Go Deeper


Posted May 1st, 2013

“These aren’t ideas irrelevant to your life.”

Money by Time/Bank.

Money by Time/Bank.

FringeArts debuts the Proposition Tent, a free laboratory and social space of ideas on how to engage the existing world, this First Friday, May 3rd, open from 7pm to 10pm. It will all be happening within (and a little bit around) a big red tent stationed in a lot at North 11th and Carlton Streets, across from Vox Populi and the Trestle Inn. You can stop by at anytime.

The Proposition Tent comes courtesy FringeArts resident curator Nato Thompson and visual arts program director Theresa Rose. It will appear each First Friday from May to July 2013 and feature propositions on a theme by four sets of participants: a local artist, an international artist, a local business or non-profit, and the words of a thinker/philosopher. May’s theme is CASH MONEY and it showcases work by Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle of e-fluxMiranda JulyPaul GloverSouth Philly Food Co-op; and a statement by Antanas Mockus, former Mayor of Bogota, Colombia, which will be read aloud by Ariel Vasquez.

And there will be FREE PIZZA!

FringeArts: How did the idea for Proposition Tent come about?

Nato: The Proposition Tent is the result of myself and Theresa Rose trying to think of simple ways to shake up exhibition models. There are two basic undercurrents running through the project. The first is on the concept of propositions themselves. We are interested in the idea that the propositions for projects are sometimes enough in and of themselves.

Theresa: There is often more freedom, sincerity and idealism in a proposition or proposal.

Nato Thompson by a brick wall.

Nato Thompson by a brick wall.

Nato: The other idea is that we wanted to combine more than just art in a project. We think it is rather boring to show only art next to art. Instead we are interested in producing a conversation between art and other aspects of daily living from amazing thinkers and poets to alternative infrastructure builders who are in our city. We want to put art into a dialogue with the lived world because not only is it more meaningful, we think it is more fun.

Theresa: And so we chose topics like alternative economies (i.e. CASH MONEY), pizza, and love as an effort to relate to everyone, or at least most people.

FringeArts: May’s theme is CASH MONEY, what are some of the ideas being presented?

Nato: Alterative currency systems based on time are featured by Anton Vidokle and Julieta Aranda as well as by local activist Paul Glover. There is a simple participatory project by Miranda July. We have a statement on economies and the fluidity of money by the philosopher and ex-Mayor of Bogota, Columbia, Antanas Makas, and we are so pleased to have the South Philly Food Co-op and Mariposa introducing folks to what cooperative food distribution systems could be, and hopefully will be, in Philadelphia.

FringeArts: How do you see visitors interacting with the participants?

Nato: I am hoping they engage in the conversations. We’ve selected meaningful projects and people. These aren’t ideas irrelevant to your life. I mean money is a big deal and thinking of new ways to deal with it might prove useful.

Theresa: We hope that our visitors will ask questions of the local participants—in person Friday will be Paul Glover, Lisa Kelley of the South Philly Food Co-op, and a representative of Mariposa. We will also have volunteers to guide one through the tent, if needed. Miranda July’s contribution to the Tent calls on strangers to participate. There will be a guide with instructions.

FringeArts: Anything you are particularly looking forward to in CASH MONEY?

Nato: I think Theresa and I are glad to get this project off the ground. It has been fun to think about and we are excited to put it into the mix of the First Fridays. We also see it is a sort of hello to the Philly arts community that FringeArts is doing experimental visual arts programming.

Theresa: We are looking forward to mixing up audiences—FringeArts with its large following of performing arts goers and the 319 North 11th Street building, home to several artist-run spaces and galleries, with its robust visual art audiences. For those not familiar, we have situated the tent directly across the street from this building that will simultaneously be hosting several art openings. Make sure to check them out!

Did we mention there's free pizza? Photo: Joe Shlabotnik.

Did we mention there’s free pizza? Photo: Joe Shlabotnik.

Great, see you there!

CASH MONEY at the Proposition Tent
First Friday May 3rd, 7pm–10pm
North 11th and Carlton Streets
(Between Wood and Callowhill Streets, across from Vox Populi and The Trestle Inn)
–Said Johnson