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Sunday, October 2, 3:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.

NEVERSINK TRANSMISSIONS: DOCUMENTATION + EPHEMERA

Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer

Old Stone House, 282 Hasbrouck Road, Hasbrouck, NY.

Gala opening with a wine-and-cheese reception to meet the artists. Free to the public.

This month-long exhibition will document the process of assembling the public art project Neversink Transmissions. Sculptural objects, audio, video, photography and other archived materials related to the project’s development will be on display. Viewers can expect to see color-coded branches gathered from the banks of the Neversink, sketchbook pages and interview transcripts, and large-format prints of photographs made during the project. The public audio archive Neversink.info will be available for visitors to explore. Additional works from the artists’ practice that relate to the development of Neversink Transmissions will also be on view, such as Irons’ watershed drawings and Phiffer’s inquiry-based net projects.

The exhibition at the Old Stone House documents Neversink Transmissions, a site-specific work located at Denning Town Hall along the east branch of the Neversink River. The art project combines a sculpture built of driftwood and a media element the artists call “situated net art” that allows visitors to access an archive of community-generated knowledge about the river.

“Neversink Transmissions”  was sponsored by the Wildcat Fellowship Program in partnership with the Neversink-Rondout Stream Management Program. Irons and Phiffer were in residence in Claryville from July 11th through July 24th and participated in a work-in-progress tour on July 23rd at the Denning Town Hall.

Ellie Irons received her M.F.A. from Hunter College in 2009. Her work has been exhibited throughout the Northeast, including shows at Smack Mellon (Brooklyn); Proteus Gowanus (Brooklyn); and the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at the University of the Arts (Philadelphia), as well as multiple exhibitions with collective Future Archaeology. On the West Coast, her work has been exhibited at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and the PNCA Gallery in Portland. In The Netherlands, where Irons spent a semester at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen, her work has been exhibited in Schiermonnikoog and at DeFKA in Assen. Irons’s previous honors include the Signal Fire Outpost Residency (Portland, Oregon, 2010) and the Waddenwerk Summer Residency Program (Schiermonnikoog, The Netherlands, 2009). Irons is currently an artist in residence at the Carriage House in Islip, New York. She also works as a teaching artist with the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Guggenheim’s Learning Through Art Program, and as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Electronic Design and Multimedia Department of City College (CUNY).

Dan Phiffer is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University, an Adjunct Lecturer in the Electronic Design and Multimedia department at City College of New York, and is also a Media Technology Developer in the Digital Media Department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He graduated from ITP in 2007. He has lectured widely in Europe and throughout the United States and has been exhibited or featured at Ars Electronica FutureLab (Linz, AT), STUK kunstencentrum (Leuven, BE), MoMA (New York, NY), SFMOMA (San Francisco, CA), and V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam, NL). His awards include a 2008 Rhizome Commission, a 2007 Turbulence Commission, and an honorary mention from Prix Ars Electronica for a project he co-founded, ShiftSpace.

The Wildcat Fellowship Program of Claryville, NY, awards a residency in the Catskill Mountains to one or more gifted emerging artists each year. The program—now in its fourth year—gives artists a chance to experience art-making in a rural mountain setting of peace and beauty. It also provides young artists with a chance to connect to new audiences in the Catskills. The curator of the fellowship program is Patricia Eakins, and the executive director is Peter Martin, both Claryville residents.

The mission of the Rondout/Neversink Stream Program of the Sullivan County Soil and Conservation District is to inspire streamside landowners and the larger watershed community to live in harmony with Catskill creeks and rivers and the beautiful landscape they support. The Stream Program works with town officials, highway superintendents, landowners, educators and community stakeholders to assess stream conditions on the Rondout Creek, Chestnut Creek and Neversink River; implement Stream Management Plans and recommendations for healthy stream practices; assist landowners in increasing streamside vegetation; and educate about good stream-stewardship practices.

The Old Stone House is a community-based facility offering year-round classes in art and other endeavors for children and adults alike, plus monthly art exhibitions, all in a restored centuries-old building.

neversink.info
wildcatfellowshipprogram.net
catskillstreams.org
oldstonehouse.catskill-life.com

THE END

For more information about the Wildcat Fellowship Program, contact Patricia Eakins, fabulara@earthlink.net, 7 Taylor Road, Claryville, NY 12725, 845-985-7161

For more information about the Rondout/Neversink Stream program, contact Karen Rauter, KarenRauter@rondoutneversinkstreams.org, 845-985-2581

**************

“Neversink Transmissions” Launched at Denning Town Hall in Claryville, NY

Claryville, New York, August 1st, 2011–Even before the public presentation on July 23rd of Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer’s  Neversink Transmissions” at the Denning Town Hall, where it is sited on the East Branch of the Neversink River, drivers on the Denning Road sometimes stopped their cars to call “what are you doing?”  The artists took a break from installing the artwork to patiently explain it.

