This week, several Creative Capital artists and staff members are in San Francisco for the annual SOCAP conference, dedicated to “increasing the flow of capital toward social good.” Grantees Matthew Moore (2008 Visual Arts), Jae Rhim Lee (2009 Emerging Fields) and Robert Karimi (2009 Performing Arts) participated in the pre-conference Impact Accelerator program designed to jump-start their work as entrepreneurs, using their art practices to affect social change. On Friday, Mark Bamuthi Joseph (2006 Performing Arts) and Taraneh Hemami (2012 Visual Arts) participate in the panel discussion “Making Work: Artists as Activists, Collaborators and Storytellers.”
The idea of artists structuring their practice as an organization or enterprise was explored in a series of Focus Sessions at the recent Creative Capital Artist Retreat. Organized with independent arts consultant Laura Callanan, the “Artist to Enterprise” series included sessions on creative entrepreneurship, structures for artist-run organizations and the importance of protecting intellectual property.
Callanan led the first session, Artist as Social Entrepreneur, which questioned the definitions of social innovation and social entrepreneurship. While social innovation is often seen as existing in particular areas of the tech, business and social sectors, Callanan argues that artists, too, can be social innovators. Thinking outside these professional boundaries, artists can broaden the limits on social innovation. Continue reading
The newest offering in the Directions series at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC is the first solo museum exhibition of Creative Capital grantee Jennie C. Jones (2008 Visual Arts). A site-specific installation spanning painting, sound and sculpture, Higher Resonance addresses the central themes of Jones’ artistic practice, creating a multisensory experience interweaving the narratives of black history and art history.
Jennie C. Jones grew up listening to jazz. Though she never received formal musical training, Jones transformed her interest in music and her engagement with history and theory into an audio-visual practice. Struggling to find the content at the heart of her largely abstract, conceptual work, Jones had what she calls her “artistic epiphany”: the realization that the music she was listening to as she drew or painted directly affected the marks she made. Continue reading
Janie Geiser, excerpt from The Reptile Under the Flowers
The Creative Capital grantees working in the medium of puppetry aren’t your average Punch-and-Judy puppeteers. We have seen remarkable, complex works come to life in the hands of these innovative performing artists. To find out more about the adventurous practices of our grantees, I asked a few of them about their experiences in the field and their thoughts on puppetry today.
While puppet theater in the U.S. is often thought of as a form of entertainment for children, or relegated to the world of comedy, several of our grantees noted the increasing popularity of puppetry as a viable art form for adult audiences, from Broadway to experimental theater. Susan Simpson (2006 Performing Arts) commented on the differences between puppetry then and now, contrasting the tactile nature of the art form with the intangibility of digital media. “What is different about puppets today,” said Simpson, “is that they exist in a world full of digital avatars and other bodies like them. I think our relationship to puppets has changed fundamentally because of our relationship to technology. Each time you use a puppet there is an automatic comparison that is made between the sensation’s relation to tactile objects and the experience of virtual objects.” Continue reading
Artists Lisa Bielawa (2006 Performing Arts) and Arturo Vidich (2013 Performing Arts) have more in common than meets the eye. Though they work in different media—Bielawa is a musician and composer, Vidich is a choreographer—both Creative Capital grantees are taking on community-building and place-making in an unusual space: the repurposed military airfield.
Bielawa’s Airfield Broadcasts project has two iterations, one at the Tempelhof Field in Berlin (premiering this weekend, May 10-12) and the other at Crissy Field in her native San Francisco (October 26-27). Each performance involves between 100 and 1,000 musicians, from student groups to professional orchestras, performing Bielawa’s hour-long composition in these massive public spaces for audiences both intentional and accidental. Bielawa incorporates musical composition and choreography to fully explore the sonic and spatial relations of each former airfield. Continue reading