I served as the Teaching Artist for the Urban Investigators Program in 2015 with the Center for Urban Pedagogy . Over the course of a month with 17 high schoolers from the Bronx, we investigated how the cost of public transportation is decided in NYC. The result of the investigation is presented in this short documentary which had a launch at the Bronx Museum in the fall of 2015.
"William Golding and the Bachelor" is a series of workshops and performances. 14 youth ages 6-13 participated in a series of writing and performance exercises questioning how media and sites of public pedagogy influence the process of identity construction. During the workshop youth compressed the script from the 11th season of the television show "The Bachelor" into an hour long script. Youths also rewrote the season finale and performed these alternate endings along with the edited content from the original series at Under Saint Mark's Theatre. Their endings to the show included spies from Russia, talking horses, secret divorces and a stinky gum that exploded upon contact with enemies.
The videos here show documentation from the live performance and a rehearsal exercise in which two actors listened to the original audio from the show on an ipod and repeated the constants words as they heard them spoken.
BACHELOR EXCERPTS, FINAL PERFORMANCE
This video/ performance tryptic is composed of three parts: "Creation Myth", "Migration Patterns During Wartime" and "Exodus". In the first part of this series a deity creates a nomadic community composed of people that morph into animal hybrids. In "Migration Patterns..." these creatures travel 90 miles from San Antonio to Austin, some hitchhiking, others using public busses, to find others like them and seek pilgrimage at the state's capitol building trying to impact laws on immigration.
The final segment, Exodus, follows the creatures after they have been exiled in the desert that straddles the US/ Mexico border. In this chapter the creatures struggle to understand how to build a community and construct a home.
INCANTATIONS OF HELP
In this ongoing series participants create an audio recording stating what they would like help with in their lives and reperform the audio of their peers for the camera while listening to the recordings on a headset, saying the words as though they were their own. The video here shows excerpts from the project's first staging in San Marcos, Texas at Soda Tooth Gallery. Additional footage from other inceptions of this project, including with a class of high school seniors is available upon request.
KIPP High School
ANGOLA PRISON RODEO
This photo series depicts prison participants, audience members and prison staff at the longest running prison rodeo in the United States. Held on the grounds of a former slave plantation and the Louisiana State Penitentiary, the rodeo has occurred biannually for over 40 years.
ART, ENGAGEMENT AND MEANING MAKING
Excerpt from Interview With Pablo Helguera
What is Socially Engaged Art? Who decides what qualifies to be included in this category and how? Are there universal standard of inclusion or is the taxonomy completely subjective? To answer these questions I sat down with Socialy Engaged Artist and Director of Adult and Academic Programs and the Museum of Modern Art, NY Pablo Helguera. The video here is an excerpt from a visualized poetics that I made response to our converstaion.
These videos represent 3 months of research and interviews with youth in after school programs in the Greater Boston area. During that time I worked with youth to understand how media production could be a tool for civic engagement and community activism locally and also worked with the youth to identify neighborhood assets and areas for improvement.
NEW CARTOGRAPHERS FULL LENGTH
MIRROR TOOLS VIDEO DOCUMENTATION EXCERT
For one month artist Rory Parks and I worked with clients from the Grand Central Neighborhood Drop-In Shelter and students from the Art Students League to develop a community building arts program based on the practice of mirroring. Participants were assigned a partner to work with during the course of the workshop and allowed their experiences and aesthetics to influence one another during the month. The final products of these collaborations are permanently installed in one of the community rooms at the Grand Central Neighborhood Drop-In Shelter.
This work was funded by a Grant from Rema Hort Mann Community Engagement Foundation.
The final drawings of Yuki (L) and Norma (R). The pair designed the frame which was then built by myself and co-facilitator Rory Parks. The smaller drawing was made by the two artists together while they each held the same pencil.
A drawing by Margret from an exercise from the thrid workshop.
The final drawings of participants Yuki (L) and Norma (R). The women designed the frames which were build by myself and co-facilitator Rory Parks.
The final drawings for Karen (B) and Evelyn (T). The smaller drawing was made by the two artists together while they each held the same pencil.
The final drawings from Margret (L) and Catherine (R). The smaller drawing was made by the two artists together while they each held the same pencil.
WINTER HOMELESSNES IN BOSTON
GRAND CENTRAL NEIGHBORHOOD
The "I Am A Person" permanent installation at Grand Central Neighborhood's Drop-In Homeless Shelter is comprised of photos and text from interviews conducted with 25 of the organization's clients. Inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Teaching Tolerance Program" and feedback from clients and staff at the shelter each client was photographed while describing what they were most proud of in their life. Text from these interviews were mounted in vinyl alongside the photographs in the installation housed in the community day room. The program was designed to directly address and combat stereotypes of homelessness that the clients are forced to encounter on a daily basis.
Video documentation shows excerpts from the ceremony that followed the project's closure in which participants refected on the process of participating in the 3 month project and enjoyed the music and poetry of Harlem Renisance jazz legend Marjorie Elliot.