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Contemporary Psyche on View in Venice Art Biennale

October 15th, 2019

Philadelphia-based art historian Deborah Barkun talks about the pleasure and critical thinking that she discovers each time she explores the Venice Art Biennale and collateral events. Through her eyes, we understand that the venerated exhibition never fails to create a constellation of art encounters—always stimulating the senses and challenging the mind, always offering a glimpse into our contemporary psyche. 

58th Venice Art Biennale:

For the 2019 international art exhibition, London-based American curator Ralph Rugoff chose the title May You Live in Interesting Times. This is a phrase of English invention that has long been mistakenly cited as an ancient Chinese curse. The words ‘interesting times’ invoke periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil. Rugoff invited 79 artists from around the world who, in his words, “challenge existing habits of thought and open up our readings of objects and images, gestures and situations…entertaining multiple perspectives…holding in mind seemingly contradictory and incompatible notions, and juggling diverse ways of making sense of the world.”

The 2019 exhibition includes 89 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city center of Venice. Four countries are participating for the first time: Dominican Republic, Ghana, Madagascar, Malaysia, and Pakistan. Twenty-one Collateral Events taking place across the city widen the diversity of voices that characterizes the Biennale.

Read Deborah Barkun’s posts from the 58th Venice Art Biennale on instagram @freshartintl.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio recorded in Venice May-June 2019

Romani Embassy performance by Delaine Le Bass, Music by Santino Spinelli

Related Episodes: Art Historian Playlist: Deborah Barkun Listens to Joana ChoumaliSamson Young: Songs for Disaster ReliefMark Bradford Connects Art with the Real WorldLisa Reihana on Reversing the Colonial GazeMonument to Decay: Israeli Pavilion in Venice

Related Links: Venice Art Biennale 

Related Images: Fresh VUE: 58th Venice Art BiennialFresh Vue: Venice Art Biennale 2017

How to Build the Creative Economy

October 8th, 2019

How do healthy creative economies open the door for artists and innovators?

To answer this question, we take you to Nashville, Tennessee. Music City, U.S.A., aims to become the nation’s start up capital, too. Every year since 2012, Launch Tennessee hosts the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival to encourage new business endeavors. In 2019, Festival organizers invited Fresh Art International to curate a presentation around building the creative economy.

For a live audience gathered inside the historic Acme Seed & Feed building, we bring to the stage Nashvillian Harry Allen, boutique banker, Emily Best, Los Angeles based filmmaker and film producer, and Andrea Zieher, director of Tennessee’s near future contemporary art triennial. Our conversation reveals how the same risk taking and innovation that drive all startups fuel the most impactful creative entrepreneurship.

Takeaways: 

  • Recognize the value of cultural entrepreneurship. 
  • Work toward meaningful and inclusive community impact.
  • Optimize technology, forge real relationships and dedicate personal energy to increase opportunities for creators and facilitate greater access to cultural experiences.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Live event recording courtesy Studio 208, Nashville

Related Episodes: Model Behavior—New Orleans Art Triennial Inspires Other Cities, Creative Hive Transforms Contemporary Art in Tampa, The Future of Art

Related Links: Seed&Spark, Studio Bank, TN Triennial, Tennessee Triennial36|86 Festival,

Commuter Biennial Brings Public Art to Miami’s Margins

October 1st, 2019

The Commuter Biennial aims to activate unseen margins of metro Miami. Local curators Laura Randall and Courtney Levine have organized a set of art experiences for those who spend hours navigating the city in cars, busses and trains. Over the span of four months, ten public art projects will pop up around this suburban landscape.

Two of the participating artists join Randall and Levine to introduce us to The Commuter Biennial. Artist Lily Martina Lee lives and works in Boise, Idaho. Lee’s art juxtaposes intimacy and anonymity—pointing out how forensic crime scene investigations have become embedded in our everyday reality. For her commuter-centered project, she creates public memorials in locations throughout Miami Dade County, where unidentified human remains were found. Since 2005, New York based artist Marie Lorenz has navigated waterways in her handmade boats designed to optimize tidal currents. Her passengers are privileged with intimate experiences on the water. For the roving biennial, she brings her Tide and Current Taxi to Miami.

