Anne Pasternak, good friend, collaborator, and fearless leader of Creative Time, started the evening's Standard Talk, "Outside The Lines" with a brief history of the public organization's trailblazing work. For over 20 years, Creative Time has been breaking down the barriers of the contemporary art world - springing art from the confines of white walls and $25 admission tickets - and into the unsuspecting world. Take your guest room T.V. for example. Anne curated StandART, the first hotel video art channel. The 9/11 memorial lights at Ground Zero, dancing horses in Grand Central Station, and Tom Sach's mission to Mars are a few other examples.
Tribute in Light by Julian Laverdiere and Paul Myoda (2002)
Miss Pasternak passed the mic to Brian Knep, who spoke about his artist residency at the Harvard Medical School - the first program of its kind. His goal? To find hidden gems in the obscure world of medicine. He focused his observations on Nematodes, microscopic worms frequently used to study aging. He wanted to create a personal experience with the worms and did this by introducing them to bacteria and fungi collected from his body. Knep also built microscopic constructions for the Nematodes to explore... This avatar is a manifestation of himself in their world.
The moment the mic touched the hands of José Parlá the crowd was in stitches. Parlá, who recently completed public art works in Cuba with artist JR (the subject of one of our Standard Press editions), divulged that he likes to teeter on the brink of illegal activity when he’s creating art. “Not break the rules, but heavily bend them,” he said with a little laugh. As a young "writer" (his word of choice for graffiti) turned studio artist, Parlá enjoys mixing the highbrow with the lowbrow. In his most recent commission for the Barclays Center he was adamant about putting the work in the entryway so it can be viewed from the outside. Ticket price doesn't exclude anyone from experiencing his art.
After a few questions from the audience it became clear that although obstacles abound when actualizing public art installations, it remains the goal of many in the community to overcome them. Sunny Bates capped the night perfectly when she said, "We will continue to redefine the artist's role in the community."