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Contents for February 08, 2021

Weekly Spotlight: Tari Ito, FF Alumn, now online at: https://franklinfurnace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p17325coll1/id/95/rec/2

From its archives, Franklin Furnace presents Tari Ito’s 1994 performance, “Face: Memory of the Epidermis.” The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, delineates our bodies from the world, but cells from this layer of skin are constantly sloughed off of the body’s living surface. They enter the atmosphere, and are inhaled, leaving the distinction between live and discarded cells surprisingly mutable. Through the course of her 38 minute-long performance, the artist manipulates sheets of colored polymers, reveling in their plasticity. Though the material occupies much of the performance space, the artist explores human plasticity through varied actions and interactions. "Face" is a study of skin's substance, at once opaque, translucent, and on the cusp of deterioration - as Tari Ito has written, "The skin is the translator of the inward impulse." (Text by M Gaudlitz, FF Intern, Fall 2020)

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1. Karen Finley, Katya Grokhovsky, Suzanne Lacy, Cindy Sherman, Martha Wilson, FF Alumns, at Eastern Connecticut State University, Windham, thru March 5

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2. Seung-Min Lee, FF Alumn, at International Waters, Brooklyn, opening Feb. 13

Seung-Min Lee
Light White
February 13 — April 4

262 Meserole Street
Opening Saturday February 13, 2021
1pm - 8pm*

Young gamers drop dead spontaneously in South Korea every month, week, day? What is time right now but a horizon line we see hazily in the battery life of our phones. At this point--exhausted from days without sleep and bathing, slugging down cups of ramen noodles at their seats transfixed by a glowing screen that offers them a gateway into another realm--the bodies of the gamers give out, unable to continue mining incessantly for whatever in the virtual. They succumb like Methusaleh-old trees in lonely forests meeting their arbitrary mortality deadlines.
The Outside these darkened cells, the streets and subways of South Korea once throbbing with the bibble bobble pace of businessmen trying to watch the Samsung Lions bat home runs on their Samsung phones while narrowly avoiding impacts with kids and their mothers taking selfies with their novelty food finds, schoolgirls on chat apps gossiping about outlandish outfits of the Kpop stars of their dreams. Now these streets are quieted and empty--sound-blanketed by the fear of contagion.

The space where we in the developed countries of the West sequestered in our sanitized homes, watch TikTok dance videos coalesce into visions of coworkers on Zoom pleading for mercy because they had to walk their dogs or their turn to virtual school-sit their children.

In the unspeakable North, North Korea, a place only pictured in the everyday in the West by renegade gonzo journos from outside and state sanctioned arrays of mass supplication to order, the everyman is alone in his suffering or his joy. Dear Supreme Leader and near divine avatar of prosperity, Kim Jong Un has disappeared from view under mysterious circumstances. No longer touring factories of women’s hosiery or farm machinery on campaigns of retail leadership, Kim Jong Un has become unwillingly introverted by circumstance, as we all have everywhere else-- by the nimbus threat of death.

The infection that lurks soundlessly among us, turns even the least vocal into Karens, afraid of casual contact from strangers and admirers alike. The only safe space is a white one; lit from glassed objects we can safely grasp in our hands it transmits our feelings in non-committal likes and blocks. Light reflects our contours transmitting data to the cloud, to the hungry servers--our dreams and discontents.

We here in the West are legion, vociferous in our current discontents, as the pleas of the perennially oppressed are drammeled by authorities in uniforms and broadcasts. The only safe thing to do is to shield ourselves in white; like sun worshippers afraid of cancer we make plaques that announce we are here but we cannot be tarnished by its broad luminescence. We are here, ganging together in peaceful ad hoc masses with signage held by our hands so that guns don’t--so that guns won’t--be necessary, serving up space for that multiplicity of voices we imagine as our collective selves can be seen and legible. We are present to be witnesses to the carnage that claims those that hang on to this archaic vision of liberty as Kim Jong Un scoffs at the plight of freedoms.

Yet he is but a straw man, a construct of the exotic stuff we’ve been feeding on like Beyond Meat burgers bleeding the “blood” of red beets down our chins while we ache to believe that our insufferably altered existence is still better than that of those subjugated by the will of one man, distant and alone like OZ behind a nuclear curtain.

How we yearn for something small, something containable like our fantasy of disease controlled by our distinguished apparatus--perhaps eradicable by dry ice containers of pharmacologically approved mystery meat.

