2017

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, Artist in Residence

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.

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, Community

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.

Events, Exhibition, Artist in Residence

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

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..

Events, Exhibition, Artist in Residence

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, Community

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.   

Workshops, Works, Past

Constitution | Summer Workshop 2017

With CONSTITUTION, Arts Letters & Numbers proposed a dynamic crucible of free thought, a space where the widest spectrum of who we are could ask the questions of our time and create works that would bring us forward. A space where many elements could come together to create the alchemy of transforming how we experience today into how we will experience tomorrow.

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, Artist in Residence

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, Artist in Residence

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