Listen to this episode to hear the voice of positive thinking. Optimistic about the potential for art to transform the grind of suburban life, the tedium of public transit and the boring daily drive, the Commuter Biennial aspires to draw our gaze from the center to the fringe—suggesting that art belongs to everyone, everywhere, across metropolitan Miami. 

Related Episodes: Public Art Meets Poetry, Public Art Hopscotches Across Buenos Aires, Art of the Everyday, Creativity in Miami’s Public Realm

 

Related Link: Commuter Biennial

Making Art, Creating Culture

September 23rd, 2019

Conversations with contributors to the book: Artist as Culture Producer

 Today’s conversations expand on the definition of the word ‘artist.’’ During Miami Art Week, artist and educator Sharon Louden, with her frequent collaborator Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic, introduce the second book in Louden’s trilogy dedicated to Living and Sustaining a Creative Life. Inside New York’s Strand Bookstore, we meet a few of the artists who contributed essays to The Artist as Culture Producer. In their first-hand stories, they share the personal and professional value of creativity. 

We recorded this episode inside the tent of Untitled art fair during Miami Art Week, and at the Strand Bookstore in New York, we catch up with a few of the artist contributors. In their first-hand stories, we hear the personal and professional value of expanding the practice of contemporary art.

Related episodes: Andrea Bowers, Mark Bradford, Brigada Puerta de Tierra, Theaster Gates, Marinella Senatore, Koki Tanaka.

Related Links:

Chloe Bass 
Michael Scoggins 
Shinique Smith
Brett Wallace 

Artist Playlist—Regina Frank Listens to Joan Jonas

September 16th, 2019

This episode is part of our Playlist series. We’re inviting artists, curators, architects, filmmakers, cultural producers and other listeners to share favorites from the archive.

Based in Lisbon, German born artist Regina Frank has shown her work in New York, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo, among other cities globally. In recent projects, she explored environmental issues in performative installations at the Museum of Art Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, and BioArt 2018, Seoul, South Korea.

Here, Regina Frank introduces our conversation with renowned video and performance artist Joan Jonas, an episode first released on June 5, 2012.

Revisiting this episode is a moment to celebrate the latest chapter in Joan Jonas’s remarkable career. She represented the United States at the 56th Venice Art Biennale. In 2019, Jonas returns to Venice with an immersive, multimedia installation. Moving Off the Land II is the first public project in Ocean Space, a new global oceanic center in the restored Church of San Lorenzo.

Regina Frank writes: I have been listening to Fresh Art since Cathy Byrd launched the podcast in 2011. One episode that I love features Cathy’s conversation with artist Joan Jonas. In 1991, I met Joan Jonas for the first time. She gave a lecture at the University of the Arts in Berlin. What a wonderful artist! I am fascinated and inspired by her creative approach to combining video, performance and drawing. She saw my work and suggested that I speak to the new museum of contemporary art in New York. They gave me their window and the cover of their newsletter and catalogue a few months later, which marked the beginning of my own career, in 1992. While I was in Venice for the 58th Art Biennale, I spent hours exploring Joan Jonas’s great project in the Church of San Lorenzo. I watched every video from beginning to end.

Sound Editor 2019 Anamnesis Audio | 2012 Leo Madriz

Special Audio: Jason Moran, “He Takes His Coat and Leaves”

Feature photo: Joan Jonas, Moving Off the Land II, Ocean Space, Venice, 2019, courtesy TBA21 Academy

Related Episodes: Joan Jonas on The Shape, The Scent, The Feel of Things, Art with a Sense of Placed, Part One, Regina Frank on Performing at the Intersection of Art and Technology

Related Links: Joan Jonas, Ocean Space

 

When Sound is Art—Five Sonic Stories

September 9th, 2019

Today, we introduce you to five artists whose primary medium is sound. The diverse techniques and concepts they explore demonstrate the versatility and power of sonic art. Working with music and song, noise and movement, in natural and urban settings, they are among thousands of artists drawn to this highly diverse art form.

