Check out congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck touring Newtown Creek with CUP’s latest youth education project “Share, Where?” The booklet takes a look at NYC’s Fair Share legislation two decades after its passage.
Issue 28, September 19, 2011
“Transmit – Transit is a multimedia installation at “The (S) Files 2011.” One aspect of the piece is a video of interviews with Dominican cab drivers and dispatchers in the Bronx that is a short documentary about the difficulties of the trade. The video is shown in a monitor next to the main piece, which is a cut out roof of a real cab with speakers mounted on top of it. Through the speakers, the installation incorporates live radio transmissions from dispatch offices near the museum. Everything that you hear is actually happening right there at that very moment somewhere in the street outside the walls of the institution. Originally, the piece was exhibited in the Bronx so the frequencies were from dispatch offices there. For “The (S) Files,” I programmed the radio to catch the frequencies of the dispatch offices of taxi drivers near El Museo del Barrio”. – Hatuey Ramos-Fermin
Ramos-Fermin and his mentor, Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga, met several times in the duration of NYFA’s 2008 Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists. Zúñiga helped Ramos-Fermin build his web portfolio, taught him basic website production skills, and edited Ramos-Fermin’s artist statement. The two of them attended lectures and art openings together. In 2010, Ramos-Fermin had his first solo show at Longwood Art Gallery Project Space in the Bronx. He invited Zúñiga to be the curator for that exhibition. Zúñiga was very involved and contributed an essay to be part of the exhibition catalog.
Here are Ramos-Fermin’s reflections on NYFA’s Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists:
“Ricardo taught me to get my portfolio organized, to create clear goals and to make my work more accessible for others to see. I really worked on my website, my artistic statement and updated everything (and keep doing it). That helped me to have an online presence to facilitate interaction with other people about my work. It also helped me to get invited to do different projects. Thanks to Ricardo’s guidance, my show in the Bronx was then selected to be part of “The (S) Files.”
“Since I just moved to New York City when I participated, it became instrumental to know other artists and creative people that already knew the city (Mentors) and also to share experiences with people in the same situation as me (Mentees). I established friendships with some mentees of my year and we have collaborated on projects after the program ended. The Mentoring Program helped me navigate the city and make meaningful, long term connections, collaborations and friendships.”
I was involved in this project as the teaching artist! Come and check it out!
Where do you put the stuff that nobody wants but everyone needs?
Join us on Tuesday, September 6 for the debut presentation of Share, Where?, CUP’s most recent Urban Investigation. An intrepid group of Bronx public high school students in the College Now program at Hostos Community College teamed up with CUP to find out how NYC decides where to put the burdensome, smelly, and dangerous facilities that make the city run – but nobody wants in their backyards.
Turns out, there are some guidelines called Fair Share that were made a couple of decades ago to try to spread the burden of noxious facilities more evenly throughout the city. How does it work? Are communities taking on their fair share? How else could the city promote fairness?
To get the scoop on Fair Share, the crew hit the streets and interviewed sanitation workers, environmental justice advocates, an anti-waste facility neighborhood group, policymakers, policy-shakers, and the father of Fair Share. The crew collected their knowledge nuggets into theShare, Where? book. Check it out and find out how Fair Share works now, and how it could work better in the future!
RSVP here: welcometocup.org
Share, Where? debut presentation
Tuesday, September 6, 7 pm
The Savoy at Hostos Community College
120 East 149 Street (at Walton Avenue), 2nd Floor
2/4/5 to 149 St – Grand Concourse
Major support for this project was provided by the CUNY College Now Program. Additional funding was provided by the Bay and Paul Foundations; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and the Henry Luce Foundation.
By: Welcome to Melrose
Coqui Mexicano, who is not just a restaurant in Melrose but a local cultural institution, will be hosting, “Drawings From the Story, “¿Un Anhelo?” – Aurelio Del Muro.” The exhibit is curated Hatuey Ramos -Fermin who is a self-described multimedia artist.
Puerto Rican publication, Dialogo Digital ran a review and interview of “Transmit-Transit” Hatuey Ramos Fermin’s first solo show in NYC that I curated. The article presents an in depth interview with Hatuey regarding the development and concepts behind the exhibition currently on exhibit at the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos in the Bronx.
