September 11, 2010
and you should come!
You should also check out this article—
This Green Lantern Has Super-Artistic Powers
BY SARAH TEREZ-ROSENBLUM
I’m thinking of a cultural object: Bigger than a breadbox and founded by Caroline Picard, The Green Lantern harkens to Chicago’s grassroots literary history and DIY philosophy.
Despite coincidental Trekkie and comic book connotations, The Green Lantern has nothing to do with GenCon and everything to do with art. Simultaneously a non-profit paperback press and gallery, GL publishes and distributes emerging and/or little-known works.
Additionally, as a venue, it showcases emerging and mid-career artists of all media. Begun out of Executive Director Picard’s Wicker Park apartment, GL was recently shut down for lack of a business license due to improper zoning. Now, however, the ambitious and newly relocated GL is back with a parade of upcoming projects and Gallery Director Abby Satinsky on board. Picard took a seat in the captain’s chair (ba-dum-bum) to discuss her multifaceted brainchild.
September 7, 2010
Hello! this is my first blog post as the Gallery Director at Green Lantern. We’re really excited about our opening this Saturday September 11 from 7-10 pm for David Moré’s show Normal Bias. For each exhibition we’re putting together a publication that will include things like interviews, essays, and documentation of artists’ projects. Here’s our interview with David, the rest of the publication will be available for download from the website starting Saturday. See you this weekend at our new location, 2542 W. Chicago Ave. And we’ll have open hours next week from Tuesday through Saturday 12-6 pm. Yea, we’re opening! -Abby
A conversation between David Moré, Caroline Picard and Abigail Satinsky.
AS: So let’s start by talking about when you began making instruments.
DM: Probably six or seven years ago?
AS: You were drawing before that right?
DM: Yeah. I think I kind of I came to a realization that “I’m drawing or painting just so I can hang out in my studio and listen to records. That’s real dumb.” I’ve also had this kind of uncomfortable relationship, as far as being a cultural producer, I would go to more shows and buy more records than I did books or go to art galleries. And I actually had an instructor who brought that up and said something like, “You kids buy so many CDs, when was the last time you bought a really good book about artists?” And I think it’s a pretty common thing. But yeah, I’m not a musician. Even though it seems like I should maybe try to be, it seems like the format of being in a band and having this relationship where there’s an audience and you’re presenting your music and asking for peoples’ time is not a natural thing for me. And I’ve played instruments before, so I don’t think it’s a patience issue of whether I should just sit down and learn to play the cello.
CP: Do you think it’s weird to think of these homemade instruments as being your medium? It seems like there is a difference between an artist that works with painting and pens and charcoal versus a musician. But then it also seems like you’re using these acoustic tools as a traditional artist would pens or charcoal.
DM: Yeah that’s nice because I occupy a difficult in-between place. You can’t really play a song on a spring and a piece of wood, but you can produce this other kind of thing and that’s what led to this project [sound portraits]. Thinking “Hey I should find a context for these things I do.” You can’t do like a Beethoven cover record on styrofoam.
CP: Can you talk about how you found or came upon this context of making sound portraits in the gallery?
DM: Well it originated from when Temporary Services did the Fair at UIC’s Gallery 400 and I got asked to do something. And so the fair was mostly people presenting publications or other things they had made or that were easily salable. And so I thought, “Fair, hmm, it’s called Fair. Maybe you can get your portrait done like you do at fairs, like a caricature. Cool, yeah! Audio portraits! Yeah that’s a great idea!” So I took this opportunity at Green Lantern to see if I could expand on it. And like you said, now I have more space to move around…
AS: How did you think it worked at Gallery 400?
DM: It was OK, it was fun. I think it worked alright because it was one day in a really cramped space. I definitely think that doing it at the Fair involved relating to an initiated audience. People knew they were going to an art fair. But here, [at The Green Lantern] I’ve been able to get people who are just passing by. And that’s some what interests me. The way I can relate to them, like “I do this kind of weird thing but what do y’all think, what is this music?”
