Category Archives: Brooklyn

Marking the days…

As I had hoped in my last post, I did complete Grad School. I submitted all my papers and finished all projects assigned. It was a significant marker in my life, but not as big as the one that is about to unfold.

My mother-in-law has been the closest (geographic) relative, aside from my husband, since I moved to NYC. In fact, the act of moving to NY nearly a decade ago placed me roughly three thousand miles away from my entire immediate family.

In a few short weeks, I will start living just a short drive up the road from my mother-in-law. This act marks a significant shift in my adult experience of familial proximity and relational intentionality.

I don’t know what the future holds for me without a school year cycle to order the days, with this new experience of community, and an open ended moment of my career. What I do know is that I’m trying to carve out a space where things move slower, where my impact is deeper, and my dreams can shape reality.

Is it asking too much of life to hope for something different, more than what I’ve found so far? I hope not. Still, my nerves are on alert.

In this new space I will be taking risks, but betting on myself; I will be focusing on small things, but hoping for many ripples; and I will be a part of a team, rather than an individual.

Here’s to it.

Guess Who!

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I recently took a trip to Washington DC. While there, I had a renewed sense of civic duty and statesmanship. Local and Federal politics has actually been an interest of mine over the last year (or four) and so when I returned to my neighborhood I began to look again at the structures that are in place in my district.

While in D.C. I kept thinking, did I miss this day of school, or just not comprehend how the network of public offices works to represent the United States public? Those pictured above all have some kind of influence in my life, whether I am aware of it or not. I thought it would be best to take a bit more interest in what they do and how they think. (Perhaps, just in time. There is a community board meeting coming up soon that will discuss a massive construction plan near to where I live.)

It may not be a perfect system, but what I am learning is that if citizens don’t engage in the process of local and federal politics, there is no hope for it to work. It is both my optimism for my fellow-man and my values in administrative structures that supports this view, but hopefully those who think and feel differently will still participate!

“You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.” – Eldridge Cleaver, 1968

3-Day Forecast of (a portion of possible) Events


Wayne Adams “The (Sacred) Void” Curated by Allison Peller Thursday, 6p
 First Things Editorial Offices 35 East 21st Street, Sixth Floor (between Broadway and Park) 
A wine and cheese reception will follow.

Performa is having a fundraiser, 6p or 9p
Special Performance Guest! Loc: 508 West 37th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues

Hurricane Sandy Relief Benefit at Pianos, 8p
Performances by Grooms, Zambri, Hooray for Earth, Cymbals Eat Guitars



New York Women Social Entrepreneurs (NYWSE) announces the first annual GIVE GOOD Market, a holiday market for women-owned sustainable businesses on Friday Nov 30 – Saturday Dec 1. Sign up …It will be located at 601 West 26th Street in the iconic Starrett Lehigh Building.

NYU, Art Education Colloquium w/ Oliver Herring, 6p 
Oliver will talk about some past projects and more recent work after returning from a 4 month residency in Kyoto, Japan, at the Eisenstein Auditorium

Performance Night: Folk Remedy, 7p
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS:  Judith Shimer, Lucia Pedi, Mira Hunter, I-Hsuen Chen, SeoKyeong Lee Yoon, Shengkai Huang, Xu Wang

Shadows Through A Prism: Opening, 7p
Curated by Heidi Hahn for 109 Gallery, opening Friday, November 30th, from 7-10p.
Featuring the work of: Claudia Cortinez, Olof Inger, Krysten Koehn, James Miller, Lauren Seiden, Nicholas Steindorf; 109 Gallery – 109 Broadway, Brooklyn



Opening: CRASHCOURSE IV; Work by John Silvis, 6-9p
Norte Maar in Bushwick, showing my recent CrashobjectsPhotographs and Car Assemblage! NORTE MAAR is located at 83 Wyckoff Avenue 1B Brooklyn &

Young Project Profile: UNTITLEDdialogue

UNTITLED:dialogue is a one-year project organized by Jessie Yang and He Yu.

This duo met at New York Univeristy’s Steinhardt Graduate school for Visual Arts Management. Both originally from China, (Shanghai and Sichuan, respectively,) they had the idea to create a monthly forum for further dialogue that centered around Contemporary Asian Art being created locally, in New York. They have garnered a list of over 250 in their network, and growing. Their events have had between 70-80 people show up, which has increased from about 20 at the first event.

“We hope to create a space where artists and the public could meet and interact in an informal setting, with more possibilites for dialogue.”

He Yu (also known as Echo) says that attendees have loved the atmosphere for these events. The artists like the attention as well. Some of their artists are in temporary residencies in New York and are looking for opportunities to talk about their ideas outside of the immediate circle of the program they are participating in, and to broaden their network. The second artist in their series, Na Yingyu, is a video artist and connected with a documentary film maker at one event and has made plans to collaborate.

UNTITLEDdialogue, a series of cultural talks with Asian related artists, curators, writers, independent film makers, designers, architects and musicians in New York.”

When they came to New York, Jessie and Echo didn’t find a lot of events specific to Asian Art outside of the larger and more traditional institutions such as the Asia Society. Even less so when it came to contemporary art, including among commercial galleries.