American sound artist Stephen Vitiello is based in New York City. In 2013, we talk about his work and the first group show dedicated entirely to Sound Art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. We consider the history of sound art and what draws Vitiello to work with the sounds that surround him.

The sound of glass holds a universe of meanings for Camille Norment. Representing Norway at the 56th Venice Art Biennale, the American-born artist based in Oslo creates a sonic environment inspired by how sound inhabits and moves through the body. She creates an atmosphere in the pavilion that alternates between dissonance and harmony.

At the Hong Kong pavilion in Venice the same year, we walk through another immersive audio experience—the political commentary of Hong Kong based sound artist and composer Samson Young. We talk about the profiteering and political influence of songs produced to raise funds for disaster relief.

American artist Bill Fontana has a long-time relationship with sound and space. He describes his practice as “composition by listening.” Based in San Francisco, Fontana is known for relocating sounds to create site-specific installations around the world. We talk about how nature and history inform his public art projects — from his 1981 Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns, in San Francisco, to his 2018 Sonic Dreamscapes, in Miami Beach.

In 2017, we meet Colombian composer and sound artist Alba Triana in her Miami studio. She shows us a range of her experiments, from inaudible sound and light installations to interactive electronic music compositions and vibrational environments. Each one transforms our perception of space.

Sound Editors | Special Audio: Five Sonic Stories—Anamnesis Audio and Joseph DeMarco, Bill Fontana—Anamnesis Audio | Bill Fontana, Camille Norment—Kris McConnachie |  VernissageTV, Alba Triana—Alyssa Moxley | Alba Triana, Stephen Vitiello—Eric Schwartz | Stephen Vitiello, Samson Young—Guney Ozsan | FreshArtINTL

Related Episodes: Bill Fontana on Sound & Space, Camille Norment on the Character of a Sonic Environment, Alba Triana on Experimenting with Sound and Light, Stephen Vitiello on Cultural Soundscapes, Samson Young on Songs for Disaster Relief

Related Links:  Bill Fontana, Camille Norment, Alba Triana, Stephen Vitiello, Samson Young

How Paint and Pixels Power the Art of Allison Zuckerman

September 2nd, 2019

New York-based artist Allison Zuckerman explains what drives her desire to distort conventions of female beauty and push art appropriation to a new high. In bright, bold collages, she mixes paint with pixels to create absurd and exaggerated hybrids—women claiming their presence and power in the world.

We meet during her 2018 exhibition at Miami’s Rubell Family Collection. The paintings on view are the wild fruit of a 2017 summer residency. When collectors Mera and Don Rubell offered Zuckerman the time and space to expand her artmaking, she seized the opportunity to go larger than life. In Fall 2019, curator Tami Katz-Freiman introduces Zuckerman’s wild pop-surrealist paintings to Israel, with a solo show at the Herzliya Museum of Art. 

Sound Editor: Joseph DeMarco

Related Episodes: Patricia Cronin on Making Art History, Zoë Buckman on Fight Mode, Kathleen Morris and the Year of Yes, ORLAN on Art Tech

 

Related Links: Allison Zuckerman, Rubell Family Collection, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art

 

Model Behavior—New Orleans Art Triennial Inspires Other Cities

August 26th, 2019

In August 2019, we head to Nashville, Tennessee, where leaders of the seventh annual 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival invited us to stage a live podcast event. We’re here to talk about the Creative Economy. At the heart of our conversation is a startup that aims to have a big cultural impact in this state: the Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art. The major art exhibition premieres in 2021, joining others across the United States. Every three years, Prospect New Orleans, Cleveland’s Front International, and Counterpublic in St. Louis, animate contemporary art experiences for their diverse communities.

New Orleans and Nashville are both southern destinations for music and festivals. To think about what an expansive art exhibition could mean for Nashville and the State of Tennessee, let’s go back in time, to the year 2017, when the fourth iteration of Prospect New Orleans came to the Crescent City. You’ll hear how The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp evokes the musical character of New Orleans and the surrounding urban and natural environment. Click below to hear more stories from Prospect.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Sonia Boyce, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Music Box Village, Darryl Montana, The Kitchen Sisters

Voices, in order of appearance: Trevor Schoonmaker, Brooke Davis Anderson, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Paulo Nazareth, Sonia Boyce, Rusty Lazer, Darryl Montana, Davia Nelson of the Kitchen Sisters

Related Episodes: Art and Community in Prospect 3 New Orleans, Tameka Norris on Channeling Personal History, Franklin Sirmans Introduces Prospect 3 New Orleans, William Pope.L Transforms the Black Factory into a Magic Lantern Show

Related Links: Prospect New Orleans, Tennessee Triennial, Front International, Counterpublic, 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival

Artist Playlist—Nadine Hall Listens to Diaspora Vibe: Art with Caribbean Roots

August 19th, 2019

Jamaican-born artist Nadine Hall introduces Diaspora Vibe: Art with Caribbean Roots, a personally significant episode from her Fresh Art playlist. First published on July 26, 2017, this segment reveals the complex and diverse influence of the Caribbean on contemporary art.

Franklin Sirmans, director of the Perez Art Museum, Miami, talks about the pivotal role of art from the Global South in the triennial art exhibition known as Prospect New Orleans. Prospect returns to the Crescent City in November 2020.

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator founder and curator Rosie Gordon Wallace and Miami-affiliated artists describe how the Caribbean is embedded in their work. In November 2019, DVCAI spotlights the region’s cultural impact in the collaborative exhibition Inter | Sectionality: Diaspora Art from the Creole City, at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, in Washington, DC.

Nadine Hall writes: The Diaspora Vibe episode from the Fresh Art archive is my favorite—a dream-come-true story to share. Cathy Byrd recorded a conversation with me in summer 2017, just before I traveled outside my homeland Jamaica for the first time. Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator had invited me to Miami, to spend one month at Fountainhead Residency. Two years later, I’ve returned to South Florida. I’m here to pursue an MFA in sculpture at the University of Miami, with a three-year scholarship. In this episode, you’ll hear my voice, and the story behind the first step in my incredible journey.

 

Sound Editor: 2019 Anamnesis Audio, 2017 Guney Ozsan | Special Audio: Los Jaichackers, Jorge Martillo, Ashley Teamer

 

Related Episodes: Mapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies, Live from Trinidad: Where Digital Culture Thrives, Live from Dominican Republic with Tilting AxisMiami’s Caribbean Arts RemixArt of the Everyday, Diaspora Vibe: Art with Caribbean Roots

 

Related Links: Franklin Sirmans, Perez Art Museum, Miami, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Asser Saint-Val, Gerard Caliste, Ashley Teamer, Nadine Hall, Los Jaichackers, Jorge Martillo

 

Destination American Southwest

August 12th, 2019

Today, we take you back to the month of April, in the year 2012. That’s when we set out on a road trip from Austin, Texas. We’re aiming to find out how remote wide open spaces of the American Southwest inform and inspire art and design, curating and filmmaking.

 

Lubbock, Texas, birthplace of musician songwriter Buddy Holly, is our first stop. In a warehouse at the edge of town, we meet architecture professor Chris Taylor. He introduces us to students from Texas Tech University who took his course in Land Arts of the American West. The course involves a 6,000-mile road trip that culminates each time in an exhibition such as the one on view during our visit.

We drive on to Roswell, New Mexico, home to the Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) Museum, to spend the night in one of the ranch-style houses that accommodate the Roswell Artists in Residence Program, known as RAIR. Established in 1967 by artist and art collector Don Anderson, the program is off the beaten path for residencies, offering visual artists the unique opportunity to spend an entire year concentrating on their work. The voices you’ll hear are five of the current residents at the time of our visit:  Sarah Bostwick, Jon-Paul Villegas, Brian Villegas, Brian Kluge, and Sioban McBride.

