Final Event- screening of The Night Porter- introduced by Laura Wittman

The ap-ART-ment finished it's two week residency with a dark and complicated film from 1974, The Night Porter in which a young female survivor of the Holocaust becomes re-involved sexually and psychologically with a man who had been her Nazi captor and torturer in a concentration camp. Made by Liliani Cavani, an Italian female director in the 1970's, The Night Porter was introduced by Laura Wittman, professor Italian and French Language and Literature at Stanford University. As a group we spoke frankly after the film about the presence of a glorified Nazi presence in the film, the lack of a seemed free-will-to-act by any subject in the film, and the complicated development of Charlotte Rampling's character's youthful sexuality in terms wholly restricted by the context in which it occurred: the concentration camp in Nazi Germany.

We appreciated Wittman's introduction and her guidance after in unpacking what had been presented in the film.

Again, thanks to everyone who arrived at the ap-ART-ment to listen and interact with new artists and to rethink a domestic space with us.

Cathy and Laura


Breakfast with John DeFazio

To continue the theme of gluttony, Ruth Hodgins spent the day with us on Saturday blowing approximately 50 of the 90 eggs she brought with her. The egg yolks are the by-product of a sculptural collaboration with Kit Rosenberg. So, although several of us pitched in to help out, Ruth probably blew about 40 eggs herself! I'm surprised she didn't pass out but glad that she didn't.

With the first group of blown eggs we cooked breakfast for John DeFazio, a legendary teacher at the San Francisco Art Institute. John has been an influential presence to so many students and we wanted to thank him for his guidance, words of wisdom, and consistent encouragement. With mimosas in hand, we had a relaxing meal talking about all things art and life.

After a wonderful meal, Ruth was back to blowing eggs while Cathy and I worked in the other room. She then made cupcakes, olive bread, and sponge cake until people showed up for the viewing of The Night Porter. Before the film, we delved into Ruth's bounty so that we had plenty of fuel for the movie ahead.

Meet Your Maker, a one night perfomance by artist Elinor J. D. Diamond

Meet Your Maker an evening of gluttony and disgust was perfectly timed to arrange itself in the midst of this complicated domestic, i.e. private, salon. Diamond produced work as neatly arranged as socialite's gathering with a touch of Paul McCarthy's nausea. To produce what Diamond states frankly as a moment of gluttony in her audience, she creates scenarios or objects out of baking recipes perfectly honed for their taste and aroma while baking, and though beautiful to look at, one instantly recognizes the grotesque. In Meet Your Maker she especially toyed with volume and consumption, as opposed to many of her other pieces which have explored desire, anticipation, and expectation. Meet Your Maker required nascent-focused audience members to parse baby-name lists by popularity on websites, and create a list of names to give Diamond. From that list she chose to bake a fetus-shaped cookie, decorate to her choosing and then either eat it herself or pass it to the group for consumption. She created a set of rules, flowchart like in which audience members were to interact with her and the fetuses: there were rules about which cookies you had to eat, and how to go about asking for forgiveness if you wrongly named one of your offspring.

To presume that this performance was only social would miss the point. This piece was in addition political, requiring more than a nod to the status of our current lives: most people recognize the term 'fetus' existing in the limited capacity of an abortion debate. An entire evening of drinking whole milk and eating white flour and sugar additionally brought the discussion of American diet and from that a conversation about our food sources.

Video Night at ap-ART-ment

We watched amazing videos and had great discussions about them on Thursday night. At the end of the evening, we couldn't help but reflect on the amazing happenstance (or was it?) concerning the videos shown (especially concerning the common themes of identity and body). Sometimes things just work out beyond the expectations with which they were planned.

We sincerely appreciate the artists' contributions to the evening. Thank you Hannah Piper Burns, Nicole Crescenzi, Christina Corfield,Philip Benn, Peter Belkin, and Percy Cannon.

The videos shown were:

Hannah Piper Burns

the post(?) feminist dissonance project

9:56 min


the post(?) feminist dissonance project uses a quote by kathleen hanna as a prompt, a voicemail box as an interviewing device, found footage as a tool, and text as a character. it is a study in the cacophony of the inner life tuned against the perception of reality. i made this piece to see if i was alone, and i discovered that for better or for worse, i am not. this is above all about the process, not the resolution.

Christina Corfield

Hot Circuit

Approximately 5 minutes (made as a ten channel installation piece, for tonight’s screening the piece is edited as a single channel)

In a world not too dissimilar to our own, the worst things happen to the best robots...


Nicole Crescenzi


16mm short film (projected digitally)

Approximately 3 minutes


“The existing order’s uninterrupted monologue of itself” writes its unilateral message upon us— a sharp tongue of ideology lacerating our bodies, both corporeally and psychologically. Thus, now more than ever, we must reposition ourselves to understand this call and to make utterances in turn.

Recruiting the dissonant energies of stop-motion animation with hand-painted, marked, and processed 16 mm film, Crescenzi is an attempt to not only shed light upon those representational systems into which we become speaking subjects in a symbolic order, but to also underscore the precarious nature of such (de/en)coding.

