|Abstract or Description:
Flux Night: Free Association was a night-long public art event featuring six curated projects and a further 14 selected by Helena Reckitt and the Flux Night Committee from open call submissions.
Underlying the event was a concern with the free circulation of bodies and ideas, as both an antidote to the increasingly privatized nature of car-centric Atlanta’s civic life, and celebrating the important history of collective and digital activity in the city.
'Free Association' supported research trips by two artists/artist groups that led to new site-responsive commissions.
Deanna Bowen researched audio recordings from the Civil Rights era to develop her performance/video piece The Paul Good Papers: Atlanta Reels. The piece drew on audio recordings made in Atlanta by ABC’s Southern Bureau Chief, Paul Good. Actor Marci T. House re-spoke Good's words, together with those of interview subjects (from Civil Rights campaigners to Ku Klux Klan leaders) and recordings from sit-ins in downtown Atlanta. A backdrop of manipulated archival film footage accompanied House's performance. Handbills and business cards distributed during the night direct viewers to current documentation of the protests' locations. The piece made connections between historical and present day struggles and protests, providing a platform for the audience to witness and add their memories of historic events.
Artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White (Open Music Archive) visited Atlanta to research their piece ATL 2067. They investigated blues and folk recordings made in Atlanta at the dawn of the recording music industry, which they sampled and processed for a DJ and open mic set. Creating a set of new copyleft breaks, samples and beats, ATL 2067 provided a soundtrack for a future Atlanta, when these tracks will return into the public domain. Images generated from fragments of research, significant dates, legal code and archival elements are projected and warnings are audio transmitted throughout the night through a ‘klaxon’ that drew attention to the legal status of the material and to mirror the tactic often used by DJs to protect the exclusivity of their tracks in a mix.
ATL 2067 is part of the artists’ Open Music Archive, which borrows collective and collaborative tactics of remix and reuse from the fields of music, hacking and copyleft. This ongoing project engages with conflicts around the authorship, ownership and distribution of art. The terrain of intellectual property in the context of the USA dictates the scope for access to and use of archive material and so, the artists employ the tactic of imagining a future date, through the artwork, to enable a ‘fast-forward’ in time to 2067 when material will be free. Placing the event over fifty years in the future, optimistically opens up a future channel for public domain material, beyond current individual proprietary and commercial interests, producing a free public performance at street level, for an imminent public domain.
Several other projects during 'Flux Night: Free Association' developed the curatorial concern with open access to intellectual property and public space. Heather Phillipson's A is to D: The Lot, in which a parking lot with rental cars became a space for collective viewing. Rhonda Wheppler and Trevor Mahovsky's Late Night Convenience was an illuminated store containing acetate lanterns modeled on everyday packaged good which visitors took away. As the store emptied the lanterns illuminated the streets like fireflies spreading into the night and beyond - lasting mementos of a fleeting experience. Also concerned with dissemination and distribution, participants in Kathleen Ritter's 'The Revolution is Not a Party' exclaimed revolutionary statements through megaphones, creating an composition of of protest slogans, song lyrics, and manifestos from the past to the present, what Ritter describes as "a revolution in potential."
Deanna Bowen, The Paul Good Papers
Pablo Bronstein, Plaza Minuet
Open Music Archive, ATL 2067
Heather Phillipson, A is to D: The Lot
Rhonda Wheppler and Trevor Mahovsky, Late Night Convenience
Juried projects selected by Reckitt:
Benita Carr, Bill Orisich and more
Sophie Farewell, However you do it … consider the starsEric Sasha Krieger: Soliloquy
Michi Mecko, The job of the resurrectors is to wake up the dead
Fahamu Pecou, OVEREXPOS(d)
Marty and Kai Riedel, Detritus
Kathleen Ritter, The Revolution is Not a Party
||Bowen, Deanna (Artist); Bronstein, Pablo (Artist); Wahlfrid, Rosalie (Choreographer); Simpson, Eileen (Artist); White, Ben (Artist); Phillipson, Heather (Artist); Wheppler, Rhonda (Artist); Mahovsky, Trevor (Artist); Carr, Benita (Artist); Orisich, Bill (Artist); Farewell, Sophie (Artist); Mecko, Michi (Artist); Pecou, Fahamu (Artist); Riedel, Marty (Artist); Riedel, Kai (Artist) and Krieger, Sasha