Hatuey Ramos Fermín’s first solo exhibition in NYC opens tomorrow night at the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos! Last fall, Dominican / Puerto Rican artist Hatuey asked me to work with him and to help him realize his first solo show as its curator. I listened to his concept – an exhibition that investigates the livery cab drivers in the Bronx and was intrigued and agreed to help however I could. The conversation got started, we shared ideas, he presented to me portions of his interviews with drivers, I gave the best feedback possible and tried to lend some direction in how to translate the video interviews into a gallery installation and Hatuey executed!
The show looks great and presents an intriguing insight into the little considered labor of the livery cab drivers. I also wrote an essay and designed a small catalog in the form of a full spread newspaper sheet, English on one side, Spanish on the other and featuring a map created by Michael E Jimenez for the exhibition.
The day before the opening, Hatuey and I did a walk through and here are a couple photos taken.
And below is an excerpt from the essay that I wrote for the exhibition:
“Attending to the local, by taking the local seriously” this is the mission of TRANSMIT – TRANSIT. Ramos Fermín has engaged in deconstructing an element of local space to investigate just one detail of modernity and globalization. He has not done so as a traditional artist, walking the streets of the Bronx, getting lost in the vernacular of the city to generate creative musings that reflect one person’s vision. Instead he has worked as an investigative journalist or documentary filmmaker. Ramos Fermín has logged several hours of video interviews with livery cab drivers, he has visited several dispatch offices, diners, gas stations, car repair shops… the local spaces of the drivers. Over the last several months, he has engaged with the livery cab community to learn of its reality, document it and create an engaging portrayal that is both attentive and serious. The final outcome of his investigation is a rich installation that attempts to capture the hardship and diversity of the trade. And the encompassing device of the installation is the live radio feed from cab livery dispatches surrounding the gallery.
By incorporating the live radio dispatch, Ramos Fermín transforms the gallery visitor from art viewer to voyeur, listening in on the orders being transmitted all around us. Radio transmissions that direct one human being to drive a vehicle to a specific site, pick up a passenger, and drive to a new destination. It happens at all hours of each day; it is a common reality of the urban space and absolutely nothing exceptional. And yet it is fascinating to take a moment, listen and consider the wide implications of these transmissions. By having us listen, Ramos Fermín effectively dislocates our consciousness into a private space – that radio spaces employed between dispatch and drivers – transmissions that we are only privy to when in a cab and even then hardly take note of. But when these transmissions are re-contextualized within the gallery walls, when we are invited to listen, not as passengers eager to arrive at our destination, but rather as art viewers expecting to engage with creative work, the transmissions gain new depths. The gallery becomes a portal to an alternate real-time reality – we listen to what others are doing and experiencing at that same moment, but elsewhere, not far, but beyond the gallery’s walls.
by Stacey Burgay for Slightly Over Exposed
A few years ago I set out with two other filmmakers to make a documentary about NYC/Housing Issues/Rent Hikes and it’s affects on certain demographics. We were interviewing all sorts of NYers, documenting their living situations and trying to find a unique story to tell. We interviewed, artists, squatters, professionals, young and old. Unfortunately this project now sits on a shelf…
A group of students from Hostos Community College’s Now Program also set out on a project that focused on some illegal housing, the result of their work I HAVE A BASEMENT APARTMENT. NOW WHAT? can be seen tonight (August 7th) AT THE CENTER FOR URBAN PEDAGOGY. You even get a comic book as a parting gift! READ ON!
From 1990 to 2005, more than a third of the new housing created in NYC outside of Manhattan were phantom apartments – illegal conversions of basements and cellars. These invaluable sources of affordable housing, often occupied by New York’s newest immigrants, also happen to violate many of NYC’s building and zoning codes and pose serious safety threats. What should happen to all these homes? Who decides?
This summer, CUP Teaching Artist Hatuey Ramos-Fermín and students from the College Now Program at Hostos Community College investigated these hidden homes. The group talked to tenants, landlords, the Department of Buildings, housing lawyers, and advocates to uncover the politics of living underground.
Join us on Friday, August 7 as we present the results of their investigation: “I Have a Basement Apartment. Now What?” – a comic book produced in partnership with Chhaya CDC and Make the Road New York. A dramatic reading and comic-making workshop will be followed by presentations from students and community organizations on mediation strategies and avenues for new legislation. All attendees get a comic.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE.