Projects

LUXURY CONDOS, AND THE REST…..A great big thank you to everyone that came out to support our initial series of multi-media events, open public space, art and community.

 

Transmitter Park  October 10, 2009.

THANK YOU to all our sponsors,   and…… to the many, many helping hands that made it all possible.

A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU  to all the participating artists in this series:

Keith Rodan; Jonas Mekas; Angela Christlieb; Elle Burchill; Moira Tierney; Jim Jennings; Sara Kraushaar; Ethan Pettit; Matt Bua; Eve Andree Laramee; Slim Francis; James Catholic & The Sects; Vamos Architects

Luxury Condos, and the rest…..Images from opening day at Transmitter Park October 10th

THANKS EVERYBODY !!!!!!!!!    Vamos Architects and their team above with finishing touches on  “The Park Pod” installation.

Below: Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, Eve Andree Laramee is seeking a team of volunteers to work collectively on a project on dowsing for water in Brooklyn, to take place in Spring 2010.  This experimental project titled, Finding a Diamond in the Middle of a Muddy Road, will be conducted with a skeptical eye, yet an open mind, and will involve mapping the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area using dowsing rods and GPS unit.

 

 

 

Transmitter Park – opening at 4 pm.

  • 5:30 pm – Artist Eve Andree Laramee, presentation on freshwater springs feeding Newtown and Bushwick Creeks – introducing larger project for Spring 2010

Ongoing art installations – “The Park  Pod” by Vamos Architects, and Weston Wooley “billboards”

6pm – 8 pm

  • Opening Reception
  • Music by Slim Francis and James Catholic & the Sects
  • Wine sold by OSA

8 pm – 9 pm

  • Films: Keith Rodan, Jonas Mekas, Angela Christlieb, Elle Burchill, Moira Tierney, Jim Jennings,  and Sara Kraushaar. (Dress warm and bring a blanket!)

After party  – Coco 66, 66 Greenpoint Avenue.

Luxury Condos: Flyers Revealed!

Hey all!  Pass these around, email them, blog about them…the exhibition in Transmitter Park is 2 weeks away.  Let’s make this a special event for WG Artists and the community.  Spread the word.

 

 

 

Luxury Condos, and the rest
The Making of a Place

“Time forks perpetually towards innumerable futures,” wrote Jorge Luis Borges in his short story, “The Garden of the Forking Paths.” Considering the range of futures from sustainability to dissolution, Woven Spaces, a local not-for-profit arts initiative, encourages artists to conceive of multiple possible worlds from within their local community. This is the central concept behind “Luxury Condos, and the rest” an exhibition that imagines the landscape of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg of tomorrow by the talented local artists of today.

Woven Spaces, in preparation for the exhibition, is pulling together visual artists, architects, filmmakers, dancers, and performance artists who have lived in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area for at least three years, to respond to the challenge of dreaming up where the community is headed. Each artist is invited to predict the future of this place, reflecting, evaluating, or dreaming up directions. The artist’s paths are innumerable: from Utopian to apocalyptic or surrealistic, to comical or satirical. Whether re-conceiving the urbanism of high-rise luxury architecture set beside industrial abandonment, avenues closed to traffic and covered in grass, or a complete replacement of what is here by new infrastructures and socio-economic groups; we welcome all visions.

During the course of the economic downturn, Woven Spaces identified artists’ concerns over exhibition space for more experimental forms of presentation and varied financial support for the arts. We are encouraging viewings and events in non-traditional spaces and are working to secure industrial interiors, storefronts, rooftops, streetscapes and the riverfront areas. We believe interconnectivity with the various sectors of community will expand audiences, and foster new communicative and creative relationships that enjoy and support the arts.

The first exhibition of the series will be held over three consecutive Saturdays in October of 2009 in Greenpoint’s Transmitter Park, as well as interior spaces yet to be confirmed. In May and October of 2010 we will hold the second and third exhibitions. The programs include film, video, performance, painting, and various types of mixed media and installation. We envision a series of panel discussions with artists, art professionals, and community activists alongside the exhibitions. The events are free and open to the public, and will be thoroughly publicized through local publications, email blasts, and using on line resources. The artists are selected through our own curatorial scouting and local gallery recommendations. We are also reviewing work through open submission calls, listed in the Brooklyn Arts Council and Woven Spaces websites.

