Let's play polo: you down with SPP?

I wanted to keep my introduction to this project as short and sweet as possible, but I have a few ideas I'd like to introduce or elaborate on here between now and October 10. Since grad school I've been interested in projects that occur at least in part under the umbrella of "social practice", particularly the participatory nature of many social practice art projects. More recently, I'm further intrigued by the intersection of these kinds of projects with ideas around "creative placemaking", which is a far broader term that applies to much more than the visual arts.
"Placemaking is a process, accessible to anyone, that allows peoples’ creativity to emerge. When it is open and inclusive, this process can be extraordinarily effective in making people feel attached to the places where they live. That, in turn, makes people more likely to get involved, and to build shared wealth in their communities."
On "social practice placemaking" (SPP) then, Cara Courage notes "the agency of such projects to galvanise people around arts and place." In this way, this project continues my exploration of the complex idea of place, coupled with a growing interest in community, both literally and figuratively.

You can help put the en masse into dressing up and going somewhere en masse! Join on the event's Facebook page and share your reasons and photos there, via email, and on social media using #letsplaypolo and/or #artmacro.


my week: my summer (part two)

As I figured when I wrote part one, the summer installments of my "weekly" updates will likely conclude with this, the second report. School started on Monday, meaning summer vacation is officially over (but, as my son will quickly remind you, Summer the season continues for a few more weeks). It's been a busy few weeks since my last update, too, with the launch of two new projects on the art macro blog. The first is equal parts weird science, a celebration of randomness, and a penchant for felt. The other is a project I've been mulling over for some time now (8 years, to be precise). I hope you'll save the date and help put the "en masse" part into the idea behind dressing up and going somewhere en masse.

Otherwise, here are just a few things I've been thinking about more recently:


After letting it nearly die a slow, expired domain, I kinda forgot how to use Dreamweaver death, I revived my website! My new URL (I've had a couple over the last ten years) is now my full name. A little boring but pretty standard practice for artist types. And all the possible alternatives were already taken. Have you noticed my handle on other social media has also changed? "I am also Becky G.", after all.

If you're in the DC area, you have but another week or so to dive into the giant ball pit created by Snarkitecture. I have one Facebook friend who went and posted pictures and I'm #sojeals.

I had a brief Twitter exchange with Miranda July (!) when I asked how she and Harrell Fletcher drummed up participation in their web-based project Learning To Love You More. Answer? Word of mouth.

Speaking of Social Practice, CCA (where you can currently declare it a concentration as part of another graduate degree) is rolling out a Master's Degree focused in it, currently recruiting for the first incoming cohort to begin next fall.

Finally for the art category, and perhaps most importantly, I was introduced to the work of Amanda Palmer last week when she did this amazing thing outside the New York Public Library. Then this week she wrote this incredible essay on Medium in response to a "worried" fan about the fear that just about all women have, but particularly creative ones, around juggling career and motherhood and how this little person will affect your art. There's a lot I could write about this and I hope I'll find the time one day soon, but I guess one lingering thought I have right now is, you know, even if she was crowd-funding her baby, how is that any different than mom bloggers taking one freebie after another, writing about it on their blogs with, we can be sure, their honest, unbiased opinions (as my friend Meredith pointed out, free cruises usually make for pretty fantastic family vacations), and then using those blog posts to secure additional advertising income?  And as Palmer articulates much better than I can, the resources she'll need to raise this child are no different than the resources she'll need as an artist when it comes down to the day-to-day nitty gritty of living a creative life. Personally, I hope she uses some of that Patreon support for quality childcare.

CRAFT (and design and stuff)

I'm going to file this under craft because the art file is full this "week." Did you watch  Wet Hot American Summer? Hilarious, no? Of course, one of my favorite lines was when the arts & crafts counselor, played by Molly Shannon, says, "I finally get to put my arts degree from RISD to good use." LOL (oh, wait, the kids aren't saying that anymore).

Okay, I guess I do have one more contribution to the craft category. This yarn installation is designed to help you experience music physically. Far out.

DANCE (and all the other stuff)

I finally watched American Sniper. I have this pet peeve when TV shows or movies use much older babies - obvious 3, 4 or 5-month olds, for example - to represent a newborn. But after seeing how obviously uncomfortable the actors were handling "fake baby" I think I prefer the 5-month old newborn, after all!

I can't believe SYTYCD will be over in a couple of weeks. As usual, it feels like the season only just began. I'm really, really hoping I can make it to the live tour this year (my birthday is right around the corner - hint, hint). How hot was that Argentine Tango that choreographer Leonardo performed with JJ?! This is hardly the first time Leonardo has danced with a contestant and that's okay by me.

Finally, I got reading glasses. I'm still telling myself it's just eye strain from looking at a computer all day. #thisisnoteven40

Let's play polo! A call for participation.

While visiting the Tate Modern in London in 2007, the visit took on a new dimension when I noticed that several of the other art-watchers were dressed exactly as my husband: jeans with a yellow polo shirt. It was as if, on that day, the uniform of a museum visitor was a yellow polo shirt. I quickly captured a few moments of this coincidence in photo. Suddenly, art spectators had become art participants. But then again, aren't they always? As this was happening, I wished I could do more than share the photos, but that I could share the experience of being in that space and feeling like we had become the art.

On October 10, 2015, I invite you to help me recreate this serendipitous event in a deliberate way but on a much grander scale by visiting a museum dressed in a yellow polo shirt, documenting your experience, and sharing it. Why? Let's disrupt the conservatism of museums with a playful "demand" for practices that challenge the boundary between art and spectator. Let's celebrate participatory, social art practice in the space where art is "at home." Personally, aside from being a fun excuse to visit a museum and support artists, I look forward to slightly embarrassing myself for my art!

At least, those are my reasons for doing this. Want to participate but for different reasons? I'd love to hear yours. Share them along with your photos, via email, on the event's Facebook page, and on social media using the hashtag #letsplaypolo and/or #artmacro.


the water bear makes an appearance on art macro

I have so many blog posts brewing, but this is just a quick update to let you know about a new project over on another blog I haven't updated in almost 5 years! You can read a little more about it there but in a nutshell this project combines my fascination with tardigrades, my interest in celebrating silly (and sometimes not so silly) things on a daily basis, and my love of felt. And somehow that's all related to another project about yellow polos and art museums that I'll be announcing very soon!

In the meantime, hop on over to my other blog for more information about what the water bear is celebrating today.