Orly Genger’s “YOU” actually isn’t just an art installation

coincidence

By now, you’ve probably walked by Orly Genger’s YOUa.k.a. that gigantic mass of lobster rope on the Quiet Green. The structure, which is allegedly a work of “public art,” wraps around a tree at one end and extends towards the Van Wickle Gates at the other. Viewers are drawn to the structure’s unique contour, layout, and location–features they naïvely attribute to Genger’s artistic vision. “After all,” they assume, “what else would explain it? It was purely her decision–it’s not like there was an ulterior motive behind her design.”

Or was there?

The sculpture suspiciously resembles a number of other very interesting objects, which begs the question: what is the real purpose behind Orly Genger’s YOU?

Here are some possible explanations:

paxson sledding on orly genger sculpture

I’m not saying that this happened, but…

Possibility #1: President Paxson’s personal street-luge practice course. If you had the opportunity, would you learn to luge? You would, wouldn’t you? For that matter, wouldn’t anyone…even President Paxson? Enter: YOU. At second glance, it’s glaringly obvious that the structure is actually a miniature practice course for President Paxson to use when she doesn’t have enough time to get away from the office and go to the nearest street-luge practice facility.

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folkmade.org launches tomorrow

folkmade websiteFolkmade.org, a website created by a small group of Brown students and led by Fiora MacPherson ’16, provides a platform for College Hill artists to share both their work and their stories.

The idea was conceived earlier this year, when MacPherson and some friends decided that it was time to improve connections between Brown/RISD artists and the greater College Hill community. Folkmade’s mission statement illustrates this goal; the website aims to “acknowledge the talent in our community” and “celebrate the homegrown makers of our campus” by giving them a way to share their work and their passion with their neighbors. And the organization has done just that; Folkmade will transform the presence of the local art community in everyday life on College Hill.

At folkmade.org, consumers can purchase authentic artwork created by Brown/RISD students. The single unifying feature of the products is their excellent quality; aside from that, the store features a wide array of incredible artwork that spans many styles and mediums. Currently, pieces range in price from $5 to $100 and the product list ranges from oil paintings all the way to literal benches. And that’s only the beginning.

According to MacPherson, the online store will grow with time; artwork will be added in frequent intervals, so the store functions as an ever-evolving showcase of the wealth of beautiful art being produced on the Hill.

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A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: Coco Fusco ’82 to deliver talk

CocoFusco

Coco Fusco’s Observations of Predation in Humans (2013), Norte Sur (1990), and A Room of One’s Own (2006-08)

Coco Fusco is a Cuban-American multimedia artist and writer, whose work incorporates digital media and performance ranging in format from large-scale projections to interactive live performances streamed online. Fusco’s work often comments on systems of gender, race, politics, war, and identity.

Fusco will visit campus this Thursday to give a talk at 4 p.m. in the List Art Center auditorium, room 120. The event is free, but tickets are required.

Fusco received her AB in Semiotics from Brown in 1982, going on to get her MA in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford (1985) and her PhD in Art and Visual Culture from Middlesex University (2007). Fusco, currently MIT’s 2014-15 MLK Visiting Scholar, has taught at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, Columbia, and Parsons The New School for Design. Her work has been exhibited at two Whitney Biennials (1993 and 2008), the Tate Liverpool, the MoMA, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. She is the author of several books, including English is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas (1995), which examines the tension between cultural identity and visual politics, and A Field Guide for Female Interrogators (2008), which addresses the exploitation of sex and sexuality in the military for interrogation techniques.

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Alums who do cool things: Orly Genger ’01 returns to Brown for installation, You

Orly Genger '01, with her 2013 piece Red, Yellow and Blue in Madison Square Park, NYC

Orly Genger ’01, with her 2013 piece Red, Yellow and Blue in Madison Square Park, NYC

Orly Genger ’01 has returned to campus for her newest site-specific installation, You. This 250-foot-long recycled lobster rope sculpture will transform the Quiet Green between University Hall and the Van Winkle Gates. The installation will be completed this Thursday, and the piece will remain on view through Summer 2015.

