Author Archive | Angela Washko

Conflux 2012 Official Press Release

Conflux Festival 2012 . Oct. 20-21 . NYU’s Barney Building

The annual NYC festival for the investigation of urban life through emerging artistic, technological and social practices is back! During the Conflux Festival 2012,  over 30 artists, activists, interaction designers, and pranksters will present documentation, give talks, and provide workshops for festival goers on October 20-21, 2012 in the East Village. This year, participating cultural producers are exploring the ways we experience transportation and creating interventions to improve, shake up, or evaluate the things that we have implicitly accepted into our daily commutes.

Curated this year by Angela Washko, the festival will take the form of an exhibition with artist talks and workshops at NYU along with concurrent phenomena elsewhere. Work in the exhibition will range in temperament and intention – from practical and functional to poetic and absurd. Think: documentation of handmade boats navigating the waters surrounding New York City, interactive mythological topographies, ephemera from a “magical” bus tour of suburban New Jersey (which included a visit to the basement couch where the facilitator lost his virginity), subway improvement gestures, and much more.

On Saturday October 20th 12-8pm and Sunday October 21st 12-6pm: Indoor events, headquartered at NYU’s Barney Building (34 Stuyvesant St.), include an exhibition showcasing documentation from a variety of both past and new Conflux participants/projects, as well as talks and workshops. Highlights include discussions led by Daniel Bejar, Emily Bunker, Jason Eppink, Mary Flanagan, Moses Gates, Chris Gethard, Matt Green, Steve Lambert, Robert Lawrence, Marie Lorenz,  Jeff Maki, Mare Liberum, Naomi Miller, Rob Ray, Mark Shepard, Jeff Stark, Nathaniel Sullivan, Caroline Woolard, and The World of Warcraft Psychogeographical Association.

We are also excited to announce that the following artists will be working on projects in public space presented concurrently with Conflux! Yoni Brook, Mare Liberum, Matt Green, LD Lawrence and Ro Lawrence, Mark Shepard, Nathaniel Sullivan, and Alex Young.

All events included in the Conflux Festival 2012 are free and open to the public!
RSVP to Conflux via Facebook!

CONFLUX FESTIVAL 2012
Saturday October 20 12-8pm
Sunday October 21 12-6pm

Barney Building Gallery
NYU Steinhardt School
34 Stuyvesant Street . NYC

Closest Subway Stations:
Astor Place 6
8th Street-NYU N, R
3rd Ave L



Conflux is brought to you by:

Directors
Christina Ray and David Mandl

Curatorial Director
David Darts

Head Curator
Angela Washko

Communications Coordinator
Aliya Bonar

Web: confluxfestival.org
Facebook: Conflux Festival Page
Twitter: @confluxfestival
For Twitter talk: #confluxfestival

Conflux is produced by Glowlab Productions LLC and is hosted in 2012 with the generous support of New York University, Art Connects New York and Gowanus Studio Space.

Interested in volunteering with us? Contact conflux.curatorial@gmail.com

OFF-SITE PROJECT: Nathaniel Sullivan

We are excited to announce that Nathaniel Sullivan will be conducting a seminar in the back of a limousine on October 20th! This public space project is happening at the same time as the Conflux Festival.  Nathaniel has also been invited to talk about the project at the Barney Building the following afternoon. Stay tuned for more details. See below for the official seminar poster.

All That You Desire: Get It All In An Era Of Low Density Hope “ is a seminar that will be conducted from the back of a limousine for approximately one hour on October 20th, 2012. Participants will be selected from the pool of visitors to the Conflux Festival.  The limo will travel through lower Manhattan, the center of global capitalism. We will stop along the route- to tell stories, to play games and to immerse ourselves in the locations of unabashed desire. One of the things this environment teaches us (if we listen to it) is that the abstractions of the financial industry can also have a social function. Unmoored from our old moral codes by these abstractions, we are free to want, to get, and in turn, to want more.

From the artist:

ALL THAT YOU DESIRE: GET IT ALL IN AN ERA OF LOW DENSITY HOPE

What would happen if you got everything you wanted? What would you look like? What would you feel like?

Most people alive on the planet have done something only to say right after, “wow, that was stupid”.  One way or another, we act in service of our desires, which often produce contradictory results.  We are not always in control of what we want.  So if we are not in control of our desires, then what can we control?  If you guessed ‘how you feel about what you want’, then you guessed right.

All That You Desire: Get It All In An Era Of Low Density Hope “ is a seminar that will be conducted from the back of a limousine for approximately one hour on October 20th, 2012. Participants will be selected at the Conflux Festival.  The limo will travel through lower Manhattan, the center of global capitalism. We will stop along the route, to tell stories, to play games and to immerse ourselves in the locations of unabashed desire. One of the things this environment teaches us (if we listen to it) is that the abstractions of the financial industry can also have a social function. Unmoored from our old moral codes by these abstractions, we are free to want, to get, and in turn, to want more.

I know what you might be thinking at this point.  “How do you resolve a limited amount of resources with an unlimited amount of desire”?  Well, my first answer is anything worth having is in limited supply.  But a more in depth answer is this: go into debt.  It may sound crazy, but I believe that debt is an act of citizenship. It is time to reframe debt, to not see it as a burden, as we have in the past, but as the most important social bond that we can have with others.