If you would like more information, send us an email at wovenspaces@gmail.com.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS – WEBSITES AND BLOGS

Woven Spaces at McCarren Park, Environmental Health Festival, 1998

Woven Spaces participated in The Environmental Health Festival at McCarren Park in 1998, which included the communities of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Community groups, artists, and political offices participated in this all-day event, covering topics specifically dealing with the neighborhood. Presentations and discussions included the waterfront plan, community open spaces and environmental cleanup, as well as individual and organizational visions for community development.

 

Sidewalk Intervention, 1989

Saturday, October 17th -Gallery opening 5-7:30 pm

Please join us tomorrow for an exhibition of Ethan Pettit’s oldest interactive project from Williamsburg, and Matt Buas’s photographs of the Williamsburg Bridge restoration.

Location:  Greenpoint Reformed Church Gallery; 136 Milton Street – right off Manhattan Ave.

A Sidewalk Intervention in Williamsburg – 1989 – by Ethan Pettit

Brooklyn art has long embraced architecture and space as a working premise. It is one of the things that early on separated Brooklyn from Downtown Manhattan. Critical life in Manhattan in the 1980s and early 90s circled around language and imagery. In Brooklyn, there was revisiting of the physical world that the minimalists and conceptualists of the 1960s had once known. Nor is it surprising that space should have become an enduring theme in Brooklyn, since this was the one thing we had that Manhattan did not have. Once upon a time, of course, Manhattan artists also had lots of raw industrial space, and this affected their work and ideas.

But it was in Williamsburg in the 1990s that the urban environment was engaged by artists with more force and conviction than at any time in the history of modern art in New York City — at least since the work of Gordon Matta-Clarke. But even that artist, like his conceptualist colleagues, was basically an “idea artist” whose work in the urban matrix was calculated for the gallery. What occurred in Williamsburg was an urban intervention that was utopian and social, and whose idea necessarily went beyond just a formula for end-gaming the art world.

The enormous warehouse events, installations, spectacles, street fairs, impromptu restaurants, lounges, and theaters of Williamsburg appeared one after another, rapidly, in almost every imaginable location, in every possible media, even on the bridge and on boats and barges on the river, in a frenzy of activity that lasted from about 1989 to 1994. Any given “thing” might change its form or location overnight. No licenses or permits were involved, police presence was almost nonexistent,and there was an abundant supply of vacant industrial space that came cheap and sometimes free.

The events anticipated “social networking” on a physical and visceral level. The phenomenon was too big to be called an art movement or a school, since it involved hundreds of people and dozens of entities. Writing in Domus magazine in 1998, the architect Suzan Wines simply called it “immersive culture.” By the mid 90s, however, “Immersionism” was already losing the race against gentrification.

These were not, however, the good old days. The 90s were a nasty decade of political correctness and the art of the insult, and the downtown tabloids did not look kindly across the river. Nonetheless, the Williamsburg scene had dear friends and allies at two venues on the Lower East Side — The Collective Unconscious and Gargoyle Mechanique.

Today it is no longer a secret that the art scene in New York City has moved to Brooklyn. For the first time in the history of the city, the center of contemporary art making has shifted off-island. This in itself is an “urban space” phenomenon whose full implications are yet to be felt.

Rummaging through my archives, I discovered a modest piece of public installation art that I did out of my storefront on Bedford Avenue in 1989. By the standards of later Williamsburg urban art, it is a mere log cabin. And it is admittedly somewhat still attached to the formulas of 1970s conceptual art to which many of us looked in those days. Though it ignores the postmodern 80s during which it was made. Within a year or two, greater visions than mine were to give a bold new shape to Williamsburg art and culture.

I tout this piece, therefore, only for its historical interest. I rented the storefront at 209 Bedford Avenue in 1983 for $300 a month. Exactly 20 years later, I paid a visit to this storefront and discovered a Bengali restaurant. Since my interest in the history of colonialism extends to India as well as to Williamsburg, I was able to engage the owner in friendly conversation, and discovered that he was paying $3,000 a month — a ten-fold rent increase in two decades. Today, the storefront is a national chain sandwich shop, and I am already nostalgic for the days of Bengali restaurants on Bedford Avenue.

Ethan Pettit, 1 October 2009

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