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  • Susan O'Malley 6:29 pm on August 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Inspiring Update 

    My inspirational poster project moved from the windows of copy.com in Houston  to the windows of the administrative buildings of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston, Texas.  The Museum is showing several of the projects from, Sisyphus Office, a distributed exhibition that Jonn Herschend curated at Skydive, an artist-run space located in Houston.

    The exhibition utilizes spaces that you would ordinarily not expect to see art – a bulletin board in a hallway, an installation above a water fountain, on a staircase, or in the administrative office building.   The work will be up until the end of September, so if you are in Houston, I’d love it if you checked it out.  Here are some shots that Sasha Dela, an artist and co-founder of Skydive sent me.

    Next stop: A billboard.  Let me know if you are interested.

    • Kathryn 12:58 am on August 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Very inspiring indeed – I like this!

  • Maureen Cappon-Javey 11:55 pm on August 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Perceived Value: The Washington Post’s Social Experiment. We can relate. 

    As posted on Stringsavvy.com

    “A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

    Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

    A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

    A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

    The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

    In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace.
    He collected $32.
    When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it.
    No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

    No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

    Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

    Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

    One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

    If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?”

    • seo 5:26 pm on January 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Almost all of whatever you mention happens to be supprisingly accurate and that makes me wonder the reason why I hadn’t looked at this in this light previously. Your piece truly did switch the light on for me as far as this particular subject matter goes. However at this time there is actually just one factor I am not really too comfortable with and whilst I make an effort to reconcile that with the central theme of your position, allow me see just what all the rest of the readers have to say.Nicely done.

  • Maureen Cappon-Javey 4:34 pm on August 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    NextNew:Green Review by M. Gant, Bohemian.com 

    Michaeel Blade, Untitled (We Found God on a Cruiseship)

    Michelle Blade, Untitled (We Found God on a Cruiseship)

    Green Scenes

    Artists take on environmental themes in ‘NextNew: Green’ show at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art

    By Michael S. Gant

    RECENTLY, I read a sci-fi novel about the usual hardy band of survivors picking up the pieces after a world-winnowing disaster—something along the lines of swine flu. The story included a number of au courant asides about man’s ecological mistakes, so I figured it must have been written in the last decade or so. Then I came upon a reference to Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen. Turns out that the novel, Earth Abides, was written by UC-Berkeley English professor George R. Stewart—in 1949.

    For at least 60 years then, artists have been worrying about what we’re doing to the planet, and politicians have been pretty much ignoring them. “NextNew: Green,” at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, highlights the work of some young artists, just out of MFA programs, trying to make us sit up and pay attention, if not take action. Some of the pieces are provocative, but I worry that they have as much effect on our response to global warming and climate change as antiwar films have on war.

    The general tone is dystopian. Misako Inaoka contributes small mutant hybrid animals, both mounted on wooden plaques as trophies and arrayed on a chess board. Cobbled together from children’s toys and painted silver, the menagerie depicts a scary future of desperate adaptation: a bird with horse haunches for a tail, a moose burdened with bird-claw antlers, a shark/walrus mix-up walking on gorilla legs. One of these clever, cautionary beasts even chirps and swivels its head in responds to a viewer’s attention. Call them Darwin’s worst nightmares.

    Ryan Pierce’s oil Down by the Riverside, with its flat, patterned river flowing through a wasted landscape of clear-cut tree stumps and wooden crosses, reminds me of Chester Arnold’s Road to Paradise. The Arnold, which showed at last year’s “Eureka!” group exhibit at SJICA, depicted a once-pristine rivulet choked with society’s detritus. Something about a wilderness makes us want to despoil it, apparently.

    The whole sorry process of civilization gets laid bare in Carson Murdach’s series of unframed paintings done in a faux-19th-century folk-art style. In large canvases, the colonizing ships arrive in an armada at an Edenic shore; a settlement sprouts; a great city full of monumental buildings from across history chokes out the natural landscape. In the final, smaller panels, after some unspecified disaster, ships loaded down with little red-roofed houses, fight stormy waves as they beat a hasty retreat.

    Michelle Blade’s large ink paintings use ships to a more mystical purpose. In Facing an Abyssal Sea, vessels of all sizes converge on a horizon illuminated by a glowing orb. It’s hard to escape the thought that we are witnessing a world submerged, with the remnants of sea-borne humanity drawn lemming fashion to a final rendezvous. Untitled (We Found God on a Cruise Ship) shows passengers crowded on the prow of a ship headed through ice floes toward shimmering, almost blinding rays of light. Here the unbearable lightness of icebergs (or what’s left of them) exerts the same sense of sublime awe that it did on the great landscape painter Frederic Church.

    Several of the “NextNew” artists deploy cast-off materials: recycling as a kind of redemption. Vanessa Marsh’s sculptures of industrial wreckage—a cement factory, a deserted segment of freeway—are meticulously fashioned from various found materials. The modeler in me admires the exquisite craft, but they do not transcend the scenic achievements that can be found at a toy-train convention.

    More effective are Sandra Ono’s soft sculptures made from hundreds of balloons scrunched together at the necks to make lumpy shapes both beautiful and sinister—Untitled (Black Balloons) could be a thick bubble of tarry residue seeping from a superfund site.

    Most troubling is Michael Ryan’s installation Dead Space, which uses motors, wires and tubes to animate some plastic bags that seem to respire gently with rhythmic puffs of air. It’s like an abstracted Frankenstein’s monster constructed not from body parts but consumer packaging.

    NEXT NEW: GREEN runs through Sept. 20 at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, 560 S. First St., San Jose. Tuesday–Friday, 10am–5pm, Saturday noon–5pm. Free. (408.283.8155)

  • Maureen Cappon-Javey 12:21 am on August 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    SoFA District Fully Activated Aug 7 – Come Celebrate! 

    On Friday, August 7th, the SoFA District (South of First Street) in Downtown San Jose will come alive with the unveiling of a new mural as well as the San Jose Jazz Festival’s ‘Jazz Beyond’ Stage. Along with a number of physical changes in SoFA such as sidewalk extensions, street lighting, outdoor dining, and planters, the mural and programming within SoFA is part of 1stACT Silicon Valley’s SoFA Plan in collaboration with a key group of SoFA leaders, the Redevelopment Agency, City of San Jose, San Jose Downtown Association, and Ken Kay Associates. This revitalization plan is a demonstration project from 1stACT’s collective vision for the future of Downtown San Jose through a series of “big deals” and “small wonders”.

    What: Mural Unveiling and Celebration, “A Place in Mind”
    When: Friday, August 7th from 7:30-9:30PM with remarks at 8:00PM (During South FIRST FRIDAYS art walk)
    Where: 417 S. First Street (at the corner of San Salvador)
    Cost: Free (as part of S. First Friday)
    More Info: View photos of mural: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cherrilakey/sets/72157619629008418/

    What: AT&T San Jose Jazz Fest – 20 Years
    When: August 7-9
    Where: Main Festival Stage located at Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park in Downtown San Jose
    Where: Jazz Beyond Stage located in front of California Theatre on South First Street
    Cost: Festival cost $15/day but FREE on Friday night in SoFA
    More Info: http://www.jazzfest.sanjosejazz.org/ or 866.208.3225

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