I recently ran into artists Leon Reid IV and Ryan Seslow installing newly cast pieces from their collaborative project Technophemera at Welling Court. Curious to learn more, I asked them a few questions about the genesis of the project.
LP: How did this collaboration come about?
LR: The collaboration came about in an organic way. Ryan reached out to me around 2012 by inviting me to speak as a guest lecturer during his “History and Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti” course at LIU Post. From there we connected on alot of conceptual levels and decided to work collaboratively in some capacity. As with many collaborations, the concept for a work isn’t finalized in the beginning of the relationship, but rather over the course of many conversations and exchanges.
LP: What are you saying about art and technology with this installation?
LR: Previous to our meeting, Ryan had already begun casting old computer hardware in concrete – suggesting a fossilization process. After seeing these, I decided to bring my installation background to the table and came up with the idea that the hardware casts should be buried in an excavation site to create the illusion of ancient history.
The central theme behind the project is that technology is invented at such a rapid pace that devices even 5 years old may as well be treated as fossils.
RS: I coined the term “technophemera” in late 2011 when I started placing casts in and around the NYC area. I leave them in public places free for people to take and/or become aware of their presence and displacement. The displacement is both obvious and also contextual. It questions they way we dispose of old technologies and hardware as well as our personal relationships to those devices and who we are becoming over time through this new consciousness. I still continue to leave various casts in and around and have also expanded to other objects like old aerosol cans – this gets a bit more specific, as it speaks directly to graffiti artists, how everything changes and evolves, with us or without us. We must choose who we are in relationship to those changes to maintain authenticity.
Leon and Ryan are hoping to realize a collaborative installation of Technophemera on the LIU Post campus in connection with the Steinberg Museum of Art at Hillwood starting this fall. For more information, please visit http://www.leonthe4th.com/technophemera/1.html.
UPDATE: A Kickstarter has been launched to support the initiative as well: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/leonreid/technophemera.
A massive, 700-pound Wolftits sculpture was installed on a previously empty pedestal outside the former ASPCA Rogers Memorial Animal Hospital near the Gowanus in Brooklyn. Behold it in all its wolfking multi-titty glory!
It’s great to see some of Dennis McNett‘s sculptures make it out onto the streets of Brooklyn! This bad boy, covered in the graphic prints Wolfbat Studio has become known for, lurks above a bus stop on Flushing Avenue.
I like to think the chain is for our safety.
The Minneapolis-based street artist HOTTEA recently visited New York and put up numerous of his signature, letter-based, yarn pieces on fences throughout the city. But the highlight of this visit was without a doubt this rainbow-hued yarn installation, titled Rituals, strung above the pedestrian walkway of the Williamsburg Bridge. While the piece had already started fraying by the time I got to it, it’s impact was nevertheless very much intact: everyone I encountered on the walkway was entranced. I was impressed by how such a beautifully simple installation could transform the mundane into magic. Bravo!
Since completing a successful Kickstarter campaign back in early March, public artist Leon Reid IV has been hard at work fabricating the miniature lending library and public art installation known as “The Hundred Story House“. Inspired by a similar community book sharing installation producer Julia Marchesi witnessed in Berlin and modeled after the brownstone homes which line the streets of Park Slope, Leon’s latest installation was unveiled in the neighborhood’s JJ Byrne Park in front of The Old Stone House this past weekend.
Brooklynites of all ages enjoyed interacting with the house, opening the windows to deposit their own books on the shelves inside and exchanging them for new ones. Books ran the full gamut of reading levels and genres, with everything from Captain Underpants (a book popular for obvious reasons) to Fight Club and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.
“The Hundred Story House” will be on display through the end of October, so take this opportunity to indulge your love of reading while watching adorable and excited children who are just discovering theirs!
Back in 2005, as I was just delving into the world of NYC street art, the artist Celso and his partner-in-crime C-Monster invited me for a studio vist to their Manhattan loft. Even though we had never met before, their warm and welcoming manner endeared them to me immediately and we have been friends ever since. Over the years, our paths have crossed at countless art openings and happenings. I have enjoyed Celso’s evolution as an artist – both on and off the streets – and have gained a great appreciation for his willingness to experiment with new materials to push himself forward. Armed with a quick wit, an appreciation for the absurd, and an irreverent intelligence, the inimitable C-Monster has conquered a corner of the art blogosphere and made herself indispensable. All this is to say I’m very happy to support Celso and C-Monster’s next big, collaborative adventure: a public art installation for the Museo Convento de Santo Domingo y Qorikancha in Peru. Please consider joining me in making a donation via their project’s Kickstarter.
I couldn’t be happier that Stikman, one of my favorite street artists, will be opening a show of all-new work at Brooklyn’s Pandemic Gallery tomorrow night. Titled “20”, the show marks an astonishing twenty year career of installing his now iconic stikmen characters on the streets. His ability to reinvent the stikman figure in new mediums and willingness to experiment with different configurations is seemingly boundless. Because the pieces are never the same, they are a challenge to find – but fans of his work no doubt agree there is a special thrill to recognizing one of his pieces.
Of the show, Stikman writes, “To celebrate twenty years of playing in the street with sticks I have created a special battalion of twenty figures to send out into the world with the hope that the friends of stikman will take him along on new journeys to places he has not yet been. I have also created twenty works on paper to commemorate the paper element associated with stikman. Ten of these are PAINTBLAST, which is a form of automatic painting that occurs when I paint the wood figures.”
March 16-April 6, 2012
Opening: Friday, March 16, 7-11pm
37 Broadway btwn Kent and Wythe
Brooklyn, NY 11211
L train to Bedford ave, J train to Marcy ave, or Q59 bus to Broadway/Wythe
Rae’s three-dimensional, found-object, sculptural installations are really starting to grow on me. In an era of cookie-cutter stencils and yet-another-precious-silkscreen wheatpastes, it takes some oddball, one-of-a-kind street art to capture my attention. Keep ’em coming, Rae.
You can read an interview with Rae on the new Street Art NYC blog.