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...part of the exhibition 'Locally Localized Gravity' ~ January 19th - March 25th, 2007 ~ The Institute of Contemporary Art ~ 118 S. 36th Street ~ Philadelphia, PA ~ 19104 ~

Do you live in Philadelphia? Would you like to be introduced to new ways of expressing yourself? What do you think? How do you feel? What is your opinion? Do you have any ideas? what writing a poem? or inventing a dance? or making a musical instrument? or singing a song? or telling stories? or making a quilt? or performing with puppets? or staging a play?

Our mobile Sundown Schoolhouse geodesic tent will serve as the base for the training camp in the museum galleries. A regular series of scheduled workshops, classes, clinics and seminars for expression skill-building will be held most Wednesdays during the run of the exhibition. The schoolhouse will be equipped with various materials provided by the teachers related to the workshops. Visitors to the galleries between the classes and workshops will be able to spend time in the tent experimenting with these materials studying this information provided by the instructors. A list of workshops, descriptions, teachers and instructions for pre-registration will be posted soon. {all classes are free}


Wednesday Workshop Schedule {the last workshop is on a Sunday}

January 24th ~ 6:00 - 8:00 ~ The Fine Art of Writing Bad Poetry ~ Samantha Barrow ~

January 31st ~ 5:00 - 8:00 ~ Round Singing Workshop ~ Sam Miller ~

February 7th ~5:30 - 7:30 ~ How to be an Unorthodox Tourguide of Your Own Terrains ~ Emily Abendroth ~

February 14th ~ 6:00 - 8:00 ~ Coalcracker Boil-o Making Workshop (Polka Anyone?) ~ Dean and Amy Daderko ~

February 17th {Saturday} ~ 11:00am - 5:00pm ~ performance at 4:30pm ~ Charade ~ Jonah Bokaer ~

February 21st ~ 6:00 - 8:00 ~ Cardboard...Building beasts and bodies...A Corrugated Collaboration ~ Beth Nixon & Ramshackle Enterprises ~

February 28th ~ 5:00 - 7:00 ~ Clothing Stories ~ Emily Spivack ~

March 7th ~ 5:00 - 8:00 ~ Make an Instrument Out of Everyday Shit ~ Nicole Barrick ~

March 14th ~ 6:30 - 8:00 ~ No Silence Here, Enjoy the Silence ~ Thomas Devaney ~ see the blog about this workshop HERE!

March 22nd {Saturday} ~ 2:00 - 5:00 ~ An Army of Lovers Cannot Fail ~ Ginger Brooks Takahashi ~


PLUS! ~ running throughout the exhibition ~ Teach What You Can & Learn What You Need ~


The Fine Art of Writing Bad Poetry ~ Samantha Barrow ~ 'In order to write the good poems, you must be willing to write the bad ones'. I don't know who said it first, but it's true. We will be making a preemptive attack on bad poems across genres including slam, narrative, language etc. We will practice the fine art of crappy rhymes, overwrought metaphor, and confessional cliché. You will laugh at yourself and your peers as something inside you breaks loose and shakes up a bit, leaving more space for the good ones to squeak out.
You may even leave with a couple lines worth keeping. People with all levels of writing experience are welcome to attend.{available in the geodesic tent throughout the exhibition:
poems written in the workshops}


Round Singing Workshop ~ Sam Miller ~ In this workshop we will be exploring round singing as a practice that supports the notion of autonomy (the self with in the group) as a radical approach to resisting the wide spread isolation of our time. Autonomy stands in as an alternative to the notion of the individual—a common paradigm that leaves a person free of any responsibility to or of having any effect on their surrounding environment. The round can only truly take form with group participation. Within a round, there can be anywhere between two and six parts, each singing the same melody, but staggered as to create gorgeous and haunting harmonies. Each strand of melody is therefore autonomous; each singer sings his or her part alone. But when the single voice becomes intertwined with multiple others, the song becomes whole. The utter beauty of a simple round can be astounding. This beauty can inspire us to strengthen our autonomous voices to communicate more successfully within the world. This workshop will be held in the geodesic tent. {available in the geodesic tent throughout the exhibition: A copy of the lyrics and a CD player with headphones and the sample CD in addition to photocopies of the lyrics of four rounds and a CD player and CD of each round sung by the teacher and friends.}


How to be an Unorthodox Tourguide of Your Own Terrains ~ Emily Abendroth ~ This workshop will explore the possibilities for presenting local geographies and histories of our own immediate environments as a means of bringing new and more rigorous attention to the persons and spaces that surround us. We will look at existing and past examples of such practices: everything from the People's History Poster Project; to walking and bicycle tours that have focused on alternative history subjects ranging from secret military testing sites to locations of queer struggles for civil rights to urban ecosystem; to the Column of Infamy (a statue which the creating artist has placed/erected to mark sites of massacre and genocide across the globe); to hand-crafted and illegally placed 'historical markers' which mimic the format of officially approved ones but choose to record substantially different events; and more. I will show a small portion of a 'tour' which I am working on of Eastern State Penitentiary (a radial-plan, solitary confinement prison in Philadelphia which opened in 1829 and was in operation until 1971). As a group, we will talk about what opportunities these different approaches and practices offer and why they might be important. We will brainstorm ways in which we ourselves might take on some of these tasks in relation to the sites and histories which hold sway in our own minds and imaginations. Following the workshop, attendees will be encouraged to think of two places within a 2 mile radius of the ICA that they would like to introduce others to and to email me those locations within a week. On a Sunday afternoon, two weeks following, we will all meet up again for a group bicycle ride whose route will include all these suggested stops, and individuals will be invited to make short presentations (up to 5 min) at the locations they selected. This ride could be open and announced to others as well. {available in the geodesic tent throughout the exhibition: "artifacts" including crazy primary source documents from the Penitentiary's annual reports from the 1800s which I'm working with for my own 'tour', physical objects relating to these materials, and maybe even an 'educational' manifesto hand-out of remarking on what these sorts of projects which coopt 'tourguide' and 'historical marker' modes and approaches offer, as well as how and why to create your own}


Coalcracker Boil-o Making Workshop (Polka Anyone?) ~ Dean and Amy Daderko ~ Boil-o is "the champagne of the coal region." A popular cold season beverage, cheap whiskey is mulled with honey, cinnamon, citrus and other spices. It is re-bottled, left to 'work' for a few weeks, and served hot in a shot glass - perfect for taking off a winter chill, or knocking out a cold. Every Coalcracker (popular parlance for folks who hail from the PA coal regions) has their own recipe, their secrets are guarded, and their results are hotly contested! Tonight, we'll provide participants with citrus, spices, and polka lessons! You should bring the cheapest whiskey you can find, a pot, and some honey, and you'll walk home with a bottle of your own boil-o! Start a warming tradition, and learn chadash while you're at it. And nothing goes better with boil-o than celebratory polka dancing! {bring your own pot, whiskey and honey}


Charade ~ Jonah Bokaer ~ Choreographer and media artist Jonah Bokaer, also a dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, will present a free lecture/demonstration of DanceForms 1.0, the revolutionary program used by Cunningham to choreograph his provocative and stunning works on his company. DanceForms utilizes 3D animation to pre-visualize dance movement, and in this demonstration, attendees will get to see the process at work, as well as build movement phrases themselves. An introduction to new technologies of motion capture and other contemporary technologies of surveillance will also be offered. / A brief performance of Bokaer's solo CHARADE will be performed at 4:30 pm.


Cardboard...Building beasts and bodies...A Corrugated Collaboration ~ Beth Nixon - Ramshackle Enterprises ~ Local puppeteer, Beth Nixon will work with participants to unleash a plethora of possibilities contained in cardboard. She will share sculpting techniques and other simple methods for creating large cardboard critters with move-able fabric parts and appendages. She will help participants develope ways to animate their creations and turn them into puppet characters. No experience necessary, all tools and materials will be provided. Ages 6 and up, people under 12 please come with an adult. Please come prepared to collaborate with other workshop attendees. {available in the geodesic tent throughout the exhibition: several cardboard sculptures, puppets, creations and a few ingredients to show how they were made.}


Clothing Stories ~ Emily Spivack ~ Each item of clothing you wear has a story behind it. Perhaps it was given to you by a friend, found on a trip, passed down by someone special - or maybe you were wearing it when something remarkable happened. These narratives remain in your psyche and add a significance to clothing beyond expressing your personal style. In this workshop, we will use clothing as a means to access personal anecdotes and memories. Bring in or wear a few of your most anecdote - filled garments or even those that you don’t think you have much to say about and we’ll spend some time discussing our ideas, writing a short piece or two about the items of clothing, and sharing those stories with each other. To conclude, we’ll exhibit our stories along with photos or drawings of each garment. {available in the geodesic tent throughout the exhibition: After the workshop the stories that were written will be displayed alongside the photographs and drawings of these clothes.}


Make an Instrument Out of Everyday Shit ~ Nicole Barrick ~This workshop will explore the range of sounds that can be used to create music. There are a multitude of sounds at any given moment in our environments that we do not usually hear or pay attention to. We will explore all the different possibilities of a sound—any sound, by creating an object out of recycled materials. Through making a sculpture as a tool of performance and exploring a new way to use even a piece of trash, we will make music. Participants need to bring approximately 3 items of their choosing to make instrument, i.e. trash of any kind, household items, wire, bottle of water. anything they like. {available in the geodesic tent throughout the exhibition: a homemade instrument - as well as pictures and written information in the form of a book.}


No Silence Here, Enjoy the Silence ~ Thomas Devaney ~ John Cage wasn’t the last word on silence. There may be as many silences as there are sounds—the silence of eating, sitting, breathing, sleeping to name some—yet how many of these silences have we been available to experience really? “No Silence Here, Enjoy the Silence” is not a sobering moment of silence, or an exercise in silencing, or even a temporary vow of silence, but it is listening workshop via silence and our senses: taste, sight, touch, smell, and, of course sound. “No Silence Here, Enjoy the Silence” embraces silence as a powerful, playful, and ultimately humanizing group activity. There will be no speaking, talking, or discussion during the workshop. {available in the geodesic tent throughout the exhibition: A tape recording of some of the silence exercises available on a school-house Panasonic Tape recorder.}


An Army of Lovers Cannot Fail ~ Ginger Brooks Takahashi ~ In November 2004, I initiated “AN ARMY OF LOVERS CANNOT FAIL,” an on-going series of quilting forums organized in homes, galleries, gardens and other public settings. I see the history of family and community quilting as harnessing possibly the foremost of political activities: community-building and dialog, creating a sense of belonging for those who participate. For Sundown Schoolhouse at the Philadelphia ICA, I will set up the quilt in the gallery for anyone interested to join in the quilting and as well, encourage visitors to bring radical feminist texts to read aloud to our fellow quilters. {available in the geodesic tent throughout the exhibition: Photos of past quilting sessions and some books and zines.}


Teach What You Can & Learn What You Need ~ Do you have any skills for expression that you would like to share? In addition to the formally scheduled Wednesday classes we will have infomal sign-ups for anyone to teach expression skills at other times during the week. Let us know what you would like to teach and when you would like to schedule it. We will post this open series of classes on the website and in the schoolhouse tent. {The hours of the I.C.A. are Wednesday through Friday, 12pm - 8pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11am - 5pm and closed on Monday and Tuesday}