The watering Hole moves to the Desert O.A.S.E.S

O.A.S.E.S : Our Art Science Experimental Seminars.  

Over the years, the watering Hole has taken  several forms and  extensions.  However, core to all Watering Hole formats has been the propagation of the 3C’s :

  • Conversation,
  • Collaboration and
  • Creation.

Traditionally, the seminar has consisted of participants in a room full of snacks, a white board , projector, and 2-4 guest speakers per session. In these sessions there were introductions, presentations, discussions where odd connections were made between each presented topic, and feedback from participants.

The first extension of watering hole has been the Salon. Inspired by the Salons in Italy and France in the 1700-1800, the salon would be where the watering hole migrated to get even more casual- as in intellectual conversations, social connections,  wine glasses and home cooked tapas- type casual.  

During the later days of the Pandemic, the watering Hole took on the poetic style. In attempts to fuse  the classic Open Mic poetry and music scene, with the old school Watering hole seminar; the Virtual Watering Hole Open Mic was born.  Sometimes it took form of a writing workshop or a poetic analysis session, and other times it was more of a freestyle conversation with no designated guest speaker. During this period, the session held 4-6 people each time.

Finally the Watering Hole shifted to a Hybrid format with some participants on the screen and others physically present in the lab. With this hybrid twist, the Watering Hole reverted back to its initial format of guest speaker presentation and discussion. The only difference being it held mostly one guest speaker per session.

It was recently, in the Post Pandemic ArtSci Lab, that Roger Malina, The lab director and Mahmoud Elkarmalawy the lab coordinator come up with the brilliant new name for the Watering Hole – O.A.S.E.S . This new seminar identity officially opens the door to the endless possibilities of experimenting with the seminar and our collective gathering of consciousness. 

Who can design and experimental seminar? Well . Anyone, any group of ones or everyone together. That’s the whole idea of collaborating and involving our collective intelligence.

There are some things that would be important to keep in mind in future experimental seminars. One this is the types of moderation and experimenting with moderator roles and purposes during the session. Another is the potential for collecting valuable research data, and designing purposeful experiments keeping in minding International Regulatory Board procedures . Furthermore is the necessity to have all participants  sign release forms, and finding a reliable means to distribute these forms as is necessary for any publication of content recorded during the O.A.S.E.S sessions.

All in all, the future is looking bright, ‘well dated‘ and refreshing for the  O.A.S.E.S.  

And just another fun fact for our new Identity: If the watering Hole was where animals drank peacefully, the OASES is where the warring desert tribes had to drop down their weapons and enter into a peace zone as narrated in the story ‘The Alchemist ’ by Paolo Coelho. Perhaps at this new oasis, all our trained and isolated minds will evolve in collaboration and in the harmonious expression of ourselves.

Upcoming at the O.A.S.E.S

  • July 8th: Emeka Ikebude and Ayen Kuol
  • July 15th :Jacob Hunwick: Maintanence, repair and the illusion of Infinite growth
  • July 22nd: Karen Doore 

Recreating technology: The Light Guitar and The Art of Elen Nas

Thursday, June 24 2021 

Participants:

  • Elen Nas
  • Russel Stoneback
  • Karen Doore
  • Taylor Hinchliffe
  • Ayen Kuol
  • Mahmoud Elkarmalawy
  • Vaishnavi Valavil
  • Omkar Ajnadkar
  • Cameron Countryman
  • Beatrice Perez,
  • Azal Amer 

A guitar that makes music but not sound. Now that’s something to wrap your brain about.  Dr. Russel Stoneback, who conceptualized the idea of light guitar brought it to life in his graduate studies, and explains to us  the physics behind it . Through Russel’s narrative, we witness  how the pursuit of his musical passion led to the creation of  the ‘light guitar’ and to discover its existence in the grander universe

Similar to the sound wavelengths that are emitted when you blow over a bottle opening, the light guitar works by making electrons generate the same wavelengths as those generated when a guitar makes music in a similar fashion.  All you need is a hole/aperture, an accompanying conductive sphere, and and an electromagnetic field. The structure of the light guitar  happens to repeat itself in different systems of the universe: Light guitar physics is seen in the system between earth, its magnetic-fields and the opening at the aurora and   in the holes in the sun’s corona and coronal sphere.Light guitar physics could also explain the consistent frequency ‘humm’ that is emitted from Perseus Cluster black hole.  

