Alex Arzt’s The Positions and Situations Project is a series of letter correspondences with individuals who placed classified ads in 1970s magazines published as resources for back-to-the-landers. The 100 letter responses, ten interviews, 1970s archival letters, ephemera, and photographs are printed in a series of self-published, Risograph printed artist books. The publications of the P&S Project recount stories of communal experiments, homesteading, the counterculture, travel, the movement towards environmentalism, and the details of ordinary life.
Betti Ono is an experimentally minded space for art, culture and community. Located in the heart of Downtown Oakland, Betti Ono features local, national and international artists in rotating exhibits, performances and monthly events.
Dream Farm Commons is a small, artist run exhibition and project space in Downtown Oakland. We are committed to an ongoing engagement with the visual, the poetic, the neighborhood and the future. Our work aspires to social practice and site specific projects, deep visual narratives and crafted making, the performative, re-imagination of economic systems and justice, and thoughtful discourse. We are opening our doors to all forms of creative production–we see ourselves as building a small hive of activity rather than a white cube. We are building a fall program of monthly exhibition and artists talks, discourse, meals. We’re currently seeking a few new collaborators to join in shared space, with potential for joining in responsibility, decision making and creative production.
John Law has been embedded in Oakland and San Francisco‘s underground art, pranks and events world since 1977. A member of the legendary Suicide Club, Law was instrumental in forming the later Cacophony Society which in turn gave birth to the Burning Man festival and the Billboard Liberation Front. Cacophony was the inspiration for the novel and movie Fight Club.
Law was a performance artist and an aerial performer in the 1990s working with machine art and theatrical troop Seemen and his on aerial performance troupe Aerial Action Team. An avid urban explorer, Law photographed many major bridges around the world while climbing them creating some unique images.In addition to cofounding and acting as Operations Manager of the Burning Man Festival during its early years,
Law pioneered the use of neon at the now world-famous festival and originated the neon outline for the Burning Man figure. Laws neon work included other desert collaborations, prominently Desert Site Works with photographer/artist William Binzen.
Law, along with with Flecher Fleurdujon, directed the feature film Head Trip showcasing the antics of punk rock performance troupe Cyclecide accompanying The Bay Area’s massive Doggie Diner heads on a cross-country trip to perform at the famous punk club CBGB’s in New York City.
Law is currently involved in creating new neon art pieces incorporating various plastic media, transparencies, found objects, and text. Law has lectured around the world on the history of Bay Area underground arts scene and its influence on the larger world.
Law remains deeply involved in the ongoing worldwide UrbEx scene and collaborates with many extreme underground exploration characters and secretive cabals.
Paul Crabtree is a musical innovator whose music straddles the salons of Europe and the saloons of the American West. His music is the product of two cultures, combining the seriousness of the European tradition with the restlessness of the American spirit to produce perceptive works that are relevant to the twenty-first century experience.
Born in England in 1960, he graduated from the Music Faculty at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he studied with the renowned contrapuntalist Kenneth Leighton. He was also the keyboard player of a catastrophically unsuccessful garage band called Goats’ Opera. Winning a scholarship for post-graduate study in composition he chose the Musikhochschule in Cologne, Germany, where he stayed for two years.
Moving to California on a religious quest in his early 20s and becoming an American citizen, he escaped the constrictions of the English class system and integrated into his rigorously disciplined music a passion for Progressive Rock and pop culture. A strong believer that mythology underpins contemporary experience, he is able to intermingle ideas as diverse as Latin poetry and 1960s girl groups, yet his music maintains a seriousness of purpose that intensifies both ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultural references.
The critical reception to this startling marriage of separate worlds has been perceptive. “The Anglo-American composer Paul Crabtree possesses the rare and admirable ability of being able to use the most unlikely artifacts of popular culture and fashion them into highly sophisticated art without mocking the sources or having them sound incongruous.” (Palm Beach ArtsPaper 2009)
The same critic catches that musical innovation is based on past models: “He has shown that it is possible to re-imagine the cantata in a moving, fresh way, and his example should give other composers a good model for pursuing a similar trajectory.” Dubbed “…a composer of impressive power who responds well to his sources and who can write utterly compelling music that relates beautifully to our time” by the Palm Beach Post, and “…one of our most inventive and wickedly witty composers” by the Chicago Classical Review, his work has been the recipient of an AMC Composer’s Assistance Program Award (2007), four ASCAPLUS awards (2004, 2007, 2008, 2011) and a Subito award from the American Composers Forum (2005). Mr. Crabtree’s tenure as Composer-in-Residence for the San Francisco Choral Artists in 2004 resulted in Three Sacred Songs about Religion, Sex and Politics, which the Miami Herald called “an impressive work conveying a spiritual sensibility in a fresh, intelligent and strongly individual voice….Crabtree’s music is artfully constructed, challenging for singers and often strikingly beautiful.”
His first solo CD The Metamorphoses of Paul Crabtree was released in February 2009 on the Arsis label, featuring the two ballet-cantatas An American Persephone and Dive! a Water Music.
Bump Town exists to support the Bay Area’s music, performing arts, and fine arts community with:
– Access to affordable performance & event space
– Professional development opportunities and mentorship
– Artistic community
The 30th & West Community Arts Center
Ellen Lake, Bench Projects
Light Show Pictures