Adventures of Hoogrrl!

A person who appears to be ambling aimlessly, but is secretly in search of adventure.

Browsing Posts published in February, 2010

VJ Um Amel is a poet, activist and digital artist critically examining the nature of digital information and cyber existence in a post-9/11 world. On Thursday, February 25, Um Amel will present Call 2 Presence, an interactive live cinema performance at The Fridge DC art gallery.

In her 30-minute performance, VJ Um Amel (Arabic for ‘Mother of Hope’), an animated cyborg who is also a mother, invites the audience to collectively choose how the story will proceed.

This is how it works: two projections will go on simultaneously. The main projection will show the cinematic story of Egyptian-American VJ Um Amel, along with her robot companions, Femme Bot and Shashi, as they move in and out of media from 1950s Egyptian cinema to present day video games, full-length films, and the Internet in search of Um Amel’s child. Um Amel is a feminist cyborg who shape-shifts from animation to avatar, VJ to mother, from machine to human. Within the film, VJ Um Amel explores her mother’s past as an opera singer and film star in 1950’s Cairo. In this world, she finds love, life, romance, and how to move her hips without glitches.

In its essence, the first projected video asks what hope looks like in the 21st century. Yet as the story progresses, the audience will get to determine how the story ends. They will text their choices by phone, or simply sit back and watch the plot unfold.

On the second projection, there will be a continuous visual display of images as controlled by the audience. The audience will text any key words that describe their reactions and emotions to the performance to a provided phone number. Their texts will automatically generate images from Flickr based on the key words.

Call 2 Presence is an exciting opportunity to utilize crowd participation technologies focused on educating people through art. In Um Amel’s opinion, “a shared procedural literacy among collaborators in digital and new media productions might provide a key to 21st century democratic practices.”

In other words, only the collective can provide the answers to the artist’s posed questions. In a true 21st century democracy, the crowd tells the story together.

Come help VJ Um Amel tell the story on Thursday, February 25 at The Fridge DC art gallery. Doors open at 7:30pm and the live cinema begins at 8pm (30 minutes and then Q&A). After Party from 9pm-11pm to follow. Tickets ($10) are available online.

Check out Call 2 Presence for more information.

Andrew answers the Proust Questionnaire. Follow Cultural Development Corporation’s Pop-Up Gala creation process on their blog, Pop-Up Gala.

Buy your tickets today to see the Pink Panel on Photography for the Emerging Collector!
Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
Tuesday, March 16th 7-9pm
@Long View Gallery
1234 9th St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
George Hemphill, Gallerist
Leena Jayaswal, Associate Professor at American University
Max Hirshfeld, Photographer
Philippa Hughes, Moderator

Check out this video tour from James Huckenpahler of GW New Media. A behind the scenes look with Jeffry Cudlin of the Arlington Arts Center at the exhibition, Transhuman Conditions.

[Link to the video]

DIY is alive and well in DC and using social media tools to make a buck! Read more about it HERE.

Hamiltonian Artists Fellowship Program is Now Accepting Applications for 2010-2012 Term.

Deadline: Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Hamiltonian Artists, a 501(c)3, is pleased to announce its third annual open call to new, emerging artists to apply to our two-year Fellowship Program, aimed to aid in the professional development of visual artists.

Please refer to the website for application requirements, restrictions and forms. The application process will close at 5:00 pm on on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, and any applications received after that date will not be considered.

Please do not hesitate to email or call us at the gallery with any additional questions.

Best of luck!
Hamiltonian Artists is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing professional development opportunities for creative artists early in their careers. We offer a competitive two-year fellowship program to new, innovative visual artists in all media through an annual competition. Artists from around the nation are encouraged to apply.

Hamiltonian Artists
1353 U Street, NW
Suite 101
Washington, DC 20009

On February 21 the Appropriations Committee of the House of Delegates voted, 15-7, to cut state funding for the Virginia Commission for the Arts by 50 percent in 2010-11 and to eliminate the agency completely as of July 1, 2011. The Senate Finance Committee has adopted the proposal in the budget bill submitted by Governor Kaine not to make further cuts in state funding for the Commission for the Arts.

There will be votes on the House and Senate floors later this week on the proposals from the two committees. The different versions of the 2010-12 budget bill approved by the two house of the General Assembly then go to a Budget Conference Committee to resolve the differences.


Virginians for the Arts is encouraging all of its members to do two things:

1. Contact your representatives in the General Assembly, both Delegates and Senators (fax and phone calls best), protesting the recommendation of the House Appropriations Committee. Legislator contact information can be found on the web here.

2. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers with the same message.

