Kickstart our January participatory workshop performance by kristinmarting
December 29, 2010, 4:57 am
Filed under: Events

Dear Friends,

Want to support the development of a new social experiential performance? LUSH VALLEY is a live art participatory performance that will be presented in the award-winning HERE’s CULTUREMART festival this January 15 & 16.

We need YOUR help now to finish creating our first public performance. Our goal is to raise $2500 by January 15. Your donation no matter how small will make our dream of LUSH VALLEY a reality.


LUSH VALLEY is being developed by a creative team of artists that includes dramaturg Yana Landowne, director Kristin Marting, video artist Tal Yarden, with writer Robert Lyons and designers Oana Botez, Clint Ramos, and Jane Shaw. Performers include Marc Bovino, Matthew Lewis, Irene Longshore, Rudy Mungaray, Mariana Newhard, Abigail Ramsay, Suzi Takahashi, Dax Valdes & Karyn de Young. This unusual project chases the elusive idea of the American Dream and uses dance, music, text, online technologies & video to explore how the Dream shapes & twists our imaginations.

America was founded as a home for difference. And yet there currently is a disturbing trend towards intolerance, divisiveness, anger and exclusion. The recent reactionary changes in immigration laws, the renewed attacks on the gay community, the ever-expanding schism between conservatives and liberals, and the foundering of the hope that Obama offered all have fueled us to examine what it means to be American right now as individuals and as members of this diverse nation. With LUSH VALLEY, we’re trying to reconnect to a sense of shared purpose, to journey to a common ground & to reclaim a home for difference.

This workshop presentation is the culmination of our interactive and inclusive work to date, which has brought together artists & community members via one-on-one interviews, six think tanks that were free and open to any interested persons, social-networking forums on Facebook, a public art action on Governors Island, and a couple of participatory experiments. For us, the performance began in April 2010 with our first think tank & will continue all the way through September 2011 with our premiere at HERE.

1. Pay artist fees to our 9 performers, 4 designers, 1 writer, 1 dramaturg, 1 director and 1 stage manager
2. Buy much-needed scenic, video and lighting elements to fully realize our vision for this workshop.

In this time of giving and receiving, please consider this project. Donate at:

If you are unable to donate at this time, we hope you will still support our project by attending our performances on January 15 and 16 at 8.30pm. LUSH VALLEY is being developed through the HERE Artist Residency Program.  Details about how to buy tickets and where to come can be found at:

If we are lucky enough to raise more than $2500 at this time, the additional money will go towards our premiere of the full project September 2011!

photo features Rudy Mungaray, taken by Michael Bodel


Think Tank # 6 – Hope : subtopic notes: Future vs Past – False Inspiration or True Motivation by kristinmarting
December 22, 2010, 3:22 pm
Filed under: Events, Hope

Future vs Past – False Inspiration or True Motivation – notes from one of our three subtopics from our most recent think tank —

