Thursday, August 28, 2014

Invite Potluck Picnic at the Parthenon

Please join us on Monday, September 1st, this Labor Day from 12 to 3 to enjoy the company of your neighbors as we break bread together around the steps of the Parthenon.  

Everyone is invited!  

Please bring food to share, its a Potluck Picnic!  Based on your name in the alphabet bring a vegetable, fruit, grain, protein or drink (see flyer).  Interact with art and artist Moria Williams, Leung Mee (Momo) Ping and Adrienne Outlaw by bring a frisbee, baking bread in a replica of the Parthenon, exploring the park, chat with a new friend.  
FLEX IT! My Body My Temple will open at the Parthenon with regular admission.  Curated by Adrienne Outlaw and Susan Shockley. 

Visit to the Parthenon

Art has been spotted at the Parthenon.  The interactive signs by Susan O'Malley, Your Body is the Architecture, are up and inspiring action.

Becky Heavner and Bryan Leister's markers are ready for the September 1st launch of Pygmalion's Challenge, a reality virtual game that can be downloaded on to your phone for play.

-Adrienne Outlaw

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Meet Melody!

What's cookin'? Or should I say fermentin'?

Well... Melody, our Nashville sourdough! She is the mother sourdough starter born and partially raised in Nashville. She was my traveling companion on my way back to to NY. Since our journey, I have been feeding her and helping her stay healthy. Melody is growing and bubbling over with excitement ;D to meet all of you! She will be ready to share her sourdough goodness with Nashville very soon. If you would like to nurture her in Nashville, share your additions to Melody (kinda like a family tree!), and the recipes you created together please let me know, Melody likes to travel. She whispered to me that she misses Nashville.

Melody was born in Nashville, Tennessee June 16th 2014. She was fermented with wild white mulberries and the yeast living with them and allover them. The flour that was added to the fermentation process of Melody is gluten-free organic oat flour. 

Melody, our Nashville sourdough starter, is a fermenting living community. 

Thanks a bunch!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Yoga for Truckers (& Everyone)

The first blog entry for Nikki Cormaci invites the reader to journey with her.   Her plan is to integrate the methodology of her  project organically throughout a series of posts. 

I found myself slipping in and out of consciousness driving at 70 mph in the Northern California dark. I had a deadline, two in fact, a 5 a.m. low tide in Nachotta Bay, WA, some 700 miles northwest, where I work in the oysters. That one was impossible. The other one also proved impossible. Noon I was scheduled to work in the old hotel in Seaview, preparing the rooms for the weekend. The smell of propane gas leaking out of the kitchen in the trailer we call African Queen was the first thing I remember about work that day when finally I returned after 9 hours of sleep in a third as many days. The drive from San Francisco had been ambitious and badly-planned. The work in the oysters is early and tough, but the bright bay sunrises and milky fog daybreaks mixed with the brute to surge adrenaline, making things seem reasonable that are in fact completely insane. The first 12 hours on two hours sleep had been fine enough. The last twelve were another story, a bible story, the one about a desperate search to find a place to rest. You cannot shut your eyes and keep moving without death. The paradox of driving, shocking to me in my weariness, is that we are not the passengers but the pilots of these strange ships. We are their captains our duty is to stay alert. I pulled off the highways after several losing rounds pummeled by sleep, losing badly, I reclined in a terrifying RV park, where a fat tweaker approached my car, yelled "Hello" and told me to start it up and move it along, that he would stand there and watch me pull out. I made another attempt to sleep in the backseat in the parking lot of a small motel. I covered my white shirt in a black dress to camouflage myself against the black leather seats, blood freezing at every footstep or car door closing, opening. Silence hit again and I hit the black road once more. The white lines came alive, flattening, dizzying, then lifting up out of the concrete. I once thought the curved white line was the lip of a giant plate. The spore prints of insects on the windshield flattened against the moving pavement, too, then flipped, receding until I saw all the souls of the bugs flying at the windshield all at once, scaring me awake again. The temporary relief from sleep that the scare produced made a small victory out of the danger of dreaming while driving. 

