Farm Stories   06.03.11

Right now at SPACES we've got Farmed, The New Agronomists. The exhibition looks at farming and the production of foods and goods. Each artist, in his or her own way, looks at the questions of land, material, and animal.

Michael Mercil put up a narrative trailer about his farmed plot of land at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. He also makes the myths of farming 3-dimensional with wall art and sculptures.

Amy Young is growing an edible garden made nutrient rich by worms. By feeding the worms uneaten food and old newspapers, the system transforms waste into food.

Just as these two artists offer commentary on farming and gardening, so too people with farms and gardens have been coming in and sharing with us their stories. Now we want you to share your farm and garden stories here! Some questions to consider: Why did you start your farm or garden? Was the outcome as you expected? What do you foresee as its future?

One more thing: If you are looking for an artist to add another element to your farm or garden, give Tiffany or Vince a call at Cleveland Public Art. Their number is 216-621-5330. They can also be reached at either (for Tiffany) or (for Vince). Enjoy!

photo by cwwycoff1 @ flickr.  see
photo by cwwycoff1 @ flickr. see

Keywords: amy young, farm stories, farmed, michael mercil
Category: Exhibitions

Agri-Cultured   06.01.11

In the early 1970s, Dorothy Retallack conducted experiments of the effects of sound and music on the growth of plants. She published her findings in a book entitled "The Sound of Music and Plants." As we all know from her findings and countless science fair projects, plants seem to respond positively to nature sounds and classical music (although there are persuasive arguments that mathematical heavy-metal is more beneficial to the plants).

We at SPACES are not as concerned about the physical growth of our plants, but of their cultural enrichment. That is why we have three flats of seedlings that receive at least 1 hour of culture each day. This culture comes in the form of experimental music, sound art, video art, art films, and exposure to art objects. We are documenting the daily exposure below. When you come into SPACES, you may take one plant home for free, continue to nourish and enrich it, and harvest its culture-laden fruits. You may select from sweet basil, mixed belle peppers, and swiss chard.

05.17: Tristan Perich's "1-Bit Symphony"
05.18: Ingmar Bergman's "Wild Strawberries"
05.19: Music mix from Pandora
05.20: Nicolas Philibert's "To Be and to Have"
05.21: Selections from The Vault
05.22: Amy Young's "Building a Rainbow"
05.23: Van Halen's "1984"
05.25: French New Wave Films
05.26: Michael Mercil's "Inventive Men"
05.27: Selections from The Vault
05.28: Selections from The Vault
05:29: Michael Mercil's "Covenant"
05.30: Memorial Day Vacation
05.31: Michael Apted's "42 Up"
06.01: Robert Bresson's "Au Hasard Balthazar"
06.02: Mills College Online Stream (experimental music)
06.03: Selections from UbuWeb's Ethnopoetics
06.04: Michael Mercil's "Ladder for Fruit Tree"
06.05: Relaxation
06.06: John Cage's 4'33"
06.07: "We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen"

This is an actual basil seedling you can take home.
This is an actual basil seedling you can take home.

Keywords: agriculture, farmed, green, seeds
Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: Exhibitions

Pink Milk Mild by Rainbow Lightning   04.01.11


May 13, 2011
Pink Milk Remember
by Rainbow Lightning

Let me tell you a story a story of two artists Chelsea Blackerby and Erica Hoosic, together they are RAINBOW LIGHTNING!!! Rainbow Lightning will be our next SPACELab artists their opening is May 13, 2011.

Check out their project on kickstarter!

If you don't know about Kickstarter yet, you should. Start by checking out our project on Kickstarter:, but don't stop there. Look at all the projects and see what other creatives are doing and how they are engaging their audiences. Get inspired and start flexing your creative muscles!

Got Materials?

