Sunday, August 5, 2007

Washington Square Open Skies

Park Washington Square
Artist Mike Lai
Project Bruce Lee vs The Superheroes
Hours Saturday, Oct 20, 1-3 PM

Bruce Lee vs The Superheroes combined dimensions of recreation, play, theater, performance, sport, costume and history. In an orchestrated game of Capture the Flag, multiple Bruce Lees (outfitted in costuming from the film, Game of Death) competed with comic-book superheroes who represent the diverse western cultures surrounding the area.

A fanciful choreographed movement of living colors were generated to capture Washington Square as a place where the diverse cultural surroundings meet.

Mike Lai & Co. offered a vivid portrait of Washington Square as a cultural melting pot, while celebrating the historical birthplace of the cultural icon Bruce Lee!

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about Washington Square
Explore COCA

Panhandle Open Skies

Park Panhandle
Artist COCA Center for Outdoor Contemporary Art with Charlie Shelton
Project COCA Welcome Center
Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM
Activities Open Skies Hospitality Event, Friday Oct 19, 5-7 PM. Meet the Artists! Connect with Friends! Make new Families! Enjoy COCA!

The COCA Welcome Center invited San Francisco to visit with Team COCA, learn about COCA, Open Skies and upcoming projects, and immerse themselves in our nomadic living outdoor Welcome Center!

Through our Vision, imagination lit the way to new horizons of public life, community engagement, and fresh connectivity to open space. Free informational materials and guidance were offered throughout our launch weekend (Friday-Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM), as the Panhandle became ground central for Open Skies.

People could refuel with scrumptious refreshments and reflect on the scope of Open Skies. Visitors also connected with friends and family, as we invited one and all to share their dreams and ideas with Team COCA.

We embarked on a lively artistic adventure of Discovery and Wonder -- illuminating a bright path to Open Skies -- and beyond!

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about the Panhandle
Explore COCA

Mission Dolores Park

Park Mission Dolores Park
Artist Scott Cartwright
Project Rebuild the City of San Francisco in the Form of a Cone

Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM

Rebuild the City of San Francisco in the Form of a Cone offered residents of San Francisco an opportunity to re-imagine their city through a thought experiment that traced historical lineages and criticisms through the modern project of art and architecture, and their relationships between contemporary practices of architecture/urban planning, contemporary art, and political/economic realities.
Scott Cartwright imagined a city with walls that determined how its inhabitants relate with the other.

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about Mission Dolores Park
Explore COCA

Lafayette Park Open Skies

Park Lafayette Park
Artist Mikhail Iliatov with Erica Ehrenberg

Project Linking the Park to a Story of First Love
Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM

Linking the Park to a Story of First Love introduced poetry and dimensions of language, type, and text-based art to a public space.

Visitors experienced words at an unusual scale to discover new ways of reading poetry and relating to poetic metaphors.

Erica offered a poetry workshop through the duration of the project.

And Mikhail discussed printing methods (screen printing, stenciling), in addition to various new and historical philosophies and goals of typographic design.

Mikhail Iliatov and Erica Ehrenberg continued a vibrant discussion of poetry and literature in public spaces.

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about Lafayette Park
Explore COCA

John McLaren Park Open Skies

Park John McLaren Park
Artist Ellen Babcock with Hannah Barnard-Henke, Amy Dotts, Shawn Hibmacronan, Marnika Shelton, Gian Giglio
Project McLarenology
Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM

McLarenology explored the bold and eccentric life of John McLaren, or "The Boss" as he was often called.

Uber steward of natural beauty, friend of John Muir, Scotsman champion of lawn bowling -- yet vexed by notions of statuary in the parks! This fascinating figure offered artists clear challenges regarding public artworks that unearthed McLaren's persona and psychology.

Ellen Babcock and her courageous action team braved wildly historical mandates in order to chart new vistas in public sculpture and empathetic form.

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about John McLaren Park
Explore COCA

Golden Gate Park/Stow Lake

Park Golden Gate Park/Stowe Lake
Artist Freya Bardell with Brian Howe

Project Liver (trans)Plant

Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM, evening viewings till 10 PM


Liver (trans)Plant was a morphogenetic floating island designed to attract nature and community to the banks of Stowe Lake in a completely new way.

This transformative wetland/sculpture brought new life and attention to the water quality of Stowe Lake, as it gently moved through water bodies, seeking contaminates. The sculpture's plants acted as a filter, becoming a form of productive and protective infrastructure that actively broke down some of the identified pollutants in the lake. For two days guests were encouraged to paddle the Liver around Stowe Lake, while a central illuminated beacon translated the water quality data into colored light, informing the boaters of the real-time water quality of Stow Lake.

At night, a network of interactive elements came to life. LED lighting floated on the surface of the water translating water quality, air quality and a variety of other environmental data into color and sensation.

Freya Bardell and Brian Howe offered a shoreline view of the diverse life-forms that were naturally attracted to the healing qualities of this unique sculpture -- all within the backdrop of Stow Lake’s enchanted living features.

