Category Archives: Philadelphia Multimedia

Altering

Penn Program in Environmental Humanities Artist-in-Residence Roderick Coover, in collaboration with Nick Monfort and Adam Vidiksis.

The Altering Shores

artist Roderick Coover, poet Nick Montfort, and composer Adam Vidiksis

Interweaving sound, language and image, The Altering Shores is a four screen video performance with live music. Set in the marshlands and industrial wastelands of our local Delaware River watershed and others worldwide, the experience presents a kaleidoscope of climate futures through fragmented language and multi-layered sounds and images. Participants are guided through this uncertain terrain by lead artist Roderick Coover, poet Nick Montfort, and composer Adam Vidiksis.

Beginning on Saturday, November 16 at 4pm you can experience the project via short 360-degree vignettes, viewable at four unique virtual reality pop-up stations around the University of Pennsylvania campus. The stations will appear from 4-6pm on Nov 16, 19, 21, and 23. 

Click here for a map of the locations.

The Altering Shores, Main Performance
Saturday, November 23 | 7:30 PM

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6219
For tickets, call 215.898.3900.

Reserve Tickets

November 23, 2019, Harold Prince Theatre

Environmental Storytelling & Virtual Reality

November 22 – 23, 2019

Register


Environmental Storytelling & Virtual Reality will explore environmental research and virtual reality (VR) across two days of talks, film screenings, workshops and a live multimedia performance for students, faculty, and staff at Penn and beyond. 

The festival is organized around three keywords that illuminate the connections between interdisciplinary environmental research and virtual reality technologies and experiences: empathy, education, and action on climate. As authors of the October 2018 IPCC Special Report have urged, action on climate must come now, from individuals and institutions across sectors and across languages and borders. The forecast of 1.5 degree surface warming already by 2040, as dire as it is realistic, points to the need to wrench down greenhouse gas emissions to slow the current acceleration of ongoing climate change.

It also hints at the creative and imaginative combinations of scientists, humanists, artists, and environmental and public health advocates that we can bring together to nurture, in the language of the IPCC report, “the wide scale behavior changes consistent with adapting to and limiting global warming to 1.5 C.”

The IPCC report also suggests the role of emotion. Taking action on climate depends centrally on empathy. And, if that empathy is to make positive environmental impacts, it needs education. Touted in headlines as “the ultimate empathy machine,” virtual reality holds great promise as an educational tool, but remains largely untested. In this gathering of scientists, artists, educators, and the interested public, we want to put this claim to the test to see how VR and immersive storytelling might catalyze action on climate. 

The event’s invited guests work at the forefront of VR, AR, and game design in educational institutions, in media and journalism, and in informal community spaces promoting public health, environmental literacy, and climate solutions.

RODERICK COOVER holds a BA from Cornell University (1989), an MA from Brown University (1994) and a PhD in the history of culture, with a specialization in media arts and anthropology, from the University of Chicago (1999). His films and new-media works include Unknown Territories (2011), Vérité to Virtual (DER, 2008), The Theory of Time Here (Video Data Bank, 2007), and Cultures in Webs (Eastgate, 2003), among others. His scholarship has been published in journals such as Film Quarterly, Visual Studies, and Visual Anthropology and in books such as the SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods. As co-editor of the recently published Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts (University of Chicago Press), Professor Coover examines the impact of new technologies in the humanities and arts.

nickm.com . Nick Montfort

poet & professor of digital media, Massachusetts Institute of Technologydirector, The Trope Tank . curriculum vitae . biography . contact meall courses . MIT fall 2019 courses: Exploratory Programming . Interactive Narrativedigital poems . if . misc . Post Position (blog) . Nomnym (naming company) . Synchrony (demoparty)

Hyperdyne by Adam Vidiksis at IRCAM ImproTech Philadelphia

Thank you to The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities for the content of this post.

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Epic

Suffragists in a Parade is an early 20th century photograph that is part of 19th Amendment an exhibit at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Philly Welcomes A Centennial For Women’s Rights, New Hotels & More In 2020,Major Art Exhibits and Epic Anniversaries

Philadelphia and The Countryside® will give visitors many reasons to visit in 2020. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will complete phase one of its dramatic renovation—and unveil its new spaces in concert with an exhibition of works by Jasper Johns, which will occur alongside a complementary mirror exhibition of Johns work at the Whitney. The entire region is getting behind the 19th Amendment’s centennial with Women 100 programming throughout the year. In other anniversary news, the Philadelphia Orchestra has planned a weeks-long musical celebration to mark Beethoven’s 250th, and PHILADANCO wraps its 50th year of innovating in dance with must-see performances. Hotel openings include the city’s first W Hotel and a luxurious revival of River House at Odette’s in New Hope, Bucks County. All these new events are amazing, but in truth, Philadelphia and The Countryside has enough amazing annual events, visiting is great any time of year.

