Franklin Street Works had three outdoor movie nights during September, 2013, as part of the exhibition programming for Kool-Aid Wino. Movies included: Buster Keaton’s critically acclaimed classic The General chosen by Darien Library’s Erin Shea; The Buttoners chosen by Kool-Aid Wino exhibiting artist Rotem Linial; and Bringing Up Baby chosen by Franklin Street Works’ Creative Director Terri C Smith.  Ripe with foregrounded mistakes, the films were largely humorous, ranging from subtle to slapstick.

Kool-Aid Wino was an exhibition that explored the foregrounding of mistakes and missteps in contemporary art practices and featured works by Anne Carson, Choi Dachal, Frank Heath, Owen Land, Rotem Linial, James Merrill, Alice Miceli, Jenny Perlin, and Aki Sasamoto, as well as an ikat silk suzani textile made in the early twenties. By highlighting or even celebrating errors, the art in Kool-Aid Wino redeemed flaws, accentuated their value, and opened up myriad new possibilities.

Franklin Street Works was so excited to bring freelance writers from New York City to Connecticut to see our exhibition Kool-Aid Wino and to give them a tour of the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan. The tour of the Glass House was followed by a free, public tour of the Kool-Aid Wino with curator Claire Barliant.

The New Media program at Purchase College, SUNY and Franklin Street Works, a contemporary art space in Stamford, CT, will present a group exhibition, “Collective Action Archive,” at Purchase College’s The Passage Gallery, beginning September 6. Curated and coordinated by Purchase College faculty and students along with the Franklin Street Works team, the exhibition kicks off the 2013 season at the school’s student gallery. The show features ephemera, documentation, and publications that include photos, videos, zines, and books from more than 30 artist collectives from across the U.S., including Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Winston-Salem, and San Francisco.

For more information, visit: http://www.franklinstreetworks.org/collective-action-archive-at-purchase-college-suny/

Aki Sasamoto’s performance,  It’s hard to relate to you, (indoor version) took place at the reception for Kool-Aid WinoSasamoto’s performance involved doing a “slow dance” with a large desk, accompanied by Bobby Hebb’s song “Sunny.” The artist also spoke about the “disease” of artists and the relationship between strategic and charismatic personalities, using Martha Stewart as an example of the latter. Sasamoto’s magic marker text on wood and etched words in concrete imbed the installation with cryptic messages from artist to viewer, hinting at the ideas and impulses behind its creation.

Kool-Aid Wino was a group exhibition curated by Brooklyn-based writer and critic Claire Barliant. The exhibition explored the foregrounding of mistakes and missteps in contemporary art practices and featured works by Anne Carson, Choi Dachal, Frank Heath, Owen Land, Rotem Linial, James Merrill, Alice Miceli, Jenny Perlin, Aki Sasamoto, as well as an ikat-dyed silk suzani from the Middle East made in the early twenties. It was on view at Franklin Street Works from July 20 – September 22, 2013

The show starts with the widely accepted premise that artistic process relies on trial and error. You try something, you mess up, you move on. But what if you stay with that mistake, or that troubling passage, and make it the focus? What if you let it be awkward, an irritant, wiggle it like a loose tooth or pick at it like a scab that never quite heals? What if, instead of being one (quickly deleted) step toward success or resolution, the error becomes the climax and the denouement—an end point in itself, or even a goal? Hence the title Kool-Aid Wino, which comes from Trout Fishing in America by poet and author Richard Brautigan, who deliberately fudged words while writing in order to invent new ways of saying things.

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As We Perform It was a two-week, group exhibition at Franklin Street Works that brought together emerging and mid-career artists who use performance, painting, video, photography, and social practice to expand on the rich, ever-evolving role of contemporary art as a tool for exploring self-representation. This exhibition was the first by emerging curator and Franklin Street Works’ staff member Sandrine Milet and was on view from June 22 – July 7, 2013. Exhibiting artists include Lisa Fagan, Christina Sukhgian Houle, Kristin Lucas, Erica Magrey, Peter Bonde Becker Nelson, Dani Padgett, Bastienne Schmidt, Devan Shimoyama, and Thuan Vu.

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As We Perform It, opening reception.

In preparation for their “Excess” project on June 15, 2013, artists Ricardo Miranda and Brooke Singer conducted a survey of restaurants in downtown Stamford to learn more about the food waste landscape. This information was then used to created colorful posters with facts about Stamford’s food circulation and were displayed, along with their composting bicycle, in a downtown storefront window. During Stamford’s art walk on June 15, the artist team cycled around downtown Stamford on the bicycle, collecting waste from businesses, redistributing edible portions at a free public picnic at Franklin Street Works, and composting the remainder. For more on the Excess project visit http://www.excessnyc.org

For Emily Larned’s Book Binding Workshop, those in attendance learned about simple, non-adhesive book structures that are easily made without special materials or tools. These basic handmade books can be made as editions or unique works of art. This event was part of Strange Invitation programming and was inspired by Franklin Street Works’ Reanimation Library branch, which featured a physical collection of books that have fallen out of routine circulation.
“Marshall McLuhan said that when a technology becomes obsolete, it becomes an art form,” Larned says. “And that’s what we’re seeing with the book as it becomes supplanted by digital storage and search technologies.” Although the handmade book no longer serves its responsibility of recording the knowledge of humanity, it retains other qualities is has always had: a book is portable and requires no batteries or power, and a photocopied edition can be made inexpensively and distributed in public space anonymously. A book is finished in a moment in time, and is a great vehicle for aesthetic exploration, sharing of ideas, storytelling, and good old self-expression. “And maybe there’s also something to the fact that there will never be an untold number of other people accessing it at the same time,” Larned says. “It is limited and finite and physically inhabits the world – just like us.”

For Emily Larned’s Book Binding Workshop, those in attendance learned about simple, non-adhesive book structures that are easily made without special materials or tools. These basic handmade books can be made as editions or unique works of art. This event was part of Strange Invitation programming and was inspired by Franklin Street Works’ Reanimation Library branch, which featured a physical collection of books that have fallen out of routine circulation.

“Marshall McLuhan said that when a technology becomes obsolete, it becomes an art form,” Larned says. “And that’s what we’re seeing with the book as it becomes supplanted by digital storage and search technologies.” Although the handmade book no longer serves its responsibility of recording the knowledge of humanity, it retains other qualities is has always had: a book is portable and requires no batteries or power, and a photocopied edition can be made inexpensively and distributed in public space anonymously. A book is finished in a moment in time, and is a great vehicle for aesthetic exploration, sharing of ideas, storytelling, and good old self-expression. “And maybe there’s also something to the fact that there will never be an untold number of other people accessing it at the same time,” Larned says. “It is limited and finite and physically inhabits the world – just like us.”


An Incomplete Portrait of the Reanimation Library: Thursday, May 30 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm.

Franklin Street Works hosted Andrew Beccone’s performance “An Incomplete Portrait of the Reanimation Library”. The free, public event featured Reanimation Library founder, Andrew Beccone, performing a set of short readings made up entirely of excerpts from the library’s holdings. The readings were paired with projected images from Reanimation Library’s image archive. Sequenced, unmediated fragments of found text and an accompanying stream of decontextualized images provided a personalized, fractured, and incomplete portrait of the wide-ranging attitudes, ideologies, and visual systems contained within the collection.

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For more on Reanimation Library reanimationlibrary.org/. For more on Franklin Street Works: franklinstreetworks.org/