Proteus Gowanus » News An interdisciplinary gallery and reading room Sat, 19 Sep 2015 22:40:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Our Thanks to Twig Terrariums Thu, 19 Jan 2012 19:49:03 +0000 Our current exhibition, Object Migrations, contains a number of small, unusual and rather rare objects which we have displayed in wonderful little orbs that were donated by our new Gowanus neighbors, Twig Terrariums. Twig, created by two old friends, Katy and Michelle, moved into 274 Third Avenue at the corner of President Street in September and are a most original addition to the community. They create and sell moss terrariums and other small worlds in antique, vintage, and new glass containers, apothecary jars, science glass, kitchenware, and any odd glass objects they find on our travels. They also give terrarium-making classes and workshops. We thank them for their generosity to Proteus and hope you will visit them!

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Reanimation Library Travels to MOMA Wed, 18 Jan 2012 15:58:41 +0000 Lock, stock and barrel, the Reanimation Library has moved temporarily to MOMA as part of Print Studio, an interactive space that explores the evolution of artistic practices relating to the medium of print.  Be sure to visit Andrew and the Library at MOMA from January 23-March 9. Meanwhile, back at Proteus, in partnership with our Project-In-Residence, The Museum of Matches, we will be launching a new temporary project in the Reanimation space. The Berlin Tunnel Project, opening January 28, will be an installation inspired by a declassified CIA document. Stay tuned for more on this.

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Do You Have an Object with a Migratory Story? Tue, 22 Nov 2011 01:51:20 +0000 When we think about migration (as we have been doing all year), we tend to focus on people and creatures, the mobile inhabitants of the planet. But life and motion create products and byproducts: tools, waste, the implements of culture. These are often the things that drive us onward in our migrations. Their stories are ineluctably connected with our own. At the points where our stories intersect with objects, much is revealed, not only about our personal trajectories but also about our precarious relationship with the environment.

We sent out the following message: Do you have an object whose story you would like to share? An heirloom, an artwork, a toothbrush, a stone? An object which has inspired you, dominated you, educated you, exalted or degraded you? For our second exhibition of the Migration year, we invite you to lend us your object and include with it everything you know about it. We are especially interested in the part of the story that is the object’s alone: it’s history as material, as an economic entity, as waste, or as the impetus for other migratory tales.

This query brought us over 50 objects which are the jumping off point for a three-month exploration of the Migration of Objects.

The objects on display range from a 50 million year old “dinosaur fart” (or gas bubble) to a collection of wild bird’s stomach contents collected in the early 20th C for “scientific” purposes. There are also talismans, mundane objects with secret meanings, things of beauty and much more.

We will view them as independent beings with stories of their own, stories that began before the object’s encounter with its current owner and that will likely continue long after they part. The stories may migrate into the economic, the industrial, the political, the historical, the geologic, the environmental and so on as visitors add to the stories on display with information they may have about the object in question.

This object submitted by our collaborators, Friends of the Pleistocene, has a story in which we humans barely figure at all.


The Object Show is presented by Proteus Gowanus with curatorial assistance from the artist Sal Randolph, creator of the Free Biennale, Free Manifesta, Free Words and Manifesta, and from Smudge Studio, creator of the book Geologic City: A Field Guide to the GeoArchitecture of New York, exploring the convergence of the geologic and the human, and of  Friends of the Pleistocene. Sal will also be our Artist-In-Residence for the duration of the Objects Show. We also wish to thank Twig Terraria, on 4th Ave and President, for assisting us with our display by providing glass terraria.



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New Addition to the Migration Exhibition Sat, 29 Oct 2011 20:43:20 +0000 We are pleased to present a new addition to the current exhibition of our Migration year. Evidence: the Ninth Ward, a video montage by Andrew Garn spies on the new “immigrants” who have moved into the abandoned homes of New Orleans’ Ninth Ward after the Post-Katrina mass abandonment of the devastated neighborhood. 

With area residents long-gone to other neighborhoods and cities, other creatures are seen nosing amongst the ruins, perhaps attracted by the low- to non-existent overhead. The video is on display in the gallery in close proximity to the Impressionistic Map of the Katrina/Rita Diaspora, by geographer-artist Marie Cieri, providing a visual explication of where the humans migrated to.

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Join Us for a Migratory Film Feast Wed, 12 Oct 2011 13:38:29 +0000 Proteus Gowanus is pleased to announce the upcoming Migration Film Series as a monthly feature of the Migration year.  This monthly screening series will assemble the best of  avant-garde, scientific, and bizarre documentary portraits of the Migrations occurring throughout our universe.  It will feature recent and classic work by local and international visual artists. Each evening will be a unique experience featuring 16mm and video in both feature length and short format.  The year’s selection will be programmed by Sean Hanley.

