North of Grand Street – that’s how you know it’s NORTHSIDE. Shooting for SXSW status soon, Northside Festival already has tons of live free music in bars, clubs, and on the street – including ticketed gigs like BEIRUT tonight in McCarren Park. Did we mention there will be approximately 270 bands?
Now L Magazine is extending the offerings with a huge visual art component, replete with open studios and panel discussions and, this is where we come in, art in the streets.
This weekend the streets of Williamsburg will be alive and buzzing with an array of all sorts of visual and musical exhibitions and shows to mark NorthSide Open Studios and the very popular annual event CrestFest which includes the famous Crest Hardware Art Show, now pushing a decade.
This festival includes 175 events and participating galleries and artists’ studios. For additional information regarding the complete list of events, schedules and locations click on the link below:
Skewville, the revered Street Art duo, are going LARGE this weekend on a 100′ long wall across from the Brooklyn Brewery and around the corner from the Brooklyn Bowl. Can’t get more Brooklyn than that, baby. The progress all week has been promising.
Skewville will be painting live on Saturday beginning at Noon to complete the 100 feet long mural on the corner of N. 11 and Wythe Streets. Special thanks to Crest Hardware and Montana Colors for their generous help. Read more about the project here.
A neighborhood favorite, this art show in a hardware store has grown into a festival of it’s own, with bands and food and crafts. You have to see it to believe it, so put it on your list. Street Artists are well represented in the collection too with Olek crocheting covers for some garden equipment and Aakash doing some installations in the actual garden out back. Our short list includes Skewville, Jon Burgerman, Olek, Aakash Nilhalani, Haze, General Howe, Royce Bannon, Celso, and Laura Lee Guilledge.
For more a complete list of events and schedules click on the link below:
“Racing Lines” : Jon Burgerman Scrawls on a Car (Which is Usually Not Allowed)
CrestFest and BSA invited internationally renowned artist Jon Burgerman to do his trade mark doodling and drawing on a ZipCar right in front of Crest on the sidewalk, and with arms full of Posca markers at the ready, he’s going to be out there doodling LIVE!. A little more about it here.
Brooklyn Street Art and Crest Fest invite you to attend the Launch Party for NorthSide Open Studios
After Jon mucks up the car, we’re piling a bunch of monkeys in it and taking it for a drive around the hood, probably fighting over who gets to control the radio. We’re hoping to entice people on the street to go to the afterparty we’re co-hosting with Crest for the Northside Open Studios Launch party. We’ll drink a toast to Skewville and Jon and all the artists who make this gorgeously ugly borough a hotbed of creative activity. All sales benefit Northside Open Studios.
BOX HOCKEY at Pandemic Saturday
Pandemic Gallery invites you to come and play BOXHOCKEY!!!
The greatest game you probably haven’t played yet! We’ve been lucky enough to play it, and nearly poked an eye out, but that’s just because we have very little athletic skill. You’ll probably ace it like a pro.
Plus it has custom art based on the Box Hockey game by some of the kool kids on the Street Art scene among the list of participating artists;
AV Dirty Deeks Don Pablo Pedro Keely Matt Siren Scott Chasse Stikman Tony Bones Vor138 Wrona
Los Angeles based visual artist Patrick Martinez and his dialogue with the Streets of Los Angeles.
On June 18th, Crest Fest 2011 will act as the official launch party for the Crest Hardware Art Show (C.H.A.S.). As a means to give back to the community, Crest Fest is structured as a civic-minded, volunteer based event. Proceeds from Crest Fest 2011will benefit The City Reliquary Museum and Civic Organization. This year’s program will include a live music stage, two DJ booths, local, creative art & food vendors and additional involvement from surrounding businesses and community organizations.
Estimated attendance throughout the day is 4000+. All ages are welcome. Time Out New York named Crest Fest one of the top “Cool Free Events” of the summer.
The group art show will include 100+ works from various artists of different mediums. The art will be installed contextually throughout 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including a 5,000 sq ft urban garden. Work will be on display from June 18th, 2011 until July 31st, 2011. All art is about/made with/or inspired by hardware.
