Trade School at the Whitney

Whitney Museum
of American Art

945 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021

March 25 2011

6 to 9 pm

Trade School at the Whitney: Coincidence of Wants

Trade School is a non-traditional learning environment where students barter with teachers. We offer classes on techniques and tactics in exchange for a variety of goods and services. For one night only, Trade School will hold 16 classes inside the Whitney Museum. As payment for the class, students bring objects they’ve made, to be prominently displayed. Sign up for a class below by agreeing to bring an object of your own creation!Mar 25Friday(Full)

The Little Heavy Ones: Bad Dreams as Border Songs

5:30 to 6:30pm

I fly on my stomach, hands in front of me. I am near the river; the river is to the side. I land real early in the morning. In the dark. – 29°26’55″N 104°11’15″W

The deep militarization of the US/Mexico border manifests in the nocturnal dreams of those residing alongside the Rio Grande—markedly in the pesadillas (“little heavy ones”) of the residents of Redford, Texas ( 29°26’55″N 104°11’15″W). It was agreed, at collection, that I would disseminate the dreams, replete with symbolic and actual flights, beautiful dead men and murderers masquerading as animals—within the greater US interior. Here, they have been turned into song, sung from one body to another.

When you wait in line for the museum, someone will approach you. They will discreetly lean close and sing into your ear. You will learn the song. The singer will teach it to you. It is one of the dreams collected at the border.  You will sing your version to the person behind you and in front of you in line.

Additional Information:

In 1997, Esequiel Hernandez, 18 years old and an American resident of Redford, was shot to death by the US marines while herding goats within the village’s perimeter.

In 2006, US Congress passed Public Law 367, the Secure Fence Act which authorized the “systematic surveillance of the international land and maritime borders of the United States through more effective use of personnel and technology, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, ground-based sensors, satellites, radar coverage, and cameras and physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful entry by aliens into the United States.”

In 2008, I collected these dreams.

About the teacher, Mary Walling Blackburn

My mother sang songs to me that her grandmother had sung to her; when my mother had her thyroid removed from her throat she worried that she would no longer be able to speak or sing. But her voice remained. I just began to sing to other people this year. I wrote a thesis on murder ballads and how they informed gender roles in the southern united States. I used to live very close to the Texas/Mexico border.(Full)

Pilates in a Chair

7 to 8pm

Sit all day?  Feeling sluggish?  Give your brain and body a break without even getting out of your chair!  We’ll work on adaptations for Pilates exercises that can fit in your cubicle.  You’ll be given homework for sitting, standing, and lying down that will make your whole being happy.  Anna’s a certified Pilates instructor so you won’t get hurt. 

Pilates is a non-impact system of exercise that focuses on strengthening deep muscles of the abdomen and spine.  Pilates exercises help create lean, strong, but flexible muscles.  Gaining this strength in the core can aid in injury prevention, spinal health, improve posture, and reduce stress and tension.  Pilates can be differentiated for people of all ages and abilities.  Let’s adapt it fit your office chair or subway bench! 

Wear what you wear to work so we can see our limitations or, if you prefer, just wear something comfortable to move in.

About the teacher, Anna Naomi Larson

I love to find ways to bring exercise and being good to your body into the regular routine without extra equipment, memberships, or using undue amounts of time.  Bike to work! Take the stairs! Games in the park!  Pilates on the Subway!  At this point my Pilates training is used mostly to lead “body breaks” in my classroom as a 3rd grade teacher in East Harlem.(Full)

The Utopian Promise of 19th c. Design Schools for Women

7 to 8pm

Between 1848 and 1852, the first three design schools in America were opened by women for women in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. More cities founded design schools for both men and women in the years and decades that followed. This Trade School class starts with a talk about what this transformative design school movement meant for First Wave women, and for the next generation of women like Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942) who became a sculptor and later founded the Whitney Museum. We will then transition into a group discussion of how this history might inform the education of today’s artists and designers. For example, how can we best mentor one another towards subjective, creative, and economic freedom?

About the teacher, Nancy Austin

Nancy Austin is a scholar, artist, and public history activist based in Newport, Rhode Island. She has taught art and design history at RISD, Yale, and WPI and published frequently on the education of the artist and designer in America. This winter she was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome writing on American cultural institutions founded in the 1890s.(Full)

Make your own spectrometer

7 to 9pm

This workshop will show you how to use everyday materials to build a spectrometer, a device that expands our vision by revealing the unique spectral signatures of chemicals present in the surfaces around us.

Our low-cost, DIY version of sophisticated spectrometry equipment normally used in chemistry or astronomy is being employed by community groups around the Gowanus Canal to document environmental contamination, specifically PAHs – polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are visible in the ultraviolet spectrum.

