Participate in Creative Placemaking!

Irrigate: Art happens here

Soon, hundreds of projects led by local artists will bring new life and vibrancy to the Central Corridor Light Rail Line in Saint Paul, thanks to a new partnership between Springboard for the Arts, Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the City of Saint Paul.  Called Irrigate, this initiative spurs artist-led creative placemaking spanning the six miles of the Central Corridor Light Rail line in Saint Paul during the years of its construction. This is a unique opportunity that brings together huge infrastructure development, a high concentration of resident artists on both ends of the corridor, a diverse ethnic and cultural mix among the neighborhoods, and a city with a strong track record of artist community engagement. By mobilizing artists to engage in their community, Irrigate will change the landscape of the Central Corridor with color, art, surprise, creativity and fun.

Placemaking is the act of people coming together to change overlooked and undervalued public and shared spaces into welcoming places where community gathers, supports one another, and thrives. Places can be animated and enhanced by elements that encourage human interaction – from temporary activities such as performances and chalked poetry to permanent installations such as landscaping and unique art.

How to Get Involved

If you are an artist – of any level, experience or discipline – who lives, works or has a personal investment in Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (CCLRT) neighborhoods, Irrigate invites you to join the creative placemaking movement! Use your creative talents to have an impact on your neighborhood, your local businesses and organizations, and the light rail corridor. Starting October 22, Irrigate is offering creative placemaking training workshops, after which artists will be eligible for collaborative placemaking project funding through a simple application process. For more details and registration information for Fall 2011 workshops click here (

If you are a business, non-profit, community group, or other entity that is has a presence on the light rail corridor in Saint Paul, and would like to connect artists to your work, please contact Peter Haakon Thompson, Project Coordinator, at or 651-789-0679.

If you are a fan of artists and placemaking, revisit the website after October 15! We will have a live map to which anyone can share ideas about where placemaking can happen along the corridor, AND, over time, you can see artist-led projects take shape, find out ways to participate, and discover placemaking activities and sites to visit.

For more information, see

Other questions, contact Jun-Li Wang, Artist Community Organizer at or 651-789-0679.

Five Years of CONT3XT.NET

Content | Form | Im-material—Five Years of CONT3XT.NET

“[…] Interpretation is an inherent mode of curatorial practice, and CONT3XT.NET must decide, generally in collaboration with the artists but not entirely, how to manifest the form and content of the network recension of any works exhibited. There is not necessarily a correct answer in this process—although there may be wrong ones—but there is a kind of feedback loop between CONT3XT.NET’s interpretive mode and the content of an exhibition, which is both an instantiation of and a theory about their curatorial practice as translation. […]”–Steve Dietz, Introduction

Book launch: Content | Form | Im-material—Five Years of CONT3XT.NET

CONT3XT.NET is a Vienna-based initiative founded in January 2006 by Sabine Hochrieser, Michael Kargl, Birgit Rinagl and Franz Thalmair. Programmatically, this group of artists, curators and authors—their different roles and functions sometimes regarded strictly, sometimes as a fluid continuum—work at the basis of contemporary visual, textual and networked practices. Starting from the idea of the context as the most indecisive and variable but relevant constraint of any situation, the collective reflects upon the spatial, temporal, discursive as well as the institutional framework that conceptual artistic practices (on the Internet and elsewhere) are rooted in today.


Maria Anwander, Anna Artaker, Ruben Aubrecht, Miriam Bajtala, Ryan Barone, Mary-Anne Breeze—aka netwurker, Charles Broskoski, Codemanipulator®, Arend deGryuter-Helfer and Aylor Brown, Gerhard Dirmoser, Aleksandra Domanovic, Reynald Drouhin, Nikolaus Gansterer, Christina Goestl, Jochen Höller, Karl Heinz Jeron and Valie Djordjevic, Michael Kargl, Annja Krautgasser, Miriam Laussegger and Eva Beierheimer, Jan Robert Leegte, Ralo Mayer, Michail Michailov, MTAA—M. River & T. Whid Art Associates, Barbara Musil and Karo Szmit, Jörg Piringer, Lisa Rastl, Arnold Reinthaler, Veronika Schubert, Johanna Tinzl and Stefan Flunger, UBERMORGEN.COM, Martin Wattenberg and Marek Walczak


Josephine Bosma, Mary-Anne Breeze—aka netwurker, Sarah Cook, Steve Dietz, Thomas Dreher, Constant Dullaart, Mark E. Grimm, Jeremy Hight, Sabine Hochrieser, Michael Kargl, Jan Robert Leegte, Mia Makela, Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer, Stefan Nowotny, Les Liens Invisibles, Birgit Rinagl, Franz Thalmair, Pall Thayer, Marius Watz

“We Are Working All the Time!” Wants You

Dear Friends,

Hope this message finds you well.

