Documentation of realized events, exhibitions, performances and other works.
Building One: Blanket Fort City
This event based on the childhood pasttime of fort building, creates a sprawling interwoven metropolis of blanket structures. All necessary materials are provided for participants including, notched wooden support posts, spring clamps, and blankets. The materials are limited, but enough to occupy a designated area in an event space. Requiring cooperation, dialogue, sharing and creative thinking among participants, Building One: Blanket Fort City results in a continually variable sculpture that functions as a social space.
The structural design for the building is similar to Lincoln Logs or Tinker Toys. Square wooden dowels are used, each notched at the ends. These vary between four feet and five feet in length. The supports easily snap together and can be spring clamped for added rigidity. Hundreds of supports were fabricated for the debut event, enough to completely fill the central area of St. Anthony’s Church—now known as Grand Street Community Arts in Albany, New York. Hundreds of blankets were made from a massive fabric donation by local screen printers called Looks Great Promotions. We also covered the floor with two layers of thick vinyl material to protect participants from the unfinished surface beneath it. The first incarnation of this project occurred on November 2, 2007 at Grand Street Community Arts, and included musical performances by Kitty Little, Scientific Maps, Matthew Carefully, Dave End, and The Dust Dive. In celebration of the participants, and project, the concert was viewable from the blanket fort city. Grand Street Community Arts donated several boxes of breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, juice and ten dozen cider donuts to enjoy during the event. Over the course of the evening several hundred people came through space, many helped make a fort, some just to watch it evolve.
In 2011 Building One: Blanket Fort City traveled to Flux Factory in Queens, NY as part the exhibition, Why Participate?, curated by Angela Washko. The slide show features images from the both events.
The Flag Project
The Flag Project asks participants to create a flag for themselves, their community or a cause, and proudly display it in public space. Originally produced as part of the Vacant Lot Project in the City of Albany, New York and was sponsored by Vacant Lot Stabilization Program and Grand Street Community Arts. This free all-inclusive event supplied materials for flag making, consisting of paints, markers, tape, pre-assembled flags in various sizes and colors, and a plethora of unique stencils designed by We Are Architects. After each flag was made, they were collected and exhibited in the lot until late October 2010.
Bringing together a diverse group of regional art patrons, neighborhood onlookers, community organizers and passerby this project reclaimed an abandoned property as a collaborative work and exhibition space. Over fifty participants helped fill the lot with flags. The designs were a combination of group efforts and personal works that represented themes ranging from national identities to individual convictions.
Level is an exhibition of recent independent video games that explore various phases in human development that resonate with the increasingly technologically connected and mediated experience of living. From birth to death, the games touch on a range of human developments, from universal milestones, such as learning to walk, to highly personal events experienced by the artists. All of the works approach the human condition from varying perspectives that include interactive autobiographies, satirical investigations of social computing, and personal meditations on gaming culture. In each game, players are charged with challenges, tasks, and puzzles that build empathetic perspectives between player and character, visitor and maker. Artists and non-artists from the United States, Europe, and Asia created the games in Level, and include Alexítron, Anna Anthropy, Angela Washko, Bennet Foddy, Ian Bogost, MIT Game Lab, Jonatan Söderström, Danish National Academy of Digital Entertainment, Jake Elliot, Peter Favaro, Cliff Harris, Stephen Lavelle, Sebastian Janisz, Molleindustria, Tabor Robak, Jason Rohrer, and Lea Schönfelder.
Each game is presented in its own working cabinet, allowing visitors to play free of charge. The game cabinets are designed and fabricated by We Are Architects with assistance from regional game enthusiasts and friends. Collaborators include regional furniture maker Leonard Bellanca; Alexis, Chris, David, James, and Zach, students in Donna Fitzgerald’s high school Art class, Neil Hellman School of Parsons Child and Family Center Family Center; and circuit bending sound artist Peter Edwards.
Level is organized by We Are Architects in collaboration with the artists and game designers. Equipment is provided by Alex Young; The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, and Information Technology at Skidmore College. This exhibition is generously supported by the New York Foundation for the Arts. This particiaptory project opened with a single evening festival on April 27, 2012 and featured live music performances, vintage video game systems, and refreshments at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, New York and will be on view from April 13 to May 25, 2012.