Summer at ALN
Since 2012 the summers have been a special time at ALN. For the first couple of years ALN only existed as a summer workshop. Each summer - the facilities in Averill Park was filled with these remarkable programs of wild, intense, exploratory, explosive and deeply moving gatherings. The Summer Workshops literally mark the origin of ALN, back to our first one “Circles: Drawing on Friendship” held in the Mill in the summer of 2012.
As many of the Workshop questions asked involve “risk”, in 2019 it was time, to take the risk of reimagining the ‘Summer Workshop’ itself. This was done through many conversations, creatively searching to understand the role the Workshops have played in ALN and the most precise form they could become within the overall growing project. The 8th summer became: ‘Summer at ALN’, a new dynamic structure giving space for multiple autonomous and interdependent programs of different tones and durations.
Below are more about the past summers, if you are interested in what the next summer will be like, please sign up for our newsletter and we will keep you posted.
Revolution: Thesis at ALN together with the Summer Residency created the framework for Summer at ALN 2019. Revolution: Thesis at ALN was led by David Gersten, structured as a four week program and included a regular schedule of studio time, one-on-one studio visits with David, ALN Fellows and Visiting Artists, as well as, weekly seminars and listening critiques. The Summer Residency was a 2-4 weeks focused residency for artists interested in the opportunity to interact with ALN’s other ongoing programs and overlapping events. The Residency was structured to provide creative opportunities while developing meaningful relationships with other artists. While each of these programs had its own unique character, they both offered space for people to pursue their questions in conversation with others and create emergent works within a creative community.
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.
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.
During the four-week intensive workshop, we brought together Architects, Artists, Filmmakers, Musicians, Composers, Physicists, Poets, Craftspeople, Photographers, Actors, Mimes, Chefs, Magicians, Historians, Scientists, and Scholars to co-construct a disciplinary Zoëtrope: a living system of knowledge-transformation turning within light and time, water and clouds, life and still life, cameras and projectors, nights and days, words and voices, an emergent microclimate that evokes the origins of life itself—animation, anima, zoë, life—a “Zoëtrope Sun”.
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.
Circles: Drawing on Friendship" was the first of the Art, Letters & Numbers workshops to be held in our Mill in Upstate New York. Through a deep intellectual, emotional, and creative questioning, we drew up a series of works and created new structures, new spaces, new stories which culminated in a celebratory performance. The collective creative urgency was a crucible of emotive precision from which we pour the foundation for our future workshops.
Arts Letters & Numbers is a place of creative urgency and intensity of purpose, a place to create new linkages, new thought processes, new pathways of understanding that embody our best hopes and aspirations. It is a place where many elements come together to co-construct questions and works, of empathy, of ethics, of imagination; it is a place to explore the nuanced fragilities in our shared stories.