Tag Archives | Conflux

PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW: Chris Gethard

What are you working on now and how does the piece in Conflux relate?

My main current pursuit is helming a public-access television show that’s streamed worldwide and known for being out-of-the-box and inclusive of anyone. The Magic Bus of Stories event that I’ll be speaking about at Conflux has led directly to the public-access project I’m consumed with now. The Magic Bus of Stories provided an insane level of access for participants into my own life ranging from childhood to modern day, and the level of connection this created between myself and the participants as well as between the participants themselves, completely redefined my focus to always incorporate the idea of shared, two-way experiences into everything I do. The television show stages a different event each week, and our best shows aim to involve people live in the studio, with events happening on air that are triggered by callers on phones, and that incorporate the reaction of people watching in real time on the internet as well.

What interests you in working in public space? what are some of the challenges you face making public work?

As a comedian, I work to make people happier via laughter. I have made every effort to combine my own narcissistic desire to put my name and face on my projects with a very honest desire to make my work about connecting like-minded people, who often identify as outcasts, with one another. In the same way that music builds scenes, and musical genres attract like-minded people, different wings of the comedy universe can do things as well. My efforts to stage things in non-traditional venues like moving buses, my own home, and a public-access television studio allow me to build environments that the public has full access to and where there are far fewer divisions between performer and audience than any traditional comedy venue. My work as a comedian has often been compared to performance art as it involves less and less of a fourth wall and aims to include as many people as possible. 

There are far fewer challenges for me to work in these realms, as being a comedian and finding opportunities to stage things more publicly than usual doesn’t lead to as many legal and social barriers as people who work in other mediums might face. I hope more and more that I can find opportunities to bring portions of my world to unexpected places in similar ways.

Any great adventures you’ve been on recently?

Tomorrow I head to Brazil on a vacation I planned on a whim. Ask me when I get back.

Check out more here: www.thechrisgethardshow.com, @ChrisGethard

PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW: Rob Ray

What are you working on now and how does the piece in Conflux relate?

Right now I’m working on an off-the-grid (solar-powered) performance space near the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s an old movie-prop tower about forty feet tall, so the working title I use is simply “The Tower.” The work will span a quarter mile or more of space. The booklet I’m sharing at Conflux (“GET LOST!”) is very tiny, but both projects ask you to become a performer, even if you’re just doing something like lying on the ground in a place where most people wouldn’t normally do that. I’m not a “performative person” but I like to think the world could use a little more weird.

What interests you in working in public space? What are some of the challenges you face making public work?

What people do in public space is quite regimented, but everybody knows just about anything can happen. A good example is the “In case I get hit by a bus” trope. Nobody says “In case I have a heart attack clicking the ‘Like’ button on Facebook,” even though those odds are probably better. Your computer feels safe. The outside and other people feel dangerous. This fear of anything and everything happening to us while out in the world creates a lot of informal social agreements about how we’re to behave in that world—like walking on the proper side of the sidewalk. These agreements are ripe material for artists interested in engaging people in this terrain. The challenge then is how to crack open those informal agreements in—I’ll use a Dungeons and Dragons alignment term here—a “Chaotic Good” way, a way that disrupts the flow of the day in unexpected but ultimately pleasurable and insightful ways.

Any great adventures you’ve been on recently?

I made a visit to the Black Hole in Los Alamos, New Mexico, the other day, right before the liquidation sale. I spent the day digging through some of the most amazing and threatening electronic and machine surplus in the world. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a day. I must have asked “What is that?” to myself about a thousand times. It’s a question I should ask more often.

See more here: http://robray.net, @robdeadtech

Leading Up to the Festival…

We are rushing around excitedly preparing for the Conflux Festival 2012 in just two weeks! Leading up until the Festival itself we’ll be posting sneak peeks into the projects, participants, and behind-the-scene views of the Festival preparations! So keep checking in as we ramp up to bring you an amazing presentation of artists, activists, interaction designers, and pranksters. Looking forward to seeing you at NYU’s Barney Building Gallery (34 Stuyvesant Street, NYC) on October 20th and 21st!

And connect with us online! We’re on Twitter and Facebook, and if you’re interested in volunteering at the Festival, drop us an email!

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

HIGHLIGHT FROM CONFLUX 2008: TANGO INTERVENTION

Robert Lawrence and his project Tango Intervention is both a highlight from a past Conflux Festival and also a participating project in this year’s festival exhibition.  During the 2008 edition of Conflux, Lawrence assembled over 40 dancers to Tango across the Brooklyn Bridge, stopping for a one hour milonga at the Brooklyn Tower and another one hour milonga at the Manhattan Tower. He describes the project as a dedication to the invisible laborers that built the bridge during the “Gilded Age.”  More information on this project can be found here.