Monday, November 3, 2008
Chicago Humanities Festival
This past weekend Max and I traveled to Chicago to present our work at the Chicago Humanities Festival. I arrived Friday night and was quickly abducted by writer, director, weirdo-magnet Lawrence Weschler. It is one of my most thrilling accomplishments to have someone whose work I greatly admire return the admiration for my own work. Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees and Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder are a cornerstone to any contemporary arts education. I traded some art for advanced copies of his two newest books, one on Hockney and the other a revised version on Irwin. Reading them together is going to be very very interesting. Ren also informed me about an exhibition at the Spertus Museum of the Oakes twins he had organized. When I saw the show I could see why he was so excited. If you are in Chicago, don't sleep on this exhibit!
Trevor Oakes explaining his techniques
Our talk went exceedingly well. Max and I sold out the auditorium with over 250 people in attendance to see us present our work. We arrived to the venue just in time to see the line wrap around inside the building.
They set us up in a fireside chat sort of arrangement on stage (which I loved). I presented first, I'm pretty sure my opening line was "I'm Shlian, he's Shtein and today you are getting a two for one deal."
The crowd was very responsive to the work, applauding at certain videos and laughing as Max told jokes. I was told that it was videotaped and will supply a link here if it becomes available in the future.
Furniture could not contain Max's enthusiasm. Here he explains the scale issues of photovoltaic harvesting.
People stayed to ask us questions and talk with us for over an hour after the talk. I brought some examples of my art and people swarmed to play with the work.
Later that night I got to meet and talk with other presenters, the oakes twins, photosynth guru (and super nice guy) Blaise Aguera y Arcas, and Norman Brosterman.
Thanks again to Ren Weschler and the whole team at CHF. You were all fantastic to work with and we loved being a part of the Festival.