By providing an informal setting, they have created a free platform around contemporary Asian work where they invite all kinds of international cultural dialogue to occur. For example, John Ransom Phillips was another one of the artists Ud has worked with, he is American and creates images that contain allusions to Chinese sub-text.

With one exception, so far, Ran Tea House has been hosting the Ud program. The tea house also has programming of their own, which is how Echo originally found them. After a screening of the recently released documentary on the work of artist Ai Weiwei she approached the owner, and because their ideas were so similar, it was a natural fit. They set up a schedule for the events, and it has been a smooth collaborative relationship ever since. The only negative aspect that Echo observed is that she would like to find a way to bring in more revenue for the Tea House, and artists.

Jessie has been contributing customized desserts for each event, including a Japanese theme for the event highlighting one Musician from Kagawa.

“I really enjoy making dessert for UNTITLEDdialogue. And I try to relate the dessert to the theme of the dialogue as much as I can. It just makes everyone happy. I would never have thought that studying visual arts would take me to such a new and unexpected path.”

Jessie has applied to a Pastry Arts program at the French Culinary Institute next March. “Though it seems that I found my true calling in cooking and baking, I still love art. And who says food is not art? It is absolutely a work of art.”

Jessie hopes to continue to find ways of blending visual and culinary art experiences after Ud concludes.

In the future, Echo is interested in organizing gallery tours and in-studio visits rather than a program located in a singular venue. One of their events already has taken place at an artist studio (as opposed to the Ran space). Although the different setting can pose logistical challenges, it has the benefit of combining the artist’s network more easily with the network they have been building.

Echo cited a female Taiwanese author, Chen Mao Ping, as a rare female artist icon whom she admired. The author’s published work can be found under the nickname “Sanmao”, and became popular in Taiwan and mainland China in the late 1970’s. She also became infamous for her alleged suicide in 1991.

When asked to share any words of counsel for practicing artists Echo urged that artists must take the time to look into themselves. Everyone is very creative in the art world and trying to assert themselves. You can be influenced by others so easily that it becomes very important to take the time to be introspective and know your own creative goals, and artistic character.

“On October 21st, we’ll present our sixth event with gifted jazz singer and composer Le Zhang. The event will commence with a Jazz performance, highlighting recomposed Shanghai pop music from 1930s and 1940s. The performance will be followed by a talk about the story of “Shanghai Jazz”, the historical and current Jazz scene in Shanghai, and progressive fusion of Western Jazz culture and Chinese pop music in 1930s.” Read More….

​​Time: Sunday October 21st from 16:00 – 18:00
Location: Ran Space, 269 KENT AVE.
(BTW S1 STR. and S2 STR.), BROOKLYN, NY, 11211

Related Links:
Ud on Facebook

Trans Transport – 2 of 2 (aka, my new work ‘hood)

Above is my new commute as captured by CrowJonah. And below is my work space…

Each morning, I have been riding my bike over this bridge…

From this street…

…To this building…

It is an exciting new locale, on the Bowery…

There are a lot of old buildings in a spattering of styles because China Town, Little Italy, the Bowery District, they all merge here.

Today I saw a guest of this hotel look frantically over the balcony off his room, and dump the contents of a coffee cup onto the sidewalk, from, like, the 4th floor!!! Contents below. Looks like some cigarettes and a bit of coffee, I hope.

It is also the Restaurant Needs, and Lighting District. There are many many specialty hardware stores, but it took me asking around a bit to find one that would copy my office key…

Check out the tin ceiling in this hardware shop!

Oh, yeah, there are also random subway vents here – shooting out of the ground with less disguise/consideration than in some other neighborhoods

I guess that’s about it for now. See you soon!

Trans Transport – 1 of 2 (aka, my old commute)

I try to be a global citizen in small ways. Maybe I don’t travel as much as some people, but I have gained my share of stamps in the ol’ passport. More importantly, though, I have made many friends in far away cities. This Photo essay is one, of two, shot for a friend who is visiting me soon. She is one whom I like to share mundane moments with from time to time, though we live far apart, as a method of globe-shrinking.

This first grouping of photos is from the last day of my recent, yet former, commute from my new home to my old office. (Confused?) Once I got back from my honey moon, after moving myself into the new place, I had the task to also move my office! Fortunately it was a joy, as it resulted in a more convenient commute for me to a neighborhood with sites that were new and diverting! (More on that coming soon!)

Me Likey: Pony of Good Tidings

photo credit: Denny Renshaw


Pony of Good Tidings is a Brooklyn-based folk-gospel group fronted by ladybird, Natalie Green, with a little help from her friends – including Anthony LaMarca (founder of Pony’s Label, Primary Records).


They recently released an album which, in terms of music purchases today, is WORTH getting the LP for all the hand-made touches that come with it. It is mixed incredibly well and worth a listen on a nice Summer day like this one.




