Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who helped make this incredible and successful exhibition of new and experimental art on Governors Island during the summer of 2008!

Concept

In these times, when society is dominated by commercial value systems and established cultural institutions, an unexpected cultural phenomenon will emerge on this small island that is a deserted military outpost on the outskirts of one of the largest and most intensely watched cities in the world, New York. It is here that a community of creative pioneers will explore the human situation, in an attempt to re-introduce or re-inject a sense of inclusion and empowerment into the cultural mainstream by pushing the boundaries of traditional practice.

The theme, ‘Emergence: Creative pioneers in uncharted territory’ was chosen to resonate with the context of Governors Island and the emergence occurring on this site that is so rich in history. This show in the ‘Commanders House’ (Building 14) is part of the growing cultural renaissance of the island and an exploration of its creative potential.

Emergence is a show of transformation. The Commanders house has morphed from an abandoned outpost into an inclusive, interactive, 3-dimensional, living exhibit, featuring contributions from visual artists working across fields of media which include but are not limited to sculpture, installation art, aerial kinetic sculpture, photography, and computer graphic sequencing. The installation will change over the course of the summer as a result of the interactive elements and the engagement of visiting participants.

What are the resultant artifacts in the experience of discovery of land, creating a new set of rules and culture? What is the romanticized idea of moving to a brave new world? These can include authentic objects and ephemera of time or contemporary objects that reference people and things of the past. Who are the people who lived and passed through the island? The present reveals our questioning of economic, political, environmental, social and sustainability issues. What are challenges that we are facing today? Creative explorations of the future will reveal new inventions, manifestos and fantasies that illuminate our understanding of self, place, change and time.

EMERGENCE Curators: Johan Kritzinger, Joyce Manalo, Elke Dehner and Audrey Boguchwal

Anne Arden McDonald



Photo image: David B. Smith

Anne Arden McDonald
"Layered, Buoyed, Tethered, Barely", 2008
Cyanotypes, fabric, and plumb bobs
Site specific installation with various dimensions

Concept: Cyanotypes from contact prints of Victorian childrens' dresses, doll dresses, lace, paper, and hair fill the ceiling to create an environment of delicacy. Plumb bobs contributes to the duality between weight and weightlessness. The installation references the importance of an era and general nostalgia.

Participate: Viewers are welcome to enjoy mood of the room, sit on pillows and draw on the paper covered floor, and scattered sketch pads. A dress is suspended in the air that invites viewers to crawl underneath it. The plumb bobs also function as a drawing tool. Viewers can gently move the string and let momentum draw for them.

artcodex



Photo image: EMERGENCE

artcodex
(Glen Einbinder, Mike Estabrook, Brian Higbee, Vandana Jain,
Ernest Concepcion, Dormafe Baluyos-Fox, Dorothy Royle)
"The War Show: im/Migration of Species", 2008

Soil, fluorescent light bulbs, seeds, water, and small plastic bags

Site specific installation with various dimensions


Concept: "The main aspect of our project is a "plant war" between native and non-native seedlings of Governors Island. Visitors are encouraging to create a parallel exhibition/war in the natural world of the city. Visitors are advised to "vote" for either the native or the non-native plants by taking the appropriate packet.


Participate: Rows of seed packets are provided to the audience to take and plant them in vacant lots. Depending on the heritage of the seeds inside, the packets will contain either a kraft or a white paper that has instructions on planting the seeds. Underneath each packet is a symbol, adding an element of chance and fun to the participation.

Asha Ganpat



Photo image: EMERGENCE


Asha Ganpat
"They Know All About Us", 2008
Red light, paper, and motion sensor
Site specific installation (under 4 separate radiators)

Concept: Series of installations will be hidden and only when triggered by human proximity will it be released to the viewer. The “they” in the title refer to the miniature watchers being caught in the act. Their cover is blown. Now “we” know about “them” as well.

Participate: When the viewer steps into the proximity of the motion sensor, they trip the switch and turn on a light which illuminates the floor beneath the radiator. Initially it will just seem like jagged light, but upon closer inspection, shadows become apparent.

AVANT CAR GUARD



Photo image: EMERGENCE

AVANT CAR GUARD
(Zander Blom, Jan-Henri Booyens & Michael MacGarry)
"AVANT CAR GUARD at the crossroads of Critical Acclaim and Commercial Success II"
Site specific installation with various dimensions

Concept: The two works made specifically for the project talk in a reflexive way about the environmental impact our involvement has had on the project. They make honest statements about how we can reduce our environmental impact and they also comment upon the relational dynamics between first and third world contexts. These statements are coupled with a sideways homage to Johannesburg as the New York City of Africa.

