“Glass lantern slides created by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection depicting a variety of Florida’s natural features, including scenes of rivers and river banks, forests, nature trails, fishing, sand dunes, and swimming. Most have no further identification.”
In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles away from land, and humans, there is enormous floating reminder of the indelible mark we leave from afar. Called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the Plastic Vortex and the world’s largest landfill, the North Pacific Gyre is a combination of currents and carelessness that makes up what some suggest is a wasteland filled with plastic. Rife with fantastic sounding aquatic traps such as “ghost nets,” it is suggested that its collection is of such a scale that, as of yet, no one has been able to calculate its true size.
In a song by local Park Slope musicians Whale Belly, there is an interesting lyric “I know what I hate, I just don’t know why.”
The upcoming show Whale Belly is slated to perform in, Post Plastic Project at Littlefield in Brooklyn, plans to remedy just such ignorance through a feast of artists, musicians and comedians curated to raise money, and awareness for the environmental organization, Project Kaisei.
Discovered by chance in 1997 by oceanographer Charles Moore, the North Pacific Gyre is Project Kaisei’s main focus. Kaisei itself began in late 2008 when co-founders, Doug Woodring, George Orbelian, and Mary T. Crowley, found a need to bring attention and research to the growing problem of plastic pollution. In 2009 Kaisei launched its brigantine vessel (the namesake of Kaisei, meaning “Ocean Planet”) and an oceanography vessel called “New Horizon,” donated from partnering organization Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The mission was to collect and calculate data on the amount, type, and breakdown rates of plastic litter that is trapped in the middle of the ocean.
Some findings maintain that certain types of plastic are breaking down at rates much faster than imagined. Most recently the rate was a year or less for some materials to completely disintegrate and penetrate waters and wildlife, raising concerns about toxin levels in fish and other saltwater animals. Utilizing a variety of technological outlets to get their message across, Team Kaisei reports directly from the boat with updates on their findings, and even has a voyage tracker via Google Earth that allows you pinpoint the location, and view interactive message from crew members.
When I asked Lindsay Bourget, one of the curators of the Post Plastic Project, “Why Kaisei?” she answered directly, “I started this project because I wanted to find someone to donate to that made the most sense and they [Project Kaisei] made the most sense to me, because their number one goal is to capture the plastic vortex and that’s exactly what I was most concerned about, so it seemed like a natural fit.” Some debate remains about the severity and size of the litter in the North Pacific Gyre, along with concerns about disturbing wildlife in the effort to collect, as well as the idea that full collection of all the plastic is a Sisyphean task. Nevertheless when I asked Lindsay about her concern for the validity of such projects in the face these doubts as well as major global disasters (particularly oil spills) she acknowledged “it can be really discouraging, but then you think there’s only one way to really start making a change.”
Co-curator Laina Karavani adds, “Sometimes artists and musicians are the only one’s that people really listen to and can help illicit change, and that’s what this is all about, moving towards that change.”
Post Plastic Project will demonstrate by example, using soy ink, and semi-recycled paper in their printing materials through Long Island City based, ColorCoded, and party materials (cups, plates, etc) provided by SustyParty, a New York based company that provides a line of eco-friendly, biodegradable party products made from corn oil, tapioca starch and other recycled materials, along with a bin to collect and ensure compost.
The artists and musicians are pooled from both Lindsay and Laina’s art and design background. Lindsay currently works in packing and architectural design, and went to Colorado Institute of Art, while Laina is photographer originally from New Jersey. Laina moved to San Francisco to attend the Art Academy of San Francisco, and found herself in an environment of high sustainability expectations. Drawing from this experience and from a childhood where recycling was the norm, Laina and Lindsay were eventually introduced by a professor who thought they might be a good match (their birthdays are only two days apart.) As the project grew larger both realized that this kind of grassroots organization for a less dire cause might be exactly what people were looking for.
The show is a powerhouse in itself with fifteen artists, four bands, and two MC’s. Mostly local fare, the artists were friends of or approached directly by Lindsay and Laina, and much to their surprise, nearly all said yes. With the increase of sustainable forms of living becoming the norm in Brooklyn it was easy to see that Lindsay and Laina’s project provided the perfect outlet for supporters looking for a more manageable idea of altruism.
