The banners were hung in Grand Central with care, a sign Nick Cave Soundsuits soon would be there…
Nick Cave’s HEARD•NY, presented by Creative Time & MTA Arts for Transit, on view March 25–31 in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall with dancers from The Ailey School activating the Soundsuits at 11am & 2pm daily. #IHEARDNY
Creative Timeʼs Global Residency Program, initiated in 2010, was designed to enable artists to step off the treadmill of exhibition making and into the world to explore a burning question that cannot be fully pursued in the studio.
In the winter of 2012 I was invited to join the Creative Time Young Ambassadors. Our first meeting was held in the penthouse of The Standard East- a hotel in the Lower East Side where people go to paw luxury. Despite its name, hotels like this are not for the meat and potatoes traveler. The Standard is designed for people who are courting intrigue and privilege- they are steeped in a kind of fantasy equilibrium where it’s possible for everyone to find their name on the same VIP list.
In that kind of place you can’t help look like someone’s glamorous pet or else your own glamorous villain. This is a fitting location for a conversation about ‘The Art World.’ To make sense of your surroundings you have to either strike a pose of casual indiscretion or plotting evil. Everyone’s incredulous, talented, fortunate. Really it doesn’t matter who you are, it’s something about the lighting, the architecture, the way that New York sprawls out before that glass house, gridded streets splayed, lights beckoning both distinguished and pornographic. A chorus strikes up, some gospel from the temple of pleasure, and you may ask yourself: How did I get here?
Creative Time is an arts organization that turns artist’s ideas into public programs, exhibitions, spectacles. They work on the projects from conception to graduation. Any virile arts org can be a baby momma or baby daddy but it takes a real arts org to be a mother and father. They bring an air of responsibility to the wild nights in Babylon.
For me Creative Time is best explained in the abstract. The way I understand it is by watching this live concert video of the Talking Heads performing “Once in a Lifetime.”
This connection is not a completely random leap of imagination. Creative Time helped bring the Talking Heads former front man David Bryne’s project ‘Playing the Building’ to the Battery Maritime back in 2008. For that project Bryne installed a piano in the center of a large abandoned industrial space with keys connected to different parts of the building. Anyone who sat could orchestrate the sonic throngs of the space itself.
In the “Once in a Lifetime” concert video it is 1984 and Bryne is half singing and half talking the lyrics of his band’s most recognizable hit. Some other unaccountable percent of his humanity is detached and dancing, communing with the ecstatic movements and gestures of eclectic and instantaneous spirituality. It is a religion without a doctrine, conceived on stage in the performance itself and made meaningful by sharing it with an audience. He’s a puppet and a preacher. Both a pet and a devious mastermind. The creative experience flows through him and also he acts as the creator of that experience.
When I think about what Creative Time actually does, it exists in this same realm of the David Byrnesian geek rock spiritual out of body paradoxical pet and preacher experience. Finding the overlap between intellect and intuition- creating the environment for this great communion to thrive.
Well now I’m deep in this metaphor and it’s asking a lot of you, gentle tumblrer, to consider the impact of a late 70’s New Wave band with the contributions of a 40 year old public arts organization.
But I’ve got a lot of faith in the 89,000 of you who have decided to follow this particular feed. Maybe you came mostly for the tasty reblogs and sweet pics of my goddamn face- but as the new year rolls in I’ve decided to up the level of quasi-writerly writing here at Reasonably Articulate Detritus.
I vow to share a broader range of the things I’m working on, involved with, and also thoughts on those who inspire me in this life- both IRL and URL. I think I can wow you with my aggressive mix of dumb and clever. I think I can overwhelm you with my harrowing juxtaposition of optimism and soul crushing loneliness. Consider this a warning. This is not my beautiful house.
Here are some things Creative Time has done in the real world (IRL!) that are great and make me wince with inspiration:
Trevor Paglen’s last pictures: a satellite orbiting the earth with images of humanity intended to last longer than earth itself
Creative Time Reports: an on going journalism project providing local artist perspectives on global issues
Teach For Amerika: Bruce High Quality takes an earnest(?) look at art education in this completely fucked epoch
Behind the scenes of Divya Mehra’s very funny Art Breaks video, On Tragedy (Did you hear the one about the Indian?), which “references” Richard Prince’s classic reversal of the American Express tagline “Don’t leave home without it,” in front of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
New Art Breaks videos are co-curated by Creative Time and MoMA PS1. They air on MTV and can all be found here on our Tumblr. This making-of video was directed by Creative Time Video Fellow Jay Buim.
‘Tis the season for Yankee Swaps, Secret Santas and billions of invitations to holiday parties with ugly sweaters and spiked egg nog. Wondering what you should bring? The pressure of a $15 budget getting you down? Order a Creative Time Fanny Pack right now!
To honor this incredibly stylish and affordable holiday gift we’re hosting #FannypackFriday!
All day today we’ll be tweeting and retweeting the best takes on this sure-to-be world famous meme. Join in on the fun via Instagram or on Twitter mentioning @creativetimenyc or using the hasthtag #FannypackFriday.
As the chair of Creative Time’s Board of Directors, I am so proud of Creative Time’s work in 2012. In true Creative Time fashion, our projects were pioneering and serious, engaging and fun. If you unleashed your inner astronaut at Tom Sachs’ SPACE PROGRAM: MARS, if you still have your Key to the City, if you were moved by Tribute in Light, or if you too believe that art should be presented beyond conventional boundaries, please give a gift to support your favorite art organization today.
Believe me, I know that your support is in great demand, especially as the effects of Hurricane Sandy continue to be seen in our everyday life. That’s why my fellow Board members and I are matching every online donation to Creative Time until December 31st with an equal contribution to communities affected by Sandy. We’re committed to helping you double your impact! We have major projects on the horizon in 2013, and in the words of artist Steve Powers, “Creative Time rules, let’s face it.” I couldn’t agree more, but we truly need your help to realize artists’ dream projects and keep our public spaces vibrant with creativity and free expression.
This has been a great year for Creative Time. We’ve been to Mars, sent 100 images into space, put art back on MTV and partied on the beach in Far Rockaway. To celebrate we’d like to share some tools for your intergalactic adventures in 2013:
1. Tom Sachs’ Indoctrination Station at Park Ave Armory may be closed but there’s still time to take home a piece of Tom Sachs Space Program: Mars. Sachs’ third and LAST edition of Nugget playing cards are the perfect stocking stuffer and source of entertainment for your journey to the next frontier. Each card features a unique Tom Sachs image and are kid tested, Kanye approved.
2. Are you ready for lift off? Don’t forget to grab a copy of Trevor Paglen’s The Last Pictures. His book features the 100 images reflecting our times (and currently in geosynchronous orbit); perfect for your first interaction with extra-terrestrials. Don’t believe us? Just ask the NYTimes.
3. The holiday season (much like space travel) is all about accessories and trinkets. Our retro and SUPER stylish Creative Time fanny pack can hold all of them. Just trust us, this pack will give you a fanny that is out of this world!
4. With your copy of The Last Pictures, a set of Tom Sachs’ cards, and your Creative Time fanny pack you’re just about ready for interplanetary adventures. All you need are some sweet, new digs. Try on this SSION red doggy shirt with an image from Cody (SSION) Critcheloe’s Art Breaks video now on MTV and online.
Creative Time wishes you luck on your epic adventures and we look forward to another year of groundbreaking art in the public realm.
**If there’s still some cash left in your budget after stocking up on materials for space travel feel free to donate to Creative Time!**