Monday, March 25, 2013

Marija Mokrova Q&A

This months cover featuring
electronic-rock band noon:30.
Original photo courtesy of the band,
digital augmentation by K.K.W.
Public Space in Skopje: Q&A with Marija Mokrova. By K.K.W

This month we're featuring some interesting young women who are not just the some of their parts, but the product of over a century of the modern women's movement.    
Marija Mokrova.
Photo courtesy of miss Mokrova.
SP: Marija, thanks so much for taking the time for the interview.

MM: Your very welcome Kerwin.

SP: Every city has parks, however does Skopje have public spaces other then parks and do they have free wi-fi (internet), chess tables?
Are any of them enclosed, giving protection from the elements with comfortable seating?

MM: Aside from parks, or the quay of the river Vardar, or natures most precious gift to the city - the hill called Vodno - I can't really think spaces purposefully created for the recreation, entertainment, relaxation of the of the citizens of the city. Wi-Fi is generally available in the center of Skopje, around the main square, and there are benches. One could consider certain zones in the city as so-called public space...but the thing is, in the mind of this architectural layman, a public space should have a...meaning. It should materialize a deeper and elaborated idea, it should give a three-dimensional form to a concept that includes several aspects of urban life - be these creation/or exposition of street-art, challenges in popular games, or even presentation of popular dishes for the "skopj-nians."

SP: What are your, if any, favorite public spaces in Skopje?

MM: I really cannot categorize any place as a public space as such, but there are some places where...I can still feel the city's...  soul. Or dying soul, more appropriate to the to the current situation. There use to be more but recent changes in the city's appearance have literally destroyed them. A very cool spot is the terrace of The Museum of Contemporary Art, a forgotten jewel in Skopje, located on a hill overlooking the quay of Vardar, the city park, and part of the city's center. Kurshumli An - a cult spot in the Old Bazaar, still a beloved choice for open-air concerts and a charming corner of the city. Then again, the entire Old Bazaar is; a goner, several benches right next to "Dom na ARM", the were close to the central street called "Macedonia" with a view to the space right in front of the institutions entrance, where different groups of young people and/or couples used to hang out.

SP: When it comes to public spaces in Skopje, what is your opinion of them? What should be added?

MM: ...As I cannot really say that they exist, I guess my only comment would be that...the lack of such spaces only speaks about the... impoverishment of the city's spirit, the disregard of certain circles of Skopje's population, and lack of "dialouge" between people on positions, actual artists and the "common" people that live Skopje's everyday life, and make it so uncommon in so many ways.

SP: The project "Skopje 2014" has made some major changes to the city, but has it affected public spaces in a really negative way, and if so how?

MM: Numerous green spaces have been destroyed. Not parks per se, but just small, green spaces in the midst of the edifices and constructions where people would just sit, talk, spend a moment or two and chat with neighbors. A lot of spots that epitomized the "neighborhood feel" of the city are long gone now; the ultra kitsch edifices that have flooded the center of Skopje leave no room for anything resembling a public space. I'd rather not comment on the rest of the effects of the above-mentioned project has, as it is literally raping the city.

SP: In New York City many of the "modern" buildings have public spaces built next to them, some are within the structures (a city zoning law passed in 1961 gives incentives to private developers for doing this). Does Skopje have any public spaces like this, and do you think your city should pass a similar zoning law? 

MM: Not sure if this really applies to Skopje. I'm not sure that any laws (social, architectural, natural, feng Shui, and any other one I can think of) are being respected in the recent changes that have affected the city. 

SP: If you could design a public space what would you have available for the people? 

MM: A spot for musical performances...maybe sort of wooden cabins for the passerby to have a taste of the latest Skopje crazes - a new cocktail, a new dish perhaps, a pastry or something. A corner for artist who want to create their art in front of the public... occasional presentations of popular radio shows, maybe (Ah, Kanal 103's Pink Cadillac comes to mind)...I don't know...I guess, a place that would reflect the most prominent aspects of urban life, in terms of musical preferences, arts, theatre, food, games...                      
Marija Mokrova.
Photo courtesy of miss Mokrova.
When it comes to public space (parks, plazas, squares, etc, & modern public space)  in any city its most important aspects is how it interacts with the area around it, and how people of varying degrees relate to it.
Aside from this, its part of what makes for a healthy urban existence and promotes harmony within the city.

