Archive for the ‘Oak Street Plaza’ tag
Entrancing. Provocative. Celebratory. Poignant. Mythic. These are just some of the ways I have heard people in the community describe their engagement with the ideas and performances shared by the Imagination Fair and Laurie Anderson this past weekend. My family was downtown on Friday evening to capture the performances and music there on an early summer evening and witnessed the atmosphere created by That 1 Guy and others on the Oak Street Plaza. So caught up were we in the relaxed, fun filled atmosphere, we did not even make it to see what was happening at Opera Galleria! Others, however, journeyed on to be captivated by the Laser Harps and the works of local artists presented in CoCOA’s annual member exhibition at the Poudre River Arts Center as they voted on the People’s Choice Awards and celebrated our own local art community at the First Friday Gallery Walk.
Then on Saturday, a close to full house at the Lincoln Center witnessed the extraordinary talent of Laurie Anderson as she mixed music, metaphor, social commentary, light, life and air to fill that space with imagination, laughter and reflection. With stories ranging across the continent and beyond, Anderson enthralled the audience with accounts of small Amish boys learning to kiss without affection, hitch-hiking to the North Pole, staying in bed all day and teaching adult students at night school, narrowly escaping a hatchet and more successfully escaping the burn ward as a child, not to mention the precise performances of working at McDonald’s. She, the “ugly one with the jewels”, also spoke on indigenous people’s encounters with that strange tribe that calls themselves ‘anthropologists’, all the time reminding the audience of the ways we learn to be with each other and the multiple and diverse motivations for our actions, be they money, salvation, education and of course, self-preservation and identity.
Outlining “the stories of stories”, Anderson asked the audience “what are days for?” and to reflect on what some have described as the end of ‘American Empire’, when the people realized, like her little dog, that “attacks could come from above as well.” It was an evening of remembering (re-membering, or the ways in which we bring people from the back of our mind to the forefront of same) and forgetting, not to mention reflecting on what we choose to remember and forget in our stories. As I watched her skip lithely on stage to acknowledge her standing ovation for the third time, I dreamed that I might find myself at her age, capable of such wit, energy, art and love of life. It was an evening that will stay with me for a long time.
Tomorrow, the Science Café presents Dr Arlyn Andrews of the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Laboratories) in Boulder. Dr Andrews’ presentation is entitled “Carbon Detectives” and discusses her colleagues’ efforts to monitor and understand the global carbon cycle and the importance of taking quick action to reduce carbon dioxide pollution. The event is free and starts at 5:30pm at the Stonehouse Grille - we hope to see you there!
Don’t forget to leave us a comment on your experiences of these events – it would be great to hear from you!
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
The fewer expectations you have, the better.
Although we often separate art and science as distinct pursuits, innovative art and science are connected by the process of creative imagination. Throughout history, human imagination has consistently stretched the question of “why?” into the realm of “why not?” and in the process, adjusted our very concepts of reality. However you define it, Imagination, involves the process of reorganizing what we think we know. It’s the ability to question and risk seeing something outside the boundaries of what is “supposed,” to be—the rearranging of variables in new ways! Collectively, we often imagine someone like Albert Einstein, with his signature tousled hair, as a genius for his construction of knowledge and contributions to physics. Einstein published over 300 hundred scientific works, (and more than 150 non-scientific ones)—no small feat—he also said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” “
Another innovative thinker, Carl Sagan said, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” Where has your imagination taken you lately? This weekend you don’t have to physically travel very far to explore new possibilities, and stretch your imagination. At the free Beet Street Imagination Fair, downtown, Fort Collins, (June 5, 5-9 p.m.) you can experience performances and demonstrations that explode the boundaries of science and technology, art and music! This month’s First Friday Gallery Walk (the monthly, evening, opportunity to explore the visual art offerings in Old Town) has an added performance dimension where cutting edge technology meets artistic expression.
On Saturday, at the Oak Street Plaza, Christopher “C3” Cardone demonstrates that becoming an accomplished musician is not a destination, but the ticket to musically travel even further. He builds his own instruments to create an amazing range of sounds and rhythms. Don’t miss your opportunity to journey to his corner of the universe—you never know what will be included in his performance! Later, That 1 Guy, aka Mike Silverman, will continue to push the limits of making music. Silverman, a classically trained upright bassist, imagined and engineered a bass out of electronically wired steel plumbing in an effort to find the perfect sound. You’re invited to hear his solutions!
At Opera Galleria (123 North College), event partner, Discovery Science Center, Colorado’s NASA link site, will showcase NASA exhibits and “hands-on” activities. You can also see award-winning student science fair exhibits. The Poudre School District’s Alpine Robotics Team 159 (students from Poudre High School, Lincoln and Preston Junior Highs) will demonstrate their robotic inventions, and the CSU Engines and Energy Conservation Laboratory will showcase their low cost, high-performance cookstoves, engineered for the developing world. Imagine that! Kids of all ages are also invited to not only listen but “play” Laser Harps with traditional harp strings replaced by laser strings. The harps were designed so that large groups can play simultaneously, using interactive movement, dance, and light to trigger sound. The result? A visual and musical performance you won’t forget! Impact Dance Company will also join in for special collaborative performances at 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm.
Then on Saturday evening, creative pioneer, visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist Laurie Anderson will be in Fort Collins to follow the Imagination Fair. Get your ticket to be transported by her Burning Leaves: A Retrospective, Songs and Stories 2009 at the Lincoln Center box office. Anderson, a self proclaimed “techno-geek,” spins offbeat adventure stories, in an intimate evening of voice, electronics and violin. Her songs and stories include pieces from her acclaimed solo shows The Speed of Darkness, Happiness, The End of the Moon, and Homeland. Among many accomplishments, in 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA—and you can hear some of her avant-garde interpretation of her adventures into that great unknown. Don’t be surprised if her surreal melodies and your imagination sweep you off on an unexpected trip!
Nothing happens without a start as a dream.