AS: That’s interesting to me that you say the people at the fair would be the initiated and the people that would walk into the gallery aren’t. Because even though we are testing out ways to be something other than a totally traditional gallery space, for most people this is definitely a gallery. There are a bunch of objects on display that they’re going to look at and judge.
DM: But I don’t think this place is obviously a gallery yet and that’s the sense I get from people coming in like, “Wait, so what is this…?”
AS: Right, we’re still in a state of ambiguity…
DM: …and so it’s only a temporary gallery and you’re going to move in January..
CP: …the space right now is full of plants and furniture and curious tables with unusual homemade instruments…
DM: I also kind of like and hate when people ask what I’m doing. I don’t really know but I’m going to try it first and then try to figure out. That process can be pretty infuriating, but it’s also nice because ultimately I might learn something. It feels like an actual experiment.
AS: Well it’s an experiment but there’s also parameters. The participants know where to sit, how long it’s going to take, etc. Which actually, I feel, is really helpful in a lot of ways in terms of getting people to feel comfortable if they know what the parameters of the space they’re occupying because these instruments are such curiosities too.
CP: I agree. It’s interesting with this portraiture set up that people have so many expectations about what their portrait is going to look like. And then I think that there’s also this tendency to read into how somebody describes you as to whether or not they like you or they think you’re a good person or they think you’re attractive. And I think that by making this soundscape the result is already so abstract that it seems to cut a lot of that stuff out, or at least make it very transparent, you know, because you’re like “Whoa there was that weird squealing sound I wonder if it means that David thinks I’m depressed.” And then you’re like, “What am I doing? That’s idiotic. It’s just a sound. ”
AS: Yeah when I see people come in and sit in the chair, they feel special. It’s even true when I was sitting there, I thought, this is just for me. And it reminds me also of another portrait experience. When I was ten, I went to New Orleans with my family. I got my portrait drawn in the touristy part in town. I remember it didn’t look anything like me and I was so disappointed because I felt like I had just sat there for so long! Somehow I thought the portrait would explain something about me, like it would be the window into my soul or something. And then actually getting it and thinking, “Oh you didn’t get me at all!” That is so sad! I don’t even know what happened to the drawing itself, but I remember vividly the expectation of the portrait to really be me and then realizing that that fleeting encounter failed miserably.
DM: Yeah I have never sat for a portrait like that but I imagine that it would be like the expectation of a kind of truth about yourself which is, I mean, that’s nuts! But maybe it’s a mistake that I’ve entered into making people’s portraits using audio. But I’ve been working on it and actually trying to give it a shot and find some parameters and maybe there’s some way you can gauge like, wow you’ve actually got me! Some people sitting have said “Oh wow that’s actually pretty accurate! You were right on there.” And they’re joking a little bit but there is something there. The idea of someone sitting there making abstract noises and then someone else relating those to their life is actually a pretty wild idea.
CP: Can you talk more about your selection of sounds?
DM: One of my concerns is drawing attention to everyday sounds. I think that is a common theme that there’s all these interesting sounds going on around us and if we start paying attention to them, it can be a really fulfilling experience. I can also make the analogy of when I was drawing a still life or an object or a friend, it would really change your relationship to the person or to the object just because you’re so intensely looking at your subject. You can kind of get the same thing just by walking around with a tape recorder and anytime you click it on, you’re paying attention to everything that’s happening around you. I had a really sweet experience a couple of years ago. I was walking around in Havana with this guy, and during a power outage, I said I wanted to make a recording of a generator. When I switched the recorder on he was quiet and when I was done he said, “That was so amazing, as soon as you turned that thing on I just noticed all the amazing street sounds and generative sounds just from taking this walk in this darkened city.” Focusing on surrounding sounds can be a really rich experience.
I want there to be a lot of humor involved too. Yesterday for one of the portraits I took a cymbal and I was bowing it in the bathroom. It was really really loud but at least there was this spatial difference in the sound. Also, with a lot of the work I’m interested in doing, sound doesn’t have to come from two speakers, even though that’s the way a lot of people perceive it.