Seung-Min Lee (b. 1981) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Selected exhibitions and performances include: TedTalks iChicken, “MoMA Downtown”, New York, 2020; Freeport: Kim Jong Un Liberation Art, Hauser and Wirth, New York, 2020; Kim Jong Un: Spring Awakening on the Pacific Rim, Human Resources LA, Los Angeles, 2019; Popular Revolt with My Barbarian, iRape : Brett Kavanaugh SoulCycle Instructor, NYU Skirball Center, New York, 2019; On Whiteness, The Kitchen, New York, 2018; #themalso?, Performance Space, New York, 2018; Full Disclosure: A History of Personal Racial Macro and Microaggressions, Highline, New York, 2017; Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to Internally Smash the Patriarchy, Racism, Ageism, Classism, & Bad Manners to Win Friends, $etc., Safe Gallery, Brooklyn, 2017; Price of Admission: Let’s Not Gentrify Chinatown, But Say We Did?, Essex Flowers, New York, 2016; Memory Palace, Alisa Baremboym and Seung-Min Lee, Luxembourg and Dayan, New York, 2015; Women, Inc., Artists Space, New York, 2015; On Discipline, Regina Rex, New York, 2015; End Of The Night Café II, Kim Jong Un Hacks Chipotle, David Lewis Gallery, New York, 2015; Sing’s Millennium Mart, Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, 2015.



3. Shaun Leonardo, FF Alumn, live online with ConSortiUm, Feb. 11


PLATFORM presented by ConSortiUm
February 11, 2021
5:30 PM (PST)

Webinar Registration link:

Visiting artist Shaun Leonardo will discuss his multi-disciplinary work, which interrogates societal expectations of masculinity, namely definitions surrounding black and brown masculinities. Speaking to his most recent body of work in The Breath of Empty Space, he will describe the physical and psychosocial negative space that is activated when viewers fill in the blanks, reframe details, and remix narratives based on both personal experience and perceptions ingrained by media and cultural biases. The artist will also describe his investment in performance as a process of embodiment—exploring the ways in which memory and trauma are lodged within our bodies.

Shaun Leonardo is a Brooklyn-based artist from Queens, New York City. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, is a recipient of support from Creative Capital, Guggenheim Social Practice, Art for Justice and A Blade of Grass, and was recently profiled in the New York Times. His work has been featured at The Guggenheim Museum, the High Line, and New Museum, with a solo exhibition, The Breath of Empty Space, currently at MASS MoCA, then traveling to The Bronx Museum in 2021.

Shaun Leonardo’s conversation is part of PLATFORM from ConSortiUm, a collaborative project of art museums and galleries across the California State University (CSU) system. This virtual event series, which began in fall of 2020, actively engages universities and communities through visual arts-based dialogue.

Conversation #4 of the PLATFORM series, Shaun Leonardo: From Seeing to Witnessing, is being hosted by the San Diego State, San Jose State, and Sacramento State University museums and galleries.

ConSortiUm’s participating CSU art museums and galleries include venues at campuses in Bakersfield, Todd Madigan Gallery; Chico, Janet Turner Print Museum and Jacki Headley University Art Gallery; Dominguez Hills, University Gallery; East Bay, University Art Gallery; Fresno, Center for Creativity and the Arts; Fullerton, Nicholas & Lee Begovich Gallery and Grand Central Art Center; Humboldt, Reese Bullen Gallery and Goudi'ni Native American Arts Gallery; Long Beach, School of Art and Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum; Los Angeles, Luckman Gallery, Luckman Fine Arts Complex and Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery; Northridge, Art Galleries; Pomona, W. Keith & Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery and Don B. Huntley Gallery; Sacramento, University Galleries; San Bernardino, Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art; San Diego, University Art Galleries; San Francisco, Fine Arts Gallery; San Jose, Natalie and James Thompson Gallery; San Luis Obispo, University Art Gallery; Sonoma, University Art Gallery; and Stanislaus, University Art Gallery and Stan State Art Space.



4. Jibz Cameron, Sharon Hayes, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Carmelita Tropicana, FF Alumns, selected as 2021USAFellows

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5. Shirin Neshat, FF Alumn, now online at Artsy.net

The Future of Art According to Shirin Neshat
Artsy Editorial

In the newest installment of Artsy and BMW’s “Future of Art” series, Shirin Neshat reflects on her rise as an artist and the portraits in her recent “Land of Dreams” series at her studio in Brooklyn.

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6. Patty Chang, David Everitt Howe, FF Alumns, at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, March 19-May 23

Hi everyone:

Ever since my undergraduate days in Savannah it's been an art fag dream of mine to work with Patty Chang, who was an idol. Well, omg, 20 years later it's coming full circle! Her newest video work, Milk Debt, will be making its New York debut at Pioneer Works, on March 19th. More info is below.

