Chris Rose’s 2nd session in 2018 was entitled ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ and took place November 9th - 11th. The session considered the ways in which experience enters our present moment - that mysterious human sense of the 'persistence of the present moment' which is a feature of our conscious life, of our imagination and dreams.
Hinges, Mirrors & Eclipses is grounded in the idea that the spatial, poetic and material imaginations provide a unique means of registering and creating transformation, of engaging the world and making a contribution. Working from the principle that our capacity to act in the world is rooted in our capacity to recognize and comprehend transformation, the workshop covers a large arc of content, asking questions of our world, our disciplines and our humanity.
In the blossoming summer days our amazing group of artists in residence, Jenny Zander, Dan Thorpe, Michelle Wan Lok Chan, Augustine Cordero & Betsey Gravatt, invited the community to share their work. Whether they had been at Arts Letters & Numbers for months, or for just a few days, the urgency of sharing work with the community was very present. Working closely next to each other sometimes results in beautifully unexpected collaborations - some of these were shared through performances and visual arts during the evening of May 25th, 2018.
Performance and Body Art Installation
Among the shadows we shed our false skins, revealing our true selves. Through the movement and masking of body, this performance explores a piece of one’s real persona. In and out of light, alive with color.
Contact Improv and Body Art
In the blossoming summer days our amazing group of artists in residence, Augustine Cordero, Betsey Gravatt, Jenny Zander, Dan Thorpe & Michelle Wan Lok Chan, invited the community to share their work. Whether they had been at Arts Letters & Numbers for months, or for just a few days, the urgency of sharing work with the community was very present. Working closely next to each other sometimes results in beautifully unexpected collaborations - some of these were shared through performances and visual arts during the evening of May 25th, 2018.
"My work references late 80s/early 90s nostalgia. Specifically, themes from popular culture. Questioing masculinity and personal security from a mixed boy's prespective of this time. My process is primarily intuitive. Working from memory only to arrive at a point that I feel is balanced."
"I use an alphabet of bright colors and shapes to create objects that are reminiscent of 90's toys and cartoons. I arrange my pieces and their components until I have created a piece that reminds me of happy memories from my childhood."
On Friday April 27th, designer and artist, in residence, Joyce Watkins King opened up her studio, showing works in progress of her touring exhibition Fast Fashion Fiasco. We truly wished her work around fabric - clothing - fashion, could have been created inside our old cotton mill. Joyce gracefully made the best of the situation, and in the House on the Hill (previously the cotton mill owners house) arranged her fabric and design studio (think lots and lots of denim), in which she worked on during her 4 weeks residency.
In Joyces work she strives to re-use thread, fabric and findings whenever possible, in opposition to the escalating trend of cheap fast fashion creation and consumption, with little regard for its consequences for growers, laborers, and our environment.
By the end of her stay she probably had the best knowledge of where to source used fabrics in the area, and she has been very supported by the community, engaging in her works.
On April 6th, 2018, visual artist and performer eDuard Helmbold invited the community into his studio at the House on the Hill, where he had spent the last three weeks as artist in residence. Opening his studio was part of his final installation/sculpture/performance of this residency:
“For the duration of the residency I set the task of [mis]reading 15 chapters of the Michael Craig Martin’s text: On Being an Artist (Art Books Publishing, 2015). These mis-readings involved searching for insights and reflections on art history and practice relating to the past and present. Each day’s reading resulted in a conceptual practice that directed my Actions for the day. Sometimes these actions came as a result of direct quotes, other times it was through decontextualizing and twisting words by placing nonsensical notions together, and using the Studio to bridge the gaps. These Actions took the form of drawing, sculpture, performance and experimentation.
The 11 Actions (or parts thereof) that are presented are therefore both works in/of progress and works in/of process:
Process that allowed for a practice to emerge
Process that affirmed this practice
Process that questioned this practice
Process that opened new avenues
Process that created space to be an artist
Action 11 the final action of this residency is Acknowledgement: As the community that creates space around the space for Arts Letters and Numbers to thrive you are invited into your/OUR space. I invite you, not to a mere “show and tell”, but to participate in the last Action of my residency; an Action that materializes the people who, through creating space, now being IN the space – influenced my practice irreversibly.”
As the audience were invited to participate in eDuard's work, the studio that had been his space for the last three weeks now seamlessly became a space for everyone. We thank eDuard for coming all the way from Australia to immerse himself in his artistic practice and in our community. We also want to thank Natalie Dietterich and Dan Thorpe who amazingly rounded off the event with performing each their pieces on violin and piano.
