Jen Bervin Mixes Poetry with Cutting-Edge Medical Technology


VIDEO: Jen Bervin’s Silk Poems

Visual artist and writer Jen Bervin’s Creative Capital-supported project, Silk Poems, premieres this month in the exhibition Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. The exhibition includes works by twenty-one international artists that solicit pure wonder, “a liminal state of being poised between knowing and not knowing, and defined by an experience of something truly new.”

Jen’s project and trajectory over the past few years offers a wonderful case study of how Creative Capital supports innovative artists. As an interdisciplinary visual artist and author of nine books, Jen applied to Creative Capital’s 2012 grant round in the Literature category. Her proposal for the Silk Poems merged poetry, textiles and science: she wanted to write a microscopic poem in the form of a silk biosensor.

Bervin was directly inspired by Fiorenzo Omenetto’s cutting-edge research with liquefied silk at Tufts University’s Bioengineering Department’s Silk Lab. Remarkably, the human immune system accepts silk on surfaces as sensitive as the brain.

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The Future of Arts Blogs – Arts Blogging, Part 3

Nik Hanselmann's "Bodyfuck," as written about by Daniel Temkin in "BodyFuck: gestural code"

Nik Hanselmann’s “Bodyfuck,” as written about by Daniel Temkin in “BodyFuck: gestural code”

When blogs first started to become popular, they offered a unique opportunity to share personalized, more inclusive forms of expression. There was a sense of freedom with the platform: you didn’t have to be a known writer to publish, and you didn’t have to conform to editors wishes, or a publication’s standards. In the art world, blogging still maintains this prestige. As artists offer new ways of seeing the world, blogs allow writers to express and describe the different ways this reframing actually manifests itself.

As the open application of the Arts Writers Grant Program, draws to a close on May 18, we asked past awardees in the blog category to offer their perspectives running their own blogs. I have been talking to Daniel TemkinKate AlbersSharon Butler and Gelare Khoshgozaran & Eunsong Kim about what they think of the future of arts blogging.

Daniel Temkin: I think this is a great time to be writing about art online, especially working on a specialized blog like mine. Esoteric.Codes has an esoteric subject—there’s a sense of early-Web-utopianism when those ideas resonate in other parts of the world. At the same time, posts can inspire articles in mainstream press such as Wired (like my post on BodyFuck) as others

Sharon Butler: At first, we were all independent bloggers. Then a couple of structural changes occurred. Some bloggers, like Hrag Vartanian and Paddy Johnson, hired staffs and writers and grew their blogs into online magazines. Furthermore, mainstream media outfits like NY Observer, ArtNews, and NY Magazine, discovered the blog format and began providing online content outside their print editions. Both of these developments have expanded and entrenched art blogging as a media format and made it more sustainable. Of course, many independent bloggers left to pursue other opportunities – for instance, Carolina Miranda is now at the LA Times, and Andrew Russeth is a co-editor at ArtNews – while other bloggers just lost interest when the blogosphere became more corporatized. I’ve kept Two Coats of Paint going because it’s a key element of my art practice, but also because I think there’s a need for more arts writing rather than less. And it goes almost without saying that I enjoy it.

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Envisioning New Futures: Steve Lambert and Stephen Duncombe on Artistic Activism

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Steve Lambert and Stephen Duncombe in North Carolina.

Steve Lambert and Stephen Duncombe of The Center For Artistic Activism help artists make political art work. For them artistic activism is more than just a descriptor for certain types of art. It’s more than a tactic. They see it as an “entire approach: a perspective, a practice, a philosophy.” They will be leading a new workshop in Creative Capital’s New York offices on May 23rd, where artists will learn how to use their creative practice to organize communities, speak truth to power, and make more engaging and impactful artworks. We talked to the pair about their work, their critical inspirations, and the artistic activism they see in the world.

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Creative Capital Names Suzy Delvalle As New President and Executive Director

Suzy Delvalle. Photo by Michael Palma Mir.

Suzy Delvalle. Photo by Michael Palma Mir.

Suzy Delvalle Comes to Creative Capital after Holding Leadership Roles at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling and El Museo Del Barrio

Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital’s Founder and Current President and Executive Director, is Stepping Down after 17 Years Leading the Organization

NEW YORK, NY – May 10, 2016 – Pioneering artist support and professional development organization Creative Capital has named Susan Delvalle as its new President and Executive Director. Delvalle will succeed Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital’s founder and current President and Executive Director, who announced in 2015 her intention to step down from the role after seventeen years at the helm of the organization.

Only the second President and Executive Director in Creative Capital’s history, Delvalle comes to the organization with a strong background in the arts, fundraising, and institution-building. Delvalle most recently served as Director of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, overseeing the opening of a new museum in New York City. She previously served as Director of External Affairs and Development at El Museo Del Barrio, where she dramatically increased the museum’s budget and attendance over her eleven-year tenure. Continue reading

Getting Your Arts Blog Off the Ground – Arts Blogging Part 2

Daniel Temkin - Glitchometry Triangles #1, on display at NADA Art Fair with Transfer Gallery

Daniel Temkin – Glitchometry Triangles #1, on display at NADA Art Fair with Transfer Gallery

So, let’s say you have established your blog name, and you’ve honed in on what type of art you’re going to write about. What comes next? Maintaining an art blog has its rewards, but if it’s your own blog, it’s easy to feel like you’re on your own. Who is your audience? Is there a community of other arts bloggers that will share their processes and lessons learned? What’s the pay off?

