Mardi Gras Laughs at Mortals & Robots

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:

Money!

January 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Changes in fundraising and deadlines!
As it happens in New Orleans, resources are limited and often the same people you work with are working on something else that needs a lot of time and effort- and so we are postponing the cheap art auction and purely local fundraising events in favor of applying for kickstarter for the end of February.

We might have a bbq in March, anyway…..

This all means that if you wish to be considered for any kind of grant- from travel expense to materials- we will need to know by February 18, as we must raise the bulk of our budget as early as possible.  We’re working with individuals now to create our projected money needs- we will try to stay flexible in the coming months, but it’s better to talk to us early.

Especially if you want to come to New Orleans – we’re coordinating travel groups for sharing road and shipping expenses.

We’re also working on accommodation  arrangements for visiting artists throughout the month of the show.

Money!  We will need it!  It’s a lot of fun raising it and giving it away!  We love handing money over to artists to help them with their projects!  Our priority again starts with grants for local artists and covering basic show expenses, like space rental, and moves out from there.  More on all that very soon.   Proposal deadline is still Sept. 1 but we have a lot of leeway in Automata for last minute projects- don’t hesitate to contact us.

Other news:  the 2012 Artists list is begun- please refer to the list of pages at the left of the home page.

Also, h/t Dug North:  this is Wunderland!

2012 Announcement:

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.

Simeon Coxe, via the Beijing Global Times

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.

View of Patrick Taylor Library, rotunda to stage, via WBGO on Flickr (click for more images)

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!

 

Automata 2012

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.”
Giacometti

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:  automata.nola@gmail.com or in the comments below.

This life is a fine life!

Automata 2011 wrap-up; the marathon begins anew.

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)
Times Picayune:
All Automata articles! – from Doug MacCash to NolaVie essays–
AUTOMATA

Walk-through video of the 1st weekend of Automata by Inside Art writer and Gambit Weekly critic D. Eric Bookhardt!

Georgia Kennedy!

Photos:
Nicola Krebill on flickr: Automata 2011
(any others: stories, photos, videos, reviews, please pass them on.)

Thanks to:
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.

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.

Monday Night Raffle & Dance Party

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!

Here

March 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Artist list developing on a new page (link to the left). Many additions and evolutions to come.

It is Mardi Gras in New Orleans— no sense in making sense. We still managed to work on our next fundraiser after the madness, at the Allways Lounge: raffle and dance party! Lineup still to come. We’ll get that flyer out; but for now there is no point. At all. Happy Mardi Gras!

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