The Watermill Center’s 2021 Winter Viewpoints conversation series begins tomorrow, January 6, with a monthlong lineup of enticing, enriching virtual events.
The series is a digital continuation of the annual Viewpoints: Nights @ The Roundtable series, which began in 2018 and featured intimate conversations with local artists and community organizers, as well as Watermill Center staff, alumni and community fellows.
“Though we can’t gather onsite for obvious reasons, we still wanted to continue the series to engage with our local community,” says Public Programming & Residency Coordinator, Kelly Dennis. “The joy of doing this series online is that now we can expand our community beyond our local East End friends and family, continue to support artists in this way and welcome in a global community to share in what started as an intimate event.”
The series unofficially kicked off December 16 with a conversation between Dennis and fellow attorney and activist, Tela Troge. The two discussed the history of the Shinnecock Nation and their involvement in legal battles for land restoration, protection and preservation throughout the years, including recent activity around the Shinnecock Monument Project and Sovereignty Camp 2020 on Sunrise Highway during Native American Heritage Month.
“The special thing about this program is that it really showcases a wide range of topics,” shares Watermill Center Director Elka Rifkin. “From important and thought-provoking conversations, to highlighting the work of local and international artists, Viewpoints allows us to look into the contemporary moment and share it with each other.”
Viewpoints begins Wednesday, January 6 at 5:30 p.m. with The Daxophone Consort, and the series will continue at the same time every Wednesday in January. The Consort takes the audience on a tour of the strange instrument that is the daxophone. In this workshop, the audience will learn about the material properties of the instrument, such as those of wood and amplification, and be introduced to various aspects of performance practice. The Consort will also demonstrate music made with a daxophone by its notable practitioners in the instrument’s short history, such as its inventor Hans Reichel and its Japanese champion, Kazuhisa Uchihashi. The Consort is composed of Watermill Center alum Daniel Fishkin, Cleek Schrey and Ron Shalom.
Join East End artist Erica-Lynn Huberty on January 13 for her Viewpoints talk, “Running from Houses/Retreating to Houses,” which explores women’s positions in communities—from homemaker and damsel, to scientist and pioneer. Playing off of the phrase “women running from houses” used to describe Gothic romance novels from the 1960s, Huberty examines the home as a microcosm of society, exploring the roles women play at home, especially in the middle of a global pandemic. Through her writing and visual art, Huberty explores what the marginalization of women (particularly women of color) says about the devolution of the health of our planet and bodies.
Join Watermill Center alum Adam Lenz and musician Zach Rowden for their January 20 Viewpoints conversation, where they’ll discuss their recent collaborative work A Way of Providing Ventilation (WAC), developed and exhibited during an artist residency at Windsor Art Center in Windsor, Connecticut. The work examines the history and architecture of the iconic tobacco sheds in the Connecticut River Valley through charcoal drawings and a collaborative, site-specific sound installation. The duo worked together to interpret Lenz’s charcoal drawings during a series of improvisation sessions with double bass, fiddle and tobacco leaves, combining these recordings with the auxiliary sounds of the adjacent train station and bus line. The work seeks to imagine and sonify the ventilation patterns of the slat-walled curing sheds, bringing to life the creaks, crackles, howls and roars of the wind pouring through these historic structures.
In the final Viewpoints conversation on January 27, Watermill Center alumni and multidisciplinary artist duo Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya share their reflections on “the power of raising” as approached in their collaborative artistic practice and through the lenses of their ongoing project Correspondences. Garnica and Moriya’s practice is rooted in what they called “the entanglement.” Their values are centered on practicing harmony in the circulations of powers, and through the act of creation, they are constantly rediscovering their standing point. Through their projects and works, they offer the spectator multiple entry points to engage with questions of being, interdependence and coexistence.
The Winter Viewpoints series is free and open to the public. Each talk will also be live streamed on the Watermill Center’s Facebook page. Register online at eventbrite.com/the-watermill-center. Visit watermillcenter.org to learn more about the Watermill Center.