Weekly Rochester Events #327: Did Farquhar Meet a Boniface?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Last Thursday I went to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see W. M. Hunt present his lecture titled Strange Mirrors. He describes himself as a connoisseur of outsider photographers. His definition of "outsider" includes naïveness, a visionary quality, and being rooted in the vernacular. He feels they are completely immersed in the creative process and lack any consideration for the potential audience for their work. The title refers to the notion that they create strange mirrors to their creative souls.

However, I find the term "outsider artist" somewhat distasteful and disrespectful. The direct implication is that there are "insider artists" which is an ill-defined concept: for instance, does this include those with formal training or artists who have a popular following? The flaw in either case is twofold: the art came first, and one can only learn technique, not art.

See, before there were college degrees in art, and before there were art critics, there were artists: somebody was trying to express themselves or to communicate something. Second, no matter how much you try, you'll never teach someone art. You can only offer tools to work with and some guidance to help with self-expression. There's no way to break creativity down into a series of simple steps (but once someone figures that out, sex robots are going to be awesome.)

So to me, there are no outsider artists. (There appear to be quite a few snooty Artistes, though.)

Afterward I went on a quest for a great cheeseburger (again). I stopped in at The Beale Street Cafe (689 South Ave.) but it was packed with people in what appeared to be some kind of large party. From there I went to Dicky's Restaurant (791 Meigs St.) because I kept hearing they had really good food. Unfortunately, their kitchen has been closed for quite a while and — get this — it was to reopen the very next day. I almost went for the sure-bet of a really good burger at MacGregor's (381 Gregory St.) but opted instead to head over to Richmond's (21 Richmond St.) I watched in horror as the chef mashed the juice out of the burger on the grill-top — I guess you can offer someone the tools to make food, but you can't stop them from making cool flames from the tasty goodness inside a burger. Nonetheless, it was a pretty good burger ... I can't imagine how good it'd be if it had all its juices. Mmm.

On Saturday I got back to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) for The Animation Show. This year was spectacular. Bill Plympton's Guard Dog started things off with a dog's-mind view of how to protect one's master from such menaces as squirrels and flowers. Peter Cornwell's Ward 13 showed it's Australian roots as an action-laden, twisted tale of a sick hospital ward. Jonathan Nix' Hello was a bit more philosophical — a cassette tape recorder tries to strike up a conversation with the CD-player of his dreams, but he keeps trying to play back his old techniques and failing until he tries something different. Tomek Baginski's Sztuka spadania (Fallen Art) took a turn for the political (and shows off its Polish roots) wherein soldiers are killed solely for the amusement of someone who is completely disregarding the brutal means by which his masterpiece is being created. The final film was Don Hertzfeldt (also at Internet Movie Database)'s The Meaning of Life which I wish I'd seen more than once. I had the classic Hertzfeldt bias wherein I expected blisteringly fast-paced comedic wit and was completely off-guard with his much more thoughtful depiction of the cycle of life. There's nothing like an artist radically redefining themselves to make me kick myself for falling for the societally-induced belief that people don't change, and to respect the artist for taking the chance. Especially for taking on such a complicated message as the meaning of life.

I have long defined art simply as communicating ideas that are hard to put into words. I distinguish it from craft which is skill at making things — I don't lump the pretty resulting products of well-honed skills into the category of "art" like most people do. For me, art can be done with lots of technical skill or with very little. I think, though, that I will to add another twist: art is created with the intention of documenting ideas that are hard to put into words. That is, while a trip to Generic Corporate Box Store might communicate a number of intangible ideas, I don't think of it as art — unless, I guess, there is a deliberate suggestion to do so specifically for the purpose of the experience.

In my own project, I welded some of the frame parts together last week for the The Bike With 2 Brains. It's really a challenge to try and explain this in artistic terms — the physical manifestation is not really art ... at least not the kind you look at. It's the process of riding — the communication that goes on between two riders, and the experience of that unique situation that's the art — so I'm calling it "experiential art" (even though the term is already used for teaching art by doing art ... or something like that.) It's being designed specifically for Burning Man (The Man, Black Rock City 2004, NV) but that's more of a side-effect of the nature of the project. I'll need wide-open spaces that need to be crossed by many different people as a platform for presenting the vehicle itself ... I can't think of any other place that would offer a similar experience, yet I don't think I'm making it just for Burning Man ... harumph.