Click on the link below for more info about the participating artists, schedule of events and location:
1a. John Burgerman crosses Wburg Bridge with Bananas on head
1. BOS 2011 – Bushwick Open Studios This Weekend
3. “Surrealism” and “Bushwick Art Park”
4. “Stay Gold” at Curbs & Stoops Active Space
5. “Fine-Ass Art” at Kings County Bar
6. GILF! Pop Up
7. New Ludo “Green Beery” (VIDEO)
We really are so damn lucky to be here in NYC. The cultural offerings are always varied, plentiful, inspiring and in many cases FREE. Of course the rent is too high and your bedroom can accomodate a bed or a dresser but not both, but when you hit the streets the cultural stimulation never stops.
For example, newly arrived Noo Yawker Jon Burgerman practiced his good posture and accentuated his down jacket this spring by traipsing through the streets and across the Williamsburg Bridge balancing bananas on his head.
From Jon’s most recent and exhausting email, “Sometimes the things you see (on the street) are rather lovely, like the blossom on the trees and people outside drinking coffee and graffiti so fresh the paint is still wet.”
BOS 2011 – Bushwick Open Studios This Weekend
Hats off to the BOS crew who have laid the foundations for the new artists and curators to grow upon.
BOS ’11 – Bushwick Open Studios is in it’s fifth year and many newly minted blogs and curators are discovering this once desolate industrial pit. It’s still a pit, but at least it’s not so desolate — it also helps that high rents elsewhere have created this steady river of people flowing out of the L train Morgan stop.
Speaking of which;
IMPORTANT TRAVEL ADVISORY: The L train will NOT be running between Manhattan and Brooklyn for the entire weekend. Take the JMZ trains instead and you’ll still get dropped right in the middle of it.
Below are our picks, and while our focus is primarily on Street Art artists and events, please hit the BOS site to take a look at the complete list of events and shows:
Jason Mamarella’s curated a group show featuring Billi Kid, Peru Ana Ana Peru, ASVP, Mike Die, Jos-L, dint wooer krsna, Quel Beast, Septerhed, Choice Royce, Kosbe, QRST, Trixtr Rabbit, Bankrupt Slut, CCB, Wisher 914, ZamArt opens this Friday at 3rd Eye(sol)ation 7-10 pm.
For more information, location and hours about this show click on the link below:
twenty artists from the neighborhood wrestle their unconscious.
An exhibition at Factory Fresh for Bushwick Open Studios curated by Jason Andrew and Ali Ha.
Jim Avignon, Kevin Curran, Ryan Michael Ford, Paul D’Agostino, Ben Godward, Tamara Gonzales, Andrew Hurst, Rebecca Litt, Francesco Longnecker, Norman Jabaut, J.P. Marin, Brooke Moyse, Garry Nichols, Patricia Satterlee, Pufferella, Skewville, John Sunderland, Sweet Toof, Marjorie Van Cura & Veng
BUSHWICK ART PARK
A one day community event June 4th, 1-7pm
Located at the proposed Bushwick Art Park on Vandervoort Place
Factory Fresh is sponsoring a street event with art and murals to showcase their entry on this year’s Festival of Ideas that the New Museum produced and staged at the Bowery early in May.
Kings County has hosted a number of street artists for shows at this dark haunt for about four years and tonight a few more get their shine on. You may also coax a a go-go girl or boy onto the bar to add to the visual candy on the walls. Man, that’s some fine-ass art.
Urban Viking timberwolf Dennis McNett just returned to Brooklyn from a gothic crusade across the US invoking the imagery of mythic god monsters and engaging the imaginations of the ever-legion artistic minions who follow him. The Street Artist, performance art director, professor, and proto-historic re-enactor knows how to engage the fun loving child and the warrior beast within students and artists alike. Whether invoking the Latino folk beast the Chupakabra, Nordic mythology, or McNett’s own mystical Wolfbats and Wolf-eagles, the 3-month tour successfully summoned the awestruck to participate in a loosely guided theater and public performance art wherever it went.
” The students UW each made helmets, axes, swords, and also helped to build the frost giant, the blood ice castle, and Wolfbat Sled. After processioning through State Street we went out onto the frozen lake to conjure the great frost giant Ymir from his blood ice castle and we had a ceremony of battle” – Dennis McNett
Leaving the major metropolitan centers to the effete and coddled lily-livered mama’s boys and girls, Dennis trudges into the nether regions of a vast continent to 10 outlying wolf settlements including Vermillion, SD, Bellingham,WA, Madison, WI, Jacksonville. FL, St. Louis, MO, Kansas City, MO, Emporia Kansas, Wichita, KA, Omaha, NE, Lubbock, TX, and Odessa, TX. At each encampment, McNett’s imagination and enthralling storytelling persuades locals to participate in parades, prop making, and to summon the roaring grunt from deep within all mythic monsters to slay adversaries and chest pound with victory.
