Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Exhibition Opening DETROIT LIVES! // the exhibit

In an unusual twist, I attended a gallery opening on the 14th of January not as my avatar, but in real life. "DETROIT LIVES! // the exhibit", began that evening with a reception at 6 pm. It was hosted by the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) and held at the Ladybug Gallery and Studios, which is housed in the basement of the Whitdel Apartment building located in the Hubbard Farms district of Detroit. The exhibition included information on the project "Make Loveland" which is about the sale of hundreds of inches of Detroit land, along with works by a Detroit photographer, a musical performance, and the official screening for the short film "The Farmer and the Philosopher".

I arrived shortly after the doors opened, and ventured into the 1500 square foot gallery with my first stop a visit with exhibitor Jerry Paffendorf. I'd looked forward to seeing and talking with him once again. It had been several months ago that we'd become acquainted when I'd discovered through reading one of my RSS feed's that he'd begun a project in my hometown. By way of background, Jerry is an artist, entrepreneur, formerly the Chief Futurologist at Electric Sheep and all around swell guy". We had exchanged e-mail introductions and met twice this past summer while Jerry initiated the project which soon became known as "Make Loveland". He was putting the finishing touches to his display and we chatted only briefly while he did.

Before exploring the remaining space, I found and introduced myself to Aaron Timlin, Executive Director of CAID. As it turned out we had a mutual friend, artist Banrion Constantine from Second Life. Banrion and I had met just recently when I found out we both lived in the Detroit area. Aaron and I spoke about Second Life, he doesn't have an account by the way, about CAID, the restoration of the apartment building as a residence for artists and the gallery's history. Along with the gallery, the institute is active in the local community conducting art classes for local residents.

I next stopped to view the photographs of Vanessa Miller titled, "People Making it Happen in Detroit". The assemblage of photographs are portrait's of people under "30", who live and work in Detroit and are making a positive impact. Admittedly it was an eye opener for me, as I viewed the photographs and read the accompanying short biographies where I discovered what these individual were doing and the impact they were having.

After viewing the photo's I noticed that the crowd of patrons had grown around where Jerry had his exhibit and wandered over to listen in while he explained Loveland as being, "creative new concepts in micro payments for micro ownership and use of land. It is building frameworks for many people to invest and participate in the creation of something where nothing was before, and to interact with places both in person and online in various unique ways". He also demonstrated his newly contrived Loveland "One Inch" deed dispenser and showed a model of the first Loveland colony, Plymouth to the dozen or so patrons assembled. Jerry had recently purchased a vacant lot in Detroit as a possible home for the Plymouth Colony and is working on plans to set up a solar powered web cam to stream what's going on at the site. While there I purchased six square inches becoming a resident of Plymouth. Lane's list will soon take up a virtual residence there and write about what's going on in Loveland.

With other commitments planned for the evening, I was only able to catch a short portion of the musical performance of Alan Scheurman who also contributed music to the film "The Farmer and the Philosopher". Mr. Scheurman performed several songs from his recent album "Old Patterns" as part of the exhibit. And I missed in its entirety the screening of the film and hope to catch a link for viewing it soon.

Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I hope to do it again and soon.

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