3rd 01SJ Biennial September 2010

A global festival of art on the edge

Who’s on 1st?/What’s on 2nd?

The City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program (www.sanjoseculture.org), a division of the Office of Economic Development, is pleased to partner with the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, and the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to present Who’s on 1st?/What’s on 2nd?, a series of temporary public artworks by Bay Area artists along San Jose’s main downtown public transit corridor.

The art pieces in the Who’s on 1st/What’s on 2nd project are inspired by the people and activities that take place in Downtown San Jose. A majority of artworks involve an element of public participation and each is intended to stimulate a sense of wonder and surprise. Participating artists: JD Beltran, Jon Brumit, Hector Dio Mendoza, Chris Eckert, Bill Fontana, Jordan Geiger, Helena Keefe, and the team of Chip Lord and Bruce Tomb. Complete project descriptions and current schedules of dates and locations may be found at www.w1w2.org.

J.D. Beltran

Downtown Mirror

Downtown Mirror consists of video projections that reflect the immediate environment, as well as the rich demographic and historical atmosphere of the downtown area. Beltran interviewed people along 1st and 2nd Streets; the answers result in revealing, fascinating, poignant and sometimes humorous portraits. As a counterpart, she culled historic images of the downtown, as well as narratives about what San Joseans would have been concerned about twenty, fifty and over one hundred fifty years ago. Downtown Mirror can be seen at three locations in downtown: 56 S. 2nd Street; The Globe, 20 S. 2nd Street (2 installations); and 16 Paseo de San Antonio.

On June 4 at 9 p.m., J.D. Beltran’s Downtown Mirror, will add a special five-day outdoor evening component on June 4-8th in Fountain Alley, between 1st and 2nd Streets. Downtown Mirror [Airplanes] is a stylized 16mm film of the ubiquitous airplanes that also inhabit the downtown area, screened as a large 40 foot long by 18 foot high projection onto the side of the building that borders the Fountain Alley parking lot. Although the projection is largely silent, Beltran will use innovative audio spotlight technology for sound — viewers in a special spot in Fountain Alley will actually be able to hear the roar of the airplanes flying by.

This installation will join the four other elements of Beltran’s Downtown Mirror videos projected in large storefront windows to reflect the immediate physical environment and the heterogeneous demographic and historical atmosphere of the downtown area.

Jon Brumit

South Bay Talent Center

Located at 1 San Fernando (the former Blue Monkey Bar adjacent to Gordon Biersch) South Bay Talent Center is an interactive project inspired by the notion that everyone is good at something. SBTC will storefront to encourage participation in bi-weekly talent showcases. Designed to explore, catalog and celebrate the numerous varieties of “talent” found within the city of San Jose via its inhabitants, visitors, and workers, SBTC will promote accessibility and public interaction. SBTC will be open from June 1 through August 15, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m. to 6 p.m; Fridays, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Upon closing will release a print publication called the South Bay Talent Center Quarterly Report. Attendance and participation will be sought by way of bi-weekly talent showcases within the space and a series of collaborative art projects evolving just inside the storefront windows.
On Thursday, June 5, from 6 – 8 pm., artist Jon Brumit’s South Bay Talent Center (SBTC) will host its opening reception.
On Friday, June 6, Jon Brumit will have a booth at the 01SJ fair in SoFA and will include a South Bay Talent Center preview talent show on the First Street Stage, next to Anno Domini Gallery from 6:30 until 7:15 pm

Hector Dio Mendoza

Cultural Citizen

San Jose artist Hector Dio Mendoza explores what it means to participate in San Jose society. The artwork has several components beginning with a series of portrait posters and banners along 1st and 2nd Streets from St. John Street to just south of Santa Clara Street. The posters and banners depict people who live, work, play and pass through downtown. A website tells their stories and invites others (www.culturalcitizen.org). In early Summer 2008, Mendoza will install a bright red, 14 foot tall “cultural citizen tree” in the southwest corner of St. James Park that symbolizes growth and change. The piece will be installed through Fall 2008.

Bill Fontana

Sonic Cascades
On Thursday, June 5, at 4:30 p.m. Sonic Cascades will broadcast the live sounds of the bells of Trinity Cathedral amplified through a sequence of speakers and sonic delays along Second Street. A combination of some traditional bell music and minimalist composition by Bill Fontana will be heard. Sonic Cascades uses bell tones from the historic Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (http://www.trinitysj.org), 81 N. 2nd, to create a sound sculpture that interacts with the urban landscape. The sonic artwork is created using a microphone in the bell tower that sends an audio signal through a sound mixer, generating a real time composition, what the artist characterizes as a “transparent composition.” This composition multiplies the sound of the bells along 2nd Street creating a continually changing relationship between the source sound and the listener as they move down the street. The piece also can be experienced from within the cathedral.The artwork is inspired by others the artist has completed in London (at Big Ben) and New York (Madison Square Park at the Met Life Tower). In addition to the “transparent compositions” that respond to the music selected by the bell ringer, the artist will be creating unique compositions for this piece that will be played from time to time.

Ga-Ga/ Jordan Geiger

Day for Night
with Eric Olsen, Thomas Stephen Bates and Stijn Schiffeleers

Project for The City of San Jose Public Arts Commission
Featured project, Zero1 San Jose Global Festival of Art on the Edge

“In this new perspective devoid of horizon, the city was entered not through a gate nor through an arc de triomphe, but rather through an electronic audience system… the surface of inscription… becomes a kind of distance…” — Paul Virilio, “The Overexposed City” (1984)

“Day for Night” is a temporary architectural environment that operates on the street life of downtown San Jose by inverting relations between time and place, local and global.