Word Cloud of the Watering Hole

It doesn’t end there. To make musical sense of the wavelength data emitted from the light guitar, Dr. Russel recreated the principles from data flow of apple’s garage band , and the line 6 pocket pod  guitar effects processor which eventually led to the creation of PYSAT- Python Satellite analysis tool kit – that functions as a simple , flexible and effective interface for analyzing any data set  

Dr Russell isn’t the only one who brought to our attention the recreation of technology in creative practice. Dr. Elen Nas, Brazillian based artist and newest member of the ArtSci lab gave us a refreshing introduction to her work. She has explored the definition of technology as her work transitioned through the use of various technological forms. “Technology is like any type of language that is tentative to translation and imagination and what we perceive” states Dr. Nas. In her art work, she used various forms of technology , from her opera trained vocal chords, to Raspberry pi’s and image generation software . She showed to us how she made innovative uses of her art form in interaction with people, and natural elements and environments around her .In her art, Dr. Nas has expressed her tenacity to challenged rigid ideas of what is defined as ‘good art’ . She describes her work as requiring collective intelligence and her accomplishments as a result of the ‘cultural capital’ she had by acknowledging the magnitude of shared knowledge and people involve in sharing as well as giving back to the shared spaces. We discussed the role of mirror Neurons in collective spaces and saw how mirror neuronal responses were sometimes effective and sometimes not in Dr. Nas’ art experiments. What are the factors that influence the responsiveness of our mirror Neurons within shared spaces?  Perhaps Dr. Nas work can inform how we ‘play’ and interact in here in our shared Watering Hole space..

In her art, Dr. Nas has expressed her tenacity to challenged rigid ideas of what is defined as ‘good art’ . She describes her work as requiring collective intelligence and her accomplishments as a result of the ‘cultural capital’ she had by acknowledging the magnitude of shared knowledge and people involve in sharing as well as giving back to the shared spaces. We discussed the role of mirror Neurons in collective spaces and saw how mirror neuronal responses were sometimes effective and sometimes not in Dr. Nas’ art experiments. What are the factors that influence the responsiveness of our mirror Neurons within shared spaces?  Perhaps Dr. Nas work can inform how we ‘play’ and interact in here in our shared Watering Hole space..

Conversation Sentiment for Watering Hole

Technology , creativity in art and in science, music without sound ,Helmholtz resonances, mirror neuronic responses  in performance art ,and in human dynamics. How do we piece it all together? Join the conversation of us- every Thursday at the watering Hole (Now called the O.A.S.E.S ) 4-6pm.  

Storytelling as Technology: A Poetic Conversation with Baba the Stroyteller

Thursday, June 17 2021 

‘’Eee Jaliya-aa. Alaleka Jaliyaja”. 

From each Muted screen view, we could see lips moving in response to the call of the song. It was a way for the Griot to gather the village people together. How far the people were, how many were coming – all this information could be gathered by the call back of the song by the people. It was our song that would now be imbedded in all our neural circuits- explained baba, reminding us of the power of storytelling and music. By the time the story had ended, none of the watering hole participants was in the same place they started at. Baba the story teller, had succesfully immersed us into an experience outside our daily realm and culture.  

We must learn to immerse ourselves in different ways of life, in order to understand each other.  

In the audience, a question is raised: What is your role in counteracting the history that campaigns against stories of us as Africans?  

Baba’s response- ‘I touch hearts’.  

Word Cloud of the Watering Hole

Baba has been invited to exclusive spaces that the average person would not have access to ; spaces where he may change the perspectives and ideas of an influential person. A role not far from what the Griot played as advisor to kings. On surface level, Baba is invited to spaces as an entertainer, but here at the watering Hole, we straight up mean business. We mean conversation and ideas that will change how we navigate our world. Perhaps this is our idea of what entertainment means.  

