CAC – Art@Radio

Sounds of art@radio returns to a new location and streaming effort employing several  low power radio transmitters embedded at the Chesapeake Arts Center broadcasting trans-local voices and sounds of place. Also broadcast will be excerpts from the a@r archives.  Stay tuned for more information as it develops.

This is an example of some of the sounds of Curtis Bay, south Baltimore City, Maryland. Standing just inside of the Chesapeake CompostWorks warehouse with a steamy 12 foot pile of compost on one side and an open space that expands out towards the Inner Harbor the sounds of trains moving in and out of earshot along with various industries percolating in the soundscape.

IA Conference @ UMBC

Imagining America or IA is scheduled to be hosted by UMBC from October 1- 4, 2015.  ImagA15_UMBC_Save_the_Date

quoted from IA’s site: Imagining America was formally launched at a 1999 White House Conference initiated by the White House Millennium Council, the University of Michigan, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The name Imagining America reflects the theme of the White House Millennium Council, focused on renewing participation in all walks of U.S. life: “Honor the Past – Imagine the Future.” Conference participants became the basis for what would become IA’s consortium of colleges and universities, and the University of Michigan agreed to be the initial host campus, with Julie Ellison as founding director.

Achievements of IA’s early years include fostering a national network of campus-community collaborators in humanities, arts, and design; developing an analytical framework to aggregate and critically consider the range of nascent artistic and scholarly endeavors; and promoting public scholarship as an important and legitimate enterprise in higher education.

MFEM School #203

Happy 2014 – Holidays!

Maree Farring Elementary Middle School,
Brooklyn, south Baltimore City.  

We are working on an interior upgrade to the school to enhance the learning of the young people at MGFEMS.  This will be a collaboration with MICA Design School, UMBC and Maree Farring art students.   We might also have a number of Benjamin Franklin High School students work with us as well.  Maree Farring is a feeder school to BFHS.  We have a deadline of February 1st to hand over a color scheme to the contract painters.  Then we will begin the next stage of the project, which will be to look at integrating “banner” systems to signify what that area of the school is designated as, i.e., kindergarden, the different grade levels, library, cafeteria, gym, main office and so on.   Students will paint onto prepped banners with grommets so that every few months the students can update the subject matter and or messages they would like to present publicly.  

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Facing the office: Have we as a society rethought the design of our k-12 school spaces?  Check out these photographs of BFHS not far from Maree Farring.

Food pantry- temporary use of space.  This is where the teacher’s lounge will be located.
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The majority of the walls are painted baby blue.

_DSC1702What is played on these monitors that are mounted in the cafeteria?  _DSC1703


The stairwells- my first time to walk through these particular spaces, the German Expressionist film still came to mind from the Sunrise (1928).
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Baby blue hallways.

Second floor.

_DSC1950This is outside of the school in a small courtyard – is it a left over garden, or they ran out of asphalt?

_DSC1976 _DSC1975 _DSC1974 _DSC1973 _DSC1972This is probably left over from some kind of sports court?   The courtyard presents an interesting opportunity to incorporate an outdoor classroom that might include different forms of play, music chalk based games. These look like paintings by the Spanish artist, Antoni Tapies


FABLab: Muscle Wire workshop

Saturday, I took an interesting Programmable Shape-Memory Alloys workshop December 13th at CCBC’s FABLab presented by Kelly Zona (left), an excellent creative educator.  _DSC2083_FabLab  I will post more documentation once I am able to setup the muscle wire device over the next few days.  We are using an Ardunio system to control the electricity along with a few electronic components.   muscelWire-objectThe following is a laser cut paper shape that has the muscle wire threaded through the holes.  When the wire is electrified, it shrinks by 10%, when it released, it returns to it’s original shape- as long as you don’t shock it too much.  Pretty impressive material– though I am fascinated by this I think there are similar techniques that can be achieved with pulleys and levers, more work and more space, too.  There are many possibilities being explored involving robotics and experimental movement.  Wearable technologies is worth G-searching.


Singing Bowl update

Working out the final details – sketch for how the hardware will secure the upper and lower portion of the object to the base, the abandoned shell of the LP player that container the electronics and the computer.


Posted earlier in the month, I added this drawing of the overall structure of the object.  Also included is a photograph of the current stage of the signing bowl object.


This is the overall prototype/ model of the singing bowl project.   The next step is to add the hardware to attach the top portion to the tin trashcan and the lower portion onto the old retrofitted LP box.


Detail of the singing bowl that I purchased in Valencia, Spain in 2006. The solenoids can be seen on the right and lefthand side of the bowl.   I am using an Arduino  to drive the solenoids.  Programing assistance from Alan Grover was essential to the success of the project.


Two weeks ago I attempted to cut out the sliced bottom portion of the object using the CNC router at the FabLab but was dissatisfied by the results so I reverted back to using the HomeDepot tin  garden “trash can” to host the electronics and the solenoids on top, which when operating taps the rhythmic sound pattern onto the singing bowl depending on the viewer in relation to the object.


I used the highest quality plywood, however the wood splintered on the bottom side due to the bit I used to cut with.  Perhaps I should purchase a new bit, which I will do in the future.


MGFEMS – stairwells 120914


December 12/09  I had the privilege to spend several hours photographing the interior of Maree Farring Elementary Middle School in Brooklyn , MD just up 3rd Street from the Brooklyn Enoch Pratt Free Library.  The purpose  of the dark navy blue paint was to prevent the children’s writing and drawing from  being visible on the walls.  Without knowing the history my hunch was that  the children did not have an adequate creative outlet so they expressed themselves on the walls.


CAC cave paintings

A pano from my studio as of today.  The tower like object highlighted on the electronics workstation is the “singing bowl” prototype nearing completion.   More documentation will follow.



Today, while talking with Mollie, CAC ed director, she made a reference to the floor in the woodworking shop about not losing the beauty of the marks as the center makes upgrades to the space into a makerspace — archeological marks left behind from many years of creative use.  I agree, the floor is full of memories that would be sad to lose.




FSCG Cargo Crate

Scroll all the way down to see some of the “art tiles” that we made at the Filbert Street Garden Fundraiser Gala last Fall.   We are working on how to integrate the tiles into the garden as markers.

Today we met with Rodette, who is the new manager of the community garden.   Kathie diStefano is on her right, visiting from Rotterdam, NL. She collaborated last year with Jason Reed, who is now working at Living Classrooms, Baltimore City.

Our next project will be to modify the Filbert Community Street Garden cargo crate donated by CSX making it fit with the “decor” of the garden.  We will be collaborating with UMBC, BFHS students and community stakeholders on the project.  We talked about different techniques we might explore.  One idea to solve painting the side between the fence and the cargo crate was to paint on a canvas, add grommets and hang it so that it can be changed periodically.  Perhaps as the season changes.  Depends on funding and support for the project.  We also talked about adding flag pols on top and suspending flags and or banners to celebrate particular events.

_DSC1318-001_DSC1347-angleCrate_DSC1315_DSC1328Four views to give you a sense of each challenge. There is approximately 4′ between the fence and the cargo crate.

_DSC2118_gardenGalaTilesLast May, 2014 UMBC American Studies and visual arts students along with a number of community members painted these tiles that will be installed somehow in the garden.  Thanks to the Pottery Cove for donating and reducing the cost of the materials.