Participate: Both artists and viewers are encouraged to actively consider the carbon footprint incurred when producing work for exhibition and when traveling to view works, respectively. Online tools will be used to measure artist and viewer carbon dioxide emissions, gauge ways to reduce those emissions, and then offset the remainder by planting trees. Active dialogue with AVANT CAR GUARD in South Africa is encouraged, please send them an email at info@avantcarguard.com and visit the following sites:
www.conservationfund.org
www.climitecrisis.net

Barend de Wet, Douglas Gimberg and Christian Nerf


Photo image: EMERGENCE


Barend De Wet, Douglas Gimberg and Christian Nerf
"Acting on Orders", 2008
Poster and blog

Concept: De Wet, Gimberg and Nerf hate being told what to do. The motivation of this project comes from the fact that most people do not take responsibility for their actions and their lives. This trio has created a scenario that spans the Atlantic and crosses the equator to Johannesburg, South Africa where the viewer tells them what to do. The artists will follow orders like soldiers do.

Participate: For the full 9 weeks of the exhibition, visitors are offered the opportunity to "take command" and the artists will be "acting on orders". Visitors should email commands to:
museumofcontemporaryart@gmail.com
and action of artists will be posted on:
http://actingonorders.blogspot.com.

Chris Jordan



Photo image: EMERGENCE

Chris Jordan
"Hectagon Heliograph Strategies", 2008
Projector, mirrors and camera
Site specific installation (2nd floor backroom and backyard)


Concept: This installation attempts to juxtapose an historical environment with the political disparity found in consumerism and warfare. The work highlights the connection to the site's military background, while fragmenting the modern day struggle surrounding the concept of land and environment we live in. Broken mirrors (found objects) with arial projections and maps of Governors Island fill the room, and an auxiliary piece in the backyard captures sunrays that reflects into the backroom.

Participate: By incorporating environmental projections that appear constantly in motion and engaged with individuals in the installation space by projecting on all surfaces, instead of the traditional media 4:3 box. This piece aims to reverse the consumer role by reflecting and refracting the viewer's movement and physical presence. Viewers essentially become imbedded in the work through timelapse recordings.

Casper Electronics



video
Photo/video credit: EMERGENCE

Casper Electronics Performance
Peter Edwards

Circuit bending
20 minutes


Damon Hamm


Photo image: EMERGENCE

Damon Hamm
"Toy Piano (Stanley)", 2007
Toy piano, wood, electronics
7.5" x 12" x 12"

Concept: As an old building of classical style, this sculpture fits with the antique motif. It may appear that these items were uncovered remnants of some previous military operation to monitor the growth of the population across the water. Scientific in form, this sculpture speak to the process of discovery. Without instruction, participants must create their own path or work with others to solve the mysteries of the objects in front of them.

Participate: A child’s toy piano is transformed into an interactive work aimed at adults that teaches binary counting by means of pattern repetition (i.e. “Simon Says”).

Erik Fabian



Photo image: EMERGENCE


Erik Fabian
"No Rules: Governors Island Edition", 2008
Performance - Two chairs, small table, and set of rules
Duration varies (Sunday 6/29, Saturday 7/26 at 12:30 PM both days)


Concept: A simple imagination game of offense and defense. This game unveils a series of impending dooms that befall the City of New York, to which a series of bold counter attacks are carried out in the nick of time. It places the heroic Governors Island between beloved New York City and utter destruction.

Participate: "Two players pick either the role of IMPENDING DOOM or GOVERNORS ISLAND.
The IMPENDING DOOM player imagines (and describes aloud) a specific threat to New York City, and the GOVERNORS ISLAND player has one chance to save New York by imagining and describing aloud some defense. Play continues following this attack-and-defend pattern until one player mistakenly repeats themselves (and loses) or both players agree to stop and call the game a draw."

Eugenia Yu



Photo image: David B. Smith

Eugenia Yu
"The Super 100 Aeroplane", 2008
Super 100 Wool fabric, batting, polycarbonate
60" x 48" x 36"

Concept: This fabric plane is made of Super 100 Wool, a high quality men’s suiting fabric. It can be set in motion like a flying paper airplane—one that unfailingly returns to its origin to once again be propelled forward. There are welt pockets designed to carry supplies for the journey. This moves forward, backward, and returns to its origin to be repeated again representing the rhythm of change, exploration, and discovery.