The only thing I guess I don’t know how it’s going to end. There is going to be a formal gallery opening and I am collecting all the portraits. They are definitely a gift, they are a gift for the person whose portrait I took.
But I am also recording them all digitally and I’m going to have an archive. So on a personal level a lot of the project is getting composition ideas because you have to improvise on the spot to see what these people sound like, right? The project is kind of like a big exercise for me.
CP: Does that mean that over the course of a day before you come into the studio, you think about different sort of compositional progressions?
DM: Well, I think the project potentially builds a more efficient process to describe what someone sounds like which sounds like a completely ridiculous idea. But it is kind of good to make your brain do this thing that doesn’t really make any sense. Just to see if it comes up with anything else, a solution to this ridiculous problem.
August 25, 2010
posted by caroline picard
read more about this by going here.
August 21st – September 10th.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 6-9 pm
Saturday: 10 – 7 p.m.
Opening Reception September 11, 2010, 7-10 pm
June 2, 2010
posted by Caroline Picard
From Newcity’s 411 section:
You can read the whole piece by going here.
It’s a gallery! It’s a performance space! It’s a bookstore! It’s a café! The revived Green Lantern Gallery, temporarily housed at Chicago and Maplewood in Ukrainian Village, permanent location TBD, is aiming to be Chicago’s answer to Gertrude Stein’s living room. It’s an expanded vision of the original Green Lantern Gallery, which director Caroline Picard once ran out of her apartment. When the city shut it down due to an ordinance against such ventures, it left Picard with a choice: go big or go home (no pun intended). She’s going big. The new dream is a joint collaboration with featherproof books, another independent press interested in books that cross the boundaries between visual art and literature. “It’s like a high-school mega crush,” featherproof’s Zach Dodson says of the relationship between the presses. Picard recounts their fateful meeting at the NEXT art fair as a “marathon… of gossip and story-swapping and big-bang idea speculation.”
May 14, 2010
posted by caroline picard
With the closing of 65 Grand, more publicity shines on the issue of apartment galleries and their relationship with the city. What I found especially interesting about the article that went up in Chicago Art Magazine were the comments–especially Kathryn Born’s remark about liability issues and how those complicate the deliciousness of “being under the radar” and then too, a Kelly Thompson who remarked on not being able to find apartment galleries on a recent visit to the city. I feel like there are tons of apartment galleries still, but they may not be well publicized…in some sense they can’t be, right?
in any case, here is some of the article. you can read the whole bit by going here.
UPDATE: We’re getting some new information. The city is now saying that the term “apartment gallery was confusing and unknown to the department of business affairs. There may be a $250 license that can give you a 50/50 workspace. Please check back for updates.
About a year ago, a Chicago city official walked into Green Lantern Gallery to check a license for the sandwich board advertisement outside. When he found out the gallery had no license, Caroline Picard, the owner, was given a two tickets, one for the sandwich board and one for not having a business license.
Why wouldn’t a gallery owner have a business license?
Because the Green Lantern Gallery was also Picard’s home. She estimated that of the 1200 square-foot apartment, about 50 percent was gallery space and the other 50 percent was living space. Picard said the gallery had 501c3, or non-profit, status and she did know she needed anything further.
“There are some rules about the number of [people] that come, where the exits are,” she said “and based on those regulations, pretty much every apartment gallery is illegal.” She noted that a business license is not meant for apartment galleries, or at least not made with them in mind. Picard added that she was told she needed a live/work license but did not qualify because of the zone her apartment is in.
On a call to the Department of Business affairs, a representative said that the only option for an artist to work from home is a Home Occupation License.
The City of Chicago’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Web site, a list rules states what business owners can and can’t do with a Home Occupation license. One states that “No more than 2 clients may visit your home at one time and no more than 10 clients within any 24 hr period.”
Another rule states that no more than 15 percent of the apartment space used as a business in a multiple dwelling building.