Oh, and during my days of COVID employment chaos, I started a personal website; wrote a memoir-ish "curatorial essay" and rumination on photography, loss, neighbors, and community for Broadcast, Pioneer Works' new editorial platform that I co-edit; and also wrote a really fun-to-write review of Jamian Juliano-Villani at JTT for frieze.

Thank you. David Everitt Howe

Patty Chang: Milk Debt
March 19 - May 23, 2021
Pioneer Works
2nd Floor Gallery

Patty Chang’s multi-channel video installation Milk Debt, ongoing since 2018, features lists of fears solicited from an open call in Hong Kong and the United States—including one in New York during the height of its COVID epidemic. Compiled into a running script, the list is read by women pumping their breast milk in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and the US/Mexico border. Rich with hormones prolactin and oxytocin—which together promote bonding between mother and newborn—breast milk, in Milk Debt, becomes a charged and timely metaphor for the importance of empathy, understanding, and mutual obligation during a time of worldwide crises. Formerly presented at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, this exhibition marks its New York debut.

The project came into being after Chang, a longtime New Yorker, moved to Los Angeles in a record-breaking heatwave. Feeling intense worry about climate change, a friend suggested she jot down her fears onto a list, which grew to four pages. Chang invited her friends and colleagues to contribute their own worries, and she began conceiving these lists as a prompt for performance and video. Since then, Milk Debt has expanded to include nine female performers and the list has grown in scope. Perhaps most striking about the project is the uniformity of concerns spread across every demographic: fear of death, fear of catching COVID, fear of losing a job, fear of being unloved. The project, in its essence, serves as a portrait of collective anxiety. At a time of deep political division, civil unrest, pandemic spread, and doubts of our collective future, the idea of the collective itself has never been more important. Widely recognized for her pioneering, often provocative feminist work that has grown in acclaim since the 1990s, Chang‘s centering of the female body, in this instance, opens it up to collective contribution.

Taking its title from a tenet in Chinese Buddhism, which states payments must be made toward a mother’s afterlife for years of her life-giving breast milk, Milk Debt suggests that there are many debts we, as a human race, owe to the planet and to each other. As Chang has noted: “I believe that the act of producing breast milk and lactation is an empathetic act. Biologically, breast milk is created when the body starts to produce the hormones of prolactin and oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that is produced when someone is in love. The act of producing breast milk allows the woman to engage in this state of being, which some might describe as being more connected, being more open and accepting, and not thinking of oneself first.”

Patty Chang: Milk Debt was curated at Pioneer Works by David Everitt Howe. The project originated at 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica, and was originally curated by Anuradha Vikram.



7. Rachel Mason, FF Member, nominated for The Oscars, and more

Rachel Mason's film CIRCUS OF BOOKS was released on Netflix this year and is eligible for Oscars. It has been considered a contender in the Hollywood Reporter and has been featured in 20 Best of the Year lists from top publications. The film received a GLAAD Media award nomination. The film received an IPA Satellite award nomination



8. Ron Athey, FF Alumn, at Participant Inc., Manhattan, Feb. 14-Apr. 4

Queer Communion: Ron Athey
Curated by Amelia Jones
Feb 14 – April 4, 2021
Participant Inc.
Wednesday–Sunday, noon–7pm
Appointments are required

Ron Athey, Performance at Participant in 3 Acts, with Hermes Pitakkos, Mecca, and Elliot Reed

I. Opening solo word action by Elliot Reed;
II. Pistol Poem: Brion Gysin’s 5 x 5 1960 sound piece choreographed for 4;
III. Printing Press (1994 brought back for Biosphere 2 performance, cutting the Horns of Consecration)
Tues, Feb 16, 8pm EST


Queer Communion: Ron Athey, curated by art historian and performance studies scholar Amelia Jones, offers the first retrospective of the work of Los Angeles-based performance artist Ron Athey. The exhibition and related publication explore Athey’s practice as paradigmatic of a radically alternative mode of art-making as queer communion — the generous extension of self into the world through a mode of open embodiment that enacts creativity in the social sphere through collective engagement as art. Athey, through his significant and generative work as a performance artist, is a singular example of a lived creativity that is at complete odds with the art worlds and marketplaces that have increasingly dominated contemporary art over his largely undervalued career. Having been the focus of a homophobic, AIDS-phobic, and sensationalized political attack during the U.S. culture wars of the 1990s, in which a conservative leader denounced a partially government funded Athey troupe performance as depraved, Athey’s practice remains a challenge to the politics of today’s renewed culture wars. Athey’s work is organized in relation to thematic intensities and overlapping communities spanning religion, queer subcultures, music, literature, performance, film, and theater, and displayed via photographic, archival, and video documentation as well as artworks and props from the original performances and Athey’s personal collection. The exhibition will travel to ICA Los Angeles in summer 2021.

