Janks Archive Collection Event: Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Janks Archive conducts an investigation of insult humor—an ancient oral tradition—from cultures around the world. While intentions appear, at first, to be cruel, “janks” are in fact an integral aspect of human interaction, used as much to strengthen camaraderie as to establish dominance. The project documents this tradition through crowdsourcing and field recording, in which participants recite “janks” from memory and the collective gathers contextual information in an attempt to trace origins.
They have recorded people telling “janks” on video in 10 cities in 7 countries, and will be interviewing Queens residents as part of the Queens International 2016.
janks ‘jaŋkz n, pl, slang [Alabama]
Jokes intended to directly insult the recipient by attacking personal attributes, often leading to verbal sparring
Snaps, disses, slams, burns, jibes, digs, cut-downs, rippins, slaggings
“I’ll cut you down so low, you’ll have to hold a sign that says ‘don’t spit, can’t swim’” (Alabama)
“You’re about as useful as a chocolate teapot” (Belfast)
“Your face looks like the ass of a bird of prey” (Finland)
Image: Janks Archive: Belfast. September 6-7, 2013. Belfast, Northern Ireland. Curated by Alissa Kleist as part of FIX Live Art biennale, 2013
Las Reinas Open Rehearsal by Jesus Benavente and Felipe Castelblanco
For Las Reinas, Benavente and Castelblanco collaborate with two Mariachi bands, one in Queens and the other based in Bogotá, Colombia, to write a new song in real-time, via online video chat. Working across cultural, social, and economic borders, the collaborating bands and artists will reveal the pervasiveness of the Mariachi genre, a Mexican musical tradition that is steeped in poverty, pride, protest, and community, but has been widely adapted to the needs of a globalized tourist economy.
Open rehearsals and conversations will take place at the Queens Museum throughout the exhibition, culminating in a live performance by Benavente and Mariachi Real de Mexico (Queens), with Castelblanco and Bogotá-based band connecting via video conference. At the end of the collaboration, the new song, Las Reinas (The Queens), will be set into the informal oral distribution networks as a new Mariachi tradition, passed from band to band across North and South America, as a means of examining the phenomena of cultural (re)appropriation and (mis) translation.
Presented with Espacio Odeón, Bogotá
Image: Jesus Benavente and Felipe Castelblanco, Las Reinas, 2016. Courtesy the artists
Trouble’s The Stood Maze, featuring musical performance by Patrick Higgins and visuals by E.S.P. TV
As part of their Action Fortress installation, Trans-Pecos’ presents The Stood Maze, a pop-up labyrinth by the artist duo Trouble (Sam Hillmer, Lawrence Mesich, and Laura Paris). The fabric structure is held up by 33 stationary performers in the Queens Museum’s atrium for the duration of a sonic composition by experimental guitarist Patrick Higgins, with live visuals by E.S.P. TV. Visitors are encouraged to walk through the maze throughout the performance!
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