If you have visited with the Empty Words (so that we can do our living) performance during the Northern Spark festival on June 4-5, chances are you have walked away with one of the “We Are Working All The Time!” posters. These posters were printed during the performance and distributed to the audience. I am writing to ask you a simple favor:

If you have that poster hanging somewhere, would you please take a quick photo of it in whatever environment it is, and send the image to me?

I started this simple site for this poster series, and my hope is to show the posters in various spaces, where people chose to hang them.

There are not too many images there yet, but with your help I am hoping to populate the site very soon!

Thank you for your help,

Piotr Szyhalski

If you know anyone else that has this poster, or if you saw one around, please forward this message to them!

Times Square

Bruce Charlesworth: ISEA.2

Entrance hall, Çemberlitas Hamam; photo: Ming-yen Hsu

I bought my ticket, a yellow plastic tab, and was given a small cardboard box.  A cluster of topless Turkish men in plaid towels gestured toward one of the narrow staircases.  I climbed to the second level balcony where I was ushered into a wooden cubicle.  I stripped down, wrapped a towel around my waist and stepped into some plastic sandals.  The attendant asked for the yellow tab, then locked the room and handed me the key.

Clutching the cardboard box and key, I went back down the stairs to the lobby, where my burly masseur, Ahmet, met me and shook my hand.  After a quiz to determine my correct nationality, he led me into the cooling-down room.  He removed a small scrub mitt from the box, handed it to me and pointed to the interior of the empty box.  For a moment I thought he was about to do a conjuring trick, but then he pointed inside the box again, rubbed his thumb and forefinger together and said the word “token”.  I pantomimed that all I had was a mitt, key and towel.  No hidden lira or euros.  He rolled his eyes, slapped me manfully on the shoulder and said: “later!”

Pointing toward the edge of the huge marble platform beneath the hot room dome, Ahmet guided me to lay on my back with my head on a small spittoon-like metal headrest, and then left me to sweat for fifteen minutes.  The heat and humidity from the platform was intense, eventually almost hallucinatory as I stared upward at the terracotta dome perforated by round holes.  Every few seconds, a drum-like boom seemed to come from deep inside the walls.

Turkish men and tourists enjoy a traditional bath in the historic Cemberlitas Hamami in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, April. 27, 2010. Cemberlitas Hamami is one of the oldest Turkish Baths in Istanbul, dating back to the late 16th century, and was built by the famous architect Sinan. (AP Photo/Ibrahim Usta)

Hot room, Çemberlitas Hamam

Ahmet returned and started splashing me with buckets of hot water, had me sit up, roll over, stand and lie down again.  Next I could feel a softness glide over me and looked down to see soapsuds drifting upward over my shoulders and neck.  Ahmet began to scrub me all over, in different positions, stopping to point out an accumulation of dead skin on one of my arms.  I was doused with hot water again, massaged, taken into the cool-down room where he washed and kneaded my head.

Ahmet splashed me with cold water and returned me to the hot room.  Pointing to the marble platform, he gave me terse one and two-word instructions to lie down for no less than ten minute, take a shower, dry off with a towel, go upstairs and dress, come down and give the token there.  Not upstairs.  Down.

Related Posts


Bruce Charlesworth is an artist, writer and filmmaker. He one of the pioneers of postmodern staged photography and among the first artists to use video and audio to power aspects of physically immersive “narrative environments.” He teaches in the Department of Film/Video/New Genres at the University of Wisconsin Peck School of the Arts in Milwaukee. He previously reported on Ars Electronica in 2009 for Public Address.

The Street Fair

Waste Not

We are still getting in final documentation of Northern Spark. There is a great photo essay of the event here. Above is video documentation of Christopher Baker’s Waste Not. The projection visualizes in real time time a data dump of the garbage that accumulates every day in Minneapolis. And while not yet part of the public interface, the project is programmable to isolate and visualize various aspects of the waste stream from diapers to plastic.

Baker is also currently showing Murmur Study, at Pace Gallery in New York, a work first commissioned for the Art(ists) on the Verge program.

Giant Sing Along: Don’t stop believing

3 more days!

Prairie Fire Lady Choir at Giant Sing Along

Hold hands with a stranger

Amanda Lovelee’s Call and Answer Project was an epic success at Northern Spark.