With the third in our new Session series held in March 2018, Attunement, Alberto Pérez-Gómez took particpants on an in-depth journey through his writings on attunement, love, and performance in relation to the ethics of architecture.
A residency at Arts Letters & Numbers is a different experience for every artist. The duration of time, the number of fellow residents, the events, the social gatherings, the weather, the focus, the interactions, the spaces.. One thing that keeps being the heart - witness of all meetings, discussions, thoughts, cooking and interactions is the House on the Hill.
On February 24th, 2018 the artists in residence at the House on the Hill opened up their spaces of work - To experiment with a process - A way of sharing their thoughts.
Each artist had found a way to occupy the place. To build their own spaces of intimacy in which they were able to create their work.
404 SOUND - Natalie Dietterich
ESPACES INVARIABLES - Justine Langella
A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN - Elisa Taber
KITCHEN - Frida Foberg
Photos by Kate Lovering
In February Director David Gersten and Fellow Troels Steenholdt Heiredal met with Kimberly Ruth, the host of BTRtoday's Art Uncovered to talk about the origins of Arts Letters & Numbers, the upcoming Summer Workshop: Hinges, Mirrors & Eclipses and how Arts Letters & Numbers has related to, influenced and enabled Troels' personal artistic pursuits.
Art Uncovered interviews an eclectic mix of artists and creators, who discuss their work and how it may intersect with technology, pop-culture, science and the larger culture. We are thankful for now being part of this mix.
In February, musicians and artists came together to participate in the first ever Creative Music Intensive at Arts Letters & Numbers, part of our new Sessions series. The Session was directed by composer/pianist and Indian classical vocalist Michael Harrison, who was joined by guest artist faculty pianist Sophia Subbayya Vastek and electronic composer/saxophonist Sam Torres.
Led by Michael Harrison, Sam Torres, Sophia Subbayya Vastek, the Creative Music Intensive at Arts Letters & Numbers was a week-long session dedicated to discovering and developing individual voices as creative artists. The participants and faculty presented a culminating concert in the House on the Hill, February 10, 2018 which included new works, group and solo performances, and improvisations.
Anyone who has ever been to Arts Letters & Numbers knows the importance of our local community. There is an honest and deep trust and care that has been built over the years, and they keep their engagement and welcomeness to each and everyone who spends time at Arts Letters & Numbers. For an artist in residence, like Justine Langella, the influence of this warm community can be bigger than expected. Spending 8 weeks in residence, in wintertime, Justine built strong bounds to the community, fellow artists in residence as well as session participants. Over the course of time her body of work gradually became the community, and the community became her body of work.
One of the works Justine developed during her time in residence was Ecran de Veille, where she combined her deep interest in traditional family dinners and the experience of our community. This performative mixed media installation was show on February 4th, 2018:
écran de veille : séquence d'instruction cyclique qui éprouve des difficultés à se déterminer
screen saver : cyclic sequence of instructions that has difficulty determining itself
a performed installation by Justine Langella
music by Adrien Degioanni
with : Diane, Rob, Bryce, Rebecca, Christina, Michelle, Natasha, Billy, John, Rikke, Frances
Performed Installation - 47min - 2018
Video © Justine Langella
Photos by: Zelé Angelides
"Why is a question we all ask on a daily basis but realizing there’s no answer to some of those why’s can be easiest or the toughest thing for some. I started this work by just asking myself why and not looking for answers, but knowing I could possibly find answers." - capt.
On January 20th 2018, capt. showcased the work he had created during his time in residence, and engaged the audience in the question asking of: why.
capt. is from Pasadena, California and is the youngest child of James and Sharon Stovall. After playing college football and attempts to play pro football. capt. left everything and entered art school at the Art Institute of Philadelphia to study advertising. After some time in the cold he made his way to San Diego where he continued his studies in advertising eventually dropping out to focus full time on his practice. While drawing his entire life and becoming strong as a portrait artist, capt. turned his sights on painting wanting to be like the greats before him. His art reflects love, intellect, and childlike desire to have fun and be free.
Photos by Zelé Angelides
In January 2018, the first of Sessions series, Deciding to See, directed by Chris Rose, brought together individuals from across arts, sciences, social media and music to explore how, in our efforts to understand complex conditions, we may do more than just look into reflections of ourselves.
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.
This workshop was the first in a series of collaborative projects that Arts Letters & Numbers and UNICEF’s Office of Innovation are planning for the near future. It is a distinct honor and pleasure to be collaborating UNICEF in a partnership that resonates so deeply with the mission of Arts Letters & Numbers.
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.
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...
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.
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!