“Neversink Transmissions” combines a sculpture built of driftwood with a media element that the artists call “situated net art.”  The sculpture is actually a transmission tower. Through a local wireless network it provides access to neversink.info, an on-line archive of community-generated knowledge about the river. Visitors can also gain access to the archive through a short-range radio broadcast of the artists’ audio material.

On July 23rd, the artists mingled with more than forty guests at the ice-cream social where they officially introduced “Neversink Transmissions” to the public on a sweltering day with
temperatures in the high nineties. Irons, who created the witty faux cell tower of driftwood, explained how she had gathered wood from the banks of both branches of the Neversink as well as the confluence pool and main stem, color-coding the wood to highlight the provenance of each piece. (Blues and greens are the confluence and below, while pinks and reds represent the East Branch and yellow the West Branch.)   Phiffer showed how to access the interviews and photos of the neversink.info archive via wi-fi in the immediate vicinity of the sculpture. He also encouraged those whose cars were parked in the Town Hall lot to turn their radio dials to a designated frequency, thus gaining access to the audio portion of “Neversink Transmissions.”

After the artists took questions about “Neversink Transmissions,” Meredith Maglio of the Stream Program talked about the forthcoming demonstration buffer planting in which the sculpture is to be situated. She extolled the use of native plants to control erosion, preserve habitat, and foster the wilderness aesthetic. Denning resident Steve Ellis spoke briefly about the Denning Town Hall perennial garden that is currently in the planning stages. Everyone in attendance enjoyed two kinds of ice-cream floats–ginger ale and root beer–made with four kinds of ice cream, including the delicious homemade coconut ice
cream contributed by playwright Edwin Sanchez. The program was bracketed by two poems about the mountainous, riverine environment of the Southern Catskills by the late poet Inez George Gridley, and a poem about water by Peter Martin.

Irons and Phiffer’s intriguing and ambitious project was sponsored by the Wildcat Fellowship Program in partnership with the Neversink-Rondout Stream Management Program.  As the 2011 Wildcat Fellows, the artists spent two weeks in residence in Denning, realizing the project.  They were selected for this opportunity by a jury composed of four artists and the Neversink town historian, Carol Smythe. Two of the artists on the jury are local—Scott Woolsey of Claryville and Suzanne Bevier of Roscoe. Two are from New York City—Fred Gutzeit and Dee Shapiro. The fellows were selected on the strength of their previous work and a proposal created in response to a call for submissions. (For more information, go to http://wildcatfellowshipprogram.net.)

Though the sculpture is environmentally friendly and thus biodegradable, it will remain in place for some time. The archive of local stories (it is not too late to contribute yours!) will remain online at Neversink.info .  During the month of October, Irons and Phiffer will exhibit Neversink Transmissions: Documentation + Ephemera at the Old Stone House, 282 Hasbrouck Road in Hasbrouck, NY. The opening is on October 2nd at three o’clock p.m. The event is free, and the public is cordially invited.

neversink.info
wildcatfellowshipprogram.net
catskillstreams.org
oldstonehouse.catskill-life.com

THE END

For more information about the Wildcat Fellowship Program, contact Patricia Eakins, fabulara@earthlink.net, 7 Taylor Road, Claryville, NY 12725, 845-985-7161

For more information about the Rondout/Neversink Stream program, contact Karen Rauter, KarenRauter@rondoutneversinkstreams.org, 845-985-2581

The Neversink Transmissions Tower, built from driftwood gathered along the banks of the Neversink. Photo by Dan Phiffer.

2011 Wildcat Fellows Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer present Neversink Transmissions on Saturday, July 23rd. Photo by Meredith Maglio.

Project Description

Neversink Transmissions is a project by artists Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer. The piece combines a sculpture built of driftwood and a media element the artists call “situated net art”. Located at Denning Town Hall along the eastern branch of the Neversink River, it allows visitors to access an archive of community-generated knowledge about the river. The project is sponsored by the Wildcat Fellowship Program in partnership with the Rondout-Neversink Stream Management Program.

 Announcement Press Release

Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer Receive 2011 Wildcat Fellowship

Claryville, New York, June 8, 2011 — The Wildcat Fellowship Program is pleased to announce that Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer have been awarded the 2011 Wildcat Fellowship for “Neversink Transmissions.”  Their extraordinary artwork project will unite natural materials — including branches and forest debris — with interactive Wi-Fi and traditional radio transmissions.

This year’s Fellowship winners will receive $1,000. The award also provides the use of an artist’s studio at the foot of Wildcat Mountain, a two-week residency in a guest cottage in Claryville, and a month-long exhibition at the Old Stone House in Hasbrouck, NY.