Before I left SF I visited the Zen Center and flipped through a book about sitting. Sitting and meditating have been used interchangeably although the author argued this was incomplete, since sitting with your thoughts, if they are greedy for attention, is not meditating. Sleeping is also not meditating, although meditation (sitting) can collapse reality and the dream, too. Can driving, which is sitting, be mediation? Yoga for Truckers, my Nashville Flex it project,  searches for this link, this difference, asking buddhists and yogis and truckers to share their experiences of sitting and find the common ground. I found a safe place to sleep in the rest stop outside Shasta. A "Safety" rest stop, full of people hungry for sleep and the cessation of movement. There I slept soundly until the sun rose. I left and climbed Siskiyou out of California and into Oregon. There at the summit, drenched in the early morning sun, were a flock of long-hauls trucks and trailers. There was something ancient about seeing them there, like sentinels, or eagles perched atop the mountain. Why did they stop there, and not down at the Love's Travel Stop and Country Store, with its bedazzeled flip-flops and Nascar kit? Why were they up there sleeping just four miles north of the California border on the tallest peak on the I-5?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

We Are The Parthenon

Ancient Greece meets moving truck outside Nashville Parthenon
Hello Again, Susan O'Malley here.

The first time I visited the Parthenon at Centennial Park I was floored - a building with the same specs as the Greek Parthenon! A gorgeous gilded Athena by local Nashville artist Alan LeQuire that took my breath away. I wondered how this replica building has shaped Nashville's identity as the sister city to Athens. I also thought about what it means to bring to life this structure that was built and destroyed hundreds of years ago in a distant land. So I spent a good amount of time taking in the building during my visit.

The first time I saw the Nashville Parthenon. You may not feel it in this photo but I assure you It was exciting.
If you are a tourist in Nashville, you will most certainly visit the Parthenon. If you are Nashville resident, you have probably come to the Parthenon or Centennial Park to hangout in the shade, walk along its paths or play on its field.

Artist and Nashville resident Kayla Saito stretches her arms as wide as the Parthenon.
It's tricky to try to find new ways to look at a popular building and park like this. But with the help of local student and artist Kayla Saito, we set out to explore the Parthenon as research for Your Body is the Architecture, the project commissioned for the Parthenon's upcoming FLEX IT! exhibition.

Here are a few things we did and observed.

How to imprint yourself on the Parthenon:

Nashville Shadows from Susan O'Malley on Vimeo.

How to reach your arms as wide as the Parthenon:

Nashville Arms from Susan O'Malley on Vimeo.

What are your observations of the Parthenon? How does your body relate to this building?

In my next post, I'll share some more how-to videos as well as the update for the sign installation. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Greetings from Becky & Bryan

Hi! Our names are Becky Heavner and Bryan Leister. We are what might be called a cross-functional art team. Bryan and I make augmented reality sculptures. I focus on developing the sculptures and Bryan animates and codes the experience. Our process is to pass the concept back and forth, moving it forward like a soccer ball in a game. Software developers call this agile development. The last augmented reality sculpture we worked on together was called, "Interference." The sculpture was inspired by a pond that I wasn't allowed to swim in (the forbidden pond)–and a pond we installed in our backyard in Virginia. On a summer night, I would hear frogs chirping and run out with a flashlight to find them. The sculpture was made by forming paper pulp over a 6 foot diameter soccer ball. After it was dry, we peeled it off. I call it a paper skin, but to some people it looks like stone, or a thin piece of earth. Bryan projected animated images of frogs onto the skin. In the gallery setting, people could interact with this piece by pointing modified flashlights at the projection. A sensor responds to the infrared light filters in the flashlight and the frogs swim towards the flashlight. When too many people interact with the frogs, they become agitated. Some people have experienced empathy for the animations, which I find really interesting!

Traversal installation at Walker Fine Art in Denver, Colorado, Spring 2014. Paper sculpture, two channel sound, sensors and interactive projection.

Interactive projected frogs on a paper sculpture, as part of the Traversal installation.

Our installation for the Parthenon is a mobile augmented reality game called Pygmalion's Challenge. In June, we had the help of nine volunteers who installed the markers for our game. If you walk around the grounds, you will see the markers. They are aluminum square pieces with animal-shapes cut from each center. They are angled and set in the earth with plants growing in and around them. When we have the game ready for you to play, we will announce it on the blog, that way, you can download the free app from the Apple store before you come to the museum. Players can use an iPhone or Android device to point at the markers to trigger the game. The game is based on the treasure of the Delian League, a fifth century association of Greek city-states.  

