Posts Tagged ‘Digital Fringe’

#AllYourMarketing All Day, Every Day

Posted September 24th, 2016

Since the 2016 Fringe Festival opened on September 9, our indomitable marketing department hasn’t just been getting all the words out about it, they’ve been participating in it. #AllYourMarketingpart of Digital Fringe, found the audacious trio of Dan Comly, Anna Kroll, and Hallie Martenson live-streaming themselves at their desk throughout each long, arduous Festival work day. Every crisis, every triumph, every sandwich was on display for all the world to see. Sadly, just as the Festival must come to an end, so must this bold exercise in transparency. The stream will be going offline after today, but if you missed any of the excitement check out some highlights below.


THINGS ARE HAPPENING. Happy Festival. — Hallie


Listening to hold music [featuring Nick Stuccio]. — Anna


Lonely Saturday in the office. Keep me company? — Hallie

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The CRUX of Digital Fringe

Posted September 8th, 2016

Before 2014 Andrew Cameron Zahn was looking for a studio space and a way to build relationships with other digital artists after completing his MFA. He came across a space too large to serve as a personal studio, and after some deliberation and conversation with colleagues and friends, Zahn created CRUXspace, Philly’s only New Media Art gallery.

Zahn and Brickley at CRUXspace

Zahn and Brickley at CRUXspace

“Most of our shows are experiments,” he laughs. In the two years since its opening the gallery has featured an exhibition of work by internet provocateur Molly Soda, a collaboration with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program and several other shows exploring the boundaries of new technology. This Friday, as the Fringe begins, Zahn and Kim Brickley open the gallery’s doors for Digital Fringe @ CRUXspace.

After the success of last year’s premiere Digital Fringe there was one piece of feedback that many artists repeated: there should be a place for digital artists to meet, experience each other’s work. Echoing the interest of Digital Fringe Artists, Zahn and Brickley explain that having a physical space can be more impactful to audiences of digital art, that interaction with people in the space is nearly as important as interaction with the works of art themselves. They both agree that gallery openings are very important to them as ways of meeting interesting people and gaining new perspective on what they display. On the other hand, Brickley, head curator of CRUXspace, believes that “the beauty of digital art is that you can question traditional work, and physical location becomes obsolete.” Audiences around the world can participate in Philly Fringe as well as those who are able to make it to Kensington.crux

Zahn and Brickley curated some artists into Digital Fringe in an effort to present more interactive work, things that push the envelope. “There’s a performance element to interactive art,” Zahn explains in discussing the reason for collaboration with FringeArts. See the Digital Fringe display experiment at CRUXspace Friday, September 9.

–Emily Dombrovskaya

Seeing Philly through Rockstar Eyes

Posted July 25th, 2016

catgif“Hi, I’m Ryan, and I am a human being,” Sonia Petruse says as she begins any performance of Sonia as Ryan, Ryan as Drag. Ryan is Ryan Adams, the prolific singer-songwriter and 90s heartthrob, or as Sonia affectionately refers to him, DRA (his full initials, David Ryan Adams). For the past year Sonia has been singing, blogging, taking photos and surrounding herself with domestic objects posing as Adams—inspired by a Halloween costume she created seven years ago. This fall she brings Adams to the Digital Fringe in a video created with Laura Storck. She fondly recalls specific teenage memories associated with every DRA record, “before listening to Ryan and his other bands like Whiskeytown and Sad Dracula, I could never turn to one artist for so many different emotions,” Sonia recalls.

“I look back to times I was sheltered by his albums: Love is Hell through college, Jacksonville City Nights through the loss of my childhood home, Cardinology when I was lost in LA, III/IV after a breakup and Cold Roses forever.”

Sonia confesses that she finds most forms of fandom horrifying. Why? “We are in a strange part of human history, where celebrities are treated like gods,” she muses. While Sonia is undoubtedly a fan of Ryan Adams and performs drag as admiration, she wants to honor him as a human and an artist rather than a deity, saying “I’m a big supporter of Ryan, just like I’m a big supporter of my friends and peers within art.”

Ryan in front of 7-11

Sonia as Ryan in front of 7-11, his favorite store

Sonia reconstructs elements of Adams’ life masterfully, with impeccable attention to detail. She performs with what she refers to as “Ryan props”: stuffed cats, a peace flag, a crocheted blanket and boxes of Cheez-Its. Sonia isn’t just emulating Ryan, she says “[it’s] one of my missions with this performance, to mesh dialogue of my own with Ryan’s, because I find similarities in our personal memoirs.” In conversation, Sonia affectionately uses the plural “we” to describe herself and Adams, almost as old friends. 

