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 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.
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.
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.
In mid-November we were invited to participate in the weekend-long Alternative Art School Fair (AASF) at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn, along with +50 other schools/institutions/project spaces.
This immersive festival presented works created during Zoëtrope Sun, a four-week summer workshop, bringing together architects, artists, filmmakers, musicians, composers, physicists, poets, photographers, actors, mimes, chefs, and scientists.
Sun Ship: An Exhibition in support of Arts Letters & Numbers was held at Wilmer Jennings Gallery, in New York City, co-hosted by Dorian Grey Gallery and curated by Director, David Gersten. On view from June 17 till June 30, 2016, the Exhibition contained over 100 works by over 70 artists from more than a dozen countries, all donating their works to support Arts Letters & Numbers. These were emerging and internationally renowned artists, including Dennis Adams, John Ahearn, Michael Benson, Mike Bidlo, Lorenzo Clayton, Martha Cooper, Marylyn Dintenfass, Adeline Kueh, Bill Morrison, Margaret Morton, Laurie Olinder, Walid Raad, James Romberger, David Shapiro, Homa Shojaie, Suha Traboulsi, Ian Woo and Lebbeus Woods, among others.
Bringing together works of the broader Arts Letter & Numbers community, the exhibition opened with a beautiful celebration of these many vibrant and diverse works and voices. The highlight of the evening was a grand piano performance by Michael Harrison followed by a live auction in support of our project. Photos from the exhibition and event are below, and a publication of the exhibition is available here on our website. Sun Ship was new territory for Arts Letters & Numbers and the entire organization sprang into action determined to have the exhibition, publication, events, online and live auctions created and crafted with all of the thoughtfulness, and precision, poured into all of our ALN works.
The book has a capacity to reach across disciplines as no discipline can renounce the book which is what makes it such a universal object/subject.
Inspired by the Galapagos Archipelago and the knowledge transformations that emerged from Darwin’s five-week experience within their dense bio-diversity, the Galapagos workshop invoked the first principle of the theory of evolution. When individual agents are brought into proximity, they interact, building new linkages. Under the right circumstances, these symbioses create transformations, catalyzing new forms. The proximity and interactions within diverse agents is fundamental to the emergence of new logos, new species, new modes of being, the events of variety and variation; knowledge evolves, comprehension evolves, new forms emerge. Recognizing these diverse forms of agency as a diversity of ‘ways of knowing,' we begin to understand a living system of knowledge permutations—thereby, a 'general assembly of education.'
The 2015 summer’s workshop was arranged as a five-week intensive program. Inspired by the Galapagos Archipelago and the knowledge transformations that emerged from Darwin’s five-week experience within their dense bio-diversity, the Galapagos workshop invoked the first principle of the theory of evolution. The structure and nature of the questions offer different ways in which the experience can be meaningful for each individual and where the contribution of one’s own work supports the larger body of work.
On May 9th, 2014 Arts Letters & Numbers acquired the house on the hill above the mill. Built in 1859, this house previously served as the original mill owner’s residence. Now it has become the residence for Arts Letters & Numbers ongoing programs. This moment in the evolution of Arts letter & Numbers demanded our present tense creativity. We decided to focus our third summer workshop on the very immediate questions we are all asking: What is space between the house and the mill? How do we inhabit this new geography?
The 2013 summer's workshop grew out of the perfect combination of planning and poetry. Building from the experiences of our first summer workshop, and incorporating discoveries found through our recent work, we developed this summer’s workshop titled ‘Exquisite Broken Circle; Suddenly a Chora’. Structured through six disciplines; construction, drawing, film/photography, writing, theater and music/sound the workshop was conceived of as a disciplinary exquisite corpse. Each of these disciplines worked in parallel and in close proximity, directly interacting though a framework of shared questions and actions.