The 2011 Wildcat Fellowship Program is carried out in partnership with the Rondout/Neversink Stream Program of the Sullivan County Soil and Conservation District. The winning entry — chosen from a group of four finalists—was based on the artists’ response to a call for proposals for “Art along the Neversink: The Stream Project.”

The selection of Ms. Irons and Mr. Phiffer was made by a jury of five individuals, representing deep roots in the Catskills and the artistic community: Suzanne Bevier, Fred Gutzeit, Dee Shapiro, Carol Smythe, and Scott Woolsey. Biographies of the five jurors are posted on the Wildcat Fellowship Program’s blog. The other Fellowship finalists were Risa Hirsch Ehrlich, Michael Asbill and  Andrea Cukier.

On the jury’s selection of “Neversink Transmissions,” Carol Smythe—the Town Historian of Neversink—wrote that Irons’ and Phiffer’s proposed project “has potential for tremendous public impact.”As Irons and Phiffer have described “Neversink Transmissions”: “the project proposes complementary transmission and receiving structures from which the audience can access locally generated knowledge about the Neversink River and surrounding watershed. It [will] involve a public sculptural component built from locally sourced, biodegradable materials and an interactive, digital component broadcast on a local wireless network…. An additional low-power radio component [will] draw attention to the project for local motorists. The project seeks to highlight critical topics of watershed management, generate a new archive of local oral dialogues, and explore issues of connectivity in modern rural communities.”

Irons and Phiffer began their project on May 7th and 8th. They interviewed the town historians of Neversink and Denning and stream-program coordinator Karen Rauter. The artists will be in full residence in Claryville from July 11th through July 24th and will participate in a work-in-progress tour on Saturday, July 23rd at 2 p.m. at the Denning Town Hall. The tour will allow members of the public to share their questions and comments with the artists.  (After the walk, Karen Rauter will present plans for a new streamside buffer garden and all participants will enjoy an ice-cream social.)  During the month of October, Irons and Phiffer will show documentation for “Neversink Transmissions” at the Old Stone House, 282 Hasbrouck Road, Hasbrouck, NY.

Ellie Irons received her M.F.A. from Hunter College in 2009.  Her work has been exhibited throughout the Northeast, including shows at the Estuary Gallery (Beacon); Proteus Gowanus (Brooklyn); In Rivers (Brooklyn); and the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, as well as multiple exhibitions with collective Future Archaeology. On the West Coast, her work has been exhibited at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and the PNCA Gallery in Portland. In The Netherlands, where Irons spent a semester at the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen, her work has been exhibited in Schiermonnikoog and at DeFKA in Assen. Irons’s previous honors include the Signal Fire Outpost Residency (Portland, Oregon, 2010) and the Waddenwerk Summer Residency Program (Schiermonnikoog, The Netherlands, 2009). Irons is a teaching artist with the Brooklyn Arts Council and Creative Arts Workshops, as well as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Electronic Design and Multimedia Department of City College (CUNY).

Dan Phiffer is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University, an Adjunct Lecturer in the Electronic Design and Multimedia department at City College of New York, and is also a Media Technology Developer in the Digital Media Department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He graduated from ITP in 2007. He has lectured widely in Europe and throughout the United States and has been exhibited or featured at Ars Electronica FutureLab (Linz, AT), STUK kunstencentrum (Leuven, BE), MoMA (New York, NY), SFMOMA (San Francisco, CA), and V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam, NL). His awards include a 2008 Rhizome Commission, a 2007 Turbulence Commission, and an honorary mention from Prix Ars Electronica for a project he co-founded, ShiftSpace.

The Wildcat Fellowship Program of Claryville, NY, awards a residency in the Catskill Mountains to one or more gifted emerging artists each year. The program—now in its fourth year—gives artists a chance to experience art-making in a rural mountain setting of peace and beauty. It also provides young artists with a chance to connect to new audiences in the Catskills. The curator of the fellowship program is Patricia Eakins, and the executive director is Peter Martin, both Claryville residents.

The mission of the Rondout/Neversink Stream Program of the Sullivan County Soil and Conservation District is to inspire streamside landowners and the larger watershed community to live in harmony with Catskill creeks and rivers and the beautiful landscape they support. The Stream Program  works with town officials, highway superintendents, landowners, educators and community stakeholders to assess stream conditions on the Rondout Creek, Chestnut Creek and Neversink River; implement Stream Management Plans and recommendations for healthy stream practices; assist  landowners in increasing streamside vegetation; and educate about good stream-stewardship practices.

–THE  END–

For more information about the Wildcat Fellowship Program of Claryville, New York, contact Patricia Eakins, fabulara@earthlink.net, 7 Taylor Road, Claryville, NY 12725, 845-985-7161

For more information about the Roundout/Neversink Stream program, contact Karen Rauter, KarenRauter@rondoutneversinkstreams.org,
845-985-2581

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