May 2, 2010
posted by Caroline Picard
what follows is a series of descriptions of the different facets of the proposed new green lantern endeavor. still looking for a space as yet and consequently what follows is kind of like a working, though far-along, sketch of what’s to come. in other words, some of the names may still be changed, some of the specifics too. that said, you’ll still get a solid and (hopefully) concise play-by-play. woohoo!
and onto the Next
big bang idea
Lantern Projects 2010 – onwards
The umbrella for this new vision is Lantern Projects. Under this new structure, contingent practices, in the form of non-profit and for-profit businesses, rely on one another to sustain the energy and financial stability of independent cultural production and dissemination.
What was once an apartment space is born anew as a storefront. A bookstore featuring curated books put out by independent presses. The bookstore shares a counter with a cafe that sells coffee. The cafe is also a bar that sells beer. There are tables in this storefront and a hallway along its side. Down the hallway, you will see a door to the basement. The basement has public performances, ranging from live music events, to improv comedy, to lectures, to performances, plays, artist talks, readings and screenings. Upstairs, there is The Green Lantern Gallery, subsidized this time, not by an apartment, but rather by the dynamic activities below.
Four people run this space. In addition there are three yearlong artists-in-residence who also work at the cafe. They keep office hours and meet with the public on a rotating basis. They are here to work on specific projects, projects that engage with the resources of the space and the community.
In order to further integrate each element of the larger project—the gallery, the press, the performance space and the bookstore—we have decided to center a yearlong investigation (2010-2011) on the idea of ecology. The idea of ecology provides a thematic framework through which our projects can be viewed and understood and also reflects the interrelatedness of the space, mirroring a horizontal administrative infrastructure in which a synergy of parts maintains the whole.
In this organization neither the gallery nor the press nor the bookstore is a closed system, rather those spaces are environments dedicated to the exploration, presentation and discussion of the traditional and often hierarchical means of organizing culture. Through that investigation we hope to break open current systems in order to supply alternative dynamisms: messy, vibrant, and innovative collaborations between artists, audiences, mediums and ideas.
Green Lantern Gallery
THE GREEN LANTERN GALLERY is a venue dedicated to exhibiting emerging and mid-career artists working in all media who push disciplinary boundaries and explore experimental processes. The Gallery’s thematic exhibitions and artist projects are thought experiments, models for critical and social engagement, poetic ruminations, and interrogations of the creative process from all angles. Committed to forming alternative and sustainable models for the distribution and presentation of noncommercial contemporary art, the nonprofit Gallery is partnered with the for-profit Cafe and The Corpse Performance Space to mutually support the Lantern Projects community and contribute to the sustainability of contemporary artists’ practices.
Green Lantern Press
THE GREEN LANTERN PRESS is a paperback company specializing in the publication and distribution of emerging and forgotten works. Dedicated to the “slow media” approach, we see the book as an intimate and portable exhibition site. Each book features some variety of silk-screened covers, color plates collected from the working practice of independent artists and thematic texts from writers. Each work is printed in small, collector’s editions of 250 – 500. This is in keeping with a general attitude about consumerism and the material we print, namely that we intend to print only what can be sold while demonstrating an intuitive bridge between mediums. Work submitted by authors/artists is done so on a donation basis. We manage all printing and distribution costs. We do not keep the rights of any book, but ask to be notified of any re-printings.
THE GREEN LANTERN PRESS is distributed by SPD in Berkeley, CA, and sold through PAPER CAVE, an on-line and bricks-and-mortar bookstore.
An example of how we integrate “ecology” into the projects we curate
In 2010/11 THE GREEN LANTERN PRESS will contribute a number of books that explore the subject of environment and hierarchy on their own respective terms. While these works do not present a single world-view, they interpret different systems with different tools, critiquing the viability of those systems while creating new platforms of investigation. The Book Of The Mutation Of Fortune presents a skewed mirror of fairy tale fiction in which Erica incorporates medieval witchcraft and fortune telling with contemporary motifs. Amira Hanafi’s Forgery, meanwhile, appropriates language from various sources and patchworks that information in a prose-poem quilt that investigates the relationship between a dinosaur industry and the city that sprung up around it. A.E. Simns First Impressions First Touch* indexes the handshake, revealing the inherent power play of every greeting while simultaneously transforming it into a child’s game. On the other side of the spectrum, Gerry Kapolka’s Kordian, a Polish play (pub. 1800s) translated for the first time in English, describes a coming-of age story that parallels Poland’s transition from Romanticism to Modernism. In addition to these titles, a limited edition chapbook (No. 3 in the Pocket Lantern Series) features the best-of collection of flash fiction from an on-line site, fictionatwork, and a book about off-site art practice called Service Media which will be released in conjunction with a group show by editor, artist and curator Stuart Keeler. Each book examines a different ecology, a different and seemingly independent system. In doing so THE GREEN LANTERN PRESS hopes to achieve a kaleidoscope effect, one both informative and resonant with visual and performative exhibitions.
