Commissioned by the City of San José in partnership with the San José Redevelopment Agency and the Valley Transit Authority, Who's on 1st/ What's on 2nd features art projects by eight artists and artist teams that are being displayed individually over the coming year along 1st and 2nd Streets in various locations from St. James Park to Paseo de San Antonio.
The art projects in Who's on 1st/What's on 2nd were inspired by the people and activities that take place in Downtown San José. A majority of artworks involve an element of public participation and each is intended to stimulate a sense of wonder and surprise.
Projects currently showing are:
· Downtown Mirror by artist JD Beltran is a group of installations consisting of video projections that reflect the immediate environment, as well as the rich demographic and historical atmosphere of the downtown area. Beltran interviewed people along 1st and 2nd Streets; their responses helped to generate revealing, fascinating, poignant and sometimes humorous portraits as a key source of content for the work. As a counterpart, she culled historical images of the Downtown, as well as narratives about what San Joseans would have been concerned about twenty, fifty, a hundred or a hundred fifty years ago. Downtown Mirror installations can be seen in locations at 56 S. 2nd St., 20 S. 2nd St. (two installations) and 16 Paseo de San Antonio.
· Cultural Citizen Tree by San José artist Hector Dio Mendoza explores what it means to participate in San José society. The artwork has several parts. One element is a series of portrait posters and banners of people who live, work, play and pass through Downtown; the banners are installed on light poles along 1st & 2nd Streets between Santa Clara and St. James, and the posters in various storefront windows in the area. There is also a website that tells the stories and invites others to add comments (www.culturalcitizen.org). In late spring 2008, Mendoza will install in the southwest corner of St. James Park a bright red, 14 ft. high "cultural citizen tree" that symbolizes growth and change.
· The Bells of Trinity by artist Bill Fontana is a sound installation that uses bell tones from the historic Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 N. 2nd St., to create a sound sculpture that interacts with the urban landscape of St. James Park and 2nd Street. A series of minimalist bell compositions mix and travel into the acoustic surroundings of the Church bell tower moving and echoing down the length of the 2nd Street block. A special Bells of Trinity performance will be presented at the church in Spring 2008.
· Light Haiku by artist Chris Eckert merges haiku, technology and contemporary content. Displayed on the exterior wall of the of Pavilion Parking facility facing San Fernando at 2nd Street, a specially-designed computer-controlled spotlight "writes" original poetry on a 650 square foot luminescent screen on the wall. It produces an ethereal mural-sized haiku that emerges from the darkness, and then fades away. Light Haiku features over 100 new poems written by collaborating poet pc muñoz along with contributions by special guest poets from around the world, and haiku contributed by San José school children. Anyone may submit haiku for consideration at www.lighthaiku.com. Light Haiku will end February 15, 2008. Please see the website for showing times and details.
In Spring and Summer 2008 other Who's on 1st/What's on 2nd projects will debut including Jon Brumit's South Bay Talent Center, Helen Keeffe's The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Forum, Jordan Geiger's Day for Night and Chip Lord and Bruce Tomb's Zocalito.
Complete project descriptions and current schedules of dates and locations may be found at www.w1w2.org.
Who's on 1st /What's on 2nd is made possible by the combined efforts of key collaborators and sponsors including: ABM; Camera 12 Cinemas; CIM Group; The Globe Building; Onomy Labs and Scott L. Minneman; Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley; San José Downtown Association; San José Public Library; and Trinity Episcopal Church.