By now McNett’s mask making and heavily carved contour lines have mutated to include everything they intersect with, and participants are game to call forth the roar of the inner wolfbat and light stuff on fire, with a torch in one hand and a shank of grizzled wilderbeast in the other. During the tour the McNett adventures involved sacrificial burnings, fortune telling, piñatas, the guttural roaring of metal bands, custom trains, chupakabras, Viking vessels, blood ice castles, and of course, UFOs.
“This event involved a lot. The guys at Escapist allowed me to have a show of work at their space – so that was the end spot for the nights chaos. We built a Wolfbat War Vessel that started at the Inkubator where there were two alien pinatas built at Wichita State Univeristy. Sedlec Ossuary (a metal band from Topeka) was set up inside the vessel and students from KCAI, Emporia State, and Wichita State showed up in Wolfbat warrior regalia.
The local crowd from the First Friday art walk gathered as we slayed the aliens and proceeded down the street with the band growling. The street was overrun and traffic had to move at the pace of the Wolfbat mob. After making our way to Escapist we slayed 3 more alien pinatas, burned a sacrificial war eagle in the street, and lit off tons of fireworks. Thank you Deluxe, Vans, and Volcom for filling the pinatas and the support. Thank you Ericka, James, and Miguel and Wichita State, KCAI, and Emporia state students for showing up and getting down” – Dennis McNett
“Omaha is known as the “Gate City of the West” because it is where Union Pacific Railroad built and started the first transcontinental railroad, making it a major hub leading west by train. For the my visit to the University of Nebraska, Omaha we launched the first ever Wolfbat Railway. I built a print covered train steam engine and all the students made cowboy hats. On the last day we paraded the train to the new business center where it will live” – Dennis McNett
“The Chupakabra have joined with the Wolfbat in order to track the Jackalope and reclaim their territories in west Texas. The Jackalope have come down from Wyoming and have been over breeding the lands and pushing the Chupakabra out. Once the head Jackalope heard the Chupakabra had put a hit out for his life he fled. Unknowingly the travel agent booking his flight to Stonehenge was actually working for the Wolfbat and booked the flight to the Stonehenge replica in Odessa, TX where the clan are awaiting his arrival” – Dennis McNett
We’re creating an open and inclusive event that benefits the neighborhood by sharing artistic projects and encouraging community interaction and dialogue. BOS brings the neighborhood’s thousands of artists and performers out into the streets and in view of each other, other community residents, and the general public.
About Arts in Bushwick
Arts in Bushwick is an all volunteer organization that serves and engages artists and other neighborhood residents through creative accessibility and community organizing. It is our goal to create an integrated and sustainable neighborhood, and to bring together all Bushwick residents and stakeholders to counter development-driven displacement.
Arts In Bushwick was founded in the fall of 2007, as a result of grassroots efforts to produce the 2007 Bushwick Open Studios festival. The organization was founded by a group of roughly fifteen local artists and community organizers, most of whom were involved in planning the 2007 Bushwick Open Studios, and has continued to operate on an all-volunteer, non-hierarchical, break-even basis to today, the fifth annual Bushwick Open Studios we have produced. Arts In Bushwick maintains a completely open structure, inviting all community members to bring their ideas and to participate in collaboratively producing the organization and its activities.
To learn more about all the events, participating artists and venues for BOS 2011 please click on the link below:
Cockle Bay Wharf &
aMBUSH Gallery for Project 5
A thrilling three day outdoor sensation of live street art
and cranking tunes.
For the 3rd time, Project 5 is bringing street art to Sydneysiders.
See international and home grown street art legends KID ZOOM, GHOSTPATROL, JAMES JIRAT PATRADOON and DEB hard at play letting loose on four mural panels spurred on by Sydney’s very own Future Classic Deejays
Project 5 proudly supports Information & Cultural Exchange (ICE) in a public art auction for charity at aMBUSH Gallery on 3 March 2011.