Hope in terms of time
Feeling feelings of past
Bring those to presents
It’s about that thing you want that’s just beyond your grasp
Attaining the unattainable
Myth of Prometheus
Gift of fire
Gift was taken away
This myth gave us concept of hope
Story of 23 homeless girl that wants to put herself through college and raise kids
Concept of ambition vs hope
Hope involves a disadvantage
Ambition has negative connotation
Ambition is active
What do you hope for
Hope involves immaterial goals and desires
Outside of your sole control
Involves other people to achieve
Post on Facebook I never had an expectation of those around me so I’ll never be disappointed
Hope is vulnerable
Putting it out there that there is something beyond your control
Does the concept of hope exist in other cultures
Concept of hope after fall of communism
Hope tied to capitalism and way to better your circumstances
Bush preached pull yourself up by your bootstraps but came from wealth
Obama pulled himself up, then used hope in campaign as collective yes we can
Concept of hope in American dream is contradiction
Individual vs society
Article in new yorker about artists that become artists late in life
Narrative not as sexy because we like to believe in magic
Hope as seed for ambition
Hope is very emotional
Hope is subjective
Hope fading as you get older
Hope as powerful tool for good, not evil
When does hope become insanity
False aspiration vs true motivation
Depends on the pathways taken
Blind ambition and moby dick, captain ahab
How far will you go for one principle
Dreaming wishing hoping planning doing
Govt doesn’t want you to have hope in the govt
Entitlement as it relates to hope
If you have food water shelter you can hope for bigger things
If you don’t have that, you have to hope for food water shelter
After depression, period of affluence that still exists
Home ownership more common
Access increased with mortgages
Now recession brings that into question
Government created the housing industry to replace war industry with gi bill
Hopes become selfish with this type of materialism
A dream deferred explodes
What turns hope negative
Hope as function of time
Hope can be sustaining
Hope as it relates to socioeconomic status
This affects what we hope for
Hope becomes a staircase
Once you achieve what you hope for, focus on the next hope and achieve that
Is hope about attaining control?
Hope that you will move forward toward financial security
Hope that you can give your wife the best life possible
Hope for surrounding yourself with people that happy are pursuing their dreams
Hope for your children to do well socially
Hope for your work to be seen in broader circles
Hope for art work to intersect with people and getting them to think about ideas
American dream has value if we can find our way back to these core values and their true values
Hope for community
Deflation of hope after Obama campaign
Does Obama concept of hope involve entitlement
Hope on small scale is more successful and ties into large scale long term hopes
Global hope
Interdependence summit in new York
Arts are an integral part of bridging gaps and promoting interdependence
Global hope as it involves environment
Do you need the possibility to fail to have hope

Is hope for peace less with no draft – soldiers not sons of
Mandatory draft fpr armed or civil service – true community service
Where is the cross pollination of humanity –

Men who stare at goats – docu-film

Hope is an ambition for safety and peace

Rally to restore sanity
Gave sense of hope that govt might hear us

Think Tank # 6 – Hope : Subtopic Notes – Hope as a Hook for Religion by kristinmarting
December 20, 2010, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Events, Hope, Uncategorized

Hope as a Hook for Religion -one of three  subtopics at our most recent think tank – here are the notes from the conversation:

Believing in a positive outcome. Hope is the outcome, not the beginning.

-Many religions are very controversial and violent, hope is not. Except in Hinduism, Buddhism, etc, which doorways to hope. Why the difference?

-How do you pin down hope? How do you access it when it’s not a tangible thing?

-Hope is a world view

-What’s the difference between wish and hope? Wish has no time, Hope has a destination

-In ASL, the sign for Hope starts from within us, where faith and wish are directed above us.

-Hope as currency: A woman who was persuaded to give all of her money to a Televagenlist’s ministry and when she won the lottery with her last dollar, they said it was the grace of God, blessing her for giving all she had.

-Hope can be capitalized upon: it can be changed, morphed, and used to do what you need it to.

-Hope and Faith are cousins: Faith = negative? Hope = positive?

-Humanity: Hope is distinctly human

-Do animals have hope?

-Are there different levels of hope? 7 levels of Hell, 7 levels of Heaven? Is hope = heaven?

-Religions are all on the path to the top of the mountain, but they’re fighting along the way.

-Easy to wish to be good, helpful, loving people. Yet it’s hard to hope for it.

-Is Hope a bi-product of dependency?

-Hope as a means of survival, the only way some can survive is by having hope:

-“Consider the lily’s of the valley…” –> Lily’s will always survive there, because of the nutrients they’ll always be taken care of. This verse is meant to inspire hope via a survival story.

-Herman Melville’s idea of sharks: they’ll always find a way to get by.

-Tammy Fey, and like minded televagenlists manipulating hope in order to meet their standard of survival.

-Do you have hope when you’re on your last leg of survival? –> Deserted Island scenario.

-Be careful with your hope: Blind faith is dangerous

-It’s a commodity, precious: not to be given away indiscriminately

-Soul is your peaceful inner space.

-If all our needs are met, there’s no need to Hope: Need vs. Want. If it came from lack or yearn, then it’s less discriminate where to go with hope.

-Hope linked to fear. risk.

-Religion as a way to manage hope

-Hope is a choice.

Lush Valley Think Tank #6-HOPE, December 5th by kristinmarting
December 10, 2010, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

On December 5th we gathered at the HERE Rehearsal Space and generated a list of topics in relation to Hope and how it fits into our concept of the American Dream.  The conversation allowed us to express our multiple perspectives on the meaning of Hope and how the idea translates to our every day lives.  Thank you to all who attended and the thoughts you shared.

