Walking the fine line between non-profit arts organization and absurdist theater.

Berwick Blog

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  • bonnie's picture

    With the Berwick, Miebach will be working on a project called "Weather Suits for Cities". The project N.Miebach studiois a continuation as well as a new stage in her ongoing project of building low-tech data-collecting devices that gather weather data from specific locations. This data is then translated into sculptures, using basket weaving as the grid, through which to translate the information into 3D space.

    Visit her blog and photo gallery to follow her progress during her stay! 

  • nathalie miebach's picture

    Project Description: “Weather Suits for Cities”

    Weather Suit“Weather Suits for Cities” is a continuation as well as a new stage in my ongoing project of building low-tech data-collecting devices that gather weather data from specific locations. This data is then translated into sculptures, using basket weaving as my grid through which to translate the information into 3D space.

    Weather happens everywhere and all the time, but it is experienced differently in a city than in a rural environment. For the past 2 years, I have lived on the tip of Cape Cod, surrounded by ocean, sand and wind, recording and translating weather data into sculpture. There, weather is constantly in the foreground, shaping daily life in ways that are very different than in a city, where it seems to fall more into the background. Nightly weather forecasts on TV or on the radio are focused almost exclusively on the human species, the car and how snow, rain, or wind will impact the daily commute. The urban infrastructure creates another difficulty in recording actual weather data as buildings can influence the temperature, pressure and wind conditions from one block to the next. A series  of mini-weather phenomena happening in different parts of the city can accumulate and distort the weather pattern over a city significantly – causing precipitation or smog that further affects the way we experience weather in a city.

    “Weather Suits for Cities” focuses on exploring this difference of both human perspective and physical variability of weather within an urban environment, for which I will build a portable weather station that is entirely constructed on my body. Almost like a ‘weather suit’, this weather station would record weather on a minute-by-minute basis – while I am walking through a park, riding the T or biking to work, to record the invisible meteorological changes within the urban landscape. At the same time, this weather suit will be my vehicle through which to address larger questions as to how the meaning and function of weather articulates itself and changes in an urban environment, particularly in an age of  human-induced climate change.

  • bonnie's picture

      Intro and Artist Talk

    Tuesday, October 14th, 7pm
    @ the Berwick
    14 Palmer St, Dudley Sq, Roxbury 

  • megan's picture

    SATURDAY, AUG. 30, 10am - 4:30pm: Works-in-progress day

    SUNDAY, AUG. 31 - MONDAY, SEPT 1, 10am - 4:30pm Public viewing days

    The Berwick Research Institute and Studio Soto, in partnership with the Boston Harbor Island Alliance and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), invites the public, free of charge, to view and participate in a unique art experiment in the Boston Harbor Islands national park area. Starting Thursday, August 28, 2008 (Labor Day weekend), ten artist teams will create installations, performances and sculptures on Bumpkin Island, engaging the public as performer, apprentice, collaborator and honored guest.

    Artists participating in this unique temporary community in Boston’s largest national park area will utilize the basic tools and supplies that they can physically carry on to the island, including everything needed to sleep, eat and drink. All other materials come from the resources/elements of the island, leading to projects that will be a distinct expression of the island environment. Following the dictates of the Homestead Act, which became an instrument of western expansion in the mid 1800s, artists will build a shelter, live on the land for five days, and “improve” the land via a site-specific, temporary project, installation or performance. Projects will reflect the island’s natural resources and human history, and explore themes of the cultural context of homesteading and artist community.

    ARTISTS AND PROJECTS INCLUDE:

    Astrodime Transit Authority - Bebe Beard, John Gayle, Ali Horeanopoulos, Mary Ann Kearns and Sam Smiley - ATA will reprise and expand upon its successful 2007 Tin Can Communications Co. strategies and celebrate the 150th year of the first attempt to lay the Transatlantic Cable.

    The Camoufleurs -Hanna Rose Shell and Dan Hisel - Drawing on artisanal weaving techniques, military concealment strategies, and bird nesting practices, the camoufleurs will transform their land, and its particular human and natural ecology, into a camouflaged homestead environment. Then creating mixed-media concealment cloaks, they will navigate the island, seen and unseen.

    Leave one for your ancestors, one for your children, and take one -Tiffany Dumont, Else Eaton, Raymond Garrett, Rory Jackson - Artists forage island materials to create three interactive, multimedia installations based on past, present and future. Artists will encourage visitors to add to the pieces, forage responsibly, and participate in performance.

    New England Expeditionary Alliance - Dedalus Wainwright, Bryan Long, Michael D. Andelman and Jeff Cleary - A scientific mission that will map Bumpkin’s metaphorical, literal, and sensual parameters, Alliance members will lead expeditions, generate hypotheses, establish a classification system, create analysis, and give lectures on their findings.

    Shore Wind Organ - Jason Sanford - Using handmade wooden organ pipes and whistles, the artist will create a responsive musical instrument activated by island winds and visitor interaction.

    The Honorable Bumpkin Island Company - Jack McGrath & Jane Van Cleef - Armed with a charter granting them the right to establish a trading post on Bumpkin, HBIC will purvey vital, excellent goods to homesteaders and visitors, bolstering the new island economy and exploring the practice of shopping.

    Survival Kit -Gabe Moylan & Rachel Roberts - Using the UNICEF survival kit provided to disaster victims, artists will supplement food rations with wild edibles, create a shelter, recreate family photos with found objects, and explore spiritual recovery.

    Spirits in the House: Then & Now-Sharon Haggins Dunn - Using natural materials such as sand and mud, the artist will create a pinhole camera. Captured images will illustrate change and continuity of natural and human forces over time.

    Stone House, Urban City - Wenxiong Lin, Lynn Lee, Jens Stenger, Annie Wilker - Juxtaposing two themes of time (history and modernity; reality and romanticism), the artists will create a model urban city in the stone farmhouse ruins, and frame windows of the naval mess hall ruins with brightly colored curtains.

    Tactilist Theatre - Erik Conrad - Arranging island objects arranged according to tactile values and narratives, the artist, in the role of baroque showman, will set up a sideshow-style tent to perform "poems told by touch."

    The 2008 Bumpkin Island Art Encampment is presented by the Boston Harbor Island Alliance, a non-profit in support of the Boston Harbor Islands; the Special Projects Incubator of the Berwick Research Institute, a non-profit which provides alternative programming and exhibition space for artists who work outside the commercial world and is funded by the LEF foundation; and Studio Soto, an artist-run performance/screening/exhibit space for ideas in Fort Point; and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

    SPECIAL EVENTS

    On Sunday and Monday at 12:30pm, visitors are invited to bring their packed lunches to MEET ME AT THE BLANKET, a participatory potluck for curators, artists and island newcomers to meet and discuss utopia, dystopia and the nature of public art on an island within sight of the Boston skyline.

    GETTING TO BUMPKIN ISLAND AND BACK:

    From Boston Long Wharf (next to the Marriott, adjacent to Christopher Columbus Park)

    · Take ferry to George’s Island and transfer to the Southern Loop Inter-Island shuttle

    · Departs Long Wharf every hour, on the hour, starting at 9:00 am.

    · Inter-Island Shuttle from George’s to Bumpkin departs 10:30, 1:10 – overnight campers may take the 3:50 boat.

    · Inter-Island Shuttle from Bumpkin to Georges departs 12:15, 1:45, 2:55, 4:25, 5:35

    · Return boats from George’s Island to Long Wharf leave every hour on the half hour, last boat is at 5:30

    From Quincy, Fore River Shipyard

    · Take ferry to George’s Island and transfer to the Southern Loop Inter-Island shuttle

    · Departs Quincy Monday – Friday 9:10, 11:15, overnight campers may take the 1:10 or 1:45 boats; Saturday - Sunday 9:20, 9:50, 11:00, 11:30, overnight campers may take the 1:20, 2:05, or 3:15 boats.

    · Inter-Island Shuttle from George’s to Bumpkin departs 10:30, 1:10 – overnight campers may take the 3:50 boat.

    · Inter-Island Shuttle from Bumpkin to Georges departs 12:15, 2:55, 4:25, 5:35

    · Return boats from George’s Island to Quincy depart Monday – Friday 9:35, 11:40, 2:20 or 2:55; Saturday – Sunday 9:45, 10:15, 11:25, 12:55, 2:45, 3:25, 4:40, 5:15, 6:10

    From Hingham Shipyard

    · Boat goes directly to Bumpkin

    · Departures at 9:00am, 11:40am, 2:20pm, overnight campers may take the 5:00pm boat

    · Return boats are at 11:05am, 1:45pm or 4:25pm

    From Hull, Pemberton Point

    · Boat goes directly to Bumpkin

    · Departures at 9:55am, 12:35am, overnight campers may take the 4:05pm boat

    · Return boats are at 12:15am or 2:55pm

    Admission to the park is FREE. Ferry fares: Adult $14.00, Senior (65+) $10.00, Children (3-11) $8.00, Children under 3 free, Family 4-Pack $42.00. Inter-Island Shuttle is $3.00. For more information and for ferry schedules see www.harborexpress.com.

  • heather's picture

    The Berwick welcomes it's two newest staff members, Special Project Inubator Program Co-Coordinators Danlel DeLuca and Ryan Sciaino. Daniel comes to us from MassArt where he recently completed a degree in the studio for interrelated media, coordinated the Eventworks program and acted as president of the student government. Ryan just graduated from Northeastern with a BS in music technology and a BA in multimedia arts. He has worked with Arts Interactive and Axiom gallery and teaches at the ICA's new media program for teenagers. The Berwick is extremely pleased to have found them both! They will be making their debut as staff members on Bumkin Island next weekend, so look out for and forward to them...

  • admin's picture

    The Present Tense (Sandra Schaefer and Philip Fryer) is a performance art collective that organizes performance art events and festivals in the Boston area featuring the work of local, national and international artists working in experimental time-based media. This spring, The Present Tense is once again collaborating with TEST to produce the 3rd annual Contaminate festival of performance art.

    In 2008, the Berwick will lend Tier A support in their efforts to build an analog and web archive of contemporary (2003-present) performance art.

    The goals for this project are to identify the exact scope and focus of the archive; securing a physical space; develop an archival structure that allow for growth; convert existing materials to a consistent and accessible format; find in-kind technological support for a website; develop a submissions system; promote to an international audience; and develop a project plan that aims at sustainability and grant eligibility for growth.

    For more information, visit The Present Tense website: http://thepresenttense.testperformance.org/ .

  • admin's picture

    Project Description

  • admin's picture

    * **GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!! *

    Laura Torres DrawingLaura Torres will be working on a project about soccer and Ecuador's participation in the sport on a global scale. As both an insider and an outsider to both US and Ecuadorian culture, she has often felt herself in a unique position of constant negotiation of cultural boundaries. Never having been much of a soccer or sports fan, Laura was strangely riveted by Ecuador's part in the World Cup and felt connected to a huge network of fans worldwide. Soccer's inherent minimalism allows for an in-depth appreciation of the network of plays and movement of the body. She hopes the weather will soon get warm enough to play fútbol with other Boston fans.

  • nova's picture

    Nathalie MiebachWith a bit of sadness, the Berwick announces the end of its Artist in Research (AIR)  Program. Started in a former whoopie pie factory in Roxbury's Dudley Square in 2003, the Berwick's AIR program has served numerous artists and artist groups and has invited a wide range of audiences into those artists' art-making processes. Within (and outside of) our studio walls, Artists in Research have sent helium balloon wishes into the sky, built suspended biospheres, experimented with pirate radio,  mounted politically engaged tea parties, hacked musical instruments, built a bike-bus, transformed weather data into sculpture and then into musical scores, collaborated with Dudley Square youth, made credit-card sound art, and much, much more.  We've been honored to have incubated the ideas of the artists who have come through our program and are humbled to witness their continued development afterward.  

    The AIR program provided a studio, funding, and most importantly, critical perspectives for a widerange of inventive artists and their projects early in their careers. Uniquely structured to give artists constant feedback through studio visits, critiques, performances, workshops, and access to our wide reaching network of artists and art professionals, the AIR program has provided local, national and international creative producers with a space for experimentation, critical reflection, and community essential in the early stages of their careers. In return, the AIR Program was a place for its curators to grow, learn and experiment as artists, administrators, and collaborators. The artists and the communities their projects engendered, the press that made our artists visible, and the program supporters that gave us their vote of confidence have all been critical contributing elements to the development of the AIR Program and the Berwick as a whole.

     And so, the Berwick would like to acknowledge and thank all those who made the AIR program the success that it has been: the AIR artists who have bravely opened their studios and their practices to the public; the AIR curators who have worked tirelessly to grow and sustain this program and its artists with limited funds and limitless heart; and the members of the Boston arts community who have volunteered their time, thought, and support as AIR jurors, critics, and resources.  It has been a privilege to participate in the making of this exciting program and in the creation of new work and new ideas along the way.  We would also like to thank our audiences, collaborators and individual donors, and to highlight the LEF Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for recognizing the value of such an endeavor by taking a chance on  funding individual artist projects.  Best of luck to all AIR alumnae in your future projects, and congratulations on creating a unique and vibrant place for contemporary artwork in the city of Boston.  

    The Future  

    Though the closing of the AIR era is a significant programmatic shift, the Berwick Research Institute is still here. As we evolve, we are still passionately committed to our core mission. We will continue to support emerging artists with the opportunity for fiscal sponsorship and a laboratory where they can experiment with new forms and concepts without the pressure of a commercial environment. We will explore new ways to bring artists and audiences together to foster a community based on dialogue, while encouraging play as a means of doing research. And we hope you, our community, will join us in the process. We welcome your support and ideas as we move forward. Stay tuned.

    Sincerely,

    THE BERWICK:

    Daniel DeLuca - daniel at berwickinstitute dot org

    Megan Dickerson - megan at berwickinstitute dot org

    Heather Kapplow - heather at berwickinstitute dot org

    Dana Moser - dana at berwickinstitute dot org 

    Deb Nicholson - deb at berwickinstitute dot org 

    Hanna Rose Shell - hrshell at mit dot edu

    Ryan Sciaino - ryan at berwickinstitute dot org

    * Authors of the AIR Program

    Meg Rotzel

    Bonnie Bastien

    Nova Benway

    Rosie Branson Gill

    Andi Sutton

    Susan Sakash

    ARTIST IN RESEARCH PROJECTS, 2002 - 2009  

    Curators, Bonnie Bastien and Nova Benway - 2008-2009  


    Nathalie Miebach 

    Jesse Kaminsky

    Joshua Pablo Rosenstock

    Eve Essex

    Curators, Bonnie Bastien and Rosie Branson Gill - 2006-2007

    Kelly Sherman 

    Véronique d'Entremont

    Liz Nofziger

    Jon Taylor 

    Maura Jasper

    Matthew Shanley

    Founder and Curator, Meg Rotzel with support from Mary Fuller and Natalie Vinski 2002-2005 

    Vaughn Bell 

    Devil Music Ensemble 

    Kirsten Forkert

    Christy Georg 

    Heather Kapplow

    Carolyn Lambert and Fereshteh Toosi 

    John Osorio-Buck

    Jessica Rylan

    Morgan Schwartz

    Aliza Shapiro

    Amy Sharp 

    Helena Sidiropulous

    David Webber

    PUBLIC ART INCUBATOR PROGRAM, 2005 - 2007 

    Curators, Andi Sutton and Susan Sakash 

    The Institute for Infinitely Small Things

    Matthew Mazzotta and Heather Clark

    John Ewing

    About the AIR Program

    The Artist in Research (AIR) Program was a residency program created under the Berwick Research Institute’s non-profit umbrella that provided emerging conceptual artists essential time, space, community and, most importantly, critical feedback. High value was placed on a sustained period of dialogue and critical analysis, with no expectations for the completion of artwork. Instead, curators encouraged the research and interrogation of an idea, and experimentation with the subsequent results.


  • daniel's picture

    The Present Tense (Sandra Schaefer and Philip Fryer) is a performance art collective that organizes performance art events and festivals in the Boston area featuring the work of local, national and international artists working in experimental time-based media. This spring, The Present Tense is once again collaborating with TEST to produce the 3rd annual Contaminate festival of performance art.

    In 2008, the Berwick gave Tier A support in their efforts to build an analog and web archive of contemporary (2003-present) performance art.

    The goals for this project are to identify the exact scope and focus of the archive; securing a physical space; develop an archival structure that allow for growth; convert existing materials to a consistent and accessible format; find in-kind technological support for a website; develop a submissions system; promote to an international audience; and develop a project plan that aims at sustainability and grant eligibility for growth.

     The Present Tense recently launched a new website that will house their video archive and blog. Watch thepresenttense.org for updates!

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