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Spring House Academy II: Dark

It Takes YOU to Tango

More and more we hear people say we are living in dark times. But the dark can also be a source of excitement and joy. This spring, we explored all that the dark can bring us during Spring House Academy II: Dark. A one day (or night) festival for all Spring House members. We stayed up all night and experienced the dark together.

Who are you?
I am Julia Mandle, artist and previous Spring House artist-in-residence. I am now based in Amsterdam and previously was based in NYC. I am a conceptual artist and like to make works which engage audience to question their perceptions of things/space/places.

What was your part in the program?
I was DARK audience, participant but also helped Ilse Frech develop her idea of partner drawing as a live contact-improvisation aka tango visualization. The project is an extension of the Spring House think tank/do tank called “Art of Being Together” where we want to create events where members come in closer contact with each other. 
We developed a live drawing project for the 2:00AM slot called “It takes YOU to tango” and invited people -two at a time- to draw on either side of the glass windows of a space. 


How did people respond?
There was black light, glowing ink, contemporary music, and let’s just say people didn’t need much encouragement to go for it! It was wonderful to watch and document. We had six panes of glass and six drawing partners. Only formality was to ask them to stare at each other for four breaths before beginning to draw. The goal was to stay connected the whole time. Was wonderful how willing SH creatives were to flow with each other’s energy.

One last –dark– thought?
Next time I would like to turn the black light off during drawing and then on at the conclusion of “the dance” so people will be more surprised by the traces/results of their duet.