Well, we did it. But in many ways, you all did it. Your support allowed for a space in which seven artists were able to explore their individual artistic disciplines in dialogue with each other. Rockport Public Library has always been about, as Henry M. Sayre would call it, "a willful collision of media" and a space where disparate elements come together and begin a conversation about communication, memory, and the nostalgia of USAmerican culture.
The evenings of April 27, 28, 30, and May 1st saw video, sound, visual art, language, and performance come together and explore these themes while two youths pedaled ceaselessly out of a receding suburban scene in an unmarked warehouse building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As a Laboratory, we have been stewing over these concepts for over a year without the means to produce them physically in front of a live audience. We weren't quite sure what would work and what wouldn't, what would stick and what would slip, not without testing them. And in many ways this semi-private occasion was just that, a test. Rockport Public Library is still very much a work in development; not only in its place within the larger performance triptych, Variations on Icarus, but also on its own as an independent sculptural object. The last week of installation saw many evolutions to what we had thought was set in stone. The learning curve was sharp and each of the artists on this project met the challenge. The event was incredibly well-attended and incredibly well-received. We were thrilled to host the likes of Dan Duray (Art Critic for The New York Observer), Janet Biggs, Patty Cronin, Charles Finch (Art Critic for ArtNet), Hanne Tierney (Director of FiveMyles), Mark Lunsford of the American Repertory Theatre, and many more. It was a humbling experience and we were privileged to share our work with them.
I have posted in this update photographs taken by others (Vincent Romaniello & Dana Dobreva) who attended the event to share some of what went down at 168 Powers Street last month. We are feverishly editing video and photographic documentation of the event and will pass that along to you as well as soon as it is completed.
We are also currently amassing our most important incentives, "thank you's", and gifts in return for such invaluable support and giving. We are endlessly grateful and immensely privileged to have such a group of benefactors, family, friends, and colleagues championing the work of our fledgling group.
A number of our artists will be spending their summers away from the city in various residencies. Summer for the Laboratory is a season of reflection and preparation for the next step.
Rockport Public Library is a conversation in process and we look forward to continuing that conversation and that process in the fall. If you were unable to make it out for this first incarnation of the installation, do not fret. Thanks to you and your outpouring of support, we are far from finished here and anticipate seeing you when we return to Rockport, Massachusetts.
Upon successfully taking this step as a Laboratory, I find that I am truly the lucky one. I want to take this moment to thank each of the artists I worked alongside, their friends/family/colleagues for giving to their work, and my personal base of support for always, always believing that what we do as a Laboratory is important and worth seeing. I am so fortunate to be part of such a network.