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Posted July 31st, 2015

“We think of it as adding another layer to the Fringe Festival—a Digital Neighborhood.”


#prettygirltips, Dan Hart

The 2015 Fringe Festival is introducing a new component, Digital Fringe, an online platform where artists working in digital media can share their work. The artists provide a URL or another method to access their technologic creation on the FringeArts website and in the Festival Guide. This year, as long as audience members have access to the internet, they can experience the Fringe Fest even when they are tucked away in their cozy kitchens scarfing down last night’s leftovers. “We were inspired by several artists from previous festivals, including the app Mike Kiley created last year, which used GPS tracking technology to guide listeners through a cinematic soundscape,” says Jarrod Markman, Fringe Festival Coordinator at FringeArts. Fringe artists lean against the boundaries of their mediums and Digital Fringe provides a space where artist can continue expanding those borders. Anna Kroll, a 2015 Digital Fringe artist shares, “By integrating web and app based work into the Fringe Festival, it opens up this work–that’s exploring similar ideas– to new audiences who might not know a lot about what’s happening in this medium.”

The multitude of Digital Fringe shows reflects the radical ways art is expanding. Martha Stuckey, Ilse Zoerb, and Douglas Williams take us on a journey to space and back in their show, @AstroJennie. The group follows Jennie Stuart as she returns to North Philly from space. The whole story is captured on Instagram! Liz Goldberg of Lowell Boston is an internet diva. She is also creating a website for the 2015 Fringe Festival that explores the dynamic between painting and animation while unpacking the theme of the diva and female archetypes. Digital Fringe ventures into unknown territory, and Adam Rokhsar, another artist with a Digital Fringe work in the 2015 Festival, created 404 not found, a website that imagines an alternate experience for internet dead ends or encountering a website that does not exist.

aqueousnessAnna Kroll, creator of aqueousness, is drawn to Instagram as artistic medium. At first, her project began on her personal account. Aqueousness captures Kroll’s experience of the bodies of water around her through fifteen second videos. “The project originally started on my personal Instagram and took it over because I didn’t want to post anything else and break up the collection. Finally I shifted the idea to a dedicated account so I could continue to post funny cat photos, but keep the collage growing,” she describes. Digital Fringe encourages artists to pursue unconventional projects. Kroll says, “Digital Fringe gave me an excuse to develop the idea, refining my purpose and language around it as well as how I wanted to present the videos as a collection.” Further dwelling on her project meant thinking about Instagram from a different perspective. “There are a few reasons why I stuck with Instagram as a platform. One, I really wanted the videos to square. I didn’t want the wide screen dimensions that connote film or cinema,” she explains. Kroll simultaneously acts as a museum curator and Avant Garde artist. As she catalogs and displays her experiences with water like archaeological objects placed within glass cases, she also flips Instagram upside down, turning it into a medium like no other. Check out her work @aqueousness.

prettygirltips1Daniel Hart, a Digital Fringe artists and creator of #prettygirltips for 2015 Fringe Festival, never pictured himself as a live performance artist. “I never really saw myself a live performer because of anxiety but I pushed myself. Before performing live I would mostly do internet art and some video work,” he says. Through Digital Fringe, Hart can store away his nerves and return to an art form that works better for him. Hart created #prettygirltips, a website that smashes our notions of beauty and drag. The website, which will include pictures and videos saturated in beauty, smeared lipstick, and newport100s, is “inspired by the daily struggle and pain of being a member in the lgbtq community.” Hart shares, “Imagine if you got off at the Somerset station at 3am and got most of your makeup tips from the first pretty girl you saw. I’m trying to challenge everyone’s concept of what beauty is in the drag community. It is as if burn victim high fashion or Texas chainsaw leather face opened up a beauty salon.” Visit prettygirltips.com during the festival or check out the Pretty Girl’s Instagram now @melissajoanshart.

Producing Digital Fringe has been an adventure. “Our registration process is not set up for digital based artists, so we have had to make several adjustments to how we obtain information from them,” Markman says. Producing live arts and structuring the multitude of performances is already hard. Adding another piece to the festival, a layer that occurs in the alternate universe of the digital realm, which is slightly removed from theater, dance, and music, came with new challenges. Markman has courageously taken on these difficulties and stretched the ways artists can participate in the Fringe Festival. He is already thinking about how Digital Fringe will grow in the future, “I would love to juxtapose digital art being made in Philadelphia against digital art from other countries under the umbrella of the Fringe Festival.”

Thank you, Jarrod, Anna, and Dan! I love the Internet, so I can’t wait.



–Courtney Lau