Here are some of the major events and openings to cover in the new year:

Museum News:

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art – The Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s landmark circa 1928 institution unveils the completion of its Core Project, a major redesign by architect Frank Gehry. The last phase of the project will welcome 23,000 square feet of new gallery space, reclaiming space beneath the East Terrace (site of the Rocky steps) for galleries of early American, modern and contemporary art. It will also reveal the renovation of the West Entrance and Lenfest Hall, create a major gathering space called the Forum (replacing Van Pelt Auditorium) and reopen the southern portion of the Vaulted Walkway. 
  • Fall 2020. In addition, the museum is partnering with the Whitney Museum of American Art on simultaneous exhibitions of the work of Jasper Johns, considered the country’s most significant living artist. The unprecedented collaboration chronologically shows paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, books and costumes that mirror the other’s display, creating an immersive exhibition that itself, is a study in Johns’ fascination with reflections. October 2020-February 2021. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org

Performances:

Remote overhead shot of the Philladelphia Orchestra
  • BeethovenNOW – The Philadelphia Orchestra marks Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday in two epic celebrations. The first invites pianists Yefim Bronfman, Daniil Trifonov and Emanuel Ax to perform all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos (January 23-February 8, 2020). Next, the Fabulous Philadelphians spend four weeks juxtaposing Beethoven’s nine genre-transforming symphonies with contemporary works from composer-in-residence Gabriela Lena Frank and her diverse composers from the Creative Academy of Music. March 12-April 5, 2020. January performances, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street; following performances, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1900, philorch.org
  • PHILADANCO’s 50th – The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) continues its 50th anniversary celebration by hosting the 32nd International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance at the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus’ Merriam Theater and SEI Innovation Studio, as well as the DoubleTree Philadelphia, Cambria Hotel Philadelphia and The University of the Arts (January 14-19, 2020). The company’s season culminates with Fast-Forward, a look at the future of choreography in a co-commission with Toronto’s Dance Immersion, Vietnam’s Thang Dao, Broadway’s Ray Mercer and choreographer Kathy Smith. April 17-19, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 387-8200, philadanco.org
PHILADANCO’s 50th – The Philadelphia Dance Company

Sports:

  • KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – The Women’s Professional Golf Association (PGA)’s second-longest running tournament—and one of five majors on the tour—brings 156 of the world’s best golfers to Delaware County’s circa 1896 Aronimink Golf Club for the first time. Aronimink’s course was designed in 1926 by renowned Scottish architect Donald Ross. June 23-28, 2020. 3600 St. Davids Road, Newtown Square, (610) 356-8000, KPMGWomensPGA.com

100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment:

Seat at the Table – A free, seven-day-a-week, interactive art exhibition by Dome Collective.
  • Votes for Women: A Visual History – The Brandywine River Museum of Art displays and explains century-old political cartoons, plays, posters, parades and fashion that formed the visual culture of the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. Drawings, illustrations, photographs of marches and rallies, clothing and accessories—especially sashes—re-create and contextualize this time of tangible art and physical action, long before social media or television. February 1-June 7, 2020. 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700, brandywine.org
  • WomenNOW Concert Series – Women who are composers, conductors, instrumentalists and vocalists star throughout the Philadelphia Orchestra’s season. Through June 6, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1900, philorch.org
  • 19th Amendment – The National Constitution Center’s upcoming exhibit about the movement for women’s voting rights will expand on the permanent exhibit Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality. The new exhibit explores constitutional arguments for and against women’s rights and offers fascinating historical context, spotlighting multiple generations of advocates and exploring the complex debates surrounding rights for African Americans versus rights for women. Summer 2020. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
  • Women 100 – This series of programs and events that celebrates American women and sparks new ideas about the path to gender equality, presented by Drexel University’s Vision2020, is the largest centennial celebration in the United States honoring the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitutionwomen100.org
    • Seat at the Table – A free, seven-day-a-week, interactive art exhibition by Dome Collective invites the public to experience women’s representation in places of power (seats at tables) through 3D infographic furniture, while a wall of interactive screens introduces gender barrier-breakers throughout women’s history. March 1-September 2020 (exact date TBA). Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, domecollective.com
    • SHE Leads Road Rally – Race car drivers pull an all-night, roundtrip road trip from East Falls in Philadelphia to Seneca Falls, New York, site of the first Women’s Rights Convention. (Buses also available.) June 19-20, 2020. Drexel University College of Medicine, 2900 W. Queen Lane, women100.org
    • Toast to Tenacity™ – Independence Mall honors the 100th anniversary of voting rights for women—Women’s Equality Day—with midday speakers, live music and glasses raised to suffragists. August 26, 2020. 599 Market Street, phlvisitorcenter.com
    • Celebrating Women – This 2,500-person celebration of American women begins with a ceremony featuring music, performance segments and a salute to 100 women who have blazed trails for others to follow in a multitude of fields. September 16, 2020. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, women100.orgkimmelcenter.org
Votes for Women: A Visual History, Brandywine Museum of Art.

