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Infinity Circle

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Infinity Circle: a multimedia performance

Infinity Circle

happening this monday night!!!

meeting location: regis art center: east lobby

time: 9:30pm
performance time: 9:45pm

surreal ritual, inward rhythms, soothing repetitions
community energy, meditative tessellations, dark gravities
and the hypnotic void!!!

Bluff Installation (bells)

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The west side neighborhood of Saint Paul is geologically divided from the rest of the city by a sandstone bluff running along the Mississippi River gorge. The Department of Public Works has recently removed two steel stairs that connected the residents to the riverfront park, public transportation, and downtown Saint Paul. The Ohio Street stairs, removed in 2010, once provided safe access to Harriet Island Park. Now, pedestrians and cyclists must navigate a double-blind road considered dangerous even for automobiles.

As a way to address the absence of the stairs, I've installed small bells in the trees along the site. They dance in the wind coming off the river, and give pedestrians about to enter this hazardous experience a short moment of consideration for the loss of this community structure.

Partial Infinity Room - Jonathan Kaiser

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As part of my show, A Game of Troy, I made a piece called Partial Infinity Room. It's an octagonal structure that resembles a kiosk - an outdoor bulletin board for public announcements in the form of bills, fliers, notices. For most functional kiosks, the structure itself is essentially meant to be invisible - a neutral territory for the information posted on its surface. It's a space of endless possibility and constant change, a reflection of the current concerns of the surrounding community. It's a layered window into many priorities and points of view. However, compared to the ephemera that coat its surface, a kiosk has such weight, permanence, physicality. There's always an interesting tension with a kiosk - although its surface is basically an anarchic space, the structure itself is usually constructed, owned, and provisionally made available by an organized entity like a business, institution, or government body. Also, although that outer surface is up for grabs, there's usually a hidden inner space, a negative space that is the necessary byproduct of the intended three-dimensional walk-around experience.


I'm interested in kiosks not just for their function, but because they look bizarre. Many of them have elements that make them look like miniature houses or castle turrets. So there are these miniature houses everywhere. Owned by the city, the university, the co-op, the park service... Papered over by rock bands, local businesses, cults, pyramid schemes, activists... Occupied by nothing. Little empty houses. Does anyone live there? Does anyone look inside?


Partial Infinity Room is a kiosk, stripped of its exterior fliers. Its interior, partially visible through cracks in the walls, contains a simple platform, an origami form, and mirrors. Its octagonal mirrored interior is inspired by a design for an infinity room sketched by Leonardo Da Vinci. "A man standing inside it can see himself infinitely from all sides," he wrote. Da Vinci never built the structure because mirrors couldn't be made large enough in his day. Partial Infinity Room is also a frustrated attempt at infinite self-regard - it uses scraps of salvaged mirror that can't possibly cover its whole interior or give the external viewer a complete picture of the interior space.


I can't mention old school kiosks without mentioning the new kiosk of the social network -- bulletins, events, and tweets. Both practices coexist, but the physical practice of flyer-ing seems clunky and almost tragically finite compared to the infinite viral reproducibility of the digital bulletin. Floods of communication and promotion from amateur and professional alike, all taking place on the trying-to-be-invisible (yet also vying for brand recognition) surfaces of Facebook, Twitter, or thousands of other websites one might care to name, all of which own the metaphorical real estate upon which the communication takes place and make profits in proportion to the sheer volume of communication that they facilitate. There's no easy interior/exterior analogy to make between the digital network and the analog kiosk - if anything, by reducing these public bulletins to pure ephemerality, the digital format eliminates the possibility for a mysterious 'interior space' that I see in the kiosk and even the array of objects that can be fastened to its surface.

Partial Infinity Room didn't have a life as a functioning kiosk before I installed it in the gallery, but I'm interested in giving it one afterwards. It might get torn apart, or it might turn into a popular community bulletin board - I'm curious to see what happens. I've been thinking of places where there's lots of pedestrian traffic but where a kiosk seems unlikely or out of place. On the other hand, I've also been considering places where there's little to no pedestrian traffic - where a kiosk would be so incongruous that it might invite exploration of a difficult terrain (or at least some raised eyebrows.)

One place that fits more in the first category is a corner that I bike past almost every day; the northwest corner of 26th and Hiawatha. It's a bit of a unique area; Hiawatha is an urban highway, but it has a fairly well-travelled sidewalk on the west side, between the clinic at 28th street and the pedestrian bridge near 24th. At 26th there's a giant vacant lot where pedestrian traffic has worn a perfect diagonal line of dirt across the patchy grass. I think this will be the first site I'll try.