"Art is the reason, art is the way"

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Aquene Freechild: Q&A

This months cover,
featuring electronic-rock band noon:30.
Original photo courtesy of the band,
digital augmentation by K.K.W

Q&A - "Modern" Architecture,
with Aquene Freechild.
Aquene Freechild,
photo courtesy of Miss Freechild.
SP: Aquene, thanks for taking the time for the interview.

AF: Your welcome Kerwin.

Downtown NYC - digital photo by K.K.W 2012.
SP: How do you view the often dominant use of glass, or similar material and radically simple design (cube / rectangles, linear pattern) in modern architecture? 

AF: I like the large amount of light that some modern buildings offer. Concrete no, glass yes. It can be too much sometimes, people need to be able rest their eyes too.

SP: Architecture, like most things can be done wrong (design, execution, etc), however, do you feel it has more to do with opinion when its disliked (take for instance the Eiffel Tower - although its not a building- which was hated by most of the artists & many others in Paris, yet is now beloved by the world, or at least tourists)? 

AF: I am guessing that human beings share similar innate reactions to space, large spaces are grand, perhaps a little intimidating, perhaps inspiring, small spaces intimate, safer. I think there are endless likely iterations of this type of effect that I don't know how to describe.

SP: Even if a work of architectural design is considered flawed, bad, (whatever the reason) and an artist, or someone else, finds a way to express a positive feeling through it, its put to good use, people rent offices in it, an apartment / purchase one in it, does that not make it good?

AF: Yes, that makes it good. We adapt and make homes everywhere. 

Center of Skopje (Capital of Macedonia),
digital photo by Meglena Visinska 2012.
SP: Phillip Clay's two-stage model of gentrification places artists as prototypical stage one, or marginal gentrifier's. Artists (in large #'s) move into low-rent undesirables areas, rehabilitate it, making it more desirable to others (Real-Estate Developers, yuppies, semi-conservative families). By this do you think that artists, Musicians, etc, help to cause gentrification?

AF: Yes, because they provide a bridge between the classes. Artists are often from middle and upper classes and make lower income areas,  more chique and palatable to upper and middle class identified people who come to artist areas to engage with the art, which they can likely afford more than the artist's neighbors.
Aquene Freechild.
Photo courtesy of miss Freechild.
Modern Architecture has its roots in the Bauhaus movement, which originated in Germany during the 20th century, and is currently going through a major revival ("Days of the future past"?). Its ideas had a major impact one world that is still current today.  And as the subject is one that affects New York City & others, its most important to us.

Aquene Freechild is a graduate of NYU (New York University), & currently resides in Washington, District of Columbia. 

If you would like to know more, go ,

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rebecca Patek

This months cover featuring
electronic-rock band noon:30.
Original photo courtesy of the band,
digital augmentation by K.K.W
Beautiful Control: Rebecca Patek.

When you get right down to it, we are not just the some of our parts and what makes us individuals. We are in fact, the result of the efforts of those who came before us; and for a woman this is most important.

Rebecca Patek @ Spectrum.
Photo by K.K.W
The first time I saw her (@ Spectrum for Valerie Kuehne's birthday event) seemed the opposite of what she is - a choreographer & performance artist.  

On stage her voice, projection of intent, and body language showed the actions of a novice. 30 seconds into it and the crowd became annoyed and agitated; the tension became so thick you could cut it with a butter knife. 
Rebecca Patek @ Spectrum.
Photo by K.K.W
Patek seemed on the verge of a breakdown - babbling about what she wanted to do with her life, being dumped by her boyfriend, finding solace in a stuffed, faceless effigy to project ones sickness and suffering on. Then all of a sudden, she took control of herself and the audience. Anger crept into her eyes and voice as she began talking about her boyfriend mailing her panties back to her.

The audience was now totally in her power,
realizing the method to her madness, and clearly taken with sensuous nature of the act. It was wicked and wild.   

Rebecca Patek
@ The Invisible Dog Art Space
"Aunts Catch" 2/23/13
What's most interesting is the usage of her own vulnerability, body and sexuality to deceive & divert the audiences mind/attention. Patek's one woman act is similar to other female performance artists work ("Cut Piece" by Yoko Ono)in its simplicity, daring and shock.

