Tag Archives | transportation

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

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: 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: Marie Lorenz

As we start finalizing our participating artist list, I will be posting participants’ past projects and projects that will be included in this year’s Conflux Festival!

I wanted to start with Marie Lorenz’s ongoing project The Tide and Current Taxi.  For many cultural producers it is often difficult to keep projects going for more than the length of time from production to exhibition, but Marie has been operating the taxi since 2005 and exploring the waterways in boats that she has designed and built since 2002! Most New Yorkers do not consider the NYC waterways as a viable mode of transport.  I admire Marie’s dedication to making New York new again, as she facilitates explorations of the city from an under-examined perspective: the water.

The Tide and Current Taxi is a rowboat water taxi in the New York Harbor, operated by the artist Marie Lorenz. Each trip is planned to coincide with strong tidal currents in the harbor. To learn more about the project and see lots of documentation, check out The Tide and Current Taxi’s website.