Friday, July 31, 2009

Opens Tonight, Friday, July 31: Soundings and My Space:Miami

Artist Jorge Rojas LIVE in MySpace: Miami

Artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji

Jump (2009)



Monday, July 27, 2009

This Friday, July 31: Reception for NPN Visual Artists in Residence: Jorge Rojas and Wura-Natasha Ogunji

Join us at Diaspora Vibe Gallery this Friday, July 31, 2009
Opening Reception of
My Space: Miami by Jorge Rojas and
Soundings by Wura-Natasha Ogunji (performance at 8pm)
7:00-10:00 PM
3938 N. Miami Ave, in the Miami Design District

Jorge Rojas and Wura-Natasha Ogunji are the Inaugural Artists for the National Performance Network's Visual Artist Netwok Residency:

Jorge Rojas will create My space: Miami, his fifth in the last calendar year in a series of interactive works entitled ‘Live Gestures’. The series started in Guadalajara, Mexico in August of 2008 and has since been in Brooklyn, NY, Bronx, NY and West Chicago, IL. My space will serve as the artist’s residence and studio for 7 days, during which time he will live, work, eat and sleep, as well as interact with the public both in the gallery and online through a 24/7 live video broadcast on at

Working with local performers, Wura-Natasha Ogunji will create Soundings, a public performance piece through which black women develop and choreograph movements based on deep knowledge and body memory. The piece is designed to happen in multiple African-Diasporic locations including Brazil, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, and the United States. Soundings creates language for how black female bodies move in the world, recording the recurrences and repetitions over time, space, and geography. It is at once a live performance and a filmic projection as each iteration of Soundings is recorded to become part of a multi-channel video. “This documentation reveals the connection, dissonance and syncopation of power and knowledge as located in the body,” says Ogunji. Also on view are large-scale paintings by the artist.



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Diaspora Vibe Gallery, FiveMyles in Brooklyn and labotanica in Houston Present Low Lives

Join us Saturday, August 8th, 6 – 9 pm at the Diaspora Vibe Gallery for Low Lives.

Low Lives is a one-night exhibition of live performance-based works transmitted via the internet and projected in real time at three venues throughout the U.S.--FiveMyles, Brooklyn; Diaspora Vibe Gallery, Miami; and labotanica, Houston in partnership with Project Row Houses (5 – 8 pm in Houston). Low Lives examines works that explore the potential of performance practice presented live through online broadcasting networks. These networks, though seldom utilized for performance art, provide a new alternative and efficient medium for presenting and viewing performances.

Curated by Brooklyn-based artist and curator, Jorge Rojas, Low Lives embraces works with a lo-fi aesthetic such as low pixel image and sound quality, contributing to a raw, DIY and sometimes voyeuristic quality in the transmission and reception of the work. The artists and artist collectives participating in this exhibition will transmit their performances from countries including Argentina, Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Macedonia, Mexico, United States, Vietnam and Wales.

Low Lives is about not simply the presentation of performative gestures at a particular place and time but also about the transmission of these moments and what gets lost, conveyed, blurred, and reconfigured when utilizing this medium,” states Curator Jorge Rojas. Rojas, whose artwork has increasingly involved performative elements, proposed this exhibition to FiveMyles, Diaspora Vibe Gallery, and labotanica because of their commitment to experimental art and framing local and international art-making.

Artists include Abby Donovan; Adam Trowbridge; Amanda Alfieri; Bishop Bishop; Carlos Rodal; Carol & Jonas Pereira-Olson; Carolina Vasquez & Bethan Marlow; Caroline Boileau; Danielle Abrams; Denise Prince; Eden Mazer & Rachel Frank; ErikAndTheAnimals; Eseohe Arhebamen / edoheart; Flounder Lee; Franko B; Fred Koenig; Genevieve Erin O'Brien; Igor Josifov; Inge Hoonte & Michelle Tupko; Javier A. Lara, Rose DiSalvo, Chris; Jeanne Jo; Joe Nanashe; Johanna Reich; Kelly Kleinschrodt; Kenya (Robinson); Mark L. Stafford; Profesor Bazuco; Robert Crosse; Rosamond S. King; Rotliebend: Johanna Bruckner & Melissa Steckbauer; Sergio Lamanna; Y. E. Torres (ms.YET) & Sandy Ewen.