On Tuesday I got to see The Sweet Tarts perform at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) They too are limited to performing in select venues under rather controlled conditions — admittedly, not as severely as doing something that works only in one specific place and time.

Anyway, they did a pretty good job of the show. First, I'm not one to dig striptease on its own — I seldom visit strip clubs because I seldom find it particularly erotic ... I did see one performance (which was someone from our camp at [*sigh* sorry-to-mention-it-again] Burning Man last year) that was stunningly erotic. The striptease in the Tarts' show had some successes in eroticism for my hypercritical eye but were mostly just okay. The comedic sketches, magic tricks, and audience participation were all good. In all, everything was equally well-rehearsed and well-scripted with just a few kinks to work out — but (happily) no cheap, underdeveloped additions. I think what they need most is to toughen up their attitude toward the audience: to always believe they're superior (especially when dealing with the men.)

Anyway, coming up, I'm going to be setting up the light show thing I made for Heather Gardner's performance of Three Voices for Joan La Barbara by Morton Feldman last year for her performance on Monday night at Christ Church of Rochester (141 East Ave.) It's fairly unique in that I program it with different colors to transition between over the course of several minutes: it's so slow that, for the most part, the viewer's eye can't perceive that the colors are changing at all. The question in my mind is: is the light show art?


This afternoon from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. is Eastman School of Music (26 Gibbs St.) students performing Strings Galore at The First Universalist Church of Rochester (150 South Clinton Ave.). [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

As part of The Gannett Lecture Series, author of Militant Islam Reaches America Dr. Daniel Pipes will be in Webb Auditorium at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map) this evening from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. [source: RIT Events Calendar site]

Over at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. is Brian Holt. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Nothing Sacred starting at 8 p.m. Quoting from the Eastman House calendar, "In an attempt to save his scandalous career, big city newspaper reporter Fredric March writes a tearjerking story about dying small-town girl Carole Lombard. The twist: Lombard finds out she isn't ill at all but doesn't want to miss a free trip to New York." Remember that the Dryden Theater is one of the few places in the world you can still view these fragile and highly flammable nitrate prints, so get your butt out there! [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is Bloom, The Missing PlanesMySpace link, and The Icicles starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick Vernon's Bird will be at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown calendar] [21+]

Pure Kona Poetry Open Mic Night is at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 7:30. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Tax Day

Joey Ramone died, 2001

Today is the start of a new exhibit at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) featuring fine art prints from Deborah Ronnen Fine Art including works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Kiki Smith, Terry Winters and others. The exhibition will run until April 24 with special hours from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. [source: Rochester Contemporary e-mail]

Orange Glory Cafe (240 East Ave., next door to the Little) is having a Grand Opening Party in conjunction with their next-door neighbors, The Little (240 East Ave.) from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight. [source: Little Theatre e-mail]

Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Blue Shorts, a collection of short pornographic or otherwise "blue" movies starting at 8 p.m. The line-up includes Smart Aleck, Aviator, A Quickie, Crocus, and Buried Treasure along with movie trailers from classic adult films. [source: Eastman House calendar] [18+]

Tonight at The Ritskeller (One Lomb Memorial Dr., on RIT campus) is Comics Still Standing (the winners from their "Last Comic Standing" contest) starting at 10 p.m. [source: RIT CAB calendar]

Tonight is the start of a new play at Shipping Dock Theatre (31 Prince St., new location at Visual Studies Workshop) titled Elizabeth Rex discussing the question, "what makes a man a man and a woman a woman?" in the context of William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I. Tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. (repeating through May 8.) [source: Shipping Dock Theatre mailing]

Deejay Tribe will be at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 7 p.m. is opening of the dual-BFA exhibit titled The Space Between featuring works of Sarah Gilbert and Katie Maurer at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) which runs until the 24th. Later, at 10 p.m., is music by Aaron Rosenblum, quasi-rhythmic, quasi-tonal electric guitar work from Joe Sorriero, and Joe+n. [source: artsound website] [all ages]

Over at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Songwriters in the Round featuring witty and accomplished acoustic soloist Brian Coughlin, Patti Witten, and Lisa Bigwood. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 8 p.m. in Strong Auditorium at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) is A Night of Improv with Trix: Whose ASL is it? featuring Trix Bruce. [source: Freetime]

Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is Nigel, the band of infinite styles The Peachy NeachysMySpace link , and The Poorlords [source: band e-mail]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Henry & June starting at 8 p.m. The film that inspired the NC-17 rating ... a couple erotic authors blur the lines between themselves and their characters. [source: Eastman House calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting awesome punk-rock from The BlastoffsMySpace link, The Science Fiction IdolsMySpace link, and very good punk-rock from The EmersonsGarageBand link starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Tonight at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is Steven Piper, and Maggie Herman starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at Richmond's (21 Richmond St.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is tight rock-and-roll from Bee EaterGarageBand linkMySpace
link, eclectic rock from Kill Myself on Monday, and really good fast rock from The Franks. [source: band e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Curley's Saloon (511 E. Ridge Rd.) is fun, thoughtful rock band Burning Snella, and their own Kasia Pelepko playing solo starting around 10 p.m. [source: band e-mail]

This afternoon at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is another Spring Musicale at 3 p.m. featuring Tony Caramia playing classical piano. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Today from noon to 5 p.m. is Free Admission Day at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

This afternoon at 2 p.m., Roberley Bell will speak at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) about her work in the current exhibition, The View From Here. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Today at 2 p.m. at Shipping Dock Theatre (31 Prince St., new location at Visual Studies Workshop) is the "pay-what-you-can" performance of Elizabeth Rex. [source: Shipping Dock Theatre mailing]

Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is hosting their weekly Open Mike Poetry tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Patriot's Day

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 8 p.m. in the Welles-Brown Room of The Rush Rhees Library in The University of Rochester (Library Rd. near Intercampus Dr., #1 on River Campus Map) poet Linda Bierds will be reading from her work as part of the Plutzik Reading Series. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

Tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. is Mohan Koparker Palmistry for Holistic Nite at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Updated: This evening at 8 p.m. at Christ Church of Rochester (141 East Ave.) soprano Heather Gardner will perform Marco Alunno's Four Japanese Songs Allan Schindler's Diaspora, Heather Gardner's Syrinx, Eric Bogle's And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, and Vera Ivanova's Un-Now. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Apparently there will be Argentine tango dancing at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight with Agustin Ramos from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Zabriskie Point starting at 8 p.m. Ah yes ... America at war with itself ... in 1970. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is moderately fast-paced chaos-rock from Hilkka, Ten-Ton, and Like Language [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Really good blues-charged rock-and-roll/groove-rock from Buford and the Smoking Section will be at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's pretty open ended. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Aparajito (The Unvanquished) starting at 8 p.m. A young man grows up and moves away from his family ... [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting 2 Live CrewMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [18+]

Tonight at Comix Café (3450 Winton Pl.) is Dan Liberto (of the The Comedy Company) with Danny Brown and T. L. Johnson at 8:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Not ready for mainstream Tonight from 8 to 10 is an Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) While once it was a workshop type of environment, it's now more-or-less a regular open mic ... by default it's still a place to try out new stuff. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

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Weekly Poll
April 14, 2005
What's key in art?
beauty 0

documenting ideas 1 (25%)

communicating ideas 0

technique 0

craftsmanship 0

emotion 1 (25%)

The creative desire of the artist 2 (50%)

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On this day ... April 14

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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com

About the title ... George Farquhar was born 327 years ago in 1678 and wrote the play The Beaux' Strategem which featured an innkeeper named Boniface which has since been adopted into the English language to be a generic term for an innkeeper.

This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, April 14, 2005 (Thu, Apr 14, 2005, 4/14/2005, or 4/14/05) Friday, April 15, 2005 (Fri, Apr 15, 2005, 4/15/2005, or 4/15/05) Saturday, April 16, 2005 (Sat, Apr 16, 2005, 4/16/2005, or 4/16/05) Sunday, April 17, 2005 (Sun, Apr 17, 2005, 4/17/2005, or 4/17/05) Monday, April 18, 2005 (Mon, Apr 18, 2005, 4/18/2005, or 4/18/05) Tuesday, April 19, 2005 (Tue, Apr 19, 2005, 4/19/2005, or 4/19/05) and Wednesday, April 20, 2005 (Wed, Apr 20, 2005, 4/20/2005, or 4/20/05).

JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

IUMA link links to a band's page on IUMA.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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