Monday, May 31, 2010

Leaving Holyoke, MA

 I have had an amazing residency here in Holyoke at Parson's Hall. In particular, I need to thank Kari Gatzke who subtly and substantially shifted my residency from room to room and board. She has crafted and served amazing lunches and dinners most every day over the past two weeks. My gratitude is profound.

Last you heard I was watching the Lost finale and then visiting Melissa at Wistariahurst.
Let's get Lost out of the way. I was fine with the ending. I loathed that half the show was commercials (And particularly offended by the AT&T ad ripping off Jean-Claude & Cristo. This is a corporation that uses IP law to stifle competition and development - who keeps America's technological development retarded in comparison to the rest of the developed world's by abusing copyright and trademark law - stealing an artist's practice so blatantly that they need to put a disclaimer at the end of their ad. Just profound evil.) I was bored that half of the actual show was vaselined-lens memories. But the remaining 1/4 was about as enjoyable as any Lost episode. Of course, I stopped watching mid-way through the second season, so...

Melissa, the director of Wistariahurst Museum, was wonderful. She had great advice on navigating the project in Holyoke. In particular, she wondered if the city really needs a new park, or if 23E might not be better off trying to reach an arrangement to work in one of the many beautiful parks the city already has. I have biked around Holyoke a great deal in the past weeks, and indeed it is truly blessed with an abundance of parks and public spaces - commons that are under-used right now. If 23E can find a way to help activate or enliven these spaces, it may well be that we'll be doing far more good than trying to add another commons. Something we'll be thinking about in the coming weeks.

 Holyoke is an incredibly beautiful city.

Sadly, after my meeting with Melissa, a nagging computer problem erupted full bloom on my laptop. And I've spent the last four days sequestered in Parson's backing up data, recovering data, troubleshooting drives, re-installing drivers and software, etc. This is particularly important because I have a SleepWalks (one of my bands/performance troupes) show at Diapason Gallery in NYC on June 5, and need the computer and drives running seamlessly by then. SleepWalks runs from 9pm-9am, with my laptop pushed to its limits creating soundscapes, so any problems can be extra vexing. As of this writing, I have been BSOD free for 36 hours. Hopefully by this evening I can test my audio software and hardware.

That computer issue eviscerated plans for my second week in Holyoke. I snuck in a few bike rides around town, and went out to visit a few nonprofits in the flats of Holyoke, but these were abridged elements of my larger plan to go out and learn as much about the local communities as possible. I'll be back at year's end, I hope. And will continue to learn about and try to engage with the members of the city I now count as friends until then. Who knows, maybe we will even own a piece of property for an EbM site by then.

One of the potential sites I'm looking at for EbM and SG-23E

And now, the next four weeks, a whirlwind of EbM activity. it goes like this:
June 1, Lebanon, NH to look at a potential site.
June 2, Boston, MA to visit my uncle, a historian and researcher for the MA Historical Society.
June 4, Portsmouth, NH to look at a potential site.
June 5, SleepWalks performance in NYC.
June 6, Philadelphia, PA to see friends!
June 9, Baltimore, MD to put the finishing touches on the mixes of the 3rd and 4th Stowe-Pembleton Project albums.
June 12, Easton, PA to look at a potential city for EbM.
June 12, Pittsburgh, PA to meet folks about potential sites, and hopefully meet a potential member of one of my other collectives, The Berlin Office.
June 13, Chicago, IL; Champaign, IL; Manteno, IL to look at potential sites, and to record with my band My Special Porpoise.
June 20, Omaha, NE to meet a baby!
June 21, Lubbock TX; Bledsoe, TX; Plainview, TX to look at potential sites for EbM; to meet with folks in Bledsoe and Lubbock to prepare for September's installs in those cities.
June 24, SF, CA two weeks back in the bay working to pay for all of this!
July 7-July 21, Cascadia - Portland, OR; Lincoln City, OR; Tacoma, WA; Olympia, WA; Port Angeles, WA; Port Townsend, WA; and a few other places in the mighty NorthWest, all for potential sites and collaborators.

And now I am off to Wistariahurst to take the official tour!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The really important things

In about an hour I have an appointment with Melissa Boiselle, the director of Wistariahurst Museum here in Holyoke, MA. I'll provide the wonderful backstory on my connection to Wistariahurst in a later post, because right now I want to upload a photo Torsten took of Tony Discenza and I are participating in 2010's biggest (American) cultural event.
Yes, that's right, we're watching Lost.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hearty Thank Yous to Parson's Hall Project Space

Right now the members of Earthbound Moon are spread across the US: Amy in LA; Libby in Chicago; Alex and Carson in SF; and knowmadic me, I'm in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The Carry-On Office installed in Parson's Hall Project Space, Holyoke MA

I'm here on a residency pursuing our 2011 site. I am also working on the project SG-23E, which gave birth to EbM nine months ago, after an earlier residency here in 2009. SG-23E envisions the transformation of a city block into a publicly accessible sculpture garden with an attached residency. It's moving along slowly, which is pretty awesome.

Hearty thanks are due Parson's Hall Project Space for making all of this possible.
As well, I really need to thank Brosenfrenz, LLC.
And the most gracious hostess ever, and frightening Scrabble wiz, Kari Gatzke.
Finally, all of the people who have been kind enough to meet with and support me here:

Tim Murphy of River Valley Realty Services
Chris Blair
Chris Nelson
Melissa Boiselle

A little cellphone docu of the 23E Studios studio where we shot scenes for A Remembrance of Now on Saturday. Thanks Torsten, Matt, and Chris!

What are we up to?

Here's a little taste of what might happen at our site in SF, courtesy image manipulator extraordinaire, Alex Clausen:

Holyoke, MA part 2

Well, I didn't buy a property yesterday. Perhaps I was overoptimistic in my post. Realtor Tim Murphy did show me a fair number of lots EbM may be able to purchase or lease, though. Today I am drifting through a list of potential sites on, and sending the lot info to Tim so he can check into the details of different properties. Maybe when I return this Winter, it will be to sign paperwork.

At 9:45am EST I am speaking with a landowner in Portsmouth NH about leasing some of his property for an upcoming installation. I expect to go out to Portsmouth (on the Hound!) on Saturday to meet him and look at the property.

The other big task for today is putting the finishing touches on our proposal for a grant from Southern Exposure. Cross your fingers for us.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Holyoke, MA, part 1

It's 07.00 in Massachusetts, and I am preparing to head out for a morning with realtor Tim Murphy.
By mid-day, I hope to be able to post a photo of the property EbM is purchasing for our install here next year.
And with luck, the property on which we are going to install our much larger sculpture garden project, SG-23E.
And because nothing is a greater pariah than a blog with lots of words and no pictures, here's the view out my office window here in the Flats of Holyoke:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A tentative schedule

A week or so ago, Alex, Carson and I went through our list of possible sites. From this list we created a 5 year plan for EbM. The majority of these sites are still in the negotiating stage. And some that are close to confirmed are not reflected here, because we are thinking of them as sites we can slot in once we get a feel for how busy 2012 and 2013 are.
In some sense I feel this posting is premature, but ultimately, I think it is good for us to share the scope of the project. In every case, we have established connection with the sites on this list, and our initial discussions lead us to believe they are realistic possibilities.

Bledsoe, Texas with artist Heidi Hove
Portland, OR

San Francisco, CA
Holyoke, MA
Baja, Mexico
Portland, OR

Crete, Greece
Mantino, IL
Cairo, Egypt
Portland, OR

Tacoma, WA
Evanston, IL
Portland, OR

Portland, OR
The Philippines

Where only a state is listed, I left out the city because I felt presumption might harm the discussions with landholders. In Hawaii's case we have begun looking for land, but do not have a particular city in mind yet. We are looking for a lava flow.

You may also note that certain locales earn repeated mention. In certain metropolises (and in the case of New England, a national region)  we are attempting to install a sculpture a year for a decade. We hope to work with local government and bike coalitions to create bike paths and bike tours between the EbM artworks as part of sustainable, cultural enrichment.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hello World

Carson To do list- Bledsoe:
Sculpture Planning- Fabrication and Costs:
1. Contact Heidi- design? measurements? materials?
Sculpture installation-tools
1. 2-3 shovels
2. flat shovel
3. metal rake
4. pick axe
5. axe/hatchet
6. Shears/clippers/machete
7. 3lb sledge
8. wrench set
9. drill/bits
10. wheel barrow
11. Rope
12. ladder?
13. buckets
Installation Materials
1. Pre mixed concrete
2. Water (lots and lots of water)
Bledsoe planning/schedule/cost
Camp provisions/supplies:
1. Shelter
  • Tent
  • tarps/ poles
2. Water
  • 5 gallon jugs
3. Chairs
4. stove
  • coleman propane stove
  • BBQ or steel grating
5. fuel
  • firewood
  • propane
  • charcole?
  • Kerosene
6. generator?
7. lanterns
8. pots/pans
Show Preperation:
1. shipping crates
2. frames
3. Mounting
4. Artwork
5. Installation tools
  • Drill
  • level
  • Hammer
  • hanging hardware