These actions must be taken in as soon as possible (at least by end of the week) in order to have any impact on the final decisions on the state budget.

Please take action and help us spread the word with other arts advocates in every way (website, email, social networking, etc.)

Talking Points for These Contacts with Legislators and Letters to the Editor

  • The House Appropriations Committee, on a divided vote, has made a short-sighted decision about state funding of the arts, proposing a 50 percent reduction in state funding for the Virginia Commission for the Arts in the first year of the new biennium, and eliminating the agency completely in the second year.
  • The arts community recognizes the severity of the budget problems facing state government and expects to share in the budget cuts and has already been cut by 30 percent over the last two years.
  • However, every dollar that the state invests in the arts through the Commission returns $7 in investment by private citizens, businesses, and local governments.
  • The Commission made matching grants to Virginia local governments of half a million in FY 2009-2010 to support festivals and programs generating tourism and attracting business and cultural activity throughout the state.
  • The Commission is funded at the lowest per capita level among state agencies of surrounding states.
  • Elimination of the Commission would also mean the loss of Federal funds for arts in Virginia ($1 million in FY 2009-2010).
  • The arts contribute to the economic vitality of Virginia communities. Localities such as South Boston, Richmond, Lynchburg, Blacksburg, Alexandria, and Petersburg are using the arts as a lynchpin for attracting business and economic development.
  • Artists and arts organizations work in Virginia schools to expand educational opportunities for children so important to developing a creative workforce. The arts have stepped in to meet cultural education needs of our children where these programs are being cut in the schools. Funds provided by the Virginia Commission for the arts often represent the only opportunity for children in rural areas to be exposed to arts and culture.
  • The arts provide jobs, and cultural tourism as an important part of Virginia tourism promotion efforts.
  • Over the past two years the arts have faced large spending cuts, cancellations of performances, staff layoffs, and galleries closing. Minimizing further cuts in state arts funding is essential to the survival of Virginia’s cultural infrastructure. CUTS OF THE MAGNITUDE BEING PROPOSED WOULD CAUSE ARTS ORGANIZATIONS, BOTH LARGE AND SMALL, TO CLOSE THEIR DOORS throughout the Virginia.
  • We urge you to vote against the proposal of the House Appropriations Committee. The small investment the state makes in the arts has a major impact on local economic development, tourism, and education.

Thank you for your essential support! Action by our advocates will make all the difference!
Trish Poupore
Virginians for the Arts

Affinity Lab and Brightest Young Things are partnering up to offer memberships to the newly opened U St Affinity Lab (across from Velvet Lounge) to two businesses, non-profits, or arts groups with dynamic and innovative ideas in order to support DC’s creative economy.

Here is a link to the Contest Post on BYT:

Everyone always talks about D.C.’s hidden creative class; a chronically highly educated, over committed and extremely frustrated tribe who simply do not have the time or know-how to apply for arts and business development grants from local government or raise capital. More than likely you or your friends are members of this creative community: you might be an editor of a fanzine, the head of a small record label, a graphic novelist, the founder of a new non-profit, a local political organizer, the producer of a film, an events planner, or the head of a disturbingly niche oriented dating website. Whoever you are, you’re contribution is vital to our community.

The Affinity Lab is dedicated to coaxing the fire of entrepreneurial spirits in the District of Columbia. With branches in Adams Morgan and U Street Affinity Lab serves as a base camp for creative businesses, start-ups and non-profits providing office space, business tools and a collaborative culture.

Imagine: Having access to an office space in which you can work, learn, meet and organize events.

Imagine: Having access to business tools like faxing, copying, printing, scanning, phones and internet without having to deal with Kinkos or incompetent and immoral telecommunications firm.

Imagine: Having immediate access to the Affinity Lab community of graphic designers, accountants, web developers and public relations svengalis.

Imagine: Having all of these resources for free.

Think about the freedom you’d have to focus on the fundamentals of your business once your structural distractions have been eliminated.

The Affinity Lab and Brightest Young Things challenges the members of D.C.’s creative class to take it to the next level. We are offering two, free, one-month, Affinity Lab memberships to people, artists, or businesses with dynamic and innovative ideas.

All you have to do is:

Describe your idea in 3 to 4 sentences and email it to with the subject line: “Let’s Do This”
From this group of contestants there will be 2 winners: an editor’s choice and a popular choice. Affinity Lab will be in charge of the editor’s choice while BYT readers will vote on their favorite submission in a future post.

Winners will be announced the first week of March.

Do women approach art collecting differently? Read Kate Mattingly’s analysis HERE.

Another visit to Patrick McDonough’s temporary studio in which we got to color! Watch the video HERE.