Queer Communion presents Athey’s career and lifework through the lens of these communities that Athey has engaged and helped form throughout his career: each section (Religion/Family, Music/Clubs, Literature/Tattoo/BDSM, Art/Performance/ Politics, New Work/Community) is laid out with a range of artifacts, props, costumes, photographs, video, audio, writings, and sketches relating to his creative work, artistic development, and engagement of friends and colleagues across queer networks. The zones move forward in a roughly chronological but recursive and overlapping way, transporting the visitor from the 1970s to the present, laying out the interrelations among the communities and actively purveying a sense of each community’s mood, political energies, and creative ethos in relation to Athey’s practice. Visitors will ideally gain an active sense of what it was/is like participating in these communities rather than simply a sense of viewing relics from the past, while also gaining a strong understanding of the aesthetic and political trajectories within Athey’s own work.

A catalogue is available which accompanies the exhibition and includes extensive original never-before published writings by Athey as well as an illustrated checklist and essays by a range of contributors on Athey’s work and impact. Queer Communion: Ron Athey (Intellect Press, 2020), is co-edited by Amelia Jones and Andy Campbell; the catalogue was listed among “Best Art Books 2020” in the New York Times. https://www.intellectbooks.com/queer-communion

Ron Athey (b. 1961) identifies as a self-taught artist, having, since 1980, life of experience in Los Angeles post-punk performance scenes. He has collaborated with performers, visual artists, and opera directors, participated in philosophy seminars (via Professor Johnny Golding’s tenure at Greenwich University 2012-13), and has visiting artist teaching history at Cal Arts, Roski, UCLA, and Queen Mary University, London. Recent projects include Acephalous Monster, Performance Space NY, 2018; Sebastiane, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2014; Incorruptible Flesh: Messianic Remains, Spill Fest Ipswich, UK, 2014; Self-Obliteration, Galerija Kapelica, Ljubljana, Sliovenia, 2011; as well as community-based projects including Gifts of the Spirit, a collectively authored automatic writing opera, culminating in the ultimate version with Opera Povera through the Broad Museum at the Cathedral of St. Vibiana, 2018. Athey’s work has been included in group exhibitions including Art AIDS America, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington, 2015 and The Displaced Person, Invisible Exports Gallery, NY, 2012. Athey has received grants and fellowships including English Arts Council 2014 and 15; Art Matters 2018, Foundation for Contemporary Arts 2019, American Academy of Religion for Religion and the Arts Award 2019, and most recently the Harpo Foundation Fellowship 2021. Upcoming projects include a live art/video production in collaboration with Hermes Pittakos, The Asclepeion.
Amelia Jones (b. 1961) is Robert A. Day Professor and Vice Dean of Academics and Research in Roski School of Art & Design, USC. Recent publications include Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (2012); Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories, co edited with Erin Silver (2016). Her book entitled In Between Subjects: A Critical Genealogy of Queer Performance is published in 2021 by Routledge Press.
Archival, research assistance: David Frantz, Hannah Grossman, Dominic Johnson, Maddie Phinney, Ana Briz.

Safety protocols: Appointments are required and are limited to two people. Visitors and staff must wear a mask at all times, use available hand sanitizer upon entry, and practice social distancing. We ask that you do not visit if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive in the past 14 days.

PARTICIPANT INC's exhibitions are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Our programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Archiving and documentation projects are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. PARTICIPANT INC is supported in part by an Artists Council Grant of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Online projects are made possible with funds from the NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in
Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

PARTICIPANT INC receives generous support from the Harriett Ames Charitable Trust; Artists’ Legacy Foundation; Michael Asher Foundation; The Greenwich Collection Ltd.; Agnes Gund Foundation; Marta Heflin Foundation; The Ruth Ivor Foundation; The Meredith E. James Charitable Fund; Jerome Foundation; Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; Henry Luce Foundation; The MAP Fund; NADA Gallery Relief Grant; Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; Andrea Stern Charitable Fund; Still Point Fund; Teiger Foundation; The Jacques Louis Vidal Charitable Fund; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; FRIENDS of
PARTICIPANT INC; numerous individuals; and Materials for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs/NYC Department of Sanitation/NYC Dept. of Education.

PARTICIPANT INC is located at 253 East Houston Street between Norfolk and Suffolk Streets. The closest trains are the F (2nd Ave) and the J/M/Z (Essex/Delancey); the closest wheelchair accessible stop is the 4/6 (Bleecker/Lafayette). Entry is on grade and the gallery is barrier free throughout with an all gender, wheelchair accessible bathroom. Service animals are welcome.