As their show in May approaches Rainbow Lightning will need LOTS O STUFF, from materials to "memories" posted on Facebook. Visit their BLOG: for a list of all the materials. We are happy to accept your donations, they will go towards the upcoming installation at SpaceLab and will be received with a warm thank you (and a link) on the Rainbow Lightning blog and Facebook page.

photo courtesy of Rainbow Lightning
photo courtesy of Rainbow Lightning

Author: Marilyn Ladd-Simmons, Gallery Manager
Category: Exhibitions

Please Sit on the Art   03.07.11

Please sit on the art. Yes, sit on the art. Climb and, dare I say, lay on the art. For weeks we have told you about the couchbleachers. This homage to the couch potato in all of us serves as seating and a sculptural backdrop to the many, many Machine Project events at SPACES. Now watch below as Machine Project artist Nate Page creates the couchbleachers.

What's next? Machine Project has sent another—yet another—talented artist from LA. Laura Steenberge will give a lecture on the History of Couch Furniture Saturday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m. This lecture will be an informal and funny look at couches and our relationship with them. So come by SPACES, pick out your favorite couch, listen, lounge and laugh with us and Laura. Laura Steenberge is a Musician, Linguist and science charlatan of sorts.

Big shout out and thanks to the Salvation Army on 55th for their great deals and Norton Furniture  on Payne Ave. for the donation
Big shout out and thanks to the Salvation Army on 55th for their great deals and Norton Furniture on Payne Ave. for the donation

Keywords: furniture, furniture history, laura steenberge, machine project, norton furniture, salvation army, spaces, thrift store furniture, used couches
Author: Marilyn Ladd-Simmons, Gallery Manager
Category: Exhibitions

Working on Our Survival Posture   02.25.11

This past month, an impromptu group of twenty people took part in a social experiment on survival. They each chose a task essential to their survival that they didn't know how to do, and within the month of February, learned how to do it.

Cleveland puppeteer Diana Sette worked with a master weaver to learn how to process and spin wool, and built a large-scale "human loom" made out of people. Emelio DiSabato and Joel Solow chipped away at snow on the Abbey Bridge in Tremont, attempting to clear a path on one of the two walkways into their neighborhood that becomes unpassable to pedestrians and cyclists after snow. Simon and Giulia, members of a new farm collective in New York state, began the process of brewing a cup tea from scratch and spent the month learning how you decide what trees in a healthy woodland can be harvested for firewood and how to use a chainsaw. Maria Miranda, of Cleveland's Whisper to a Scream, translated the assignment into what it takes to survive within culture as it currently stands. She spent the month being "beauty-compliant," wearing makeup and fashionable clothes, processing her hair, and consuming the media and products marketed to her to craft a "successful look". Several people learned how to sew for the first time, Carmen Tracey making homemade menstrual pads after researching the toxicity of feminine hygiene products.

What they learned and how they went about it will be chronicled at Survival Postures, a community dinner and exhibit held at SPACES on Sunday, March 20 at 5:30 pm.

Survival Postures takes a cue from feminist performance artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles, who, since the late 1960's has used her art to make visible a hidden, stigmatized world of maintenance work that shores up our whole society. She once said that her work is a conscious attempt to re-link cultural practice with how we practice our own survival, saying that, "Art begins at the same level as basic survival systems."

We've seen a huge growth in interest lately in re-localizing the work that provides for our community's basic needs (the exponential increase of participation in Cleveland's urban farms, community gardens and farmers' markets is one great example). Many people are confronting head-on the profound disconnection of work we do to raise income from work it takes to produce the goods we need to live.

In doing so, it's become pretty clear that as an overall culture, we are very much in infancy when it comes to being actors in our own survival. Many basic skills are no longer in our vocabulary, and we rarely flex the muscles that make us producers rather than consumers, making for a strange atrophy.

The Survival Postures project is about practicing a culture that can take care of itself-- to re-link culture and survival deep within our own bodies.

Come on by on the 20th and see how it went.

Author: Kate Sopko, Residency Champion
Category: Exhibitions
Comments: (1) comments

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