Posts Tagged ‘ Stalker ’

Live+Work+SMdP=One Intense Experience Day 5

Time for presentations on the stage outside our ex Lavateria. We also had a guest critic who is an artist and also a psychiatrist.  He explained also historical events that lead to the closing of the psychiatric ward and he also explained the conditions patients where in through their mental illnesses.  The critics went over our “word map” that we made of materials we found in the ex Lavateria and other handy materials.  The critique went well, but the next part was that we needed to find materials for the big mappa mundi on the dance floor and expand our knowledge onto the floor.

After a quick lunch, our group set off into the dumpster next to our site for tomorrows exhibit.  We found some really good materials, mainly we found these different color rubber hoses that worked great for our idea of mapping out paths on the dance floor for the mappa mundi.  Need less to say the mappa mundi went well and we covered the entire dance floor, unlike some groups that just “hogged” a portion of it to explain there idea.  I felt our group did a better job explaining our experiences throughout the week as apposed to just abstractly defining one or very few ideas.

It was a long day and we sure did well.  Tomorrow is going to be tough because we only have a day to organize ourselves and clean up/set up our sites for a walking exhibit/conceptual presentation.  Its going to be a long and interesting day.



Moving to Santa Maria della Pieta

Today was the day we have to say goodbye to the Derby and I was certainly excited to get out.  Waking up in a puddle of my own sweat was unpleasant and disgusting.  So living somewhere were we could actually design and live in I think is going to be fun.

But first we had to load up all of our things into a truck and take a train to our new home. On the train ride over I snapped a quick picture of Cara that def makes the Person Pic of the Day.

Person Pic of the Day - Cara on the train ride over to SMdP

After getting a good idea of how to get here, we made it and the first walk through made this place look pretty good, just not very well maintained.

Shot of Walking to the ex Lavanderia

When we first got here, the place did not look too pleasant although the pictures make this place look like an oasis away from home.  Although there are many Palm trees and very open spaces, the living quarters are well really crappy.  Outdoor showers with no concealment, outdoor terrace buried under mountains of dirt and pine needles, a space completely taken over by a theater that does not use the space the entire day and does not sleep here, and a very very bad internet connection.  It was not a pleasant place to be what so ever.  The picture outside the front windows says otherwise…

View outside our living space that looks serene...

We eventually broke off into separate groups to help fix things.  I was in the group to clean up the terrace that was filled with pine needles, pinecones, and just dirt.  The potential of the area was good; there was a bar and enough area behind it to cook dinners, an old BBQ that we carried upstairs, some sheets of metal, and some stands.  Soon we had a dinner table made to fit us all with benches made of large 2×12 pieces of lumber and small empty keg cans.  After that we made some food on the BBQ and had a great time with plenty of wine and beer to get our minds off the poor conditions we are dealing with.  Hopefully this weekend off will bring some well-needed relaxation.

ex Lavanderia - Our home for the Week


Baths of Caracala + Stalker take 2

First thing in the morning we headed out to the baths of Caracala in order to take our first stab at watercolor painting.  We were also reintroduced to Peter Lang who we had meet at our final review back in Newark.

We headed off to the Circo Massimo that was once a large horseracing spectacle in Roma.  Right next door is the Baths of Caracala were we would be doing watercolors for the first time.  To be honest I did not know what to expect since I had never done a watercolor before.  But first we got to see the baths themselves.  They were quite amazing.  The scale of the building compared to the human scale was enormous and just imagining the completed walls and ceilings with patterns, frescos, and beautiful materials would be quite a magnificent sight.  If only there was a time machine that could get us to take a look back in time to witness the views of the grand spaces the Romans imagined.

My first Watercolor painting...

After the Baths of Caracala, we walked around the area and eventually came up to a park that was perched on top of a hill and had a great view of Roma.  I just couldn’t resist so I took a panoramic shot.

Panorama After the Baths of Caracala in the nearby neighborhood

After our try at water coloring, (scanning coming soon), we went on another adventure with our friends from Stalker with Lorenzo and Julia.  Our trip now consisted of walking along the Tiber River at a level close to the water.  During this trip we saw how high the water can get in the Tiber and the need for the wall was eminent, yet the architecture and play with space was a bigger opportunity missed throughout this wall.

Nice bridge on our walk over

Along the way, we saw a series of pull-up bars that RJ, Edwin, and Caio climbed up on and created a Person Pic of the Day.

