Finally I got the approval from Matthias Fritsch (visual artist from Berlin) to upload his magnific experimental video Season 10 with music from OCHOCARAS (visual artist and music producer from Juarez). This video was presented during Project Space Festival Juarez 2016 which I was lucky to direct.
I collaborated with theater actor and director Sebastién Lange during this workshop. The workshop was about erasing the borders between the visual arts and theater. Students were either actors or visual artists. This is what it happened.
Brainstorm during workshop:
Theater exercise during the workshop:
The following is an art project that I curated last November. We are planning to do this festival every two years. For more information go to projectspacefestivaljuarez.com
Project Space Festival Juárez was lead by the question: Is it possible to have a deeper understanding of the identity of Juárez by reflecting upon the meaning of a celebration? Artists from Berlin and Juárez have been invited to collaborate and generate a visual dialogue addressing the idea of a celebration.
Juárez is known for its nightlife, which began to grow during the prohibition period in the United States. People from the north would come every weekend to Juárez to have a good time. There were many nightclubs and shows every night. It was seen as a no mans land of freedom and decadence. However, a few years ago, Juárez was rated as the most violent city of the world. The main cause of the violence was narco-traffic.
With the Project Space Festival Juárez, the organizers start a discussion about different aspects of celebration and its meaning for Juárez.
Project Space Festival surgió de la pregunta: ¿Es posible obtener un entendimiento más profundo de la identidad de Juárez mediante una reflexión de la celebración y lo que ésta significa? Artistas de Berlín y Juárez han sido invitados a colaborar y generar diálogo visual que desarrolle la idea de la celebración.
Juárez es conocido por su vida nocturna, que se empezó a gestar durante la era de la prohibición en Estados Unidos; personas del norte venían cada fin de semana a la ciudad a pasar un buen rato. En aquella época había muchos clubes nocturnos y shows en vivo diferentes cada noche.
Era como una tierra de nadie de libertad y decadencia. Sin embargo, hace unos años Juárez fue calificada como la ciudad más violenta del mundo. El principal motivo de esta violencia fue el narcotráfico.
Con el Project Space Festival Juárez, los organizadores invitan a una discusión sobre los distintos aspectos de la celebración y su significado para la ciudad.
24-28 November 2016
“Acción y Muestra”
with/con: Matthias Fritsch, Dj OCHOCARAS; VJs: Carolina Arroyo, Daniel PG, and eseChuy.
Location: Outside Museo de Arte Ciudad Juárez
with/con: Sarah Schoenfeld, Stine Marie Jacobsen, Juan Flores, Nayeli Hernández, Adrian Ricalday, Alexandra César, Ivan de Anda, Fabian Escarzaga.
Location/Lugar: Video Room at Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez
with/con: Boris Eldgasden, Alicia Fernández, DJ Pleasurekraft
“Claiming Space!” with/con: Nora Mayr, co-founder of Project Space Festival Berlin
Mayr began by presenting a little bit of the history of Project Space Festival Berlin then she focused on what is a project space? and the different independent spaces currently in Berlin. A project space should be an independent space (or not even necessary a specific space), that escapes the classical white cube, that is non-profit and preferably financially independent from institutions. Such financial independence allows a freedom in terms of creativity and timing. Such spaces are able to do what they want whenever they want. Then she described some of the 150 independent spaces in Berlin. She ended her talk by saying: “So I would say if you want to be seen, if you want to help others to be seen. If you don’t see the exhibitions or events you like. Just do it yourself. There is nothing that can stop you. No reason why not to do it. Believe that in what is interesting for you most likely is also interesting for other people out there. Test out see how it works”.
Mayr empezó presentando un poco de la historia del Project Space Festival Berlín y después pasó a la pregunta ¿qué es un Project Space? Y los distintos espacios independientes actualmente activos en aquella ciudad. Un Project Space debe ser un espacio independiente (a veces ni siquiera tiene que ser un espacio en específico), que evite ser el tradicional cubo blanco, sin ánimo de lucro y financieramente independiente de las instituciones. Tal independencia permite una mayor creatividad y libertad respecto al tiempo de exhibición al público; estos lugares tienen la libertad de hacer lo que quieran cuando quieran. Después de esto describió algunos de los 150 espacios independientes de Berlín.
Terminó su plática diciendo: “Así que les diría, si quieren ser vistos y quieren ayudar a que otros sean vistos, si no se presentan las exhibiciones o los eventos que ustedes quieren ver, háganlo ustedes mismos. Nada los puede detener. No hay motivo para no hacerlo, crean que lo que para ustedes es interesante debe serlo para otras personas. Prueben a ver qué funciona”.
