MEOW WOLF REVEALS BAG OF TRICKS

The name “Meow Wolf” brings to mind a sense of two disparate ideas or impulses bring brought together, like a portmanteau or mashup. The call of a domesticated animal, perhaps, that lures you in close enough for you to discover that it is actually a wild creature. And it doesn’t bark (because that would be too obvious) but this sly wolf definitely adds bite to the reality you thought you knew. Although “Meow Wolf” was drawn out of a hat, this multimedia art collective has certainly been living up to its trickster name.

Founded in 2008, Meow Wolf started out as the name of a venue, but eventually referred to the group of creative collaborators that emerged out of that space. Since then, Meow Wolf has brought many installations to life, turning ordinary spaces into whimsical, kaleidoscopic environments that invite visitors to become part of their colorful ecosystems.

In 2012, OmegaMart (which the Black Rock Arts Foundation helped to fund) stealthily made its way into Santa Fe. What may have appeared to be just the new store on the block was actually this group of artists setting up shop and masquerading as store representatives.

OmegaMart

OmegaMart, Photo courtesy of the artists

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JOIN BRAF AND PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS AT MAKER FAIRE

We will be at Maker Faire this weekend at the San Mateo County Event Center! We are so happy that these projects will be exhibited:

Aurora

BRAF-sponsored and fiscally sponsored Civic Arts project Aurora (by Charles Gadeken), is a 32-foot tall metal weeping willow tree sculpture illuminated by roughly 40,000 LED lights. This project will be installed in front of Palo Alto’s City Hall this summer.

Aurora at Burning Man in 2011, photo by James Addison

Aurora at Burning Man in 2011, photo by James Addison

Youth Education Spaceship

BRAF, along with partner organizations Burning Man Project, the Exploratorium, and The Crucible, present the Y.E.S.!

Led by artist Dana Albany, the Youth Education Spaceship (Y.E.S.) project is a collaborative endeavor that involves the construction of a mobile spaceship classroom. The sculpture that will be exhibited at Maker Faire is a mosaic made from found objects and repurposed materials.

Like this mosaic, the innovative curriculum of the project is an assemblage of various elements. Embracing a radically hands-on approach toward learning, the Y.E.S. project has been engaging San Francisco youth in activities that range from metalwork and glass-blowing, to robotics, photography, and video projects. Y.E.S. has also been functioning as an innovative platform for teaching these kids about topics such as environmentalism, solar energy, astronomy, ancient civilizations, and space travel.

In addition to Maker Faire, there are several destination points on this spacecraft’s voyage – The Crucible, the Exploratorium, and finally, Burning Man.

At Maker Faire, visitors will have the opportunity to add to the spacecraft’s interior display by making planets with materials provided on-site. Look for Y.E.S. in the education area (#6).

Some of the young artists working on the Y.E.S. spaceship sculpture.

Some of the young artists working on the Y.E.S. spaceship sculpture.

 

Also, be sure to look for “BRAFFY Art Seal of Approval” signs posted next to projects we love!

Maker Faire
Saturday, May 18th – Sunday, May 19th 2013
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

San Mateo County Event Center
1346 Saratoga Dr.
San Mateo, CA 94403

You can also download this smartphone app to help you navigate through the event!

BBC NEWS VIDEO: JEN LEWIN

Featuring Jen Lewin‘s kinesthetically-engaging work, including 2012 BRAF Grantee Project The Pool, this BBC video explores technology’s relationship to art, and the timeliness of Lewin’s interactive installations in today’s social media-driven world. These motion-activated light and sound sculptures invite viewers to participate in collective experiences of new media that integrate elements of digitally networked spaces into physical environments.

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Black Rock Arts Foundation Newsletter – May 2013

 

In This Issue:

  • Aurora at Maker Faire
  • Grantee Updates
    • Festival of Street Art at Bartlett Events
    • Imagine Figment
    • The Pool by Jen Lewin
    • The Temple for Christchurch
  • Partner Organizations
    • American Steel Studios present Art + Industry
    • Don’t miss Maker Faire!
    • The Youth Education Spaceship will be there, too!

 

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3 NEWS NZ PRESENTS VIDEO CLIP OF THE TEMPLE FOR CHRISTCHURCH

In February 2011, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand’s second-largest city. To help the residents of Christchurch deal with the aftermath of the disaster, Hippathy Valentine designed the Temple for Christchurch. This interactive installation embodies the seismic qualities of the quake through its waveform-like architectural pattern, as well in its modular form, which enables the structure to be taken apart and reconstructed elsewhere.

Inspired by a Burning Man ritual, the Temple for Christchurch will serve as a sacred space where people can leave mementos and write on its walls before witnessing its eventual burning. Through these acts of renewal and destruction, the residents of Christchurch will be encouraged to participate in a process of grieving and transformation.

