Collaborations, Talks

Future Unknown: Global Education Summit | CAFA

Director David Gersten was recently honored to participated in ‘Future Unknown: Global Education Summit’ held at CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts), Beijing, China. Future Unknown gathered Artists, Designers, Technologist, Educators and Futurists for a two-day exchange on the future of education. David’s address entitled: “Constellations: Hinges Mirrors Eclipses” shared, with a global audience, the mission and vision of Arts Letters & Numbers as a social poetic project. Addressing both future challenges and promises, he spoke of the critical role of diverse cultures and ways of knowing in creating transformation that aspires to our best hopes and aspirations. He called for new models of asking the extraordinary complex questions of our time and outlined a framework of education as a living system with the capacity of developing new pathways of interaction and forms of knowledge.

Future Unknown was the first in a year-long collaboration between CAFA and Arts Letters & Numbers.

Events, Exhibition

Painting Workshop with Asma Mahmood

On Tuesday November 7th our Artist in Residence Asma Mahmood invited the community for an impromptu painting workshop. Through small exercises with oils for textural practice, Asma guided the way and gave the participants a sense of fearless painting and what it can reveal. The workshop was an opportunity to further interact with Asma about her artistic practice.

Events, Community

Arts Letters & Numbers Tasting

On Saturday October 28th we welcomed a number of leaders from the many arts and cultural organizations in the Capital Region to Arts Letters & Numbers Tasting.  With this event, we opened our doors to the extended creative community around us: to share our experiences and spaces, and to begin and continue the conversation about how we can best foster collaboration and contribute to the vibrant arts and cultural communities growing in the region.

As with everything we do, we build on past experiences and our present moment, creating spaces and circumstances to grow and ask new questions.  With Tasting, we transformed the ground floor of our Mill into a space to share a meal, to connect with others, and to participate in a collective art piece. To acknowledge the significance of each person's presence, the plates were custom-made for each course of the meal: plates of glass, concrete, wood, leaves and ice.  In addition, each course was set on suspended tables of different heights, also specially built for the evening.  Throughout the dinner guests migrated between these floating horizons within the columns of The Mill, with each course and spatial condition creating different occasions for interaction.  Finally, this movement of bodies and objects between horizontal surfaces culminated with the rotation of the guests’ visual and tactile experience, with the plates being placed on the wall in a collective vertical composition, created together by everyone present.

After years of growth on the international level, this was a huge step for our regional involvement.  Indeed, seeing The Mill filled with so many engaged and inspiring people, people who are enriching the arts and culture of the region with such care and precision, was simply astonishing. We are beyond excited about what is to come...

Collaborations, Events

Votes for Women

On October 12th - 14th, 2017, Dr. Krysta Dennis Votes for Women was performed in the House on the Hill, as a collaboration between Arts Letters & Numbers, Siena College Creative Arts Department and Sand Lake Center for the Arts. The performance brought the past and the House on the Hill alive, as the audience members found themselves in the middle of a suffrage march and lead was through the intimate moments from suffrage movement. 

Events, Collaborations

SAUCE

SAUCE was a 3-day celebration of Soul, Motown, Funk, Swing, and Blues organized by our friends Joshua Fialkoff and Bryan Brundige. Arts Letters & Numbers hosted the late night dance on Saturday September 30th, where the tunes were accompanied by an edible installation made by Frida Foberg, Merethe Bahn Trolle, Josephine Saabye & Zubin Singh. In front of a white wall, with a projection of dripping sauces and suspended flat breads and peppers, 12 different sauces in squeeze bottles were hanging in elastic string, inviting the guests to compose a late night snack of different tastes and different colors. 

We thank Joshua Fialkoff and Bryan Brundige for bringing a wonderful crowd of people to Arts Letters & Numbers, who filled the space with amazing music, impressive dance moves and a great SAUCE appetite!  

Events, Exhibition

A September Exhibition | Artists in Residence

On September 27th 5 Artists in Residence exhibited their work, created over the last month, in the Barn, on the Field and in the Mill.  The guests were guided through the exhibitions with each artist introducing their work and leading them to the next. It was a beautiful evening showing a diversity of techniques, colors & materials. 

Events, Exhibition

Artist in Residence Exhibition | Jiangliu Dong

On Saturday September 16th one of our Artists in Residence, Jiangliu Dong, exhibited the works she had created during her stay at Arts Letters & Numbers. Jiangliu seeks to explore the comprehensive conversation between body, self, and identity. During her time at Arts Letters & Numbers she was deep in her work, carefully creating art of words, paints, fabrics and as a final act she introduced water..

Talks, Events

David Gersten at UNICEF Expo 2017

Director David Gersten was recently honored to deliver a Keynote address at UNICEF’s EXPO 2017 held in Astana, Kazakhstan. Expo 2017, gathered well over one hundred nations sharing projects and ideas within the theme of ‘Future Energy’, with UNICEF focusing on ‘Advancing the Rights of Children through Innovation’.