The line up for music is strong and ranges from the pipes of a classically trained opera singer (singing in a rock band of course) Little Grey Girlfriend, the upbeat and introspective words and sound of Whale Belly (Park Slope), The Robin Electric with nostalgic twinges of their Cleveland roots, and string band turned electric from Chicago, Panoramic and True.
Artists include talent like artist and curator Ben Peterson, Christine Nguyen, illustrator Mariana Silva, award-winning motion graphics designer Mauricio Leon, illustrator Travis Simon, Daria Tessler and many more.
The show takes place this Sunday June 5th at Littlefield in Brooklyn
Doors open at 6, with a free art reception and $10 cover for the music.
All proceeds will benefit the effort of Project Kaisei.
|When: Tuesday, May 24
Where: Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater, 165 W. 65 St., upper level (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.), New York City
What time:7 p.m.With Russell Banks, Col. Morris Davis, Peter Godwin, Beth Gutcheon, Rula Jebreal, Dahlia Lithwick, John Buffalo Mailer, Kati Marton, Jack Rice, Lili Taylor, Dianne Wiest, and others, with original artwork by Jenny Holzer.
Tickets: $12 general; $9 students; $8 seniors; $7 ACLU/PEN/FSLC Members. More information and tickets at www.filmlinc.com/films/series/reckoning-with-torture
“Reckoning With Torture: Memos and Testimonies From the ‘War on Terror,’” an evening of readings from formerly secret government documents detailing the scope and human cost of the United States’ post-9/11 torture program
Acclaimed director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Fair Game) will direct this performance of “Reckoning” for the stage and is filming the event for a future documentary. Celebrated writers including Russell Banks, Peter Godwin, Beth Gutcheon, Rula Jebreal, Dahlia Lithwick, John Buffalo Mailer, and Kati Marton will join actors Lili Taylor and Dianne Wiest, along with former CIA case officer Jack Rice and former military prosecutor Col. Morris Davis for readings from formerly secret government documents detailing the scope and disastrous human cost of the U.S. torture program. The artist Jenny Holzer, whose work was the subject of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2009, has created original artwork for the “Reckoning” project.
Come learn about how to apply for housing opportunities through The Actors Fund, including The Schermerhorn, a permanent housing residence in downtown Brooklyn with reserved affordable space for actors and entertainment professionals. The Schermerhorn is co-sponsored by Common Ground and the The Actors Fund.
Housing at the The Schermerhorn is available to actors,screenwriters, musicians, dancers, editors, composers, set designers, producers, singers, directors and other performing arts and entertainment professionals. (READ MORE.)
WHERE: The Schermerhorn, 160 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Map.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 24th
Doors open and networking, 6:00-6:30 pm
Presentation and Q&A, 6:30-7:30 pm
The F Word
The Legacy: Feminism in Literature Today
24 May, 2 p.m., Book Expo America, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W 34th Street, New York 10001
Julie Otsuka, Francine Prose and Karen Russell talk about which writers passed feminism down to them, and what the word means to them today. For tickets, visit http://www.bookexpoamerica.com.
The F Word Launch Party in NYC
25 May, 6.30 p.m., Paragraph, 35 W 14th Street, New York 10011
NEBULOUS TUSSLES@ CULTUREFIX.
On May 25th in 1977, Star Wars came out in the theaters. I saw it in a drive-in theater two years later. And now I couldn’t care less. This is so much more exciting:
CULTUREfix & Jonathan Wood Vincent present:
a night of unique song and dance
First: there will be:
Self-obsessed Jonathan Wood Vincent, playing the accordion and talking story-like about things of no particular importance just to wet your bustles.
Then: Enid Ellen, http://www.myspace.com/enidellen
In 2008, Enid Ellen was born: “I was writing poetry about specific men, and channeling a woman’s [point of] view,” says David Mramor about the feminine, earthly perspective that led him and pianist Greg Potter to create the songs on Enid Ellen’s debut album, Cannibal Disease. “There was a lot of anger and Mother Nature came forth and needed a vessel to speak through.” (READ MORE.)
