Montalvo workshop

8 January 2010 | by | In process

Last night we held a workshop at our residency at the Montalvo Art Center with the resident artists, staff and culinary experts. We started by asking people to create a diagram of the space they navigate when in their neighborhood at home. We then split everyone up into groups of 4 and asked each group to identify common ways to understand these personal diagrams. Finally, we met together, 12 of us, and tried to limit these common understandings, or ‘elements’, into 7 groupings.

The text for the workshop: MontalvoWorkshop1


Here are the individual diagrams:

The center box is the location space, between Houston & 14th Street, NYC. The boxes contained are the apartment, communal (bars?) and a view from outside. Across the river is Brooklyn, made up of a number of locii, each merely strung to each other, with no real reference points to connect them. Top left are two people connected by a phone. A plan/elevation of the bedroom. On the bed is a laptop, some pillows, around the room are various boxes, all with equal value, each containing the resident's effects.At the bottom is a bowl that represents warmth, from which originates a tree that connects to the world. The home is inline with the bowl, and the tree appears to have waves coming out of it above the home.Life revolves around walking, talking and typing, with a triangle set up between the blowing tree and the spot with tea and coffee...An apartment in NYC bound by 6th Avenue above it. On the other side of the avenue are a library, supermarket and landmark. In the apartment the artist's studio is shown empty.4 quadrants divide the page from local to other, from subjective to objective. Top left pane shows the desk and the bed (feet), the window separates the right pane with a view of Manhattan. Bottom left is a view of the East Village, with numerous local spots, on the bottom right is the 'yearly' journey to Sweden, and the unknown space in-betweenA person newly arrived in Brooklyn. There is their house, perhaps a place for coffee, but all the main arteries are as yet disconnected.Here the day is divided between home and the tree-lined journey to work. One of the few images showing the person, in this case drawn twice with her dog.The home is placed in the center, with a clock of locations to go to. The house is crying, with tears draining into the ocean, as there is no studio to go to.This is an energy/mood map, full of electrical discharge and resistence.The home, shown cocooned in the lower left, with a more established representation on the right. The workspace has a center, but is more abstract, with some landscape elements around it.


We then split into groups of four and asked each group to come up with 7 ‘elements’ that their drawings shared. Then all 12 people met, we put up all the elements, and tried to find a way to distill them. Here are the seven final ‘elements’ condensed from the individual maps:

ELEMENT 1: obstacles, distance, roads, framing and boundariesELEMENT 1: creativity, production, distractions & dream researchELEMENT 3: natureELEMENT 4: historyELEMENT 5: base & home treeELEMENT 6: communication, person there/not there and communityELEMENT 7: zoom, scale, vista, birds-eye & perspective view

We will use the seven elements created at the workshop to generate the forms for the studio installation at Montalvo on January 12th.

© Walczak & Solomon