Live Art Event
Where: The Promenade Level, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour
When: Opening night Friday 25 February, 6-9pm then
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 February, 12noon-3pm
Live webcast on www.cocklebaywharf.com.au
Where: aMBUSH Gallery, 4A James Street, Waterloo Sydney
When: Thursday 3 March, 6-9pm
More info: www.project5.com.au
4A James Street Waterloo
A Sydney NSW 2017
T 02 8399 0707
Join Mint&Serf and Steve & Jaime from BrooklynStreetArt at District 36 for this official opening to celebrate the new Mint & Serf installation.
Return to the roots of electronic music and join Mint&Serf and BrooklynStreetArt as we celebrate the unveiling of the Mirf Room at District 36, the newly opened 14,000 square foot dance club in the heart of Manhattan.
CASEY SPOONER OF FISCHERSPOONER
DANCES WITH WHITE GIRLS.
29 West 36th Street (Between 5th & 6th)
New York, NY 10018
The annual peregrination from all corners of the art world has begun to balmy Miami. Artists and the collectors who love them have converged in this friendly city to promote, sell, admire and make art during The Art Basel Art Fair.
Art Basel (Nov 30-Dec 5) is one of the most important art shows in the USA with about 250 art galleries showing more than 2000 artists from all over the world. Very impressive! Equally impressive are the satellite art fairs and events that orbit around. We’d like to point your attention to the art fairs and events that will include Urban and Street Art in their shows and to the organizations whose main focus is to celebrate and promote the work of Street Artists.
Check BSA out over the next few days for updates on who’s getting up in Miami.
A favorite of BSA because of it’s accessibility to everyone, for the past three years Primary Flight has produced murals by hundreds of renowned artists and relative unknowns, easily gliding between Street Art and Graffiti culture and covering a ton of walls for the public to see. You may try to see it all in one day of zig-zagging the streets, but pack some energy bars.
Culminating in the largest curated street mural project in the world, the collective is now expanding beyond their Wynwood origins to launch their first-ever headquarters in the Design District.
“This year is about growth: Miami is set in motion, and Primary Flight paved the way,” says Books IIII Bischof, principal of Primary Flight. “Since our involvement, Wynwood has become a street art Mecca with legs of its own.”
From their web site and press release:
“Primary Flight is Miami’s original open air museum and street level mural installation that takes place annually throughout the Wynwood Arts District and the Miami Design District. Primary Flight is arguably the world’s largest event of its kind, having featured over 250 world class artists from around the globe since its inception, the majority of whom travel to Miami during Art Basel. Artists from all walks of contemporary art headline our annual event, collaborating on high profile walls throughout Miami’s urban landscape. Maps outlining the installation are circulated, providing patrons with an opportunity to view the works in progress.”
Make sure to check out the RETNA SOLO EXHIBIT
Outdoor murals and installations this year by Tristan Eaton, Charles Craft, Shepard Fairey, Typoe, Michael Vasquez and Tatiana Suarez.
A creation of Billi Kid, NYC street artist, curator, life-long doodler, art enthusiast and design junkie, this show takes basketball backboards and repurposes them as art via skillz of a number of Street Artists whose work is regularly on BSA. The show is curated by Jim and Karla Murray.
Text below from their press release:
LEADING STREET AND GRAFFITI ARTISTS
Public Works Department, announces its collaboration with the NBA to produce and curate 36 original street and graffiti artworks entitled the “Art of Basketball”. This extraordinary exhibition and event will open to the public on December 2nd and continue thru December 5th 2010, concurrent with Art Basel Miami, the leading art and cultural happening in North America. The exhibition and special events will take place in a dedicated venue located at 2048 NW Miami Court, in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami. A portion of the net proceeds from the sale of the artworks will benefit NBA Cares.
Cutting edge contemporary is the moniker, and it is possible that the 10th year of SCOPE Art Show will turn out some exceptional surprises.
Cementing its future with an 80,000 square foot pavilion across the street from Art Miami, SCOPE Miami’s high-profile venue is centrally located in the heart of the Wynwood Gallery Arts District. Running concurrently with Art Basel Miami, SCOPE’s Midtown Miami home is just steps from The Rubell family collection, Margulies Collection at the Warehouse and Goldman Collection. The fair opens to Press and VIPs on Tuesday, November 30 with the FirstView benefit.
Location Wynwood Gallery Arts District | 3055 North Miami Avenue | Miami, Florida 33127
A New York favorite, Fountain is the one we always check out for punk, funk, and unvarnished bolts of creativity. With a number of Brooklyn galleries, artists, and undercover rebels getting into this mix, you never know what you are getting, but there will be something mind blowing.