A three hour drive from El Paso, Texas, Marfa has become a destination for art tourism. Home of the ghostly Marfa Lights (unexplained lights sometimes seen along the horizon in the night sky), the tiny town sits in the high desert, between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park.

Renowned minimalist artist Donald Judd came here in the 1970s to escape New York City’s commercial art scene. With the help of the DIA Foundation, he acquired a former Army base. Before Judd died in 1994, he transformed the 400-acre expanse into a faceted art experience. The Chinati Foundation is a contemporary art museum designed to connect art to the surrounding landscape. Year round, visitors can explore Judd's signature boxes and installations by Dan Flavin, Rebecca Horn, Ilya Kabakov and more. We spend a few days to track down some of the artists, curators, designers and producers expanding on Judd’s singular vision.

 

Professional filmmakers Jennifer Lane and David Hollander moved to Marfa from Los Angeles. CineMarfa, the film festival they founded there, will celebrate its tenth year in 2020. We visit their home for a conversation about the genesis of CineMarfa and plans for the second annual event.

 

Ballroom Marfa is a key site of cultural production in this remote art mecca. Arts pioneers Fairfax Dorn and Virginia Leh-bermann founded the contemporary cultural arts space in 2003. Ballroom’s gallery is a converted dancehall that dates to 1927. We sit down with Ballroom’s creative team to learn more.

 

In 2019, we reach out to curator Laura Copelin to find out what happened next. Ballroom Marfa continues commissioning site specific artworks and installations—responding to the environmental, social and political ecology of the landscape that extends to the border of Mexico. One recent example is Haroon Mirza’s massive Stone Circle in the grasslands east of town. This is Ballroom’s most ambitious public commission since Elmgreen & Dragset’s Prada Marfa was completed in 2005. The stone circle will remain in the landscape for the next several years.

 

Leaving the high desert, we drive northeast through the Texas hill country, passing endless fields of bluebonnets. In East Austin, we meet designer architect Jack Sanders in his studio. Sanders talks about how the legendary architect Sam Mockbee influenced the evolution of his own life’s work.

 

Sound Editing and Special Audio Credits:

 

Destination American Southwest Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio

 

Land Arts of the American West Sound Editor: Leo Madriz | Special Audio: 45 rpm record found by Land Art 2011 participants

 

Program Director: Chris Taylor

Students: Alexander Bingham, Luis Bustamante III, Will Cotton, Winston Holloway, Richard Klaja, Celeste Martinez, Zachary Mitchell, Carl Spartz, Rachael Wilson, Bethany Wood. Program Assistant: Adrian Larriva

 

Roswell Artists in Residence Sound Editor: Leo Madriz | RAiR acoustics: Sarah Bostwick

 

CineMarfa Sound Editor: Jay Agoglia | Sound Track: Harmony Korine, TRASH HUMPERS, 2009

 

Ballroom Marfa Sound Editor: Leo Madriz | Special Audio: Brian LeBarton, The Wind, 2010. New Year’s Film/Score Series. January 2, 2010. The Crowley Theater, Marfa

 

Jack Sanders Sound Editor: Leo Madriz | Music: Ross Cashiola, “Trains in the Grass”

Related Episodes: Fresh Talk: Joan Jonas, Fresh VUE: Austin, Land Arts of the American West, Roswell Artists in Residence, CineMarfa 2012, Ballroom Marfa Imagines a Drive-In, Jack Sanders on Slow Architecture

 

Related Links: Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, Sarah BostwickJon-Paul VillegasBrian KlugeCorwin Levi, Sioban McBride, Chinati Foundation, CineMarfa, Jack Sanders, Sam Mockbee/Rural Studio

 

Tags: architectureAustin,, Design Build AdventureEl CosmicoJack SandersMarfaRural StudioSam MockbeeTexas, New Mexico, art podcast, Fairfax Dorn, Virginia Lebermann, Roswell, artists in residence, Chinati Foundation, Texas Tech University, Donald Judd