February 12, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Once again, the hubris of trying to accomplish anything practical on this physical plane, that might involve gears and cogs of any material, is foiled by the grand spectre of Carnival– it’s all around us. Mardi Gras does not give a sh*t. Mardi Gras is eating all of our hadron collidors. So, friends of Automata, and prospective participants, here’s our last attempt before a respectably slight period of rest after the big day itself, at a brief update, and reassurance that business is never usual.
Your humble rouser of makers of machines of wonder wishes to convey the following:
The deadlines are meant only as sign-posts. We are working with individual artists regarding any extra financial considerations and calculating the basic costs of running Automata this year, from our Ogden gala to the flying robot parade to the takeover of the Ironworks to the pitcher plant choir planned for Models and Miniatures… You need only contact us to begin this discussion. Otherwise, as usual, the curious are welcome to contact us for participation almost to the month of the show.
FLYING ROBOTS? We are doing it for the children! Krewe of Spy vs. Spy hereby declared a true phenomenon. We will hold a picnic and parade, tentatively set for Sunday, Nov. 18. Specific details should be nailed down later this spring.
In the meantime, if you have any questions and need to speak to us right away, you will find us here:
January 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Several pieces of great news to share:
Saturday, November 3, 6-9pm we will hold our special Automata preview evening in the beautiful, chapel-like Patrick Taylor Library at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
We’ll feature the work of New Orleans and Southern artists to begin the month of Automata exhibitions, including Ben Reid‘s delightful clattering flying machines from North Carolina.
We are also very happy to announce that Simeon Coxe will return to New Orleans for Automata, and that Silver Apples will be the main feature of our evening at the Ogden. Simeon will also bring new artwork to install at the show, which can be seen both at the Ogden and later in November, at the Ironworks.
Tickets for the event will be limited, as the legal capacity of the library is limited. We will have advance tickets available. Admission is set at $10- ($5- for Ogden members).
A huge thanks to the Ogden Museum for co-sponsoring this event! The moment I laid eyes on the library I hoped to hold at least some aspect of Automata in it- the architecture is unique in New Orleans, and provides the most elegant and haunting setting for any kind of performance, let alone an arena for mechanical sculpture. Many thanks to curator Bradley Sumrall for putting the seed in my head, and to the wonderful Ogden staff for being so supportive. I’ve written about the Ogden below, if you don’t believe me. This is a rare window of opportunity for a show like ours, as the Museum is working on the capital needed to finish restoring the Library and installing artwork from their permanent collection. Anyone who feels strongly about not just preserving our past but making sure it is useful among the living and available to all, I encourage you to find out about the Patrick Taylor Library, and support its restoration in any way you can. In the meantime- I feel positive that we will be able to raise the funds necessary- a place like this is open to shows like ours!
If you are a fan of the legendary Silver Apples, this evening in the library will be a special one.
Simeon was a big part of the spirit of Automata last year, and it means a lot that he will return- Silver Apples was our closing act in 2011 in that great show at the AllWays Lounge, and he brought a most pleasing plunger vs. fan saw installation on the last weekend, so it is fitting that he brings us back in style in 2012, and be a larger presence throughout the show, in between world tours to far flung fantastic lands.
Details on purchasing advance tickets or sponsoring this event coming soon.
The Call to Artists has been updated to reflect these announcements. We have several exciting plans up our sleeves that we can’t announce just yet, so please stay tuned!
January 4, 2012 § 2 Comments
We’re pleased to announce the preliminary schedule for Automata 2012:
*updated 1/21/12* SATURDAY, NOV. 3: Special preview evening in the Patrick Taylor Library at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, featuring Silver Apples. (please see following entry for further details)
SATURDAY, NOV. 10: Models and Miniatures opens at Barrister’s Gallery (through Dec. 2).
SATURDAYS, NOV. 17 & 24: Automata at The Ironworks.
Deadlines for proposals and submissions (*UPDATED 1/12*):
General proposals, for any exhibit: September 1.
Grants and travel funds will have to be worked out in advance of our fundraising efforts, as we need to make a budget projection. Please contact us by Feb. 5 if you can only participate with financial help and seek it in partnership with our resources and efforts. We are talking with artists and groups about budget concerns and making plans now. We intend to apply for a kickstarter fundraising page by the end of February. We encourage anyone out of state to contact us about coordinating travel expenses with others from your region.