Participate: Take the handle and pull or push the plane. The piece will move with momentum in various directions and return to its original position.

The Friendly Falcons & Their Friend the Snake

video


Photo/video credit: EMERGENCE

The Friendly Falcons and Their Friend the Snake
(Jeff Kurosaki & Tara Pelletier)
"The 10 penny hi top", 2008
Performance with papier-mâché animals 40 minutes
(Sunday 6/29, Saturday 7/26 at 3:00 PM both days)


Concept: A game show that encourages a competitive spirit, highlighted with imagination and having fun rather than on winning a prize. It is simultaneously an ode, a satire and a critique of the consequences of settling and the pursuit of happiness in colonial times, and as they still exist today.

Participate: Contestants of The 10 penny hi top will be chosen on a voluntary basis at the beginning of each show. They wear animal masks and play fun games. Give over to your imagination, where pig's butts will fly, nails will be tossed, and golden peanuts will be found.


G-77



Photo image: EMERGENCE

G-77 (Marguerite Day, Fred Fleisher, Mary Mattingly, David Smith)
"Seeding the Future", 2008 Installation of plastic orb, small notepads, and acrylic globe Site specific installation with various dimensions

Concept: History is not written in stone, and those who have the power often write history in ways to benefit themselves. This piece seeks to engage a more open and multi-perspective view of history and truth, creating possibilities for empowerment, for new perspectives, and for energy and power to overflow the eroded banks of conventional systems and to be available to everyone. This installation is a time capsule that references human knowledge and indigenous flora on site in 2008.

Participate: Viewers can contribute their 21st Century thoughts, recollections, musings, insights, and sketches; in addition to G-77's seeds gathered from Governors Islands to the G-77 / G.I. Seed & Time Capsule. The Capsule will be buried for future generations to unearth in order to learn about this particular moment in time. A virtual version of the capsule will be created on a secure server, potentially becoming an invaluable source for historical data.

Jason Van Anden, Nat Hawks & David Liatti



Photo image: EMERGENCE

Jason Van Anden, Nat Hawks & David Liatti
"Dirty Dozen", 2008
Interactive software projection and sound
Site specific installation with various dimensions

Concept: For thousands of years, the oyster was plentiful in NYC. Governors Island sat in the middle of water teeming with the local bivalves. Humans moved in, polluted New York's water, the oysters became poisoned and eventually all but disappeared. In a way, the apple is to Eden as the oyster is to NYC - innocence lost.

Participate: Viewers will hear loud mumbles and noise coming from the room, but then, as they walk in, the oysters abruptly shut. After a moment the oysters will come back to life, at first tentatively. When left alone for a while they will cause quite a commotion.

John Krill


Photo image: David B. Smith

John Krill
"a sound machine", 2008
Found and bought objects
14" x 5" x 9"
Sculpture

Concept: The work plays with the tension / expectation that modern culture expresses toward the machine and the symbolism of the progress of technology. The work also presents the participant with the surprise of fulfilling the self-fulfilling prophecy that 'Something Will Happen'. Man's dependence on technology is comforted by the knowledge that it is encountered in a 'sound and non-confrontational' state.

Participate: Participants are able to chose to remain in tense anticipation of the piece's activity or flee for more stable surroundings.

John Walter







Photo image: EMERGENCE

John Walter
"True Mirror - the Future of Self Awareness", 2008
Mirror, plastic, wood and light
24" x 60" x 8"

Concept: The True Mirror is an amazing new look at yourself through a most familiar medium – the mirror. However, unlike traditional mirrors, the True Mirror reflects without reversal, so for the first time what you see what everyone else sees. The differences are not just physical, as what you say with your face is right and left sided, so your expressions and underlying personality change when they get reversed. Its the real "you" looking back!

Participate: As you walk past the row of True Mirrors, notice some funny physics - you are always in the center of each True Mirror! Hold some writing up - can you read it? Now look into your eyes - who is that looking back? Try a smile - can it be real for once? Do you feel crooked (don’t worry its an exaggeration). Compare to the side panel - notice how its familiar, but flat and uninspiring. Think of how mirrors have been doing this your whole life!