*This video documents one of the many handshakes that will be included in FIFTH:
The Corpse Performance Space
Through performances, lectures, and conversations with and against the site of Lantern Projects, THE CORPSE hopes to create a dynamic public entry point to The Green Lantern Gallery and The Green Lantern Press as an evolving point of confluence. Where possible, specific considerations will be made to work through the separately reflexive and coded language of the arts and humanities, sciences, and politics in the interest of creating an inclusive, learned, and politely speculative environment.
Every year, COPRSE Director works in tandem with the Gallery Director to create no less than three annual series reflective of the concerns engaged with during each gallery show. Those series would take place over three month increments. In addition, two-four series should be planned each season separate from, but not necessarily inapplicable to, the gallery show. With these latter series, the Director will seek the input of outside programmers, allowing as much programming to come from the surrounding Chicago community as possible. Similar to the role the Director plays with the Gallery Director, outside programmers will be expected to work in tandem with the Director to make sure programming, per season, is unified, if not monistic. In creating and soliciting programming, the Director will favor those in search of clarity, both reasonable and wide-eyed, all the while creating a space, ultimately, for inclusion rather than exclusion. These ideals will be expected and understood by the participants in programming.
Paper Cave is a curated bookstore that speaks directly to the issues manifesting in the physical space. Titles include texts that supplement gallery exhibitions and public performances, as well as independent presses. In addition, small presses and print projects will be invited to present exhibitions in the display case located in the cafe. The titles in this store should inform the larger agenda of the space, namely to demonstrate the relationship between various theoretical practices which address a common subject. Each year guests will be invited to supply a list of works that address that common subject. The bookstore will then carry those books.
The Holon Residency Program
What is it?
Lantern Projects invites persons of any discipline to apply for our unique artist-in-residency program. Residents will be employed part-time by the Lantern Projects Café, and in exchange The Green Lantern Gallery, The Green Lantern Press and/or The Corpse Performance Space will incubate a self-directed creative project. We are looking for ambitious, creative people who are engaged in interdisciplinary art practices, interested in developing alternative models for the distribution and presentation of their work, and want to be part of a unique art organization that is engaged with the values of small business, independent press, non-commercial art practice and critical dialogue. Projects can take the form of public programming, curatorial projects for the gallery, and/or publication projects, and/or public performance. Residents can choose to work exclusively with the Press or the Performance Space or the Gallery or propose a combination of the three.
How it works:
Residencies are available in 12-month increments. Residents are expected to work 25 hours a week and hold monthly office hours which will be open to the public. As Cafe employees, residents will primarily serve drinks and assist in general maintenance/upkeep of space, supervised by the Paper Cave Director, and earn $260/week. Residents can also choose to join Lantern Projects group health insurance plan.
There is no dedicated “studio” space but residents have access to shared office space and can use programming and gallery space based on availability and project needs. Applicants should take these parameters into consideration however they see fit. We welcome proposals that range from independent research and study to more public-oriented projects that engage with the Green Lantern community.
No previous experience with cafe work required though we are looking for people who will be responsible employees willing to learn in a fast-paced environment. Lantern Projects is a team effort and we are seeking applicants who are enthusiastic, and have a sense of humor and an interest in helping our business model succeed.
We do not provide accommodations but we can assist you in looking for places to live. (we are not accepting applications at this time)