July 12, 2015
Join us as Cezar Del Valle, author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index Volume III, hosts the cHURCH OF MONIKA and discusses his new book about the history of theatre in Coney Island.
Cezar will discuss the concert saloons, vaudeville houses and film shows that preceded the Coney Island we know today. He will discuss not only the architecture, of which very few buildings are still extant, but the entertainment culture in Coney Island going back to the late 1800s. From the Coney Island Sideshow to entertainers like Harpo Marx, who made their debut in Coney Island, Cezar will explore forgotten and hidden aspects of Brooklyn’s history. He will also discuss how the history of the neighborhood can still be seen in surprising ways. For example, in events like the Coney Island Flicks on the Beach, one can see hints of the event’s predecessor: an open air theater that showed films at on the beach in the early 1900s.
Cezar Del Valle is an artist and freelance writer who has been involved in theatre for almost forty years. Since 1996, he has conducted a series of popular theatre talks and walks. He has written numerous articles on theatre history. The first two volumes of the index were chosen at Outstanding Book of the Year in 2010 by the Theatre Historical Society of America. Cezar’s artwork has been exhibited at galleries, museums, and art centers throughout the United States and is part of the permanent collections of the Tampa Museum and the Kinsey Institute among others.
June 14, 2015
“In 2008 I had finished my first book but wasn’t really happy with it. During the months leading up the book’s publication, I kept myself occupied by writing a proposal for what I’d hoped would be my second book, an investigation into how ugliness in the places around us affects how we develop as people, thinkers and lovers. I called it UGLY and for months I dreamed of a life as the writer of this book. I imagined it would be a lot like Rebecca Solnit’s life. Long story short is my publisher turned the book down, then four other publishers turned it down. Now it’s nearly seven years later and I wrote another book, but not this one. Some days I experience UGLY like a phantom limb, wondering why an acquaintance doesn’t know I know or care about certain things. Then I remember; oh yes, you never went on record with those thoughts.
“So for CHURCH OF MONIKA I want to talk about my investigations into how people live with unmade work. Reactions range from sadness to cynicism to self-blame to blaming others, and each has its own dramas. As I see it there are two subtexts. One is worry about resources. (Do you really need to convince someone that a project is worthwhile before you can proceed with it? Do you need funding?) The other is the fear that maybe the gatekeepers and critics were right, and you weren’t qualified to make the art you wanted to make. What do people do then?”
Megan Hustad was born in Minneapolis and grew up there, in the Caribbean, and Holland. In 1997 she moved to New York and worked in the editorial departments of Random House and the Perseus Books Group before founding Wherewithal Press, an independent editorial services agency, in 2005. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York Post, Slate, Fortune, The Awl, and other publications. She is also the author of How to Be Useful and More Than Conquerors: A Memoir of Lost Arguments.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Join us for the cHURCH OF MONIKA this Mothers Day, May 10, as we explore our connection to light, voice, and space through a “dark” Salon. Inspired by the “re-birth” of cultural, scientific, and philosophical thought that marked the Renaissance, artist Erin Gleason will host an experimental talk where we will explore how we navigate conversations and spaces by shifting our reference point from one of light to one of darkness. Preceding the Salon, Erin will give an introductory talk about her work.
Erin Gleason is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing from over a decade of professional experience in the fields of architecture, design, and branding, she works with concepts of space across multiple mediums including drawing, photography, installation, public art, participatory events, and curating. Each project inspects how we perceive, define, and shape space, and how space influences, defines, and shapes us.
Erin has exhibited and curated in the US and internationally including BRIC Rotunda Gallery (New York), FiveMyles Gallery (New York), Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with Inverleith House (Scotland), The Pier Art Center (Scotland), and Shetland Museum and Archives (Scotland). She has won commissions for a number of public artworks including the Poetry Paths Initiative in Lancaster, PA and the Arts & Theatres Trust in Scotland. She is Co-Founder/Curator of the Crown Heights Film Festival, Co-Editor/Producer of the publication FIELDWORK (ASN Mutual Press), and Founder/Editor of Cultural Fluency, an online forum and interview series that examines the creative exchange between urbanism and art practice. Erin is a recipient of a number of grants including Brooklyn Arts Council Awards and a Russell Trust Award for research in Greenland. She is a 2013 Lori Ledis Curatorial Fellow at BRIC.
This summer, Erin will begin working towards a PhD in Philosophy at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Arts. She received her Bachelor of Art degrees in Fine Art and in Imaging Science (an individualized major combining Engineering, Anthropology, Art History & Studio Art) at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Master of Fine Art degree from the Art, Space & Nature Programme at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Sunday, April 19
Health is not in a vacuum. We are part of a whole and in order to feel whole it’s necessary that we remember and connect. Let’s talk about how plants medicine, ritual, and community allows you to stand in your own power.
Join us for the cHURCH OF MONIKA as Karen M. Rose, owner of Sacred Vibes Healing, discusses community in ritual in healing with plant medicine.
