The Poetics of Workshop Workshop

By saxon

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The entrance to Workshop Workshop: Prepare to be creative!

The entrance to Workshop Workshop: Prepare to be creative!

Well, it has been a crushingly crazy week and I’m so far behind on my posts that I don’t know where to begin! I’m finally downloading the hundreds of photos and sorting through several pads of notes so I can fill you in with coherence, but I wanted to offer you this fun tidbit for week’s end as everything Design Miami/Art Basel Miami Beach folds up, packs up and shuts down (is it really over?). During the Design Miami/ vernissage, artist Alejandro Vigilante and I had the good fortune to hang with Kapila Chase, Marketing and Communications Director for Design Miami/, and Anna Williams, VP of Marketing forĀ Dacra, who was there with her adorable fiance Jay Weber. When Anna mentioned that Workshop Workshop was writing a poem for her, I thought it would be a fun way to illustrate how creative the atmosphere is when these twin fairs come to town.

Workshop Workshop, a salon and zine-making factory curated by Jim Drain and poet P. Scott Cunningham, was set up at Design Miami/ in a space that seemed haphazardly thrown together, though it was anything but. The rough-sawn exclosure was littered with the building blocks of art-making, shelves of chairs for the taking and light fixtures made of buckets used to carry construction materials. The statement the creators intended to make is that nothing is insignificant, and they pulled it off with down-home flair. They drew from the energy of the fair to create the surroundings that housed a rotating cast of local and international designers, artists, and writers during the five-day event. It was artist Graham Hudson who imagined and constructed the physical space from scraps leftover from Design Miami/’s buildout.

Anna Williams and former ABMB director Sam Keller.

Anna Williams and former ABMB director Sam Keller.

The drill was simple: walk up to Scott and tell him you wanted a poem. He asked for a theme or, at the very least, a few words upon which he’d build his creation. When Anna walked into the booth, carrying a glass of champagne, he commented on her hair. Voila! “Hair and Champagne” was the theme. Here’s the poem he typed on the spot:

The actual poem typed on the spot.

The actual poem typed on the spot.

Parting note: As soon as I get my act together, I’ll give you a meaty (and shall we say dishy) post with lots of serious design news in it! I’ll also be posting on DesignCommotion, Decorati and my Examiner pages so stay tuned! And if I might brag for a moment, my book signing for Four Florida Moderns went very well. We have had several nice reviews so far: click here and here. Ciao for now!

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