December 04, 2008

Tonight! Beer, surveillance, border crossings, chalkboard music

Hey all,

Just a reminder that tonight’s Tom Marioni FREE BEER Salon is featuring that famous local painter Robert Bechtle as guest bartender, and that famous local news & gossip maven Leah Garchik as guest reader.

Also on tonight in the D-Space, starting at 7pm when the salon closes, is a cool-sounding project developed by Stanford students as part of our experiment Group Work, a collaboration between three types of institution: an art school (CCA), a research university (Stanford), and a modern art museum (that’s us). Peggy Phelan at Stanford, and Brian Conley at CCA, have been leading courses on art education and participation, and as part of their coursework, each student group is producing projects related to those themes. Tonight the Stanford group presents, and next Thursday the CCA group will be here.

Details from the Standford students:

We imagine a lively atmosphere with eccentric sounds, people in puppet clothes, photographs (like at an amusement park), and occasional readings of esoteric materials. An art-town fair with three main elements:

Collaborative soundscape Two chalkboards with contact microphones attached placed on opposite sides of the room on easels. Chalk and erasers are provided. The sound will be amplified, and processed with effects like reverberation, distortion, and delay. The effects and prerecorded sounds will be controlled from two laptop computers stations operated by the students. The piece emerges from the collective writings and drawings of participants from the public, and momentary interventions or sound poems written by Stanford students. Other sounds such as erasing or directly touching the chalkboard will add nuance. In addition to the live sounds from the chalkboards, there will be some sporadic instances of prerecorded material, realized by the students &  emerging as performance cues. The audience is confronted with an object that is familiar as a pedagogical tool, but transformed into an instrument that invites creative personal visual and aural experiences while participating in an open sound piece.

Border piece: Built on the fourth wall of the D-Space between the two front columns, approximately 4 feet high, this element constitutes a barrier/border fabricated out of fine, breakable threads, yellow DO NOT ENTER, DANGER, CAUTION tape, tie-line, clothes pins, & “surveillance” cameras. The barrier will have rotating on-duty “staff.” Participants have a few choices for passing through: 1. ­ pass trough this border by making an offer, write a poem, make a small drawing, a dance movement, etc., OR 2. ­ create a new identity by using provided elements for a new kind of identification card. Once realized the ID constitutes a “legal” document and can be used as a pass, OR 3. ­ do none of the above and find a way to “cross” the barrier/border “illegally,” by crawling or jumping over. On the other side of the border lies the FUTURE, a place for play and display of inclusion and exclusion, of exploration of all six senses.

Polaroid piece; Three Polaroid cameras, three disposable cameras, and two photosticker cameras will be placed around the room. Each camera will have instructions or a prompt such as, “with this camera shoot the person you find the most attractive tonight,” or “make a political statement with this camera” or “please take home the picture you took with this camera and send it to a person who does not know what collaborative art is” or perhaps simply “capture participation.”

If all this isn’t enough (or is too much) for you, there’s also a screening of Derek Jarman’s Edward II, starting at 7pm in the Wattis.

Leave a comment

Please tell us what you think. We really love conversation, and we’re happy to entertain dissenting opinions. Just no name-calling, personal attacks, slurs, threats, spam, and the like, please. Those ones we reserve the right to remove.

Sign Up

Join our newsletter for infrequent updates on new posts and Open Space events.
  • Required, will not be published

Dear Visitor,
We regret to inform you that Open Space is no longer active. It was retired at the end of 2021. We sincerely appreciate your support and engagement over the years.

For your reference, we encourage you to read past entries or search the site.

To stay informed about future ventures or updates, please follow us at

Thank you for being a part of our journey!