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Nervous      Media

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Nerve Circle in Brooklyn

A system for distributing unclassifiable phenomena throughout an urban environment. Between 1990 and 1992, Three Weird Thing Zones were set up 

in Williamsburg, Brooklyn along Grand Street near the waterfront during the Grand Street Waterfront Festival.

 
 

"How do the Latinos feel about these unmentionable nutrients protruding into their public space? 'Oh, the kids loved it. They crawled all over everything,' says Chris Lanier of El Centro Cultural de Williamsburg, sponsors of the Grand Street Waterfront Festival. 'That was a unique festival. Usually we exist in parallel worlds, the Anglos and the Latinos. Something happened at that festival. A coalition was formed.' "


– New York Press, 1991








Right: Close up of a module 

in the Weird Thing Zone, 1991. Foreground on left: 

Kit Blake and Ken Butler








Right: Kids at the 

Weird Thing Zone, 1991

 



New York Press extended quote:


The Waterfront Festival existed happily for many years as a traditional three-day Labor Day Weekend Latino bash at "a chunk of grassy turf," says [Kit Blake's Word of Mouth] WOM, where Grand Street meets the East River, "Where the Northside meets the Southside and the land meets the water," says Ebon. There are rides and food and beer and music, a regular hot summer festival...and then come these Weird Things, these "publicly relevant phenomena wherein the public was invited to wander freely."


For the "Weird Thing Zone," six artists were invited to contribute "physical catalysts for participatory culture," in a clearly marked area set off by orange cones and yellow tape. These Weird Things, from which "various tactile, auditory, and visual signals emanated," beckoned to be sat on, touched, stroked. Whatever these Weird Things were, at least two of the artists agreed it was not "art."


Anna Hurwitz created "This Is Your Office" for the "Weird Thing Zone." Anna says of her Weird Thing, and her art in general: "I hate precious art. I measure the success of my installation by the degree to which people participate. Nobody seems to be aware that my furniture installations are 'art.' They just seem to see it as furniture, which is actually pretty great considering that it's sitting on a dance floor in a nightclub or in the middle of Grand Street."


Ebon, whose Weird Thing was "The Pulse Box," also states flatly, "I don't do art. My work is a media organism which protrudes into public space and exchanges unmentionable nutrients."


How do the Latinos feel about these unmentionable nutrients protruding into their public space? 

'Oh, the kids loved it. They crawled all over everything,' says Chris Lanier of El Centro Cultural de Williamsburg, sponsors of the Grand Street Waterfront Festival. 'That was a unique festival. Usually we exist in parallel worlds, the Anglos and the Latinos. Something happened at that festival.
A coalition was formed.' 


– Mark Rose, New York Press, 1991