566 Johnson Ave


March 15th, 2012

The Active Space presents its first documentary screening by Ine Poppe and Sam Nemeth entitled “THEM F*CKIN’ ROBOTS” in
cooperation with Eyebeam Art and Technology Center on March 23, 2012 7-10PM.

“THEM F*CKIN’ ROBOTS” is a documentary about Norman White, one of the most influential media artists in his field. He produced humorous and beautiful work, but also trained hundreds of artists at the Ontario College of Art and Design to make their own, hands-on media art from 1976 onwards. This is on of the reasons a vast number of acclaimed media artists come from Canada. However, media-art does not cover the realm of White’s work: he produced a large oeuvre, from paintings to light murals to interactive robotics. Ine Poppe and Sam Nemeth filmed White and his students: they visited him in his huge watermill in Ontario and followed him and his students at work.
It took Poppe and Nemeth 5 years to finish Them F*ckin’ Robots. This had several reasons: it was hard to obtain material of the early works of White (video was still a ‘new’ medium) but moreover was it hard to fund a film about media art. In the contemporary cultural climate in the Netherlands no art- or film fund dared to take the risk of financing a documentary about media art, also because the film is about a ‘foreign’ artist. This reflects thematically in the film. The question wheather or not media art has a place in the mainstream art world is adressed as well as why it took Norman White such a long time -he started in the 1960-ies with electronic art- to get recognition. The film contains material from the 70-ies, 80-ies, 90-ies, 00-ies and original footage of the of the White family shot in the 40-ies,50-ies and 60-ies.

The screening of “THEM F*CKIN’ ROBOTS” takes place March 23, 2012, from 7-10 PM. Email ashley@566johnsonave.com.

March 23, 2012
The Active Space
566 Johnson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237

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Directors Biography

Ine Poppe

Ine Poppe (1960, Amsterdam) is a documentary maker and writer. She publishes about digital culture, technology, art and science, mainly for the national newspaper NRC-Handelsblad. She lectures at the Audio Visual department of the Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam.

Poppe made several documentaries for Dutch National television. ‘Hippies from Hell’, about Dutch Hackers, was shown in Europe and America at festivals, musea and universities. It was the first online Dutch documentary, licensed together with Lawrence Lessig under Creative Commons.

Poppe wrote scripts for several computer games.
In 2002 she was winner of the Geneva-Europe Grand Prize for TV-scripts, with Necrocam, a film about a webcam inside a coffin.

Sam Nemeth

Sam Nemeth (1962, Rotterdam) lives in Amsterdam. He studied Film and Television at University of Amsterdam. He worked as a video maker for video collective Staats-TV Rabotnik, for the educational department of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and Dutch national tv. He was editor of the Dutch AV magazine Skrien. Sam held several functions at medialab Waag Society in Amsterdam and specializes in arts and technology and game development.
Aside from this he works as a free-lance documentary maker and writing journalist.
Sam Nemeth is currently lecturer/coach at The University of Eindhoven.

Document Credits

Screenplay : Ine Poppe
Director: Ine Poppe
Cinematography : Sam Nemeth
Sound : Floor van Spaendonck
Editing : Sam Nemeth
Narration : Elizabeth Turner
Music : Jan Kees van Kampen
Participants / Performers : Norman White, Laura Kikauka, Jeff Man, Graham Smith, Michelle Kasparzak, Sandor Ajzenstad, Edward Shanken
Funding (research): Fonds BKVB, Amsterdam
Producer: IP-Productions
licensed under creative commons

Before | After

February 26th, 2012

Thank you to everyone that made it out to the gallery grand opening last night. It has been an awesome year for The Active Space and we look forward to many more wonderful years with the Bushwick community.

CLICK HERE to see pictures from the event

Gallery Opening Exhibition with Criminy Johnson

February 1st, 2012

“Dreaming Without Sleeping” allows viewers to glimpse the artist’s view of our waking world: a bent, slightly pessimistic and occasionally hostile place populated by animals and people who are often reluctant to be interrupted by the viewer.

“Criminy makes oil paintings in his studio but often makes wheatpastes that relate to these in some way. Many people are familiar with Criminy’s work but may have seen it outside of a gallery setting, and QRST fans might be discovering Criminy Johnson’s paintings for the first time,”says curator Robin Grearson, who worked with Johnson last year on a group show at the Active Space. “Criminy has been in Bushwick for a few years, and QRST’s street work often shows up here, so the Active Space is an ideal location to present the two styles together.”

“We opened in February of last year, so I’m happy that the first show in our building’s brand-new gallery space falls on our first anniversary,” says Ashley Zelinskie, director of The Active Space. “Robin is an accomplished writer, yet this is the third show she has curated here. Last year we discovered that we really work well together, and one thing I appreciate about my role as director of a Bushwick art space is the opportunity I have to support emerging artists andcurators I believe in.” Zelinskie says.

The opening reception for “Dreaming Without Sleeping” takes place
February 24, 2012, from 7-10 PM.
The show will be open to the public by appointment through April 20, 2012.
Email ashley@566johnsonave.com.

