Black Rock Arts Foundation Newsletter – January 2013

In this Issue:


  • Bike Bridge Opening Reception – Postponed – March 1
  • Urbanauts – January 19
  • Grantee Updates
    • Black Forest Fancies – Request for Proposals
    • The Pool
    • Before I Die…
    • The Global Lives Project
    • FIGMENT – Request for Proposals

Oakland’s Bike Bridge Opening Reception – Postponed

We’ve just received word from the City of Oakland that construction on the Uptown Merritt Art Park (the Bike Bridge installation site) has again been delayed.  As of now, the plan is for installation to take place in late February and for the opening reception to take place on Friday, March 1st.

The piece will be installed in the new art park on Telegraph Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets.

Again, thanks to all who supported this project.  Your support has ensured that the piece is complete and ready for installation.  We can’t wait to share it with the community, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we move forward.


Urbanauts and BRAF together at the de Young January 19th!

For decades, a particular brand of urban explorer has felt compelled to delve into the unseen and underground layers of city infrastructure. Guided by a sense of adventure and a desire for a broader understanding of the systems that support contemporary urban life, these explorations often reveal as much about the explorer as the territory explored. What is it about these unseen structures that so captures the imagination? Does this obscured geography map an unknown within us as well? What can the exploration teach us, a self-identified evolving species of surface dweller, about the various systems that make up our built and “natural” world? Can we hope to improve or recontextualize the interwoven social and ecological fabrics that make up our environment?

Join Black Rock Arts Foundation artists and de Young Artist Fellows Sean Orlando and Rebar for an afternoon of conversation and multimedia presentations that explore these questions and other topics related to the contemporary practice of urban exploration. This event is part of Urbanauts, Sean Orlando and Rebar’s ongoing de Young Fellowship project, which maps, examines, and documents unseen urban infrastructure to inform a series of conceptualized and fabricated objects based on the aesthetics and function of these hidden systems.

Annetta Black from Atlas Obscura will moderate a panel discussion with Sean Orlando, Matt Passmore and Bay Are Urban Explorer Phil P. Phil.

January 19, 2013, 2:00 pm
Koret Auditorium
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive (at John F. Kennedy Drive)
San Francisco, California 94118

Read more about the event.


Grantee Updates

2011 Grantee – Black Forest Fancies (Lafcadio’s Revenge)

Here is a new design challenge for Artists and Architects!

Black Forest Fancies (BFF), a visual and stage arts 501c(3), is seeking proposals from individuals interested contributing architectural design services for a mobile artist residency project in New Orleans, Louisiana. This project consists of the structural redesign of an iron framed horse carriage into a mobile, malleable, water-tight enclosure that will be continually re-adapted by visiting installation artists as part of a artist residency program in New Orleans. The applicant is responsible for design only.  A team will execute construction.  In the past this carriage base has been adapted to become a mobile museum for art works from international and local artists. The successful proposal will not only include basic form, but suggestions for lighting, interior and exterior finishes, color, and creative use of locally sourced material.

The Black Rock Arts Foundation supported a similar Black Forest Fancies project in 2011, called Lafcadio’s Revenge.

2011 Grantee Lafcadio's Revenge. Photo by Alleyn Evans.

2011 Grantee Lafcadio’s Revenge. Photo by Alleyn Evans.

For more information visit:


2012 Grantee – The Pool

The Pool by Jen Lewin is in its final phase of production.  Lewin’s team is currently wiring all 120 platforms for power, installing her custom PCB’s, and attaching over 1200 feet of LED strip within the platforms.  John Taylor and Joseph Martin from Lumigeek will arrive in Boulder on Feb 10th for final programming and interface ‘tweaks’.  There have been a few hiccups – mainly with sourcing some out of stock electronic items available only in China. However, these have been resolved and everything is on schedule for February completion.

For more information visit


2011 Grantee – Before I Die…

In the past two months, Before I Die walls have gone up in over 20 cities, including Santiago, Chile, Auckland, New Zealand, Jiangsu, China, and San Francisco.

2011 Grantee Before I Die... Photo by Kristina Kassem

2011 Grantee Before I Die… Photo by Kristina Kassem

(photos attached, photos by Kristina Kassem).

See more photos at

A new Before I Die wall will be going up in Washington DC on January 22, 2013, thanks to students at George Washington University. It will be outside the Gelman Library that borders Kogan Plaza at GWU. Candy Chang will speak at the unveiling.

Learn more at to get involved or share your aspirations on the wall!


2007 Grantee – Global Lives Project

Congratulations to our 2007 Grantee, The Global Lives Project! The project has been awarded two major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. BRAF awarded The Global Lives Project their first grant ever came from BRAF in 2007. We’re thrilled at how this project has grown and flourished!

2007 Grantee Global Lives, Japan screening.

2007 Grantee Global Lives, Japan screening.

Global Lives need your involvement and support. To read more about them, and to get involved, visit


2008 Grantee – FIGMENT

FIGMENT NYC is seeking artists for the 2013 Minigolf Course & Interactive Sculpture Garden!

To Learn More About Submitting Proposals For The 2013 Minigolf Course & Interactive Sculpture Garden:

Please Join FIGMENT for their Summer-Long Information Session:

Monday, January 14, 2013, 7-9:00 pm
New York Design Center,
200 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

*HIGHLY recommended for all applicants, especially for first-time applicants!


The FIGMENT crew eagerly awaits your awesome proposals for their two highly acclaimed, summer-long exhibitions. Your work will find a temporary home on Governors Island this summer, and will be on display from the FIGMENT NYC weekend event scheduled for early June, until September 22, 2013. Both exhibitions will be free and open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays while the island is open.

Deadline for the Sculpture Garden proposals is 11:59PM ET on February 1, 2013.
Artists can submit their fantasmagorical, highly interactive, and ultra-original FIGMENT Interactive Sculpture Garden proposals here.

Deadline for the FIGMENT Minigolf Course proposals is 11:59PM ET on March 1, 2013.
The theme for their sixth annual destination minigolf course is “State of the Art”—all yours to interpret! Can you translate your visionary ideas of what state of the art can be into a playable minigolf hole? If your design is selected for the course, FIGMENT will offer you a stipend of $250, in addition to the fabrication budget! Submit your design for minigolf right here.
2008 Grantee FIGMENT City of Dreams Mini Golf

2008 Grantee FIGMENT City of Dreams Mini Golf

Attend the information session to find out more about what makes a good FIGMENT project.  Hear firsthand testimonials and advice from FIGMENT summer-long curators, past artists, and other experts on the above topics and more. After an initial slideshow discussion and Q&A, prospective applicants will have the opportunity to speak individually with the curators and other presenters, for feedback on their preliminary proposals.
FIGMENT is also hosting their first “Meet and Greet” session of 2013 on January 21. Please join them to learn more about FIGMENT NYC and mingle with fellow artists and volunteers from all departments.
FIGMENT NYC First Meet and Greet of 2013!
Monday, January 21, 2013
120 East 15th Street New York, NY
Everyone is welcome! – From seasoned FIGMENT veterans to the participatory art-curious.

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