Metal Type on Paper

posted by on 2010.09.30, under design, education

I started taking a great letterpress class this month, taught by Gerald Lange, in Otis College of Art and Design’s Continuing Ed. program. So far we have seen some of Gerald’s fantastic work and that of his students, memorized the California Job Case, set up some type, and started printing. With many errors. So – next week its back to setting and trouble shooting the type, then clean press, ink, print, check, clean, fix type, ink, print, clean… you get the picture. Everything looks like it will take forever but I get the impression that we will get faster at it. The machines, the type, the tools, are all just as beautiful and great to work with as I had hoped. mmmm, lead type.

More Meditations: Eva Hesse

posted by on 2010.09.18, under performance, Set Design, Theater

One week left until the show opens – get your tickets now!

Meditations: Eva Hesse
September 24-25, 2010
Performances at 8:30 both nights and
3 PM on Saturday the 25th.

Highways Performance Space
1651 18th St.
@ 18th Street Arts Center
1/2 block north of Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Buy tickets here.

Here is some more stuff from the production:

This one is a sketch of part of the set, working out the layout of the art-wall/incomplete installation that forms part of the back wall of the set. In the foreground was a model of the art-wall, which was been reconfigured as more of a material sample piece instead of an actual model.

Below are a few photos from rehearsal last week:

Shanti Reinhardt and Barry Saltzman discuss.

Tuddy Monteanu documents Eva.

Bianca Gisselle

Bianca Gisselle and Heather Tyler

And some images of the rolling rear projection wall, with a paper screen for testing. We will be putting up the real screen in the space. The shape is a right triangular prism with the top sliced off diagonally – if that makes any sense to you. It came out great, and basically gives us a compact, rolling, moving image. The video projector mount (not shown there) attaches to the outside edge of the vertical post on the back, and drops the image perfectly onto the screen without the need for zooming or any adjustment. Next hurdle – running wires to it from the booth above.

Meditations: Eva Hesse

posted by on 2010.09.14, under performance, Set Design, Theater, video

For the past month or so, Michele and I have been working on video and set design for Marcie Begleiter’s play Meditations: Eva Hesse. The piece, a fictionalized account of Eva Hesse’s life and last days, combines theater with elements of sculpture and video installation, and touches on several key moments in Hesse’s life and career. As the video and set design team, we have been working closely with Marcie and director David Watkins to bring the piece to life. Very early on, Marcie had created story-boards visualizing the feel of the performance, combining the essence of Hesse’s work with the reality of her brain cancer until her work and life become merged in the finale.

production design sketch, by Marcie Begleiter

Armed with her early sketches, and following the evolution of the play through the rehearsal and workshopping progress, the set has emerged as a few key elements that loosely define the required settings. One is an installation/studio wall for the actors to work with as the play unfolds. The idea for the installation/studio wall is to create a work in progress, which the actors will build upon, that has the feel and materiality of Hesse’s work, without trying to re-create any of her work in particular. This element references an underlying order layered with organic complexity and rooted in process and materiality. The other major set piece is a rolling, rear-projection video rig – built with an industrial aesthetic so that when it is not carrying video, it will serve as a portion of a wall or part of a space. The steel-angle construction precisely frames the area required for a short-throw projector to create a seven by five foot image, in a compact geometric form.

sketch of rolling rear-projection rig and set wall, by Jeremy J. Quinn

early sketch of the “art wall,” by Jeremy J. Quinn

The video design consists of two main conceptual threads – one channel that fills in set elements and another channel that represents abstractions of Eva’s memories and psychological states, both of which follow the emotional arc of the play. Michele has been shooting and editing at a furious pace, attending most rehearsals and working in the space while watching the rehearsals progress. Rise Industries member Sarah Rushford was also able to shoot some video for us while traveling in Germany, which will be used in a German train station scene in the play.

still from video projection, by Michele Jaquis

Production Crew
Meditations: Eva Hesse is written by Marcie Begleiter, and directed by David Watkins
Michael Vanderbilt : Producer
Michele Jaquis : Video Designer
Jeremy Quinn : Set Designer
Alice Tavener : Costume Designer
R. Christopher Stokes : Lighting Designer
Casey McGann: Stage Manager
Marisa Blankier: Assistant Stage Manager
Rosalyn Myles: Prop Master

Young Eva-Alexandra Ozeri
Adult Eva-Bianca Gisselle
Dying Eva- Heather Tyler
Tom-Robert Manning Jr.
Mutti/Dr. P/German Curator- Shanti Reinhardt
William/Sol/German Transit Officer-Barry Saltzman
Lucy/Helen/Mariyln-Anne Yatco
Art Worker 1 (Daniel)-Tuddy Monteanu
Art Worker 2 (Jane)-Kimberly Patterson

Performance dates and location:

Highways Performance Space

1651 18th St.
@ 18th Street Arts Center
1/2 block north of Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Buy tickets here.

September 24-25, 2010
Performances at 8:30 both nights and
3 PM on Saturday the 25th.


Support the production by donating through Kickstarter or Fractured Atlas

Another newsflash from the future!

posted by on 2010.09.09, under art, politics, public art, Uncategorized, urbanism

It’s been an exciting time for the future! This summer, we had our Future Information table at a number of festivals, and interviewed over 20 people about the future. We’ve included them on the “History of Somerville, 2010-2100” website. Take a look if you get the chance! (Timeline combining all of the predictions is here. Archive of predictions people have sent in is here.)

Here are some of the new facts about the future you might find interesting:

–           In 2036, the Union Square branch of the Green Line is extended down Somerville Ave. to Porter Square .

–           In 2060, the city’s DPW goes bankrupt. Davis Square is overrun by the cows and goats that the city now keeps to clear away garbage and mow the grass.

–           By 2030, Somerville has become a mecca for singletons. They take the place and apartments of the families that are leaving town because of the poor quality of the city’s public schools.

–           By 2100, Somerville has channeled the rising floodwaters into planned waterways. Gondoliering becomes a popular occupation, and a new festival (Gondo Fest) joins the Fluff Fest in residents’ hearts, minds, and calendars.

We’re still collecting predictions! If you’d like to make a prediction, just email Tim at , or visit the website for more details.


About the project:
“The history of Somerville, 2010-2100” is a community art project that is exploring what the future might be like. We’ve been talking to current and former residents; gathering official plans; and collecting think-tank vision statements.

This project is organized by Tim Devin, and is sponsored in part by the Somerville Arts Council.