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Check in on FourSquare!

January 18th, 2012

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Renovation Update: New Gallery to be Opened in February!

January 12th, 2012

The Active Space is excited to announce our new exhibition space will open in mid February! Our first exhibition in our newly renovated 1500 square foot gallery will be solo show with a local artist soon to be announced. In addition to the new gallery space we are also offering ten brand new studios available for rental HERE. Check back soon for more updates!

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The Active Space: L Magazine Best of 2011

December 21st, 2011

We have had an awesome year at the Active Space and it shows! This year we made The L Magazine’s top 5 New Galleries in Brooklyn! A big thanks to everyone who participated! Lets make next year even better!

Click image to read the full article.

Tags: 566 johnson ave, ashley zelinskie, best new brooklyn galleries, the active space, the best of 2011, The L Magazine, top 5 new brooklyn galleries
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Safety Week at The Active Space

December 13th, 2011

This week is safety at The Active Space. The studio will be undergoing inspection and tenants will be updated on proper disposal and storage of chemicals. Please refer to the information below to ensure your studio is meeting the safety requirements.

Artists and designers use materials that contain potentially hazardous chemicals which can release toxic compounds before, during, and after use. Tenants are required to familiarize themselves with potential health and safety hazards in work areas and with appropriate techniques and equipment to minimize the possibility of exposure and injury.

Tenants are to provide appropriate fire-rated cabinets and containers for disposal and storage of flammable materials such as paint and solvents. Tenants are asked to keep any paints, solvents and chemicals in properly labeled containers appropriate to their use. All safety and security regulations will be strictly enforced.

Please help us ensure clean and safe studios so that you do not endanger the lives and health of your fellow students! Security regulations require these rules, and all violators will be asked to vacate workspaces.

>>Please keep your area clean and free of litter. Traffic and fire lanes must be clear at all times. Exit doors must not be blocked.
>>Smoking is not permitted in any of the buildings.
>>No blow torches, candles, or other open flames are allowed in the studios.
>>Dispose of rags only into the designated covered containers; oily rags can self-combust.
>>Gasoline and solvents other than Gamsol, Sansador or Isopar L are not allowed in the studio.
>>Combustible liquid fumes are flammable and evaporate into the air we breathe. Do not use spray paint or spray glue in the studio without proper ventilation.
>>Use only heavy duty extension cords. Rig clamp-on lights through surge protectors.
>>Appliances using exposed heating coils are not permitted. We only permit space heaters with contained coils. Hot plates may be used only with outlets rigged to a timer.
>>Partitions must be approved. They must be made of non-flammable material, and maintain a four foot fire exit. Do not use fabric or cardboard to separate spaces.

Used or spent solvents must be handled in a way that is safe to tenants and the environment. Follow this procedure whenever pouring solvents from a container into a waste solvent can or drum. Thinners, solvents or oil-based paints should never be used near the sink areas.

• Use only approved paints. These are typically paints with acceptable amounts of heavy metals (Cadmium, Chromium, Lead).
• Apply only as much paint to your pallet as you reasonably expect to use during your session, it will save you money and reduce waste.
• Unused oil paints must be discarded in solid form into the trash.
• Wipe excess oil paint from brushes using either a rag or a disposable wipe (paper towel/cloth rag.) Be sure to deposit the used wipe in the proper waste receptacle. All used paper towels or cloth rags must be put into the red cans for disposal
• After brushes are wiped of excess material, they may be washed (either in your personal container of solvent or in one of the yellow brushwashing stations) until clean. If using the brushwashing tank follow the operational procedure posted at these stations.
• When your personal container of solvent is no longer useable, carefully pour the waste into one of the designated containers (2.5 gallon red safety can, 5 gallon can or 55 gallon drum) labeled with yellow, red, and black Hazardous Waste stickers labeled Waste Paint Related Material. Wear appropriate safety equipment when transferring solvent, taking care to avoid spills.

• Do not wash paint containers, towels, rags or other debris containing paints into the sinks. • Do not use a studio or workroom sink to clean up or dispose of excess paint. • Do not use solvents or solvent-based paints in or near the sink areas.
If you have any questions, require additional information, or would like to learn more about safe environmental practices, please contact the administration.

Thank you to Shwazy and the RISD intranet for providing this material.

Tags: active space safety, art studio safety, artist firebox, fire proof cabinet, oil paint safety, solvent disposal
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The Active Space Teams up with TINKEBELL to Save S.Korea

December 6th, 2011

This holiday season The Active Space will be supporting the charitable work of TINKEBELL by hosting a Kickstarter to SAVE THE WORLD in South Korea!

“Researches the issues of contemporary populist movements, including animal and human rights activism, and their strategies. Hypocrisy within these movements and discourses is the main focus point of her work.”

TINKEBELL. IS a dutch artist and currently working on a large project called “SAVE THE WORLD”. For this project she travels around the world to ‘save’ people, animals, places and situations ‘according to the Dutch norms’.

