posted May 23, 2012, 5:49 AM by Alison Sirico   [ updated May 27, 2012, 2:22 AM by Robin Enrico ]


 public meeting II              
I share the Queens Museum of Art's fixation on old rocks.  The logo of

the QMA's art walk through Ridgewood galleries and studios called
"Actually, it's Ridgewood"was arbitration rock, located at the first
stop on the afternoon's trip, The Vander Ende-Onderdonk house.  That
place sticks out like a sore thumb in the industrial sprawl on the
border of Bushwick and Ridgewood, as the only place with a lawn.  Also
as the only place with free hot dogs and beer on this afternoon.

After hearing a brief history of this most historic rock, a group of
about 30 walked to a hub of studios where Brooklyn Print Lab offered
to silk-screen any clothes you gave them with the museum walk logo.  A
younger, crust punk-ish girl got that most infamous, historic rock
printed on the back of her denim jacket, laid over a Crass patch or
somethin.  Outpost, a video residency space located just a few blocks
from the old Silent Barn space, was showing films on one
one of them, a snail slowly crawled over a razor blade. Regina Rex's
artwork was also a highlight.  I was also really impressed by Michelle
Jaffe's work - she just opened a studio blocks from the old Silent
Barn space.  She made a multichannel sound installation in which you
stuck your head into shiny helmets that emitted strange operatic
voices at random intervals.

After seeing way more good art than I can talk about in this small
space, folks came to Gottscheer hall, the Silent Barn's favorite
German beer hall.

Many thanks go to the musicians who played and
participants in our panel discussion: 

[Image from Time Weekly]
All the participants agreed that the trees in Ridgewood are super nice. 
The talk turned more heated for a few minutes while discussing
gentrification.  If you want to read a slanted perspective of the
incident, read the Village Voice
 Or if you want to read something
reasonable about it, check out the Ridgewood Times Newsweekly
 It was very interesting to see such various opinions on the subject
and it was great to see this notoriously divisive issue aired out for
a while. 

 Our next public meeting will be June 22nd at Exapno -- we're
planning on expanding even further with how our panel discussions
operation, since they've turned into such interesting, stimulating
discussions in our first two meetings

 real estate: is 13 blocks too far?
A few teaser photos of what I believe to be an exciting potential space for The Silent Barn, which we're deep in lease/build-out logistics of right now. It's got a great kitchen space, legal bedrooms/apartment upstairs (we're seeing about building out extra rooms / studio space), large performance space, and a huge walk-out roof. It even has lots of egress and is zoned as a social club, for those (like us) focused on the legality side of things. Downsides are price (not impossible, but need to negotiate down), and distance. 

It's about 13 blocks from a subway, in the industrial Maspeth/Ridgewood/E WBurg zone. We've been brainstorming ideas like trying to implement a new bike-sharing program and/or trying access a clunker van to act as a shuttle, but this is a great opportunity to turn the questions out to you all while we're in the process. Does this seem too far if everything else fits?

panel discussion II:
[Image: From Village Voice. Featuring Silent Barn's Nat Roe and Alison Sirico; Mustard Beak's Nicolai Kurt and Niina Pollari; Parallel Art Space's Rob de Oude; Ashcan Orchestra's  bells]

A reflective question. What does it mean to hold an event all about art in a community neighborhood bar? 

Questions were raised.

Why are you in Ridgewood? Who do you invite into your spaces? How do you involve your neighbors?  How do you choose your audience?  

The conversation steered  towards the uncomfortable, topic of gentrification - otherwise coined 'the g word'  - a topic which has plagued artists since the 60's (Think about how SoHo galleries had to move to a once desolate Chelsea and now out of Chelsea onward... Think about how expensive Williamsburg rent is now and who gets pushed out) It's important, especially as artists who constantly shape culture, to be  introspective. How do we deal with this issue? How do we support the communities we inhabit? It was an honest topic and conversation, and I was personally amazed by the bravery in which the panelists responded. The passion involved in the conversation proved to the entire room that everyone included in the discussion (both audience members and panelists) deeply cared about their home, and wanted to make it a welcoming place for all its occupants, old and new. 

At the end of the night, after the debate, it felt extra good to sit downstairs and continue the conversation amongst strangers- now friends, while drinking a cold local beer. 

Can't wait for the next one at Exapno!

 quick DiTKO! 

Ready to read some zines?

Next DiTKO! meeting June 12th at Zwaggerman's house!

Details coming soon. Look out for the facebook invite.



Want more silent barn?