On The Town 

For fifteen years, I have documented many exhibitions, performances and art events in the Boston area. Much of that documentation has been published and archived  on Big Red and Shiny in my column On The Town. Presented here are some of my favorite events that I have documented as well as some that have not been published elsewhere.


Back to the Land

Back To the Land was a one-day interactive art piece at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA

On August 4th, 2012 the public was invited to come and play in a hot-pink, ten-person, collaborative, electronic eco-garment.
Created by The Institute for Infinitely Small Things (members: Kanarinka and Forest Purnell) in collaboration with Aleta Deyo and Mikhail Mansion.
This collaboration between performers, costume designers, and electronics wizards will outfit the DeCordova Sculpture Park in a giant hot-pink cloak that invites you in to become one with the land, providing a unique experience as you contemplate your place in nature.

Presented here is my video documenting the event.

Back to the Land

Video Produced and edited by James Manning
Footage by Rob Coshow/ divided by xero and James Manning

Secret, crazy, historic, renegade art exhibition at major Boston museum

June 15th, 2011 was a historic day in Boston, that evening, a renegade art exhibition with 21 artists organized by artist/journalist Greg Cook took place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, also the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 39 years.
Presented here is my video documentation of the slightly less famous of the two events from that day.

Secret, crazy, historic, renegade art exhibition

Excerpts from Greg Cook’s press release for the event:

“The exhibit celebrates the 40th anniversary of the exhibition “Flush with the Walls”, in which six Boston artists—Bob Guillemin, Kristin Johnson, Todd McKie, Martin Mull, David Raymond and Jo Sandman—snuck their art into a men’s room at the MFA for a renegade, joke exhibition on June 15, 1971. A report in the newspaper Boston After Dark after the original event said “Flush with the Walls” ingeniously and wittily pointed out “that the men’s room seems to be the only place in the Museum of Fine Arts that an exhibit by contemporary local artists can be seen.”

In this spirit, and in honor of the original show a group 21 Boston-area artists and collaboratives will again, without permission, sneak their drawings, prints, photos and sculptures into a pair of bathrooms at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, Massachusetts, on June 15.”

Artists featured in the “Best of Boston 40-enniel” exhibition are Elizabeth Alexander, Antoniadis and Stone, Resa Blatman, Laura Chasman, Caleb Cole, Greg Cook, David Curcio, Bob Guillemin aka Sidewalk Sam*, The Institute for Infinitely Small Things, Paul Laffoley, Chaz Maviyane-Davies, Maria Molteni, Ernest Morin, Dan Moynihan, Mary O’Malley, Kari Percival, David Raymond*, Jo Sandman*, Ben Sloat, Joe Wardwell, and Deb Todd Wheeler.

* Participants in the original 1971 show.

Video Documentation: shot and edited by James  Manning with additional footage by Amber Day.

Coverage of the 2011 event by Greg Cook including images of many of the works in the show, can be seen at The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.

A great article by Charles Giuliano about the original “Flush With the Walls” event can be found at Berkshire Fine Arts.


Otto Pienne SKY event

SKY event

Presented here is a time lapse video made from more than  1225 photos I shot, showing the entire day of Otto Piene: SKY Event at MIT on May 7th 2011. An image was taken every 30 seconds of the event.

Starting at noon and working through several rain delays, the video shows the progress of the assembly and inflating of two 75 foot tall ‘star’ inflatable sculptures which rose above the dome at MIT at dusk just as the skies cleared

SKY event

Rising above the Great Dome of MIT, immense inflatable stars soared over Killian Court on the evening of May 7 during FAST Light, the culminating event of the MIT150 Festival of Art, Science and Technology. The sculptures celebrated — and incorporated — the distinctive symbiosis among artists, scientists and engineers that emerged at MIT during the 1960s with the founding of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies and continues today throughout the Institute.

This event began in the afternoon as the sculptures were arrayed on the ground and ­– with the help of a crew of students and alumni — started to inflate.

The stars launched at dusk and were fully illuminated at 9:00 pm, floating overhead while members of the crew and the audience kept them tethered to the earth. This participatory event was a collaborative art process leading to luminous images against the canvas of the night sky.

Above text from MIT, Fast Festival website.

Sky Event by Otto Pienne was part of the 2011 FAST Festival at MIT
and the 2011 Boston Cyberarts Festival

Video produced by James Manning