Authentic, knowledgeable, open and welcoming, Karen is trained in Eastern and Western Herbal Medicine and is personally dedicated to empowering individuals to make informed decisions with regards to their health and lives. This dedication led to the creation of Sacred Vibes Healing in 2002. As the owner of Sacred Vibes Healing and the Sacred Vibes Apothecary, a Brooklyn-based, community herbal apothecary, Karen is connected to both the earth and the community in which she practices, consults, and teaches herbal medicine. Her dedication to the earth, spirit, service, community and our individual divinity make Sacred Vibes Healing and its products truly unique.
Karen has been featured on FYI TV’s show The FEED, in The New York Times, Black Enterprise, New York Daily News, among other publications. She has authored articles on the benefits and simplicity of utilizing herbal medicine to nourish the mind, body, and spirit. In 2013, Karen launched her eponymous new herbal venture, Karen M. Rose, with a particular focus on helping women live inspired lives using the energies of plants, which will draw on her 15 years of work as a healer, as well as her rich life experience. Through her work, Karen will nourish the growth in each stage of an individual’s unique gestation, ultimately allowing self-realization and their divine light to shine.
March 29, 2015
Join us for bagels and BitBots as the KOKO Open Source staff hosts our Global Makeathon as part of a worldwide celebration of innovation, creativity, and experimentation!
You’ve seen littleBits ads all over the subway and seen what kids can make in our BitBots program – now experience a class for yourself! KOKO Open Source staff will guide you through what littleBits does, how our BitBots classes are created, and what benefits BitBots offers for our local community. Then, we will host a short workshop where you can create littleBits inventions of your own and “make something that does something.”
BitBots is a STEAM initiative that invites students to innovate, prototype, program, design, and incorporate new technology with recycled materials to “make something that does something.” BitBots uses littleBits (an electronic module toy that can be used to create elaborate circuits) and Arduino (an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to use hardware and software). BitBots constructions foster an interest in engineering, invention, sustainability and visual arts. By combining art and technology, we encourage inventiveness in participants while teaching valuable lessons on creative problem solving and engineering. We use both found and technological materials to teach lessons on the practical and cultural possibilities of innovation.
Learn more about BitBots on the KOKO Open Source website.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Sara Morawetz’s work is an exploration of the processes that underpin scientific action. She is interested in the manner in which the constituent elements of the ’Scientific Method’ – namely observation, experimentation, method (as action) and standardization – are recounted within artistic practice and how these concepts can be further leveraged by artistic inquiry. Through her practice, Sara aims to unravel the mechanics of scientific thinking by asking: “what is method / observation / standardization?” and, furthermore, “how do these terms function outside scientific parameters in the fluid and mercurial sphere of artistic application?”. Derived from the core principles of science, her practice examines experimental investigation as a way of thinking and a mode of working, utilizing the philosophy of science as a means of critically interpreting systems, actions and processes. It is in this breakdown of artistic and scientific thinking that she aims to evaluate the volatile space between, to examine the reciprocity within conceptual systems and to validate a communal passage that seeks to filter art through a scientific idiom.
Sara’s work is both research and process-driven, often employing durational, repetitious and participatory components – elements akin to a scientific experiment. These performative actions, that either become or create the work, are devised to test and expose the internal processes of methodological labour – the exhaustive, the obsessive, the poetic and the absurd – all inherent to scientific practices.
This work is the foundation of Sara’s Ph.D. Candidature, at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, under the supervision of Dr Debra Dawes. She is currently an Australian Postgraduate Award recipient, a previous Martin Bequest Traveling scholarship winner and a visiting scholar at Parsons School of Fine Art, New School, New York, 2014.
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
We are honored to have Azza Saad discuss her art, her life, and her passion with the audience Sunday, November 23rd.
The cHURCH OF MONIKA is a non-religious monthly series where invited speakers share and discuss their projects and experiences.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Marie Roberts’s family has been involved at Coney Island since the beginning of the 20th Century. Her grandfather was acting battalion chief of the Coney Island District and her family worked at the Dreamland Circus Sideshow in the 1920’s, including her father and her Uncle Lester, who was a “talker” for the sideshow.
In 1997, Marie began working with Coney Island USA, the non-profit Arts Center, and fell in love with the tradition of large format sideshow banners. Her banners now adorn Coney Island USA’s landmark facade, merging her academic life with her family history.
Marie Roberts is a native New Yorker and professor of Art at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She obtained her BA from Brooklyn College and her MFA from Queens College. Marie is an artist-in-residence at Coney Island USA where she is the show painter for the world famous Coney Island Circus Sideshow and teaches banner painting at their Sideshow School.
The cHURCH OF MONIKA is a non-religious monthly series where invited speakers share and discuss their projects and experiences.