Patek certainly is a talented young woman taking after (in her way) many others who broke with the notion of a female artist needing to be "a lady" in all things (Lynda Benglis, Vanessa Beecroft), especially her creativity.        
Rebecca Patek
@ The Invisible Dog Art Space
"Aunts Catch" 2/23/13
If you would like to know more, go to: "Art is the reason, art is the way". 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This months cover, featuring
the electronic-rock band noon:30.
Original photo courtesy of the band,
digital augmentation by K.K.W
Music now (Brooklyn): noon:30.

Given that March is women's history month, we are posting about some great women now, that are the product of those who came before them.

Over the last 3 years I've become more immersed in "non-mainstream" music; of which there is almost too much. One of the best is still noon:30, who I first heard in a friends apartment (Jeanee) in Bklyn 3 years ago. 

Blue (left, vocals & bass) & Aissa (noise+guitar).
Image courtesy of the band.
Originally from Washington D.C, they moved to Brooklyn N.Y to inject their hard-hitting, thought-provoking, electronic-rock into the urban veins of our fair city (& thank God, cause we need it).

The sound is rooted in Punk (yet stands on its own merit) radiating at times soulful with an Industrial flow, griping you with meaningful lyrics thats part poetry & spoken-word protest. Critic & taste maker Everett True praised them as “protest music like mainstream commentators keep saying doesn’t exist these days” and as reminding him of “great lost 80s femme-punk duo Toxic Shock”. (1)

In an interview on Conversations with Bianca (an online periodical) Blue said being from Detroit, Motown was very much apart of her life growing-up. While Aissa said that her dad used to play guitar in a blues band, which lead to her eventually playing the guitar. Given this its no wonder noon:30 is such an amazing band.

Currently the duo is finishing up their latest EP, of which I only know the last song completed for it is called "Dream". So, like their many other fans I'm eagerly waiting.  
noon:30. Photo courtesy of the band. 
If you would like to know more, go to:,
"Art is the reason, art is the way"
(1) Taken from the interview (Conversations with Bianca): "Q&A with noon:30 - Can music be revolutionary? "F*ck Yes."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Natalie Eichengreen

This months cover
featuring electronic-rock band noon:30,
original photo courtesy of the band,
digital augmentation by K.K.W
Amazing art: Natalie Eichengreen.

Without going into too much, I'll simply say that while paying homage to women who fought for and died for change is great, we should look to those who are the product of that struggle.
Untitled 2006 - Israeli Defense Force.
Image courtesy of the artist.
From Haifa, Israel, she joined the Israeli army at the age of 18 and served as a photographer in the Navy, as well as the Israeli Defense Force spokes unit. She also documented the 2nd Lebanon war, operations and press conferences.  

Natalie Eichengreen. Image courtesy of the artist.
Its this part of her life that makes her artwork so interesting. Sexuality, repression, discrimination and moods explored through the human body. One of her major projects, "Woman X", focuses on repression/discrimination that is projected against women in Israel, and abroad from men in extreme ultra orthodox religious sectors.    
Roni - Haifa Paste, 2012.
From the "Woman X" project.
Image courtesy of the artist.
Combining various mediums such as photography, video works, text pieces, sculpture and "street art"- Eichengreen explores self awareness through individuality resulting in stunning projects. Reality, parallel realities, and those that exist only for a few, herself included, puts her work on par with such artists as Diane Arbus and Vanessa Beecroft. 
Untitled - image of man defacing the
Roni - Haifa paste.
Image courtesy of the artist.
There is an intimate touch and feel to her subjects that flows with a delicate, current of sexuality. Within this aspect of her work the viewer is looking from a distance (figuratively & literally)and yet one feels invited, gently urged to bridge the gap between viewer and subject. 
Muffinhead - 2011 from the work "on/off".
Image courtesy of the artist.
Untitled 2011- From the work "film inspired".
Homage to Daisies - Sedmikrasky
by Vera Chytilova, 1966.
Image courtesy of the artist.
Untitled 2010. From the work
"I wish I was".
Image courtesy of the artist
Untitled 2012. Self-portrait.
Image courtesy of the artist.
Natalie Eichengreen's art is powerful in its concepts, depiction, subject's, and meaning. She not only has the photographers eye, but the ability to use it as a vector for social commentary, which often puts the artist in danger and at odds with the world she is born into. 

If you would like to know more, go to: