Unites States Society for Education through Art – Queens Museum

July 19, 2015

USSEA Regional Conference

AN INCLUSIVE WORLD: BRIDGING COMMUNITIES

getting ready

Photo: Getting ready for our Pedagogy Group workshop at Queens Museum

http://ussea.net/conference/ussea-conference/

PROPOSITION, PRACTICE, & CONTRADICTION

The Queens Museum Open AIR Artist Services Program
is excited to partner with the New York City-based Pedagogy Group
in examining the intersection between pedagogy, art, and social change.
Members of the group will present a series of brief examples drawn from
their work. These cases will be the point of departure for a community
conversation about methodologies for educational practices that investigate
and analyze social contradictions, build political literacy, and support
community-based political organizing.

This tool uses the fun of the cootie catcher game to begin dialogs about why and how we do the work we do.

DIALOGUE TOOL

Slide1

Let’s Talk About This: A Tool for Dialogue

1.  Cut around the outside of the square.

2.  Answer the questions drawing from your own experiences.

3.  Assemble the cootie catcher/fortune teller.

4.  Use the cootie catcher with a partner or group.

5.  If you are holding the cootie catcher and your partner selects a question, ask him or her to answer the question.

6.  If you are holding the cootie catcher and your partner selects your answer, tell him or her why you answered the question as you did.

College Art Association Roundtable – Artists on the Collective Present

CIRBCollective Now: Artists on the Collective Present

Panel at CAA on Sat. Feb. 14

https://feministartproject.rutgers.edu/calendar/view/4094/

Free and open to the public

Free Slurpee 7-Eleven Intervention

7-11_intervention

7-Eleven represents American culture.

7-Eleven represents American beauty.

7-Eleven is America.

Street performance with Nick Porcaro.

Photo: Dan Wiley

Trans Urban Education Project – A Hybrid Program for Teens

After-school program students at The New Museum.

After-school program students at The New Museum.

IMG_7382 copyAieshaBennett_Painting

IMG_7748 copy

This project is a collaboration between Pratt Institute and Horizons Leadership Project.

Pratt students from multiple departments teach art, culture, and urban health issues to

Brooklyn teens in a hybrid after-school program.

Funded by Taconic Fellowship from the Pratt Center for Community Development.

More photos

DIRTY POOL

Dirty Pool Immigration This One2

An investigation of boundaries through a game of pool.

Iconic characters from collective and family history,

the Inca and a US senator, explore the nature of power play and control.

pool video Best

Video installation and performance by Sasha Sumner and Nadia Menco.

This piece uses live video projection and Skype from Cartagena, Colombia

Swell Sound & Vision multimedia event

curated by Sasha Sumner and Jessica Nissen

The Firehouse, Brooklyn, NY

ROMA PROGETTO MEMORIA

IMG_3139 copy           t h r e e   s i s t e r s   i n   R o m e

Trastevere, Rome, Italy

Roma Progetto Memoria – Rome Memory Project

During a flood that happened several years ago, all of my family’s photos, which I had in the basement, were water damaged to the point beyond recognition. The Italian history and memories had become a big blur. From this incident, the seeds of a very personal performance piece were born. Rome Memory Project brought together three sisters in the location of their childhood apartment.

Through video projection, abstract distorted photo imagery came alive as culture, memory and childhood visions were revisited. In English and Italian, in song and movement, we recreated our past, reclaimed our history. This special event was the first time the three sisters were together in Rome since childhood.

ENERGY SHRINE

Energy Shrine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENERGY SHRINE,  street performance with video projection

A VIRTUAL CONVERSATION ABOUT ENERGY SHRINE

I am an anthropologist at the City University of New York and am
studying cultural conceptions of energy in New York City.  Last night
I stumbled upon Sasha Sumner’s interesting “Energy Shrine” on 14th
Street, and watched in fascination.

Dr. Stephanie Rupp
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
City University of New York, Lehman College

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Hi Stephanie,
Hey, thanks for writing.
Glad you were able to see the Energy Shrine performance.   Would like
to hear more about your focus of study.
Best,
Sasha

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Dear Sasha,

Thank you very much for your reply, and apologies for the delay in my
message back to you!

It was very interesting to watch your “Energy Shrine” performance this
past weekend.  Your performance brought a lot of important and
interesting questions to the fore, in a very creative and evocative
manner.

I am working on an ethnography of energy in New York City, and am
seeking to understand how New Yorkers think about energy as a cultural
artifact.  I think that most New Yorkers don’t have much of a
scientific foundation for understanding energy and energy systems, and
so rely on other kinds of cultural models for thinking about,
explaining, and managing energy.  I’m interested in exploring these
other models, and laying them alongside the scientific and technical
understandings of energy, in order to get a sense of the “social life”
of energy in contemporary New York.  Some of my work so far has
focused on collecting ethnographic narratives of the various blackouts
in the city (1965, ’77, ’03, ’06), as well as the various frameworks
for conceptualizing “energy” itself.

