Over two days, Niegel and Todd led participants on The Last Walk. This walk was given seven times and featured re-performed prompts by past Elastic City walk artists.
Each of the seven walks included a cameo by an artist who presented their original prompt.
Caretaker: Carla Kasumi.
Ideally, we’ll walk on water.
Ideally, this walk will reverse climate change.
Ideally, we’ll pass a bill and make it law.
Ideally, they will be accepting.
Ideally, I’ll fall in love with someone on this walk.
Ideally, you’ll cook for me.
Ideally, I’ll take the roller coaster ride of my life.
For admission to this walk, participants are asked to complete this phrase, “Ideally…” Ideally, this walk will exceed your expectations.
Caretaker: Carla Kasumi. Video: Danya Abt.
The beauty, class mix and historical depth of the West Village once inspired and produced political and artistic ideas for the world. Now it is defined by excess, simulacra and homogenization. Favorites by Sarah Schulman, Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith will engage participants in the generational class-clash in the West Village, uncovering, contrasting and performing its past and present. The walk will be enhanced by the memories and current realities of queer tenants, who will reveal their favorite places that are gone and their favorite places that remain.
Storytellers: Jim Fouratt, Mark McPherson and Sur Rodney (Sur)
Do you want in? We just might have something that you want.
As a Fraternity brother, as a casting director, as a member of Christian churches and exclusively gay organizations, as an enfranchised citizen of the US, as a part of any exclusive group, artist Niegel Smith has had many opportunities to consider the ways in which social, political and religious organizations both support and impede a broad and inclusive view of self and others.
On HAZE, he invites participants to join in poetic rituals (songs, gestures, oaths and drinks) some old, some brand new, in an attempt to form, gain access to and critique exclusive communities. We will open our borders to some, close them off to others. But will we survive if we do? Will we thrive if we do? Let’s walk and see.
In fashion, there’s armor. Through devices, we locate, shield and shoot. If we toss this stuff, how will we re-find ourselves and each other? Well, let’s start from scratch. And sniff.
Join Todd Shalom & Niegel Smith for a mostly indoor participatory walk. A rite that roots and wrests the canvas of self. Yeah, we’re going there. And we’ll be getting naked. And we know that’s cliché. And that our “we” is different than yours. Oh lord. Come with. Undress. Together. And check yourself.
This walk holds 12 people and is commissioned by The Prelude Festival. All advance tickets are now sold out but there will be tickets available on-site in the lobby once the festival begins.
Asking walk participants to completely disrobe is extremely vulnerable for everyone, us included. Though we are aware that this choice might deter some from attending, our intention is to revel in that vulnerability in order to better investigate our relationships to our bodies and each other. We hope you’ll join us!
Special thanks to Selfies creative consultant, Ryan Tracy.
Butter. Jam. Legs. Rumors. What do you want to spread? On this walk, participants will investigate the language and actions of spreading. We will spread ourselves like a virus, disseminating secrets and offering our desires to each other and passersby. All are welcome. Spread the word.
Dance artist Michelle Boulé and theater director Niegel Smith invite you to unravel the codes of museum engagement as we feel the “NYC 1993” exhibition on a walk through the New Museum. Participants will respond by warming up their senses, stretching their tastes, and singing the chords in surrounding work as we move through the gallery space. We’ll pair up, go it alone, and even gang up a bit. You won’t get caught—smartphones haven’t been invented yet.
It’s Intermission. Stretch your legs, take a piss and walk through one last time. Niegel Smith will lead you through PS122’s historic theaters on this participatory walk. Dig in, dress up and tag that wall before it falls–the house lights are blinking.
“Intermission” holds 12 people and is a commission from Performance Space 122.
As a young gay in a Catholic all-boy’s high school, I was often reminded of my outsider’s perspective. But, when communion, a sacrament in which only practicing Catholics (and I have never been one) are supposed to participate, was celebrated at an all school mass, I just couldn’t help myself. I had to join in. Breaking bread. Sharing wine. And muttering Latin phrases. It was the best kind of community performance – an opportunity to transcend our individuality and draw closer through shared experience. So now I invite you to leave the rigid confines of organized religion and join me for an intimate walk outside. I’ll lead you in a heightened sensory experience as we share new texts, create ritual gestures and mold the outside into our sanctuary. But, don’t forget to say your prayers, things might get rough when we try to get a little bit closer.
This walk is what you need it to be. We’re all in this together. Since you will determine the duration, please plan accordingly.
Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith of Elastic City take the whole family backstage to play paintings, swirl sounds, and ascend to stardom.
“Artists Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith conduct small groups of people around the grounds of the Abrons Art Center, training everyone’s attention, with a gentle and inviting playfulness, on the smallest and most quotidian details imaginable — with low-key but delighting results.” San Francisco Bay Guardian 1/17/12
Starting at the famous fountain in City Hall Park, participants will walk, dance and commune with the architecture of our public buildings and monuments. Through a focused physical and vocal relationship we will extend the range of the objects which commemorate our society and our humanity– giving them greater sonic fields and wider physical footprints. And, using our own experiences and the existing monuments as inspiration, we will make new monuments to share with all who pass by.
My teenage years were spent in Detroit. A city in continual decline. One that refuses to lose itself to those who fetishize its ruins. It’s been 10 years since my return. I do it carefully. Can I speak for this place where I no longer live? Yes. And I’m taking you with me.
“[Detroit] belongs to those who have memories of it, and make memories in it.” -Liz, a Detroit resident, New York Times, Aug. 4, 2010.
I invite you to walk with me in Detroit. We’ll start in New York and hop on a plane to the Motor City. I’ve got some shit to work out–you too? Pack your baggage. We’ll come back with less. For 3 days and 2 nights, we’ll sculpt, listen, light and sing. We’ll give ourselves to decay and possibility through techniques derived from cultural anthropology, performance art and experimental theater. We will make monuments with our bodies in response to public spaces; project words on to abandoned buildings to give them voices; volunteer at an urban farm to feed the hungry; and cleanse one another with the help of Tanaka Min ritualistic practices.
Participants will walk, dance and commune with the architecture of our public buildings and monuments. Through a focused physical and vocal relationship we will extend the range of the objects which commemorate our society and our humanity– giving them greater sonic fields and wider physical footprints. And, using our own experiences and the existing monuments as inspiration, we will make new monuments to share with all who pass by. An ideal walk for people of all ages.
Beginning near the steps of City Hall, you are invited to embark on a walking game of “Follow the Leader” in the neighborhood saturated with the offices of local, state and national politicians. We’ll play on the steps, stretch out in metal detectors and throw our voices – all in an effort to remind our leaders that we will not be lead silently or blindly. Together, we’ll confront contemporary notions of security and surveillance and shadow the daily business of our elected leaders through public buildings and back rooms.