David’s address entitled: “Unlocking the Creativity of Youth: from Spatial Literacy towards Social Empathy” shared, with a global audience, the mission and vision of Arts Letters & Numbers as a social poetic project. Addressing both future challenges and promises, he spoke of the critical role of youth in creating transformation that aspires to our best hopes and aspirations. He called for new models of asking the extraordinary complex questions of our time and outlined a framework of education as a living system with the capacity of developing new pathways of interaction and forms of knowledge.

Events, Exhibition

Exhibition | Artists in Residence

Friday September 1st we invited everyone to join us for an evening exhibition around the House on the Hill: Under the tree, in the Barn and on the grass Field. The exhibition showed works created over two weeks by our residents Kirsty Badenoch, Yingting Cui, Emily Fitzell & James Rogers, see work descriptions below. Together with the artists, 30 people walked around the premise, explored installations, studied drawings and participated in creating artworks. The evening ended around the fire between the House on the Hill and the Barn and  with further conversations about the artists’ work. This was the first Artist in Residence exhibition in Fall 2017.

Performance, Events

Constitution Festival

On August 3rd we opened our doors for the second Arts Letters & Numbers festival: this year titled Constitution. The 3-day festival presented works created during our annual four-week summer workshop, bringing together participants from a wide range of disciplines including architecture, photography, dance, music, literature, film, theatre, painting and drawing.   

The festival began with a Persian Dinner by Sheila Mostofi and Homa Shojaie, followed by the latest film by Bill Morrison “Dawson City: Frozen Time” and a talk with the artist.

On Friday our guests were welcomed into the Mill with an experimental dinner by Frida Foberg, Josephine Saabye and Merethe Trolle: the starter as hanging drawings, the main course as transparent walls, and the dessert as a falling curtain. Between food and conversation, Bryan Brundige and Dylan Perrillo filled the space with Blues, Swing and dance.

Finally, on Saturday a line up of works, performances and workshops brought the audience in and out of the Mill and up and down the grass field, showing the multiplicity of conversations, approaches and ideas this summer unfolded. The audience was invited to see, taste and participate throughout the day, discovering installations, film screenings, construction, performances, drawings sessions, music, authentic movement, spoken word pieces, and a final improvisational performance in entitled 'Constitution Constellations' bringing together all of the participants.

We thank everyone who came to share these days with us, and all the visiting artists and participants for their contribution to this Summer’s Workshop, creating an expanded space for opening up and enriching the question Constitution.


 

Constitution Contributing Artists


Adela Wagner . Adrianos Efthymiadis . Alex Chang . Alva Mooses . Ann Morris . Bill Morrison . Claudia Cortínez . Clarice Jensen . David Gersten . Denise Holland . Diane DeBlois . Ed Keller . Evan Burgess . Frida Foberg .  Ginger Teppner . Haleh Atabeigi . Homa Shojaie . Hyunbae Chang . Jennifer Park . Jenny Hsiao . John Bootkoos . Jonathan Turner . Josephine Saabye . Keren Christina Mendjul . Layna Chen . Loren Howard . Luis Accorsi . Medina Dzonlic . Merethe Bahn Trolle . Michael Harrison . Mie Mortensen . Mira Treatman . Natalie Dechime . Nina Parsons . Noelle Gentile . Oda Ravlo . Parker Limon . Pedro Wainer . Rich Kuperberg . Rikke Jorgensen . Robert Dalton Harris  .  Rostam Gersten . Ruby Jayaseelan . Sam Torres . Sarv Gersten . Steve Fry . Tine Bernstorff Aagaard . Tingyu Wang . Troels Steenholdt Heiredal . Uri Wegman .  Ward Dales . Wes Rozen . Yixuan Cai . Zelé Angelides . Zubin Singh

A special thanks to

Laughing Earth Farm . 4 Corners Liquor Store . Hoffay Farm . Heller’s Wine and Spirits . Trader Joe . Field Goods . Renée Phaneuf . Bob Phaneuf . Bill Morrison . Laurie Olinder . John Butkus . Sheila Mostofi . Ann Morris . Rich Kuperberg . Steve Fry . Betty Fry . Berry Floyd . Gary Chen . Rob Harris Dalton . Diane Deblois . Ira Baumgarten . Nadine Baumgarten . Ward Dales . Bryan Brundige . John Desmond . Paul Kennedy . Rebecca Harrison . Bonny Cook . AND many, many more

Works

Artists in Residence Work

The Residency at Arts Letters & Numbers is a space for individuals to have full creative agency to develop new works in a peaceful and evocative environment.