Artist Talk with/con: Stine Marie Jacobsen
Jacobsen talked about three of her projects. As an artist she works with topics related to language, ethics, and violence. One of her more recent projects is called Law Shifters, which began in 2015 and it is still going. It is about working with teenagers in a workshop where they are asked to generate their own laws. They generate laws in relation to freedom and immigration. Once their laws are written, a lawyer translates them into the technical language of the law. Once the laws are ready, they are engraved or printed in different materials. The second project she talked about is called German for Artists which is a book with simple german phrases that are related to contemporary art. She mentioned that when she began doing this work, she began to improve her german a lot, therefore discovering that the best way to learn a language is by teaching it to others. The third project presented was Direct Approach where Jacobsen interviews people about violent movies they have seen. The idea is generating a safe space where people can talk about violence. At the end of the process, participants created a poster about the movie they talked about.
Jacobsen habló sobre tres de sus proyectos; como artista trabaja con tópicos relacionados con el lenguaje, la ética y la violencia. Uno de sus proyectos más recientes se llama Law Shifters, empezó en 2015 y sigue activo; en éste se trabaja con adolescentes en un taller en el que se les propone que generen sus propias leyes, generalmente las hacen referentes a la libertad y la migración, y una vez escritas un abogado las traduce al lenguaje técnico de la Ley; ya listas se graban o se imprimen en distintos materiales. El segundo proyecto del que habló fue German for Artists, que es un libro con frases comunes en alemán que pueden ser asociadas con el arte contemporáneo; mencionó que cuando empezó a realizar este trabajo su dominio del alemán mejoró mucho, descubriendo así que la mejor forma de aprender un lenguaje es enseñándolo. El tercer proyecto presentado fue Direct Approach, en el que Jacobsen entrevista a personas sobre las películas violentas que han visto; aquí la idea es crear un espacio seguro en el que las personas puedan hablar de la violencia; al terminar el proceso, los participantes crean un afiche sobre la película de la que hayan hablado.
Location/Lugar: Centro Cultural de las Fronteras
with/con: Trimegistro & Aereo vs. Akantus & Fussion; Diosa del Ring vs Zafiro; Mini Fussion & Mundano vs. Centinela & Mr. Alfa; Rabia vs. Kempo Jr. Moderator: Cassandro el Exótico
Location/Lugar: Bazar del Muno at Plaza Benito Juárez
with/con: Sébastien Lange, Perla de la Rosa, Christian Javier Valenzuela.
Location/Lugar: Telón de Arena
Very happy to be part of this project. Artists’ Exercises is a platform for sharing and distributing fragments of artists’ educational strategies-with contributions from over fifty international artists. If you want to learn more about it, follow the following link: http://www.artistsexercises.org/
This is what was presented early February 2016 in Seattle at Soil Gallery. It consists on a VJ performance specially created for the event. It is inspired by different references associated with the grunge movement, and it was presented along with a DJ set by OCHOCARAS. Participants interested in interacting with me as I was performing were asked whether they wanted to have their picture taken with a polaroid as documentation of the event.
Early January, Barrio Dulce was presented in Juárez. Heather Gray took the time to come to Juárez to do a VJ presentation with me and DJ Ochocaras. The show happened around my neighborhood and it was a lot of fun. Below is a short video about it. We would like to thank: Colectivo Jellyfish, Ivan De Anda, Jesus Cárdenas, Zystem, and Persia Campbell for helping us with this project.
Through original videography, community events, street art and urban site-specific projections, Barrio Dulce celebratespan dulce and the Mexican bakeries that support neighborhoods, community and culture. Pan dulce is hand-crafted artisanal bread made by proud bakers, and consumed daily by many people in the Tucson, Arizona and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua where the Barrio Dulce project has been produced and presented. During the project, artists Gabriela Duran and Heather Gray worked with La Estrella Bakery (http://laestrellabakeryincaz.com/) in Tucson and Panadería Aurora in Juárez and recorded interviews and video of the baking process, gathering stories from the owners and workers, gathering stories from the owners and workers. Barrio Dulce hosted screening events at the bakeries or nearby, rather than screening the videos to an outside audience at a theater or film festival. At the events, the videos are remixed and projected large-scale on the buildings. The images and sounds light up the neighborhoods, and the bakeries publically perform their stories, which are normally hidden behind walls. Neighbors gather in the streets or parking lots, eating pan dulce, and watching the projections animate a space they might visit everyday.
How does this project exist bi-nationally?
What does it mean to be artists living and working in Arizona today?
What can we expect to see from Barrio Dulce in 2016?