9. Helen Varley Jamieson, Adriene Jenik, Antoinette LaFarge, Patrick Lichty, Guillermo Gomez Peña, Nina Sobell, Alan Sondheim, FF Alumns, now online at https://vimeo.com/503467731


In 2020, many people encountered online performance for the first time.
We asked some of our peers “When was your first online performance?”
“Before the first” is a brief glimpse of the diversity of online performance created before 2020.
Compiled by Annie Abrahams, Helen Varley Jamieson and Suzon Fuks. Edited by Suzon Fuks.

2019 Gwendoline Samidoust | XD,^_^,:3,:-D Le Rire en tant que Language, with Constallations | Zoom
2019 Lucie Desaubliaux | Enter the Dragon, with WMAN | Second Life & ManyLand
2018 Muriel Piqué | Distant Movements, with Daniel Pinheiro and Annie Abrahams | Zoom
2018 Soyung Lee | Online En-semble - Entanglement Training, concept by Annie Abrahams | Adobe Connect
2017 Lily Robert-Foley | We nooses tous des bastardi elettronici che usano lingue globali | readingclub.fr – an adaptation of Etherpad
2016 Gilson Moraes Motta | Cortege on the Beach | Waterwheel Tap
2014 Atefeh Khas | Metamorphosis, with Amin Hammami | Waterwheel Tap
2013 Elaine Vaan Hogue | All the better to see you with, with Helen Varley Jamieson, Gabriella Sacco and workshop participants | UpStage
2013 Alejandra Ceriani | Waterhole, with Alberto Vazquez | Waterwheel Tap
2012 Ximena Alarcon | Letters and Bridges | Soundjack
2012 Daniel Pinheiro | Identity Project, with Tiago Bôto and Whitney V. Hunter | video conferencing
2011 Emma Che Raethke-Martin | So far away, yet so near | Waterwheel Tap and Skype
2011 Christina Papagiannouli | Cyberian Chalk Circle, with Evi Stamatiou | UpStage
2011 Martina Ruhsam | Angry Women - take 2, concept by Annie Abrahams | mosaika.tv
2009 Rosa Sanchez | Umbrales_Artes vivas en casa, with Konic Thtr | SAGE (Scalable Amplified Group Environment) and video conferencing
2008 Caroline Delieutraz | Double Bind - Bras de tête et Tête de fer, with Justine Abittan | flash and javascript by panoplie.org
2007 Jorge Rojas | Lucha Libre | BlogTV.com
2007 Rebekah Wild | Baba Yaga, with Vicki Smith | UpStage
2007 Miljana Perić | Learn to hear through the lies of your eyes: the cyberforming hybridisation of Tuxedomoon, with Teodora Perić and Ana Marković | UpStage
2006 Alan Sondheim | Dropping off the Edge of the World | Second Life
2005 Patrick Lichty | Dissention Convention, with Maya Kalogera & Marc Garrett | VisitorsStudio
2004 Roger Mills | Sonic Circuits, with Neil Jenkins | VisitorsStudio
2003 James Cunningham | Improv on ‘Thanatonauts-Navigators of Death’, with Suzon Fuks, Igneous, Bonemap, Keith Armstrong and Kelli Dipple | Access Grid
2002 Johannes Birringer | Here I come again / Flying Birdman, with ADaPT (Association for Dance and Performance Telematics) | QuickTime Streaming Server (QTSS) with QuickTime Broadcaster, older video format, Real time sound mix with Max/MSP
2001 Joseph DeLappe | Howl: Elite Force Voyager Online | Start Trek Elite Force Voyager Online
2001 Keith Armstrong | Liquid Gold, by Transmute Collective | Quicktime streaming, Shockwave clients & server
2001 Karla Ptáček | Paycheck, Performance Poet | The Palace
1999 Auriea Harvey | Wirefire, with Michael Samyn | Flash and handmade cgi scripts
1998 Jean-Marc Matos | Un Thé Extravagant, with Anne Holst and Caroline Tymen | Studio télévision and ADSL internet
1995 John Hopkins | Eight dialogues | Internet Relay Chat
1995 Nina Sobell | An Interactive Telerobotic Sculpture Performance, with Emily Hertzell | Netscape’s server push animation
1994 Antoinette LaFarge | The Greenest Fools, with the Plaintext Players | PMC MOO
1994 Adriene Jenik | El Naftazteca, with Ruben Martinez, Guillermo Gomez Pena and Roberto Sifuentes | Mbone
1992 Paul Sermon | Telematic Dreaming | ISDN video conferencing
“Before the first” is a response to the many claims of online “firsts” in 2020. We aim to draw attention to the long and rich history of online performance, which stretches back to the earliest days of the internet. This video is only a very tiny sample of this field of creative work.