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about Stowe Lake
Explore COCA

Golden Gate Park/Peacock Meadow Open Skies

Park Golden Gate Park/Peacock Meadow
Artist Rebecca Herman and Mark Shoffner
Project Operation Desert Mirage
Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM
Activities Tug-O-War Event: Sat & Sun, Oct 20 & 21, 1 PM both days

Operation Desert Mirage is a sculptural installation and participatory event in Golden Gate Park’s beautiful Peacock Meadow.

This compelling and timely installation offers a hyperreal presence of a desert mountain range inserting itself the green landscape. Inspired by elements taken from ancient architecture and modern warfare, the suggestion of a sudden change in the ecosystem or a creeping military movement is evoked.

All-ages visitors are invited to take part in a tug-o-war game over a symbolic geological “fault line” or military “front line.” This playful tug-o-war participatory performance is half sport, half military exercise for the new urban resident, as two teams compete for camps that make up the Operation Desert Mirage mountain range.

Join Rebecca Herman and Mark Shoffner, as they invade our minds with subtle thought-bombs -- both exotic and eerily familiar.

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about Peacock Meadow
Explore COCA

Golden Gate Park/Conservatory of Flowers Open Skies

Park Golden Gate Park/Conservatory of Flowers
Artist The Studio for Urban Projects
Project An Unnatural History of Golden Gate Park

Hours Saturday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM


An Unnatural History of Golden Gate Park explores the multifaceted nature of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

The nature of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is deceptive. The land that it occupies was originally thought to be an undesirable drift of sand dunes on the outskirts of the city known as the Outside Lands. Today the picturesque scenery of Golden Gate Park presents a convincing English style pastoral landscape and the park serves as a treasured recreational ground for the citizenry of San Francisco.

An Unnatural History of Golden Gate Park is an audio tour that strolls through this historic pleasure ground exploring sites from Stow Lake to the Bison Paddock to the grassy roof of the California Academy of Sciences. The piece considers the important role that this evolving landscape plays in the cultural and ecological life of the city and the social ideals that have shaped it through the decades.

Park visitors will be able to download An Unnatural History of Golden Gate Park to their iPods and MP3 players through iTunes as well as from the project web site

Join The Studio for Urban Projects, on a unique audio journey walking us through evolving and evershifting landscapes -- offering curious insight into the social and ecological life of the city!

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about the Conservatory of Flowers
Explore COCA

Gilman Playground Open Skies

Park Gilman Playground
Artist Ellen Lake
Project Tinkadelic

Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM
Activities Film Tinkering Workshop, Saturday, Oct 20, noon-3 PM

Tinkadelic celebrated innovation both past and present through this heritage-building project.

We could revisit past inventions inspired from a list of 100 Black Inventors and their Inventions at the Gilman clubhouse through artist-designed decks of trading cards given to all park and Open Skies visitors.

Children, teens, and all-ages community members were invited to participate in free'n fun Film Tinkering Workshop to create scratch animation on found films and film leader. Using nails, ink, and other basic tools, Ellen will taught our newest filmmakers how to make scratch films. ALL Tinkadelic Films created in this workshop will be uploaded to a special website for a Global Debut Screening!

Film Tinkering Workshop: Saturday October 21, noon-3 PM

Ellen Lake and project visitors created animation bringing new life to new ideas!

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about Gilman Playground
Explore COCA

Fillmore/Turk Mini Park Open Skies

Park Fillmore/Turk Mini Park
Artist Moses
Project 6 Beats Deep
Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM

6 Beats Deep was a highly stylized memorial sculpture designed to creatively provide a public focal point where community members may come together to peacefully reflect on issues involving violence, music, youth, gangs, politics, and ultimately -- healing.

Through this brave new project, our hope was to offer a vivid and humanizing catalyst for people to begin new dialogue about a subject that is often controversial or too painful for people to openly discuss. In many ways, 6 Beats Deep paid respect to the deceased while inviting people to explore complex underlying issues surrounding needless violence within our community.

A personalized soundtrack was audible at moderate levels to add ambience and engage project visitors.

Moses created a compelling community experience to inspire new connectivity, rejuvenation, and positive growth for one of San Francisco’s important historical areas!

Learn about Fillmore/Turk Mini Park
Explore COCA

Esprit Park Open Skies

Park Esprit Park
Artist Jason Robert Bell
Project The Twilight Kingdom
Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM

The Twilight World combined Jason's Trashsures series (sculptural lost objects, designed to be discovered by chance) with his ongoing interest in metaphysics, esoteric images, folklore, and mythology.

People of all ages were invited to delight in the gentle transformation of public space -- where adventure, chance, and the spirit of fantasy were aglow.

Part Halloween folklore, part Trickster tale, part Celtic Phooka mythology -- fantastical, archetypal, or symbolic creatures and humans abound, with a fanciful checklist for visitors to discover their whereabouts -- or be discovered themselves.
Visitors met the wizardly enigmatic "Old Man", modeled after Emperor Norton, who surveys the park -- offering visitors formal citizenship of this fantastic kingdom!

Jason Robert Bell blurred the lines between waking reality, sculptural oddysey, and a twilight daydream.

