Essays & Interviews
As a free time diversion, participatory sport is a mode of relaxation, leisure and entertainment. If one deems a useful activity something which contributes to material accumulation, the recreational diversions of sport are literally useless. By focusing attention on that which is bare of obvious utility, sport becomes a form of protest against the everyday world of necessity... PDF
The enduring role of the humorous or comedic in art comes as little surprise given the eternal need for humankind (and the art world) to take a critical step back from itself and seize psychological control over our shortcomings and failures. By inverting our day-to-day routine, the exigencies and imperatives that dictate our actions are put into a broader perspective and revealed to be more complex, more human, and sometimes funnier than we allow, or as is attributed to Buster Keaton, “Life is a tragedy in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” PDF
Striving to establish a connection with the viewer that went beyond the visual, she connected herself to an EKG machine that printed out her heartbeat, visualized in graph form. Her neck, chest cavity as well as the inside of her mouth were outfitted with patches “to equate this practice to the public,” while a pair of headphones brought the sound of her moving muscles and bones or the swish of water flowing down her throat to whoever cared to listen. PDF
MANHATTAN'S 92-YEAR-OLD KUNG FU MASTER IS SIMPLY THE BEST, BY ANN FURMAN, BROADLY, JANUARY 20, 2017.
After New York-based artist Laura Nova caught wind of the Nasty Woman exhibition in Queens, she enthusiastically pitched a photograph of her 92-year-old neighbor and collaborator, the kung fu master Poa Shen, or Boyee, who practices and teaches on the Lower East Side, Nova's neighborhood. PDF
"Feed Me a Story" Run Ends at Essex Street Market, by Ed Litvak, The Lo Down | TheLoDown.com, April 11, 2017. | PDF
The project showcased the incredible diversity of the Essex Street Market during a time of major change. The vendors will be heading across Delancey Street next year to a shiny new home in the Essex Crossing complex. The videos serve as a kind of love letter to the historic food hall, which opened on the Lower East Side in 1940.
Manhattan's 92-Year-Old Kung Fu Master is Simply the Best, by Anna Furman, Vice - Broadly, January 20, 2017. | PDF
After New York-based artist Laura Nova caught wind of the Nasty Woman exhibition in Queens, she enthusiastically pitched a photograph of her 92-year-old neighbor and collaborator, the kung fu master Poa Shen, or Boyee, who practices and teaches on the Lower East Side, Nova's neighborhood.
A Video Cookbook Documents the Diverse Food Experiences of NYC, by Allison Meier, Hyperallergic | Hyperallergic.com, November 24, 2016. | PDF Artists Theresa Loong and Laura Nova’s Feed Me a Story gathers family recipes and immigrant food experiences through a roving social engagement project.
"Feed Me a Story" Debuts Video Cookbook in Essex Street Market, by Traven Rice, The Lo Down | TheLoDownNY.com, May 19, 2016. | PDF
Laura Nova and Theresa Loong have collected more than twenty personal stories, capturing the unique flavor and diversity that the historic market has to offer.
Recipe Peep Show at Essex Street Market , by Kavitha Surana, Bedford+ Bowery | BedfordAndBowery.com, May 19, 2016. | PDF
Supported by Essex Market’s in-house Cuchifritos and Project Space, the show is taking over a stall at the market, (the erstwhile outpost of Roni Sue’s Chocolates) to showcase a video compilation of the personal stories surrounding the dishes.
3D Printing The Future of Fashion, by Alexander Cavaluzzo, Hyperallergic | Hyperallergic.com, October 7, 2015. | PDF
Post-apocalyptic paranoia frequently permeates our visions of the years ahead, so clothing’s protective functions — shielding wearers from inclement weather or the sun, for example — are typically heightened, as in Amy Cheung, Chester Dols, and Laura Nova’s “Survival Vest.”
Inside the Computational Fashion Master Class, by Kate Messinger, The Creators Project | TheCreatorsProject.vice.com, Sep 13, 2015. | PDF
Take Amy Cheung, Chester Dols, and Laura Nova’s Survival Vest which utilizes a variety of printing methods and materials, combining a Camelbak-type drinking pack with an intricate interlocking 3D-printed movable chainmail made with a computer algorithm that only takes minutes to print out the gaps in between links.
“Film Screening Highlights Senior-Led Walking Tour in the LES,” Lisha Arino, DNAinfo | DNAinfo.com, June 25, 2015. | PDF
The neighborhood’s history, filtered through the experiences of some of its oldest residents, will be front and center Thursday night as part of the closing of an interactive art project called “Moving Stories.”
