Mayukh Sen's blog

Call for Participants – Micha Cárdenas

Do you consider yourself an activist? Are you passionate about queer bodies, reducing gendered violence, and class struggle? (e)MERGE artists Micha Cárdenas, Allison Wyper, Karen Anzoategui and Bianca Molina are tackling these issues for their performance of Find Each Other: Local Autonomy Networks (2011), and they're looking for about ten participants to attend a free workshop at MACLA, just across the street from the ZERO1 Garage, on Friday, September 14, 2012. The interactive workshop will be held from 3pm – 6pm, while the performance, based on input from workshop participants, will follow at 7:30pm.

If you'd like to play a part in what will ultimately create this performance, please email mmcarden@usc.edu as soon as possible with your contact information, a brief description of your background (activist, performance, art practice, community based art, etc.), a link to your website (if applicable), and why you are interested in participating. Though some performance experience is recommended, it is not required.

People Dancing at Cameras

Who doesn’t remember the “Single Ladies” craze? After the release of Beyoncé’s infectious song, numerous YouTube interpretations of the music video erupted on the social networking site. This is the age we live in – one in which dancing for your camera becomes a form of self-expression. As ZERO1 Biennial artist Amy Alexander observes, this tradition of “people dancing at cameras” isn’t merely a contemporary phenomenon. Rather, such a practice has roots in the history of cinema. Along with Syracuse University’s Annina Rüst, Alexander forms one half of the team that’s produced Discotrope: the Secret Nightlife of Solar Cells (2012), an audiovisual performance piece that asks us to reconsider how much risk-taking and idealism we infuse into Silicon Valley culture. Last week, I sat down with Alexander to chat about her project, which will be performed in its fourth iteration during (e)MERGE: the ZERO1 Street Festival.

Unveiling the Urban Screen

With the advent of such phenomena as Netflix, moviegoing is hardly a communal event these days. It’s become more common to sit in front of your laptop and stream feature-length films than to engage with movies in a shared setting – drive-ins, for example, are things of the past. Movie-watching has turned into a casual activity akin to browsing Facebook. As a challenge to moviegoing’s increasingly distant and remote nature, then, ZERO1 has commissioned an Urban Screen project along with the San Jose Public Art Program as part of our upcoming Biennial.

ArtHERE: Round 2 Juries

How much faith do we have in the public? When judging what constitutes sufficiently eye-catching art for potential audiences, one of the most difficult tasks is to assess what will sustain their attention. Somewhat problematically, this often involves surmising the level of intelligence and myriad interests of the public. I began to grasp what it was like to reconcile such considerations last week as I joined ZERO1’s Curatorial Assistant Anne Babel and Public Art Producer Justine Topfer to jury submissions for our ArtHERE Round 2 calls.

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