), and Doug Jarvis (Australia). The group has performed extensively in galleries and museums all over the world. The artists perform remotely while their performance is screened in a venue where one or more members may be physically present. Their performances have been streamed live in New York, Los Angeles, Moscow, Brussels, Berlin, Vancouver and many other cities. They have been written about in publications including ArtForum, Art in America, Realtime Arts (Australia), Exibart (Italy) and Digital Art, Second Edition (by Christiane Paul).
For Franklin Street Works’ free, public event, Second Front member, Bibbe Hansen will be on site. Bibbe Hansen is a performance artist, actress and musician. She is the daughter of Fluxus artist Al Hansen, and the mother of pop musician, Beck. A longtime participant in avant-garde contemporary art communities, Hansen participated in her father’s “Happenings,” and Fluxus performances. She was Pop artist Andy Warhol’s youngest “Superstar,” starring with Edie Sedgwick in Warhol’s film “Prison.”
This is a unique opportunity to see a live performance by this international group of artists in Stamford, Connecticut. We hope you will join us at Franklin Street Works for this edifying and entertaining look at what happens when art-historically informed performance art utilizes today’s technologies via the vision of these accomplished artists!