Low Lives is part of Diaspora Vibe Gallery’s Off the Wall Experimental Series funded in part by Funding Arts Network (FAN).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Jenni Lewin-Turner Awarded Bursary to attend Grahamstown National Arts Festival, South Africa

Jenni Lewin-Turner, the Urban Culturalist and Creative Producer who accompanied us on the Jamaica International Cultural Arts Exchange this year, has been awarded a bursary by Sustained Theatre to attend the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in South Africa (the second largest arts festival in the world).

Lewin-Turner occupies a unique position between artist and producer. She often refers to herself as an ‘art facilitator’ as she crosses genres and disciplines to bring together artists and communities for unique collaborations. We spoke with Lewin-Turner just before her trip to South Africa.

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator: How do you view and approach your work as an art facilitator?

Jenni Lewin-Turner: Often when I talk with artists I’m thinking about audience, about where they see their work in the future and where they see themselves in the world, not just the technical aspects of the artwork. Do they see it in galleries, out in the community, etc. Everything I do is very eclectic, I don’t have a preferred style, artist or art form.

DVCAI: Are you talking professionally or artistically?

JLT: For some artists there’s no separation. Some artists departmentalize what they do: ‘I teach these days and I’m an artist on these days.’ For others, their work can happen at any given time or any given day, they’re freer in a way. They’re more open to non-traditional art spaces. Some people have fixed ideas about where their work should go. It tends to be more Eurocentric. There are some people who think that if you’re doing a performance you need to be on the stage, in a theater—it’s so entrenched—and if you make a picture it belongs on a white wall.

Things are changing so much now with the digital revolution. You can produce anything and have it on display. There’s a worldwide audience whereas before it was whoever was in front of you. Today you can use different forms and there is more collaboration.

DVCAI: Why is it important to you that the work live in non-traditional spaces?

JLT: Everything that I’ve learned to do with arts and culture has been very traditional. There was no other way. In the last few years I’ve been able to see that more people are interested in doing things outside of the traditional route. There are so many people who don’t fit into the traditional structure. They have had to compromise if their work doesn’t look a certain way or if they don’t look a certain way. There should be spaces for the non-traditional. It’s important. You can go into the most contemporary art spaces in the UK, but the people in charge have the same old ideas. You find a kind of hierarchical system that rules. There are definite limitations on what can take place in these spaces, on what art actually appears there. It’s time to change all of that. It’s something that needs to change globally. The people who do things differently tend to be in isolation. Those artists tend to isolate.

DVCAI: How would it look? Do arts festivals open this up? Are they places for a different kind of exchange?

JLT: Yes and no. They shouldn’t be the only place for that to happen, but they are the only place for some people to have access. The spaces of art festivals are non-traditional by default, not by design. They may happen in an open space, a field for example, but the location was not necessarily chosen because of its creative possibility or significance. Festivals are a good way but they are not the only way.

DVCAI: Can you tell me about the work you’re doing?

JLT: What I want to achieve is a kind of utopia. I have this theory that every artist has an audience somewhere in the world. I think that anyone who wants to work in the creative field should be allowed to, whatever their work is. The work should be recognized because of the amount of time and energy that goes into it—both artists and doctors study for five years. Being an artist should be a recognized profession with the same amount of kudos.

DVCAI: Tell me about your current projects.

JLT: I work to facilitate artists working together. Connecting with peers in different parts of the world is to change the scenario. I’m developing an art symposium that will happen in the UK next spring. It will have an academic side to it paired with performance, film, every kind of art form you can imagine. There will be themes and artists will be invited to produce work together, to collaborate. There will be workshops, discussions, exhibits. Artists will be given resources of space, materials, connections with each other and they will choose how they want to work together.

Read more about Jenni Lewin-Turner’s work in the arts at