Wedding Day on Ira Lippke Studio Blog


“It was an incredible summer day for Bonnie & Crow to tie the knot. Bonnie’s custom dress was stunning, matched with Crow’s bespoke suit. The whole day glowed along with Bonnie & Crow. There were many tiny details, many contributed by friends and family – including ornate paper flower arrangements, custom salt & pepper shakers, and a delicious meal for all the guests at an intimate reception. The bride and groom departed on bicycles with all of the guest around to wave farewell with homemade flags. What a day!”

Special thanks is due to Adam Sjoberg for providing lovely documentation of the day.

First Ever! Choreographer Profile: Elizabeth Dishman

bk: Elizabeth,
First off – from where do you hail?

Elizabeth Dishman: I was born in Denver and took for granted my romance with the front range mountains until I moved to Atlanta for college.  Then to Ohio for grad school, back to Atlanta for a handful of years and on to Brooklyn in 2005, where west began to mean crazy tall buildings instead of purple mountain majesties.



bk: How long have you been choreographing dance/performance?
ED: Let’s see.  Not counting the dances I made up on my back patio as a 5 year old, I was drawn to choreography in college, ahem, 18 years ago (???!!).  I started choreographing professionally soon after and have never looked back.

bk: Was there a point as a dancer that you shifted from being a performer of other people’s ideas and gained more confidence in your own/How did you gain this identity for yourself?
ED: I think this transition occurred across disciplines for me.  I was a voice major in college and always struggled to realize somebody else’s vision in my singing.  As I dipped my toes into the world of making dance, I discovered so much freedom and creative energy that showed me how stifled I had felt as a singer.  Who knew?  I’m so grateful to have been ushered into this new creative realm…it was totally unexpected for me.

bk: What is your earliest memory of experiencing Dance – either by doing yourself or watching?
ED: My mom tells me I cut a ferocious rug–er, linoleum–in the kitchen from a young age, but my earliest dancing memory is learning to point my toes in my first ballet class at age 4…it was in a huge high school gym and we practiced making bridges with our feet so the ants could crawl under them.  Charming. But actually, it was.

bk: Is there another artist (visual or performative) that you could cite as a major inspiration?
ED: Nicole Livieratos [pictured below] of Gardenhouse Dance really influenced me in my early choreographing years with her inspired and articulate use of simple visual and movement ideas woven together in profound, wordless meaning.  An early work of hers, Light, utterly fascinated me and gave me a taste for this thoughtful, imagistic approach to the body and movement theater.  She also challenged me early on to pursue higher and more authentic levels of exploration.  Ouch, but “faithful are the wounds of a friend”.  Currently Susan Marshall kills me with a similarly transcendent knack for unearthing deeply resonant images that speak simply but profoundly about things that feel universal and desperately important.  I was thrilled to be one of six choreographers chosen to participate in her first summer intensive workshop. It totally changed me.

bk: Where else in life do you get inspired?
ED: Oh goodness…
The city.  God’s creation and constant moving care.  Certain 2 and 5 year old boys. [Elizabeth is the mother of two] Sculpture.  Bridge builders.  Birds.  So many brilliant performers, writers, videographers, composers…housewives, park caretakers, kindergarten teachers, 101 year-old grandmas, cancer survivors, social networking aficionados, etc.  Basically people and things which are striving to stay true to the present moment, in pursuit of goodness and clarity within their unique spheres.

bk: With a family at home, how do you balance the inevitable multiple identities of being an artist, and a mother, and a wife?
ED: I told a friend recently that it’s less balancing and more picking myself back up, brushing off, gathering any dislocated teeth and trying again.  I’m serious.  Practically speaking, I apologize a lot…  I agree with another mommy choreographer friend who told me that having kids really helps focus the ideas and the longing to do the work, which is a strength.  Not one I was too eager to grow in initially, but a strength.  I’ve had to learn to work more efficiently, spend less time staring at walls and just do the work.  It’s definitely a loss on some levels…I use to be able to really sink into the ideas, almost bathe in them during the process.  Now it’s more about staying sane, generating generating generating, just getting it out there and giving it away.  For sure the only way I’m able to work amid my current family callings is thanks to a fabulous husband, babysitter and many unpaid cheerleaders who wipe the blood off my face and push me a couple steps further.  Thanks, guys!!!  No really, thanks.

bk: What can we look forward to from you in the future?
ED: I’m currently working on a blow-out huge enormous (for me) evening-length quartet called Requiem for This, to be performed in Brooklyn May 17-19 of this year.  (See for more info and a production blog…) I’m thrilled to be collaborating with a glorious team of performers, composers and videographers, who are shaping and coloring this vision so vividly.  Definitely my most personal and comprehensive work to date, it does feel impossible at this moment.
It’s tricky to be a self-producer, but I recently realized that for now that’s where my skills lie and I should just keep going for it and try not to complain about the less inspiring hats I have to wear as fundraiser, studio space finder, program folder, prop collector, and loose ends tyer.
I guess that’s the price to pay for aiming to realize my vision my way. Yes, I’ll continue to pay it…if I could only find my wallet?

Thank you Elizabeth for letting us peer into your practice!
Elizabeth was involved in my 5 Performances project last summer, and I hope to be featuring her on the site again soon. I will let you readers know when her new project is fully realized!