Hotels:

  • W Philadelphia and Element Philadelphia – Center City will welcome two 52-story, side-by-side Marriott properties. The vibrant, modern W Philadelphia (the city’s first W hotel) will have 295 luxurious rooms, along with a bar terrace, Living Room lounge, lap pool and 22 meeting rooms. Philadelphia’s rapidly expanding, wellness-focused Element (another first for the region) will have 460 rooms. Early 2020 (dates TBA). W Philadelphia, 1439 Chestnut Street, w-hotels.marriott.com; Element Philadelphia, 1441 Chestnut Street, element-hotels.marriott.com
  • River House at Odette’s – The site of Bucks Country’s beloved cabaret greets a 38-room boutique hotel overlooking the Delaware River. Cabaret queen Odette Myrtil’s legacy remains in the vaulted-ceilings Piano Lounge, luxurious textiles, amazing views, a members-only rooftop bar, spectacular river view ballroom for weddings and events of up to 200 guests and a resurrected Odette’s, known for whiskey cocktails and local menu. Spring 2020. 274 S. River Road, New Hope, (215) 682-2022, riverhousenewhope.com
  • The Hyatt Centric Hotel – Philadelphia firm DAS Architects is behind the rustic modern design—and targeting LEED Silver certification—for 13-story, 332-room new construction one block from Rittenhouse Square. The Hyatt Centric will offer a second floor restaurant and onsite underground parking. Summer 2020 (date TBA). 17th & Chancellor Streets. hyatt.com

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

Thank you to Cara Schneider, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, for the content of this post.

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Different

Installation view of Designs for Different Futures (Bodies), featuring Seated Design: Sleeves and Shirt, 2016, by Lucy Jones; TiLite Wheelchair for FFORA Attachment System, 2019, by Numotion; Wheelchair Wheels for FFORA Attachment System, 2019, by Sinergy, Inc.; Photo by Juan Arce, courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019.

Designs for Different Futures

Philadelphia Museum of Art: October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020

Walker Art Center: September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021

Art Institute of Chicago: February 6 –May 16, 2021

The role of designers in shaping how we think about the future is the subject of a major exhibition that will premiere at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this fall. Designs for Different Futures brings together some 80 works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries ahead. Organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Art Institute of Chicago, Designs for Different Futures will be presented at the Walker and the Art Institute of Chicago following its presentation in Philadelphia.

Among the questions today’s designers seek to answer are:  What role can technology play in augmenting or replacing a broad range of human activities?  Can intimacy be maintained at a distance? How can we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of personal information has blurred traditional boundaries? How might we use design to help heal or transform ourselves, bodily and psychologically? How will we feed an ever-growing population?

While no one can precisely predict the shape of things to come, the works in the exhibition are firmly fixed on the future, providing design solutions for a number of speculative scenarios. In some instances, these proposals are borne of a sense of anxiety, and in others of a sense of excitement over the possibilities that can be created through the use of innovative materials, new technologies, and, most importantly, fresh ideas.

Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, stated: “We often think of art museums as places that foster a dialogue between the past and the present, but they also can and should be places that inspire us to think about the future and to ask how artists and designers can help us think creatively about it. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with the Walker Art Center and the Art Institute of Chicago on this engaging project, which will offer our visitors an opportunity to understand not only how designers are imagining—and responding to—different visions of the future, but also to understand just how profoundly forward-looking design contributes in our own time to shaping the world that we occupy and will bequeath as a legacy to future generations.”

Thinking about the future has always been part of the human condition. It has also been a perennial field of inquiry for designers and architects whose speculations on this subject—ranging from the concrete to the whimsical—can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come. Among the many forward-looking projects on view, visitors to Designs for Different Futures will encounter lab-grown food, robotic companions, family leave policy proposals, and textiles made of seaweed. 

“Some of these possibilities will come to fruition, while others will remain dreams or even threats,” said Kathryn Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, who coordinated the exhibition in Philadelphia with former assistant curator Michelle Millar Fisher. “We’d like visitors to join us as we present designs that consider the possible, debate the inevitable, and weigh the alternatives. This exhibition explores how design—understood expansively—can help us all grapple with what might be on the horizon and allows our imaginations to take flight.”

Installation view of Designs for Different Futures (Resources), featuring Another Generosity, designed 2018 by Eero Lundén, Ron Aasholm, and Carmen Lee of Lundén Architecture Company in collaboration with Bergent, BuroHappold Engineering, and Aalto University (Courtesy of the designers). Photo by Juan Arce, courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019.

The exhibition is divided into 11 thematic sections. In Resources, visitors will encounter an inflatable pod measuring 15 feet in diameter, part of the work Another Generosity first created in 2018 by Finnish architect Eero Lundén and designed in this incarnation in collaboration with Ron Aasholm and Carmen Lee. The pod slowly expands and contracts in the space, responding to changing levels of carbon dioxide as visitors exhale around it, and provoking questions about the ongoing effect of the human footprint on the environment. The section titled Generations will explore ways in which the choices we make today may contribute to the well-being or suffering of those who come after us. Here, visitors will find a model of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a repository that stores the world’s largest collection of crop seeds. Located within a mountain on a remote island near the Arctic Circle, the facility is designed to withstand natural or human-made disasters. The Earths section of the exhibition speculates on the challenges of extra-terrestrial communication in Lisa Moura’s Alien Nations installation and showcases typeface from the 2016 science-fiction film Arrival

In Bodies, designers grapple with choices about how our physical and psychological selves might look, feel, and function in different future scenarios. Featured here is one of the world’s lightest and most advanced exoskeletons, designed to help people with mobility challenges remain upright and active. Also notable is the CRISPR Kit, an affordable and accessible gene-editing toolbox, which has the potential to revolutionize biomedical research and open opportunities for gene therapy and genetic engineering.

Intimacies is a section that explores how technologies and online interfaces may affect love, family, and community. Here, urban experiences of sex and love are the focus of Andrés Jaque’s Intimate Strangers, an audio-visual installation focusing on the gay dating app. Through internet-enabled devices, designers explore the possibility of digitally mediated love and sex,  suggesting what advanced digital networks hold for human sexuality. 

Foods contains projects that explore the future of the human diet. Among them is a modular edible-insect farm, Cricket Shelter, by Terreform ONE, which offers a ready source of protein for impending food crises. A kitchen installation suggests how technology and design may contribute to new modes of food production, including an Ouroboros Steak made from human cells. 

Additional sections of the exhibition will focus on the future of Jobs and how Cities will function and look 100 years from now—with robotic baby feeders, driverless cars, and other developments—affording a glimpse at how we might navigate living beyond this planet. Shoes grown from sweat are among the innovations visitors will find in a section devoted to Materials, while Power willlook at how design may affect our citizenship and help us retain agency over such essentials as our DNA, our voices, and our electronic communications in a future where the lines between record-keeping, communication, and surveillance blur. Data acknowledges and questions the different ways that information might be collected and used, with all its inherent biases and asymmetries, to shape different futures. 

Future Library, 2014–2114, designed by Katie Paterson (Exhibition display gift of the Future Library Trust, 2018 and purchased with the European Decorative Arts Revolving Fund, 2018). Photograph © Bjørvika Utvikling by Kristin von Hirsch, 2017. Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019.

Futures Therapy Lab

As part of the exhibition, visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art galleries will also encounter a space for community meetups, public programs, school visits, and self-directed activities. The Futures Therapy Lab will weave personal connections between visitors and the exhibition as part of a collaboration between the museum’s Education Department and the curatorial team. Weekly programs, many of which will occur on Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday Nights, will connect visitors with designers, artists, and locally based creatives. The Futures Therapy Lab will contain a crowdsourced Futures Library that includes everything from science-fiction books to the exhibition catalogue. “Thinking about possible futures is both exhilarating and anxiety-provoking,” said Emily Schreiner, the Zoë and Dean Pappas Curator of Education, Public Programs. “The Futures Therapy Lab is a place for conversation, critique, and creativity in which visitors can imagine their own hopes, fears and solutions for the future through reflection, discussion, and art making.” 

Support

Designs for Different Futures is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago. 

In Philadelphia, this exhibition is generously supported by the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer in honor of Collab’s 50th Anniversary, the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and an anonymous donor.

Publication

Centered on the innovative contemporary design objects, projects, and speculations of the exhibition’s checklist, the accompanying volume proposes design as a means through which to understand, question, and negotiate individual and collective futures, giving provocative voice to the most urgent issues of today. It asks readers to contemplate the design context within broader historical, social, political, and aesthetic spectrums. Designs for Different Futures addresses futures near and far, exploring such issues as human-digital interaction, climate change, political and social inequality, resource scarcity, transportation, and infrastructure.

The primary authors are Kathryn B. Hiesinger, Michelle Millar Fisher, Emmet Byrne, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, and Zoë Ryan, with Andrew Blauvelt, Colin Fanning, Orkan Telhan, Juliana Rowen Barton, and Maude de Schauensee. Additional contributions include texts by V. Michael Bove Jr. and Nora Jackson, Christina Cogdell, Marina Gorbis, Srećko Horvat, Bruno Latour, Marisol LeBrón, Ezio Manzini, Chris Rapley, Danielle Wood, LinYee Yuan, and Emma Yann Zhang; and interviews with Gabriella Coleman, Formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin), Aimi Hamraie and Jillian Mercado, Francis Kéré, David Kirby, Helen Kirkum, Alexandra Midal, Neri Oxman, and Eyal Weizman.

Designs for Different Futures will be distributed by Yale University Press. The book was overseen by Philadelphia Museum of Art publishing director Katie Reilly and editors Katie Brennan and Kathleen Krattenmaker. It is designed by Ryan Gerald Nelson, Senior Graphic Designer at the Walker Art Center, under the direction of Walker design director Emmet Byrne.

It is available in the museum store ($40) or via the museum website.  

