In 2016 Vince was a co-curator of Art In Odd Places Orlando with the theme of PLAY.
About Art in Odd Places:
Art in Odd Places (AiOP) presents visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces in the U.S and worldwide. Since 2005, AiOP has produced an annual festival along 14th Street in Manhattan, NYC from Avenue C to the Hudson River each October. AiOP reminds us that public spaces function as the epicenter for diverse social interactions and the unfettered exchange of ideas.
For 2016's the theme was PLAY. AiOP Orlando selected and curated artworks that addressed any concepts within the realm of PLAY. This included ideas of acting, activities, celebration, charades, competition, creativity, dance, drama, exercise, frivolousness, fun, game(s), imagination, instrumentation, leeway, leisure, maneuvers, music, participation, performance, portrayal, practice, randomness, rehearsal, silliness, spontaneity, sport, stage, and theater.
Here is Vince's curatorial statement for the festival:
I LIKE TO PLAY
“I like to play” is a Garth Algar quote from the 1992 movie Wayne’s World that has stuck in my head since signing on to curate this festival. When I was selected to curate Art in Odd Places 2016 PLAY Orlando, I was excited about the one-word theme: PLAY. It looks simple – all fun and games right? On the surface that’s how it appears. But when you start to play around with all of the concepts – it becomes complex. PLAY deals with more than activities perceived as having no meaning or purpose. A prime example are the passionate debates about children in school not having enough time to PLAY – to reset and socialize. I believe that some of the best lessons in life are learned on the playground. I was excited for artists to propose projects that addressed the many concepts of PLAY. I hoped applicants would examine the idea of PLAY using critical thinking and creative problem solving to dig deep into social issues, the current political climate, and social injustices.
The large numbers of quality proposals submitted during the open call thrilled me. Many of them may appear to be simple. Derek Curry and Jennifer Gradecki’s Bankster Games is a video game which the gamer plays against evil zombie bankers may seem like a goofy concept at first. But it’s premise deals with a very serious issue in our society - the lack of economic education. Learning to balance a checkbook is important but what about credit cards, credit scores, borrowing money? You can PLAY now but eventually you are going to have to pay later. But, if you are money smart you are going to wait, save and pay up front. The Privileged Coffee shop by Julia Caston will encourage festivalgoers to think about different levels of privilege in our society by creating a scenario in which privileges are exchanged for a cup of coffee. Again a simple concept creatively executed to address serious societal inequalities that are still very real but are invisible to some, mainly the most privileged. Heather Hubbard’s Positive Process Platform invites you to look at a complete stranger for a period of time without exchanging words. Then each participant takes a photo and gives a compliment to one another – a positive PLAY on conditioned perception, finding the positive rather than the negative.
Sometimes PLAY suggests to play a part and act like something you’re not. Monique Blom’s Intent to Re-Side, addresses disgruntled Americans who are threatening to move to Canada after the 2016 presidential election. Blom (a Canadian) helps festivalgoers prepare for the migration north by demonstrating a selection of stereotypical activities. I told her I am a huge Rush fan and ready to move. The multidimensional piece by Jeff Knowlton, At this Very Location will invite the public to participate in a mobile phone based faux historical tour along the festival route.
Do you have a family board game night? Do you gather around the table to have human face-to-face interactions of PLAY? Or do you (like the cable company ads of a father) search the house to find a quiet place to huddle over a tablet to watch a football game while the rest of the family are equally electronically disconnected playing video games or interacting with “friends” on Facebook? Eden Mitsenmacher’s Loading is clever piece that anyone that has ever used a computer before will instantly empathize with. In Camp Inspiration, Camp Lullaby, Kalup Linzy invites passersby to lounge and watch multiple characters he has created in his imaginative and playful videos. Ienke Kastelein Playing with Chairs is an inclusionary interpretation of the old exclusionary game of musical chairs. Rather then exclude people one by one, her work allows people to participate and engage.
The musician in me is delighted to see innovative sonic views on PLAY, such as Klimchak’s When you Whistle, It’s Not Work, his PLAY on the concept was to take a symbol of the drudgery task of washing the dishes - the kitchen sink and transform it into an instrument of playful joy! Lesley and Jared Silva’s - Rhizomatic Sound System Pays tribute to Deleuze and Guattari's rhizome theory, this piece is an interactive sound sculpture that allows participants to create sonic connections. While playing with "noise", participants and onlookers are encouraged to rethink music fundamentals while experiencing a one of a kind composition. Musicians spend countless hours rehearsing for an adult version of play, the concert. Preston Poe’s auditory farm to table YouTunes, is a PLAY on the model of iTunes. It’s a great example of the effort required to craft a song. Poe will interview you on Friday or Saturday, and on Sunday he’ll perform a song written especially for you. Some projects are a more straightforward interpretation of the theme and I am eager that festivalgoers can PLAY – Playing with Paint by Stephanie Cafcules will invite visitors to interact with a sculptural installation by using paint. Play Station by Grace Brett will be a Performance using circus arts to encourage interactive play individually and as a group.
The projects mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg. There is something for everyone at this year’s Art in Odd Places 2016: PLAY Orlando!
To view the AiOP PLAY Program guide click on the link below to download the PDF.