Feral Research Coalition

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The Band Leading the Blind

Posted by on Jun 29, 2013 in Uncategorized |

The Band Leading the Blind Carmen Papalia, an artist with impaired vision, enlists a high school marching band to help him navigate the streets and sites of Santa Ana, CA in his piece Mobility Device. This piece and this video are so much better than I expected. A few notes: The artist, the band members, and the people they encounter all seem to be getting the same levels of amusement/challenge/learning/fun out of the event. Everyone is engaged as humans with something to offer and receive, rather than bodies to be used or people who need to be helped or provoked. The slightly awkward band and the extremely awkward assignment are perfect together. The video itself is refreshing: It presents the project clearly and entertainingly without excess polish or...

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Alternate Modes of Feral

Alternate Modes of Feral

Posted by on Jun 25, 2013 in Featured |

Headlines and a trip to Pittsburgh have filled my head this week with artists and citizens who are coping with living in the spaces between home and… whatever happens next. City of Asylum is a program in Pittsburgh that provides residencies to writers in exile, providing them housing, aid, and introducing them and their work to their adoptive community. Of the several amazing community-grown spaces I visited in Pittsburgh (including Manchester Bidwell and Union Project), City of Asylum stood out as something I don’t think I had seen before, serving the writers and their families, the local community, and the the wider literature world in equal measure. As Edward Snowden finds himself in the Moscow airport, Noam Cohen tweets a list of people who have lived in airports. And on a day where the Supreme Court limits voting rights, they side with residents of Skid Row. What a world, what a world…. p.s.  Happy birthday to Antoni Gaudi, feral architect....

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Randyland

Randyland

Posted by on Jun 23, 2013 in Featured, Fieldtrips |

  My friend Rebecca came running into the the reception filled with civic art managers and told me that I had to go around the corner to see Randyland RIGHT NOW. So I went to Randyland. Maybe you know about Randyland if you’ve lived in Pittsburgh or spend time on websites and dedicated to quirky travel spots. You’ve seen pictures of places like it: A neighborhood character takes over a house or a vacant lot and, through personal vision, hard work, and lots of random crap, turns it into a visionary fantasyland. This was one of those places, everything covered with candy-colored paint and sprinkled with inspirational text. I had been to a few of these visionary spaces before, but this one was different: Randy was home. Randy waved us in from down the street, and enthusiastically showed us around his world of two buildings and a vacant lot tucked into an arts-filled neighborhood…inside to the gallery of paintings on rescued slate shingles (filled with vibrations of the earth and past homes), outside to the garden with filled with spiritual gates (which he instructed us how to use), a photo op site (a cluster of wig display mannequin heads) and two very special chairs (from France).  His stream-of-consciousness patter/monologue was so glowingly happy (not giddy, just enthusiastic… just 110% pure happy) that I was a little worried for the guy–this can’t be sustainable. Except apparently it is. Rebecca filled me in on other bits of his story she got: Randy has a steady day job as a waiter at a corporate hotel, and spends all his free time/money on the project.  He bought the buildings in the 80’s for $10,000, and has a website to rent out some of his space. He gave us slick business cards with a link to his website, and listed off all the tv shows he has been on and all the international visitors he’s had. Randy has (apparently, maybe…I don’t want to pretend to understand the ins and outs of his life) figured out how to make his own world and live in the wider world at the same time. He’s built is...

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Co-Present Film Festival (session 1) : Prisons Real & Imagined, Schedule

Co-Present Film Festival (session 1) : Prisons Real & Imagined, Schedule

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Featured, Projects |

On Saturday, June 22nd, we will inaugurate FRC’s Co-Present Film Festival project with a full day of prison-related film watching. I’ll follow up with another post that will explain the project’s inspirations and aspirations. In the meantime, we welcome you to join us. Our organizing participants reside in 4 different timezones; watch with us from anywhere in the world at any time throughout the run. Watch on your own. Communicate through the #CPFF1 hashtag on Twitter. We’ll sync our clocks just before the first start time by using the World Clock.   THE SCHEDULE :   Begin 430pm CET / 330pm GMT / 1030am EDT / 730am MDT INTO THE ABYSS One sentence summary: Werner Herzog quietly tells the tale of killers, victims, and families. IMDB Link Wikipedia Link   approx. 620pm CET / 520pm GMT / 1220pm EDT / 920am MDT – 10 minute break   630 pm CET / 530pm GMT / 1230pm EDT / 930am MDT ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK One sentence summary: Manhattan is a prison like no other; Kurt Russell needs to get the hell out of there. IMDB Link Wikipedia Link   approx. 810pm CET / 710pm GMT / 210pm EDT / 1110am MDT – 20 minute break   830pm CET / 730pm GMT / 230pm EDT / 1130am MDT TOKYO DRIFTER One sentence summary: It’s tough to be a Yakuza loner, especially in a Seijun Suzuki world. IMDB Link Wikipedia Link   approx. 10pm CET / 9pm GMT / 4pm EDT / 1pm MDT – 15 minute break   1015pm CET / 915pm GMT / 415pm EDT / 115pm MDT WE LIVE IN PUBLIC One sentence summary: Internet innovator may have been ahead of his time (also, always on camera). IMDB Link Wikipedia Link   approx. 1145pm CET / 1045pm GMT / 545pm EDT / 345pm MDT –...

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Rebar

Rebar

Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Featured, Secret History |

“without over exaggerating the point, the significance of reinforced concrete is that modern society is not possible without it… that’s why we talk about it being the foundation of civilization.” In Episode 81 of 99% Invisible, Roman Mars explores the hidden history of the Alvord Lake Bridge in San Francisco and the technological link it represents between the past and contemporary construction. The bridge is at once an eyesore, an accidental monument to failure and a 125 year old example of the technology that swallowed the guilded age and made our contemporary cities possible. Perhaps more interesting is the parallel story of Ernest Ransome and his quest to perfect steel reenforced concrete, whose value was dramtically demonstrated in both a massive fire and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, but not before Ransome himself had left California in frustration, incapable of overcoming broad skepticism and resistance to his...

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