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Matters of the Art: Look, Listen, Hack

Matters of the Art: Look, Listen, Hack

Documentary about sculptor Eva Hesse opens at the Guild; BEDtalks IV invites you to rock those footsie pajamas as you enjoy an evening of short talks; and Burqueños participate in the National Day of Civic Hacking.

BY LISA BARROW

The right stuff

In “Contingent,” eight spans of cheesecloth corseted by latex and stiffened with fiberglass at either end hang from the gallery ceiling. “Repetition Nineteen III” is an arrangement of 19 droopy, open-mouthed cylinders of fiberglass and polyester resin that gleams like mica. “Accession II” sprouts soft, rubber-tube cilia – thousands of them – inside a galvanized steel cube.

With innovative materials, suggestive humor and sheer surreal imagination, works like these by Eva Hesse revolutionized sculpture as an art form. 

After a decade-long career, Hesse died of a brain tumor in 1970. She was only 34. Described as everything from Postminimalist to proto-feminist, the body of work she completed remains profoundly influential and absorbing nearly a half-century later.

Feature-length documentary “Eva Hesse” opens at the Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE) on Friday, May 20, with an 8 p.m. showing. Director Marcie Begleiter, fresh off the film’s premiere at the Whitney Museum, will be there in person for a talk and discussion.

Begleiter’s interest in the sculptor originally manifested as “Meditations: Eva Hesse,” a play she debuted in 2010. Joining forces with producer Karen Shapiro, Begleiter then spent nearly four years on the documentary, interviewing the artist’s friends and compiling images of her work and photographs from her life. The narration hinges on Hesse’s own words, drawn from the reams of correspondence and diaries she left behind.

“Eva Hesse” runs Friday, May 20, through Thursday, May 26, with daily showings at 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets run $5 to $8. Visit guildcinema.com or call 255-1848 for details.

Ready for BED

Mathias Ripp via Flickr

Photo CC Mathias Ripp via Flickr

Step 1: Put on your footsie pajamas and grab a pillow. Step 2: Head down to GRAFT Gallery (1415 Fourth Street SW), where you’ll pony up a suggested donation of $3 to $5. Step 3: Get treated to an evening of short talks on eclectic subjects delivered by smart, interesting local peeps.

BEDtalks IV puts at least 10 separate elocutionists to bed – aka onstage – on Thursday, May 26, at 8 p.m. Each speaker delivers a 10-minute talk on a self-selected topic to the visual accompaniment of up to 20 slides.

One of those speakers is Mauro Woody. A musician best known for her work as Lady Uranium and in bands like Chicharra and the 5 Star Motelles, she’s attended the last three BEDtalks and found them highly enjoyable.

“I’ve seen everything from the DNA and chromosome differentiation of transgendered men and women to online makeup games involving liposuction and removal of organs from Disney characters,” she says. “It’s always a mixed bag.” Woody adds her own voice to the wide-ranging chorus with a witchy look at the “history, practice and perception of Wicca.”

The topics truly are diverse. When author Jessica Mills used to speak to parents about her 2007 AK Press guide to radical parenting, “My Mother Wears Combat Boots,” one question came up over and over again, she says: “At what age do you think it’s appropriate to introduce kids to politics, activism or demonstrations?”

That question ultimately provided the seed for Mills’ BEDtalk “Social Justice Begins at Home.” “Through the way we parent,” says the mother, teacher and hellraiser for local bands like Nose Blonde and Sentence Fragments, “We can model for our kiddos starting when they are very young what social justice feels like and looks like, instead of just talking about it or preaching it.”

For more info and the speaker lineup, keep an eye on the event page at bit.ly/BedTalksIV.

Accessories to access

MotA3-22

Photo CC Christiaan Colen via Flickr

The Internet overfloweth with information. But have you ever noticed how much easier it is to find instructions for tricking a cat into loving you than, say, a handy map showing where to get a no-cost flu shot?

A movement of volunteer programmers, designers and other do-gooders has come to recognize that just because information may be floating around in the tubes, we can’t count on it to be accessible or usable by your average human. Not until someone takes it upon themselves to make it accessible.

“‘Civic hacking’ encompasses any activity that transforms publicly available information into a resource that is helpful to local citizens,” explains Brad Weikel of Code for Albuquerque. The group, which engages in civic tech volunteer work throughout the year, is organizing Burqueño participation in the National Day of Civic Hacking on Saturday, June 4, starting at 9 a.m.

Part of an effort across the U.S., the event focuses on goals of practical value on a local level, and no particular skill set is required. “We’re planning a mix of technical and non-technical activities, and we welcome attendees from all backgrounds,” says Weikel.

Those activities include a mini-hackathon based on projects that have worked in other cities, and the premiere meetup of “open learning environment” MaptimeABQ. Details, including the location, are still in the works, so keep up with developments at codeforabq.org or RSVP at the event page at bit.ly/abqhackday2016.

Lisa Barrow is a member of the Dirt City Writers collective. Visit her on the interwebs at facebook.com/LisaBarrowLikesWords. She most recently served as arts & lit and web editor at Weekly Alibi.

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Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.

Latest posts by ABQ Free Press (see all)