Call and Answer at Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Northern Spark, June 4, 2011. Photo courtesy the artist.

According to Amanda,

“We reached all our goals and went far beyond. In one evening we served over 400 pieces of pie in two hours, printed 2000 books, had close to 50 amazing volunteers who did everything from bake pie, photograph, cut pie, make coffee, run a letter press, greet people at the door, read their poetry,  play in the band, and call a square dance!  I think about 1,500 people came through the doors of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and at least 500 strangers held hands!!!!”

Amanda is going for it again.

The Call and Answer Project will be coordinating the largest square dance in the Twin Cities as part of the Walker Art Center’s Free First Saturday from 12-3pm on Saturday September 3rd. The day’s events will include a photo booth where if you pose for a photograph holding hands with a stranger you will receive one of the four books from the collector set of handmade letter pressed books that Lovelee designed about life lessons learned through square dancing. Each book was printed by volunteers as part of Northern Spark and folded by another volunteer. There will a space for both kids and anyone who wants to add a drawing to a very long and large accordion book of utopic objects. It will be the premier of Call and Answer, a short documentary about human connection and Minneapolis’s Monday Night Square Dance. The movie will be playing on a loop inside the Walker. Most importantly from 1pm-3pm there will be a live band playing and square dancing! Local caller Ann Carter will be teaching you everything you need to know.

Amanda Lovelee, Call and Answer Project, MCBA, Northern Spark, June 4, 2011

For more information please go to – or

If I can’t dance . . .

All promo videos for an exhibition should be this entertaining!

Opening August 11, “The Walker presents the latest phase and first US exhibition of Baby Marx, an ongoing project by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes that looks at the potential for mass entertainment to operate as a radical educational tool.”

At the end of the video, above the subtitle Romance, it appears that Che Guevara is hitting on a school teacher/librarian, who is the only woman who appears in the trailer. I wonder if the exhibition will include female theoreticians and activists?

Battle of Everyouth

Battle of Everyouth by Ali Momeni and Jenny Schmid with students from Washburn High School was presented at Northern Spark. It is a projection-based performance staged at multiple sites on and around the Minneapolis Institute of Arts , which is blend of live cinema, participatory theater and live performance. The Battle of Everyouth creates a context for exploration and conversation on the theme of global youth and violence.

A “mixing station” staged in front of the museum produces large-scale panoramic projections onto its facade using live video feeds from numerous dispersed performance contexts. The performance contexts that generate the raw materials of the projection are centered around a miniature urban set on display outside the museum. These performance contexts are run by students from Washburn High who act as the messengers as well as the listeners in this work. They use two types of devices in their interactive rapport with the public, which are both mobile and wireless. The first is an ornate hat, which is designed to capture up-close video footage of faces. The second is an augmented briefcase used to capture writing and drawing with markers. Video feeds from these interaction devices are projected onto architectural components in the miniature set, and simultaneously recorded and manipulated by Momeni and Schmid as they project at large scale onto the museum.

Supported by

MIA Inside/Out: Battle of Everyouth is made possible by a Joyce Award and a grant from the Friends of the Institute with additional support from Best Buy Children’s Foundation. Presentation of The Battle of Everyouth at Northern Spark is also made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Machine Project Summer Jubilee

LA-based Machine Project is coming to the Walker Open Field. You don’t need to choose between Tragedy on the Sea Nymph: An Operetta in Three Acts Starring an All-Dog Cast, Car Theft for Kids, the Apple II Beeptacular Spectacular or Mowing the Field – with bells on. It’s all happening during the Machine Project Summer Jubiliee July 19-29. Check out the line up and don’t miss at least 7 of the projects by this remarkable group during this limited engagement of limitless engagement.

Karolina Sobecka, Forth

I have to admit I love most of Karolina Sobecka’s work. This new responsive, generative lobby video with immersive sound, Forth, seems amazing.

I’m sure there were functional and likely budget reasons, but it’s a little disappointing that it’s such a SCREEN, especially in contrast to a lot of her other work.

Sobecka was part of the MAW residency program in 2010, and her Wildlife was a big hit at the inaugural 01SJ Biennial/ISEA Symposium.

Karolina Sobecka, Forth

I have to admit I love most of Karolina Sobecka’s work. This new responsive, generative lobby video with immersive sound, Forth, seems amazing.

I’m sure there were functional and likely budget reasons, but it’s a little disappointing that it’s such a SCREEN, especially in contrast to a lot of her other work.

Sobecka was part of the MAW residency program in 2010, and her Wildlife was a big hit at the inaugural 01SJ Biennial/ISEA Symposium.