Saturday, August 18, 2018

Upside Downside Outside Inside (Human) Nature

"Nature" is a cultural keyword. Nature births us and supports our outer and inner lives. What will humans become if we ignore, debase, and destroy Nature? 

In the effort to support and not sully the environment, DOEprojekts maintains contact with, and teaches at, intentional artist communities that work diligently to care for their natural surroundings (Grunewald Guild, Holden Village). Articles such as "Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change" cause us to abruptly pause and consider carefully how our daily actions, long-term choices, and art-making, support or neglect our natural environment.

During our increasingly hot summer months, we have used more recycled and "found" materials in our art-making. If recycling is not an option for a specific project, we have created unique objects that can be "staged" over and over again, in various natural settings -- like the 3D-printed "Hybr Square" shown in the photo above. 



Our "Hybr" form is meant to be an object of positive change, of hope, of transformation, and of community. This summer, we have participated in community art-making activities outdoors, such as Studio Museum Harlem's workshop on Maren Hassinger in Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan, part of Open Engagement, hosted by the Queens Museum. 

We have been using recycled and found objects in preparing for an upcoming educational series titled "Bauhaus and Beyond." As we research and experiment during our preliminary phase, we are continually reminded about the ingenuity and material-resourcefulness of the teachers and students of the Bauhaus (Germany, 1919-1933).

After WWI, Germany was economically and environmentally devastated, and yet that was the milieu in which the architect Walter Gropius, and teachers such as Paul Klee and Johannes Itten, began a new type of school, one where students studied how nature, design/art, and community could rebuild a war-torn landscape.





The Bauhaus was closed by the Nazis in 1933, and now 100 years later, is remembered mainly for its modern design aesthetic. Our "Bauhaus and Beyond" workshop series will emphasize the radical community and collaborative spirit that revitalized art and design in Germany at that time. We will explore Coreforms and Keywords, especially Nature, related to the Bauhaus and how its ideas continue to influence our environment today.

One last "environmental" note:  we were very happy to participate in the 125th Anniversary celebration of the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC), a Block Party that emphasized community art-making. The Modern Wing of the AIC is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified (silver level). How appropriate that art institutions like the AIC become leaders in creating buildings that support and not sully Nature.

DOEprojekts is planning a number of nature-sensitive art-making workshops in 2019, on both the east and west coasts of the US. If you would like to participate in, or host, an upcoming workshop, please email DOEprojekts@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Marching in May — Night and Day


Deborah and Glenn Doering, co-directors of DOEprojekts recently participated in the "Unite in Light" twilight march across the Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, in late April 2018. The event was organized by a group of fellow socially-engaged artists, including Todd Drake and Wayne Moseley, and also peace activists with roots in Quakerism. Blinking LED signs, each stressing love, truth, peace, kindness and hope, were held high as they flashed and shone brightly. Other marchers sewed LED-illuminated messages on their clothing. 


The two-mile march was peaceful and peace-filled; even the police escort was amicable. Passers-by who encountered our march often smiled, clapped, shouted encouragement or even cheered. When we reached the Brooklyn Bridge, many tourists (and New Yorkers as well) asked to take selfies with the lighted signs and the marchers. The "Unite in Light" march concluded at the New York City Hall park grounds. 


Frieze Art Fair, May 4 - 6, provided another opportunity to march. "Suffragette City," a performance art work by activist-artist Lara Schnitger, called for participants to carry bells, banners, and other three-dimensional handmade art, in a procession through the fair, and also on the Randall Island, NYC, fairgrounds. 

Lara marched as well and periodically led marchers in chants such as "A Dress is Not a Yes" and "Don't Let the Boys Win." The performance work aimed to call attention to women's rights, feminist issues, and the #MeToo movement. 

After the performance, we were able to talk with Lara -- and take a photo -- before continuing to view the other works at Frieze. Several other artists, like Lara Schnitger, addressed social activism in their work -- and others provided opportunities for humorous interaction.


We are always inspired by the contemporary art and artists at Frieze Art Fair. Not long after our participation there, we "marched" ourselves to Roosevelt Island and began experimenting with our Coreforms integrated in the beautiful Asian Kwansan Cherry Tree branches that wave in the wind towards Manhattan, on the promenade of the East River. We feel this effort points us toward a new iteration of the DOEprojekts' LANDMARK series. 


We plan to update our Land and Environmental Art catalog -- please let us know if you would like to order a copy by emailing us at DOEprojekts@gmail.com.   


As always, we thank all of you who have supported our journey to date. Let us know if you will be in the Manhattan area this summer — we will be working and traveling for part of the summer, but there is always time to meet with friends!
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Thursday, March 29, 2018

"Symbols and Storytelling" Grant Award, Part 2

Deborah and Glenn Doering, co-directors of DOEprojekts, have completed 10 of 20 workshops supported by their 2018 teaching grant by SU-CASA, one of the funding divisions of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). (Above: Collage work-in-progress by participating artist Amy Geller).

The grant funds 20 weeks of 2-hour workshops titled "Symbols and Storytelling." In the workshops we use our Coreforms and Keywords as points-of-departure and invitations-to-interact in order to explore participants' personal connections to contemporary cultural concepts.


In the "keyword" segment of the workshops, we read texts by Modern and Contemporary theorists and artists. We have examined essays on keywords such as Identity, Body, Youth/Age, Celebrity, Disability, Copy, Aesthetic, and Art. We also view and discuss contemporary works in museum exhibitions that use iconic symbols and forms. (Above: "Celebrate 40,000 Years of American Art," 1995, collagraph, by Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, photo by D. Doering at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC).

We look forward to the upcoming exhibition/project that will be the culmination of our workshops. 




We are pleased that our work is included in the Fossil Tales group exhibition at CENTRAL BOOKING Art Space in Lower Manhattan, curated by artist/director Maddy Rosenberg. (Above: "The Fossil Record is an Open Book, 1/0 and 0/-" installation.) CENTRAL BOOKING is now on Artsy.net and our work may be found and purchased through CENTRAL BOOKING's gallery portal.

In addition, a catalog of our DOEprojekts' "LANDMARKS" Land and Environmental Art has been published. If you would like a copy of "LANDMARKS, please email us at DOEprojekts@gmail.com.



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