Tag Archives: Theaster Gates

The Listening Room: at Seattle Art Museum, the artists’ medium is wax.

click here to hear the original radio piece.

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Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation Approved to Develop at 70th and Dante

Artist, Urban Planner, and Friend of Darkjive Theaster Gates is at it again. His plan (through the Rebuild Foundation) is to rebuild a CHA residence into a Collaborative Artists/Mixed Income community of 32 units. The preexisting structure is located at 70th Street between Dante and Harper on the South Side of Chicago. That plan the rehab the structure has recently been approved by the CHA, and groundbreaking begins in 2012. Righteous.

According to a recent interview for WBEZ’s Natalie Moore:

“The creative class that Richard Florida talks about [he says their role is to revitalize cities], I don’t think he’s actually talking about some of the folk that we have identified as creative or that live in this space,” Gates said. “It’s true that creatives and people who are interested in creativity and design and architecture have substantial impacts on neighborhoods. But I don’t think they’d necessarily be attracted to living on Dorchester”.

“…Part of what I’m excited about is that there’s a whole segment of the creative class that’s not been asked to be players in city. I’m talking about black artists, artists of color”.

He touches on some issues of inclusion and expansion of what the so-called Creative Class looks and feels like (as well how to harness creative energy for the greater good). Let’s crack the art world wide open… and build up our communities in the process. Word up and jive on!

UPDATE: for more details on the plan, click here.


Dance Dorchester!

dance locally to vintage sounds culled from Dorchester Projects’ Dr. Wax Collection heavily leaning on music that ‘jus grew’ out of our community: this friday, june 24th, 7pm til 10pm.

bring your favorite summertime dish to share with friends

100% wax spun by dj ayana

from The Dr. Wax Collection


Dorchester Projects June 2011

Visit us at Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Projects (recently featured in the Chicago Reader) this Friday Night (June 3rd from 7p-9p), as well as on Sunday, June 12th, from 3p-5p.  Come with a story about how music has impacted your life….

About the Dorchester Projects:

Dorchester Projects seeks to explore the ways in which thoughtful spaces committed to art, public education, design, and advocacy can contribute to the cultural and economic redevelopment of a neighborhood.

“[Gates] says: I was always making art that was asking questions about the city, and why the city functioned the way it did. How does cultural and economic disparity happen? How can we fight it? I was trying to present these questions in the form of little abandoned ceramic houses and drawings or performances that spoke to the issue. And I just got tired of pointing a finger at it and wanted to actually do something about it, challenge it in a real way.”Chicago Reader, June 2, 2011

click here for more on Theaster and the Projects


Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Projects

What do you get when you mix a maverick artist with strong community ties and an Urban Planner? For one thing, Theaster Gates. For another, the Dorchester Projects, pictured above. Theaster has been purchasing properties in the Woodlawn/Grand Crossing neighborhood for a few years now, and has quietly acquired the stock of the former Dr. Wax record store as well as the now defunct Prairie Avenue Bookstore (both businesses were revered in their respective collector communities). He created a home for glass lantern slides that depict the canon of Western Fine Art. Using reclaimed materials, he is turning his properties into cultural community hubs, featuring curators and programming that reflects the collections and the community.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll be curating the record collection in May and June of 2011, culminating in a series of talks on Chicago Music History (details to follow) and a couple of good, old-fashioned dance parties starring local-born music.

Read the New York Times article about what’s poppin on the South Side with the Dorchester Projects.


Arts and Activism: Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis

pickets

art, above: from “Public Address”, an art installment/retail concept curated by Ellen Rothberg. Chicago, 2008.

Thursday, October 1st at Bronzeville’s Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, there will be a panel discussion focusing on the Arts scenes in these three cities (and the intersection of art and community activism).  Panelists and other participants will be in attendance at Little Black Pearl, Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, and The Luminary Center for the Arts in Saint Louis and will be connected via skype.  Chicago Panelists include Lindsay Obermeyer, Jennifer Karmin, and friends of Darkjive: Dan Godston, Theaster Gates, and Carol Ng-He.

The event is Free and Open to the Public

Thursday, October 1st

Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center

1060 E. 47th St., Chicago

7-9pm


Representations: A Letter, An Essay, and Five Questions

64b-downtimeweb

from the Experimental Station:

On Friday, April 10 at 6 pm, at the Experimental Station, Lee Ann Norman and Theaster Gates (below) will be presenting the next happening in their year-long series entitled “Representations: A series on Culture, Politics and Aesthetics.” Please join Lee Ann and Theaster at the Experimental Station for “A Letter, an Essay, and Five Questions” featuring Hamza Walker, Director of Education and Curator at the Renaissance Society.

gates-and-norman

The Experimental Station is located at:

6100 S. Blackstone Ave.

Chicago, Il 60637

About the Experimental Station: Taking its name from a speech given by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1901 (“The Art and Craft of the Machine”), the Experimental Station exceeds even Wright’s dream of a place where art and technology would embrace one another under the same roof, where such an encounter would lead to new ideas and innovative designs and practices.  Please click on the book at left for more information.

webfarm-14NOTE: the Experimental Station’s 61st Street Farmers Market Opens SATURDAY, MAY 16!  More info to come.


JB Monorail by Theaster Gates


theaster
a bit about the residual effects of 1968 in Chicago (specifically on the West Side).

Published in 68/08 on Dec. 6, 2008 in AREA/Chicago
by Theaster Gates

There are moments when I think that my life on the Westside of Chicago had no real relationship to the history of political struggle. I had not yet been born, the trophies of that era that hung around my house in the form of handmade protest signs, banners and buttons, not to mention Afro wigs, fake eyelashes and pleather had all become trunk filler or so dusty that they read as insignificant memorials to my eight sisters’ high school days. But there were moments in my youth when the cultural residue of ’68 makes itself very clear. James Brown for me was an extremely important part of how I understand and, in some ways, get to anachronistically connect to that moment when my sisters say Black folk had reasons to live and they weren’t just about making money, but uplift and cultural pride… read more


Blue Sky Black Monk

black-monksA convergence of African-American and Japanese cultures and sounds is happening tonight on the South Side of Chicago….

from the Experimental Station’s website:

Please join the Experimental Station, Columbia College, and Theaster Gates in presenting “Blue Sky Black Monk,” Japan’s Sennichimae Blue Sky Dance Club and Chicago’s Black Monks of Mississippi.

During the last three months, Sennichimae and the Black Monks have used the Internet as a means of exchanging musical and body movements inspired by their cultural and artistic roots. The Sennichimae Blue Sky Dance Club, an all-female butoh-influenced Japanese company, is devoted to uncovering original physical expression with a pop sensibility. The Black Monks of Mississippi is a music and performance ensemble interesed in the relationship between black music, eastern philosophy and ritual aesthetics. In Chicago, the two will meet for the first time at the Experimental Station for “Blue Sky Black Monk,” a raw and extraordinary multicultural collaboration of body and sound. The event begins at 6:30pm and is FREE and open to the public.

The Experimental Station is located at:

6100 S. Blackstone Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637