Orly, based in New York, is known for her large-scale hand-knotted rope installations. After receiving her BA from Brown in 2001, Orly went on to receive her post-baccalaureate degree from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. Orly’s large-scale work has been displayed in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, MASS MoCA, and The Contemporary Austin. Orly’s largest installation to date, Red, Yellow and Blue, was installed at NYC’s Madison Square Park in May 2013, made out of 1.4 million feet of hand-crocheted rope.

Blog chatted with Genger as she worked on the project’s installation earlier this week:

BlogDH: What was the creative process like for this project? How did the collaboration with Brown start?

Genger: Brown approached me to come and do a piece here, so I came back, which has been a pleasure. I walked around and picked a location, and then drew out some ideas. This rope was originally from Red, Yellow and Blue, which was then made into a piece on the Chicago lakefront, and is now in its third life here.

BlogDH: What drew you to this location, out of the ones you surveyed?

Genger: There were a few options. This one seemed the best because I liked the amount of foot traffic in this spot, as well as the significance of being by the Gates. The proximity to the art department was also nice, because I spent so much of my time there and walked through this green so often as a student.

BlogDH: What was your experience at Brown like?

Genger: Brown for me was completely crucial to where I am today. If I didn’t have the experiences that I had at Brown, I don’t know if I’d be doing what I’m doing now. It created a real comfort zone to experiment and to try things that maybe otherwise I wouldn’t have tried. It gave me the space I needed to become an artist.

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A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: ‘Strandbeest’ workshops for Theo Jansen’s upcoming visit

Theo Jansen, Dutch artist and all around badass, is coming to College Hill this month. Merging art and engineering, Jansen is known for building large, kinetic mechanical animals out of PVC—”Strandbeests,” as he calls them. Jansen’s Strandbeests walk down beaches in Holland on their own accord, with spindly legs that are powered by wing-like sails.

Some of his creatures, such as the Animaris Percipiere, are able to capture and store air pressure in plastic bottles to continue to move without wind. Without any electronic components, the Strandbeests can navigate between soft and hard sand, and some can even detect and change directions if they encounter water or can anchor themselves in the ground if they sense a storm is coming.  Using recycled bottles, pumps, and valves, Jansen is able to equip the beasts with a muscular and neural system of sorts. Jansen is coming to Brown and RISD this month to talk about his Strandbeests, delivering a speech Friday, November 21st in the RISD Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Before his talk, you can create your own version of a Strandbeest. Continue Reading


Things We’ve Seen at A Better World By Design

A Better World by Design has taken campus by storm this weekend. We decided to experience it for ourselves!

ahh

Thoughts on our morning panel…

We started our morning at a panel entitled “Youth Democracy and Design,” moderated by Jen Hetzel Silbert, the founder and curator of Learning 401, an educational non-profit in Rhode Island.

The panel featured Yesica Guerra, director of Crónicas de Héroes/Hero Reports, Sam Gilman ‘15 co-founder of Common Sense Action, and Sam Chaltain, a national educator and organizational change consultant. While the panelists took a few moments each to talk about the work that they had done in their respective fields to design solutions that provide a better platform for youth voice, participants spent the majority of the session asking questions, suggesting potential areas for intervention, and collaborating with one another to brainstorm.

One of the most interesting take-aways was the idea of understanding the delicate balance between individual freedom and group structure within the school system and how this balance can be deeply impacted by the tension that democracy and capitalism create in our public schools.

photo (56)

So about those bubbles…

The multi-colored bubbles popping up around campus are the brainchildren of a RISD art collaborative named Pneuhaus, which began as a thesis project for 2014 RISD graduates Matthew Muller and August Lehrecke. Over the summer, they added Hunter Blackwell (RISD ‘14, glass) and Levi Bedall (Ohio State University, Architecture, ‘14).

Their mission, according to their website, is “focused around designing objects and spaces that require an active participation from their audience,” and their latest installation is no exception.

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