Around March 2013 we want TINKEBELL. to show her SAVE THE WORLD project in The Active Space, but for now she still needs funding to be able to save our planet.

TINKEBELL. about her project:
SAVE THE WORLD (in South Korea)

In January 2012 I’m planning to visit South Korea…
Earlier this year I ‘saved’ a dog in Gambia, a family in Guinea Bissau, 69 turtles from being eaten in China and a complete neighborhood in Peru. All were part of her SAVE THE WORLD project: Interventions worldwide that explore what happens when we force our (Western) view of the world on other cultures.

When we, as Western people, or more specific, born in the Netherlands, travel around the world, to countries which are “less Western” or just “different” (which is in fact every place outside the Netherlands) we all experience the same thing: We se see how people, situations, animals, ‘things’ are treated in a wrong way. Things aren’t organized well (enough) and the way people live, roads are made, buildings are build is done badly.

Everything is always better in the Netherlands. We know how to get things done and how the world should be organized.

This feeling shows up especially at the moments we experience cultures that are different from ours. Even in countries that, at first sight, look very close to our own culture.

And this feeling that we have as Dutch people, is often not just a feeling. There are many cases where we also act towards it:

For example: We have an organization in the Netherlands that asks Dutch foreigners when they are on vacation in certain countries, to get street dogs from, for example Spain, on the plane to the Netherlands. This organization places these dogs in families to keep them as a pet. Because, according to this organization: The dog has the right to be loved and taken care of by a family.

When we travel to Africa for a nice warm holiday in the sun, it is completely normal to bring an extra suitcase filled with our own old clothes: To give away to the people there: An ideal way to get rid of your junk and at the same time getting the feeling to do something good for the world.

The thing we often forget in these “good deeds” is to communicate. Do you actually need our help? And if so, what kind of help can I (we) offer? Even at times we do ask ‘locals’ about how they feel it doesn’t really matter what they say. We keep thinking that “the don’t know any better”.

Isn’t it pure arrogance to think that everything is better the we handle things? That our norms are superior next to any other culture? And that, without having the experience to live in a different cultural environment?

The project “SAVE THE WORLD” is a project about this clash between different cultures. The need to help people to pamper our own ego without communication with the “needed”.

The plan
With this project “SAVE THE WORLD” I want, beside the signalized clash, also discuss our own norms we use as a base to ‘help’.

Through a series of interventions in about 10 different countries spread over the world I’m planning to ‘save’ people, animals, situations etc. to our Dutch norm. In this way, by decontextualizing this norm, I hope to show this clash to my audience and I also hope to create a discussion about the imperfectness of our own norms.

Between these interventions I present my world saving activities to a large audience at multi media art centre ‘Mediamatic’ in Amsterdam (NL). The audience there will also be my think tank for future interventions within this project and with every presentations there will be speakers from different groups like NGO’s, philosophers, politicians etc.

At the end of these SAVE THE WORLD series there will be an overall exhibition about the project at Mediamatic and TORCHGallery in Amsterdam and at the Active Space in NYC. (end 2012/begin 2013)
At the same time there will be a book published (SAVE THE WORLD) with an overview of all interventions, presented as a personal diary.
Finally there will also be the presentation of a documentary made by “Jan de Bruin”: He follows me during the whole project for this film and meanwhile he makes short films to present all the interventions separately.

What I hope to achieve is a new, more open way of thinking about- and looking at our way of “helping” all over the world. What are the changes if we throw away this feeling of living in a superior culture?

Reconcideration of norms and redefining ‘help’.

How I work
Below you find the movies of previous interventions in Gambia, Guinea Bissau, China and Peru to give you an idea of what I’m planning to do in about 10 different countries spread over the world in the next 2 years.

Every time when I arrive in another country, I will do some research first. What is different from our norms and where do I get the urge to intervene, to help?
So, I cant say on forehand what I will do while I’m visiting a new place. It is all based on described concept and then, research at the location where I am.
The average time I need for that will be around 4 or 5 weeks per country, with the possibility that I have to come back (like in the Guinea Bissau example) to work things out.

So, what do I need?
That’s hard to say because at the moment I decide exactly what to do is when I’m already in South Korea. So, I can tell you know that the price of a plane ticket will be about $1000,- and staying and living in or around Seoul for one month will be about $2500,-

The average amount I’ve spent per intervention is about $15000,- So that’s the amount of money I try to raise here right now.
To be (more) sure of being able to leave to South Korea even before this year ends(!!) please spread the word and tell all your friends you want me to SAVE THE WORLD!

You can also donate HERE

Tags: katinka simonse, save korea, save south korea, save the world, save the world project, tink, tinkebell
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Active Space Holiday Party

December 2nd, 2011

Come Celebrate the Season with your studio mates. Saturday December 10th 8:00pm. Cookies and hot rum cider will be provided but byob and holiday treats will only add to the cheer!

RSVP on facebook

Tags: gallery holiday party, studio holiday party
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RSVP Fall Exhibition on Facebook / ArtSlant

October 15th, 2011