Monday, December 01, 2008
I took part in the Scrapyard Challenge workshop at SangSangMadang Gallery held in Seoul on November 27, 28 & 29, 2008.
The Scrapyard Challenge Workshops are intensive workshops where participants build simple electronic projects (both digital and analog inputs) out of found or discarded "junk" (old electronics, clothing, furniture, outdated computer equipment, appliances, turntables, monitors, gadgets, etc..)
The MIDI Scrapyard version includes a mini workshop where participants build simple drawing robots or "DrawBots" with small, inexpensive motors, batteries, and drawing markers that can also be connected to Serial or MIDI interface. You can see my 'drawbot' in the photo below:
I called it a 'cowbot' because it was made out of a plastic milk bottle!
There is a video of the drawbot in action below:
At the end of the day or evening, the workshop participants have a small performance, concert, or fashion show where they demonstrate and present their creations together as a group. No electronics skills or any experience with technology is necessary to participate in the workshops.
I created a musical hat made from an old metal sieve that played different 4 notes as pieces of scrap metal hanging from pipe cleaners bounced on its surface,
and I also made an electronic "castanet" out of an old cell phone.
Here's video of the final performance jam:
These workshops have been run all around the world by New York artists Jonah Brucker Cohen and Katherine Moriwaki. See the website www.scrapyardchallenge.com.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Yesterday, I was invited to do the opening performance for the Korea Contemporary Art 1000 Artists Exhibition, held in the Danwon Arts Center in Ansan City, just south of Seoul.
This performance was called "Here & Now " and was a symbolic tea ceremony to celebrate the passion and creativity of the 1000 artists who joined together for this exhibition.
The artist rolls a circular black table symbolizing "now" until it intersects with a square black box symbolizing "here".
At the meeting point of "here and now", the artist inscribes these words in Korean and English and then begins to set up the table to perform a ritual tea ceremony.
A square black silk cloth is laid under the round table, and a square gold teatray,and jars of various spices are laid out.
The artist creates a multicultural and fragrant blend of tea and five different spices that are labelled (in Korean and English) as "courage", "passion", "persistence", "self-belief" and "audacity".
These spices represent some of the qualities that artists need to continue to create uplifting and inspiring art in a world that is all too often focused on destructive and materialistic endeavours.
The teapot is marked with an infinity sign, symbolizing the infinite power of human creativity and the infinite power of the "now" moment.
Thus the tea is called "infinitea", and the audience members are all invited to drink the tea to share in the special energy of the creative "now" moment.
You can see a video below: