Monthly Archives: June 2014

Elutriate: In Celebration of All things Washable

BY Lynne Sachs | FILED UNDER Brooklyn, Elutriate
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a performance that explores the personal, often hidden experience of doing laundry among the washers, dryers and folding tables of a working laundromat

by Lizzie Olesker and Lynne Sachs with Rosemary Fine and Veraalba Santa

Saturday, May 17, 2014
Atlantis Laundromat. 472 Atlantic Avenue , Brooklyn

EVERY FOLD MATTERS is half-hour work-in-process reading and movement piece.  Our performance explores the personal and social experience of doing laundry.  Two performers played by Veraalba Santa and Rosemary Fine weave together improvisation, written text, and movement within the inspiring environs of the soon-to-be-demolished Atlantis Laudromat.

Presented as part of the Brooklyn Lit Crawl
Produced by Emily Rubin and Dirty Laundry: Loads of Prose and supported by the Brooklyn Arts Council

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This event is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

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Upon the discovery of the word Bibliomancy

BY Lynne Sachs | FILED UNDER Bibliomancy, Brooklyn
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By choosing the word bibliomancy, I have forced myself to think long and hard about the investment we as humans have in the written word. Twenty years ago, I made a filmed entitled “Following the Object to Its Logical Beginning”, so I guess I’ve been fascinated with the power of the thing for a long time. With bibliomancy, the thing is the book and the book, in most cases, is holy. But, for those of us secular folks, committed to the magic and the mystery of telecommunications, the holy book has become the telephone book. It offers us access to the identities and locations of millions of other people – people we might marry, people we might meet on a bus, people who are rich, people who are brilliant, people who are almost destitute, people who are no longer people but whose names still remain in the book. Faith in the book implies a belief in its ability to lead us to divine awareness, maybe even to see into the future. The shooting of a film for this word takes us to a basement where we I photograph the flipping of a Manhattan telephone book while my daughters fan a feint breath across the pages. Later through Flash animation, a hundred names will tumble from the page.  (Lynne Sachs)

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Typhlology: 23rd Street, Manhattan (by Ethan Mass)

BY Ethan | FILED UNDER Manhattan, Typhlology
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When I was invited to contribute to this project, I was given perhaps a dozen words to choose from. This word was the most inspiring. Since most of my work is very literal, I really appreciated an opportunity to make something abstract and impressionistic. A short film whose starting point is “the study of blindness” was an inspiring springboard.

Walking along 23rd street and noticing the services and schools for the blind, I felt that I had found my . At the intersection of 6th avenue, an audio signal box beeps an alert tied into the streetlights; I knew I wanted to include this metronome.

The first idea that came to mind was to make a “video flipbook” composed of stills. When I started gathering the stills, I felt they were too clear, too legible. I wanted to recreate a sightless/partially sighted experience by making the stills unfocussed and blurred. As I began stringing the stills together I experimented with interrupting the image flow with dark sections– leading me to what became the motivator for the rest of my image gathering and editing: the overwhelming, unfocussable assault of visual stimulation that a 5-avenue stretch of Manhattan can become, and how moments of darkness can offer some respite. What if you could only see in bits and pieces? What if your eyes and mind weren’t fast enough to make logical connections between the racing images flying past?

I ultimately used nearly 700 stills. I walked across 23rd street several times, shaking my camera, looking like a tourist going home with the world’s worst collection of travel memories. I was looking for softness, color and dynamism. Some images I froze to allow a moment of closer study, only to be whisked away and replaced with a dozen more images.

I recorded the audio the same way, walking slowly and pausing near any interesting voices or words. I eventually used 4 different pieces of audio overlapped and mixed up and down to try to give an impression of conversations speeding by. The film is bookended with the sound of the signal from the 6th avenue crosswalk box.

When I watch it I like that the images move just fast enough that I always feel a step behind, trying to process the image that just passed while also registering the new one coming at me; the way the darkness allows me a moment to breathe and absorb just the sounds for a moment.  (Ethan Mass)

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Mofette Moment, Manhattan by Beth Botshon

BY Beth Botshon | FILED UNDER Manhattan, Mofette
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It was a humid summer evening in late August. I was strolling around Manhattan in no rush to get to my subway stop, when a vanilla ice-cream craving overtook me. To my delight, I turned a corner and found one of the many infamous Mr. Softee trucks sitting idly. I smiled at the man, and scoured the various sprinkle and dip combinations available to me, when my legs suddenly became immersed in a dense heat. I lost concentration, and looked down to find two wafts of toxic grey vapor, one from the sewer a foot away, and one from Mr. Softee’s tailpipe, morphing into a big noxious cloud at my feet. I decided against the cone, and instead took out my camera to dance with the emanations all around New York that night.  (Beth Botshon)

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A Georgic for a Forgotten Planet

BY Lynne Sachs | FILED UNDER Brooklyn, Georgic, Places, Words
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This is my film “Georgic for a Forgotten Planet”

I first came upon the word georgic on a cold, winter evening in a cabin at the McDowell Colony in rural New Hampshire. I’d decided to spend two weeks there reading the dictionary in preparation for creating Abecedarium:NYC.  It wasn’t until months later that my dear friend Michele Lowrie, a Latin Classicist, informed me that the word referred to one of the greatest agricultural works of literature ever written, the 2000 year old epic poem by Virgil simply called The Georgics I – V.  Reading it was utterly transportive, like arriving hungry to a field in anticipation of a bountiful harvest. (L. Sachs)

Virgil’s Georgic

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Jerry Build: South Park Slope, Brooklyn by Beth Botshon

BY Beth Botshon | FILED UNDER Brooklyn, Jerry-Build
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I’ve lived in South Park Slope for 12 years now. Over the time I’ve been here, the neighborhood has changed drastically. When I arrived, there were only dollar stores, local laundry spots, and little salvadorian and mexican restaurants. The markets held tons of specialty goods for the many latino families who lived in the area.

But now – everything is changing. Two coffee shops, a bagel place, a wine bar and an organic health food store have moved in within the past year – and now that Bloomberg has helped his developer friends to rezone this area of Brooklyn, what used to be a low-rise little town, has become the final frontier for 6 story and higher apartment buildings.

The structures go up in record time with shoddy materials. Most contractors pay undocumented workers 10 bucks an hour for hard labor – some of the men go without hard hats.

One of my friends bought an apartment in one of the newly constructed buildings. Within a year, she ripped out her cheaply made bathroom, and had the whole thing redone (to her standards.)

Besides pushing rent rates up, the haphazard construction of 20 unit buildings clogs up the area with more traffic. It also pushes out lower-income families who have called this area home for over 20 years. I look forward to the day when there are no more lots left, and the noise of drills and hammers moves further down 4th avenue which I know it inevitably will…  (Beth Botshon)

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