Watch this video clip by 3 News New Zealand to learn more about 2012 BRAF Grantee Project The Temple for Christchurch.

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Michael Christian Bike Bridge Interview

Michael Christian Speaks!

Creativity, Collaboration, and the Fantastic New Bike Bridge now on view in Downtown Oakland

ElevationI.T., and Home. Wondrous large creations and small. Metalwork, sculpture, paintings, and drawings. Prolific and provocative, Michael Christian has been a major presence on and off the Playa with his playfully interactive sculptures. He prefers to let his art speak for itself. However, on the eve of the “official” opening of Bike Bridge, Christian graciously shared some thoughts with BRAF about working jointly with twelve young students and the creative process.

Interview by Peter Bejger.

How did you get involved? And why did you get involved?

I always enjoy the tremendous freedom implicit in the repurposing and reinvention of what others discard or often refer to as scrap. Working with young adults seemed a logical companion to this as they still have fresh minds when it comes to building and have yet to form unmovable ideas of what an object ‘is or is not supposed to be’.

Describe the development of the idea. Was the original form worked out in your sketches? Or was this a collective idea?

The original idea was to pull apart the bikes into their many separate parts and see what unfolds when we start to manipulate them and put them back together again.  I had a very rough idea from a loose scribble I presented to them but it was a collective idea, open to everyone’s input or creative idea. The structure of tires was the only piece I thought of using prior to meeting with the girls. The rest came out of a collective input and experimentation of ideas.

How were your young collaborators chosen? Were you involved in the process? Or were they in place when you came onboard?

They were pulled together prior to my coming together although I don’t believe they knew each other collectively.

Your work has a very powerful, singular focus. Let’s talk about collaboration, group effort, and artistic vision. How do you approach this?

No large-scale structure of any kind can in all honesty ever be directly associated with one person.  I may have the idea and vision but it takes many hands and shared thoughts to work through the challenges of building anything beyond simple human scale. I mean seriously, people should give more props to those who developed tools like the modern day crane that make these creations possible to execute in the first place. Needless to say it’s always a collective process. It’s an amazing experience to become part of a collective moving towards a common goal. I always invite in ideas from those I’m working with because inevitably someone will see a better pathway to executing some required tasks. In the end it’s really a lot about problem solving. The experience is not nearly as satisfying if I’m not expanding my own knowledge of the process of building along the way. Working with others is the best way I’ve found so far to accomplish this.

How about the role of “teacher.” You’ve instructed and guided adults, now younger students. Any insights on similarities or differences?

Well, young people aren’t afraid to honestly express how they feel about how they feel about everything including if they feel your ideas are silly. They are often spot on unfortunately. Adults are just grown up children with better manners. They are often trying to learn and unlearn at the same time. Students haven’t started unlearning yet.

What about context? The desert is such a specific and challenging and flattering environment for an artist’s work. This piece was always meant for an urban environment. Does context ever make a difference for you?

Context is always very important but I think your subject matter and how it relates to humans in generally is probably most key.  Most everyone on the planet can relate to bicycles so you could put that anywhere on the planet and people would connect with it on some level.  I think in general, the further you get from the simple daily experience of being human the more context plays into how people appreciate and connect with art.

We can imagine what your collaborators may have gained by working with you. What have you gained from the experience?

The pieces I seem to identify with as my favorites are the ones I had the most fun building while simultaneously learning and growing in the process. I think the bike arch would qualify as a good one.

Finally, a word about what’s next. Drifts will be installed on the Black Rock Desert at Burning Man later this year. A preview?

I tend to rely heavily on process so not really much to preview. I can say I am excited about building these particular sculptures this year because they appeal to sensibilities of my creative process I don’t visit as often as I’d like. There is much more free form work involved and not as heavy on engineering.

 

Black Rock Arts Foundation Newsletter – April 2013

In this Issue:

  • Bike Bridge – Opening Celebrations April 5th!
  • Help bring Aurora to Palo Alto!
  • Partner Organization News:
    • Join Burning Man Project and Earth Guardians for Earth Day San Francisco
  • Grantee Updates
    • Bartlett Events – Get involved!
    • Project SUITCASE
    • The Temple for Christchurch
    • Global Lives Project
    • Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping Choir
    • Aeolian RIde

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BLACK ROCK ARTS FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER – MARCH 2013

In this Issue:

  • The Raygun Gothic Rocketship takes off!
  • Bike Bridge – Opening Celebrations April 5th!
  • Partner Organization News:
    • Maker Faire 2013 – Call for entries
    • Third Friday Night Lights event
  • Grantee Updates
    • The Temple for Christchurch
    • Wind Playground
    • Ludale – French CORE project
    • Burning Baskets Project
    • Swap-O-Rama-Rama

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