Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces.

AiOP 2017: SENSE- Get to Know This Year’s Artists! Anna Costa e Silva

AiOP Sense Banner

Name: Anna Costa e Silva
Title of project and short description 

Thoughtfeeling workshop 

Thoughtfeeling workshops are silent interaction experiences that provoke intimacy and strangeness for 2 people who do not know each other. The activity is site-specific and its duration ranges from 2 to 4 hours. Upon arrival, participants are divided in pairs and receive a notebook of scores developed by the artist that invites them to interact with each other, time, and space in intimate and unconventional manners. The activity will happen as a circuit through the street, with scores for specific locations. Participants should sign up before the event and compromise with its total duration.
How have you chosen to interpret the theme “SENSE?

I believe that sense is about being present and paying attention to what is around and to the relationships that might occur. My project intends to allow a state of openness and perception of the senses that is beyond rationality.

Anna Costa e Silva

Why do you believe 14th Street is a compelling site for creative response?

I believe that 14th St. is a compelling site for its vast possibilities of creating new meanings and perceptions for things that might be unnoticed in our day-to-day life. It is also a spot that is alive – everything that is happening affects the experience.
What reactions are you hoping to draw from the public?

I intend that the public might experience another relationship to time, space and their senses, and also that a field of trust is created for this experience.

AiOP 2017: SENSE- Get to Know This Year’s Artists! Beatrice Glow

AiOP Sense Banner

Name: Beatrice Glow

Title of project and short description

UNDERCURRENTS

In the months leading up to SENSE I will take routine walks along 14th Street with my eyes closed while being guided by a partner. I will surrender my sight to get to know the busily transited street through heightening my olfactory, auditory and tactile senses. Written and audio documentation of these experiences will build a psychological portrait of the street. During the festival, I will invite people to go on blind walks with me.

How have you chosen to interpret the theme “SENSE?”

In a world that militarizes images to shock our optic receptors to the point in which violence is normalized, we are becoming desensitized and forgetting our full dimensions as sentient beings. Guided by this impulse to reclaim our humanness and to engage the world fully, I will practice sharpening my senses of perception to get to know 14th Street, a corridor that I transit frequently, in a different light.

This island of Manhattan is ancient. Before it became New York City, it was Mannahatta of Lenapehoking – the original homeland of the Lenape people. Beneath the strata of bustling commerce and asphalt, there is bedrock that has witnessed the transformation of a biologically diverse island to the present urban environment brimming with streams of cars and pedestrians. If I isolate one sense–in this case that of sight–and tune into other senses, might I be able to grasp more of the layered site?

These walks are devised to broaden the sense of perception and go beyond what meets the eye. To close my eyes is to access the invisible undercurrents of our world in-flux; to discover blindspots. Without darkness, we cannot appreciate light. Without light, we would not know that we are in the dark.

Beatrice Glow
Why do you believe 14th Street is a compelling site for creative response?

14th Street is a main artery of NYC where privatization is encroaching on an ever more endangered public space. For many years it was a borderline between Uptown and Downtown, high and low culture, the haves and the have-nots, the buttoned-up and underground.  Now this border is blurred with gentrification in full force as mega-chain retail stores are sweeping out the mom ’n pop shops. It is also the strata above the L train line, which represents the conduit of gentrification flowing into Brooklyn.

By engaging with this endangered borderline through activating art in public space (without asking for permission), the festival is aligned to the origins of performance art being a non-commodifiable and anti-capitalistic gesture that responds to urgent questions of its time. Furthermore, the festival’s usage of public space is a necessary people-led exercise against the codes of conduct expected of robotic consumer/citizens. Collectively, AiOP probes and expands the psychological boundaries 14th street.

What reactions are you hoping to draw from the public?


Perhaps passersby may assume I am visually impaired and am being helped by another. If so, I hope they would exercise more compassion and empathy and slow down a bit in their strides for a differently-abled stranger. Perhaps they may realize that I am simply walking with my eyes closed to get to know a place better and would be receptive to alternative types of behavior in public space. For those that listen to my audio recording during and after the festival, I hope it inspires them to try to replicate this practice by inviting another person to trust them to walk with their eyes closed and open their own sense to 14th Street and beyond. During the festival, I will invite a few people to experience this walk with me as a gift of perceiving the beaten path of 14th Street in a new way. When they open their eyes after a prolonged walk, I hope that they would gain new insight and appreciation for the gift of sight.