San Rafael, CA
Art Reach is a new initiative to create an ongoing program of changing outdoor interactive sculpture exhibitions in six related sites throughout downtown San Rafael, California, including City Hall, a community center, the library, a central plaza and a city promenade, all within walking distance from one another. Local artists will be encouraged to submit works that are innovative in both design and materials for quarterly installations. The planning, design and installation process will encourage cooperation and interaction among city agencies, business sponsors, artists, teachers and students.
The objectives of Art Works Downtown align with those of the Black Rock Arts Foundation’s Civic Arts Program. We are excited to help sponsor the inaugural Art Reach program as part of our ongoing effort to bring interactive public art to new communities.
Alaska & Hawaii
The Burning Basket Project, developed in Homer, Alaska by Mavis Muller, is designed to unite geographically disparate communities through recognition and celebration of the connecting elements that span the Pacific Ocean between Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands. The project involves a series of free workshops in communities in Alaska, and Oahu and the Big Island of Hawaii. The workshops will invite participants from diverse areas of the community to participate in the construction of a large (8 to 10 foot) intricately woven basket sculpture using natural indigenous materials such as grasses and a variety of plant and tree fibers. Volunteers will participate in all elements of fabrication, including gathering, design and weaving.
During a short exhibition community members are encouraged to add mementos to the baskets through the addition of written thoughts, sentiments, or objects; in this way the sculpture becomes civic property, woven with personal relevance. Each project culminates when the community is invited to gather for a potluck dinner, artist talk, and performances; then at sundown, the torch is lit and the basket ignited. In an effort to serve her community Mavis has worked to draw together a wide cross section of participating groups and individuals. In Homer, Alaska, the Native Alaskan community includes the burning ritual as part of their Healing Alcoholism seminar, and local mental health services offer a workshop on ‘letting go’.
Mavis has completed six basket burns in Alaska and California over the past three years and with this grant the Black Rock Arts Foundation is proud to help Extend her work to new communities.
Fleeting Fossils: Printing Moments on Stone
Designed to address perspective on time, Pamela Petro’s Fleeting Fossils creates modern day petrographs printed from images captured by both the very young and the very old. Pamela believes that people at the beginning or end of life, just as early morning and twilight shadows, have sharply angled and enhanced ephemeral perspectives. Each group will be asked to capture, photographically, what they most value in the town and in their personal lives – people, animals, places, things they can’t live without. The resulting images, in conjunction with those lent by local historical societies, will be used to create petrographs, some up to several feet in size, for exhibition at sites in downtown Northhampton, including: sidewalks, patios, curbs, steps, cobblestones, crosswalks and benches. These occurrences will be captured daily in a photographic record until they eventually disappear as the images printed on stone are weathered away.
Global Lives Project
Global Live Collective
$7,500 Challenge Grant
The Global Lives Project is an international endeavor seeking to expand ones perspective of the daily lives of ten individuals. This is done by immersing one in the reality of the diverse human experience of the ten individuals on display. The installation will feature ten 24-hour long video clips of people with varied life circumstances and lifestyles, inviting the viewer to contemplate self and society, the disparate edges of privilege and poverty, and consider the essence of human existence broadly and pointedly. At its core, this installation empowers the viewer through enhanced perspective to become re-engaged as participants in their own lives.
The grant from the Black Rock Arts Foundation is a Challenge Grant designed to match one for one other donations received by the project and will support initial film crews in India, Indonesia and Malawi.
Language of the Birds
Brian Goggin & Dorka Keehn
San Francisco, CA
Language of the Birds is a permanent site-specific public art installation on the threshold of North Beach and Chinatown in San Francisco. The Language of the Birds is a sculpted, illuminated flock of twenty-three translucent, suspended open books positioned to give the impression of birds in flight. Phrases, taken from books written by neighborhood authors or written about the local communities, will be scattered and embedded in the pavement as if the words had fallen from the books as they took flight. These suspended bird-books will blink light patterns modulated to interpret music gathered from the community. The lights are also intended to evoke flight, giving the flock the appearance of being in constant motion.
The Black Rock Arts Foundation is pleased to join the City of San Francisco, artists and local patrons in supporting this permanent art installation designed to unite area neighborhoods and impart some magic in ‘a language of birds’ (sometimes considered in antiquity to be the secret key to perfect knowledge) to all who encounter it.
Previous works by Brian Goggin: www.metaphorm.org
PARK(ing) Day 2007
PARK(ing) Day 2007 addresses the need for more public open urban spaces by challenging the way streets are used. The project began in 2005 when REBAR transformed metered parking spaces in San Francisco into temporary public parks. This inaugural effort generated an unexpected worldwide response; in 2006 the first PARK(ing) Day was created and resulted in 47 PARKs in thirteen cities worldwide, including Rio de Janeiro, London and New York City.
Continuing their work in 2007, REBAR hopes to encourage participants to reprogram metered parking spaces into parks, but also aspires to extend the concept into public amenities such as bicycle repair shops and open worship spaces. REBAR’s aim is to provide people in San Francisco and the global community with the tools to help permanently reshape their street-scapes.
Christine Marie Davis
Pet-O-Mat is a portable interactive art exhibit contained within a rotating sandwich vending machine. In place of sandwiches several dozen curious sculptures bearing resemblance to furry desert or household pets created from found objects (fur, hair, bone) will be on view through the clear Plexiglas windows of each compartment. Viewers can rotate the drum for a full visual tour of all the inhabitants, and if they so choose, insert a coin for an opportunity to touch, or pet, the pet.
The vending machine will be placed in a high tech office building or other such location for unsuspecting lunching workers to encounter. This project is designed to bring surreal sculpture into the everyday work experience, injecting art, humor, and the element of surprise into a world otherwise occupied by prosaic concerns.
Flaming Lotus Girls
Oakland, CA & Amsterdam, ND
Serpent Mother is a 168-foot long metal sculpture of a skeletal snake coiled around her egg. Propane fed fire travels the length of her spine, erupting in 41 ‘poofers’ at the top of each hand-fabricated vertebrae. Her articulated head reaches a height f 30-foot and her hydraulically activated jaws open and close based on participant interaction. The space she creates with her coiled form can accommodate over 1,000 people.
Originally created for Burning Man 2006, Serpent Mother has been accepted for exhibition at both the Crucible’s Fire Arts Festival in Oakland, CA July 11 – 14, 2007 and Amsterdam’s international art and technology festival, Robodock, September 2007. The grant from the Black Rock Arts Foundation is designed to help cover modification costs incurred to meet exhibition requirements. Serpent Mother, created by The Flaming Lotus Girls, an artist’s collective conceived to teach women metal arts, defines the cutting edge of fire and kinetic art and the Black Rock Arts Foundation is proud to be a part of the endeavor to share this spectacular sculpture with new audiences.