Hope Think Tank Topics Generated:

– Does Hope have a color, sound, smell…?

-Hope is a pair of awesome $5 rose tinted sunglasses that when looking through them makes the shittiest day look beautiful.

-Hope via Politics: Obama campaign

-Soul + Peaceful = Hope

-Hope as a hook for religion

-How is Hope distinct from Faith or belief or wish

-Hope is…believing

-How do you re-ignite and sustain Hope

-Optimism, blind faith, glass half full, blank slate

-How do you hope while still struggling?

-Is hope a false inspiration or a true motivation?

-Involves concept of future in contrast with past

-“Always looking on the bright side”

American Psychosis: What happens to a society that cannot distinguish between reality and illusion?… by kristinmarting
December 9, 2010, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

“The United States, locked in the kind of twilight disconnect that grips dying empires, is a country entranced by illusions. It spends its emotional and intellectual energy on the trivial and the absurd. It is captivated by the hollow stagecraft of celebrity culture as the walls crumble. This celebrity culture giddily licenses a dark voyeurism into other people’s humiliation, pain, weakness and betrayal. Day after day, one lurid saga after another, whether it is Michael Jackson, Britney Spears or John Edwards, enthralls the country … despite bank collapses, wars, mounting poverty or the criminality of its financial class…”

The article continues here.


Is It Time To Awaken From the American Dream? by kristinmarting
December 8, 2010, 10:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Michael Sebastian for The New York Times


This recent article in the New York Times might be found interesting.

“Throughout his recent run for Senate, the Florida Republican Marco Rubio made a big deal of the sacrifices his Cuban immigrant family made “so that I could live the American dream.” By campaign’s end, he was using the phrase so regularly that spokesmen for his Democratic opponent, Congressman Kendrick B. Meek, were reminding reporters that Rubio did not have a patent on it. The American dream mattered a lot in this election. Americans for Prosperity, a conservative activist group, laid out plans for repealing President Obama’s health care reform and fighting environmental regulation at its Defending the American Dream Summit two months ago. The president, meanwhile, closed this fall’s campaign with an exhortation to “restore the American dream for not just some, but for every, every, everybody in this great land.” If both sides agree that the dream is imperiled, and that recovering it is a top national priority, then it may be this “dream”of ours is not a unifying idea but a vague slogan, no more to be trusted than any other piece of campaign rhetoric…”

Click here to view the whole article

Honor Think Tank #5 – Honor in old fashioned marraige: Virginity vs. Slutiness by kristinmarting
December 1, 2010, 10:00 am
Filed under: American Dream, Honor
Corporate whistleblowers 

Once you’re caught then you care about it

Honor has to do with sex in America – is it about privacy ?

Double standard btw men and women – good girl bad girl virgin slut

Judgment from other women about women

Date as many people as possible to find what you want

Why not multiple partners ok in America ? Honor in monogamy why?

If you both agree to see other people! Then that’s honorable – it needs to be mutual agreement

Spitzer documentary

Cyber bullied. – Accusation of sluttery

Cheating is dishonorable

Cheating is ok in some sports –

Public opinion dictating how you feel about yourself

Honor has to do with responsibility – you have honor
Support your family

We don’t have a code of honor but you know it when you see it

Church and temple offer guidelines for these ethical codes

We live in a culture of tolerance – respect people’s differences

No american code of honor – but there are regional codes of honor

Code of honor comes from internal stuff from your parents

Multiplicity of cultures makes that different codes of ethics

Honor feels like old word

Packaged perspective

Honor in gender relationships
Honesty between genders
Honor is being gentlemanly, for woman as well as men

Modern hookup, lay culture in current America is not honorable.  It is inherently selfish, while honor requires sacrifice.

Is honor the shared rules of a culture, or is it something higher, more restrictive than the normal rules, more restrictive than the normal rules

Is honor in America harder to figure out because we have all these different religious / cultural traditions.

Different attitudes towards honoring the flag (folding properly etc) in heartland America or in cynical New York.

What are the physical manifestations of honor? (flags, uniforms?)

Taking advantage of people is dishonorable (and that’s very America)