Sunday, September 28th, 2014
c.hill, 2013, metrocard tapestry inspired by Dr. Steve Franks’ research (Fordham University, plant ecology and ecological genetics), exhibited at Ligo Project’s Art of Science – Gallery Night
Ligo Project is a movement. A movement to connect and apply cutting edge scientific discoveries to real world problems and to make this happen more rapidly and less expensively, so that scientific innovations bear an even broader impact on the general public– improving quality of life in general and especially for those living with disease. Ligo Project’s mission is to increase the rate at which scientific innovations are being applied to real world problems, creating game changing start-ups that do good at the same time! Acting as a translational catalyst for your innovations, the Ligo Project goal is to foster and promote more rapid and inexpensive development of scientific innovations that will positively impact global unmet needs and improve quality of life.
Ligo Project aims to make science accessible to the public through programs such as the Art of Science, a 6-month artist-in residence program that allows artists the opportunity to interact with scientists, learn about research and, from these interactions, create a piece of science inspired art. Using the universal language of art as a vehicle to promote science innovation and explore fundamental questions that interest and affect us all, Art of Science leverages this power as a unique & powerful marketing tool for opportunities in and centered around science & scientific innovations.
The panel on Environment & Climate Change will discuss factors that detrimentally effect the environment, causes of climate change, evidence for this, and importantly the best path forward and policies to alleviate some of these detrimental effects.
Panel members will include: Jonathan Bauch (sculptor, curator of Omens of Climate Change at Westbeth Gallery), Larry Brown (painter, adjunct professor at Cooper Union), Karen Holmberg (archaeologist, volcano fetishist, writer, visiting scholar in the Department of Environmental Studies at NYU), Patrick Kinney (environmental health scientist, director of the Columbia University Climate and Health Program), Bhawani Venkataraman (environmental chemist, associate professor of interdisciplinary science at The New School)
Despite our trepidation about the influence of religion, and specifically the church, on politics, there is no doubt that the fostering of community is it’s strongest public contribution. We seek ideas from artists, writers, politicians, and input from neighbors. Although we are primarily a local Brooklyn gallery we accept proposals and have exhibited international artists in keeping with the global village concept. As evidenced by the variety and reach of our shows, we are truly “open source.”
In addition to our monthly exhibitions, on Sundays, we established the cHURCH OF MONIKA in 2010 with the intention of communicating and demonstrating the role art can and should have on community. Our experiences with the Soap Box Derby Camp and subsequent race, as well as our annual Soup Kitchen in December, have validated our desire to move forward in this direction. We are located in a Brooklyn neighborhood underserved by the arts and we hope to remedy the situation in whatever small way we can.
The cHURCH is a moderated town hall type of meeting rather than a sermon with topics varying each week/month (in 2010 once a week, in 2012 once a month). Snacks and coffee is served, doubling the event’s function as it becomes an alternative to brunch with bloody marys.
The origin of our concept stems from our mutual admiration of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. This profound monument to the freedom and pursuit of self-reflection is a model of art as a surrogate for religion. We take a non-denominational and tolerant attitude in our journey through life and our hope is to build an alliance with people of all faiths and world-views. We suffer no delusions of grandeur, we only seek to inspire and be inspired by the art of life and community.
How the Stars Stand | Installation View | Project Website | Livestream | Press Release July 15 – August 22, 2015 Closing Reception: August 22, 7-9pm “Where is the clock to show us how the stars stand?” – RAY BRADBURY Our experience of time is not constant, rather, it flexes and yields to the specific […]
Whitney Lynn: Rummage
Yun-Woo Choi: Endless, Seamless
Jasmine Murrell: Some Impossibility Without A Name
Tirtzah Bassel: I Want To Hold You Close
B. David Walsh: Extracted Bedroom Project
Lena Lapschina: Yes/No
Soup Kitchen 2014
Sofia Szamosi: Eat Me
Corina Reynolds: Northwestern Expansion
Emanuele Cacciatore: A Conversation with Consequence
Soap Box Workshops and Derby 2014
Mark Stilwell: The Super Defense Force vs The Tittanno Beast (The Power of the Constructonauts)
Hubert Dobler: Roundabout
Arne Schreiber: Your Stripes
Katerina Marcelja: Fragment Series
Fuse-Works: Some Assembly Required
Anja Matthes: Out-Sight-In In-Sight-Out
Soup Kitchen 2013
Katarina Poliacikova: Until We Remember The Same
Miho Suzuki: Our Children Today
We Know Not Exactly Where or How
Soap Box Derby 2013
Keith Miller: Trees
Andrea Ray: Utopians Dance
Margrethe Aanestad: Herein
David D’Ostilio: The Chopping Block
Stefanie Koseff: To The Deep
Michael Poetschko: Zona
Soup Kitchen 2012
Kathleen Vance: From the Woods
Nick Kline: Gilgo Beach
Soap Box Camp and Derby 2012
Patrick Cadenhead: Spring and Renewal
Felipe Mujica: One day this will NOT be yours
Between Mountain – part 2
Karl Spörk, Another Meeting
Leigh Davis: The Burrow (H.H.)