3rd 01SJ Biennial September 2010

A global festival of art on the edge


“Do you see us as we really are?” 

a collaboration
Developed and Directed by Dorit Cypis
Project Management, Carli Leimbach
Project Development and Teaching, Zachary Watkins, Angela Carroll and Carli Leimbach
Play and Creative Expression, the young adults of Bill Wilson Center, San Jose, CA.

Sponsored by Zero1, Cisco Systems and the Bill Wilson Center

We-C is a comprehensive media arts program for creative young adults of the Bill Wilson Center who are moving through home-less-ness and transitional life situations. Based on Cypis’ model Kulture Klub Collaborative (www.kultureklub.org), We-C is designed to introduce youth to professional art events of excellence spanning music, dance, theater, film and the visual arts…to model for them innovation and creativity and to inspire them to see the world and themselves in expansive ways. We-C offers young adults perceptual and aesthetic skills to deeply recognize themselves as well as others and to consider how they would like to be seen and recognized by others. We-C is developed and taught by professional artists who understand and model the power and responsibility that comes with creating image, sound and gesture for public distribution.

We-C runs on two parallel tracks weekly:

ArtKulture/Wednesdays 5:00 – 9:00 PM
Introducing youth to professional art of excellence presented through venues in the local communities, including personal and social issue expressions through music, film, literature, visual arts, theater and other genres…guiding youth to think about their own life and identity circumstances through the artistic expressions of other artists.

ArtLab/Saturdays 1:00 – 5:00 PM
Introducing youth to concepts of “identity” as simultaneously personal, interior, social and political through hands-on exploration of seeing oneself, seeing others and defining how they would like to be seen, using still cameras, video, audio recording, open-mic speak outs, as well as somatic movement, theater, writing and drawing.

Media content of image, video, text and audio, created collectively by youth and artists, will be transformed and poetically reassembled to symbolically reference the youth as socially invisible. No youth will be visually identifiable, thereby rendered invisible. underlining that identity is more complicated than what one looks like.

The invisibility we refer to holds power through questioning the belief that “recognition” of someone’s likeness equals knowing him or her. Paradoxically, through shaking the public’s perception of how “we see” each other, demanding sight through claiming its absence, We-C youth will become very visible in the public’s eye and mind. We-C aims for recognition of who the youth are, not what they look like.

Final content will be presented at the 2nd Biennial 01 San Jose Global Festival of Art on the Edge, June 4-8, 2008, as a series of animated sequences displayed on digital display screens placed at public locations throughout San Jose. We-C will reach many publics and model “seeing” as more than looking, more than positioning people as “us” and “them”. We-C will model “seeing” as sincere, fun, relational, reciprocal and generous.

Dorit Cypis
May 2008