We are focusing on bringing Jellyfish Colectivo for their first street art engagement in Tucson, to continue the cross-border exchange and conversation. There is still a lot of information we have the needs to be presented. For example, when we were doing interviews in Juárez, we learned that bakers used to have a union that helped create fair paid jobs for bakers. We also found unique stories about each bakery. For instance, there was one bakery in Juárez that, in its golden years, would be open 24 hours. People would go at 4am to get a sweet bread and free coffee. We would like to present this part of the project either online at barriodulce.com or at a conference.
How do you feel that Barrio Dulce creates or supports social change?
I will be in Seattle next week for HEPTADECAGON: Soil Invitational. I will be presenting a new piece called Saint Monday. So exited about this.
We can hardly believe that two months have passed so quickly and the Innovators Program of 2015 has officially come to a close. We want to share with you a summary of what happened in these last two months:
The group of 7 ‘innovators’ from fields of art, education, neuroscience, physics and psychology came together in mid-August for two months to create a tool to strengthen ways of thinking divergently. The Program was based on the belief that there was something valuable in artistic thought that could be applied to everyday life and other disciplines. We first started with research into whether there are commonalities in the way that artists think. We gave this way of thinking the working title: ‘art thinking’. Following this, we developed out aspects of art thinking that we felt could be useful in education and everyday life.
The overall program schedule was formed as a loosely adapted version of the design thinking method. Design thinking is a process that follows a structure of hands-on user-focused research, prototyping, testing and redoing over and over to reach a refined result.
As a first stage, we began researching texts on creative thinking and perception, particularly from the fields of neuroscience and psychology. In addition, we interviewed artists and creative people in order to find out commonalities in how they think. We also made an open-call survey to see whether there was a difference in thinking between artists and non-artists. From this we reached 90 people from different locations across the globe.
Result: These three approaches of research, interviews and survey gave us a general map of commonalities and differences. In particular, the survey highlighted important factors such as the tendency for artists to rely on intuition and their value in going against conventions.
Weakness: The interviews were short and difficult to verify whether their responses reflected real behaviour or rather their self-perception. In the outcomes of the interviews we found as many differences as we found similarities in the thought processes between artists and non-artists. We should have immersed ourselves more in the daily habits of artists and made a long-term, first-hand observation of their routines to understand on a deeper level how they think, perceive and generate ideas.
Despite our strong findings in the survey of the connection between artists and intuition as well as going against the grain, it is impossible for us to measure the reality of these responses. It is however interesting to see that artists perceive themselves to be using intuition and breaking with conventions more frequently than others.
Following from this first mapping, four key components of the way that artists think that could be useful within education and everyday life were extracted:
• Seeing – using multiple perspectives and ways of seeing the world
• Feeling – using intuition and trusting the senses
• Detouring – using abstract, non-linear ways of thinking
• Doing – an impulse to do and build regardless of its use or logic
From these four key components we started creating different prototypes that were designed to train them. These prototypes were in turn developed and refined during the program based on tests by possible users.
The first rough prototypes came in two formats: as a workshop and an app. After feedback from the test users we merged the things that worked in both prototypes to create a final one.
For the final prototype, the team developed a tool named TILT for teachers to insert into their classes or workshops. TILT was designed to disrupt the usual class rhythm and create a playful collaborative atmosphere that heightens intuition, confidence, lateral thinking and engages the senses. This tool came in the form of a web platform with modules related to topics within intuition, lateral thinking, shifting perspectives and perception that can be linked to a class subject. The modules contain interactive videos, hands-on activities related to the topic and further research resources.
Results and future plans
This platform is still in the prototype phase and not ready to be sent out to the public just yet. Our intentions are for the tool to be beneficial and provide effective and lasting change in the individuals who use it. We can only find out which elements work byundertaking further testing, gaining feedback from the actual users and following up on their development as well. We will be testing it in a high school in Puebla, Mexico in October and in New Delhi by one of our innovators as well as in Tokyo in December.
However, we are not yet convinced that the prototype that we developed is the best form for our intentions and TILT may not be the final outcome. Instead it will be a starting point that will give us directions into which elements work and what can be transformed into something for public use in future. With that in mind, we will come back together in November to rethink our approach. With all of the different profiles of our innovators, we developed many ideas and thoughts that were placed to the side along the way in order to focus on one prototype. We now need time to let our thoughts settle and perhaps return (either collectively or individually) to some ideas developed during the program that didn’t go through the production phase. We will beproducing a reflection on our outcome and processes in the coming months as well as developing the present prototype into new forms in future.
So stay tuned! We are very excited with how far we developed together in just two months and are very much looking forward to the next chapter of the work of the Innovators 2015. You can get an idea of how we progressed and worked together each week on our blog here.
Lauren Reid & Perla Montelongo