For some of the artists in “Before the first”, the performance shown was not their very first online performance. Many early works were never documented, or for other reasons later works have been used. This video is a snapshot and provocation to further exploration of the field, rather than an historical record.

Annie Abrahams, Helen Varley Jamieson and Suzon Fuks



10. Barbara Hammer, Carolee Schneemann, FF Alumns, now online at hyperallergic.com

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11. Richard H. Alpert, FF Alumn, in Film International, Jan-Feb. 2021


Review of the video series “Variations on a Spanish Landscape” appears in January/February issue of Film International in the Film Scratches section.

Visual Poetry: “Variations on a Spanish Landscape” (2019) Reviewer David Finklestein
“Variations on a Spanish Landscape” is the name of a series of ten short videos by American artist Richard Alpert. These variations are all derived from footage Alpert shot from the window of a high speed train traveling from Barcelona to Madrid. Alpert manipulates the images of the Spanish landscape into different formal arrangements, combining them at times with music and other imagery. The resulting studies are visually arresting and poetically expressive
In the beginning of “Variation #7”, the footage is divided into three vertical slices, separated by soft edges so they blend together. The landscape passes the train from left to right, and the three slices all show the same scene, except at slightly offset points in time, making a kind of visual “canon.” This particular visual scheme, of slices of footage from offset points in time, has been successfully explored in different ways by quite a few other artists, such as Scott Stark, Peter Rose, and Andrew Filippone Jr. But Alpert is exploring more than one idea here. The sequences with the vertical slices alternate throughout with sequences in which the entire image from the train window is reconfigured from “linear coordinates” to “polar coordinates,” a mathematical visual effect which turns straight lines into circles. The spectacular result converts the linear experience of looking out of the window into a whirling wheel of a landscape. Note that what Alpert is doing visually is the functional opposite of what the train itself does: the train converts rotational energy into linear energy, whereas Alpert converts linear energy into rotational energy.
In the familiar experience of looking out of the window from a moving train, the parallax effect causes objects far in the distance to appear to be passing by much more slowly than nearby objects. This effect becomes wonderfully changed in the circular format. In Alpert’s version, the layers of imagery closer to the center of the circle move more slowly, whereas the outer layers move the most quickly. Thus, trees in the middle distance are closer to the center and move at medium speed, whereas very distant mountains or clouds in the sky are at the very center and seem almost stationary. As taller and then shorter objects pass close by the train, the circle appears to whirl inwards and then outwards again rapidly.

In the enchanting “Variation #9”, the footage is again displayed in three slices, but this time the middle slice is flipped so that the direction of travel appears reversed, creating a small kaleidoscope effect as symmetrical mountains appear to grow apart from one another and separate. The rolling Spanish hills take on a gentle, rounded appearance. The landscape is overlaid throughout with footage of curling smoke, streaming sideways, or else with the silhouettes of back-lit nude female forms. Alpert refers to the videos in this series as “visual poems,” and this piece richly partakes of the visual version of poetic metaphor and rhyme. We begin to feel a deep inner consonance between the low hills, the female form, and the smoke. The piece ends with a quote from Emily Dickinson, a poet who also compared mountains to women, calling them “my strong madonnas.” The piece is accompanied by a version of “Bachianas Brasileiras #5” by Brazilian composer Heitor Villo-Lobos, arranged for guitar and theremin. The curling, winding melody, with its Iberian flavor, is a fitting accompaniment to the piece.

In #8, the slices of the landscape are horizontal, rather than vertical. The video heightens the parallax effect, as it contrasts the extremely close footage of the empty tracks whizzing by with the more stately flow of the hills in the distance. At times, the slices showing the rails completely fill the frame, reflected symmetrically. These shots are naturally abstract, as the extremely fast motion blurs the details, and the endlessly straight rails hardly vary in shape. These sections quickly become beautifully abstract compositions, in which the feeling of rapid motion is implied rather than explicit. The piece is accompanied by gently purring ostinato melodies, reminiscent of the “train” sections from Glass’ “Einstein on the Beach”.

In #10, the footage has become fully kaleidoscopic, in six square sections that are all symmetrically reflected from one another. At times, the footage is also treated with a “cartoon” effect, which draws the landscape with flat areas of color, heavily outlined in brown. These blocks of color in symmetrical patterns at times create the feeling of a moving Navajo rug. The toe-tapping music for percussion and guitar has the feeling of pop music with a slightly flamenco flavor, which goes well with this slightly psychedelic way of rendering the Spanish landscape. At times, the music pauses for a couple of beats, and Alpert has the footage freeze at these points, a simple effect which is surprisingly satisfying to the eye and ear.

