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Thread Box:
Re-format Spoke(n) Art Ride?
Thread started by ubrayj02 at 11.27.12 - 12:15 pm

Background:
I started the Spoke(n) Art Ride at the suggestion of Ruth-Anne Tarletz back in 2006. She was a member of the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council and I showed up at one of her Arts and Recreation subcommittee meetings out of the blue. In April of 2006 we tried to visit every gallery on the map with a group of about 20 cyclists. Now the rides get up to 150+ people and the reaction to our arrival is generally mixed from gallery owners. When Jose Huizar's office moved recently to scare off MorYork and Brian Mallman (two of the 2nd Saturday pillars) I went to a meeting at Cactus Gallery and got an earful from gallery owners about what a shitty bunch the bike riders were - we ate all their food, we weren't there for the art, we drank all their booze, we were rude, they think things were getting stolen by some of our riders.

I have been learning as I go with this night time bike ride thing, and I admit that the "bike party" scene has bled into a night that I envisioned as an art- and community-focused tour that would expand into a general bike friendly atmosphere and culture. Instead, it has at times turned into a bloated "bike party" with all the attendant baggage that brings.

After that meeting with the gallery owners, which was about Huziar's office and not the ride, I had a big epiphany.

Why not turn the ride into something that produces meaningful art and experiences instead of something vacuums up crackers and wine, sees what is there to be seen, and then splits.

Ideas:

Clandestine Music Meeting:
ride meets dance and music performing artists in a clandestine location in NELA for a short performance/participatory dance. Emphasis on the unamplified, or the modestly amplified, formats of various folks traditions. That is, folk, blues, busking, marching band, country dance, square dance, cumbia, sals, folklorico, flamenco, etc. The performers are entitled to collect a fee for their services and numerous amateur and semi-professional dance troupes and musicians in the area make most of these performances trivially easy to find acts for. Staging the performances is going to be totally wildcat style: unguarded electric outlets in various public parks; permission from neighbors to be in their alley for 20 minutes; irregular spaces inbetween infrastructure, under bridges, in the river bed, on hill tops, etc. No "drive there and catch the show" notices given, i.e. timing of the performance(s) is know to the ride organizers and the performers and is open to logistics screw-ups and changes of plans that come with doing events like this.

Mobile Drama:
Short form plays that move locations with the ride. Actors can ride in character with the ride, or meet us at each location to stage the show. The plays for this haven't yet been written, but that is part of the fun. Imagine a play, lit by bike lights or by a mobile crew of stage hands, taking place at the start of a group ride, staged at various locations along the route. The plays will most likely have to be very easy to follow for those only paying half attention to them or for those who show up later on in the ride. The playwrights, the actors, the stage hangs - all should expect a little money for their troubles (maybe not at first, but definitely later on if the idea has legs). There is also money needed for props, lighting, batteries, portable mics, etc. Most of the audio and lighting can be carried on existing sound bikes provided by members of the bike community - but to put on a mobile stage show will require more coordination than one can expect from a volunteer sound bike rider.

Epilogue:

The last part of 2011 I kept the ride away from galleries and did small scale versions of this stuff. Some of you may remember the ride in the arroyo with tons of pinatas, a marching band, fake mass, and a eulogy for MorYork - that was $300 to $400 to produce and was sort of a proof of concept done by Car (canadian girl who worked at the shop for a year).

When the ride started returning to galleries in 2012, I tried to make our arrival a bit more formal and to let them know when or if we are coming. I have found that a bunch of the people who shit talked the ride from the local arts scene didn't have as many people show up to their openings, or were bummed that we didn't come because we bring energy, money, attention, and spectacle to their events. So there is a balance that will always have to be a part of this ride. It is Saturday night, and people want to have fun - but the venues putting on the free show shouldn't be trampled.

I think I am going to try and beg some foundation money away from the 1% to do the rides in the future.

Anyone want to mock this?

reply


You are fucking rad. And as always totally on point.



trickmilla
11.27.12 - 12:44 pm

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or see if you can convince some of the riders to BUY some artwork every now and then! or encourage them to throw money in to the tip jars that most galleries have that are serving drinks/snacks!



adrian
11.27.12 - 2:11 pm

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I'm about ready to bite off more than I can chew. This sounds great.



lackflag
11.27.12 - 2:24 pm

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This sounds like fun. I will mock the need for money. Why not try to do this without the need for all extras? At least at first. The more extras the more that can go wrong, especially carrying that stuff on a bike. Real drama is what people have been craving on the tell lye vision. You don't need a production for a reality show, just cameras to catch it or people to watch it. People will stop and watch other people roll around in their own extra-mints. It doesn't have to be winter green but possibly a story that creates attention.