Interview: Q & A: Ideas City, The New Museum | NewMuseum.tumblr.com, May 30, 2015. | PDF
Manny Cantor Center serves many populations that are often overlooked, or invisible, when it comes to education, social services, and personal experience. As the artist-in-residence at Manny Cantor Center’s Weinberg Center for Balanced Living, I was able to provide a voice to one of these groups: senior citizens.
Idea City 2015: The Invisible City, Varick Shute, Architectural League’s Urban Omnibus | UrbanOmnibus.net, May 27, 2015. | PDF
The walks are meant to encourage intergenerational connection and acknowledge the vibrancy and historical memory of an often-invisible population.
Seniors Combine Memory With Movement to Create Moving Stories, by Traven Rice, The Lo Down | TheLoDownNY.com, May 13, 2015. | PDF
Nova, a long distance runner, came up with the idea after reading studies that connected movement with memory. She became intrigued by the power of movement to draw out people’s stories, so she started a weekly walking group for seniors through a collaboration with the Weinberg Center for Balanced Living at the Manny Cantor Center.
“Creativity and Culture With Elders of the LES, Anna Adler, LES History Month | LEShistoryMonth.org , May 13, 2015. | PDF
This interactive walking tour includes childhood recollections of first kisses, riding hands-free on a bike along the East River, and shopping for Saturday suits; the journey “unravels stories of people and places, preserving personal identity, community and connection”.
Growing Connecting and Having Fun Through Art, NYC Dept. for the Ageing | NYC.gov, September 2014. | PDF
During their 2014 SPARC residency, Theresa Loong and Laura Nova of Feed Me a Story collaborated with the older adults at LaGuardia Senior Center in Manhattan to lead a weekly “Pot Luck Club” in which participants cooked and shared meals together using recipes that had special significance to individual members.
Seniors Claim the Culinary Spotlight, by Miranda Shafer, Feet in 2 Worlds | Beta.Fi2w.org, August 25, 2014. | PDF
“Just because you don’t speak English people look at you differently,” Nova says. “[Our subjects] have a distinctive opinion about how they want to cook or how things should be prepared.”
Tour de Fables, East Village Arts | FABnyc.org , August 8, 2014. | PDF
The large images are bright and mouth-wateringly colorful, and each one is captioned with a person’s name and the name of the dish (e.g. “Mendy’s Cauliflower Latkes”). The foods are clearly ethnically distinct, and the whole display paints a striking portrait of the Lower East Side.
Feed Me A Story: Video Series, The Lo-Down | LoDownNY.com, June – August, 2014. | Vimeo
The Lo Down posted a weekly video installment from “Feed Me a Story,” the project created by multimedia artists Theresa Loong and Laura Nova that we featured last month here. It is part of the FABLES Public Art project produced by FABnyc that kicked off in May.
'Feed Me a Story' of Stuffed Eggplant, Voices of NY | VoicesofNY.org, June 16, 2014. | PDF
In each of the videos, a senior from the Lower East Side shares with viewers how to make a family dish, while also telling their own story behind it. The recipes come from people of Chinese, Jewish, Puerto Rican and Italian background.
Video Interview: That's So New York: SPARC, by Susan Handman, NYC Media, Channel 25 and Taxi TV, April 9, 2014. | Vimeo
SPARC is a citywide community arts engagement program where seniors are partnered with artists in a variety of disciplines. The program was developed by the Department of Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the Department for the Aging, and five of the City’s local arts councils.
Feed Me a Story Dishes Up Seniors' Secret Family Recipes, by Traven Rice, The Lo-Down | TheLoDownNY.com, May 2014. | PDF
“It’s always more about the story behind the food than the actual food itself,” says Nova. “The sensorial memory is what gets people directly [back] to that story, because it’s so visceral. You can ask someone to tell you about their life… but when you ask them to do it this way, it seems to get to the good stories more quickly.”
POV Hackathon 2: view eight web storytelling prototypes, by Shannon Carroll, Blog/POV Films, January 17, 2013. | PDF
Feed Me a Story is a transmedia project that encourages the sharing of secret family recipes in a documentary-style food truck, video cookbook and Web application.
Feed Me A Story: Collecting America’s Culinary Heritage, by Justin Mitchell, Feet in 2 Worlds | Beta.Fi2w.org, September 10, 2012. | PDF
On July 27, the two women and a small cadre of photographers, camera operators, and audio engineers took to the the grounds of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Nova and Loong pushed around a small airline serving cart decorated with pictures from Ellis Island’s past, including one photo of a Salvation Army worker offering immigrants a plate of donuts.