Taken together, the variations present many different moods, textures and ideas, all created with the same footage. It is a classic example of how an artist (with a poet’s eye) can take ordinary experiences and help us to see them in new ways.



David Finkelstein is a filmmaker, musician, and critic. Contact lakeivan@earthlink.net



12. Annie Lanzillotto, FF Alumn, live online at Sarah Lawrence College and more

Street Cry Inc.
Sarah Lawrence College presents
a new talk show series with Annie as host.
“Our Yonkers Our Youth Our Stories”

Three Sundays at 6 PM EST. Save the dates 2/14, 3/14, 4/11, (1 hr)
February 14th, with Guest Star Paul Kwame Johnson and his student Naviaya Williams. Kwame Johnson is the founder of Youth Theatre Interactions. He has influenced generations of Yonkers’ youth.
Visit the following URL to RSVP and get free 2/14 tickets:
“Annie’s Story Cave” podcast just released the 9th Episode. You can listen on every podcast platform.
or find episodes at www.StreetCryInc.org



13. Paul Zelevansky, FF Alumn, now online at https://vimeo.com/507655610


“Can’t you hear that rooster crowin’?Rabbit runnin’ down across the roadUnderneath the bridge where the water flowed though.So happy just to see you smile,Underneath the sky of blue.On this new morning, new morning,On this new morning with you."

(Bob Dylan, “New Morning,” 1970)


PZ, 2/4/2021



14. Ann-Marie LeQuesne, FF Alumn, now online at https://vimeo.com/503798606

HATS ON! A Lockdown Performance

Warren Street Station, London 20/12/20 - Plan A was to cross the road, as a socially distanced group - wearing unusual hats, masks and winter coats. Then COVID intervened… Instead, everyone has crossed the road where they live and sent me their videos. These have all gone into a base video from the original location, showing unlikely encounters. HATS ON! is the 23rd Annual Group Photograph. Visit: https://vimeo.com/503798606www.amlequesne.com





15. Franc Palaia, FF Alumn, at Van Der Plas Gallery, Manhattan, thru Feb. 28

Graffiti VS. Street-Art

Graffiti and Street Art are distinct art forms that can be found on city streets and walls worldwide.The two styles have shared a tense coexistence, continually appearing together and overlapping, competing for space across urban environments.The originators of these styles were put off by the excessive commercial glamour of the 1970s, and were driven to express themselves outside of the mainstream. Easily dismissed as vandalism by the untrained eye, both Graffiti and Street Art, in fact, possess rich histories, rising out of vibrant local culture and environmental pressures.These styles began developing into codified, although still controversial, urban art forms
in the 1970s; both involving re-appropriation of public space with bold visuals, at the risk of legal repercussions.

Van Der Plas Gallery’s new exhibition “Graffiti VS. Street-Art” aims to highlight the differences between graffiti and street art as formal styles, as well as the blurred lines where the two overlap and intermingle. It will explore the similarities and divergences between styles and artists. Graffiti and Street-Art span generations, and this exhibit features works from the early days of Street-Art on the Lower East Side, to contemporary works inspired by these origins.
Van Der Plas Gallery will be featuring works from artists Sinclair The Vandal, David Diaz, Con$umr, FA-Q, Christopher Hart, Frank Wore Croce, Alejandro Caiazza, Will Power, and Franc Palaia.

Kevin Wendell (FA - Q), a legend notorious for his rough, rebellious nature and his hard, street attitude. On the street or behind bars as he was constantly trying his luck with authorities and living dangerously in his addiction driven lifestyle. The pronunciation of his chosen moniker expresses the aggressive attitude his work embodies. His energy came through in his paintings and it is here that we still see his raw and expressive motif. He created hundreds of works featuring faces, all of them different and distinct. Many of these works were made using his fingers, sticks or brushes on paper, panels or canvases.

Con$umr “Most of what I've learned about making art has come from trial and error
and asking for help. My critical voice is quite low, so I am not afraid of making
mistakes. My inspiration comes from street art, pop art, and the teachings of
the Buddha. I am also inspired by my friends, many of whom are also artists.”
Frank “Wore” Croce “If graffiti is a sin, may God forgive me.”

Sinclair the Vandal “I approach every piece to vandalize as if I were to spot an empty wall or alleyway to personally make my mark on… Graffiti had an impact on me as a child and on the community, that in a way, became a lifestyle. It is up to keep this type of form from decaying.”

Will Power “There are many levels to finding one’s voice and coming to grips with the harsh realities of life… my journey as an artist starts from the culture I was born into and as it has grown, so have I. My art reflects not only my love and connections to the culture of Hip Hop Music but the spiritual and inspirational aspects that I owe my art and life to.”

Christopher Hart was born in NYC, Hart is one of the originators of the “street as gallery” style, and has been exhibiting since leaving school at 19. “It was simplistic at first. I’ve gotten better. When graffiti first hit, I guess I was still holding back. But then I started to feel like a fool. So, I said, “Just go for what you want now. Just do it!” That was about ’77. And since, I’ve explored several different mediums.”

Franc Palaia has worked professionally in several media as a painter, photographer, sculptor, muralist, book artist, curator, graphic & scenic painter, public artist and sign-maker. Some of his photos were included in the film,”Shadowman” which was screened at the Tribeca Film festival in 2017 and “Boom for Real,” a film on Jean Michel Basquiat in 2018.

David Diaz was born and raised on the Lower East Side on Avenue D. “Growing up in that era (70s and 80s) I must say was the best time of my life. In my younger years, I grew up admiring graffiti writers like Mark Bode, Keith Haring and Lee. This was the era when graffiti was splattered on every train. Those trains ended up at the bottom of the ocean and turned into reefs. I developed a love for the art of graffiti early on, and in my later years, went back to doing what I love and am extremely motivated to bring this era back to the mainstream.”

Alejandro Caiazza currently works and resides in New York City. He continues creating extraordinary pieces that reflect the artist’s emotions. In his most recent work he demonstrates a strong passion for American pop culture, embracing traditional forms expressed in primary colors, and sometimes adopting a ‘naive’ technique.

Alejandro creates whimsical and delightful paintings at first glance, but often there is a deeper, darker side to his work. He creates elementary and childish figures, often cruel, inspired by the drawings of children, which often include criminals, skulls, clowns, and madmen.

February 6th - February 28th
NEW YORK, NY 10002



16. Robin Tewes, FF Alumn, at UntitledSpaceNY, now online thru Feb. 14



We are pleased to present The “ONE & ONLY” Collection in celebration of Valentine’s Day featuring unique and limited edition artworks by a number of our artists. Share your love of art… treat yourself or your heart with artwork to cherish. Take 25% off now through February 14th!

Themes of love, whether they are romantic, erotic, platonic, or self love, have inspired countless artworks throughout history. With these thoughts of love in mind, The Untitled Space has curated a contemporary art collection by all female artists featuring paintings, photography, printmaking, collage, sculpture, textile art and more to delight the eyes. The works in the collection navigate the mysteries of love through a female gaze, redefine it in new terms for the self or other, reflect on the various forms it can take, as well as ignite the imagination with the visual impact of its endless influence on our minds and senses. From erotic etchings to risqué renderings, tantalizing textiles to whimsical watercolors, we bring you our “ONE & ONLY” collection and we hope it will spark your imagination, fill your heart with desire and will be the perfect gift for you or your significant other.

Artists featured in The "ONE & ONLY" Valentine's Collection include @AnneBarlinckhoff, @AnnikaConnor, @CabellMolinaArt, @DanielleSiegelbaum, @Fahrenhaute, @IndiraCesarine, @KatieCommodore, Kat Toronto aka @MissMeatface, Katy Itter @ittems, @KatyaZvereva, @LeahSchrager, @LolaJiblazee, #MairiLuiseTabbakh, @MegLionelMurphy, @RobinJTewes, @SarahMapleArt, @TinaMariaElena, and @TrinaMerryart.

Visit the Collection at:



17. Melissa Smedley, FF Alumn, now online at https://anchor.fm/melissa-smedley/episodes/Powerama-Speaks-eppna8 and more

Dear friends and colleagues,

Here is a podcast from the Art Ranger to kick off a new (ish) year of offerings. First off,
Powerama Speaks, https://anchor.fm/melissa-smedley/episodes/Powerama-Speaks-eppna8 (8:26), where a woman evaluates her technological prowess/powers (or lack thereof). We’re aspirationally calling it a radio play. For example, we were recently a bit amused to read about people “losing their crypto in the crush” due to losing their passwords (forever).
Coming soon from the Department of Homeland Inspiration are more conversations, digital portraits, sonic explorations, and recipes.

We sincerely hope you are all weathering the various storms and droughts and drafts, physical and mental, that must be endured in an effort to stay healthy and sane.

Melissa Smedley,
aka The Art Ranger



Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller