June 16-19, 2016 @ 9 PM in San Francisco’s
Large-scale, multimedia, vertical dance project fuses art and technology to create public discourse
San Francisco, CA (May 4, 2016) #SFPublicCanvas, a large-scale, multi-media, vertical dance performance, premieres June 16-19, 2016 on the exterior of the Hastings School of Law building at the Demonstration Gardens, 333 Golden Gate Avenue. A collaboration between media artist Jonathan Rowe of The Village Impacts, choreographer Amelia Rudolph and her company BANDALOOP, and producing partner Illuminate,#SFPublicCanvas fuses art and technology to create public discourse around the rapidly changing landscape of the Tenderloin/Central-Market neighborhood. It also features special guest performances byCampo Santo, Tassiana Willis, and spoken word artists from Youth Speaks.
Performances begin at 9:00 pm and admission is free and open to the public. A limited number of reserved seats will also be available for $35. The public is encouraged to bring their own chairs or mats.
The brainchild of Rowe and Rudolph, #SFPublicCanvas was the result of a happy accident. Rowe had been pondering creating a large-scale projection and interactive media installation with content aggregated through social media. Rudolph was interested in creating a site-specific project in the Tenderloin that used art and technology to explore the social issues facing the neighborhood and its residents. A mutual friend from Illuminate introduced the two, agreed to be their producing partner, and the project was born.
For #SFPublicCanvas, the collaborators chose to focus on the complex social composition and the challenges faced by the Tenderloin/Central-Market. Along with a strong sense of neighborhood pride, urban blight, poverty, and addiction afflict many of the residents and encourage the divide between a perceived encroachment of “tech outsiders” and long-time residents. A fundamental project aim was to connect a broad range of participants through crowd-sourced content and live performance using technology to create a platform that would engage and include residents, increase pride of place, and foster a community dialog around these issues.
Over several months, stories were collected through a public call to action, crowdsourcing via social media, community workshops held at the Tenderloin Museum, Boedekker Park and Demonstration Gardens, and through meetings with Skywatchers, The Art Don’t Stop, Larkin Street Youth Services, Lines Ballet and ArtSpan. Participants, representing the broad range of ages, ethnicities, and economic status found in the neighborhood, were asked to respond to a variety of questions such as, “what change do you want to see?”, “Who are you?”, “What does home mean to you?” The submissions served as inspiration for Rudolph’s choreography and were used by Rowe and his team to create a large-scale, multi-layered, kaleidoscopic “video canvas” that weaves together the history of the neighborhood, the stories of the people who live and work there, the opportunities and challenges they face, and their hopes and dreams for a brighter future.
To add further depth and energy to the scope of the work, poets and artists from Youth Speaks and Campo Santo, both of whom have deep roots in the neighborhood, will use spoken word to unite the visual and kinetic qualities of the work with Youth Speaks Poet-in-Residence Tassiana Willis working with Rudolph to create a connective through-line. Key words said, seen and sung live by the Youth Speaks poets further link the visual content with the dance. Similarly, the choreography on the wall brings movement to the poetry, with the dancers and poets interacting at key moments to further integrate text and dance with visual imagery. “Pick up the Pieces,” an excerpt from Babylon is Burning, a musical performance piece by Campo Santo, will be featured as a turning point in the work, contributing powerful social commentary through a soulful, elegant musical work.
“We saw this project as a “many-to-many” conversation using various means of storytelling,” said Rowe. “By using art and technology to bring a diverse set of opinions and voices to light, we can show that there are ideas and solutions out there to ultimately give people some hope.
The collaborators plan to tour #PublicCanvas and take the concept to other cities where they will work with partners to localize it and focus on the unique challenges facing each community. They see the project as a gateway and a potential model for other communities to share ideas, create a dialog, and solve problems together. “We hope #SFPublicCanvas will inspire people to use technology to get their voice out there and show how powerful a tool art can be to affect change,” added Rudolph.
#SFPublicCanvas is funded by San Francisco Grants for the Arts/General Fund Portion of the Hotel Tax Fund; The California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; The Kenneth Rainin Foundation; the Fleishhacker Foundation and Paragon Real Estate Group.
Press photographs are available at: http://bandaloop.org/high-resolution-photos/
Artistic Director Amelia Rudolph
Video Artist Jonathan Rowe and Madrone Studios
Tassiana Willis and Youth Speaks Poets
with special performance from Campo Santo’s Babylon is Burning
Assistant Artistic Director Melecio Estrella
Lighting by Jim French
Music by Ben Judovalkis, Gideon Freudmann, and Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky
A pioneer in vertical dance performance, BANDALOOP seamlessly weaves dynamic physicality, intricate choreography and the art of climbing to turn the dance floor on its side. Founded by choreographer and artistic director Amelia Rudolph, BANDALOOP’s work has been presented in theaters and museums, on skyscrapers, bridges, billboards and historical sites, in atriums and convention halls, in nature on cliffs, and on screen.
THE VILLAGE IMPACTS
As the nonprofit arm of The Village, San Francisco’s state-of-the-art events venue, The Village Impacts’ mission is to empower and support local culture, artists, and public art programs by applying immersive technology and digital art to create inspiring, educational, and entertaining events. With their expertise in the events industry and access to state-of-the-art tools and technology in event production, The Village Impacts brings arts, culture, and technology together to improve San Francisco and build strong communities.
Illuminate is the nonprofit arts organization originally established to help bring The Bay Lights into existence, and the organization has since worked on several largescale public art installations. Their mission is to produce contemporary art with civic impact, social activation and global reach to stimulate a culture of generosity and collaboration.
Youth Speaks places young people in control of their intellectual and artistic development. They do oral poetry that helps define the new American voice. By creating the link between poetry, spoken word, youth development and civic engagement, Youth Speaks aims to deconstruct dominant narratives in hopes of achieving a more inclusive and active culture.
Campo Santo is a multicultural new performance group that gives voice to untold stories through socially relevant world premieres of plays created in long-term processes. Under the direction of Co-Founder Sean San Jose, the group created Babylon is Burning, a performance piece combining live music, dance, and theater in collaboration with other artists and performing groups
Amelia Rudolph (Artistic Director/Choreographer) is a choreographer, dancer/athlete, teacher and community leader. Her work is informed by natural and built spaces, human relationships, and by non-traditional relationships with gravity. She founded BANDALOOP in 1991, bringing together dance, climbing and varied off-the-ground movement into site-reactive performances on cliffs, urban structures and in theaters. She is an active and dynamic performer, teaches youth in Oakland through Destiny Art Center and recently served on the board of Dance/USA. In 2015 Amelia completed the NEA funded re-mount of Crossing, filmed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and made into a short film titled SHIFT which opened the 2016 Sonoma International Film Festival. Rudolph is currently preparing for the launch of her new multi-media urban performance work #SFPublicCanvas in San Francisco’s Tenderloin/Central-Market district and the filming of her next mountain work in Yosemite, Coyote Waltzes. Rudolph and BANDALOOP have recently been designated by the Trisha Brown Company to re-mount and perform Brown’s seminal work Man Walking Down the Side of a Building exclusively throughout the world.
Jonathan Rowe (Video Artist) uses emerging visual and interactive technologies to create memorable experiences for influential events. He combines his visual and artistic creativity with deep knowledge of new and emerging technologies and crowd-sourced content integration to generate multi-media presentations of astonishing quality. Jonathan’s long time belief in the magic of creative expression inspired him to move to San Francisco to found Madrone Studios, a full service creative agency specializing in creating immersive experiences through the marriage of light, visuals, sound, and cutting edge technology. The agency uses new media, video production, immersive projection, and interactive technologies to create memorable experiences.
Tassiana Willis (Spoken Word) is one of the inaugural Emerging Arts Fellows at Youth Speaks, Inc. and is currently serving as their Poet-in-Residence. She is an accomplished writer, actress, and singer and has been a leader in YS programs such as SPOKES Youth Advisory Board, Brave New Voices Team Bay Area, and Future Corp; the engine that runs Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival in a rotating US city each year. She has recently been chosen by the Emerging Arts Professionals SF/Bay as one of their Fellows, and has just completed the historic run of Anna Deveare Smith’s Notes from the Field at Berkeley Repertory Theater as a facilitator for their community engagement process that worked with over 12,000 audience members during the 24 show run.