Press Release

                                 

PBS LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE INTERACTIVE ART SERIES 
“OFF BOOK"

PBSArts.org original series premieres July 20, showcasing innovative artists working in experimental media

ARLINGTON, Va.; July 18, 2011 – PBS announced today the premiere of “Off Book,” a new web series focused on experimental and non-traditional art forms on PBSArts.org that begins July 20.   This 13-part, bi-weekly series explores the ever-changing definition of art in the hands of the next generation of artists taking creative reigns and melding art with new media.

“Off Book” and the PBSArts.org site is part of PBS’s commitment to invite Americans to experience and engage in the diverse world of the arts.   “Off Book” will be joined in that effort this October by the PBS Arts Fall Festival – a broadcast and online event anchored by nine films that highlight artists and performances from around the country and explore the worlds of music, theater, dance, opera, and cultural history.

Produced by New York-based production company Kornhaber Brown, ”Off Book” trains a lens on the lives of various artists working in interactive art, online collective art, fashion design, typography, indie music, videogame art, and more.  In three-to-five-minute video snapshots of creators who ride the cutting edge, viewers can explore the process, motivation, meaning, and relevance behind their work.

Just as actors reach a point at which they’re confident enough to go ‘off-book’ and leave their scripts behind, the visual and performing artists featured in this series are taking the next steps with their talents and training, forging new artistic paths.   “Off Book” will offer interactive experiences for each of its 13 online episodes, encouraging further viewer participation and providing additional artistic inspiration.

The first two episodes are:

Premiering July 20
Light Painting Photography
—Harkening back to founders of modern photography like Man Ray, today’s light painters push digital imagery to its limits. The piece features modern artists Aurora Crowley and Patrick Rochon as they create new images, on the city streets and inside photography studios.

Premiering August 3
The World of Typography
—The diversity of typographic expression comes to life through conversations with iconic graphic designer Paula Scher, font designers Tobias Frere-Jones and Jonathan Hoefler, the experimental young designer Eddie Opara, and cutting-edge info-graphic creators Deroy Peraza and Julia Vakser.

Future episodes of “Off Book” follow bi-weekly on PBSArts.org.  They will include:

Collective Imagery and Meme Culture—Influential leaders behind the Internet’s most active communities come together with observers of Web culture to explore the power of “memes” – creative elements passed virally from person to person.

Steampunk Art—In this episode, the Steampunk aesthetic is described and expressed by those who forged its incredible popularity.  Fashion designers, artists, and craftspeople discuss the alternate world inspired by gothic, industrial and Victorian styles that early on captivated a huge Internet fan base and more recently found mainstream acceptance.

Arts and Craft Culture Online—The Internet has enabled access to local artisans working around world, sparking a renaissance in homemade crafts.  The Etsy headquarters in Brooklyn opens its doors while successful folk artists demonstrate how they make simple and alluring pieces.

Video Game Art—A commercial game-design studio creates rich aesthetic universes and compelling interactive storytelling, while independent designers offer games also intended to function as artistic experiences.

The Fashion of Artists—Three young New York artists from varying disciplines explain how their fashion choices express something important about themselves and their work.

Generative Art—Leaders in a new field blur the boundaries between computer programming and art-making, describing the importance of both the visual aesthetic and the choices made.

Papercraft—Reaching new levels of complexity and expression, renowned papercraft sculptors discuss the process by which they create their meticulous and beautiful work.

Interactive Art with Zachary Lieberman—One of the most innovative thinkers in art and technology today, this groundbreaking artist shares his creative philosophy and discusses how he engages people in his work.  The video features some of his most interesting pieces in action.

21st Century Aerial Dance—Combining circus aerialism with traditional and modern movement forms, aerial dance groups weave storytelling and theater into their performances.  Hear from choreographers, see rehearsals, and learn the fundamental concepts that create an engrossing visual landscape.

F.A.T. Lab—Members of the Free Art and Technology Lab – a global creative partnership behind some of the 21st Century’s most interesting fusions of technology, political action, and art – explain how their work fits into a contemporary, digital-age understanding of art.

Experimental Music—The world of experimental independent music as it is viewed by several groups with contrasting styles, including a discussion of their songwriting processes, instrumentation, and unique sonic landscapes.

About PBS Arts Festival
As part of its commitment to increase every American’s access to and participation in the arts, PBS kicks off the multi-platform PBS Arts Fall Festival October 14th.  Anchored by Friday night broadcasts, the Fall Festival features artists and performances from nine communities across the country, and celebrity hosts from each locale. With full-length performances, local mini-documentaries of arts scenes around the country, backstage access through interviews, artist and performer profiles, online immersive exhibits, and classroom resources, the PBS Arts Fall Festival entertains and inspires consumers by offering a front-row seat to the creativity, culture, history and scope of the arts. Funding for the launch of PBS Arts Fall Festival has been provided by Anne Ray Charitable Trust, public television viewers, and PBS.

About PBS 
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches 124 million people through television and 20 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

– PBS –

For additional information about these programs, as well as photos, interviews and more, contact Goodman Media or PBS:

John Michael Kennedy / Jennifer Brod
Goodman Media International
212-576-2700
PBSArts-PR@goodmanmedia.com

Stephanie Aaronson
PBS
703-739-5074
saaronson@pbs.org

For full episode descriptions, images, videos and additional up-to-date information on these and other PBS programs, visit PBS PressRoom at pbs.org/pressroom.

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