Conversation Sentiment for Watering Hole’

Catch the conversation of us at the Watering Hole, Thursdays at 4-6PM

Guest Speaker : 

Baba the Storyteller has been a professional speaker since 1994 and is one of the few recognized U.S. born practitioners of the ancient West African storytelling craft known as Jaliyaa. He has received numerous awards over the years for his work as a folklorist, traditional harpist, storyteller, community activist and volunteer.  

Baba has presented in thousands of schools and other institutions all across the world. He is also a recipient of a California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition for his creative uses of storytelling and his commitment to community in working with troubled teens. The City of Long Beach California recognized Baba as their municipality’s Artist of the Year, an award presented to him by the Mayor. He has also earned additional commendations from both the U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress. Recently, 2017, Baba was recognized for his undying commitment to building community and activism by being presented the prestigious Heritage Award by the Aquarium of the Pacific during their Annual African-American Heritage Month Celebrations. 

Baba is currently touring internationally and working as a Master Teaching Artist with the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, designing curricula which fuse the arts with classroom instruction. 

Website: https://babathestoryteller.com/ 

Lineage is not Linear: A Poetic conversation with Natachi Mez

Friday, May 14 2021

Participants:

  • Lauren Bernal
  • Roger Malina
  • Jacob Hunwick
  • Erik David Wilson
  • Vania Negrete
  • Ayen Kuol
  • Natachi Mez

‘’… 

I am standing face to face with the family tree, It asks me , don’t you know where you come from?  

I nod my head .  

Marvel at how seeds scatter.  

Any soil that catches you mothers you somehow.  

So many curriculums attempt  to Alienate us from ourselves , but contrary to popular belief, believe that we are all complete beings   

That double consciousness is an out of body experience. That we are learning how to return to body.  

Heaven embodied, none of us are property, none ….. can’t even fathom our infinity  

… In the mind I witness space expand. Sometimes a poem is birthing itself between breaths and I am watching conception.  

Everything I am , has been given to me, to transform.  I am fruit which means I am also seed. Everywhere I go I plant myself 

Listen We are  not scatted .  

Listen , everywhere we go we are planted  

Listen  

Lineage is not Linear  

Everywhere we go  

Everywhere we go  

Everywhere we go ,  We call this earth our Home. ’’

An extract from ‘lineage is not linear’ by Natachi Mez

Who we are is a question that can be answered on many levels. But for many it is a question whose progression is blocked by the scars that formed when an entire people and cultural heritage were ‘plucked’ out and displaced. A culture and people who must overcome the  systems  in place to counter their Value &identity and find routes to thrive.  

At the watering Hole, Natachi Mez weaved an intricate fabric of imagery using the art of Spoken Word, and with it she clothed our experiences with a  magnificent perspective of who we are and the legacies  that hold us, despite adversity.  

During the session, her poem triggered the birth of a new poetic creation ,’A response to ‘lineage is not Linear by Roger Malina. Propagating creativity is exactly the kind of response we aim to see at the Watering Hole.

Join the conversation of us in dissecting a whole new expression of who we are and  what it means to migrate, to be a nomad , and to settle in ways that are far from linear.  

Natachi Mez – Guest Speaker 

Image from short film ‘Lineage is not Linear’ by Natachi Mez.

Natachi Mez (she/her) is a Nigerian American writer, performer, and rapper from the Sacramento area in California. Natachi is a two-time finalist at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI), and has featured at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Oberlin College, as well as at venues in Accra, Copenhagen, and Istanbul. 

Natachi facilitates dynamic experiences that deepen audience engagement and celebrate community voice. Natachi has worked with youth communities and people who are incarcerated to engage writing and rapping as tools of empowerment. She has facilitated writing and performance workshops at Tufts University, Rutgers University, Rikers Island, and more. 

 Natachi graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Computer Science, and is a Business Program Manager, focusing on community building, communications, diversity, and design. You can find Natachi’s words featured or forthcoming in Unplug Mag, Gumbo Magazine, Breadcrumbs Magazine, Write About Now, or on Instagram @natachi.life