MODELS AND MINIATURES
“A large figure seemed to me false and a small one equally unbearable, and then often they became so tiny that with one touch of my knife they disappeared into dust. But head and figures seemed to me to have a bit of truth only when small.”
Call for project proposals:
Models and Miniatures centers around the maquettes and miniatures of mechanical sculpture and tiny universes- this is an experimental garden focusing on distortions of perspective, biological material, and the proving ground for the future of Automata in general, in the intersections of science and art. The heart of this exhibition will be the pillars of traditional mechanical and kinetic sculpture in model and miniature form; all other proposals should touch on bio-art and the use of art in science and vice-versa, towards the creation of this garden/universe of miniatures. Barrister’s Gallery is a traditional gallery- the indoors is climate-controlled and we will be making use of the courtyard and grotto for outdoor projects. Project proposals do NOT have to be miniature in a literal sense. The overall effect of a garden means that though each project or work of art will stand on its own, the display will not be traditional, and it will be the decision of the curator how the work will be integrated into the overall exhibition, while maintaining the integrity of each work and artists’ intent.
AUTOMATA at the IRONWORKS – our 3rd year:
Call to artists for the 3rd annual Automata exhibition, once again at the Ironworks warehouse at 612 Piety St. in New Orleans! Bring In the Machines.
Mechanical and kinetic sculpture, indoors and outdoors, from traditional automata to the digital and biological and all creaking and clanking and beeping and atomic things in between. This year, proposals for Rube Goldberg machines are highly encouraged.
We’re happy to say that the Ironworks warehouse is becoming more and more weatherproof, and there is ample indoor and outdoor exhibition space for projects of all sizes and capabilities. There are many architectural elements to the building and grounds that can be taken advantage of.
Depending on our fundraising capabilities and success in coordinating with out of state artists, the goal once again is to arrange for consolidated transport from several regions. If you would like to come to New Orleans to be part of Automata, we will do our best to arrange for free or cheap and comfortable accommodations, and to work out the logistics of transporting your work safely here and back. We will need your participation in fundraising efforts to make this possible!
We will hold a fundraising series this spring, first to secure costs of the show. Our main goal once again is to provide grants to artists for materials and projects, as well as to import artists and work from outside New Orleans. Our priority is with local and regional artists, but we’re looking forward to bringing back artists from Alabama, N. Carolina and Texas as well as artists we’ve had our eyes on from points far north, northeast, and west! Look for our now annual Cheap Art Auction and BBQ Raffle in the next few months! Automata and Models and Miniatures are open to international artists, but our ability to help ease the costs of participation is very limited- this should not dissuade you or anyone else from contacting us: email@example.com or in the comments below.
September 13, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Thank you, to all at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art!
From board members to head curator Bradley Sumrall, PR Director Sue Strachan, and the Kohlmeyer Circle, to the super enthusiastic Melissa who, armed with garbage can and broom, was our favorite appreciator, and the very very patient no-nonsense security staff headed by Monica who kept our show running and available at odd hours- and everyone who is employed at the Ogden, who helped us in every detail- this was a lot of fun. We look forward to more!
(This is sooner than you’d think, as several Automata artists are adjusting their spectacles in preparation for an after school class partnership between the Ogden and Warren Easton High’s STEM Academy. We had a great time last week meeting with the STEM students as they toured A Technological Terrarium and look forward to the start of our educational adventure.)
Congratulations to the artists and thanks to Sue Strachan and reporter Chriss Knight of ABC 26 WGNO New Orleans for putting us on television– that was great early (early early early early early) morning surrealism.
Our record of Technological Terrarium is posted on flickr: CLICK FOR LINK
Any further documentation please let us know! Thanks again, everyone- artists and Ogden. Lots more to come.
August 15, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Let’s make this a straight-forward and practical missive! Automata 2011 went beautifully- we have a full-fledged fledgling society in New Orleans. Automata is another lively forum of ideas and inventions, in practice and imagined, that follows in line with the alchemist’s dictum: as above, so below. Digital hackers, academics, garage tinkerers, auto mechanics, cabaret dancers, blacksmiths, scientists, gardeners, carpenters, bartenders, entrepreneurs and architects are all intrinsic to the spirit of Automata and what it brings to life in New Orleans.
