Category Archives: Dance

Artist Feature: Erlin Geffrard aka Kool Kid Kreyola

“My name is Erlin Geffrard aka Kreyola Kid and bitch I paint!” – Erlin

Rae: Let’s begin, do you have an alias?

Erlin: In a way yes, I have a project named “kool kid kreyola” which is an art persona that I create work under

Rae: Tell us about your artwork? Do you challenge the world’s thinking with the art that you make?

Erlin: umm wtf….that is a lot of pressure…the world could suck it man, I am creating work for fun!

Rae: How many hours a day do you create?

Erlin: Depends on the day. I stay painting, I don’t focus on the time, I just paint.

Rae: What is your most favorite medium at the moment right now?

Erlin: Booty? I paint on butts….it’s fun!

Rae: Is there anything you consistently draw inspiration from?

Erlin: I love ancient art all over the world: Egyptians, Nubians, Mayas

Rae: Any books you’ve been reading at the moment that has been inspiring towards your artworks?

Erlin: Hero With A Thousand Faces, and The Alchemist

Rae: How do you recharge when your creativity hits the wall?

Erlin: I hit the crack pipe jk. I just relax the mental and go back to the basics!

Rae: Describe the process within yourself when you are creating a new piece?

Erlin: Shit, I just keep it nasty like I get it wet, then I put it in, ya feel me!

Rae: Yeah, I understand how that process is. Any upcoming new projects, shows, or travels?

Erlin: I got a show coming up at the Luggage Store Art Gallery! Feb 9, 2012.

Rae: Nice! Looking forward to that! What percentage of your work is collaboration vs. say, interactive? Or are the terms in your work interchangeable?

Erlin: Awww man like 50%- me, 50% colab i think more community art projects are the future. Less ego art world b.s., more rainbow togetherness…I worked with Spencer Keeton, Rye Purvis, Moe, Triple Mike the Shooter, D-nice, Quin Arnason, Quinn Arneson, Camus revel, the list goes on dude

Rae: Studying at SFAI, what have you learned most about there?

Erlin: no comment

Rae: Which cities have you lived in?

Erlin: I grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida and then moved to sf, dats all!

Rae: Any artists you would love to collaborate with in the near future?

Erlin: R. Kelly, and John Baldessari

Rae: What do you like most about the art in San Francisco?

Erlin: The growing interest in new artists. I feel like their eyes are on us now.

Rae: Favorite place traveled? Why?

Erlin: my dreams cuz I travel nonstop

Rae: Has your art style changed at all during the years?

Erlin: kinda

Rae: Working on any new series of work?

Erlin: yeah um urban hieroglyphs

Rae: If you were to stop making art, what would you replace it with?

Erlin: pimping

Rae: Any artists that you admire, that influences your work?

Erlin: Spencer Keeton

Rae: What type of music or bands are you listening to right now?

Erlin: Whale Cries

Rae: Finally, What has been your most exciting moment as an artist?

Erlin: smoking out with Carlos Villa

Rae: Thanks for the interview Erlin, looking forward to seeing more of your works in the upcoming future.

Check out Kool Kid Kreyola’s website: http://bitchipaint.com/

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tUnE-yArDs ‘Bizness’ Shoot: the Merging of Creative Powers

In honor of the tUnE-yArD’s  playing at Great American Music Hall tonight (with Buke and Gass and Man/Miracle), I thought I’d share some of my photos and words of my experience PA’ing on the set of the ‘Bizness’ video a few months ago here in San Francisco.

(For those of you who haven’t seen it:)

I first heard tUnE-yArDs at Rickshaw Stop last May during SF Popfest.  My friend, the talented Mimi Cave (who would later direct the Bizness video), was onstage as a backup dancer and I stopped by after work to see her.  I was excited to check out a collaboration of modern dance and pop music, first and foremost. But  I remember being truly blown away by the entrancing and tribal sounds Merrill Garbus created with African-inspired drum riddims and looping tenor ukulele and vocals. Not to mention the power of the large brass section she had backing her that night.

I immediately became a fan, addicted to the twangy beat and gravelly yodeling of  Hatari. I later found myself in LA when tUnE-yArDs opened Hollywood Bowl for Buena Vista Social Club and Goldfrapp, having no previous idea how she had and would  continue to blow up the music world.  When Mimi put out a call for help on the set of the artists’ first ‘official’ music video earlier this year, I jumped at the opportunity.

Music videos, and ‘Bizness’ in particular, are epitomes of collaborative work. The cast and crew on the neon-forested set included choreographers, filmmakers, dancers, art directors, makeup artists, hair artists, costume designers, directors, set builders, videographers, producers, ‘kid wranglers’… and of course, musicians.   Each person worked hard and fast toward a larger vision.  Videos like this one are a true testament to the success of creative collaboration, utilizing almost all of the art-forms that we at Artlarking are into.

Merrill Garbus getting diva'd up by Kat Steinmetz

I attended the first meeting where all parties involved in the video met and brainstormed- passionate creatives like choreographer Sonia Reiter, hair artist Lorenzo Diaz, makeup designer Kat Steinmetz, art directors Miriam Lakes and Adrian Elliot, director of photography Devin Whetstone, and many more.  Everyone came together with ideas before Garbus showed up. It was great to see specialized professionals give feedback to various areas of the production.