Ellis Island Resident Artists Draw Inspiration from Immigration, by Julie Shapiro, DNA Info | DNAinfo.com, August 1, 2012. | PDF
Three artists spent the month of July poring over the archives on Ellis Island as part of the first-ever artist residency program there, searching for inspiration among the stories of New York's millions of immigrants.
Feed Me A Story At Ellis Island, by Rebecca Milzo, Grub Street, New York Magazine | Grubstreet.com, July 25, 2012. | PDF
Nova and Loong are part of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty national monument’s first artist-in-residence program, and the cart — a tribute to the Salvation Army’s historic edible handouts to immigrants — is part of their "Feed Me a Story" project, which aims to connect to visitors with family histories linked to the island via food-related memories.
Resident Artists Reflect On Family, Food And History, by Terese Loeb Kreuzer, Downtown Express | DowntownExpress.com, July 11, 2012.| PDF
“Both Theresa and I have families that continually tell us stories about their immigrant experiences,” Nova said. “I grew up hearing stories from my parents and my grandparents and Theresa made a film about her father’s immigrant experience. We know that everyone has those stories.”
'Limited Run' Is An Exercise In Interaction, by Roger Catlin, Hartford Courant | Courant.com, May 20, 2010. | PDF
“Spring is the time when many get back into running, artists among them. Hartford native Laura Nova has turned to running in a big way in recent projects, triggering a mechanism that sings a finisher's name celestially at the end of a race at New York's Riverside Park, or a running up to four hours a day on a treadmill in 'Runner's High,' part of the Praying Project in New York in 2005.”
Limited Run, By Alise Upitis, Exhibition Catalogue, Real Art Ways, 2010. PDF
As a free time diversion, participatory sport is a mode of relaxation, leisure and entertainment. If one deems a useful activity something which contributes to material accumulation, the recreational diversions of sport are literally useless. By focusing attention on that which is bare of obvious utility, sport becomes a form of protest against the everyday world of necessity...
Art In Odd Places: Sign, Exhibition Catalogue, Ed Woodham, Erin Donnelly, Radhika Subramanism, Art in Odd Places, 2009. | PDF
“Dramatic Pause” draws inspiration from soap operas to make the ordinary suspenseful by giving participants an audio tour of the 14th street commercial district, assigning soap operatic musical scores and snippets of dialogue to points of interest identified along a map.
Audio Interview: Riverside Park Runners Get a ‘Hallelujah,’ by Brigid Bergen, WNYC, September 26, 2009. | Audio
"Not just the runner's experience but there's also spectators and I wanted to involve them in the finish line so that it becomes this great, ethereal, cathartic moment. When you finish any race its a great accomplishment what better way to highlight that then having your name sung."
Winnipeg Art Gallery Exhibition Features Humor in Art, Art Knowledge News | www.artknowledgenews.com, April 4, 2006. | PDF
In a time of widespread political upheaval, artists are injecting a healthy dose of humour, both light-hearted and dark, into their work. They are examining how humour can engender a sense of immediacy and familiarity, while working as a means of critical engagement
Situation Comedy: Humor in Recent Art, by Dominic Molon, Michael Rooks, iCI, 2006. |PDF
The enduring role of the humorous or comedic in art comes as little surprise given the eternal need for humankind (and the art world) to take a critical step back from itself and seize psychological control over our shortcomings and failures. By inverting our day-to-day routine, the exigencies and imperatives that dictate our actions are put into a broader perspective and revealed to be more complex, more human, and sometimes funnier than we allow, or as is attributed to Buster Keaton, “Life is a tragedy in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.”
Remember Laughter?, Nadine Kam, Star Bulletin, Features section, September 14, 2005. | PDF
But telling bad jokes is a self-protective measure, a way to mask or conceal the parts of our psyche kept closed to public scrutiny. And if the end result is simply that we can laugh at ourselves for a few minutes, that's all the better.
The Praying Project, Essay by Isabelle Dupuis, Exit Art, 2005. | PDF
Striving to establish a connection with the viewer that went beyond the visual, she connected herself to an EKG machine that printed out her heartbeat, visualized in graph form. Her neck, chest cavity as well as the inside of her mouth were outfitted with patches “to equate this practice to the public,” while a pair of headphones brought the sound of her moving muscles and bones or the swish of water flowing down her throat to whoever cared to listen.
A Mix of Works in the Bronx, Ken Johnson, The New York Times, August 15, 2003. | PDF
No one ever said it would be easy to achieve a self-sustaining art career in New York. Even artists who have lived in the city for years remain mystified by the commercial system's apparent impenetrability. Yet there are lots of artists who do manage it. How do they do it?