Michael Alan



Photo image: David B. Smith


Michael Alan
"Porthole to Draw-a-thon", 2008
Drawing photocopies, sculptures, video feed and decoupage furniture
Various dimensions

Concept: Existing drawings envelop the space and encourage the creation of new drawings. The installation is a mental link to a playful yet dark world of childhood curiosity and interpretation. The overall piece taps into the energy of a children's room, where you are free to draw whatever you understand and don't understand.

Participate: Experience the Draw-a-thon on Governors Island in a concentrated participatory setting. Nick Greenwald and Matthew Brennan from Draw-a-thon Theater have put pieces in from our collective. We will perform a costumed show and hand out paper and pencils to spectators on Sunday, June 29th at 4:00 PM. Come draw!

Monica Müller



Photo image: David B. Smith

Monica Müller
"Creatures Who Live in Our Plants", 2008
5 Lightboxes and several pots with plants
Various Dimensions

Concept: Governors Island is a whimsical place. These pieces place little creatures from cereal boxes, chocolate eggs, and 50 cent vending machines into a new habitat. They have found a new home in plants inside Building 14. The photographs capture and document them, bringing them to life.

Participate: Viewers are welcome to take a creature and give him/her a new home. If so inclined, they can give something back in exchange, perhaps welcome a new creature to the habitat.

Peripheral Media Projects




Photo image: David B. Smith

Peripheral Media Projects (Garrison Buxton & Ray Cross)
"The Hive", 2008
Vinyl and paper silkscreened pieces and pushpins

Concept: This piece is a giant geometric puzzle that is an open playing field where the viewer can exercise their vision and play a part in creating a large-scale installation. It is a collaborative art piece that grows, evolves, and takes on new meaning with each additional input and feeling. It grows like a bee hive as new combs are added, symbolizing the creative and constructive potential all of us possess.

Participate: The installation has several existing pieces that are already in place. Viewers can place hexagonally-shaped pieces, roughly 12 inches in diameter, with varying arrangements directly on the wall with pushpins. From that point forward, the people that venture to the piece will be able to activate it in their own way.

Pornj Diamond Cell
































Photo image: David B. Smith


Pornj Diamond Cell
"Pornj Diamond Cloud", 2008
Cardboard, string, sharpies and blacklight
Various


Concept: It is an on-going project made of an evolving set of fluorescent tiles (Diamonds) assembled in different configurations to create a variety of mobile sculptures. The original setting for the installation is hung from the ceiling of a dark room lit only with black lights.

Participate: The installation is an invitation to the audience to personalize each Diamond by writing and/or drawing on them. A pen will be the last element hanging at the bottom of each string of Diamonds.

Sarah Nicole Phillips


Photo image: EMERGENCE

Sarah Nicole Phillips

"98°", 2008
Temperature sensitive screenprint
14" x 22"


Concept: "98° serves as a metaphor for the effect that visitors will have on Governors Island. Over time, the island’s function and landscape will be determined by the people, changing inevitably as it has so often in the past. The title 98° refers to the approximate body temperature of humans on the Fahrenheit scale as well as a cartographer’s unit of measurement.

Participate: The image of Governors Island is printed with regular green ink and the surrounding waterway is printed with thermochromic (heat-sensitive) dark blue ink that disappears at a set temperature. Participants may touch the image with a warm body part. The blue ink on this print disappears when it reaches human body temperature. As the ink heats up, it will disappear. For optimal results, be patient and touch the map for longer periods of time.

Saviour Scraps



Photo image: EMERGENCE

Saviour Scraps
"Porch Songs: Into the Shade", 2008
Rope, yarn, clothing and textiles
Site specific installation (front porch and 2nd floor)
Performances Saturday 5/31, Sunday 6/22 & 6/29, Saturday July 26

Concept: Donated, used, and recycled fabric is woven into the installation that creates fantastical environment. Textiles can reference powerful, personal and collective memories, where they serve as a medium to explore the cycle of creation and exchange.

Participate: Viewers are invited to bring pieces of fabric (this could be in the form of old clothing, curtains, etc ), cut them into strips and add them to the off-loom weaving. Fabric is also supplied on the porch for weaving. Weaving is simple and intuitive (over one rope, under the next, and so on). They are encouraged to pay attention to color blocks, shaping and shading.

Tara Parsons




Photo image: EMERGENCE

Tara Parsons
"Fork it Over", 2008
Paper and scissors
Site specific installation with various dimensions

Concept: Fork It Over is about the cost of the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It deals with the literal sense of the price of the war (the most recent numbers indicate $822 billion, with expectations of it surpassing $1 trillion), but also with the cost on the lives, livelihoods, and quality of life of all of us. Military families mainly carry this burden.

This war is quickly becoming one of the most expensive wars the US has ever fought, with the inflation-adjusted rate of WWII being the only larger amount. We are each personally getting “poked,” and asked to shell out for a war that could be seen as unconstitutional. Is it possible to fill the room with 822 billion of these paper forks? Or even 1/1000 of this figure? (Each fork representing a $1000 note.) 822,000,000 is a number that is impossible to imagine as a number that could actually be represented-- and that is part of the point of this installation, it is impossible to create this amount of a simple handmade object.

Having the content of this installation be about the Iraq war is important because it is situated on a former military base. Site specificity is a central aspect of my work, therefore the fact that the space that I am using is a kitchen space, and the fact that it is on a military base are both drawn out in the piece.


Participate: Visitors are encouraged to add to the installation by using the provided scissors to make more of the fork cutouts. The forks can be placed anywhere in the room. Viewer participation is important because we all, in some way, are bearing the cost of this war.

Tim & Martin Dockery



Photo image: EMERGENCE

Tim & Martin Dockery
"Long Distance", 2008
Sound and speakers
25 minute loop


Concept: While there can be more than one view on any event, this piece is more interested on the many takes of one view, and the resulting meaninglessness. This work examines the digression of information as it travels from mouth-to-ear and ear-to-mouth back to mouth-to-ear and so on and on and on. Each narration of a single message is altered by the nature, prejudices and limitations of the narrator

Participate: Like a game of telephone, each speaker is playing a recording of a person listening to and trying their best to exactly repeat what the previous recording/speaker is saying. With each successive speaker, the information degenerates. Because all the speakers are playing at once, the room becomes a cacophony of voices, the meaninglessness amplified by the stilted cadence of each person trying to keep up with what they're listening to. Standing next to one speaker gives the participant one take on a certain view. Staying close to another speaker gives the participant another take on that same view. Remaining between them all exposes the participant to all the takes of the same view at once and the babel of information that that is. The participants are encouraged to contribute to the retelling of the same view.

Triangle Project - Finishing School


Photo credit: EMERGENCE

Triangle Project
(Artist group who is collectively based in Denmark, Turkey and US)
"Red's Pyramid", 2008
GRID-System squares
Site specific installation with various dimensions

Concept: Artists from Copenhagen, Denmark and Istanbul, Turkey, hand carried these white cubes to from Copenhagen to New York City. The purpose of this act is to challenge airport security's intelligence and common sense. With the curbes securely in the hands of these artists, they will build a structure that stands for power and enlightenment. They will arrange the squares to form the base of the pyramid, and continue to build it together to achieve the same goal.

Participate: Participants will be given squares to help complete the pyramid with the artist collective. The exchange of ideas and stories while building this structure will stimulate the energy that is theoretically emanated from the pyramid. Upon completion of the apex, participants are free to deconstruct and reconstruct the edifice, with the help of other viewers.



Photo image: EMERGENCE

Triangle Project / Finishing School

"Pass / Detect ", 2008
Wood and electronics
100" x 32" x 20"

Concept: Pass / Detect (2006) is a publicly placed and unmonitored object that safely employs classified technology and criteria to detect specific targets. The work musters both unresolved concern and curiosity via sounding an alarm. Viewers react differently to various means of security measures, as do participants who reinforce safeguards, surveillance and defense.

Participate: Participants are welcome to walk through the wooden frame. Pass / Detect alarm is controlled by secret technology embedded in the structure. If detected, an alarm will sound.

Urban Homesteading Project (UHP)




Photo image: EMERGENCE


Urban Homesteading Project (Francisca Caporali, Laura Grace Chipley, Pilar Ortiz)
"Summer Homestead", 2008
Performance
Wooden frame of plants in recycled plastic bottles

Duration varies (Sunday 6/22 & 6/29, Saturday 7/26 at 4:00 PM all days)


Concept: Over nine weeks, the structure will be gradually insulated with salvaged plastic bottles, re-purposed as receptacles for organic life. Within each bottle, living plants are cultivated in either soil or water.The dialogue and interaction initiated through the construction of the homestead in tandem with planting, cultivating, and harvesting is integral to sustainability. The collaboration between artists and audience patterns a simple model of a community.

Participate: Viewers are invited to donate plastic bottles and participate in the planting process. At the end of the summer, the wood skeleton will be recycled and the plants will be given away; transplanted to a new place in which to grow roots and emerge.