When Garbus did show up to that first meetup, she was most likely one of the most down to earth people there- she told me she was having a hard time getting used to the photoshoots and planning while her mind was occupied with world events and local injustices. (From an interview with the Guardian UK: “I do feel like I should be doing social justice work sometimes, but I also retain the right to say that this – my music – this is doing enough for the world.”)  She talked about what she envisioned with her video premiere. She didn’t want to lip sync, as it felt too ‘diva’/pop/fake, for example. But she amiably let the creative specialists run with their ideas.

Merrill and dancers rehearse at Autofuss

I spent the next couple of weekends at production studio, Autofuss, in Potrero Hill; and at an Chabot Elementary in Oakland helping build colorful cardboard rocks and trees, painting yellow triangles on kids’ faces, and chalking schizophrenic geometry onto cold concrete studio floors:

Art Director Miriam Lakes amongst the cardboard forest

One of my favorite kids on snack-break from a long day of filming in Oakland

What struck me about being a small part of the process of the video was the respect each person involved had for each others art form and how everyone stepped up to create a finished product that is much bigger than the sum of its parts.

Director Mimi Cave and DP Devin Whetstone

Director Mimi Cave and DP Devin Whetstone with dancers

In between filming at Chabot Elementary

The workflow on site was also an fascinating aspect: days on sets started at 7am and there was a lot of waiting around, but when it came time to get moving on a scene, all of the components and people – hair, makeup, costume, choreography, etc- came together super smoothly (thanks in large part to the serious organizational production skills of Mimi Cave).  This was especially impressive when the cast included dozens of restless 9 year-olds who had to sit still at their desks on a Saturday, and about 20 modern dancers posed in awkward positions on freezing, chalky concrete floors:

Filming in the Classroom

Chalky dancers during the stop-motion segment

Congratulations to everyone who worked on the video (that has now gone viral, indicated by its showing up on a ridiculously wide range of my friends’ Facebook walls/Twitterfeeds from across the globe soon after its release).  From that preliminary amorphous meeting to the final stop-motion editing by Ashley Rodholm (great job!), I feel lucky to have participated in what can happen when great creative minds merge on a solid project.

So looking forward to seeing the sold out show live- see you at Great American tonight, if you’re lucky enough to have gotten tickets!

-AMD

P.S. For more photos of the shoot, check out my flickr sets here and here.

Ballet, Grateful Dead, Architecture, oh my!

Dance choreographer Alonzo King is working in collaboration with percussion legend Mickey Hart and architectural guru Christopher Haas!

Their works have been combined into Lines Ballet Company’s spring season performance tour.  You can find tickets HERE in San Francisco until this Sunday.

Amara Tabor Smith: Our Daily Bread

Amara Tabor Smith: Our Daily Bread (courtesy CounterPULSE.org)

You can’t escape politics in food. Maybe you’re lucky enough to make choices at the grocery store (organic vs. nonorganic, local vs. who-knows-where, processed vs. homemade). Maybe you subsist on delicious but deadly fast food offerings. From the American obesity epidemic to breakdown of natural ecological systems, there are undeniable issues with the way we acquire, process, and consume food.

Our Daily Bread is a series examining food and how we eat it. Dancer Amara Tabor-Smith, director Ellen Sebastian Chang and visual artist Lauren Elder have collaborated on a series about the change in eating habits in our modern life. How has fast food and famine, overproduction and environmental destruction, fundamentally altered the way we choose to feed our bodies? It’s a provocative look at the systems that aim to nourish us but can also break us down.

The series is presented by CounterPULSE, an events and arts space in SOMA. The first production is this Thursday, April 14, and it runs until April 24.

Experience the space…

Hey there, fellow Artlarkers.  Are there any dancers out there?  Have you all heard of how dance research is helpful to technology?

Well check it out — specifically, the 3½ minute mini-demo/performance (from 18:11 to 21:38) in this 30 minute clip by Kendra Shimmell-Lextant:

Clearly, Kendra is a happy mid-point between dancer and tech-nerd.  Granted her blend of choreography and human-computer interaction is housed within a community of design professionals–who are (still) not affiliated with Alvin Ailey, Apple, or the San Francisco Ballet–Kendra’s demo effectively spots the driving force behind “Look, Mom! No hands!” technology.

Dance improvisation is, broadly speaking, influencing how technology will develop to make ample use of space.  Although the audience participation starting at 29:30 can ring bells for postmodern dance choreography, the appeal of Kendra’s demo is that her responsive environment was developed through dance, including all of human movement, no matter how spontaneous, abstract, or choreographed.

For non-tweeters (no offense, Twitter), check out Kendra’s facial recognition demo from 22:30 to 22:50.

P.S. — be there or be square: Monday night, “Shades of Blues

Artlarking is Looking for Creative Directors!

 

Artlarking Multimedia is looking for  ambitious and talented Bay Area creatives to join our team of Intern Creative Directors. Positions are available beginning in early February and will last for a minimum of three months, with a good possibility of future contract work.

Intern Positions available:

  1. ●      Fashion/Jewelry Design Director
  2. ●      Culinary Arts Director
  3. ●      Film/Video Director
  4. ●      Music Director
  5. ●      Writing/Spoken Word Director
  6. ●      Dance Director – FILLED
  7. ●      Visual Art Director- FILLED Continue reading