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Forum Lounge: Jessica Findley, Aeolian Ride
THU. OCT. 1, 2009, 4 PM
Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Paseo Nuevo Mall Upper Arts Terrace
Photo by Sarah Clark
Inspired by a love for bikes, city cruising, critical mass, costumes, silliness, and things that inflate, Aeolian Ride is a mass participatory bicycling performance with a sense of humor. This is special outdoor collaborative event that has been performed in cities across the world. Afterwards, all are welcome to join the riders and volunteers at CAF to view video footage of the event.
Co-sponsored by the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and WheelHouse.
Funding and support for the ‘09-‘10 Forum Lounge season is generously provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Make Studio, and the Franciscan Inn. Official media sponsors: the Santa Barbara Independent and KCSB 91.9 FM. Forum Lounge is presented in association with the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization’s First Thursdays.
Aeolian Ride was the lovechild of a new romance between CAF and the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, a local organization dedicated to promoting and advocating for cyclists in Santa Barbara. Jessica's piece was brought to my attention by a good friend, Don Lubach, who has been following her site-specific performance rides with rapt appreciation for the last few years. When he voiced his dream to one day bring her project to Santa Barbara, I jumped on the opportunity, as it seemed the perfect chance to meld two diverse cultures--visual arts and cycling--of our local community.
Jessica has been producing Aeolian Ride in cities worldwide for the last couple of years with great success. Inspired by her own love of the two-wheeled transportation, her childlike enthusiasm and whimsical aesthetic seemed perfectly suited to a mass bicycle ride past Santa Barbara's beautiful beachscapes. As a collaborative performance art piece, I was particularly excited to include Aeolian Ride into this year's Forum Lounge series because it captures both the spirit of working together to make art and the joy of riding. Despite some logistic challenges determining the course of the ride through Santa Barbara's downtown area, we successfully gathered over 50 people outiftted in Jessica's handmade blow up costumes, pedaled them past surprised onlookers and finally met back at CAF to view footage of this mass performance piece. And what a site to behold it was.
--Heather Jeno Silva, Forum Lounge Curator