Many artists who have come here have found that crucial to the making of new works comes the need to discuss it, the ideas around it, to receive response to it, to share the influences of it, and this has been exciting to facilitate what seems to be an organic development of the programming of the place as it becomes necessary. The important distinction here is that none of it is required, it has all emerged out of the creative necessity and desire of the work itself! We have had critiques, discussions, solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and performances, film screenings, group drawing sessions, conversations over dinner and the spontaneous conversations throughout the days.

 

Events, Concert

Swing and Blues | Dance Concert

Ever since the beginning of Arts Letters & Numbers, music has been an important part in building the program. After years of national and international interdisciplinary artists coming through, we are excited to have this merging with the local music scene.

For the evening of Friday 21st, we teamed up with Bryan Brundige and Friends and threw an evening of swing and blues music, dancing and socializing. It was a great celebration of spring, music, dance and people, here at Arts Letters & Numbers.
 

Dylan Perrillo - Bass & Vocals
Justin Henricks - Guitar
Alexander Maio - Drums
Julia Posin - Vocal
Bryan Brundige - Trombone & Vocals

Exhibition, Events

Traces: Imprints on the Natural World | Exhibition

Wish You Were Here: Greetings from the Galapagos by Allison Maria Rodriguez
In her practice, Allison is consistently searching for methods and approaches that destabilize perceived ways of knowing and understanding the world.  Her work at ALN includes a three-channel experiential video installation exploring climate change, species extinction and political agency that will be on exhibit. This piece navigates the unsteady terrain in between conservation and consumption, environmental advocacy and tourism, sustainability and exploitation.  It intends to create an alternative space, providing the opportunity for an intimate moment that will ignite dialogue and encourage radical thinking about the current culture surrounding environmentalism.

There not There by Jessica Nichols
Jessica's work has lately been heading down an investigative road. She has been looking into social subjects at a national level, a local level, and also an individual level. Her work touches on topics that stem from her environment and research into our changing society, as well as from an internal, individual search for understanding oneself. There not There is a series of surrealist self portraits transferred onto raw wood materials sourced from ALN and surrounding environments. These photo-sculptures explore the human body in relation to spaces in nature, trying as we do, but inevitably failing to become one with the environment.

Pertinence by Zelé Angelides
Zelé is an artist from Johannesburg, South Africa. Her primary interest is to subvert the norms and values around women that are constructed and reinforced by Western main stream culture. For this body of work she has chosen to go back to traditional mark marking techniques. This series explores the taint of innocence, progression of pain which is learnt and stained in the female psyche derived from values and norms imposed onto the identity of woman. Initiating from a blank state of innocence at birth, through an evolution of circumstantial events which inflicts a tarnish which is held, transcended, transformed and manifests psychological histories which we then engage and react with in social discourse.

To talk for the angels by Agnès Aubague
For the last couple of weeks Agnès has been working closely with the birds in and around ALN's properties. Despite sensations of misunderstanding, her presence was accepted and her meeting with these American birds and their dialogue will be shown in video format. This film will be accompanied by a reading of her latest book Dictapoèmes Polyglottes I (in French, English, Spanish and language of birds). The book is composed from texts recorded with a dictaphone, and jumping from the alligator to the butterfly.

Flying Performance by Thomas Lanfranchi
Thomas deep interest in flying abstract volumes started already in the 90's. Since then he has traveled all over the world creating these majestic artifacts, solely made by scotch tape, plastic and nylon. The current object he is working on will flown in the air, surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Hidley Farm, and will be presented as a short film of this black form flying above the fields.

Photos © Zelé Angelides

Film © Thomas Lanfranchi

Events, Performance

Uncanny You | Performance

“Uncanny You” is audio-visual theatre performance by Ann Mirjam Vaikla and Lærke Grøntved. The project researches and focuses on “uncanny” spaces and situations. It is inspired by examples from the times we are living in and our surrounding political climax: Trump’s rhetorics and post-truth era, right-wing uprising in Europe, refugee crisis and the process of climate change and the denial of it.

The term “uncanny” was first mentioned by Sigmund Freud in his essay “Das Unheimliche” in 1919. The word “uncanny” refers to something that is strangely familiar, rather than simply mysterious; arousing superstitious fear or dread; uncomfortably strange”.

“Uncanny you” works around this term in relation to our heated up political climax - it is a cross disciplinary performance using elements of concert, poetry, video, text based theatre, movement and visual theatre. The text in the performance is partly written by the authors and partly from found material from recent articles and newspaper (ex New York Times, The Guardian ect).  

Parallel the project focuses on insect’s survival strategies and mimicry to mirror and communicate what it happening in the humans world (inspired by the essay “Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia” by Roger Caillois).

“Uncanny You” is an international theatre project. It is co-produced by Kanuti Gildi SAAL in Tallinn, Estonia where it will premiere in the end of September in 2017. Important supporters are residency center Arts Letters and Numbers in New York, USA and Teater Momentum in Odense, Denmark.

 

Photography by Zelé Angelides