Also, we’re truly delighted to be part of the great exhibitions at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art this summer. The Kohlmeyer Circle is working towards including technology-based artwork in the museum environs, and we reap the benefits of a new friendship with the staff of the Ogden. This includes the opportunity to start connecting skilled artists with students who want to understand the possibilities of technology and science outside the requirements of the classroom. We hope to work with the Ogden and other institutions who have built up solid educational networks to connect our artists with students, young and old, who can learn from our interdisciplinary approach to art and science.
Some press from Automata 2011 at the Ironworks
(click bold type for links)
All Automata articles! – from Doug MacCash to NolaVie essays–
Walk-through video of the 1st weekend of Automata by Inside Art writer and Gambit Weekly critic D. Eric Bookhardt!
Nicola Krebill on flickr: Automata 2011
(any others: stories, photos, videos, reviews, please pass them on.)
Everyone who worked their asses off, to fund-raise, to set up, to finish their pieces in the nick of time, and to keep them running. Also thanks to Simeon Coxe (Silver Apples) and Wynn LeVert (Amphibian Lark) for the icing and flourish and essence of the cake, and vicariously, our first real sponsors: Euclid Records, New Orleans and PRESS STREET and the Allways Lounge.
Special appreciation goes to Gilbert Buras of the Ironworks and the true gears and cogs of 2011: James Goedert, Bob Snead, Leslie Selting, Tallulah Elvis Poodle, Ember Soberman, Kourtney Keller, William Kirchheimer, James Weber, Lefty Parker, Mark Koven and the N. Carolina crew, and others I will edit this entry to add ad infinitum for awhile.
Also thanks to everyone who supported us with our insane and intense fundraisers– raffle donors, artwork donors and labor and flavor (like: really good cooking &/or drink making) and time donors; host bars and houses, and EVERYONE WHO SPENT MONEY. ALSO EVERYONE WHO MADE STUFF AND DONATED IT SO PEOPLE COULD SPEND MONEY THAT WE SPENT MAKING AUTOMATA HAPPEN. Thank you.
I’m amazed at and grateful for the enthusiastic support of Automata at our fundraisers and the show– from businesses willing to donate, to strangers, art lovers, and unexpected people who suprised me constantly by their excitement and willingness to drop a dollar and their 13th hour on this show. We have benefited from the positive lessons that the Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs have taught us about how to live well and truly. For Automata to survive as a beneficial organism, we must live up to this inspiration.
There is a lot to plan on for fall of 2012. We have already begun. The tentative anchor month is November (of 2012! do not panic but don’t delay).
We plan this time to bring in a contingent from the west coast- the excuse being: Return of the Swarm!
Give them full freedom to run autonomously and take over planet Earth, so long as New Orleans remains the Mothership. Expanding from our designs on the geniuses of Louisiana, N. Carolina and Texas, this West Coast contingent will allow us to bring in quite a catch.
I’ll post this again, but here is a basic break-down of 2012 plans:
The show will be tri-parted and display locations diverse.
A Rube Goldberg Machine Competition
Automata, weekend one and two
Models and Miniatures (a Kircherianum)
I’ve long included “bio art” in the description of and calls for Automata, but this year we are going to concentrate on including bio-art as it relates to the spirit of this show. As a diversion, and long necessary, we are duty-bound to introduce and host a Rube Goldberg Machine Competition to this region. The rest follows….
If you are in New Orleans and interested in being part of Automata 2012 please leave your contact information- we are about to begin weekly meetings and are looking for people with all kinds of skills and ideas to come on by.
August 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
Under the auspices of the Kohlmeyer Circle, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and head curator Bradley Sumrall, the work of several Automata artists is now on display in the Ogden’s tunnel, to the back left as you enter, just off the atrium!
The opening night, August 6, was also the massive annual Warehouse/Arts District sweat-fest known as White Linen Night, which brought record crowds to the shows at the Ogden. An audience ordinarily not thought to pay attention to the mechanical rumblings and digital bleepings in the deep hollows of a downtown warehouse were introduced en masse to an intimate selection of the eccentric and sensible talents that make up an Automata exhibition.
The show runs through September 12. We will have a closing reception, TBA, with more artists and live music.
Click here for the flickr collection (in progress) of the Technological Terrarium exhibition and events in the Ogden’s Tunnel.
ARTIST LIST (names in bold linked to web page):
Taylor Lee Shepherd
Sirens – Prototype I: August 2011
Mixed Media- CD, thread, foil, feather, electrons
Trees: 1, 2 & 3
Word Extractor Machine
” You took the words right out of my mouth”
What if words were material? Maybe those perfect words you have always wished to say were just stuck in the back of your throat. Having a conversation would necessitate a unique set of tools.