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about Esprit Park
Explore COCA

Brooks Park Open Skies

Park Brooks Park
Artist Diana Sanchez
Project Imprints
Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM

Imprints offered an immersive viewing experience of delicately placed photographs throughout Brooks Park, amongst its beautiful array of trees, plants, and other natural forms.

Flexibility and impermeability ran through themes and materials used to honor Brooks Park, Ohlone Indian Heritage, and emotive invocations of joy and human exchange.

Sheer chance offered families and individuals surprise-filled viewings of Diana's new subliminal photo-series -- inviting reflection on personal or historical engagements with the park.

Diana Sanchez offered a new view to the visible world, where hidden realities opened up to our intuitive awareness of subtle yet powerful presences.

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about Brooks Park
Explore COCA

Alamo Square Open Skies

Park Alamo Square
Artist Flower Frankenstein

Project Wondergarden
Hours Friday thru Sunday, Oct 19-21, noon-5 PM


Wondergarden was an inflated sculpture garden of fantastical shapes and creatures created for Alamo Square.

Wondergarden gleefully blended new mythologies, universal symbolism, and hopeful imagination and artistry for children and adults to interact with -- evoking positivity and the joy of Wonder throughout. As a unique extension of the soaring playfulness that Wondergarden grows, families and friends could fly special Wondergarden Kites to proudly celebrate Open Skies and to remind visitors to pursue important creative adventures -- dreams.

Flower Frankenstein escorted us through an ecstatic garden of joy, hope, and imagination.

Design your own Open Skies Tour
Learn about Alamo Square
Explore COCA

Open Skies

COCA Center for Outdoor Contemporary Art
proudly presents

Open Skies

Celebrating the Frontier Spirit of Today’s Artists

3 Days - 10 San Francisco Parklands - 20 Contemporary Artists
Friday thru Sunday, October 19-21, 2007, noon-5 PM every day

Rain or Shine! And Free for ALL!

Freya Bardell with Brian Howe (Los Angeles), Jason Robert Bell (NY), Scott Cartwright (MA), Ellen Babcock with Hannah Barnard-Henke, Amy Dotts, Shawn Hibmacronan, Marnika Shelton, Gian Giglio (SF), Flower Frankenstein (SF), Rebecca Herman and Mark Shoffner (NY), Mikhail Iliatov with Erica Ehrenberg (NY), Mike Lai (SF), Ellen Lake (Oakland), Moses (MO), Diana Sanchez (Oakland), The Studio for Urban Projects (SF)

Alamo Square, Brooks Park, Esprit Park, Fillmore/Turk Mini Park, Gilman Playground, Golden Gate Park (Conservatory of Flowers, Peacock Meadow, Stow Lake), John McLaren Park, Lafayette Park, Mission Dolores Park, Panhandle, Washington Square

Curated by Elliot Lessing

Open Skies is made possible, in part, through generous support from Potrero Nuevo Fund, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, and Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund

Open Skies Celebrating the Frontier Spirit of Today’s Artists is a Citywide Contemporary Arts Exhibition that celebrates the spirit of wonder, renewal and creative social action through artist-driven public projects that activate public space and community resources.
Open Skies unites 20 Contemporary Artists with 10 San Francisco neighborhood parks to deliver extraordinary site-specific art projects of all media for families, new residents, and city visitors.

All artists will be on hand to host their original creation and offer personal insight into their chosen sites or project genesis. Many artists will offer Open Skies Workshops to provide families and individuals with hands-on experience into the art-making process. Original artist-designed educational materials relating to project sites and local history will be offered throughout. Create your own Open Skies Park Discovery Tours to share natural, historical, and folkloric information to adventure-seekers of all ages – vividly linking oral tradition to local communities and public space.

All exhibitions, tours, workshops, special events, and educational materials are completely free to the public. Combined, these exhibition-features highlight our neighborhood parks as living outdoor classrooms – thus transforming Open Skies into a welcoming community enrichment project.

Open Skies offers an entirely new way for an all-ages public to experience their neighborhood parks, while encouraging others to explore little-known parks within their city. Open Skies cultivates new forms of learning about nature systems, art-making, and park stewardship. Open Skies invites families and individuals to develop their public parks as safe places to explore personal relationships with nature, art, and public spaces.
Open Skies provides an opportunity for the public to grow their ideas regarding harmony, community-building, and creative social action.

Open Skies Celebrating the Frontier Spirit of Today’s Artists is at once a brilliant opportunity for families, community members, and city visitors to enjoy a rich synthesis of inspiring artistic visions, dynamic educational programming, and constructive civic engagement.

Our wish is that within the scope of the event, attendees and participants will be touched by the new breed of artists who are fine-tuning their visions to address the spiritual and social needs felt in our public spaces – and in our public lives.

Please join COCA and the City of San Francisco as we launch Open Skies!

Saturday, August 4, 2007


Welcome to COCA Now!

Please join Team COCA and our Global Community, as we embark on an illuminated journey of Discovery, Wonder, and Adventure involving Contemporary Art, Public Life, and new Interdisciplinary Forms.