Archive for the 'public art' Category

Celebrating Muntadas

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

I just came back from MIT after an amazing weekend participating in the public space? lost & found — symposium and exhibition to celebrate the twenty five years of Muntadas at MIT. Muntadas was my teacher and mentor during my Media Lab years, and has remained a great friend after that, and I was honored to be part of this exhibition with my work on surveillance in the Red line of the MBTA subway system called The Red Line Tour.

It curiously snowed upon my arrival, even though it is almost May, and the city of Boston was in a state of disarray due to the preparations for the 2014 edition of their famous Marathon, but the weather cleared up beautifully and my constant delays didn’t stop me from having a fantastic time hanging out with old friends and making new ones, both in the categories of human friends and place [or location] friends.

I stole the following images from the symposium blog. The picture with the circles shows where I was and where my artwork is. If you are in Cambridge Massachusetts before October 30th this year, please don’t hesitate to visit this exhibition in the MIT Media Lab. The featured Public Art projects are all extremely interesting, and the Media Lab itself is a mind-blowing experience anyway, so just do it, ok?





Monday, September 17th, 2012

I recently went to Wales, where I gave my friends from DorkyPark and NTW a helping hand in combining Dance Performance with Public Art and Digital Communication Systems. The director Constanza Macras —which I met at MIT— asked me to help her transmit a dance performance from a forest in North Wales to the streets of Cardiff. She wanted us to find a way to let people in Cardiff interact with the performance using their cellphones and potentially other gadgets. I came up with a metaphor to overlay the forest and the city as signal spectres over each other, using real-time mobile data and reciprocal video transmissions. So cameras in Cardiff would transmit people’s expressions to televisions in the forest, and a crew of filmmakers would transmit the performance event live to a screen located in a populated street in Cardiff. Additionally, passers-by in the city were encouraged to inject text messages into the stream they were watching via SMS, and this same texts were made available to the performers in the forest.

To me, this combination enabled the kind of feedback loop that I hold dear to my heart. Performers are exposed to audience participation, and in exchange, the audience is forced to accept the intrusion of performance in a space not dedicated to it.

Shrunken Red Hook on Radar

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

RADAR – Honey, I Shrunk Redhook from Reboot Stories.

Honey I shrunk the Red Hook

Friday, August 7th, 2009

When my friend Laura Arena recently opened her Lucky Gallery in the heart of Red Hook Brooklyn, I immediately asked her if she would like me to put together an art show there.

I had the intention to make a wallpaper based pop-art inspired installation at the time, but it soon came clear that things were going to be different.

First, Laura expressed that she wanted her gallery to focus on collaborative work, and second, she suggested me to work on collaboration with her friend Andy Cavatorta, which is now a student in the MIT Media Lab. I accepted, and soon Andy and I were having lunch from the chinese-vietnamese food trucks at MIT every day of the week [Goosebeary’s for those in the know], talking about ideas, intentions, and art. I wanted to use the laser cutter, and we both agreed on having something related to photography, and of a public art nature, preferably participatory, and with no electronics in it.

We decided to make a dollhouse version of the space around Lucky Gallery and call it “Honey I Shrunk the Red Hook”.

This is what I wrote for the opening event’s press release:
“Red Hook has an air of Mystery that I can’t find anywhere else in New York. It feels somewhat uncharted, perhaps separated as it is from the New York comprehensive subway network. When thinking about making art for Red Hook, I immediately felt like using this art as an excuse to get closer to the people in it, and learn about the place from them, hopefully helping them learn from each other in the process.”

And this is the project’s description from the same press release:
“Honey, I Shrunk the Red Hook” is a collaboration between Luis Blackaller and Andy Cavatorta who’s aim is to start a creative discussion about Red Hook. It will function as a public action, interactive installation and participatory performance. A diverse mix of members of the Red Hook community will be brought together to use art and the gallery space as communication devices. The artists will create a cardboard model of the streets around the gallery, and a collection of photographic dolls representing real Red Hook dwellers. Visitors to the Gallery will be encouraged to play with the dolls, having the option to have their own doll ready for the next weekend if they want. The familiar sights and people everybody knows will meet the ones in the imagination, giving visitors a chance to meet (or even be!) the familiar strangers all around them.

The show will open this weekend [August 8th], and will host different activities every weekend of August. If you’re in New York this month and would like to enjoy the warmth of Red Hook [probably Brooklyn’s best hidden jewel], just take the free Ikea ferry [it’s docked on Pier 11, downtown Manhattan] and check out this show. I will be putting pictures and related media here.

Thanks a lot to everyone that helped us with pictures for their dolls. Their virtual [yet physical] presence in Red hook is going to be awesome.

Collectors and Consumers

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Graffiti Pizarronero Number 1, Instance 2 by yours truly.

Blackboards and chalks are everywhere around me. From now on I will use them to post short messages about random things as a low-tech alternative to the web. Please don’t erase.