Friday, October 12, 2012

How Art Moves // “When was the last time you went streaking?”

On Wednesday I had the pleasure of attending the Chicago Ideas Week “Art: How It Moves” talk, which explored how art can be used “as a medium for good, a method for inspiring change,” and “a symbol of protest.” My kind of talk.

(Thanks to birthday twin Nathan Stanton, former I CAN DO THAT artist, for the ticket! And thanks for being such a fun person to sit next to!) (On top of some hilarious commentary that wasn’t always quite under the breath, he’d cheer for each speaker as if we were at a football game [not that I would know /art nerd], which, really, is how everyone should react to art.)

Petra Bachmaier of Luftwerk, showing off Luminous Field.

I liked what multimedia artist Phil Hansen had to say after tricking the entire audience into tearing apart his work (gasps ensued):

“We can’t create without destroying, and we can’t destroy without creating.”

and what Naomi Natale, Founder of One Million Bones, a project that acts as a “symbol of our human connection, our humanity, that we belong to each other,” had to say about the power of art:

“Leaving an indelible mark on one’s soul [is] what the greatest art does.
[With art, we can] imagine a different reality is possible.

Photographer Carlos Javier Ortiz shifted the focus from global crises back home, back to our backyards, with his stirring “Too Young To Die” project, which brings attention to youth violence in Chicago. Aside from addressing the problem in ways the mainstream media won’t, the project also looks at resilience and strength, and aims to teach young people to communicate through art. Check it out.

Other speakers included Donna Cox, who discussed the intersections between art and science (be still, my heart); multimedia artist Petra Bachmaier of Luftwerk, the folks responsible for the wondrous Luminous Field installation at the Bean; and Carter Cleveland, Founder of, which launched to the public on Monday.

I live-tweeted the event here (scroll down a little). All relevant tweets are tagged with “CIW” and run the gamut from inspirational quotes like the above to things like… thisYep. (The title of this post is also a direct quote from the talk. Well, artists do bare all.)

Chicago Ideas Week runs through the 14th—if you’re in town, I’d strongly encourage going to at least one event. Be inspired!

Another former I CAN DO THAT artist, Chris Barrett, asked me to help him with his new portrait photography endeavor a few days ago, and I was happy to oblige / sit awkwardly and be unsure of what to do with my hands, oblivious to the fact that these were, like, super close-ups. I’m using one of his photos on the “About” page and on my profileI CAN DO THAT Family forever!

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