Designs for Different Futures 

ISBN 9780876332900 

Petit Pli—Clothes That Grow, designed 2017 by Ryan Mario Yasin (Courtesy of the designer). Photograph © Ryan Mario Yasin. Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019.

Related Program

The Futures Therapy Lab will host a series of weekly happenings:

Artists in the Lab
Artists and designers share their work through talks, demonstrations, and workshops. Wednesday Nights, 5:00–8:45 p.m.

The Designer is In
Talk it out. One-on-one sessions with local designers offer new perspectives on your everyday life. Thursdays & Saturdays, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Sci-Fi Sundays
Drop-in readings that explore narratives of the future. Select Sundays, 2:00–3:00pm

See Full Schedule of Related Public Programs 

Curatorial Team

The curatorial team is comprised of: at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kathryn B. Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, and Michelle Millar Fisher, formerly The Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700; at the Walker Art Center, Emmet Byrne, Design Director and Associate Curator of Design; and at the Art Institute of Chicago, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, and Zoë Ryan, the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design. Consulting curators are Andrew Blauvelt, Director, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Curator-at-Large, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Colin Fanning, Independent Scholar, Bard Graduate Center, New York; and Orkan Telhan, Associate Professor of Fine Arts (Emerging Design Practices), University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia.

Kathryn B. Hiesinger is The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her work focuses on decorative arts and design from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and includes the exhibitions and publications Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion (2011), Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates (2001), Japanese Design: A Survey since 1950 (1994) and Design since 1945 (1983). 

Michelle Millar Fisher is the Ronald C. and Anita L Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and is currently completing her doctorate in architectural history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the co-author, with Paola Antonelli, of Items: Is Fashion Modern? (2017). 

Emmet Byrne is the Design Director and Associate Curator of Design at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. He provides creative leadership and strategic direction for the Walker in all areas of visual communication, branding, publishing, while overseeing the award-winning in-house design studio. He was one of the founders of the Task Newsletter in 2009 and is the creator of the Walker’s Intangibles platform.

Maite Borjabad López-Pastor is the Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an architect and curator educated at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Columbia University, New York. She is the author and curator of Scenographies of Power: From the State of Exception to the Spaces of Exception (2017). Her work revolves around diverse forms of critical spatial practices, operating across architecture, art, and performance.

Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the editor of As Seen: Exhibitions That Made Architecture and Design History (2017) and curator of In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury (2019) and the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial, The Future is Not What it Used to Be. Her projects explore the impact of architecture and design on society. 

Social Media
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube: @philamuseum

We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A world-renowned collection. A landmark building. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

Thank you to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.

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What do you want the future to look like?

Anahata

John Singletary, Detail of Providence, 3′ x 30′ Photography Based OLED Installation/Pigment Print

John Singletary – Anahata

The Delaware Contemporary

200 S Madison Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

Opening Reception: Friday, May 3rd, 5:00 – 9:00 PM

Museum Hours:Monday closed, Tues. 12 – 5pm, Weds. 12 – 7pm, Thurs. & Fri. 10 – 5pm Sun. 12 – 5pm

Philadelphia native, John Singletary, is a fine art photographer and multimedia artist. His educational training includes both Drexel University and a BFA in Photography from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA. He has exhibited at The Pennsylvania State Museum of Art, LG Tripp Gallery and The James Oliver Gallery. As well, his work is represented in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Center for Fine Art Photography and The Haverford College Archives.

Anahata is a photographic exhibition that uses its mode of presentation to transcend the limitations of the medium in a multi-disciplinary installation experience. Photographs are animated through multiple state-of-the-art OLED panels used as electronic canvases. The technology is synchronized to create joined, large format displays, some forming 8′ x 8′ luminous squares or a 30′ Greco-Roman frieze-inspired composition. Images materialize out of walls and recede back into darkness, as would apparitions in this oddly familiar living space. These and other works are set to original music composed by John Singletary and Matt Hollenberg.

Installation View, Clarise, 8′ x 8′ Photography Based OLED Installation

While the ambition in Singletary’s presentation is of distinct merit, it’s not mere technology doing the real work. The photographic quality in his highly ornamented images demonstrates a conscious and masterful use of the medium. Influenced by a production approach found in theater and cinema, Singletary and his crew built a black box studio in a Victorian house in Germantown, PA as a set for the photography in Anahata. This long term collaborative project enlisted dancers, theater performers, costume designers, make-up artists, choreographers and set technicians. And, in this black box studio, the dream-like imagery, extracted from mythology, symbolism and mysticism directs the narrative in Anahata as it explores human relationships and their connection to the divine.

John Singletary, Clarise, 8′ x 8′ OLED Installation/Pigment Print

In John Singletary’s inventive world of Anahata, the artist commands an ancient cry from demons and gods in spear-decorated headdresses and cocoon-like webs that conquer and connect us. From there, he uses an advanced understanding of technology to move forward seamlessly into a hyper-lit future. With his sensitivity in making this unique grand scale production personal and through his exacting print work, the fantasticality in Anahata becomes very real.

