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New York, December 1, 2012--Today's 1 pm protest rally at Spectra Energy's construction site in the West Village had as its focus the expedited construction work taking place this week-end. Prior to shutting up shop for the winter, Spectra is rushing through the installation of their high pressure natural gas pipeline under the Hudson from New Jersey to emerge at the Gansevoort site, where Con Edison will pick up the work and build out the last section of the pipe to link to their distribution system. About 150 to 200 people attended the rally, organized by Occupy the Pipeline. Monica Hunken of OTP and Clare Donohune, of Sane Energy Project, commented on the significant gas news of the week: namely, the passage of HR 2606 by President Obama which will allow drilling to take place in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, areas reserved for recreation; and in an instance of particularly egregious timing, a pipeline to be constructed through the Rockaways, an area devastated by hurricane Sandy and still in the process of recovery.
In the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy I watched along with countless others as the Media frenzied Halloween coinciding "Frankenstorm" Sandy appeared to make a beeline for New York and New Jersey. Sandy brought with it an ecological wake up, with a swirling natural example of a Fibonacci sequence contained in an immense storm and delivered to the doorstep of Wall Street in New York. Sandy had more “wake-up” painted on it than the equally sad storm of Honey Boo Boo foisted on the American public during prime time people programing hours. Sandy headed quite literally for ground zero of the Wall Street/Governmental poster child for disparity replete throughout our present system and the heart of Americas Occupy movement. The sweeping northern arm of the storm was in a placement for optimal damage around New York and New Jersey. The BBC had aired the scenario in a 2009 Episode of Hot Planet and it had painted this exact scenario as a probability of Global Warming due to slight temperature rises in the Atlantic. Hot Planet could not have been more uncanny in its prediction or theory. Add to this, the screaming silence of omission in the presidential debates about the environment and global warming. Now a "monster storm" was headed dead on and like it or not debate stopped upon the fact that this was to be massive! Indeed it was massive. Its' wake is equally so on many levels. The storm hit, emergency services scrambled, store shelves vacated, generators flew from the Home Depots stores in my area as if beamed up by Scotty on the Starship Enterprise prior to an ion storm that would deplete the dilithium crystals and render warp drive inoperable. The cacophony of preparation soon met the cacophony of real-time emergency action. It stretched many services to the breaking point as well as many lives. The onslaught of the activity is almost impossible to outline in coherent form, but chaos is a word now familiar to those who bore the brunt of it. The after effects equally so in scale and ramification. In its wake Sandy left emergency response further politicized by Mayor Bloomberg's reluctance to cancel the mass of supplies headed to 40,000 marathon runners while another 40,000 were literally and figuratively left in the dark. Bloomberg is reported to have finally conceded to pleas and threats from senior staff and even the New York Marathon organizers themselves. Mayor Bloombergs marathon priority in the face of so many suffering was demonstrative Hail Mary bonehead play if there ever was one. Clearly it showed the disconnect that exists in the disparity of real lives and the uppity out of touch privileged rich and galactically misinformed and/or uncaring. After affects met with slow or no response by FEMA bureaucracy, along with other large Aid agencies, some neighborhoods completely leveled by fire, a total disaster for great swaths and a near miss for others around New York. Yes, disaster all around was an understatement. continued below---
Occupy Sandy Relief - My House is Your House is Our House
New York, September 17--Protesters against corporate greed occupy Zuccotti Square because their original plans to occupy Wall Street were blocked by police. Throughout the day they conduct peaceful general assemblies in order to work towards a democratic movement. See www.livestream.com/globalrevolution for live coverage. This episode filmed by Liza Béar.
New York, August 26--No, these shelves are not in Havana, Cuba, where lack of infrastructure and oil for transportation slows down the distribution of many food products/.This is the affluent East Village. Awaiting the much prophesied "monster" hurricane irene, New Yorkers rapidly clear the shelves at Whole Foods on East Houston and Chrystie Street. WF stayed open all night for the occasion and closed at 10am on Saturday for the rest of the week-end. Employees did not get paid for the enforced wet weather days. Meanwhile street waste baskets fill up with perfectly good bread.
November 4, 2008--Election day at a Bronx polling station and on the street in the East Village with first-time voters artist Nicolas Ponce de Leon Dios; filmmaker Sebastian Bear-McClard; actor Jonathan Sollis; and artist Kunle Martins. Shot and edited by Liza Béar. Length 6'42"
New York, October 2nd 2010--Vito Acconci reads poems from 2004 and 2006 entitled Architecture in Words Only at the Oil Kills Poets Spill benefit for Endangered Species held at the Marble Cemetery. The event, which featured at least a dozen poets including Rene Ricard, John Giorno, Anne Waldman and Lydia Cortez was streamed live on the internet ; and a complete recording of Vito's poems (here excerpted) and all others read should by now be posted at www.artofficial.us.
July 17, 2010--Ed Sanders and members of the Fugs played "Nothing" and other numbers at the memorial for poet and musician Tuli Kupferberg memorial at St Mark's Church before the tributes.
New York, July 26, 2010--In this video are excerpts from dances by Lucinda Childs presented as part of a program by five choreographers, Jon Kinzel, Susan Marshall, Lucinda Childs, Faye Driscoll and Bill T. Jones. The event was a tribute to Merce Cunningham and took place in Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City, under the aegis of R2R, the River to River Festival, The Lucinda Childs excerpts in the video are Interior Drama, Radial Discourse, and Concerto; music for Concerto is by Henryk Gorecki. ; For more information go to www.rivertorivernyc.com. Filmed by Liza Béar, Squaring Off Productions http://squaringoff.blip.tv
New York, April 18, 2010--After the Nancy Spero memorial at the Great Hall of Cooper Union, a group of artist friends drink a toast to her at the Café Orlin.
Exterior, day: At the Smile Café, in the real world, friends exchange a smile Interior, night: inspired by French Haitian lyrics on late night radio this ironic, serendipitous mini film segues from a daytime sequence of real world friends to the technological companions of the night, with some set dressing.
New York, January 29 2010--A silent and live auction to benefit the Education Rights Project of the Family Resource Center of the Partnership for the Homeless, organized by Clara and Richard Serra, took place at the Larry Gagosian Gallery. Among the musical presentations, Jessye Norman sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Steven Cole (tenor) performed selections from Irving Berlin; pianist Mark Markham played Duke Ellington's "Meditation for Piano". Ealan Wingate installed the exhibit; Tobias Meyer chief auctioneer at Sotheby's masterfully orchestrated the live auction at which 15 lots were sold. Richard Serra, co-chair, and Arnold S. Cohen, president and CEO of Partnership for the Homeless thanked the contributors and organizers and explained how the money was going to help homeless children by adopting a holistic approach to their predicament and helping them stay in school. For more info, www.partnershipforthehomeless.org
Charlie Mingus on bass, Johnny Mehegan on piano and Kenny Clark on drums ("Blues Too Much", 1955) provide the accompaniment to a tete-a-tete between friends.
Hens and roosters at play near a storage warehouse in Highbridge, the Bronx, observed during lunch break this summer. For archival items that I retrieved from storage, in Highbridge and elsewhere, see www.thislongcentury.com
Rain drops on a rose, cast on the sidewalk in front of an East Village theatre; on a sixth floor window sill, it revives with water and sun . Sort of a wind animation, mixed photo and dv.
New York, November 6--ZERO was a pioneering group of avant-garde artists from Austria, France, Germany, Holland and Italy that included Yves Klein, Arman, Otto Piene, Gunther Uecker, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and many others. ZERO in NY was curated by Mattijs Visser, head of exhibitions at museum kunst palast in Dusseldorf. It's a rare opportunity for New Yorkers to see the work in a gallery context.* I shot this tape for my former Avalanche partner and soulmate Willoughby Sharp because of his early interest in and involvement with many of these artists. (He wrote a monograph on Gunther Uecker.) He couldn't be at the opening, but I was able to show him the tape on the screen of my camera. *Sperone Westwater is located at 415 West 13th Street. A 300+ page catalogue is available.
New York, October 21--At the New Museum, Linda Yablonsky moderates a panel to celebrate, in part, the publication of US artist Peter Nadin's catalogue, The First Mark. The exhibition of works involving bees and other agricultural elements opened in Habana Vieja and travelled to venues throughout Cuba. Featured in this segment are panelists Chris Klatell, attorney for the Cuban government, and Peter Nadin (Art and Agriculture). Topics discussed include the embargo and the response of Cuban artists to Nadin's work.While the event had originally been billed as a live satellite hook-up with La Habana, that didn't happen due to technological incompatibility between the two sites. A four-page letter from Ruben del Valle Lantaron, director of the tenth Bienal de La Habana, explained that artists in Cuba were very busy helping people to cope on Isla de la Juventud, an area devatasted by two hurricanes. The next Habana Art Bienal will open on March 27th 2009.
Maccarone, New York--The last couple of hours of the last day for the last chance to register to vote, Saturday October 11, 6 to 8pm also coincided with a unique event at Maccarone--the launch of a CD release of Allan Kaprow's How to Make A Happening by Primary Information. The following text is derived from their press release. Primary Information launched the CD release of Allan Kaprow’s How to Make a Happening with a one-night only event: How to Make a Happening for 100 Radios, Kaprow’s lost classic from 1966. How to Make a Happening was broadcast continuously over a small orchestra of 100 FM Radios. Lost for 40 years, How to Make a Happening has been remastered by Primary Information and released as a CD, making it accessible on a wide scale for the first time in the title’s history. How to Make a Happening is Allan Kaprow delivering 11 rules on how, and how not, to make a Happening, a movement begun by Kaprow in the late fifties that is known for its unpredictability, open scores, and constantly-evolving form.
New York, September 28--it's time-time-time-time! For the greatest free Circus in town! With the incomparable Jennifer Miller.
May 21, 2008--a protest against privatization of Union Square was held by Reverend Billy, Savitri D, Eric Laursen, Andy Podell and other opponents of the project which calls for turning the historic pavilion into an upscale private restaurant--in an area where there are already 150 private restaurants . For an early protest at Mayor Bloomberg's initial press conference announcing the plan in 200(5)? [ck date] see also The Sheepdog and the Mayor on this site, at http://blip.tv/file/104683/ For info on future protests to be held on the north side of Union Square every Wednesday, see www.revbilly.com. For 19th century history of Union Square as a protest site see http://gracepaleylegacy.blogspot.com http://saveunionsquare2008.blogspot.com