Butterfly Marker for augmented reality game Pygmalion's Challenge, FLEX IT! at the Parthenon Museum, 2014.

The main goal of our game is to unlock the central treasure. Players must move in and around the grounds between sculptural markers and the treasury located in the back of the Parthenon to collect coins. Once a deposit has been made, players return to the markers to release colorful animated characters from the sculptures.  Players will have the opportunity to pose with the virtual characters and share photos with friends on social media. We hope you come out to play. It is designed for kids, but I hope all ages will play. Stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Intro to Public Doors and Windows

Public Doors and Windows is a collaborative artist team made up of Harrell Fletcher, Molly Sherman, and Nolan Calisch. They are based in Portland, Oregon. Together they work to create participatory and site-specific projects that engage with and include local people and the broader public.

Drawing inspiration from small-scale farming and the community supported agriculture (CSA) model, PD&W bring similar elements into their artistic practice, creating work that values collaboration, reciprocal relationships, and a sense of investment with the people and places where they work.

Currently the collaboration is involved in ongoing projects with the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambr├ęsis, France, the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz, the Parthenon Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. In 2013 they published A Children’s Book of Farming in Le Cateau-Cambr├ęsis with One Star Press as part of the Le Nouveau Festival at the Pompidou Center in Paris.

To a Lifetime of Meaningful Encounters Exhibition at the Matisse Museum
in Le Cateau, France July 2014-September 2014

A participatory walking tour, part of A Collective Museum
commissioned by the UC Santa Cruz Institute of Arts and Sciences. 

The One Mile Loop

The One Mile Loop, a project for FLEX IT! at the Parthenon Museum. 

Our project The One Mile Loop is a series of public signs and musical performances that respond to the routine exercise habits of runners and walkers who use the "one mile loop" around Centennial Park and the Parthenon Museum.

We will replicate a series of six public historical markers, but instead of containing historical information, the new markers will share information about the current lives, exercise habits, and musical preferences of six Nashville citizens who regularly use the park. These personalized markers will be installed incrementally around the one mile loop pathway for the duration of the Flex-It show. 

We will also organize a one day musical event on a weekend in early September where six local bands, of differing musical genres, will play a set of songs selected by the six runners and walkers. A musical performance will take place at each of the six marker sites around the loop, enabling the general public to experience a continual live musical experience as they make their way around the path. 

We will work with the Musical Arts Center in Centennial Park to select several of the the participating bands for the event. 

A playlist of the reinterpreted songs will be made available on the Flex-it blog as a free download.

The Highlander Spring 

The Highlander Spring, a project for  FLEX IT! at the Parthenon Museum. 

Highlander Folk School was an adult education center founded in 1932 that brought together many labor and civil rights activists including Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, and Pete Seeger. The original site of Highlander was located near Monteagle, Tennessee and included a spring fed pond which was made by Highlander participants. On September 2, 1957, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech at Highlander called “A Look to the Future.” During this Labor Day event, people took part in many integrated cultural activities including dancing, dining, swimming in the pond, and drinking from the spring. In his speech, King stated: 

“I have been asked to speak from the subject: “A Look to the Future.” In order to look to the future, it is often necessary to get a clear picture of the past. In order to know where we are going, it is often necessary to see from whence we have come.”1

We would like to collect 25 gallons of the spring water from the original Highlander site and make it available to museum goers through a water dispenser that is set up in the Flex-it gallery. Alongside the water dispenser will be at stack of newspapers we create that provide information about the pond, Highlander and it’s cultural and recreational activities. Museum goers will be invited to taste the spring water that Myles Horton, Martin Luther King Jr, and Rosa Parks would have consumed and reflect on Highlander’s influence on the the social and cultural history of Tennessee. 

We imagine the water dispenser would be sectioned off from the rest of the exhibition and designated as the only area for drinking the water in the museum. This area would include a recycling bin for the used paper cups and markers on the floor or museum partitions. Once all the water is consumed, the empty dispenser will stay in place until the end of the show.