The Delaware Contemporary

Phone: 302-656-6466 (main)

Thank you to John Singletary for the content of this post.

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Drag

DRAG IN PHILADELPHIA: THE BOLD, THE BEAUTIFUL & THE BRUNCH
The Citywide Special—a shot of Jim Beam and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon for $4 ($3 during happy hour)—may have originated at this beloved dive, but it’s only a part of what makes Bob & Barbara’s Lounge so fun. Thursday brings the drag show, Friday and Saturday nights feature live jazz, and karaoke ends the weekend on Sunday.
 
Credit: Photo by A. Ricketts for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

DRAG IN PHILADELPHIA: THE BOLD, THE BEAUTIFUL & THE BRUNCH

Philly Drag History, Current Shows & Queens To Follow

PHILADELPHIA, March 26, 2019 – Philadelphia’s drag scene dates back centuries—and thrives to this day. Contemporary Philly drag queens most often perform in the bars and clubs of the Gayborhood, part of Center City’s Washington Square West neighborhood. But a growing number of venues beyond the neighborhood host drag brunches, game nights, variety shows and kids’ story times.

Philadelphia men have been costuming in ruffles and feathers since the 1600s, when Swedish immigrants began a raucous New Year’s tradition that, in 1901, officially became the Mummers Parade. Modern Mummers’ costumes are bold, bright, sequined—and blue collar. Women were permitted to join their ranks in the 1980s. In 2012, the Philly Drag Mafia became the first official queens to strut in the parade.

The city’s drag nightlife dates to at least to the 1950s, when the The New Forrest Lounge—now The Bike Stop, in the Gayborhood—required reservations for drag shows such as The Fabulous Fakes. Other drag hotspots Miss P’s at 18th and Lombard streets and ’90s dance club Shampoo helped broaden the audience for local drag culture, while dive bar Bob & Barbara’s emerged as a once-a-week base for performers.

Today, drag personalities replete with tongue-in-cheek names and spectacular style make their marks at nearly every queer bar in the Gayborhood, including Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar andVoyeur Nightclub, known for hosting frequent performances by both top-tier local talent up to nationally known queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”So-called straight scenes that have gotten into the act include Northern Liberties’ Bourbon and Branch and Fishtown comedy club Punch Line Philly, hosts of brunch-time drag shows. There’s also a growing trend of drag queen story times, where queens read books aloud to rooms full of little ones.

Drag Shows:

  • Bob & Barbara’s – The South Street dive is as loved for its shot-and-a-beer special as it is for Miss Lisa Lisa, the teasing, raucous host of the bar’s Thursday night drag show. With a diverse rotating cast of new and seasoned queens, the event has the distinction of being the longest-running drag show in Philadelphia. 1509 South Street, (215) 545-4511,bobandbarbaras.com
  • Boxers PHL  Iris Spectre and VinChelle perform in a Gayborhood sports bar on Turn Out Tuesdays. Their variety show features local talent, tunes from DJ Drootrax and cocktails made with Philly-based Stateside vodka. Iris also hosts a live “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing party here. 1330 Walnut Street, (215) 735-2977, boxersphl.com
  • Franky Bradley’s – The Gayborhood’s self-described “house of weird,” presents Farrah Thorne’s Get Hype showcase on the third Wednesday of every other month and hosts drag-boosted burlesque performance Honeygasm on the first Sunday of every month. The shows take place upstairs in an area complete with a corner stage and modern sound system, all bolstered by a funky ’70s-hippie vibe. 1320 Chancellor Street, (215) 735-0735, frankybradleys.com
  • FringeArts – This performing arts venue attached to brasserie La Peg presents queer cabaret Get Pegged about once per month fall through winter. The Bearded Ladies Cabaret founder John Jarboe hosts the series, which features diverse queer musical and burlesque artists from Philly and beyond. The venue also hosts a variety of drag shows as part of the fall Fringe Festival. 140 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, (215) 413-9006, fringearts.com
  • GayBINGO! at Congregation Rodeph Shalom – For 20 years, GayBINGO!,a fundraiser for Aids Fund Philly, has been one of Philadelphia’s most in-demand Friday night events. Every month in the fall and winter, drag hosts dress according to a theme, interact with audiences, perform numbers and call winners. 615 N. Broad Street, (215) 731-9255, aidsfundphilly.org
  • Knock Restaurant and Bar – Iris Spectre hosts All-Star Karaoke every Wednesday at Knock, a Gayborhood restaurant and bar known for its gentlemanly clientele and expertly made cocktails. 255 S. 12th Street, (215) 925-1166, knockphilly.com
  • L’Etage – The dimly lit, Paris-inspired performance space above Bella Vista creperie Beau Monde hosts one of Philly’s most popular monthly drag shows, the Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret. The line stretches around the block for the performance, which features covers of beloved pop songs by the self-proclaimed world’s tallest, hairiest drag queen. The space also hosts a regular lineup of drag shows, including an amateur drag night on the first Sunday of every month from Philadelphia producer John Burd. 624 S. 6th Street, (215) 592-0656, creperie-beaumonde.com
  • The Raven Resort – New Hope, Bucks County has long been an LGBTQ destination, and every visit must include a stop at this sprawling piano bar, restaurant, motel and pool, whose legacy stems back to the 1970s. The Raven has played host to notables such as local legend Tinsel Garland and drag big-timers Paige Turner and Sherry Vine. The current roster includesLipstick Mondays, when Cyannie Lopez hosts trans and queen performers on the first and third Monday of every month. 385 W. Bridge Street, New Hope, (215) 862-2081,theravennewhope.com
  • Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar – Home to a wide-range of queer performance art, Tabu is perhaps best known for its drag variety shows, constantly being reshaped to fit with the goings-on in pop culture and cravings of local audiences. The nightclub holds competitions, cabarets, drag queen-hosted karaoke and, on the first Saturday of the month, “Christian” comedy queen Bev’s popular drag show, Bev’s Bitchfest. 254 S. 12th Street, (215) 964-9675, tabuphilly.com
  • Tavern on Camac – Staying true to its reputation, the atmospheric piano bar tucked away on Camac Street hosts two regular live singing-focused drag events. Every Thursday, it’s GayBill, a night of showtune sing-alongs with host Cleo Phatra and her closest friends. On the third Saturday of every month, ukulele-strumming bearded lady Eric Jaffe hosts The Eric Jaffe Show, spotlighting some of the area’s fiercest musical talents. 243 S. Camac Street, (215) 545-0900, tavernoncamac.com
  • Toasted Walnut Bar & Kitchen – Cleo Phatra hosts Totally Toasted Trivia, a game night every Tuesday at this friendly, lesbian-owned bar. During “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” comedy queen Bev hosts viewing parties followed by karaoke. 1316 Walnut Street, (215) 546-8888, toastedwalnut.com
  • The Victoria Freehouse – A British pub named after one of history’s most outspoken queens hosts one-Saturday-a-month drag shows with themes that have been inspired by Harry Potter, “Game of Thrones” and Bettlejuice. Two or three times a year, hilarious Aunt Mary Pat, perhaps the most Philly queen of them all, performs sold-out standup. 10 S. Front Street, (215) 543-6089, victoriafreehouse.com
  • Voyeur Nightclub – The Gayborhood’s fiercest drag fans head to this after-hours club once a month to catch Philly Drag Wars hosted by local “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Mimi Imfurst. Described as “RuPaul’s Drag Race” meets “The Voice,” the competition follows a similar format to both shows, including a the lip-sync-for-your-life contest and a rotating cast of high-profile local judges. 1221 St. James Street, (215) 735-5772, voyeurnightclub.com
  • Woody’s – Drag diva VinChelle hosts a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” viewing party every Thursday during the show’s regular season. The night features drink specials and boisterous banter directed at the screen. VinChelle also hosts karaoke on Woody’s second level on Wednesday nights. 202 S. 13th Street, (215) 545-1893, woodysbar.com

Drag Brunches:

  • Bourbon and Branch – On the fourth Sunday of each month, this Southern restaurant in Northern Liberties hosts a troupe of local drag queens in Babes of Bourbon and Branch, making the restaurant and music venue one of few surefire spots to enjoy live drag with a side of grits. 705 N. 2nd Street, (215) 238-0660, bourbonandbranchphilly.com
  • L’Etage – French toast, crepes and mimosas are part of the Ladies of L’Etage Drag Brunch, when queens come together for an afternoon of song, wowing death drops and, on occasion, a naughty puppet show. 624 S. 6th Street, (215) 592-0656, creperie-beaumonde.com
  • Mifflin Tavern – Drag brunch arrives South Philly-style every fourth Saturday of the month, when comedy queen Brittany Lynn sings and jokes as diners chow down on pub grub and throw back beers. Lynn also hosts a game night at the Pennsport pub every Wednesday. 1843 S. 2nd Street, (267) 273-0811, mifflintavern.net
  • Punch Line Philly – Each Saturday, this comedy club and restaurant charges a flat fee for brunch and an all-ages drag show—with a dash of raunchiness—hosted by two-time “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contender Mimi Imfurst. The weekly performance also features longtime Philly queens such as Cleo Phatra, Brooklyn Ford and Sutton Fearce. 33 E. Laurel Street, (215) 606-6555, dragdivabrunch.com
  • SouthHouse – Tater tots may be the star attraction at this unassuming neighborhood bar in South Philly’s Lower Moyamensing neighborhood, but drag queens Brittany Lynn, Navaya Shay and Crystal Electra try to outshine them during a drag brunch every first Sunday of the month. 2535 S. 13th Street, (267) 457-3682, southhousephilly.com
  • Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar – A rotating cast of queens that includes Onyx Black, Sasha Magnolia and Patty Spaghetti hit Tabu’s sports bar two Sundays a month for the Ladies of Tabu Drag Brunch. 254 S. 12th Street, (215) 964-9675, tabuphilly.com
  • The Victoria Freehouse – Old City’s atmospheric British pub gets wild on select Saturdays, when comedy queens host drag brunches with themes from Alice in Wonderland or Disney, and diners dress the part. 10 S. Front Street, (215) 543-6089, victoriafreehouse.com

Drag Queen Storytime:

  • Free Library of Philadelphia – Branches of Philadelphia’s public library get in on the drag queen story hour trend, where queens read aloud to a roomful of wide-eyed tots. Brittany Lynn is the Free Library’s most frequent storyteller. She has read at Lovett Memorial in Mount Airy and the Fumo Family Library in South Philly. Various locations, (215) 686-5322, freelibrary.org
  • Please Touch Museum – One day during Pride month, Philadelphia’s hands-on kids’ museum invites drag queens to read tales of diversity and acceptance to audiences of hundreds as part of its family Pride Celebration. The daylong event also features a dress-up corner, runway show, interactive puppet skits and singalongs. 4231 Avenue of the Republic, (215) 581-3181,pleasetouchmuseum.org

Drag Queens To Follow:

  • Ariel Versace – With a massive Instagram following and a closet to match, this self-described “life-sized Bratz doll” became the second local queen to nab a spot on the 2019 season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Versace’s newfound stardom means she’ll now be performing around the world, but followers can still catch her around Philly. @arielversace
  • Aunt Mary Pat – She eschews expensive costumes and rocks a 5 o’clock shadow, but what Aunt Mary Pat lacks in glam she makes up for in hilarity. The beer-guzzling comedy queen is the epitome of Philly, entertaining audiences at her standup sets with anecdotes about her love for Wawa and “the Iggles.” facebook.com/auntmarypat
  • Aurora Whorealis – An Alaska transplant and Gayborhood staple, Aurora is primarily a comedy queen who performs at a slew of clubs and hosts “Trivi-YASSS” on Monday nights at Tabu. She was crowned “Best Lip-Sync Artist” at the 2017 Philly Drag Awards, an annual competition at Voyeur Nightclub. instagram.com/aurorawh0realis
  • Bev – Philadelphia’s self-described “premier Christian drag queen” is, intentionally ironically, known for her “Bitchfest” drag showcase at Tabu, when she presents other queens while tossing out quip after quip. Bev’s awards include “Best Comedy Performer” at the 2018 Drag Awards, “Miss Gulf Coast Comedy Queen,” 2017 and “Miss Northeast Comedy Queen,” 2016.facebook.com/theoneandonlyBev
  • Brittany Lynn – Created at former gay club 12th Air Command in 1996, Brittany Lynn is a cornerstone of the city’s drag scene, constantly reinventing herself with new events: a talk show, standup acts, live singing, weekly showcases and story time at the Free Library, for example. In 2013, she ushered in a new era of drag-queen involvement in the Mummers Parade by establishing the Miss Fancy Brigade, an achievement Philadelphia City Council recognized by honoring her with her own, official holiday: March 15 is Brittany Lynn Day. phillydragmafia.com
  • Iris Spectre – Every queen has her niche, and for this 2016 Philly Drag Awards “Drag Queen of the Year,” it’s costumes, costumes, costumes. The Parsons School of Fashion-trained designer’s costumes have been weird, fantastical and downright chic. She’s created pieces for big-name queens such as “RuPaul’s Drag Race” favorite Peppermint. facebook.com/Iris-Spectre
  • Martha Graham Cracker – Pig Iron Theatre Company co-founder by day, Dito van Reigersberg may be better known by his nighttime persona, Martha Graham Cracker, a hairy drag queen who skips the lip-syncing in favor of glass-shattering live vocals. Martha has been a regular on the drag performance circuit since 2005 and recently performed a one-woman show at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. facebook.com/MarthaGrahamCracker
  • Mimi Imfurst – Notorious for competing on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars,” Philadelphia-based drag performer and event producer Mimi Imfurst hosts an all-ages Drag Diva Brunch at the Punch Line featuring a boisterous cast of local drag queens. She also produces theatrical events and national drag tours. mimiimfurst.com
  • Miss Lisa Lisa – All-out with her charm offensive, Miss Lisa Lisa—“so nice, she was named twice”—is a local icon, strutting her stuff and touting her strong-as-steel personality weekly at Bob & Barbara’s on South Street. She’s also been known to introduce new queens and performers at-large to the scene with her freestyle slots during her shows.phillydragmafia.com/project/underboss-miss-lisa-lisa
  • VinChelle – This Nashville-born University of Arts graduate, who also goes by the nickname Shea Better Werk, also refers to herself as a “tribal queen.” The “Drag Queen of the Year” at the 2017 Drag Awards and winner of the 2015 Drag Wars often incorporates African costumes, song and dance into her stage shows. facebook.com/SheaButterWerk

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

Thank you to Arturo Varela for the content of this post.

arturo@visitphilly.com

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