A Temporary Garden, Gonzalo Puch @ JULIE SAUL
May 26-July 1, 2011
Reception for the artist, Thursday, May 26th, 6-8pm
Gonzalo Puch lives in Madrid, teaches at the University in Cuenca, and is a native of Sevilla. He creates situations or “incidents”, generally in neutral environments such as classrooms, or his own apartment, which he then records photographically and presents as large, color photographic prints. Although his working methods and environment are hermetic, the work itself addresses and tries to make order of the chaos of the world. His themes are linked to various traditional academic subjects such as math, science, music, biology and environmental studies. The settings are sparse and practical, well lit and benign. Recently he has been working in the landscape more immediately addressing environmental themes. However, the events taking place are inscrutable rituals or quiet procedures which are both serious and comic. They appear to have their own logic in which we can recognize the elements, but not their organization, like words without syntax.
Beginning in the fall of 2010, Puch maintained a year long artist’s residency at Location One in New York. As the title of the resulting series.A Temporary Garden suggests, Puch’s new work draws on the world of plants for its operative leit-motif. Leafy plants combine with busy line-drawings and assembled objects in one photograph; a bell pepper is carved into an ephemeral sculpture in another; and in yet another a twig and bits of colored thread are precariously organized into an image that brings to mind the traditional Chinese landscape drawing. In A Temporary Garden the line between the natural world and the world of artistic creation is not so much blurred as bridged — as it is in fact in any garden. (READ MORE.)
A Virtual Tour of the Anatomical Collections of the University of Groningen
An illustrated lecture with Dr. Rolf ter Sluis, Curator and Director of the Groningen University Museum
Date: Tuesday, May 24th
Time: 8:00 PM
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
Tonight, join Dr. Rolf ter Sluis-–curator and director of the Netherlands based Groningen University Museum–for a virtual tour of the museum’s historic and amazing anatomy and pathology collections. The majority of the collection consists of preparations in spirit, but also includes dry preparations where the veins have been injected with coloured wax, wax and Papier-mâché models, skeletons and skulls, preserved tattooed skin, and much more. (READ MORE.)
Kingdom Under Glass: A Tale of Obsession, Adventure, and One Man’s Quest to Preserve the World’s Great Animals
An illustrated lecture and book signing with author Jay Kirk
Date: Thursday, May 26th
Time: 8:00 PM
Presented by Morbid Anatomy
***Books will be available for sale and signing
During the golden age of safaris in the early twentieth century, one man set out to preserve Africa’s great beasts. In his new book Kingdom Under Glass: A Tale of Obsession, Adventure, and One Man’s Quest to Preserve the World’s Great Animals, Jay Kirk details the life and adventures of naturalist and taxidermist Carl Akeley, the brooding genius who revolutionized taxidermy and created the famed African Hall we visit today at New York’s Museum of Natural History. The Gilded Age was drawing to a close, and with it came the realization that men may have hunted certain species into oblivion. Renowned taxidermist Carl Akeley joined the hunters rushing to Africa, where he risked death time and again as he stalked animals for his dioramas and hobnobbed with outsized personalities of the era such as Theodore Roosevelt and P. T. Barnum. In a tale of art, science, courage, and romance, Jay Kirk resurrects a legend and illuminates a fateful turning point when Americans had to decide whether to save nature, to destroy it, or to just stare at it under glass. (READ MORE.)
Dana Rossi hosts a monthly merging of stories and songs in this legendary music venue. Six artists–writers, comics, actors and musicians–tell the stories they associate with songs of their choosing. There’s the song, the story behind the song, and the story inspired by the song. We’re the third one.
Matthew Trumbull – Look Away/Chicago
Jon Baker – I Wanna Dance With Somebody/Whitney Houston
Julie Kraut – Keep the Car Running/Arcade Fire
Marc Landers – Gonna Make You Sweat/C + C Music Factory
Dana Rossi – Edge of Seventeen/Stevie Nicks
Lane Moore – Little Red Riding Hood/Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
At the dawn of the 21st century, renegade toy designers, bored with the G.I. Joe status quo, boldly remixed and reassembled the toys of their parent’s generation. Birthing a new format of toy and medium of artistic expression, these artists were the first to explore The Vinyl Frontier. A world where Art is Fun!
