January 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

The work of Casey Curran ,who lives and works and shows in Seattle. I found out about his Ernst Haekel-inspired pieces through working on the Multispecies Salon 3: Swarm. Though we were not able to bring his work to New Orleans for the Swarm exhibit, I’m delighted we have another chance.

There are many artists, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and beyond, that I’d like to start off highlighting all at once. Let’s start here!

We are finally able to start the fundraising planning in urgency. A combination of previous obligations, holidays, and local tumult has delayed it all. We plan a three-fold strategy: kickstarter, local patrons, and corporate sponsorship. This year I’ll need to raise about 12-15 grand to pull off what I see is the next step.

The first Automata was run on a shoestring and a delayed month’s rent and the interest from out of state was surprising, let alone the crowds, people of all ages and walks of life who thoroughly enjoyed the magic. It’s apparent that without funding to bring in artists who work in kinetics, robotics, and beyond, that we could run the show as it stood last year– but that’s not the point. There’s a universe of ingenious inventors who are looking not just for places to show off, like at Burning Man or MIT, but for arenas to share ideas in. Louisiana is full of garage tinkerers and inventors, like everywhere else; our schools don’t teach trades any more- the knowledge and tradition is passed down from generation to generation.

This arena is something as a painter I have trouble summarizing and certainly can’t speak the language of; there are inventors and kinetic sculptors who are sponsored by institutions whose skills and ideas are integrated into industry– like biotech and biomedical and the infinite applications of robotics, and their ideas with backing bring more and more access to new materials and the finest of traditional materials; there are also those who work in trades who work with whatever they have, to create things of wonder for people they know. There are gearheads, train freaks, machinists, woodworkers, cam-grinders, magnetics attache’s, whimsy-makers, glossy-eyed programmers, people who like to blow things up… all of this makes Automata, and how it should be year after year. It’s a trade show, a theater show, and an art show.

I was inspired to pull together the first Automata by the work of the infinite cam-maker,Taylor Lee Shepherd and like-minded friends in New Orleans, whose work is not very well documented. We all found a great universe in Automata. I can see a lot in store for New Orleans beyond this show, whether we can raise money to bring in out of state artists or not this year. Please stay tuned for videos of last year’s show, and promotions to help us raise enough funds to bring in work like Casey Curran’s and others, from Massachusetts, the Bay Area, Austin, and Asheville. More artist highlights, too.

Visit videos of Casey Curran’s work on vimeo:
Blind Spot and more.


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