Artists asking Artists
Katrina Neumann talks with Piero Passacantando
About Flux Factory
Katrina Neumann, May 2014
Katrina Neumann (KN): So, we were able to meet each other during our summer residency at Flux Factory in Long Island City. I have been on and off affiliated with the organization since 2008. I was curious how you came across Flux Factory and what made you take residence there?
Piero Passacantando (PP): I have known about Flux for a number of years, maybe even before moving to New York. I can’t remember exactly how I found out about the organization. The reason that brought me to take residence there are multiple: on one hand I was interested in the organization itself, in its mission and approach; on the other had I was interested in the community and interaction amongst fellow artists.
KN: I always think of Flux Factory like a drop in a bucket of the millions located in New York, except one that creates exceptional ripples with its affect on the arts community and larger New York metropolitan; I almost wonder if project spaces like Flux can exist anymore in New York City. Can you describe what Flux Factory is like from their programming for residents and the community?
PP: I found flux to be an amazing place particularly in the context of New York City. To be honest with you, I have never done a “traditional” residency but it seems to me that Flux is quite unique. It aims at going beyond the making of art objects and projects to encompass the larger sphere of “living”: the sharing of groceries and chores and the conversations with other residents. They constituted a holistic experience, and experiment that went beyond just making art while containing it as one of its activities.
KN: Flux can also be very chaotic at times- so many people coming and leaving, different artists working in different mediums, a feeling of being included and excluded at the same time as a temporary resident, and a multitude of projects happening at once. Can you talk about your experience managing the chaos of Flux Factory?
PP: Well, while I was at Flux, I had full time job and I was organizing the MyNerva exhibition for The Hive at EFA Project Space. I was pretty busy outside of the life there so I did partake to it but in small doses. The times I was there I really enjoyed certain aspect of the light hearted chaos; it was good for my soul as many other aspects of my life were difficult and required a lot of planning and others again emotional attention. However there were occasional difficult or tense times, more than anything because of others’ interactions. But particularly in retrospect, they were secondary to my overall experience.
KN: Amidst the chaos, Flux can also provide a wonderful community of support and really great moments with other residents. Can you talk about your favorite moments you experienced while in residence?
PP: My favorite times are without a doubt the late summer nights talking on the flux rooftop, followed closely by cooking dinners and epic dance parties!
KN: Would there be anything about the program that you would change? Where there times of confusion or wishing that Flux ran a little bit smoother or could have had more clarity? If so, how would you improve the program and what would you tell perspective residents looking into the program?
PP: I think some of the financial aspects could be made more transparent and there could be improvements done on the house itself. However, these are minor points. I loved my time at Flux and the people I met there. I would definitely recommend it. For prospective residents, I would say get ready for a great creative explosion that is not centered around object making but is experiential, rooted in life and action. SO… when is the next rooftop party?
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Piero Passacantando was born 1979 in Rome, Italy. Passacantando received his Master of Fine Art degree from California College of the Arts and his Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Corcoran College of Art and Design. He has recently attended Flux Factory in Long Island City. Passacantando has participated in The Laundromat Project Create Change Fellowship, Transformer Gallery Residency, Art in Odd Places, DUMBO Arts Festival, Fulbright Fellowship, and The EFA Project Space. He isCEO of MyNerva, a center for artistic research, dialogue and production exploring corporate structures. Piero Passacantando exhibits worldwide and currently lives and works in New York, NY.
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