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Bluff Installation (proposed)

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Green Stairs (former/deceased)


Green Stairs (future/delayed)


Green Stairs (Missing)

The Green Stairs were once an icon of the west side, but were structurally compromised during a rock slide in April of 2008 and removed shortly thereafter. A massive community effort resulted in a new stair design which was aesthetically progressive, fully-funded, and fastracked for completion before being permanently tabled due to lower-level bureaucratic decisionmakers. Unless a legislative champion steps forward, the blufftop neighborhood will forever be disconnected with the river, public transportation, and the central business district. The green stairs were historically used for exercise, as an evening destination with a view of downtown, and for daredevil antics by teenagers.

As a way of acknowledging the missing structure and the collective consequences of its loss, I propose a nighttime projection on the abutment where the stair tower once stood, and where its replacement is now missing. A random series of colored shapes is based on the design elements of the new stair project caught in red tape, and is projected in a quick progression. My intention is to capture both the permanent memories and the fleeting reality of the monuments in our immediate environs

ephemeral vision border

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For my independent project I wanted to explore ephemeral art in public spaces. My initial idea was to follow another project I'm working on related to unemployment and create an installation. However, the material I had was not enough to make justice to the project and reducing it's scale would have established a weaker relation with the outdoor public space. Meanwhile, I visited Spectacular of the Vernacular(a show at Walker Art Center) 3 times in one week. I began to think about vernaculars from new generation's point of view and how we actually look at our vernaculars. Mainly about how can I bring aesthetics from digital world into real structural world? A parallel thought was inspired by Chris Larson's Unnamed - wooden bridge artwork in that show. It was made of hundreds of wooden sheets so I wondered, what can a single piece of wood do in a carefully constructed city?

Many of us look at the world through lens these days. We experience magical movements on cellphone screens while recording. We prefer to watch the viewfinder on a camcorder rather than seeing it directly with eyes, even when we are physically present at an event. The screen and camera's focusing rectangle have come so close to us, I decided to give it a life. Here I had another opportunity to create direct, physical interaction between two sides of this square phenomena.

I created two pieces of brackets using a single plank of wood, some wood glue and few iron screws. I kept it 6' tall with two 2' extensions on sides so that it would fit into my vehicle. Idea was to install these viewfinders at places where people can walk around and through it. The vision border would stay there only for one to two hours and then it could be found at a different place for another couple of hours. First installation was on Friday May 13, 2011 outside Carlson School of Management followed by one hour installation at 21st ave & riverside. It was a good test and I found many flaws in the design. The installation fell onto the ground many times, whenever wind was slightly stronger. First, I couldn't think of a better choice than adding triangular support to the bottom which would have destroyed it's visual appearance. Then I tried to make another brand new set with just one screw at each joint. It created a somewhat weak structure but I could then twist the extensions a little bit to make sure it stands straight on any type of surface. I also added some cushion around the screws making it kind of flexible but giving better resistance against wind. Just like a tree and branches, the vertical panel can shake but does not collapse that easily.
I decided to take risk and installed the visual border near west river parkway which normally sees a good amount of joggers, walkers and dogs. Since the path is narrower risk was higher if it falls on someone. I was quite sure about the safety, still I watched it from a distance without camera so no one could relate the piece with me. I changed locations throughout Sunday afternoon and noticed couple of walkers encountering the vision border twice. They stopped, turned around and looked through it and kept walking.

Being wood, the installation echoed with the surrounding trees. I thought the height and size was pretty friendly for a human height. It did not fall and did not feel like a door or some sort of check point. The interaction was natural and easy. Yet, it defined being on one or the other side, narrowed down vision to fit within the border and immediately expanded the vision drastically as one crossed it.

From my personal observation, new symbols, new cultures and new imagery (just like new people) when enter into our lives one at a time, it is so much easier and natural for us to remain comfortable. At the same time, the new element looses it's original identity and becomes a fusion of two worlds. I wonder if this is exactly how cultures transform?

Independent Project (Elisa)

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Marina Ambromovic has said that in her work she does things simply because they scare her. With a similar motivation, I have installed an inflatable plastic form in a public space on campus. For my independent project I proposed to actualize this inflatable project, as an exercise in doing something in public that makes me feel exposed and uncomfortable.
I gained quite a bit of knowledge from this experiment. I spent several days in the estudio with an iron and lots of plastic, trying to create an airtight inflatable. Due to lack of skill, and unyielding plastic as well as an insufficient bonding method, after many hours, I had still not accomplished my task. I had, however, created some colors and forms out of plastic that I actually liked. So, I finally ventured outside to see what I could do with those forms. I did not believe that there was any way for them to inflate, but once I had arrived with my plastic to an air-producing vent I have been eying all semester, possibilities began to emerge. Engaging with the actual mix of air, plastic and space, I found that it was actually possible to inflate the plastic, and that it didn't need to be airtight. Now that I have this information, I'm excited to try other forms in the future.
I also spent some time in letting the plastic interact with the wind. Photo documentation is included of that as well.



Nicola- Picnic!!

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I have been inspired by this class to host a picnic in this "park" called svea triangle. The park really is not very usable, but it can be seen by many cars. The action will both be fun for the people who attend the picnic and also will be a spectacle for the people watching from their cars. I am imagining that everyone will be dressed very colorful or will be dressed in one single color.

The weather hasn't really been cooperating to host this yet, but there is plenty of summer ahead!


Massimo Vitali Pic Nic Alle 2000.JPG

!!!Collective Community Celebration in the Clouds!!!

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this was in the 1960s.....

what could happen in the 2060's?!?!?!



!!!Collective Community Celebration in the Clouds!!!

///!World Social+Musical+Dance Interactive Festival!///

You and everyone on the planet are invited!

when: August 15 to August 18, 2069!

where: the sky!

what: a three-day coming together of all humans!

During the festival, each person will uniquely contribute to the experience! Each person's unique mind and unique body will contribute to the light and sound of the collective world community composition! The clouds and wind will transmit both the generated sound and light!

In order to encourage diversity and adventure, participants will be empowered with the ability to teleport to any location in the sky throughout the festival! Although people will be unable to talk during the festival, all will be able to express themselves with their thoughts and their bodies!

This festival will inspire creativity, equality, peace, communication, and play in this contemporary age! The collectively created light and sound will heal and transform all!

Final Project continuation

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Viking Bar as Catalyst and Cultural Institution

My research is concerned with the reanimation or symbolic revivification of the Viking Bar, a bluesy dive bar that closed in 2006. This is a long-term project that will manifest as several on-site actions, a poster campaign, a website with a streaming radio station and a musical performance involving musicians that formally performed inside the bar. These activities will take place over the course of the summer and fall of 2011 while conducting in depth research. Topics of research will include personal history of owners, the development of the site and construction, and the cultural history of the neighborhood, particularly it's history during transition from occupation by working class immigrants to immigrant refugees. The form I am focusing on completing at the moment is to create Viking Radio.

I am in contact with several persons that have personal experience from visiting the bar as well as those who have a vested interest in the history of the neighborhood and its current manifestation. I am arranging to record interviews with these folks to gather content for a series of audio works that will be accessible through the online streaming radio station, Viking Radio. These will also be included in an archive that I will create but also open up to allow others familiar with the project to contribute to, a kind of People's Archive.


Viking Radio is the creation of a concept radio station that uses the performances and recordings from those musicians that used to perform there to populate several iterations. Many of these performances can be gleaned from YouTube videos taken prior to the time the bar closed it's doors. These iterations will be broadcasts that proceed from intimate to very public. Iteration one is to create a playlist of songs that can be downloaded by anyone to a mobile digital music player that will be listened to on headphones while standing just outside the door and imagining the time when the music blared into the street from those same doors. This is intended as an intimate reimagining and re-experiencing of a past moment in time.
The second iteration, already realized, is a shop dolly mounted with stereo equipment that broadcasts from outside the doors of the Viking to everyone within earshot of the sound, blasting from the powered speakers. This is a lo-fi, hyper-local radio of sorts. The third iteration will be to mount this same equipment onto a tricycle in order broadcast this same collection of music while biking in ever increasing concentric circles around the streets adjacent to the bar.
The final iteration will consist of a low-power radio transmitter that hijacks a popular local FM band and broadcasts the music into the passing cars in the intersection in front of the Viking. This transgressive action forces the accidental listeners into an active role, changing them from passive onlookers of the degrading fa├žade of the bar and transporting them back in time and into the role of a mobile audience.
Viking Radio will be accompanied by a poster campaign that co-opts the logotype of the Viking Bar signage to be turned into posters that announce the presence of Viking Radio. I will also create posters that mimic the standard music show announcement posters but are entirely blank, save for the Viking Bar sign logo as the header. These posters will be posted in conspicuous locations in the surrounding neighborhood. This is a material way to engage the neighborhood public's memories of, or recognition of, the Viking Bar's history or present as a vacant sign of potential.


Willie Murphy tracks
08 Nappy Head Blues.mp3
11 People Get Ready.mp3