Ballroom Marfa Art Fund


Marfa Dialogues/Houston Full Schedule Announced

21 Mar 2016

pollinators2 Sarah Rara, still from The Pollinators, 2014. Video with sound. 65 minutes
Sound by Luke Fischbeck

Ballroom Marfa, FotoFest International, and the Public Concern Foundation present the fifth Marfa Dialogues as part of the FotoFest 2016 BiennialChanging Circumstances: Looking at the Future of the Planet. Marfa Dialogues/Houston is a three-day symposium that considers the scale of climate change from the perspective of artistic practice, public policy, critical theory, and environmental science. All events are free and open to the public. 
Marfa Dialogues was conceived in 2010 by Ballroom Marfa Artistic Director Fairfax Dorn and Hamilton Fish of the Public Concern Foundation with the aim of bringing together artists, scientists, writers, and critical thinkers to consider a range of social issues, from immigration to the environmental crisis. Marfa Dialogues has taken place in Marfa, Texas; New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and now Houston, Texas.
The mission of Marfa Dialogues is to discover new perspectives on social issues by examining them through the lens of artistic practice. Marfa Dialogues/Houston brings together participants from diverse fields, continuing the program’s open and creative approach to some of the most pressing issues of our time.
THURSDAY, MARCH 24 – Menil Collection
7:00 pm 
Introductions by Menil Collection Interim Director Thomas Rhoads & Ballroom Marfa Executive Director Susan Sutton
7:15 pm              
Keynote address by Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.

7:45 pm
Performance by Lucky Dragons
6:30 – 8:30 pm
“Imaging Futures”
Panel discussion with scientists Dr. Trevor Williams, Dr. William Stefanov and artists Jamey Stillings and MPA. Moderated by FotoFest Executive Director Steven Evans. “Imaging Futures” will coincide with MPA’s solo exhibition, THE INTERVIEW: Red, Red Futureon view at CAMH.
SATURDAY, MARCH 26 – Museum of Fine Arts Houston
1:00 pm              
“Inundation and Desiccation: On the Edge in America”
Matthew Coolidge and Aurora Tang of the Center for Land Use Interpretation in conversation with Steven Badgett of SIMPARCH.
Short video: The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Houston Petrochemical Corridor Landscan, Texas, 2008. HD Video, 14 minutes 12 seconds. Courtesy the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Commissioned by the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston.
2:15 pm              
“Metabolic Landscapes”
Conversation between Dr. Geof Rayner, environmental justice advocate Juan Parras, and artists Gina Glover and Dornith Doherty.
Short video: Sarah Rara, excerpt from The Pollinators, 2014. Video with sound, excerpt 10 minutes; TRT 65 minutes. Sound by Luke Fischbeck. Courtesy of the artist.
4:15 pm
“From Hyperlocal to Hyperobject: Art, Ecology, and OOO”
Professor Timothy Morton in conversation with artist Mandy Barker. Moderated by author Erik Davis.
Short video: Rachel Rose, Sitting Feeding Sleeping, 2013. HD Video, 9 minutes and 49 seconds.

RIP Charles Bowden

3 Sep 2014


Charles Bowden, visionary writer and crusading muckracker, died in Las Cruces, NM this past Saturday. Bowden joined us here in Marfa for the inaugural Marfa Dialogues, a program that looked at the culture and politics of the U.S./Mexico border which Bowden reported on in with his “surrealist fever dream” prose, capturing the sadness and madness of the drug war in equal measure. Marfa Dialogues co-founder Hamilton Fish talked to Marfa Public Radio’s Tom Michael in remembrance of this irreplaceable American hero:

He had a gruffness and he had a weathered, Western affect,

but it belied a gentleness, a tenderness, an emotional vulnerability and a sensitivity to the human condition that contributed to making him one of really great figures in American journalism in the last era. It’s a great loss.


Find more of Marfa Public Radio’s coverage of Bowden’s passing at marfapublicradio.rog

CaLL/WALKS for Jane’s Walk Present: “Ludogeography”

28 Apr 2014


Mary Miss, with Eve Mosher
“Insert_ Here” sign, Jane’s Walk 2013. Image courtesy of City As Living Laboratory.