Participants will construct their own spectrometer and examine a variety of materials—we’ll bring some but feel free to bring your own (food, plants, etc). We will also experiment with shapes and designs to improve the spectrometer for various scenarios. Other Public Laboratory community members and DIY tools will be there for unstructured fun.

Bring a camera and a cardboard tube!

NOTE: This class will occur outside (in the courtyard). Please dress appropriately for outdoor weather conditions.

About the teacher, Jeffery Warren & Public Laboratory

Using inexpensive DIY techniques, we seek to change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms. Using a participatory research model, we are activists, educators, technologists, and community organizers interested in new ways to promote action, intervention, and awareness.(Full)

Edible Glass Workshop

7 to 8pm

This workshop focuses on exploring creative possibilities of sugar glass (a.k.a. hard candy) through the lenses of art and science. We will be looking at “sweet” artworks, designs, and performances for inspiration, getting into a hands-on practice of sugar glass. Some of the basic candy manipulating techniques will be demonstrated, such as blowing, thread making, and casting.  Please bring comfortable work clothes.

About the teacher, Yuka Otani

Yuka Otani is a multi-media artist who is currently based at New York City and Tokyo.  She received a masters degree from Rhode Island School of Design in 2008, and a bachelors degree from Tama Art University, Tokyo, Japan in 2000. Her sculptures and installations incorporate transparent and fluid materials such as glass, water, melted sugar, light to invoke a shift in a viewer’s perception of physical and cognitive spaces. The vulnerable materials change their appearance over time, thereby simultaneously emphasizing both presence and absence. Otani’s work is recently exhibited at venues including 3rd Ward, Urban Glass, CRG Gallery, Elga Wimmer Gallery, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and Wight Gallery at UCLA.
She is currently participating in the Open Studios Program at Museum of Arts and Design.(Full)

Philosophy of Plumbing: From Kant to Kierkegaard

7 to 8pm

A hands-on examination of the philosophical implications of plumbing as seen through the lenses of Kant’s noumenal/phenomenal distinction and Kierkegaard’s leap of faith.  Special attention paid to sweating techniques as well as the problems for a philosophy of art that begins with the distinction between the world that is seen and the world that is unseen.

About the teacher, Dena Shottenkirk

Currently: full-time faculty in the Philosophy Department of Brooklyn College; artist; author.
Formerly: art critic; plumber.(Full)

Community Action Research Workshop

7 to 9pm

Christopher Robbins (and Aaron Krach, Juliet Orbach, Julie Novello, Meg Welch, and Nicky Befus of his SUNY Purchase College ‘Art For Social Change’ course) will explore some of the techniques he has encountered creating action- and collaboration- based works over the past ten years.

This workshop will focus on PRA techniques—also known as Participatory Rapid Appraisal / Participatory Learning & Action / Action Research—ways of exploring a community from the varied perspectives of the people in that community, without having to rely on the “Official” perspectives put forth by those who already have a voice.

Techniques we will cover include community mapping, transect walks, and other techniques for getting a foothold in new communities.

NOTE: This class will occur outside (in the courtyard). Please dress appropriately for outdoor weather conditions.

About the teacher, Christopher Robbins

Christopher Robbins works on the uneasy cusp of art and community development, using a carefully twisted work-process to craft awkwardly intimate social collaborations. He built his own hut out of mud and sticks and lived in it while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa, spoke at a United Nations conference about his cross-cultural digital arts and education work in the South Pacific, and has lived and worked in London, Tokyo, West Africa, the Fiji Islands, and former Yugoslavia.

The SUNY Purchase College ‘Art for Social Change’ course is a new type of course – bringing Fine Art, Sociology, Humanities and Technology students together for an intense, hands-on program that produces actual social actions. Aaron Krach, Juliet Orbach, Julie Novello, Meg Welch, and Nicky Befus are currently working out of an empty storefront in Portchester, NY.(Full)

Making Books, Large and Small

7 to 8pm

In this class we’ll make some books, Large and Small.
You will learn the very basics of bookbinding: paper grain, accordion fold, a pamphlet stitch and a square knot.
We’ll make a Small Book individually, then a Large Book collectively. The basic techniques taught in this workshop can be used for complex ideas and implemented in elaborate structures.
(For those who are interested in construction details, we will quickly make a pamphlet and demonstrate a few tricks of the trade for the Small Book. Afterwards as a group, we will make the Large Book from prepared materials, by attaching pamphlets onto an enormous accordion fold. All materials will be provided.)

About the teacher, Cathy Mooses & Anne Callahan

Cathy Mooses is an artist that lives in Brooklyn. She has organized projects for dozens of NYC based artists to live, teach and make art in Latin America. She also teaches book binding techniques for Art of the Book course at The Cooper Union. Anne Callahan is a book designer in Manhattan. She runs Graphic Union, a not-profitable organization that preserves and interprets the history of publishing. She also works with periodicals in the Fashion Institute of Technology Library.(Full)

Comics and Cartooning for Everyone

7 to 8pm

I’m going to teach cartooning and developing cartooning skills for beginners. It will involve doodling, drawing and working on art skills. We will also explore learning to think up good cartooning ideas for those who can draw but don’t know what to use the skill for. The class will be divided into three segments: developing your own cartooning drawing style, character creation for comic books, and political or funny single panel cartoons. Bring a drawing pad or note book.

About the teacher, Quinn Accardi

I’m 10 years old. I love drawing and trading. I co-manage a small comic business and sell them once a week in TriBeCa. I am the illustrator and my partner is the writer. I play guitar and was once in a band that never ever even got together. I’ve been in the comic business for 2 years and I also like drawing political cartoons and single panel cartoons.(Full)

Food in Art: An Edible History

7 to 9pm

Look, learn, eat, examine, discuss, repeat.

“Food in Art: An Edible History” is an exercise in viewing artworks that contain images of food, and then eating the food that is contained in these artworks.  In a dining room setting, participants will view a virtual exhibition of works by Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Karen Finley, Sharon Core and others, eat the food that is represented in these artworks and then explore a working menu that asks them what they see, smell, taste and feel.  Participants will discuss their findings with fellow diners, furthering their journey through a multi-sensorial experience.

Focusing on the intersection of topics such as gastronomy, pedagogy, art history, visual culture, and social networks, “Food In Art: An Edible History” subverts traditional viewing practices and examines new models of art viewing that incorporate taste and smell.   By provoking participants’ senses, this exercise will create a more comprehensive, emotional and personal exploration of the artworks.

Participants can experience “Food in Art: An Edible History” on a rotating basis- the dining room will host multiple seatings over the course of a 2 hour period.  In this time, the exhibition of artworks will be shown on a loop.

About the teacher, Tracy Candido

Tracy Candido is a Brooklyn-based artist using food as a medium and eating as a social practice to engage the public in group activities. Tracy recognizes food as an anchor for social experiences, a community binder, a fundraising resource, and a point of sensory information in creative, critical and social spaces.  She is a museum educator and has developed and taught educational programs at the Brooklyn Museum, the International Center of Photography and the New York Botanical Gardens.  Current and upcoming projects include the Community Cooking Club, the Pub Discussion Series at the Open Engagement Conference in Portland, OR and the Farm City Chautauqua series at 61 Local in Brooklyn and at the New Museum’s Festival of Ideas for a New City.  Tracy is also a founding editor of 127 Prince, an online journal about socially-engaged art practice, and edits the column, “Instructions For Eating.”  She holds a Masters from New York University in Visual Culture Theory.(Full)

Present-Time Feng Shui 101

8 to 9pm

“Ask yourself, ‘Do I love Earth in this place?’ If you feel rejected by your environment because you think it is too dry, too cold, too urbanized, too reclusive, you have some thinking to do.” – Barbara Hand Clow

For some people Feng Shui is a way to move your ikea couch. For others, it’s a way to work with energy, similar to Chrokee teaching of “Making Home.” In fact, that’s just why we’re here on Earth: to make home! It is the art to house your body that houses your soul. In this course, we will learn:

– How to aligning your space with Body, Mind, and Soul.
– Clearing a space and filling it with intention
– The Bagua
– The Prosperity Corner
– The Elements
– Space Clearing techniques

Please bring:
1. Any rattles, small drums, hand held percussion (you can even make them with rocks in a can) for Space Clearing.
2. A notebook and something to write with for activities.

We will pre-start the class with Aura Cleansing and 3rd Eye Activation.

Let us now be grounded and expanded at the same time on Earth, to be responsive and nurtured by Her, as we are all Children of the Earth.

About the teacher, May Anuntarungsun

I began my esoteric studies since I was 6 years old, looking at Vedic astrology and tarot cards. Being raised a Buddhist, through many meditation practices I became aware of subtle energy and metaphysical intelligence. I like hanging out at Temple of GAD. I am committed to alternative healing, using my hands to create gifts, and circulating wealth in human kind.(Full)

It doesn’t come out brown: the basics of distilling alcohol

8 to 9pm

Alcoholic beverages have been around longer than man has been standing upright and a mythology equally as old has been built up around it. From primitive alambic pot stills to some of the more exotic equipment and methods being used today, this class will introduce you to how some of your favorite beverages are actually made, from grain to glass.

