2008 Grantee Projects


by: Nita Turnage and Hap Phillips
amount granted: $4000
placement: St. Louis, MO

Artica is an outdoor multi-media art festival, parade and workshop series developed to provide the people of the St. Louis metropolitan area with the opportunity to come together as a community through creative self-expression. This annual event takes place in the early fall along the Mississippi riverfront as part of an effort to revitalize an area that has been polluted, neglected and abandoned for far too long. Although the audience is primarily the citizens of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the whole world is invited to attend and participate as creators during the festival. Artica’s development is as fluid as the river it celebrates, and its scope depends greatly upon the emotional involvement of the community. The festival grounds are filled with site-specific installation art created by professional artists from the St. Louis metropolitan area. The emphasis is on interactive participatory art that takes its inspiration from the river, its surrounding environment or its history. An overlapping schedule of events including music, dance theater, poetry, video, film and performance art encourages the audience to move around and experience Artica from different perspectives. The interactive nature of the event will encourage the audience to create their own art and become performers themselves. BRAF’s grant helped to fund the Artica festival held in 2008.

City of Dreams Mini Golf

by: Core team members: Eli Kent, Anna Hecker, Bex Ames, Meg West, David Rodd, Audrey Boguchwal, Ben Jones, Kirsten Tarr, Jennifer Upchurch, David Koren
amount granted: $6000
placement: Brooklyn, NY

City of Dreams Mini Golf was a nine-hole mini golf course that was installed on New York City’s Governors Island (www.govisland.com). It was free and open to the public throughout the summer season of 2008. Each hole was conceived, constructed and installed by a different artist or group of artists, all variations on the theme “City of Dreams.”City of Dreams Mini Golf was a project of FIGMENT 2008, held in partnership with the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC). FIGMENT is now an annual, 3-day, participatory arts event on Governors Island in New York Harbor every summer (newyork.figmentproject.org). FIGMENT is a project of Action Arts League, and is produced by a coalition of volunteers in partnership with The Pure Project.


by: Johan Kritzinger, Joyce Manalo, Kate Raudenbush, Anne McDonald, Audrey Boguchawal and David Koren
amount granted: $6000
placement: New York, NY

EMERGENCE was a thematic, curated exhibition, created by over 30 emerging and professional artists and arts collectives. Presented on Governors Island, New York, under the theme of “Creative Pioneers in Uncharted Territory,” exhibitors at EMERGENCE used the context, history, and recent steps towards revitalization, or “emergence,” of Governors Island as the source of inspiration and departure for the creation of participatory art. T his transitory show morphed the abandoned military outpost of the Commanders House into an inclusive, interactive, 3-dimensional, living exhibit that shifted and evolved as a result of audience participation and interaction. This show focused on works that were created collaboratively, that grew and evolved over the summer, and that engaged participants in a creative dialogue with the art. EMERGENCE was open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays 11 am to 6 pm throughout July of 2008. Admission and ferry transportation to the island is free. The artists and art collectives of EMERGENCE included: Anne Arden McDonald, artcodex, Asha Ganpat, Avant Car Guard (South Africa), Chris Jordan, Casper Electronics, Christian Nerf – Barend de Wet & Douglas Gimberg (South Africa), Damon Hamm, Erik Fabian, Eugenia Yu, Friendly Falcons & Their Friend the Snake, G-77, Jason Van Anden & Nat Hawks, John Krill, John Walter, Michael Alan, Monica Müller, Peripheral Media Projects, Pornj Diamond Cell, Sarah Phillips, Saviour Scraps, Tara Parsons, Tim & Martin Dockery, Triangle Project (Denmark, Istanbul), and Urban Homesteading Project. EMERGENCE was a project of FIGMENT 2008. FIGMENT is a project of Action Arts League, and is produced by a coalition of volunteers in partnership with The Pure Project.

The Giving Tree

by: Robin Banks
amount granted: $8000
placement: Los Angeles, CA

The Giving Tree was an interactive, part wind-powered, part human-powered sculpture of a 30-foot tree. It was designed to generate it’s own power by harnessing the movement of tree branches and leaves in the wind, a currently untapped source of mechanical wind energy. Participants generated energy in this interactive playground, by swinging on swings attached to the tree. As power was generated twofold, The Giving Tree came alive with lights, pumping water and sound, and showed the circulatory system of the tree’s xylem and phloem system within. Globally, the aim of this project was to promote the prevention of de-forestation in places where illegal lumbering is a way of survival. The Giving Tree taught that trees can be a valuable asset of wind energy if just left standing, powering rural farms and villages off the grid. The Giving Tree was created by Robin Banks, the founder of Los Angeles’ AntFarm art collective, giving the artist what the group calls his “big break” and helping to start the collective’s continuing art production.

Ocean Beach Fire Pits

by: Rebecca Anders, Yasmin Mawaz-Khan and Charles Gadeken
amount granted: $3000
placement: San Francisco, CA

The experience of building a fire at the ocean’s edge is as old as human time, and a much-beloved ritual on the San Francisco coastline. Ocean Beach Fire Pits are sculptural fire pits made locally from cast concrete and designed to succeed in the harsh and extreme beach environment. Taking the form of Sea Stars and Fire Blooms these beautifully crafted, unique objects provide a valuable and accessible site of public interaction and connection. Already a success among the San Francisco community, the intentional welcoming aspect of the fire pits draws people together and encourages engagement between a diverse cross-section of beach visitors and the surrounding landscape.

Primal Source

by: Usman Haque
amount granted: $6000
placement: Santa Monica, CA

Primal Source was a one-night performance designed as a massive animated projection on an ephemeral screen made of sprayed water. Created by London-based artist Usman Haque, the mirage-like installation was featured as part of Glow Festival in Santa Monica, CA on July 19th, 2008, located on the beach near the Santa Monica Pier. Discreetly hidden microphones picked up sounds from the crowd so that participants generated realtime, colorful animated light patterns and shapes on the water screen. These stunning, visual light patterns were reactions to the sounds of words, music and noises produced collectively by both individuals and groups. Their voices gave birth to primal creatures that emanated from the mirage becoming more and more ebullient, with colors flying in and out, and reflecting the ever-changing sounds.

Sanlun Yishu

by: Lee Somers and Elisabeth Pellathy
amount granted: $6000
placement: Beijing, China

三san (three) 轮lun (wheel) 车che (vehicle) – a versatile, cheap and compact tricycle made from modified motorcycles or bicycles. Small yet mighty, the workhorse of Beijing moves everything from lumber to passengers. Often employed as a low-budget local taxi.三san (three) 轮lun (wheel) 艺术yishu (art) – a mobile gallery, a custom-made sanlun che housing an exhibition of print, drawing, sound, and video selected specifically for this context. The primary function is to facilitate personal interaction with art for an audience outside the scope of the traditional gallery. Shifting art viewing from a passive to active interface within the community, Sanlun Yishu overlaid an art-experience with daily transportation. Artists from around the globe created works themed on urban life for the mobile gallery. Passengers became participants, and were asked to reflect on their identity in our urban world. Instead of paying a fare, participants took a work of art with them and made a creative contribution of their own. This transaction was the basis of a conversation between artists and passengers, examining urban life from multiple perspectives, forging unlikely connections across the globe.