Events and activities throughout the Taos area today (Sept. 27) will entertain and illuminate the 18th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) attendees and area residents.
The event was headquartered in Albuquerque this year, which joined a celebrity line-up of previous ISEA cities including Istanbul, Singapore, Belfast and Munich. Field trip excursions have been scheduled to communities throughout New Mexico, and Taos plays host to conference attendees today.
This year’s ISEA theme is “Machine Wilderness: Re-envisioning Art, Technology and Nature.” Taos-area artists and visionaries have taken the theme and run with it.
“The Beautiful Midden Site Event,” from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. today, invites the public to a vigil “of offerings and material transformation,” according to the invitation. It can be found at the dead-end of County Road 110, four miles west of the University of New Mexico-Taos Klauer campus. The community is invited to bring offerings and do performances — not for the public, but for the space — near the confluence of the Río Pueblo and Río Grande.
“Midden,” a term used in archeology to describe a refuse heap, refers to a primary use of this visually stunning area since a landslide closed the road to Pilar several years ago. A group of therapists, artists, teachers and other community members submitted a proposal to renovate the area, but found such conflicting ownership (public and private) and uses (shooting, dumping, hiking) than they realized, according to spokesman Scott Moore. So, they first needed to open a conversation with the community about the area. Ergo “The Beautiful Midden Site Event.”
The group also stretched tin-can phones across the arroyo-dumpsite that “immediately started to sing” in the wind, according to Moore, and were quickly riddled with bullet holes. It’s still there, however, and the 175-foot “phone line,” is being considered as a new category for the “Guinness Book of World Records.”
The group also dropped a Ceremonial Trash Camera encased in an acrylic sphere down the arroyo dumpsite, which recorded the trip down and up. Promo-Hobo guerilla artists got into the act and adorned a purple car dumped in the arroyo, hanging bones from the bullet holes.
The group currently has a “Beautiful Midden” exhibition through Oct. 22 at the Atrium Gallery at Klauer Campus, 1157 County Road 110 in Ranchos de Taos. They are compiling a documentary, as well. Call (575) 758-3874 for more information.
Robert Cafazzo of Two Graces Plaza Gallery in Ranchos de Taos exhibits his paintings based on Edweard Muybridge’s photographic studies, which laid the groundwork for motion picture technology. Cafazzo incorporates Southwestern elements into his re-imagined cave paintings inspired by Muybridge’s photographs of successive stages of movement in animals and humans. The gallery is located at 68 Saint Francis Church Plaza. The exhibit continues through Nov. 30. For more information call (575) 758-4101.
From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Taos Artist Collective will host Catherine Carter’s interactive photomontages on reality. “What we see is not really out there,” she said. The animators at Studio Peligroso also present a looping reel of 3-D video animation about interactions between technology and the environment. The location is 106 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, on Taos Plaza. For details, call (575) 751-7122.
Kindergartners through 4th-graders explore seeds, their wildness, and their relationship to food in “Seeds: Time Capsules of Wilderness” at the Stables Gallery, today through Saturday (Sept. 29) from noon until 6 p.m. The audio-visual installation explores seeds through children’s eyes and is presented by SEED and local elementary schools. See it at 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte and call (575) 758-2052 for information.
Also today through Saturday (Sept. 29), the Wild Rivers Recreation Area, north of Questa, and Ocho, in Questa, host NeoRío 2012, described as “an annual outdoor, public symposium, celebration and rendezvous of artists, scholars and youth, celebrating natural world themes.” (See page 26.)
At The Hand of Man robotic performance in Kit Carson Park, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. today, audience members can operate a robotic human hand strong enough to pick up and smash a car. This is brought to you by local artists Christian Ristow and Christina Sporrong. Call (575) 737-8261.
Dozens more events are scheduled throughout the area today. See schedules at taos.org/isea2012 and www.isea2012.org/?q=related-activities/taos.