The Battle for Everyouth is part of an artist-spurred intervention, Night at the Museum, in and outside of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on June 4, 2011. The event will literally open up the museum to the neighborhood, with art and activities spilling out into Washburn Fair Oaks Park.
The Battle of Everyouth is a projection-based performance staged at multiple sites on and around the museum, which is blend of live cinema, participatory theater and live performance, and creates a context for exploration and conversation on the theme of global youth and violence.
A “mixing station” staged in front of the museum will produce large-scale panoramic projections onto its facade using live video feeds from numerous dispersed performance contexts. The performance contexts that generate the raw materials of the projection are centered around a miniature urban set on display outside the museum. These performance contexts will be run by students from Washburn High who act as the messengers as well as the listeners in this work. They will use two types of devices in their interactive rapport with the public, which are both mobile and wireless. The first is an ornate hat, which is designed to capture up-close video footage of faces. The second is an augmented briefcase used to capture writing and drawing with markers. Video feeds from these interaction devices will be projected onto architectural components in the miniature set, and simultaneously recorded and manipulated by Ali Momeni and Jenny Schmid as they projected at large scale onto the museum.
Real-time video mixes are also projected onto two large geodesic domes placed in the park, which will function as meeting and resting points for the audience.
Ali Momeni emigrated to the United States at the age of twelve. He studied physics and music at Swarthmore College and completed his doctoral degree in music composition, improvisation and performance with computers from the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies in UC Berkeley. He spent three years in Paris where he collaborated with performers and researchers from La Kitchen, IRCAM, Sony CSL and CIRM. He is interested in computation and gestural interaction in the arts, technologically mediated social interaction, urban interventions, and musical theater performance. He currently holds an assistant professorship in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he directs the Spark Festival and founded MAW.
Jenny Schmid is a professor of printmaking at the University of Minnesota, and deeply influenced by the history of printmaking; in particular, Medieval and Renaissance engraving and images of social commentary and political satire by Goya and Breugel. Schmid blends these historical pastiches using contemporary techniques such as digital print and animation. Early themes are combined with 21st century popular culture that reference feminist non-fiction, rock music, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and film noir. Using this diverse artistic language Schmid creates a personal imaginary world, a gender utopia she calls Dzenska Republika (“Repulic of Jenny” in Czech/Slovak). This world comes to life in her recent works, a world where the girls ride skateboards, play rock music, sails ships, and ride bikes while the boys sit under trees, read books and day dream. It is a world with Medieval Eastern European castles, mythical water creatures and anthropomorphic beasts that coexist with the humans. This world represents Schmid’s continuing interest in contemporary themes of politics, idealism and desire.
Since graduating from the University of Michigan with an MFA in printmaking and painting, Schmid has received numerous grants and fellowships including a Fulbright Grant to study in Bratislava, Slovakia. This Fall Schmid had her first solo museum exhibition, “Jenny Schmid: The Vistas of Gender Utopia”, at The University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson AZ.