Fountain Miami 2010 exhibitors include Christina Ray, Front Room, Steven Gagnon, Leo Kesting , McCaig-Welles, Bego Art Project, Causey Contemporary, Jeanine Taylor Art Gallery, Cherie Dacko, Evo Love, Allison Berkoy, Greg Haberny, Phillip Simmons, We-Are-Familia, The Murder Lounge, Thaddeus Kwiat Projects, Wet Heat Project, Alice Chilton Gallery, Tinca Art, Francesca Arcilesi Fine Art, Susan Radau, Lindsey Brooke Wilner, and highly anticipated immersive video art projects presented by DCKT Contemporary. As logistical partners to the art fair, international art handlers Hedley’s Inc. will assist galleries in producing their large-scale installations.
Grace Exhibition Space, in conjunction with the Alice Chilton Gallery, will have 10 artists from around the world performing during the weekend’s evening events. Caveman robots and the full scale destruction of a car will be primary artist performances. Artists will include Adina and Ariel Bier, Erik Hokanson, Jason Bell and the Estonian Art Group Non Grata, Sarah Trouche, Quinn Dukes Marni Kotak, Kikuko Tanaka and Hiroshi Shafer.
Visitors entering the front lawn of the Fountain Art Fair space will be blown away with a 125 foot long street art installation by Chris Stain, Dick Chicken, Gaia and Know Hope.
About Fountain Art Fair
Fountain is an exhibition of avant garde artwork in New York during Armory week and Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach.
In this photography show accompanied by new works, this West Hollywood gallery will be boasting some of the non-reverential rough-riding boldface talents that give a slicing edge to the current Street Art scene. Just look at the names and you know what you’re getting. Or, maybe you don’t.
297 NW 23rd ST
MIAMI, FL 33127
OPENING RECEPTION FRIDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2010
7 – 10PM
“Now I Remember” photo installation featuring:
NECK FACE / JERRY HSU / TODD JORDAN/ CURTIS BUCHANAN / JEN REYNOLDS/ TINO RAZO / KEVIN “SPANKY” LONG
and new works by:
OSGEMEOS / JUDITH SUPINE / CLEON PETERSON/ BAST / SKULLPHONE / ALBERT REYES
Hours: Weds. Dec.1 – Sat. Dec.4 : 11am – 8pm
Sun. Dec. 5: 12pm – 4pm New Image Gallery
“I’ve always been an artist in some form, or certainly always creative – it’s a lifestyle, I don’t think you choose art, its something you do, it is life. Well my life,” Hush explains to BSA. This week he’s been putting work up in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and tonight is his NYC solo exhibition debut at The Angel Orensanz Foundation For Contemporary Art. We’re not missing it.
172 Norfolk Street
New York, NY 10002
Rae McGrath at Brooklynite Saturday: Unconventional Conviction
The gallery is completely re-painted and Rae is standing on his head waiting for it to dry. Unconventional is right – the last two years as a ringmaster and co-proprietor of Brooklynite Gallery have put him squarely in the middle of a tornado of punchy Street Art and a panoply of personalities – always with a very defined focus, high level of quality, and total conviction. As a curator, marketer, and host, this modern carny is a font of new ideas and angles, backed up with straight up elbow grease.
Now Rae is taking a minute or two to let people see what snaps his elastic mind when it comes to making art. You can see how the curator and the artist merge in this poppy geometric collection; Bast, Miss Bugs, Dain, Ana Peru Peru Ana, Various & Gould and others each have a shout out. It’s all here; the dense graphic punch, the vibrant blue collar reverence, the deliberate slicing and refracting off a funhouse mirror ball. Always a surprise and always a reward, artist Rae MaGrath’s debut is bound to be a funkadelic bootilicious jam.
‘UNCONVENTIONAL CONVICTION” this Saturday November 20 6 to 9 pm at Brooklynite Gallery on 334 Malcom X Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11233. Tel 347 405 5976
Bushwick Block Party Saturday
Tacos! And freshly painted street art by some of your favorite names on a street in Brooklyn. What’s not to like?
Factory Fresh and app maker All City Street Art are throwing a party for you and all you have to do is show up on the block Saturday afternoon.
Brooklyn Street Artists Paint a 200 foot wall and the Burning Candy Crew debut their new film!
