Dreams of the Future!

The focus of the World Expo is the future. From Shanghai Corporate’s Dream Cube, to Toyota’s robotic violinist, to Saudi Arabia’s $164 million rendition of a “moon boat” that looms in the sky like the most grandiose UFO, the Expo exhibits a plethora or futuristic spectacles.

Saudi Arabia Pavilion

Saudi Arabia Pavilion

Amongst the extravagance, there are of coarse Pavilions with less. Upon visiting the lineless Iraq Pavilion, People in Space artists discovered that the Chinese government paid for and fabricated the majority of the content within the Pavilion. The theme of the Pavilion was not the future of Iraq, but a glorification of “1001 Arabian Nights”. Visitors could consume their very own magic lamps, jewelry, and a Princess Jasmine coloring book. This diversity in visions of the future in relation to history has been a point of interest throughout the development of this project. Is there a shared vision of the future that is able to transcend cultural variance?

Jeffery Byrd asked us to go to the people to collect ideas about the future. He instructed us to ask Expo goers to write a word that they associate with the future on a post it, proudly display it on their forehead, close their eyes, and think of the word as we photograph them. We had every intention of executing this intimate action through a waiting line, but the language barrier created a challenge. Upon asking an Expo volunteer for a proper translation of the phrase “associate with the future”, curiosities were sparked.

The volunteers were so intrigued that they led us into the private area designated for Expo workers so that their colleagues could participate. They even gave us popsicles once we had finished! Check out the visions of the future we collected below.

Fly

Fly

Love

Marriage, Money, & ___

Courage, Marriage, & Money

Freedom

Freedom

Happiness

Happiness

Imagination

Imagination

Happiness

Happiness

Happiness

Happiness

Smile

Smile

Money

Money

Jeffery Byrd is a performance artist who has presented work all over the globe.  His art explores the relationships between reality and artifice. Recent pieces have touched upon ideas related to his day job as a university administrator and have focused on using creative thought to transform the mundane. In this piece, Post-It Notes (usually reserved for the most utilitarian communication) become the vehicle for dreams and desires.

Farewell to Big Red and Shiny

Last week, Big Red and Shiny, an arts journal that served as a staple in the Boston art scene for the last 6 years, launched their final issue. After providing our community a forum to challenge and create dialogue around the state of the arts in New England, Founder, Matt Nash decided to “close up shop and make way for the next group of motivated artists to build a voice for their community.” Nash points out that Big Red and Shiny had been online a full third of the life of the Internet and lists poignant changes that the Internet has endured through the years. Nash expresses gratitude for the endless art, food, and music blogs that have sifted through content, providing him with the knowledge of “how best to spend the few years I have on this earth”. As I read Nash’s farewell, the worry lines began to subside and I became filled with hope and excitement for the future. In this move to end, Big Red calls upon the creatively minded to meet the challenge of building platforms for one another while simultaneously filtering through the blossoming chaos present in the internet age.

Big Red and Shiny has been crucial to The Present Tense’s evolution. It has been a cheerleader, a source of inspiration, and brain candy for us over the years, publishing interviews about our endeavors, posting our calls, and giving me another platform to publish my writing. In my grieving for the end of one of my favorite Art Journals, I have concluded that it takes courage to end something good to make room for the equally tenacious.

Because the Big Red and Shiny archive is uncertain, check out these Present Tense related posts:

Contaminate 1

Seconds Festival

Contaminate 2

Contaminate 3

Interview with Sandrine & Phil

Revolt2Die @ MEME

Sandrine’s review of The Human Cost of War

Alternative Art Spaces

Sandrine’s Review of X Me Lab

PT RETURNS!

Summer warms Boston as The Present Tense stretches it’s limbs and wipes hibernation from it’s eyes.  In our somnolence, visions of the future abound!  As of June 1 The Present Tense has moved on from MEME Gallery to explore new curatorial terrain.  We are also investigating our roles as creators, nestling into new bodies of work.  We are observing, digesting, contemplating, strategizing, dreaming, growing, learning, and hoping.  In times of change we are driven to revisit the constant thread that has lead us to our present space:  the affinity of our collaboration.

"Hunt Togather" 2005, International Performance Art Congress, Muenster, Germany "Their Not Biting.  I'm Not Itching" 2005, International Performance Art Congress, Sacremento, CA "Russell Square" 2006 Contaminate I, Boston, MA

"Transaction" 2004 TEST 4, Boston, MA
We began by tasting one another’s conceptual process and aesthetic while simultaneously searching for common ground.

Our process developed to acknowledge the exercise of meeting in the middle.

"Diamond Theory" 2010, Mobius' ArtRages, East Boston, MA

Our process has evolved to mimic the shape of a diamond.

“Congratulations on your Empire” was our first experience within the walls of MEME (then 55 Gallery). It evolved with an intentional beginning, middle, and end, that shed new light on our potential as collaborators.  Shortly after, 55 was gifted to us and MEME emerged.  Today begins MEME’s 2nd cycle.  Alice Vogler, Dirk Adams, and Vela Phelan will continue with MEME, bringing it into a new epoch.  As we examine the future of our collaboration and The Present Tense, we eagerly anticipate MEME’s development and we feel sincere gratitude for having the opportunity to contribute to it’s genesis.