POST PLASTIC PROJECT AT LITTLEFIELD.


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.

There will be prints for sale, a raffle, giveaways and comedic relief with the help of couple MC’s Brooke Van Poppelen and Luca Molandes.

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.

MORE INFORMATION.

Tiny Resistors/Cleon Peterson/Tat Ito/Exit Art/Rosmarie Fiore

Undead Jazz presents: Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors and Mary Halvorson Trio
@ LE POISSON ROUGE

$15 GA
$10 w/ Student ID

This is a first-come, first-served partially seated event. Seating is limited and not guaranteed; please arrive early.

Search & Restore and BoomCollective are proud to present another even of Undead Jazz, featuring two of our favorite groups. It is going to be unreal. Todd’s band will include the magnificent Andrew Bird on violin, and the rest of the cast of characters are listed below. GET ‘EM!

TODD SICKAFOOSE’S TINY RESISTORS:
John Ellis (sax & clarinet)
Alan Ferber (trombone)
Andrew Bird (violin & looping)
Steve Cardenas (guitar)
Jonathan Goldberger (guitar)
Ted Poor (drums & percussion)
Todd Sickafoose (bass & piano)

MARY HALVORSON TRIO:
Mary Halvorson (guitar)
John Hebert (bass)
Ches Smith (drums)

10PM – Bassist/composer Todd Sickafoose’s band is a marvel of musical cross-breeding, pairing indie rock muscle and whimsy with the extended forms, timbres, and sophistication of a jazz orchestra. Their newest recording “Tiny Resistors” (Cryptogramophone) has been called “thoroughly original, endlessly creative…one of the year’s most compelling listens” (JazzTimes), “stunningly brilliant…a modern jazz masterpiece” (Bassplayer), and “a one-disc explanation of why today’s Brooklyn jazz scene is so exciting” (HotHouse). A Bay Area native, Sickafoose’s penchant for genre-bending may or may not be attributible to a classical upbringing, CalArts years studying bass with Charlie Haden, or the last seven years with folk hero Ani DiFranco, performing as a duo and quartet everywhere from punk clubs to Carnegie Hall. Since 2005, he’s been active in New York, performing with a ton of innovative folks including Jenny Scheinman, Ron Miles, Nels Cline, Allison Miller and Myra Melford. For tonight’s special performance, Tiny Resistors, which features saxophonist John Ellis, trombonist Alan Ferber, guitarists Steve Cardenas and Jonathan Goldberger, and drummer Ted Poor, will be joined by special guest violinist (and whistler) Andrew Bird. (READ MORE.)

Cleon Peterson: White Flag &  Tat Ito: Memento Mori @ Joshua Liner
 May 17 to June 11, 2011
MAP 

Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present White Flag, an exhibition of new paintings by the Los Angeles-based artist Cleon Peterson. This is Peterson’s first solo show at the gallery.

If the title of this new body of work suggests a surrender, it’s not the conventional sort. Known for his depictions of graphic violence and depravity, Peterson’s dystopian art rips the lid off of accepted social decorum to unleash aggression and other pent-up impulses. As figures torture, maim, cut, and abuse one another, a surrender to the worst in humanity is staged on the surfaces of the artist’s work—here, it can be safely, cathartically, and even aesthetically enacted. (READ MORE.)

Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present Memento Mori, an exhibition of new paintings by the New York-based artist Tat Ito. This occasion marks Ito’s solo debut in New York, and is his fourth appearance in shows at the gallery.

Tat Ito was born and raised in Japan, but he later made his art studies in the United States. Consequently, the artist and his paintings are a dynamic confluence of East and West, traditional and contemporary. The poetic analogy of “oil on water” describes Ito’s approach to both imagery and cultural references; in his vibrantly colored work, traditional Japanese aesthetics are a foundation upon which floats a contemporary (i.e., Western-influenced) viewpoint. Like a skim of oil on water, the beautiful, reflective surfaces of his paintings fascinate viewers. These top layers never mix but, rather, are presented in dialogue with the substance beneath. (READ MORE.)


Cao Fei: Play Time @ LOMBARD FRIED
May 18- June 25, 2011
Mat 12 6:00pm-8:00pm

Play Time by Cao Fei, one of the key artists of the new generation emerging from Mainland China, will open at Lombard Freid Projects on Wednesday May 18th 2011.

For her fourth solo exhibition at Lombard Freid, Cao Fei’s recent exploration into the theme of “play” has multiple connotations; Play Time is layered with ambiguities. Does it relish a time of game planning and exhilaration, or an onstage performance? This exhibition leaves viewers with no clear-cut answers, but rather with ideas and associations of different dimensions.

Following her powerful and widely influential RMB City Series (2008-2011), Play Time returns to Cao Fei’s previous interest in the convergence of fantasy and reality and premieres her latest works. She continues to utilize different types of media including video, photography and sculptural installations that evoke childhood games, story telling and TV programs that have a profound influence on children. (READ MORE.)

EXIT ART: OUTER SPACE BENEFIT AUCTION
Wednesday, May 18, 7:30-9:30PM at EXIT ART / LIVE AUCTION 8:15PM

475 10th Ave at 36th Street
CLICK HERE  TO VIEW AUCTION CATALOGUE

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS

PRISKA C. JUSCHKA FINE ART
Thursday, May 19, 6 – 9 PM
Priska C. Juschka Fine Art is pleased to present Artificiere, Rosemarie Fiore’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Fiore continues her practice of using fireworks as her sole medium to create works on paper and, most recently in addition, glass sculptures by uniquely utilizing fireworks and smoke bombs for her work and compositions. By referring to the Italian word artificiere for ‘pyrotechnician,’ Fiore points out that the first gunpowder and fireworks specialists were considered artful masters of a rare trade. Ars the Latin noun for ‘art and skill’ and ficere or facere the Latin verbs for ‘creating and making’ extrapolates Fiore’s intent. “I control my mark making as much as I can. I keep in mind that it is a balance between chaos and control and that too much control suffocates the work.” (READ MORE.)