• Live painting
• Calexico taco cart
• Art for sale from participating artists
• Burning Candy’s Dots film premiere
James Brown was the Godfather of Soul, Aretha is the Queen of Soul, Michael was the King of Pop, and Jennifer Lopez is a judge on a TV talent show. Now we learn that one of New York’s first recognized street artists, having blanketed the L.E.S. with disconcerting shadow figures in the 1980s, is actually called “The Godfather of Street Art”. Thank Allah you don’t have to be the one in charge of handling these honorariums because you know that has got to be a thankless task. On the occasion of “Richard Hambleton New York”, The Dairy Gallery released this video.
Richard Hambleton. Image Courtesy of the Dairy Gallery
And Speaking of Dairy, Have You Seen the new Ron English Cow Painting?
A lady, perhaps in her late 60’s or early 70’s with small wire-rimmed glasses stood on the pavement grinning in front of our flickering video projection time-lapses of Street Artists putting up work. She only turned from the screen once to make sure that her posse was also watching. When the video ended, with shoulders pinch up toward her grey fluffy hair, she clapped her hands quietly in front of her smiling mouth, and went back to the sidewalk to talk to her friends about it. She asked them if they had seen it. They had. A bit of wonder for us, her excitement.
We like to think that all of the artists involved in the first ever Nuit Blanche festival in New York received a similar experience for all of their efforts. As artists, few things make us happier than when we get to see the faces of the public enjoying the art being presented.
In New York there aren’t many venues where both the artists and the public get to mingle and talk directly with each other in an open and unrestricted environment: No VIP rooms, no PR handlers, no spokespeople, no velvet ropes, admission tickets, no one looking down their nose. The organizers of “Bring to Light” made this possible for one glorious night in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Perhaps 10,000 art lovers got out of their homes to enjoy one evening of free enlightenment without restriction.
With a five-hour convulsing light carnival by 60 artists, many of whom are well known for avant garde innovation, “Bring to Light” brought to life this former maritime hub of North Brooklyn that once blustered with lumber yards and rope factories. Now a rusty hopscotch of weathered industrial architecture, burned out lots, and faded hopes, Greenpoint in recent years has bloomed with the lifeblood of artists overflowing from neighboring Williamsburg. Aided by a crisp autumn night and Greenpoint’s Open Studios weekend, where artists open their doors to the public, “Bring To Light” was suddenly pulsating with the feet of thousands of art fans. All manner of projectors blasted on the walls with myriad images, forms, and shapes, some breathtakingly beautiful. Other artists created sculptures and installations that worked as light vessels and amorphous creatures while collaborative dancers entertained groupings of appreciative observers.
The show’s organizer DoTank:Brooklyn, calls itself a public vessel for interdisciplinary exploration, and Nuit Blanche seemed like the perfect showcase for everything these (mostly) urban planners are about. More interested in taking action than talking about it, their collective sense of focused urgency is like a refreshing gale of cool October air. Since they actually know how to plan and work with local civic and citizen groups, they were able to pull off New York City’s very first Nuit Blanche event in less than 3 months, and on a shoestring budget.
While DoTank had the initial idea, the Nuit Blanche ball started rolling when festival producer Ethan Vogt got involved to steer the effort in late July. DoTank had experience organizing participator events in public space and Ethan brought his background in film production and a passion for creating cinematic experience outside of traditional venues.
DoTanker Ken Farmer, originally from Memphis, Tennessee usually is riding his bike around the city or working as a consultant at Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization. He likes to ride his bike around the city and scope out cheap places to eat, or “blue collar hollas”, as he calls them.
A Boston born New Yorker since ’02, Ethan Vogt is a filmmaker who makes documentaries for organizations, music videos with found footage, and has produced three feature films with Andrew Bujalski. Now developing a masters thesis about Media in Performance and Architecture at NYU, Vogt hopes to produce Nuit Blanch for at least the next couple years in New York.
Brooklyn Street Art spoke to both guys about the success of their first Nuit Blanche in New York.
Brooklyn Street Art: How do you feel about the event, now that you are a few days on the other side of it?
Ken Farmer: We could not be more excited about how things turned out. Great weather, great crowd, great support from the community and a great response from both people who attended as well as those who have seen post-event coverage.
Ethan Vogt: Yeah, we are all just thrilled with how it came together – I’ve heard nothing but positive things from artists, visitors, and Greenpoint residents. I would say it exceeded our expectations and we were just in awe of what we had “organized” and “produced.”
Brooklyn Street Art: How long has this event been in the planning?
Ken Farmer: The idea began in July and planning really began in August. We were on pins and needles until the last minute getting the permits approved due to apprehension about an event with no prior history in NYC. Luckily, some key leaders like Councilman Stephen Levin and Borough President Marty Markowitz really believed in the event and helped us get over the hump.
Brooklyn Street Art: Would you call yourselves artists?
Ken Farmer: I’d say…artist and organizer…maybe that’s a curator?…of public spaces.
Ethan Vogt: Sure, I’d say I’m an artist and creative producer. I actually was going to do a projection project for the festival before I got too busy producing. You can see some of my projections and photography online. I feel like my art-making allows me to be a better producer, I often think about what I would want from a producer if I was the artist and then try to be that kind of producer.
Brooklyn Street Art: Who had the idea of launching New York’s first Nuit Blanche, and why did you think it was important to pursue and execute?
Ken Farmer: DoTanker Ted Ulrich organized a similar event in Atlanta and other team members had experienced Nuit Blanche events in other countries. We knew that it provided such a creative transformation of public spaces. Given our interest in short-term interventions to transform the way public space is experienced…we had to try.
Brooklyn Street Art: Can you talk about one of your favorite projections or performances from Saturday night?
Ken Farmer: We had some pretty well known light artists like Chris Jordan and Ryan Uzilevsky, but the thing that amazed me was the way the art, performers and crowd coalesced into a seamless experience. It wasn’t about individuals or feature pieces, it was about the transformed landscape that emerged collectively. This was our curatorial goal, but the reality far exceeded our expectations.
Ethan Vogt: So many of the pieces were amazing, it is hard to choose. I loved the percussion performance, “Scaffolding” by Tom Peyton with Terence Caulkins, Eddie Cooper, Lily Faden, Leo Kremer, and Mike Skinner, I also thought that the way that crowds were interacting with “A Small Explosion” by Kant Smith, “Light & Glass Dance” by Miho Ogai, “Oculus” by Nathaniel Lieb & Sarah Nelson Wright, and “Untitled (Drums, Lights) by Peter Esveld & Philippo Vanucci was remarkable and a very vibrant way of people connecting to artwork that I haven’t seen very many other places in my life.
Brooklyn Street Art: What role does public art play in the life of a neighborhood or a city?
Ken Farmer: It should be a manifestation of its surroundings showcasing the local identity. And it should compel us to appreciate our surroundings–aesthetically, whimsically, critically. But it is frustrating how often it falls short.
Ethan Vogt: I’m no expert on this but I think public art should encourage reflection, debate, and connection. New public spaces like the “High Line” in Chelsea are the kind of thing that I believe embodies this and I would love to someday be involved in producing a project like that.
Brooklyn Street Art: We’re always talking about the intersection between Street Art, Urban Art, Public Art, Performance, Projection Art – do you think that there is a growing interest among city dwellers in reclaiming public space for art?
Ethan Vogt: Yes, Yes, Yes! – I think this festival really struck a chord and that people looking for an authentic, non-consumer, artistic, participatory, and community experience.
Ken Farmer: I think there is a growing interest in authentic, and interactive public art. We are in a beautiful era of D.I.Y. culture. The big, corporate commissioned public art pieces in lifeless lower Manhattan plazas are old news. People want something more relatable and more dynamic. We are seeing a proliferation of low-cost, pop-up elements in public spaces. Some may see it as art, others as amenity, either way…its terrific.
Brooklyn Street Art: Were you surprised how difficult it could be to pull this off?
Ken Farmer: The difficulty lies in the need to do everything by the books. We intend to make this an annual tradition that gets better every year. So we dotted the “i’s” and crossed the “t’s”, which was costly, fiscally as well as temporally, but essential to building community support.
Ethan Vogt: It was extremely difficult to get all the pieces together to make this work but the reward of the experience was well worth it and things will certainly be easier next year.
Brooklyn Street Art: Do you think most people who see the show have any idea the amount of work that goes into it?
Ethan Vogt: I’m not sure if they have a sense of the work but I don’t care, I’m just glad they came out and had a night to remember. Hopefully they might continue to support us next year.
Ken Farmer: Hopefully they don’t know how much work goes in. I think the biggest barometer of the event’s success was how calm it felt. It was amazing to have that big of a crowd, with that many artists and that much excitement, yet have things seem so orderly.
We are extremely appreciative of how the crowd received the event…Thank You New York!