By exploring a landscape inhabited by a wide range of artists, their creations, and obsessive collectors, the documentary examines the hybrid objects’ artistic and commercial value, as well as the creative process of art-toy making. The Vinyl Frontier is a comprehensive look at a fresh and exciting art movement that anyone young at heart and imaginative can enjoy. (READ MORE.)
Thursday May 26, 2011
Veronica People’s Club
$15, judge the balls, free drink, prizes & music by DJ Ning Nong (READ MORE.)
CLOSING PARTY! OLEK’s Knitting is for Pus****
Friday May 27 6-9pm
See “Knitting is for Pus****” for the last time (in NYC) and like never before… with a **SPECIAL BLACK LIGHT PRESENTATION!**
On Friday May 27th, 2011 Christopher Henry Gallery NYC will host a Closing Party for Celebrity Artist OLEK. Olek’s acclaimed installation “Knitting is for Pus****” has created a total sensation since it 1st opened back in September 2010. It traveled to SCOPE MIAMI, and was extended repeatedly due to pop…ular demand and endless press requests… next it will be highlighted in a traveling museum show called “40 Under 40” opening at The SMITHSONIAN Museum in 2012!
VIDEOROVER: Season II
Curated by: Rachel Steinberg
May 27 – Dec 17, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, May 27, 7-9 PM
Screening begins at 8 PM
910 Grand St
NURTUREart Non-Profit is pleased to present VIDEOROVER: Season II, the second installment of its semi-annual video series. VIDEOROVER: Season II is curated by Rachel Steinberg and features artists: Fatima Al Qadiri and Lyndsy Welgos, Cecilia Bonilla, Juan Pablo Echeverri, Derek Larson, Dana Levy, Pernille With Madsen, Colin Snapp, and JULIACKS.
VIDEOROVER seeks to present a wide range of works from artists locally and internationally who are all working to expand the perceptual limitations of video. This season’s selection aims to disorient viewers by removing an essential reality context, only to redeposit them into seemingly familiar settings.
Dana Levy, Fatima Al Qadiri and Lyndsy Welgos explore the pluralism of eastern and western conventions by looking at traditions through a contemporary perspective. Cecilia Bonilla examines our relationships to the seductive nature of commercial images of women through minimal manipulation, while Juan Pablo Echeverri shows us a self-projected fantasy of mass-produced femininity. Colin Snapp acts as a ‘journalist’ of sorts, documenting moments of real-time, but relieving the viewer of imposed intentions. Pernille With Madsen dizzies and disorients us with a vision of how to imagine architectural surroundings. Derek Larson’s playful experimentations extend through other worldly humor while JULIACKS’ narrative pulls back and forth between a character’s inner psyche and external world. (READ MORE.)
Annual End-of-the-Season Poets’ Potluck
FRIDAY MAY 27 / 10PM
Come celebrate the end of another season at the Poetry Project! The Poets’ Potluck is an opportunity for New York City’s poetry community(ies) to come together for an evening of readings, performances, and delicious food. An array of writers from the Poetry Project series as well as other local reading series will read/perform their work. Any one interested in bringing a dish for the potluck will contribute to an amazing feast. If you’re interested in bringing food, please email Brett Price at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Tecklenberg, Barbara Siegel, Anne Gilman
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 14, 6-8pm
Panel Discussion: Thursday, May 12, 6:30pm ($5)
“Earthwork” is an exhibition in which nineteen international artists look at the earth from all edges of it. Drawn, photographed, printed, cut, hacked, diced, assembled, witnessed, with resonating metaphors, these artists present their interpretations of the stuff we gravitate to.
W. David Powell combs discarded science textbooks to scavenge images, while the texts of Tania Kovats tell a different tale. David Redfern collages an advertisement of the truly high cost of the low cost of oil. Barbara Siegel recreates the study of a geologist through his own studies, a warm and inviting installation; Maureen Piggins uncovers the geologist by peeling away the layers.