The installation is hosted downtown within a vacant retail space. From that host space, it meets the street with a hybrid inflatable structure whose sensate interior skin responds to visitors’ presence with a live audio-video feed. This feed is sent constantly from sources in various time zones removed from San Jose, perpetually dislocating visitors, giving a midday opportunity to occupy midnight and vice-versa; but at the price of leaving San Jose.

Together, these elements make up an interior that synchronizes itself with conditions from around the planet, bringing what Virilio has called “the light of another day.” We live with this sort of experience ever more casually today, but rarely examine its consequences or delights. What’s gained and lost? What do we not yet take advantage of? How do we inhabit architecture and cities differently than before?

Consider San Jose’s downtown streetlife: curiously mordant by day, and just as surprisingly bonkers by night. There would be little during either time to suggest the secret life that these streets lead during the other half of each day. And yet, there it is: a downtown with a double life. Vacant retail spaces, vacant office spaces, and streets that are well maintained but a little sterile – these are the visions of the day. Traffic jams, honking horns, wild dancing, cocktails, a frenzy of evening wear and seemingly nowhere to find a quiet rest – these are the visions of the night. Wouldn’t the night enjoy one grand, alien chillout room? Wouldn’t the day perk up to have a little disco at lunch? Wouldn’t twilight be a little more magical by sunrise? These are some of the questions that this temporary urban intervention asks.

Beyond these questions, the installation also asks what our relations are between this specific place and locations more generic to us – whether we relate to them via tech support and labor outsourcing (Bangalore, for example), financially (Dubai), or culturally (Karlsruhe, Banff). Architecturally, Day for Night considers our time and place against the world surface as it has evolved since Virilio’s prophetic essay. Fabricated from computer models, the project also revisits a local history (Ant Farm) of inflatable structures, how they were made, and the social scenarios that they fostered.

Helena Keeffe

RFK Memorial Forum Remix
Performances: Saturday June 7th, 1p.m.-3p.m., St. James Park
with the Vivace Youth Concert Choir, the San Jose Symphonic Choir, Dale Victorine, the Moonlighters, DJ Tommy Aguilar, and an ongoing invitation to participate.

In 1968, Robert F Kennedy spoke in San José on his campaign trail a couple of months before he was assassinated in Los Angeles. This occasion is marked by the Robert F Kennedy Memorial Forum, a concrete monument in the form of a speaker’s podium located in St. James Park. This concrete stage in the corner of the park is mostly neglected and forgotten, yet it calls out with great untaped potential.

According to the San José Historic Landmark Commission, The RFK Memorial Forum was intended to be used rather than admired from a distance like most traditional monuments. I will be putting the RFK Forum to use by staging a live event there from 1pm – 2:30pm on Saturday June 7th (to coincide with the Zero1 festival – www.01SJ.org). These events will bring a variety of performances to the stage including musicians from St. James Senior Center, local DJs remixing RFK speeches and a choral composition created by local composer Dale Victorine using the quote found on the memorial’s placard. The choral composition will be performed by a mixed choir of adults and youth from Vivace Youth Chorus of San José.

Additionally, smaller scale activities will be staged at the memorial saturdays between 11am and 2pm every Saturday from May 10th – May 31st. These activities, such as SCU speech and debate students reciting segments of RFK speeches, will be video taped and available for viewing on the project’s website. www.rfkremix.info

My temporary renovations to the RFK Forum address both it’s physical character and intended use. In order to make the concrete structure new to local eyes and give it a more inviting presence I am constructing a quilt-like fabric slipcover for the large arched wall which creates a backdrop for the podium.

The slipcover is made from second hand clothing collected by Claire Mardriz-Soto at the Capitol Flea Market in San José. Claire used to distribute free clothing to people in St. James Park every Sunday for 7 years and, about a year ago, was told by authorities to stop due to complaints about the crowds that would gather to receive goods. She was homeless herself at one time and now serves the homeless in a distinctly personal way. Her story and the stories of those I have met through her are included in the second part of the project, an audio composition presented to the public via portable audio devices available at several downtown locations. The audio will guide listeners through downtown as they hear a recording of the choral performance and will end up at St. James Park at the Robert Kennedy Memorial Forum, putting the listener in the physical position of orator as they hear a recording of a speech made up of parts of RFK’s past speeches which still resonate today.

Chip Lord & Bruce Tomb

Hello, San Jose!

Hello, San Jose! created by Chip Lord and Bruce Tomb is a kiosk occupying two parking spaces at the corner of So. 2nd St. and Fountain Alley in downtown San Jose. Eight listening cones broadcast music and talk radio stations from distant places. Listeners can “mix” audio channels as they walk around the structure, sit and experience the “Ghost Zocalo,” or call 408-288-5962 and leave a message that will be heard live on the site.

About the Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program
The City of San Jose Public Art Program seeks to build community identity by initiating artworks and exhibitions that enliven our community. Through active engagement between the artists and project stakeholders, public art strives to reflect the City’s ethnic diversity, historic richness, and envision its present and future. www.sanjoseculture.org.

About VTA
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent special district responsible for bus, light rail and paratransit operations; congestion management; specific highway improvement projects; and countywide transportation planning. As such, VTA is both an accessible transit provider and multi-modal transportation planning organization involved with transit, highways and roadways, bikeways and pedestrian facilities. For more information, please visit, www.vta.org.