On Saturday, May 3rd Marfa Dialogues/NY participant, Mary Miss and game designer Josh Debonis will offer an “exploration” of Madison Square Park and the surrounding neighborhood using methods influenced by the Situationist’s Dérive. Using the term, Ludogeography (which means “to let play influence movement through an urban space”), Mary Miss and DeBonis lead participants through

an experimental game of chance operations and playful directives that will draw… (one) through the environment, its history, landmarks, flora and fauna,

“GhostFood” Video from Marfa Dialogues/NY

24 Apr 2014


Photo courtesy of Miriam Simun

During Marfa Dialogues/NY, participant Gallery Aferro presented GhostFood, a participatory performance by Miriam Simun and Miriam Songster, which explored the effects of climate change on our food supply. The GhostFood mobile trailer parked outside Ballroom’s exhibition Quiet Earth at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, as well as in front of Gallery Aferro,and handed out devices that allowed visitors to “taste” various foods currently threatened with extinction, including: cod, peanuts, and cocoa.

If you missed the events in October, be sure to watch Miriam Simun’s recently released short film,

Tattfoo Tan’s New “Colorful and Healthy” Project

3 Apr 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 3.58.59 PM

Image Copyright © 2014 Tattfoo Studio, All rights reserved

Marfa Dialogues/New York alum, Tattfoo Tan, recently unveiled his newest project, Nature Matching System at Seymour Dual Language Academy in Syracuse, New York. As described by the artist: “The Nature Matching System is a color chart… used to remind us to consume our recommended daily dose of fruits and vegetables.”

The project, which is composed of a “curriculum” booklet and a mural, was a result of Tan’s collaboration with Professor Marion Wilson, who teaches a class about community engagement at Syracuse University. For Nature Matching System, Wilson’s students, inspired by Tan’s work, designed a curriculum and were then required to teach it to a 3rd grader at the local elementary school.

Tan hopes to spread his “colorful and healthy effort” to other schools by allowing the booklet to be downloaded for free.

To learn more about Tan and his practice, read his recent article “Nutrition Isn’t Pretty” for Creative Time Reports. In “Nutrition”, Tan discusses the effects climate change has on our agriculture and asks us to “reduce food waste by rethinking what produce should look like.”


Photo by Tattfoo Tan, 2013

I have had my ups and I have had my downs”They gave me a chance. Although the CDC recommends that infants and young children follow a normal vaccination schedule, children may need to be placed on an accelerated vaccination schedule if you must travel with them. National Academy’s Sixth Annual Conference and the Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference, Cork, Ireland: NAIRTL. “Those are the things we have got to clean up,” Ryan said of the shortstop. The reception was held at the Commercial Club. Lettre(s) ; Kellogg, Charlotte,

“Rauschenberg Foundation: Bridging the Gap Between Art & Life”

27 Mar 2014


Actors run the GhostFood mobile trailer, created by Miriam Simun and Miriam Songster, part of “Marfa Dialogues/New York.” Photo courtesy of Ghostfood.

ARTnews recently profiled our partner for Marfa Dialogues/New York,the Rauschenberg Foundation, discussing its various philanthropic endeavors, notable programs, and the organization’s relationship to the life and goals of its founder: the late painter and activist, Robert Rauschenberg.

An excerpt:

“Marfa Dialogues/New York” is just one of an array of initiatives funded and supported by the Rauschenberg Foundation since it embarked on full-scale operations in 2012. Others include a visual literacy campaign in Tanzania, art workshops in inner-city laundromats, small-scale artist-run institutions across the United States, and an artist-residency program in Rauschenberg’s studio in the barrier islands of Florida. In the process, the foundation has established itself as a dynamic presence in the world of cultural philanthropy, maintaining Rauschenberg’s own impassioned commitment to charitable causes while extending his signature artistic ethos of bridging “the gap between art and life.”

“These aren’t just grants that we’re going to give to art institutions that do Rauschenberg exhibitions—that’s just not what we do,” said Christy MacLear, the foundation’s executive director. “We look at our grant making through the lens of the values that defined Bob.
So you don’t only say, ‘What would Bob do?’ Instead, you set up a framework so that a hundred years from now you can ask: Is it collaborative? Is it boundary-breaking? Is it risk-taking? Is there a concept of creative problem-solving? Is it international and looking at art as a method of peacekeeping?”