As the Arts Writers application is open through May 18, I decided to focus on the world of arts blogging. As you saw in Part 1 of this series, I spoke to arts bloggers Daniel Temkin, Kate Albers, Sharon Butler and Gelare Khoshgozaran & Eunsong Kim about their individual sites. In Part 2, I asked them what they have learned in their experience of running their own blog, and if they had any valuable insight to writers just starting out.

Sharon Butler: Ten years ago, the art world and mainstream media were dismissive of blogs and bloggers. But I quickly realized that blogging tools could give unrepresented artists and unpublished writers a voice in the critical conversation. I also learned that posting frequently and writing compelling content were the best way to develop an audience.This past year, I decided that in order to keep publishing, I would have to make more focused and forward-looking financial choices. Rather than, say, seeking a Guggenheim, this time around I decided to apply for fiscal sponsorship through Fractured Atlas and start a fundraising campaign.

Once my sponsorship application was approved, I designed some Two Coats of Paint tote bags and launched the campaign. Over 200 readers stepped up, premier contributors got their tote bags, and I met my goal. Now I’m getting some IT professionals to overhaul the code, archive over 1,300 posts, and migrate away from the free Blogger platform that I have used since the beginning.

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Go Beyond Google: Sharon Louden on Creative Research

Sharon teaching at Chautauqua.

Sharon teaching at Chautauqua Institution. Photo by Don Kimes.

Sharon Louden needs no introduction. A successful artist, editor, and advocate for artists, Sharon’s transparent and earnest approach to sustaining professional connections has made her four-part webinar, How to Approach and Engage with the Gatekeepers of the Art World, one of Creative Capital Professional Development Program’s most sought-out offerings. Back by popular demand, Sharon will be leading her series starting May 23rd.

Below you’ll find some tips adapted from Sharon’s course on “effective research” that we and past webinar participants have found useful. If you want to learn more about how to communicate and build relationships with other art world professionals, don’t forget to register for Sharon’s webinar.

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Come see us at CONTEXT NY, and Other Art Fair Happenings

As art fair week kicks off in New York, we are honored to join CONTEXT Art Fair as an official cultural partner, May 3-8 at Pier 94. We will be showcasing special editions by Creative Capital awardees Franco Mondini-RuizSimone LeighConnie SamarasEve Sussman, and SuttonBeresCuller in the VIP Lounge.  Here are some other Creative Capital artists to look out for this week in NYC.

FRIEZE NEW YORK
– Pope.L with Mitchell-Innes & Nash
– Carlos Motta with P.P.O.W.
– Eileen Myles will deliver a keynote, May 5 at 4pm
– Zach Blas joins the panel “Technological Body and Its Discontents,” May 6

NADA ART FAIR
– Ben Thorp Brown with Bischoff Projects

Tell A Good Story: Sascha Freudenheim & Alina Sumajin on Public Relations

An artist at a recent Creative Capital workshop

An artist at a recent Creative Capital workshop.

Ever wonder how artists get written about in the press? Often artists with representation—a gallery, or an agent—will leave public relations work in someone else’s hands. But artists in every stage of their careers can learn a thing or two about good PR strategies and take their press outreach into their own hands. Next week, our Professional Development Program is producing a brand new workshop in our New York City offices on public relations specifically for artists. We’re bringing in Sascha Freudenheim and Alina Sumajin from PAVE Communications and Consulting to lead PR For Working Artists: Strategies for Success on May 2nd. We spoke to Sascha and Alina about the difference between marketing and PR and how to get your press release to stand out from the inbox slush pile. 

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Avoid “Artspeak”: Kirby Tepper On Talking Straight

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Kirby Tepper leading a workshop for Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program.

Kirby Tepper is a man of many talents: actor and educator are just a few of the hats he wears beyond the confines of his day job as a licensed psychotherapist. The same interpersonal expertise that makes him valuable to the clients in his practice also serves to empower his artist peers. Though he particularly enjoys working with artists, Kirby has helped people from many backgrounds, including doctors, writers and lawyers, find a more confident, direct communications style. On May 2, Kirby will be giving a webinar on Effective Negotiation For Artists, where participants will learn how to ask for what they deserve with confidence. We asked him about his theatrical inspirations and the don’ts of artist communication. 

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New Jersey Artists Grow With Our Blended Learning Program

A photo Christy took of her name badge and the PDP materials at the workshop in Trenton, NJ.

A photo Christy took of her name badge and the PDP materials at the workshop in Trenton, NJ.

The Professional Development program has launched a new blog that chronicles New Jersey artists’ growth and process through our Blended Learning Program. Blended Learning is a multi-format course in financial and business management that helps artists establish a secure base upon which to create and grow their work. Thanks to the generous support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program was able to bring Blended Learning to the artists of two communities in New Jersey—in Trenton and Newark. 

We’ve asked them to share their stories throughout their journey—testimonies of what they’ve learned, the questions they still have, the strategies they’re trying out, and the results they’re seeing in their art and in their life. Here’s one of our entries from artist Christy O’Connor, who took part in the Blended Learning workshop in Trenton on April 3, 2016.

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