About the teacher, David Kyrejko

A perpetual builder of projects that blend science and aesthetics, David Kyrejko runs The City Foundry out of Bushwick, Brooklyn where one of the current projects is the creation of a cutting edge distillery.(Full)

Monday Painter/Sunday Banker

8 to 9pm

This is a class in economics as a creative practice.  We will start with a brainstorming exercise and then look at economics through the lens of two questions: How do I price my work?  What would an investor want to know?  We’ll cover a few basics of cost structure and the time value of money to leave you with a few mental frameworks for thinking about economics in relation to your work.  The ethos of the class is that everyone is an artist—and also a businessperson, and that capitalism is not a value system but a way the world works and something everyone can understand, much the way art is.

About the teacher, Amy Whitaker

I have an MBA from Yale, as well as an MFA in painting from the Slade.  This class began as a series of lunchtime lectures in business theory to fellow painters at the Slade in 2004.  I currently teach economics on faculty at RISD and at California College of the Arts, and am the author of the book Museum Legs, which was chosen as an Authors@Google selection and as the freshman reading book at RISD last year.(Full)

Elevator Reanimation: The Brain and the Experience of the Divine

8 to 9pm

Our relationships to God, gods, spirits, and the divine often use certain experiences as touchstones: the world cooperating just so to make a plan work out, the sense that one is experiencing something magical, as in the case of out-of-body experiences, and the sense that some mindless things are actually acting intentionally, as when we see plants moving towards sunlight in terms of the plants acting on an intention to face the sun.  But, what if we can induce experiences like these?  What if, in walking through an art museum on a busy evening, people were not transported by the art, but instead by the opening of an elevator door, or by the flickering of an “Exit” sign?  What if, at the end of a brief walk through the museum, people sat down and discovered that they could feel someone touching a rubber hand as if that rubber hand were their own?  Do we project our own agency into the world and come to think that what isn’t alive is animate?  Do we confuse psychological illusions for evidence of the divine?

This class explores these questions.

About the teacher, Matthew Noah Smith

Matthew Noah Smith is an associate professor in the department of philosophy and the program in ethics, politics and economics at Yale University.(Full)

Relational drawing laboratory

8 to 9pm

Movement and drawing both enhance our awareness of the critical relationship between visual and tactile sensitivity.
In this lab, we will study the appearance and sensation of human movement. After a gentle movement lesson, we will alternate roles of artist and model. By rotating roles, you will gain insight into the basis of anatomical structure and function from the inside out. You will also gain a deeper understanding of some of the tenets of life drawing: gesture, contour, mark-making and line quality (movement, touch and the quality of your intention).

Wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga or
Pilates mat.

About the teacher, Joshua Hart, Helen Miller, Chris Moffett

Joshua Hart is a sculptor living and working in Brooklyn.  He has been teaching drawing courses since 2001. His approach is grounded in Renaissance techniques while encompassing all modes of drawing and simple acts like making pancakes or turning one’s pockets inside out.

Helen Miller is an artist living and working in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She leads a movement + drawing lab at Harvard, where she is also a Teaching Assistant in Visual and Environmental Studies.

Chris Moffett is a Feldenkrais practitioner of movement education working with artistic sorts doing interesting things. He also works on the aesthetic imagery of education—how we picture education to ourselves—and teaches graduate courses in philosophy of education in the New York area.(Full)

Reading & Weaving

8 to 9pm

Franz Kafka always imagined his stories read aloud. Like many writers, he would write stories in a single sitting, allowing the words to almost spill and trip over themselves and the story to unfold of its own dreamy accord. His stories thus became maps of his mental journey and its winding pathway into the outside world of the printed page. While artists often work in isolation, what happens when many people have the same external experience while engaging in a creative process? How might we map their subjective and inter-subjective experiences? In this performative class, pairs of weavers will respond, through their weavings, to stories read aloud, thereby mapping their experiences in the time-based medium of the weaving.

In this first iteration of Reading and Weaving, students will not be instructed in a traditional manner, but will be asked to learn from observation, experimentation, and their imagination. We will be reading and weaving to the chapter from Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia entitled “The Smooth and the Striated.”

Special thanks to Sam Ishii-Gonzales, Assistant Professor of Film Studies, The New School.

About the teacher, Huong Ngo

Huong is a freelance dreamer. This is her first time teaching Reading & Weaving. She likes clouds, sounds, shapes and shadows.