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Special Goings On: February 1, 2007
IT’S BEEN TEN YEARS SINCE FRANKLIN FURNACE “WENT VIRTUAL”!
On February 1 st, 1997, Franklin Furnace launched into the unknown, taking www.franklinfurnace.org as its public face. Here’s what has happened since:
--Starting in the spring of 1998, Franklin Furnace and Pseudo Programs, Inc. collaborated on presenting 46 netcasts by emerging performance artists, including Michael Bramwell, Alvin Eng and Nora York. In these early days of streaming video, pictures were jerky so clever artists like Irina Danilova exploited this quality by pretending to be in outer space. Thanks to artist and Pseudo producer Galinsky for suggesting this collaboration; and to Jerome Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts’ Presenting Organizations Program for taking a chance on Franklin Furnace’s first steps in the virtual realm.
--In 2000, Franklin Furnace and Parsons School of Design collaborated on The Future of the Present, a series of projects in every known technological format of the day, including Jack Waters’ “Superschmoozio,” a “Desktop Theater” game of the artworld played by avatars in visual chatrooms, and Andrea Polli’s “Rapid Fire,” music made with her eye movements. Thanks to faculty member Zhang Ga for proposing Franklin Furnace’s program as an educational resource, to Sven Travis, Chair of the Digital Design Department for fostering it; and to Jerome Foundation and The Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology for funding artists’ fees.
--A year or so later, during our 25 th anniversary season, Franklin Furnace realized that its role was to both provide funding to projects which engage the Internet as an art medium and venue through The Future of the Present program, and to bring artists together with venues and resources appropriate to their projects. We began collaborating with an array of collegial arts organizations in New York such as the Kitchen, Location One, Eyebeam; and partnering with venues around the world: Jeff Gompertz’ “Capsule Hotel” was presented in New York and Tokyo; G.H. Hovagimyan’s “Brecht Machine” in New York and Split, Croatia; and Ricardo Miranda Zuniga’s “Public Broadcast Cart” in New York and Managua, Nicaragua. We are grateful for the faith and foresight of Jerome Foundation, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Cuban Artists Fund for support of our 25 th Anniversary adventures on the Internet.
--In 2006, Franklin Furnace landed its first National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to digitize the documentary record of its first ten years; and signed a collaboration agreement with ARTstor, which will make these images and texts available for pedagogy and research to over 600 colleges and universities nationwide and soon internationally. Thanks to the Booth Ferris Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts’ Digitization initiative for joining in support of this effort, and to the National Endowment for the Arts’ Heritage and Preservation Program, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Challenge, the New York State Council on the Arts’ Technology Initiative, and New York Foundation for the Arts’ TechTAP grants for laying the necessary groundwork.
Now Franklin Furnace is racing toward the future by funding and brokering projects proposed by artists to the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art and The Future of the Present programs, while capturing the past so that its entire record may become a part of art and social history. Thanks to YOU for being a part of Franklin Furnace’s past, present and future! Please log on anytime from anywhere:
Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller
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Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.
80 Arts - The James E. Davis Arts Building
80 Hanson Place #301
Brooklyn NY 11217-1506 U.S.A.
Michael Katchen, Senior Archivist
Harley Spiller, Administrator
Dolores Zorreguieta, Program Coordinator