Water | Wealth | Contentment | Health

Water | Wealth | Contentment | Health

Col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Modesto Art Museum, //Bii: Watch is cre­ating a four-part video response to Modesto’s rank­ing as the most unliv­able city in the coun­try. Through this video, we will explore some of the rea­sons for Modesto’s low rank­ing and re-imagine ways for the city to become a more liv­able place, or even a Utopian soci­ety. Our goal is to con­front the area’s poverty of imag­i­na­tion by using art — videos, archi­tec­ture, design, and game­play — to inspire cre­ativ­ity to help solve the area’s many urban problems.

The four videos, each about 5 min­utes in length, are struc­tured around the city’s offi­cial slo­gan “Water, Wealth, Con­tent­ment, Health” and explore the city’s liv­abil­ity issues through its archi­tec­ture and urban design. While the videos doc­u­ment the city’s archi­tec­ture and design, they are pri­mar­ily expres­sive and exper­i­men­tal in their poetic inter­pre­ta­tions of each topic, and live video is incor­po­rated into the instal­la­tions. Accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Archi­tects, archi­tec­ture and urban design offer a pow­er­ful per­spec­tive for explor­ing and find­ing reme­dies for a city’s liv­abil­ity issues. We have cho­sen this per­spec­tive to high­light the arts and their unique con­tri­bu­tion to explor­ing the area’s deep seated urban prob­lems. The per­spec­tive also focuses on art and artists as agents of change, and builders of the community.

WATER

Water serves the entire project as a uni­fy­ing metaphor and visual image. It is a sym­bol for the area’s abun­dance and potential eco­nomic pros­per­ity. The Water video explores the spe­cific impor­tance of water in the econ­omy and envi­ron­ment of the Modesto area. The video includes the city’s bridges, canals, and water­ways, par­tic­u­larly the Tuolumne River run­ning through down­town Modesto, as well as a com­po­nent of live video. Water is also a way to re-imagine how Modesto can pro­tect envi­ron­men­tal resources and con­serve land­scapes, par­tic­u­larly along the Tuolumne River. The video explores how con­serv­ing land­scapes can lead to per­son­ally and com­mu­nally rewarding recre­ational and cul­tural opportunities.

Produced by JGomula
Collaborating Artists include: Julie Strong, Brittney Miller, and Alyssa Martinez.

 

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Water. Actual video footage, without live video component.

 

Water. Final piece, requires webcam for live video capture and Flash Player.

 

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Performance of Water with live video. Dancers from Deep Root Dance Company.
R.A.W. @ the Garage, San Francisco.

 

WEALTH

The Wealth video exam­ines the eco­nomic well-being of the city through its res­i­den­tial archi­tec­ture and neigh­bor­hood design. The video explores issues of liv­abil­ity, par­tic­u­larly the city’s high rates of home fore­clo­sure. The video explores ways to re-imagine Modesto neigh­bor­hoods, overlaying hopes and desires of individual Utopias on areas of blight and decay; allowing Modesto to rise as a Phoenix and return to its notoriety of the mid twentieth century. Vari­ety cre­ates vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, and diverse com­mu­ni­ties and accom­mo­dates res­i­dents in dif­fer­ent stages of their lives.

 

Produced by JGomula
Collaborating Artists include: Julie Strong, Brittney Miller, Alyssa Martinez.

 

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CONTENTMENT

The Contentment video exam­ines the perception of citizen’s of the city through their participation in the annual LOVE Modesto volunteer day. On April 2, 2010 over 5,000 people contributed to this city-wide church sponsored event. The documentary video explores practical issues of liv­abil­ity, specifically the Habitat for Humanity projects within the Modesto. The video documents concrete ways to re-imagine Modesto neigh­bor­hoods, overlaying hopes and desires of individual Utopias on areas of blight and decay.

Produced by JGomula
Collaborating Artists include: Julie Strong, John Fandl, Eric Medina, and Alexis-Kim Priela

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