“They’ve hit the ground running,” said Jack Flam, president and CEO of the Dedalus Foundation, which was founded by Robert Motherwell to foster public understanding of modern art while preserving the painter’s own artistic legacy. “In classic philanthropy, you give money away. Then there’s another kind, where you start programs that give money away. But then again there are artist foundations that are actually involved in programs as they develop, which in fact is something all artist foundations are thinking about now.

Creative Time Reports: “Fracking Away Our Air, Water, and Land”

29 Jan 2014

Christy Rupp, Exploit/Exhale, 2010. Included in the Cooper Union exhibition “Emissions: Images from the Mixing Layer” as part of Marfa Dialogues/NY.

In partnership with Marfa Dialogues/NY, Creative Time Reports recently published an article by artists Barbara Arrindell and Ruth Hardinger. In it, they “argue that natural gas is not a ‘bridge fuel’ to less hazardous energy sources, but a grave danger to communal resources and the global climate.”

An excerpt:

The gas and oil industry would like to craft a wholesome image of natural gas as a clean resource and a “nonfossil” fuel. Neither of these characterizations is accurate. Yes, gas does burn with a nice blue flame at the end user’s stove. However, getting that gas to the stove is seriously contaminating our air and water. This is because pumping it in means using high-volume, slick-water hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Unbeknownst to many, the process has profound health and environmental impacts. Thanks to aged and faulty infrastructure, often built on the cheap and left unchecked for years, gas inevitably leaks on the way from wells to pipelines. Add up all the dangers along the way, and one will soon find that gas has a larger global climate impact than oil or coal.

Later in the article, the authors discuss how even a place like New York City is affected by the fracking that happens miles away:

When we mention fracking to people in New York City, they often ask if we’re concerned about a place upstate, as though we are protected because it happens so far away. Nothing could be further from the truth. The numerous risks associated with fracking for New York City residents include contamination of drinking water from the Delaware Catskill Watershed and exposure to radon, a radioactive gas known to cause lung cancer, from gas used for cooking. Since November 1, 2013, the Spectra pipeline, built by the Texas-based company Spectra Energy, has started pumping a mix of Marcellus shale natural gas that has the highest levels of radon in the United States from Manhattan’s West Village to the East 14th Street Con Edison plant, and to New Yorkers’ homes.

The Spectra pipeline is not the only recent danger New Yorkers face from the gas industry. The Rockaway Lateral pipeline, if approved, will run from underneath Brooklyn across Jamaica Bay and Rockaway Beach, threatening the ecosystem of Rockaway Bay. As we continue to develop natural gas, there will be more air pollution, contamination and impacts on food and the foodshed. With more drilling, there will be more waste and cuttings from drill sites, which trucks will be transporting to Long Island waste plants, likely resulting in spills and the contamination of Long Island Sound and the ocean beaches. Greater dependence on increasingly limited supplies of natural gas will also lead to much higher prices. The high levels of methane emissions unleashed by projects like the Spectra and Rockaway pipelines will contribute to accelerating climate change and attendant dangers like rising seas.

Quiet Earth Closing Reception with C. Spencer Yeh + Messages

26 Nov 2013

As part of the closing celebration for Quiet Earth, we presented musicians C. Spencer Yeh and Messages on November 21, 2013 at the Rauschenberg Project Space in New York, New York. Quiet Earth closes this Saturday, November 30; more pictures here.

All photographs by Elena Rott.

Messages at the closing of Quiet Earth, November 21, 2013. Photo by Elena Rott.

Messages at the closing of Quiet Earth, November 21, 2013. Photo by Elena Rott.

C. Spencer Yeh + Messages at the closing of Quiet Earth, November 21, 2013. Photo by Elena Rott.

C. Spencer Yeh + Messages at the closing of Quiet Earth, November 21, 2013. Photo by Elena Rott.

Messages performing at the closing of Quiet Earth, November 21, 2013. Photo by Elena Rott.

C. Spencer Yeh + Messages at the closing of Quiet Earth, November 21, 2013. Photo by Elena Rott.

C. Spencer Yeh performing at the closing of Quiet Earth, November 21, 2013. Photo by Elena Rott.

In the end it was another head to head victory for UNLV against programs operating with at least three times the Rebels’ budget

As we approach the deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we are proud of the progress made for Goal 5, to improve maternal health.
Une nomination effroyablePar Laura Maï Gaveriaux

PlumeChristiane Taubira rêve d’une société qui travaille 32h/semaine : une utopie remarquablePar Audrey Kucinskas

Médiatrice du PlusVIDO DU SOIR.

On July 2, the New Standards Chan Poling on piano, Steve Roehm on vibes, John Munson on bass bring their smart, eclectic, humorous show to Orchestra Hall with the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra.

New Air Jordans followed annually in assorted colors and there have been a myriad of special releases along the way.

Randolph was the early favorite to get the job; he had been RichRod’s defensive line coach at West Virginia and was viewed as one of the game’s rising coaching stars.
Heartburn drugs such as Prilosec and Nexium may disrupt the makeup of bacteria in the digestive system, potentially boosting the risk of infections and other problems, a small new study suggests.

Apiece Apart features Quiet Earth

27 Oct 2013

apiece apart thinking about

Thank you to APIECE APART for featuring Quiet Earth in their recent Newsletter. For those of you who don’t know, APIECE APART is a line of beautifully well-tailored, “elevated basics” which were originally inspired by a trip to West Texas. The designers, Laura Cramer and Starr Hout, were so taken with the “austere and beautiful” landscape that they wanted to create clothing using those same ideals.

Their most recent collection “creates a space where Scandinavia and Japan meet” and even though it strays geographically from the Texas desert, the clothes remain as beautiful as ever.


A source there told TMZ: “He’s not horrible but he certainly can’t keep up with the bestI summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left.
Everything he did was groundbreaking.

“I’m proud of what these women are doing.
42 billion over the 15 year contract life.
With Mickey out of action with a shoulder injury, the 6 foot 10 Martin burned Arkansas for 27 points, 8 rebounds and a hugely timely blocked shot that helped set the Tigers up for a last possession that ended with a Keith Hornsby 3 pointer in an 81 78 victory.

Aaaaand another three and out for Wilson and the Seahawks.

Judge Marylynne Beaton agreed to impose the sentence that was jointly recommended by Crown and defence lawyers, handing down a 15 month conditional sentence.

Vanish is the sequel to Firelight, and both books are really more about the relationships of the central character, Jacinda, than anything else.

Trevor Paglen at Frieze London

17 Oct 2013


For those of you lucky enough to be in London for Frieze this weekend, make sure to stop by Altman Siegel‘s booth to see artist Trevor Paglen’s new work: Prototype for a Nonfunctional Satellite. Paglen, whose work is currently part of Ballroom’s Quiet Earth exhibition in New York, is one of the most cerebral contemporary artists, examining topics as varied as geography, the United States military, and space travel.

The kinetic sculpture and model, Prototype, represents a significant departure for Paglen (least of all because he is primarily known as a photographer). As noted by the gallery, while Paglen usually documents “the clandestine world of covert military operations,” here “he is using the engineering funded by this vast military industrial complex to create public sculpture. Thus, drawing our attention to the non-military potential of technology.”
Paglen transforms what would usually be viewed as a scientific object, into a work of art; consciously putting “aerospace engineering into conversation with the legacy of minimalist sculpture, earthworks, and formalism in general.” And like most works of art, it really should be experienced in person (but a .gif is good too).

In the next step of the process, the clarifier (2), solid particles settle to the floor as sludge and purified water can be returned to the environmentOther activities took place during the workshop where the mothers spoke about the issues they face most in raising their children as well as their success stories.
Kris Works and Tevin Grouse led all scorers and Works was chosen player of the game.

The food at Georgia’s is pretty much the same as what Shoemaker cooked in the kitchen of her Lake Forest home for her family and for a sideline catering business she had started in the mid 1970s.
The city’s acting fire chief has said crews are stringing a cable through the railcars and securing it to bulldozers on land.