Word extractors are delicately handmade pliers, reminiscent of antiquated medical instruments, elegant and outmoded. Designed to distill the act of communication down to an absurdly simple act of mechanically retrieving words from the mouth of another.
This is a machine, word extractor machine, that demonstrates the use of these tools by enacting an intimate conversation from the movie “Say Anything”.
Too Tall To Fix Small #3
Drawing Machines: Line and Color
battery-operated animals with ink pen legs take over a tabletop.
kinetic sculpture- dog
Observation on the Preponderance or Ponderousness of Modularity in Design
(Cyclops skeleton spy)
With great thanks to Bradley Sumrall, Chris Voigt and the Kohlmeyer Circle, Sue Strachan and Ellen Balkin. Many many thanks to the security staff who turn the show on every morning, and to all who work at the Ogden. We look forward to more!
April 7, 2011 § 1 Comment
This Saturday from 5-9 pm is the closing night for this year’s Automata! The work from North Carolina by Mark Koven, Ben Reid, and the turbine swing team has gone back home, and new work is coming in from around Louisiana to augment the work that is still on display (see the artist list). Here’s a great review by Doug MacCash of last week’s opening night. Congratulations to all Automata participants! I’ll post all videos and links to photos and press in the coming week.
Join us at the after party at the Allways Lounge this Saturday, featuring the legendary Simeon of the Silver Apples. We are very proud to feature an installation by Simeon at the Ironworks and really really looking forward to this show! If you are a tried and true Silver Apples fan, please get to the Allways early. Doors at 9- the Ironworks and all of the machines will shut down at 9:30 sharp.
If you are wondering “what are Dead Baby Dolphins,” besides the recent phenomenon discovered in the Gulf of Mexico, here is an image of their instrument, “the destruction party troll troll troll troll 14 needle record player:”
March 18, 2011 § Leave a Comment
At the Allways Lounge, 2240 St. Claude Ave., corner of Marigny!
6pm; raffle begins at 8pm. Raffle list below, as it grows.
$5 entrance, $2 red beans, $1 raffle tickets.
Working List of Raffle Items
(links to sponsors in bold)
- Case of Vinavera Chardonnay, from Matassa’s Market
- Bike Tour for 2 from Confederacy of Cruisers (and a dozen fresh eggs)
- Spring-themed headpiece by Kate McNee
- 10 $20 gift certificates to Mardi Gras Zone
- gift certificate for cake from Shake Sugaree Sweets & Treats, valued at $40
- 5 free classes from Wild Lotus Yoga
- Babyhead Bustier by Cree McCree
- Headdress by Ooops the Clown
- $20 to La Divina Gelateria
- 2 3-piece chicken plates from Brothers Franklin Market on Franklin & Villere
- free bicycle tune-up at Gerken’s Bike Shop
- signed copy of the travel book Louisiana Rambles from Ian McNulty
- 5 9×13″ photographic prints by Jose Fernandes
- CD set of music by Micronaut
- Items from the Pop Shop!
- from Garrett County Press: copies of Temp Slave!, Guinea Pig Zero, Letters from New Orleans, and the WPA Guide to New Orleans
- Pete’s Easy Pizza Speakeasy: a free pizza pie and beer coozy!
- drinks & theater tickets from Allways Lounge & Theater
- Documenting the Now, set from Neighborhood Story Project
- $25 gift certificate to The Joint
- framed sketch by Rex Dingler
- bottle of Vin de Payes de Vaucluse, Les Aphillanthes, from Bacchanal Wine
- $20 gift certificate to Bywater BBQ
- a year of pro-level web hosting at Vesana.com
- The Little Lambs Throne of Atonement! from Termite Laboratories
- Old New Orleans Rum gift pack: 3 bottles of rum & a tour of the distillery
& other various treasures , either tba here asap or to be revealed at the raffle.
various treasures: Howl Pop!, potted bamboo, cans of good house paint in various hues, 6-pack of spray paint, possibly a couch, 2 fresh Attic Ted cd’s, miscellaneous interesting books, 5 dvd set of the Complete History of WWll…
We’d like to thank all of the local businesses, musicians, artists and friends who are supporting this effort to bring in out of state artists to Automata this year! We are grateful to everyone for their enthusiasm and are putting these dollars to good use.
The Allways Lounge is an especially gracious host- thank you to Dennis Monn and Zalia Beville. See you there!