Your performance was especially intriguing because you integrated
numerous cultural models of energy, from food (bread) to love (the
wedding dress) to electricity (the projector that shone the text above
the mural) to politics (discussions of ConEd and NYC’s historical
blackouts to science (inclusion of some physics in the text). It’s
very unusual (and very exciting!) to find someone who is actively
aware of and interested in meanings of energy in these multiple
registers.

I don’t know what you think about these ideas, and I’m hopeful that
the ideas that I’m working on might resonate with your own work.  If
so, perhaps it would be interesting to get together over a cup of
coffee to talk about our performance/research interests, and to see
where they intersect.  I would be very interested in hearing your
“take” on energy, and to learn more about the background to your
performance.

It’s wonderful to “meet” you through email, and I hope that our paths
cross sometime soon-ish so that we can share our overlapping interests
in energy!

All best wishes,

Stephanie

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Hi Stephanie,

That’s very interesting that your studies and my performance are so
closely related in content.  This performance grew out of the stated
theme for the Art in Odd places show, that being Ritual, and, the
Energy element came from my initial investigation of 14th St, where
there is a huge Con Edison plant. I wanted the piece to reference that
which is right there in our local environment while also touching on
larger concepts of how we relate to different kinds of energy.
As an artist I try to tap into various elements, the history, multiple
references, live human elements, technology and form.  Different
people will respond to different tangents that they relate to, that
they can understand, or interpret somehow.  I’m so impressed that you
were keyed in to the deeper strains, perhaps even more so than I could
explain.

Best,
Sasha

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What Is Energy?

Rupp1graphic

Dear Sasha,

Thanks for your message — and it’s interesting and exciting to see
how our interests intersect!  You’re performing various levels of
energy; I’m interested in finding out what people think (and do) about
various levels of energy.  Maybe there’s potential (energy!) for
bringing our projects and perspectives together???

Thanks again for the performance, for writing, and for this
interesting, ongoing conversation!

All best,

Stephanie

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Hi Stephanie,

Yes I think that we could collaborate, in some way.
In the mean time if you have ideas that you could write here, that’s a start!
Best,
Sasha

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Dear Sasha,

I’m in the process of writing a chapter on “sliding registers” that people in New York City
seem to have regarding energy; energy is a physical force in a formal, scientific sense,
but it is simultaneously a spiritual force, involves an element of belief or religion,
is an embodied spirit, is a sense of collective dynamism, is a political issue of control,
and affects people’s sense of individual agency.

I find myself thinking back to your marvelous performance of energy at your “Energy Shrine”
last October on 14th Street, and wishing I had managed to write down some notes from the
captivating captions (pun intended!) that you had projected from your computer,
a ticker-tape commentary about sliding scales of energy that overarched your performance.

Would you be willing to share with me the ideas or the text of what you were communicating
through those energy “facts” and captions?

I would still be very eager to get together with you to talk about our shared interest in energy.
(By now perhaps your performances have moved on to other topics!)  If you would be game to meet,
perhaps we can get together to share a cup of coffee and conversation sometime this spring.

For my part, I would be very happy to send you the article that I’m working on,
based on ethnographies of energy in the south Bronx.

I hope that this message finds you well!

All best wishes,

Stephanie

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What Kinds of Energy Do You Use In Your Everyday Life?

Rupp2graphic

Dear Stephanie,

Hello!  Yes I am planning a
different performance for this coming October, as the theme this year
has changed.  But I’d be happy to share with you the text that I
included in the Energy Shrine performance, that is if you are still
needing that.  It was a mix of information from different sources,
some even from some people that I met on the street there as I was
starting to paint the wall mural.  A father and son stopped there and
gave input on Einstein and physics.  Absorbing or digesting
information and energy is an amorphous and organic process.  The
performance was meant to provoke associative thinking, that which is
different for each spectator/participant.  The text includes facts,
related tangents and written observations from different time periods-
they may seem a bit disparate when taken out of context of the piece.

I’d be very interested to read your article on ethnographies and south bronx.

Best,
-Sasha

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BIOLOGICAL LIBERTY

BIOLOGICAL LIBERTY: A RESEARCH PROJECT

man-woman-facing2:10:10In a performance/research project, subjects in a social setting were surveilled with video and observed for behavior patterns. People were invited to discuss topics on violence and the body as relating to personal experience and as well to global aggressions.

The data analysis aims to reveal a mapping of unconscious and conscious choice. The interpretation examines how perceived thought contradicts human nature.
Scrutiny of the data draws parallel to incidents where unpredictable outcome is caused by a lack of understanding human behavior, or by not being attuned to our unconscious nature. The study attempts to gain insight on why for example, we are subject to relationship breakdowns, political failures, and faulty military decisions.

http://vimeo.com/album/1490379/video/76404673