Our first screening, on November 1st, will feature Migratory Media: An Evening of Appropriation and Experimental Animation with short films by Lillian Schwartz, Toshio Matsumoto, Steve Cossman, LJ Frezza, Douglas Goodwin & Rebecca Baron.

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Take a Shadow Walk Along the Gowanus Mon, 03 Oct 2011 17:14:44 +0000 Viv Corringham, British sound artist and vocalist, has created an audio accompaniment for visitors to listen to as they walk the Gowanus. Visitors borrow a CD player and earphones, pick up a map, and set off, accompanied by the sounds of local residents describing their own Gowanus walks, interspersed with ambient  sound and Viv’s improvisational songs.In June, 2011, six people from the Gowanus neighborhood took Corringham on their special Gowanus walks. She recorded their conversation during the walk, then went back along the same route alone and remembered the walk. She sang what she felt using (mainly) wordless improvisations. The sound piece that resulted integrates singing, conversations and the sounds of the place.

Proteus has three CD players with the recording in them so three visitors can go on the walk together. A lovely activity for an autumn day.


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Migration collaboration with Museum Library Thu, 22 Sep 2011 19:05:36 +0000 Proteus Gowanus is pleased to announce a Migration collaboration with The Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives. The Museum has loaned us a facsimile excerpt of an archive manuscript by Wallace Goold Levison, written in the early 20th C. for a book (never completed) on the early history of the Brooklyn Institute, the Museum’s predecessor. The notes recount a fascinating account of the Institute’s role in importing the English sparrow to Brooklyn in the 1850’s, a tale who’s outcome is visible to us every time we go outdoors. To see the bibliographic citation that tells more about the manuscript, click here.

As an off-site collaboration with the Migration year at Proteus, the Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives has also created a small Migration library of its own books which is on view in the Brooklyn Museum Library Reading Room. The Migration library contains some of the Museum’s books on birds and migration, including The Language of the birds: tales, texts, & poems of interspecies communication; The life and lore of the bird in nature, art, myth, and literature; Birds in Mogul art and many more. The Library’s Reading Room is open to the public Wednesdays through Fridays 11-4:30. To see a bibliography of the books selected for the Museum’s Migration library, click here. Come visit and see these books and get acquainted with the treasure of BMLA.

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Yamasaki’s feather installation Wed, 07 Sep 2011 17:46:46 +0000 You are invited to visit Proteus Gowanus from Sept 6-16, from 12-5 pm to observe the installation of the “Voices-Feather Composition” by Ami Yamasaki. This installation is a project of Reanimation Library and Proteus Gowanus, as part of the Migration exhibition.

Ami, a Tokyo artist and musician, is making a music-feather installation at Proteus by pasting millions of feathers made of torn paper to the walls, following a pattern dictated by the acoustical changes she perceives as she sings. Each feather works as a sound reflector or music instrument, changing the acoustics of the space. She sings, pastes, listens and, as she says, “little by little, the space starts to play its own music.”

During the process, Ami “feels herself completely vanished and becomes to the particles like electrons and neutrons for melting into the feathers and the music of the space. She feels both absence and existence, she feels she can travel everywhere.”

Ami needs paper donations to complete the projects. Please bring clear, white paper if you can. Off white and textured paper also welcome.

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Study Hall Re-Opens Sept. 6 Thu, 01 Sep 2011 10:56:55 +0000 Summer is ending and it’s time to get back to work. If you are a solitary worker tied to a laptop or a pad of paper, perhaps you would prefer not to work alone at home but rather in quiet community with other writers.

We invite you to join Study Hall for quiet contemplation, study and work. Study Hall turns our galleries into writing rooms so that members can work in a communal setting filled with art, artifacts and books.

For $50 per month, Study Hall is open to members on weekdays from 10am-6pm.

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Opening Reception for Migration Thu, 25 Aug 2011 16:05:00 +0000 Proteus Gowanus is pleased to announce the yearlong theme for 2011/12. For the next nine months, we will examine the many aspects of the word, MIGRATION, employing art, artifacts, books and events as the tools of our investigation. The first exhibition of the year opens with a reception on September 17 and will include the following contributors:

Aileen Bassis, Meredith Bergmann, The Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives, Lola Bunting, Marie Cieri, Viv Corringham, Dillon de Give,  Sarah Lederman, Portia Munson, Lance Rutledge, Randall Stoltzfus, Lorena Turner, and, in partnership with Reanimation Library, Ami Yamasaki.

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