Category Archives: Performance art

Video : Alone in 1,000 Square Feet at Pecha Kucha Night

A few weeks ago, N presented at Pecha Kucha, an event where people in the community come together to show a series of 20 images with 20 seconds to speak about each one. With his most recent project of capturing six characters in vibrant scenery and scenarios, N ran with the opportunity to show off some of his performance skills by acting out each character as the slides changed. Check out the full video below and see some of the images from the series here: Alone in 1,000 Square Feet.

N is already working on the next series of photos for this project with some slightly different guidelines. If you’re interested in being photographed in character, let us know. We can make it happen.

Upcoming Pecha Kucha themes and dates are as follows:

Wednesday, February 20, 6-8pm: Technology

Wednesday, March 20, 6-8pm: International

Wednesday, April 17, 6-8pm: Anything Goes

If you’d like to be a part of the fun or know someone that would, contact Emilia White at northquadhd@umich.edu and help spread the word about this exciting event.

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An Exhibit We’d Like to See : David Bowie Is

N is a huge fan of David Bowie’s. And for good reason. His name has been synonymous with imaginative thinking and music and art for over four decades.

dezeen_David-Bowie-is-at-the-V-and-A_1aAbove: album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane (1973) courtesy of Duffy Archive

tumblr_lgq06iLvAp1qdbfozo1_500A Bowie copycat for a children’s campaign.

On March 23rd an incredible collection of memorabilia, costumery, photography, musical archives and objects will showcase the life and work of David Bowie at Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The show, titled simply “David Bowie Is” will have over 300 items and only cover a fraction of the pop icon’s presence.

dezeen_David-Bowie-is-at-the-V-and-A_6Above: photo collage of manipulated film stills from The Man Who Fell to Earth (1975-6) courtesy of The David Bowie Archive and Studiocanal Films Ltd

dezeen_David-Bowie-is-at-the-V-and-A_3aAbove: striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour designed by Kansai Yamamoto (1973), photograph by Masayoshi Sukita from The David Bowie Archive

bowie_earthling_album.480

Original photography for the Earthling album cover, 1997
Union Jack coat designed by Alexander McQueen in collaboration with David Bowie
Photograph by Frank W Ockenfels 3
© Frank W Ockenfels 3

 If we were closer, we would certainly be seeing this show. For now we’ll just listen to tunes on the record player and check out his new song and album, “The Next Day”. Tickets and full information can be found here.

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Alone in 1000 Square Feet

It’s important to stay busy, but it’s also important to have fun. I recently began a series of images involving six different characters. Over time their stories will grow and conflict.

The guidelines are simple: only I can be in the image and it must be shot in my apartment, common area or basement. The techniques, however, are limitless.

I present: the brilliant psychopath, the afflicted war veteran, the clever spy, the distressed burglar, the turbulent mob associate and the flamboyant detective.

We can do the same for you. Contact us for more information.

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Enter Stage Right

Our friend Amanda has been acting for the last ten years and we recently saw her in a riveting performance of Antony and Cleopatra, at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor. Her next role, however, is more behind the scenes: she’s the director.

The plays were written by local playwright James Ingagiola and will be performed as part of the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s Studio Series, October 19-21. Exploring the various styles of writers such as Pinter and Mamet, the production will prove to be an exciting interpretation of Shakespeare. We can’t wait to see it! We were invited to snap some publicity photos of the amazing cast. Enjoy!

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Jim Henson, Muppetry and An Unyielding Obsession

This past weekend N surprised me by hooking up a Detroit errand with an event at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Heather Henson, daughter of the late, great Jim Henson was putting on a performance with her troupe Ibex Puppetry called Celebration of Flight. Not only was I completely floored that he found out about this fantastic opportunity before I did, I was elated to see some artistry and performance at work.

I don’t remember a time in my life that The Muppets were not around. Prior to their “comeback” in last year’s The Muppets, I was still clamoring for Animal and singing the theme song. (Some say there’s even a Halloween photo where I wear a pig snout and N’s face is painted green…) Something as genius as what Jim Henson started in the ’60s would always have a place in my heart, even if it wasn’t reaching further than Grover watchers out there via Sesame Street.

We saw Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, a retrospective exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in 2009 which included early sketches for animations, silkscreen posters he did in college and even key design elements from The Dark Crystal. This was, of course, all dwarfed in comparison to the Kermit which we were introduced to within the first ten feet of the exhibit. It was magical.

Needless to say, I was enamored by the motion, fluidity and realness of the birds and forms created by the puppet group. It was a hot day but the strong breeze made for a beautiful back drop as we watched the performers manipulate kites, bird forms and weave among one another with ease.

My path in art has meandered but never strayed far from appreciation of great artistry and concepts. Jim Henson’s legacy and its ability to make us believe is what continues to inspire me.

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Festifools: A Night of Creative Debauchery

Last night we ventured out to Festifools, a  “non-profit production of the STARTProject, a University of Michigan Lloyd Hall Scholars Program initiative”. From papier maché costumes to handheld luminaries and projection art, we were having a darn good time. (Please excuse the shaky camera movement and underexposed shots – we only had our point and shoot).

Fantastic shadow puppetry

A neon projector

There was a lot of costumery

We made a new friend.

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Photo Narrative Winner: Forrest

Talented singer and model extraordinaire Forrest hung out with us Friday night. As one of the lucky winners of our Photo Narrative photo shoot giveaway, he brought a number of outfit changes, we switched up the backdrops and the results were pure magic. We love when people aren’t afraid to tell a story.

Thank you, Forrest, for being such a fantastic sitter, actor and personality. Now it’s your turn.

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The Process

Our ideas begin here.

They’re given life here.

The keepers are then digitized.

Lastly, they’re printed on high quality archival photo paper in rich, saturated colors and sent to you.

The end.

-NY-

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In Your Face: The Performance Art of Joseph Ravens and dfbrl8r

As I sit here and stare outside at the first real snow of the winter season, I’m reminded of last year’s blizzard. N and I were living in Chicago and witnessed the Blizzard of 2011, which dumped over 20 inches of snow on the city. It left us few options but tunneling through mounds where the sidewalk used to be and throwing impromptu snowballs during our daily walks. This was also about the time our friend and performance artist Joseph Ravens opened dfbrl8r Performance Art Gallery a few doors down from our building. Joseph is well known around Chicago and has had his fair share of controversy and notoriety. His style is one of spontaneous reaction, comedic timing and conceptual play. He transformed a once-failing antiques store into a thriving space of collaborative performance with endless themes and ideas.

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Dad poses with an angry bird

The inaugural event was fantastic. There were two feathered artists in the front window, flapping their wings and pecking at passerbyers. (My dad came with us and taunted the birds to no end). Then there was the woman who kept having her coat trimmed by the men in lab coats. But the finale really set things off, including firecrackers, a gun (filled with blanks, of course) and garbage pails of snow being hurled at the audience. It turned into quite a smoky snowball fight of sorts –  a memorable evening and a great start for dfbrl8r.

Joseph Ravens does his thang

I was offered chew by the guy. I declined.

Have you ever seen performance art? What do you know about it? During college, I took a 4-D class. Yes, 4 dimensional meaning time-based. That includes performance, video, film, really anything that has the element of spatial time. Maybe you’ve never thought of it that way. Explore dfbrl8r events when you’re in Chicago next time and you may be surprised…for many reasons.

Happy Anniversary, Joseph and dfbrl8r! Congrats!!

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