People love drum circles (even though the people who aren't participating that are within ear shot don't necessarily feel the same way). A rolling jam on a bikes going from spot to spot. Maybe some trailers to carry the instruments?

What do I know. I most likely will have a reason why I wouldn't be part of it anyways.
Have fun with it.

We human creators are only limited by our imaginations.



sexy
11.27.12 - 2:30 pm

reply


Spoke(n) Dissent Part Deux!





Joe Borfo
11.27.12 - 3:01 pm

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adrian - people do buy art on the rides, and a bunch of them come to the ride for the galleries and the experience. I have had a bunch of gallery owners (since that meeting) tell me that they definitely want us to come and missed us when I took the ride to non-gallery stops at the end of 2011.

The whole "you guys suck" thing was an over reaction on their part. They open their doors to the public and then get pissed when the Public shows up. unfortunately, the "art world" is its own subculture, and these events and the art sold at them isn't really for the public. It is for a subculture of artists and their patrons and "the public" might or might not show up for their edification.



ubrayj02
responding to a comment by adrian
11.28.12 - 10:40 am

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You have some good ideas there sexy.



ubrayj02
responding to a comment by sexy
11.28.12 - 10:47 am

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This sounds like a scene from Shawshank Redemption... When Tim Robbins' character gets the books for the prison library and the state asks him to stop sending letters and they consider the case closed... He says he's going to start sending 2 letters a week instead of 1..


What I'm trying to say is FUCK these gallery owners... I think you should stay even longer and drink more of their 2buck chuck...



barleye
11.28.12 - 11:29 am

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ptooey on art (I've been saying that ever since I graduated with an art degree...hahaha)



adrian
responding to a comment by ubrayj02
11.28.12 - 1:45 pm

reply


I like this thread.



Joe Borfo
11.28.12 - 2:05 pm

reply


Spoke(n) Art has been one of the best rides going for a long time. I don't have any good answers right now, but your efforts to keep it going in a vital and sustainable way are much appreciated



mr rollers
11.28.12 - 2:23 pm

reply


What Mr. Rollerzz said. ^^



Mook
responding to a comment by mr rollers
11.28.12 - 3:03 pm

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Having thought a little more about what you've said - I think it's worth keeping a dialogue open with the gallery owners and venues that are receptive to the ride, figuring out how to make the presence of the ridazz be a positive thing and mitigating the negative. Maybe it's something as simple as showing up with a few bottles of our own 2 Buck Chuck. There's no sense forcing ourselves into situations where we're not welcome, but I'd also hate to see the ride abandon the galleries altogether.

But all that doesn't mean we can't create our own art, too.



mr rollers
11.28.12 - 8:55 pm

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wait... Spoken what?



Joe Borfo
11.28.12 - 11:29 pm

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SPOKEN DEEZ NUTZ



andres84
responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
11.29.12 - 12:28 am

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Moryork moryork moryork moryork moryork.



lackflag
11.29.12 - 11:54 am

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im only coming if we can light shit on fire and beat it with sticks.



mikeywally
11.29.12 - 9:29 pm

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i have a folk act for you that is very interested!



mikeywally
11.29.12 - 9:47 pm

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What about hosting some rider "art" custom bikes etc at a space? I don't see the value in going to art galleries unless there's lots of free cheese, and not bree, that shit is gross. instead of going to an art venue, we create our own? I need to get out more, but when I leave the valley I burst into flames.



rev106
responding to a comment by mikeywally
11.29.12 - 9:54 pm

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Wait, did u say u left the Valley? Must be a misprint.



tallcans4tallbikes
responding to a comment by rev106
11.29.12 - 10:15 pm

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yeah fuck bree cheese!

and fuck yeah on what mikey said.

Spoke n art is not spoke n art if it doesnt have 2nd degree burns.



andres84
responding to a comment by rev106
11.30.12 - 2:05 am

reply


beer and ice cream, and alley cat races



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by andres84
11.30.12 - 5:39 am

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How was last week?



brittany
12.11.12 - 8:11 am

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Heard it was great from my brother.... lots of music and had a fun time....



dayone
responding to a comment by brittany
12.12.12 - 7:15 pm

reply

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