Nomadic Studio

SEP: Back of the Yards

SEPTEMBER: BACK OF THE YARDS
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Back of the Yards is one of Chicago’s 77 unique neighborhoods, deriving its name from the industrial and residential settlement near the Union Stock Yard & Transit Co. from 1865 to 1971. Like most de-industrialized communities in Chicago, when the jobs vanish the residents follow, leaving large gaps in urbanism ripe for new immigrant populations. As a somewhat invisible working-class area, it is also vulnerable to gang violence and suffers from various forms economic depression.

Outside of being a contemporary cultural Chicago neighborhood, Back of the Yards is also the birthplace of the Stockyard Institute, a community art and re-education project formed in 1995. It offered an array of radical community art / education programs that are still in service throughout Chicago today. Steeped in traditional DIY activism, liberating pedagogy, and urban street arts, Back of the Yards month celebrates years of passionate nomadic practices, visual art, and emergent knowledge systems that draw attention to communities in need. The Stockyard Institute has become a reputable Chicago institution and serves as a productive model for alternative art education in the city.

To remember the origins of the Stockyard Institute, Nomadic Studio will offer alternative programming that center on historic Do-It-Yourself street-level practices including reading, journaling, bookbinding, underground music venues, break dancing, storytelling, education, collectivity, and more.

We will also be recreating the appropriately titled Union Rock Yards, a Chicago-based underground rock club. Union Rock Yards archived every musical performance and event that came through the space. URY is a model of how artists can move into a non-traditional space and build a community.

During Back of the Yards, we celebrate the origins of the Stockyard Institute. The Nomadic Studio will offer alternative programming that centers on historic Do-It-Yourself street-level practices including reading, journaling, bookbinding, underground music venues, storytelling, education, grass-roots collectivity, and more.

Back of the Yards is one of Chicago’s 77 unique neighborhoods, deriving its name from the industrial and residential settlement near the Union Stock Yard & Transit Co. from 1865 to 1971. Like most de-industrialized communities in Chicago, when the jobs vanish the residents follow, leaving large gaps in urbanism ripe for new immigrant populations. As a somewhat invisible working-class area, it is also vulnerable to gang violence and suffers from various forms of economic depression.

Outside of being a contemporary cultural Chicago neighborhood, Back of the Yards is also the birthplace of the Stockyard Institute, a community art and re-education project formed in 1995. It offered an array of radical community art / education programs that are still in service throughout the city today. Steeped in traditional DIY activism, liberating pedagogy, and urban street arts, Back of the Yards month celebrates years of passionate nomadic practices, visual art, and emergent knowledge systems that draw attention to communities in need. The Stockyard Institute has become a reputable Chicago institution and serves as a productive model for alternative art education in the city.

*In direct relation to this theme, we will be re-creating the appropriately titled Union Rock Yards, a Chicago-based underground rock club. (Union Rock Yards archived every musical performance and event that passed through its space. URY is a model of how artists can move into a non-traditional space and build a community).

[ 9.11 ]
12pm – Publishing Process Workshop w/ Brandon Alvendia
Brandon will be conducting a workshop on the entire Silver Galleon Press publishing process. Participants will be guided through the production of their very own bound publication. Text acquisition (online text databases/rapid book scanning/PDF preparation), printing (laser/photocopier/inkjet) and binding (staple/thermal/mechanical) strategies will be explained with a emphasis on using inexpensive, easy-to-obtain materials and straightforward, easy-to-un­derstand techniques.

[ 9.18 ]
7pm – Union Rock Yards
w/ Bottomless Pit, the Bismarck, Bear Claw Music performances are encores from the last night of the now-closed Humboldt Park venue, Union Rock Yards. Bottomless Pit play “their blues”. Affectionate and brusque, languid and bracing, they are nearly peerless modern post-punk. Washington’s The Bismarck are a rock band that plays rock music. Bear Claw creates powerful, noisy, yet melodic songs utilizing its obtuse instrumentation of two bass guitars and drums.

[ 9.23 ]
2 pm – Food, Art, and the Politics of Agriculture in Contemporary Social Practice w/ Liena Vayzman
How do artists activate dialogue on the cultural politics of food and agriculture? This talk pinpoints an invigorated flowering in current U.S. art practice, with global implications: food as site for discourse and action. In the context of sustainability imperatives and climate change concerns, public attention is drawn to the politics of food production and distribution. The talk will demonstrate how artists lead the way to action with vital, diverse strategies. Artists function as farmers and cultural critics; interrogate the origins and processes of the food we eat; and link to green movements, heralding a change in zeitgeist. The use of food in art practice deploys strate­gies of collaboration, de-materialization, social interaction, sustainability, urban agriculture, and cross-cultural cuisine. Bringing Victory Gardens to City Hall and worm bins to museum lobbies, transforming lawns into vegetable gar­dens and breaching cultural divides through shared recipes, artists catalyze expanded awareness of possibilities for arts civic engagement.

6-8pm – Form and Content of Writing w/ Thea Liberty Nichols, Patrice Connolly, Claudine Ise, Abraham Ritchie and Bert Stabler – Panelists will engage in a casual discussion that examines the form (newsprint, published monographs, online journals or blogs) and content (criticism, interviews, exhibition re­views, press releases or scholarly essays) of their writing.Their individual practices, including the texts that inform and inspire them, will be examined alongside the colleagues and organizations with which they collaborate. In conjunction with Studio Chicago, the ways in which their studio environment, and indeed the city itself, contextualizes their practice will also be explored.

Claudine Isé has worked in the field of contemporary art as a curator and writer. Isé was Associate Cu­rator of Exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. Assistant Curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and an art critic for the Los Angeles Times. She currently writes for artforum.com, art:21 blog, ARTnews, New City, and badatsports.com.

Abraham Ritchie is a writer as well as the Editor for ArtSlant: Chicago, the creator and administrator of The Chicago Art Blog on the Chica­goNow network and WordPress, and also writes for NewCity. He has previ­ously written about art for Madison Newspapers, Inc.

Thea Liberty Nichols is an arts administrator, independent curator, and writer who lives and works in Chicago. Along with managing Intuits Study Center, she also acts as Co-Director of 65GRAND

Patrice Connolly is the Curatorial Associate for BMO Financial Group’s Corporate Art Collection where she crafts catalog texts describing and contextualizing the art works in their holdings. She has been contributing freelance art exhibi­tion reviews to Newcity since 2008.

Bert Stabler is a teacher, writer, curator, and artist living in Chicago. He feeds on the living.

[ 9.25 ]
10am – CULTURAL FERMENTATION 101: Sauerkraut Making and Interac­tive Theory Workshop w/Liena Vayzman–
In this hands-on workshop, we are going to make sauerkraut and other easy fermented vegetables from local veggies. We will read aloud from “Wild Fer­mentation” and other texts make links between fermentation and transforma­tion. How can we transform identity using the what’s in the air, how can we imagine transformation and possibilities? Just as making sauerkraut preserves tradi­tions, the local seasonal harvest, yet transforms them into new forms that come about from a generative collaboration with beneficial microorganisms, identity transforms from interaction with the multitude of forces, visible and invisible, practical and theoretical.

Come get your hands salty! Materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring any of the following if you can — fresh veggies (cabbage, carrots, ginger, apples, greens you can ferment any fresh produce! — so bring the extra abundant harvest from your garden or a community garden), glass jars, mixing bowls, knives, cutting boards, sea salt. We will provide many of these ingredients hopefully we can all share! You will chop, shred, and learn the ba­sics of starting a jar of sauerkraut to take home with you, where it will develop its flavor over time.

And yes, there will be music!

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Written by Jim Duignan

August 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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