Opening of Platform 450

 

April 23, 2017. Big rain in Miami! Hitting the stovepipe and echoing through the apartment, super that it rains today and not yesterday during the opening.All day yesterday, I felt torn between watching out for visiting artist friends and passing the day with the various tour groups organized at the Deering. Thinking of it today, balancing between was the best of both worlds. I caught most of the Creative Technologies and the Arts of Resilience presentations before the exhibition Platform 450 opened. I scooted away from the lecture

All day yesterday, I felt torn between watching out for visiting artist friends and passing the day with the various tour groups organized at the Deering. Thinking of it today, balancing between was the best of both worlds. I caught most of the Creative Technologies and the Arts of Resilience presentations before the exhibition Platform 450 opened. I scooted away from the lecture theater to look out for friends arriving and recorded a few images by the Boat Basin. Daniel and I spoke with the artist Maxwell Hartley as he sat by his work. Down from Orlando, he described the constructive process of his sculpture and the surprises it held for him after the installation.

Stepping back over to the Stone House, we found Mark Derr and Gina Maranto arriving. We showed them our photographs included in the exhibition at the Stone House and our videos in the Richmond Cottage before sitting down to have wine and pizza in the patio area in front of the Stone House. We had a long talk about many things under the sun, including ecologic and social concerns, and anecdotes. Six degrees of separation became only 2 as Mark pointed out that he had once drank with Kevin Bacon at the wedding of Kevin Baker’s sister.

It was touching to see all of the tour guides and office managers serving up pizza and drinks with as much enthusiasm as they deliver through the expertise of their specific skills and training. It is a dedicated group of individuals that keep the Deering’s programs running and they shine every day.

Kim Yantis (The Deering’s Cultural Arts Curator), came over to our table to introduce us to audio artist Thom Wheeler Castillo. Tom, Mark and I talked about sound recording and multimedia installations. When Mark and Gina left, Thom went to join a tour, Daniel and I went back to wandering on the estate. We were watching out for Deborah Mitchell of the Artists in Everglades Inc., Gustavo Matamoros and Claudio Ariano of Subtropics.org and Claudia’s mother Lucie.

Throughout the day, while walking around and visiting with the many people I met, I was constantly waiting for the right moment to join a tour. I caught several episodes of the Theatre Lab players delivering their lines in various indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as sections of exhibition tours when they intersected. In retrospect, I was reminded of visiting a three-ring circus as a child and being disappointed that I could not fix my gaze in all directions at once. And yet the day was full of many high-powered experiences.

During a walk to the Boat Basin, Daniel and I spotted the famous blue crabs hovering close to their dugouts. Daniel stopped to set up the tripod and camera. I went back up to the houses to watch for our other visitors. Daniel waited for quick appearances but each time a crab snuck out, it spotted the camera and ran back into its home.

Gustavo, Claudia, and Lucie arrived and I guided them to look at our work and other installations throughout the estate. Deborah arrived and Daniel came back up from the Boat Basin. We had good talks while everyone looked at our photographs and videos, and then we moved around to see other work at both the Stone House and the Richmond Cottage. We spoke of the idea of ghosts in the Stone House. In both houses, we now encountered the tours. I moved back and forth between our visitors and the work introduced by the Curators and spoken about by the Artists. We spoke briefly with Xavier Cortada and Jennifer Tisthammer and then slipped back to join Gustavo and Claudia on the Richmond Cottage front porch. Finally, Daniel and I got back to connect with the touring group and then we showed Gustavo and Claudia our studio space at the Deering. We also talked about Charles Deering’s brother James, and his Vizcaya Estate where Gustavo was the first artist in residence 2006 – 2007.

On the way out we stopped to enjoy the fire installation of Carol Jazzar. This most interesting in-situ artwork involved Jazzar working a live mix of lighting and sounds between simulated smoke (while eating pizza). We passed another large group of people close to the gates and finally, we stepped outside to talk about it all. I met up with Thom again and talked about sound recording in Miami. We agreed on the difficulties of keeping motor sounds out of takes; the bane of leaf-blowing machines; large and small airplanes; and helicopters that arrive into soundscapes.

Finally, Daniel and I parted from the Deering to go for a meal with Gustavo, Claudia, and Lucie. We talked for a long time and arrived home after 1 AM. Checking emails, we found that Jason decided to cancel our Biscayne Bay boat trip due to the threat of thunderstorms. We downloaded the day’s gatherings, Daniel posted stills to the Oasis site and we went to sleep around 2 am.

Mid-morning, the rain has stopped and all of the birds are chirping and cawing. I guess the weather is a large part of what we all talk about, whether foul or fair when we are not occupied with the brighter sides of living, and art in particular.

Valerie LeBlanc
April 23, 2017

http://www.deeringestate.org/deering-spring-contemporary/

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