But ultimately, this seminar is about you and what you want. You have been conditioned not to want too much.  The well-worn narrative dictates that ruin awaits those who have everything they want.  It is this belief that we must sever from your desires.

Think about this for a moment, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) works on the conditioning of the mind, much like an athlete conditions her body.  But an athlete can only jump so high or run so fast as her potential allows. On the other hand, the mind can create a whole universe, instantly. So what would happen if you used that power to imagine a world where you didn’t feel guilty for getting what you want?

So why am I doing this?  I am doing it because I want your attention. Why am I doing this for free? Because I want your attention more than I want your money. And what I really want is for you to take this ride with me.  I want you to get what you want, when you want it.

Space is limited, I would love to take you all, but I can only take a few.  The first thing that you must do is attend the Conflux festival.  The second thing is to be ready for change. I will be in a suit, accompanied by a photographer. I will be asking festival attendees important questions that will determine their suitability for the seminar.  It will be an opportunity that will last an hour. And after that my friends, the opportunity will be gone.

-Nathaniel Sullivan 2012

FEATURED PARTICIPANT: Emily Bunker

Analogous mappings of movement and scale are taken to incredibly unusual and personal realms in works by Emily Bunker.  Conflux is excited to be including documentation of a mapping project Bunker completed in 2009 in this year’s festival.  During a residency in Troy, NY – Emily Bunker left her studio to conduct experiments in abandoned baseball fields nearby.  She followed the travel patterns of insects by employing bright yarn to signify their movements.

During the same time period she mapped her own movements in her studio using the same strategies – ultimately making her workspace practically unusable.

In a field that is often dominated by slick, impeccably engineered, high-tech data visualization projects, Bunker focuses on human perception of movement in space and the physicality of the seemingly futile gesture of attempting to document it ephemerally. Also in line with her desire to create analogous, personal ways of mapping data – Emily Bunker previously covered herself in red clay slip  while sleeping on a bed of white clay overnight creating what she calls “a tactile cartography of sleep.”

FEATURED PARTICIPANT: Matt Green

Conflux is incredibly excited to have the opportunity to invite Matt Green to participate in this year’s festival.  Most of us can’t say that we’ve walked farther than a few miles from home. Over the course of 157 days, Matt Green walked 3100 miles across the United States – from Rockaway Beach, New York to Rockaway Beach, Oregon.

His story is heartfelt, revealing and astounding.  You can view the blog archive of his trip here: http://imjustwalkin.com/usa/.  He writes in a post upon arriving at his West Coast destination: “We may all have different political opinions and different religious beliefs and different cultural norms (I’m a liberal atheist Jew. Did you know that? Does it matter?), and many of us probably couldn’t stand to be around each other on a regular basis, but most of us would, as it turns out, extend a helping hand (or sandwich, or beer, or couch, or shower) to a stranger in need. I walked 3100 miles across this country and didn’t encounter a single person who tried to hurt me, or steal from me, or damage my possessions. This isn’t a place that needs to be feared. It’s a place that needs to be explored, and appreciated, and celebrated.”

At the Conflux Festival 2012, we will be exhibiting his interactive photo map to allow visitors to dive into moments from his trip across the USA on-foot.  He will also be giving a talk on his most recent project – I’m walking every street in New York City, in which he is walking every block of every street in all five boroughs- when completed it will total about 8000 miles on foot! It’s exciting to think that even though he will walk every single intersection in NYC more than once, Matt Green is sure that the city will still be full of surprises.

“Why would you ever want to know a place completely? The excitement of New York, and the whole world for that matter, is that there’s always something else to see, no matter how long you’ve been around. To me it is profoundly encouraging to think of how many secrets will still lie undiscovered after I’ve walked every last one of these goddamned streets. At its core, my walk is an oxymoron: an exhaustive journey through an inexhaustible city.” -From Green’s “Ramblings” on his new walk- found online here.

FEATURED PARTICIPANT: Alex Young

Alex Young has recently moved back to NYC from post-industrial upstate New York towns Troy and Buffalo. In conjunction with the Conflux Festival 2012, Young will be creating a site-specific project (which we learn more about in a couple of weeks). Beforehand, I wanted to highlight his practice and a few of his recent works. Alex Young is an artist, curator and writer exploring the built environment and experimental historiography.

His 2011 project, The Center for Utopian Socialist Studies (C.U.S.S.) is a floating headquarters on the base of a waterfall on the Wyantskill River in Troy- the same river which once fueled the Burden Iron Works’ waterwheel. Young also states that the waterwheel was the world’s largest of its time and was the primary influence on the invention of the Ferris Wheel. The Ferris Wheel was also the main influence for King Gillette’s 1984 conception of Metropolis, another huge focus of Young’s work and research.  C.U.S.S. serves as both an avatar for his Worldshaving project and also as a functional reading room containing literature related to the formation of utopian social communities. This small, hidden base looks at narratives that create a sense of place, city, and industry.

In addition to highlighting Alex Young’s off-site project happening during the weekend of Conflux, we are excited to be exhibiting documentation from his Site of Metropolis: Past/ Future, Present/ Future project completed in Buffalo, NY in 2010. The vinyl mesh banners shown below were installed along chain link fences throughout Buffalo- implying the future construction of King Camp Gillette’s 1984 vision of a single-world-city grid of towering apartment buildings powered by Niagara Falls.  Looking forward to checking them out at Conflux 2012!