Repair Workshops

I organized these workshops at NURTUREart last month. See more photos at!

“Patch Happy” lead by Sewing Rebellion NYC

Fixing Session lead by Fixers Collective NYC

Social Sculpture lead by Kristyna & Marek Milde

Bike Repair Workshop lead by Eric Clausen of Drawing America By Bike

Extra Extra!

Two pieces of press this week for The Life Instinct:

Art As Instinct: In Conversation With Anne Percoco — An interview with Vanessa Saraceno

In her latest project Life Instinct, currently on view at Nurture Art, Anne Percoco created a makeshift shelter, combining creative resourcefulness with the playful improvisation of a child’s fort. This hut is made with materials — both synthetic and natural — Percoco found on the streets of New York. In this project, the hut and all of its joyful grace act as the visualization of a positive creativity that favors resourcefulness and self-sufficiency. Celebrating at the same time makeshift solutions with a survival instinct, this exhibition draws attention to a re-consideration of the values and functions for every object. In saving all these objects once categorized as refuse and bringing them to a new life, repairing becomes a creative act.”
Jersey City Artist Sees Jersey City From the Outside by Matt Hunger focuses on my relationship to Jersey City, and to my surroundings in general.
The Life Instinct, at Brooklyn’s NUTUREart gallery. The show, which opened in late April and will run until May 29th, is a solo exhibit of work that, in the words of the studio, celebrates “makeshift solutions, survival instincts, and the reuse of discarded material.”  This apt description, while applicable to the entirety of her show, resonates strongest with Percoco’s largest sculpture on display: a hut consisting of the empty frame of an old television set, venetian blinds as part of a roof, twigs and twine, ropes and styrofoam, and that can be entered and sat in. It is too pertinent not to refer back to Koolhaas when he writes, “the built… product of modernization is not modern architecture but Junkspace.”


This is the debris left from my installation of The Life Instinct. People kept mistaking it for a sculpture! So when Marco suggested I go with it, it made perfect sense. After its transition from non-art to art status, people kept mistaking the it for trash, and a few people tried to clean it up. Love that ambiguity.

It also reminds me of this passage by Rebecca Solnit, from her essay Dirt. She discusses a letter-to-the-editor in her local paper addressing a bronze sculpture:

The letter pointed out that the ratio of disturbed earth to extracted copper is 364 to 1 and that therefore, somewhere out of sight, a considerable pile of tailings exists in conjunction with the sculpture. I am fascinated by this way of looking; by the implication that the meaning of the visible sculpture should incorporate that unseen heap…”

It is really hard for me to mentally separate an art object, the process of its making, and its by-products.

Head nod to ILSSA’s recent show at Saint Mary’s College. They asked their members to save the waste products of their art practice for a whole year, and then displayed that material:

The Life Instinct

My solo show at NURTUREart opens in about two months. Here’s a little summary of what’s going to to happen:

The Life Instinct will celebrate, as Michel de Certeau has written, “opportunities that must be ‘seized on the wing’… maneuvres, polymorphic situations, joyful discoveries, poetic as well as warlike.“ Inspired equally by children’s couch forts as well as makeshift emergency shelters, Percoco will use scavenged materials and woven reeds to construct a small hut in the gallery. A projected slideshow documents her experiments with miniature huts constructed in a vacant lot and photographed in situ. Her zine, cataloging repaired objects, will investigate how value is lost and reclaimed and how repurposed objects can shift, sometimes humorously, from one role to another. Guest artists will lead a series of public skill-sharing workshops to promote resourcefulness and self-sufficiency.

And here’s another shelter: