Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Closing Reception

Many thanks to everyone that came out to Cabinet for the Postcards from Gowanus reception Friday night!

Juan David Gonzalez Monroy

Sterling Basement

Gabrielle Herbst, Maria Papadomanolaki, and Jeremy Slater

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bianca Ahmadi – Eyes on Gowanus

Eyes on Gowanus is a collaborative experiment based on photographic exploration of Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood. A group of ten strangers spend a recent afternoon shooting digital and film photography together on the streets of Gowanus. Afterward, each participant selected photographs to be included in an album compiled by the artist. The album is presented as part of a desk tableau inside the gallery, creating an inviting place for visitors to take a seat, go through the images, and enjoy the many different viewpoints captured that day.


Bianca Ahmadi

Mara Auster

Jamie Courville

Joanna Gangemi

Chris Lucas

B.Q. Nguyen

Maria Pusateri

Erica Reade

Chris Reynolds

Juan Rubio

Patrick Carey – Bricks and Paint and Water and Metal

Bricks and Paint and Water and Metal aims to embrace the way in which we experience heavily abandoned industrial neighborhoods by documenting their aesthetics. Often times the most intriguing aspects of these neighborhoods can be the small details inherent to this type of urbanity. Mobile devices were used as the tool of documentation to reflect the transitory way that many of us experience these neighborhoods. The resulting media has then been re-imagined via various computer programs to create both visual "postcards" of Gowanus.

Penny Duff – Sounding the Infra-ordinary: Gowanus

Attesting to the acoustic environment’s essential role in the constitution of physical, social, and existential space, the art of phonography (“sound writing”) captures sound’s unique capacity to document the complex network of encounters that define our experience of the world. Sounding the Infra-ordinary: Gowanus explores how acts of “sound writing”—considered here primarily as experimental writing practices—may be used to develop an ethics of listening that reconsiders the sonic experience. Workshop participants attempted to literarily mediate the acoustic environment via short, plainly descriptive methods adapted from Georges Perec’s Species of Spaces and Other Pieces during a soundwalk/ramble along Gowanus Canal. The result of this collective endeavor, the documentation is superimposed over a graphic rendering of the canal.

Kasia Gladki – The Many Scapes of the Gowanus

The Many Scapes of the Gowanus attempts to chart this elusive media-scape by interacting with the physical site of the Gowanus Canal and exploring the hypothesis that new mapping technologies have changed our experience of the built environment by creating a less tangible, more disconnected urbanity.

Juan David Gonzalez-Monroy – The Dead Whale: Message from the afterlife.

In 2007 a one-year-old Minke whale died in the Gowanus Canal in NY. It was identified as NY 3673-07 but nicknamed Sludgy by the locals. In February 2010 I received a package from the whale. It contained four 16mm film loops and specific instructions for their projection. The message stated that the loops should be played during three days, one loop per day. In Accordance to the whale’s wishes I will go to the gallery each morning and play the corresponding loop. As per the instructions la images on each loop will degrade and gradually disappear. As a sign of good will on each day I will leave an offering for the whale. On the third day I will perform a ritual by the projection to let the whale know that its message has been received. This will bring back harmony between our different worlds.

Post Scriptum: The whale wishes not to be referred to as either Sludgy or NY 3673-07. Its true name, however, I am not at liberty to reveal at this time.

Gabrielle Herbst and Allie Tsypin – Architecture as Baggage on the Body

Through collaborative sessions I capture intimate body sounds moving through space—including participants’ breath, heartbeats, vocal expressions, footsteps, scratches, and gurgling as they traverse through the Gowanus. At a particular space that induces attachment, vulnerability, or connection, each participant sings, hearing one’s own voice resonate within the chosen area. When recorded, each event is an archive of attachment to the given space.

Built by Allie Tsypin, a costume inspired by the bridges and boats of the Gowanus Canal explores relationships between water, architecture, and the female body while materializing my own attachment to particular spaces in the area. Space is carried like a weight on the body, like baggage or an extension of a limb. But what mark does a body make in a given space? You remember space like an appendage on your skin but does space remember you?

Live vocalizations will be performed by Gabrielle Herbst with recorded material in the architecturalinspired costume.

Amir Husak – Gowanus Unheard

Gowanus Unheard sonifies mental images of experiential space. Inspired by The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch's 1960 study on urban environments and mental mapping, the project aims to uncover deeper links between city dwellers and their lived space. Participants were asked to draw a map from memory, which is then "carved" out of the sonic spectrum of audio field recordings. Using several digital algorithms to create an interaction interface between the map drawings and the audio, Gowanus Unheard converts the hand-drawn sketches of the Brooklyn neighborhood into a series of sound compositions.

Maria Papadomanolaki – Sounds in-between

Based on a series of solitary sonic explorations around Gowanus, Sounds in-between is an audio diary of sounds that exist in-between our perceptible reality and the reality that we tend to dismiss. The sounds come from the inner composition of constructed and static environments, buildings and “quotidian” sound objects that we pass by, and chance interactions with people and activities. The recordings are compiled in a CD accompanied by a hand made diary/booklet that will be presented as part of a desk tableau inside the gallery.

Sounds: Maria Papadomanolaki

Images: Tijana Corpf, Catherine Rio, Apostolos Voulgarakis, Samuel Sobot and Maria Papadomanolaki

Heidi Prenevost and David Smith – Double Helix

Double Helix documents a meandering walk through Gowanus along its life and death line: the canal. Both beginning at the same place, the two artists walked a pre-planned route mirroring and encountering each other on each of the four bridges that cross the canal—points of convergence and separation echoing the tone of the neighborhood as a place in between—while recording visuals and sound. The information that results from this walk and subsequent research and thinking will be integrated into a final video "map" of the walk which will tell the story of the intertwining explorations as they unfold.

Sterling Basement – Songs of the Gowanus

Sterling Basement presents Songs of the Gowanus in homage to the Gowanus Canal. The ensemble includes John Roach, John Hudak, Dave Ruder, and Aaron Moore playing band-o-phones, home made thumb pianos, motorized autoharps, and a variety of other instruments. Songs of the Gowanus also features poems by Matthew Rohrer derived from archival texts related to the once thriving shipping hub. Join us as we dredge the canal.

Bryan Zimmerman – “The Slate Was Her Parlor”

Inspired by Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem’s picturesque novel about growing up in Gowanus during the 1970s, “The Slate Was Her Parlor” is a photo-collage tableaux incorporating local detritus and other found objects.

Sib Radio Gowanus

Sib Radio Gowanus is a narrowcast audio exhibit that will run in conjunction with the Postcards from Gowanus exhibit. The program will host a series of sonic artworks ranging from field recordings, drones, micro-sound to ambient and electro-acoustic compositions by US and international artists, including works by the participants of the Postcards from Gowanus exhibition. Sib Radio Gowanus bridges the space between the inaudible and the invisible (and yet real) ethereal, and the physically present exhibits inside the gallery. For more information about the playlists and featured artists, visit:

Sib Radio Gowanus
is curated by Maria Papadomanolaki and is sponsored by free103point9.

Technical Adviser and Support: Jeremy D. Slater.

Sib logo: Sofia Kokkinis.

Many thanks to all the artists who generously submitted materials for this project.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Creative Research Workshops - February 20

Among the 11 projects in the Postcards from Gowanus program, each of which employ various methods to creatively mapping the Brooklyn neighborhood in which the gallery is situated, there will be four artists hosting workshops, and we'd love for you to join us!

These are the projects we’ll be workshopping on Saturday, February 20—

1. Bianca Ahmadi: A photographic exploration of the Gowanus neighborhood. My workshop is an experiment. I am gathering a group of strangers and we are going to shoot photographs around the Gowanus. Film and digital. We are walking around and seeing what looks good, etc. My workshop is more about the experience and then applying that experience to the final exhibition. After the workshop, I will ask them to develop their shots and choose their favorites. These selections will be presented in a book, which would be similar to a photo album.

2. Patrick Carey: Playing off the idea of a post card, I propose to create digital post cards using mobile devices in the area around Cabinet's gallery in the Gowanus. I plan to have participants record some aspect of the neighborhood, whether it be a photo, sound, or moving image using only their mobile devices. These 'postcards' will not only act as a record of the time and place but will also reference the specific time in which they were made, with the technology acting as historical marker. I also plan to use a mobile device with GPS built in to record the locations of specific 'postcards' with the hopes to translate that data to a more robust web based project that could be tied in with the overall exhibition in the Cabinet Gallery.

3. Amir Husak: “Gowanus Unheard” is an experiment in sonifying mental images of experiential space. Upon finishing the walking tour of the neighborhood, the participants are asked to draw a map (from memory), which is then "carved" out of the sonic spectrum of the audio recordings. Using several digital algorithms to create an interaction interface between map drawings of the area and the audio, “Gowanus Unheard” converts the hand-drawn sketches of the Brooklyn neighborhood into a series of sound compositions.

4. Penny Duff: With my ongoing “Sounding the Infra-ordinary” project, I am attempting to literarily mediate the acoustic environment by documenting a series of collaborative soundwalks in order to attempt to develop a literary correlate to audio field recording. For this instance of the project, I will explore the everyday acoustic environment during a series of listening and literary documentation sessions throughout Gowanus. Both alone and accompanied by others, I/we will attend to different locations in this sonically diverse neighborhood—capturing the rhythms of life from morning to night. The results will ultimately be juxtaposed with historical recollections of the neighborhood.

The day of collaborative workshops with other artists participating in the exhibit is this coming Saturday, February 20. We'll be out and about in the neighborhood conducting creative research from roughly 1-4pm.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Postcard Makers

We're pleased to announce that the following artists will be contributing projects to Postcards from Gowanus:

Bianca Ahmadi

Patrick Carey

Penny Duff

Kasia Gladki

Juan David Gonzalez

Gabrielle Herbst

Amir Husak

Maria Papadomanolaki

Heidi Prenevost + David Smith

John Roach

Allie Tsypin

Bryan Zimmerman

Artist descriptions forthcoming......

Monday, January 25, 2010

Call for Projects

Postcards from Gowanus is a creative research program exploring a multitude of approaches to mapping the immediate vicinity surrounding Cabinet Magazine’s gallery space in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Drawing upon the psychogeographic tradition of critically and creatively engaging with public urban space, Postcards from Gowanus will examine the ways that mediation fundamentally alters our relationships to the environments in which we conduct our daily lives.

As we strongly advocate for arts’ active engagement with its public, we propose two phases—each of which interact with the public in a different manner—for this mapping program.

1. On Saturday February 20, 2010, we will host a series of collaborative workshops incorporating multiple creative research tactics on the streets of Gowanus.

2. Material generated during the workshops (in the form of audio field recordings, literary experimentation, site-specific performances, photographic slide shows, experimental video documentary, still-life drawing, Surrealist collage, found sculpture, interventionist performance, etc., etc.—we foresee that an abundance of different media could be constructed) will be presented as a small, thematically curated exhibit to be displayed in the Cabinet gallery March 16-19, 2010.

We solicit proposals for projects in a wide variety of media. Please send proposals to by February 5, 2010.