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Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
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Fat Possum
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

April 7, 2008
"Lost in Translation" is the subtitle of this weekend's interactive Graduate Level Graffiti art installation in Texas. For one night only a group of Austin artists will play host to an exhibit/experiment created and attended by contemporaries from around the world.

Sponsored by the City of Austin through its Cultural Arts Division and supported by third parties like Cantanker art magazine and the design agency Dreamhaus Media, the show is part gallery exhibition, part activist party, and part new media experiment.

Funding for the event came in the form of grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, but although the gathering will have traditional physical art on display it won't be an academic snooze fest. In fact, Graduate Level Graffiti should be notable not only for its gallery offerings but for its fairly lofty artistic goals as well. "During the event, artists, musicians, performers, and poets from around the world will perform and interact with audience members in an effort to recreate the drama of an essential human truth; our persistent attempt to communicate our experiences through art to each other."

The high aspirations of the installation are no doubt tied to the gravity of the situation that organizers hope to draw attention to. Concerned with "significant funding cuts for arts-related programming" on national and local levels, Graduate-Level Graffiti hopes to showcase the obvious value of art in the way that it engages mankind and at the same time secure funding for underserved artists and arts organizations. The show will donate 20-percent of all proceeds to charitable art groups, and for a green touch the show's ticketing agent and "official green business" partner, In Ticketing, will plant a tree in honor of each ticket sold.

At the event, which will take place at the Asian American Cultural Center in Austin this Sunday (April 13th) from 5pm to 9pm, a group of nearly two dozen artists, musicians, performers, and poets will descend upon the crowd for a multi-level interactive art installation. Participating artists hail from the local community as well from around the globe - video artist Alison Williams is from South Africa, "classical Indian dancer and font designer Jui Mhatre hails from India, collage artist Dariusz calls Poland home - and all will be presenting work focused on the theme of translation.

Beyond simply hosting an installation, "Lost In Translation" aims to document the experience of experiencing art. While organic and synthetic art, presented in audio, visual, and performance mediums, will be presented to the audience for their consideration, there will be a pan-interactive experience in the form of a forthcoming documentary film, which will be made at the installation as the audience views the pre-created work. "Each audience member will be required to participate in some way," explains an email from Sean Gaulager, the event's Marketing Director and participating artist. Because any notion of "art" must have a concept, Gaulager goes on to qualify that explanation by adding that participants "will receive personalized instructions on how to do so." As the audience goes about doing the tasks that they've been assigned, their actions will form a process to in turn be recorded by photographers and filmmakers. The result will be a sort of sandwiched performance - art, experience, document - that should thoroughly blur the boundaries between artist and audience.

SEE ALSO: www.gradgraffiti.org

--
Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other articles by Eric J Herboth.

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