Person Pic of the Day - RJ Edwin and Caio

After this walk, we headed to an old slaughter house which was now divided into multiple parts, one being a part of a architecture school and exhibit, another a place for new people trying to immigrate to Roma and find a way into the system.  The reorganization of the area by Stalker for the refugees is a great attempt to better the situation of people trying to make their way into Roma.  By renovation the existing building, and also giving jobs that helped Stalker in public exhibits to the people who lived there was a great way to build up the community and eventually the diversity of Roma.  I do like where Stalker is going with this social discovery and social benefits for everyone living there.  I guess the experience of moving to Santa Maria della Pieta will be another chance to see how Stalker really works.

Roma + Stalker

After meeting Stalker last night at a dinner and exhibit in the Villa Massimo/German Academai, it was time to take a trip through Roma ala Stalker style.  But first, we (the students) were given some free time to roam around Rome.  Things that I did not see the day before were the Spanish Steps and we did not get into the Santa Maria del Pache cloister which Jim was raving about, and correctly so.

Spanish Stairs

By taking the Metropolitana line A to the Piazza de Spagna stop, I arrived at the Spanish Steps and proceeded to take the trip to the top.  To my amazement, there was a great view of Roma and also perched at the top was another Obelisk and also another church the Trinita del Monti.  Both sights were great to see, although the gypsies were storming around trying to sell cheap little toys, umbrellas, and being quite annoying.  I saw many tourists get sucked in by the schemes of the gypsies but I tried to stay away from the hordes of tourist and gypsies.

Trinita Del Monti - Church at the top of Spanish Steps

My next step was to derive my way through Rome until I got to a familiar spot.  I ventured through tight little ally ways away from the storefront and tourist ridden shops.  Although I am a tourist, I certainly do not want to be engulfed by the mentality of see something, go shopping, see something, sit down for hours, and repeat.  I want to see everything Roma has to offer and this involves many hours of walking and really keeping the pace up.  Nevertheless, I made my way to the Piazza Navona (with the help of a sign or 2) and then made my way to the Santa Maria Del Pache cloister.  The cloister was a perfect square that contained a great procession of columns and an up-close vision of a double barrel vault.  It was very well preserved and the small frescos were also beautiful.  Very quite and peaceful, with a nice but pricey little café on the upper portion, the sketching environment was great.  I proceeded to sketch a plan and section and it came out pretty good.  No sketches have been uploaded, but I will once a scanner becomes readily available.

Santa Maria del Pache Cloister

Santa Maria del Pache Vaulting

After spending some more time in Rome and eventually getting to art store to buy watercolor supplies, which was a pain in the ass I might add, it was time to head back to the Derby and get ready for our first walk with Stalker.  Jim explained that we would be walking along the old aqueducts, but we were in for a different culture shock than we thought.

After meeting at a location far from downtown Roma, we started a journey with our new found friends of Stalker.  We traveled along the edge of the aqueducts and we saw areas that back when many aspects were built for a modern Roma, many cheap labor works lived under the arches of the aqueducts by building concrete walls on one end and keeping the other end open but draped with cloth to make small tented areas.  Many people lived this way because the payment they received monthly could not even sustain a monthly rent bill.  So in terms of living, the homeless were employed and supplied services for the greater city, yet they couldn’t even afford to be a part of a community that they are creating.  Fair? Just? I think not… Now the area that was once a refuge for these struggling blue-collar workers is now a growing area with beautiful homes and also homes for other immigrants.

Aqueducts of Roma

In the midst of this, a Person Pic of the Day popped into view of my camera.  It was of Tim and our newfound friends from Stalker, Lorenzo and Julia.

Tim, Lorenzo, and Julia

Throughout the rest of the day we walked around many different areas of this portion of Roma that was inhabited by many people of many different races.  People from Bangladesh, China, and other European countries were living in the area while trying to make a living in Roma.  We even crossed over from a developed park into an open field that was flattened down, as if a civilization had picked up and moved, which is exactly what had happened.  Gypsy camps along with other refugees from other countries constantly change locations in order to avoid being thrown around by authorities.  Many of these people are doing jobs around Roma for little to nothing, similar to the situation with the aqueducts approx. 35 years ago.  Seeing a trend? Very disappointing in my eyes.

That night we eventually ended up in a district that was developed and a school on the corner was virtually unused.  This was true because a law in Rome says a certain percentage of students need to be truly Italian.  What that means is that the child needs to be born in Italy and have parents that are both Italian.  Most of the area’s populations are immigrants so many of the children that were born in Italy are not Italian citizens.  So because the percentage is not to par, the school year cannot progress.  In an area so diverse with 3 completely different religions residing on one street without conflict, the community will only suffer with the lack of proper education.  I can only hope that legislation with change, and that Stalker will help change these ridiculous notions that are decades old and will no longer work in a world so globally diverse.