Philip Benn, Peter Belkin, Percy Cannon

Warfield Shadows

Video Documentation by Hava Liberman


Roundtable with Margaret Tedesco and Susan Miller

We want to thank Susan Miller and Margaret Tedesco for leading such an interesting and lively discussion on Wednesday evening. A thank you should also go to all of the participants in the evenings discussions. We received a lot of food for
thought concerning ap-ART-ment... public vs. private, DIY projects, the archive as a way to extend this project to
other people who were unable to attend, and the idea of community and politics surrounding art (extending from practices in San Francisco in the 1970s to today).


thanks to all those who participated-hugs

thanks to all those who participated-hugs

thanks to all those who participated-hugs

Thanks Pat...

Shout out to Pat Augsberger, who at this moment is on her way to Kenya to start her thesis research on the conga. Watch for her blog on this project, go to her website here.

She came to ap-ART-ment and baked us challah bread one day, and sewed some booties that Claire Jackel wore at the roundtable with Margaret Tedesco and Susan Miller. Thanks again Pat. ap-ART-ment loves Pat.


Tonight July 25th, Saturday, 7-9pm, The Night Porter...

Tonight's film, The Night Porter, will be lightly introduced by Laura Wittman, Professor of Italian and French Language and Literature.

Saturday, July 25th, 11-1, Breakfast with John Defazio, by Ruth Hodgins

Ruth will be blowing eggs, and we'll be eating them. Everything egg will be available as 90 eggs need to be emptied. There will be french toast, bread pudding, egg creams, and heart-shaped omelets. Ok, no egg creams. RSVP quick and join us for this limited seating breakfast with your favorite professor at SFAI, artist John Defazio.


Tonight, July 24th, Friday, 7-9 Meet Your Maker with Elinor J.D. Diamond

Artist Elinor J.D. Diamond's one night performance, Meet Your Maker, a night of fetal cookie debauchery, where the artist bakes and decorates to her liking, a cookie named by each participant. Come with original names or be prepared to file a lawsuit for your stolen embryonic baked dough.

Sieve the sheer bulk of baby names on either of the two online work stations provided, or come with your own maternal or paternal naming instincts. Come hungry, eat a lot of cookies, leave sick.

Retained Bakery Lawyers on site.

You know you need...



We have listened to episode after episode while working on ap-ART-ment. You may never know Zeffrey, but you were a part of this project.

go here to listen with us.

To a request from ap-ART-ment, Nicole responds to describe Advice Hotline...

Advice Hotline
Advice Hotline is a site-specific performance piece inspired by the interior architecture of my own apartment. A seat pulls down near an alcove designated for landline conversations, a charming albeit obsolete element in my San Francisco home. I have a home phoneline mostly for the nostalgic aesthetic, its only purpose to ring in visitors. Advice Hotline allows me the space to exist in the nostagic, in a sense of time travel. Along with specifics of architecture, conversation is an aspect of our culture to be nostalgic for. Contemporary forms of telecommunication create a significant and isolating distance. I am interested in "the art of conversation," the subtle changes in voice and tone, what it means to listen to someone's story in their own words. This past Friday saw the first realization of Advice Hotline, I received calls from Portland OR, NYC, Boston MA, Berlin Germany, as well as the historic Dogpatch district of San Francisco to name a few. Participants called with all sorts of questions and issues ranging from: the everday, job advice, to specific artistic critiques of work.
-Nicole Lattuca


Advice Hotline

Advice Hotline
by Nicole Lattuca
Fridays, July 17th and 24th from 1-5pm

Ap-ART-ment is pleased to announce Advice Hotline by Nicole Lattuca, on Fridays throughout this residency.

Call 415-931-2498. Ask questions, get answers. Let Nicole solve your problems.


Long Distance Dinner Party

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our long distance dinner party with Dori Latman last night and for the viewing of her installation Love Portraits in ap-ART-ment. Through Dori's cooking and baking instruction, awkward time lapse exchanges via Skype, Dori's Skype image projected on the wall in the kitchen like big brother or in this case big sister watching over our actions, the evening was filled with food and food for thought.

Dori's Love Portraits speak to the complexities of relationships especially as they are carried out at a distance. The dinner collaboration between Cathy, me, and Dori, and the participation of our guests, inherently referenced the many issues Dori speaks about in her statement for Love Portraits. A portion of that statement reads

"Portraits, particularly when displayed in one’s own home, function to capture moments in time and memory. Portraits of couples in love are especially nostalgic, frozen moments that imply the simple joy of being in the company of another person. When relationships are complicated by divorce, death, or distance, the portrait becomes much more valuable, serving to fill a void, sustain a hope, or keep a personal narrative alive...Love Portraits is also part of a process in dealing with distance and the complexities of love."

The complexities of distance and of relationships whether newly forged or intimately lived came together last night with the sustenance of what Dori conceived of as a meal of comfort.


Tonight, July 15th, Wednesday

We are collaborating on a meal with Dori Latman this evening at 7pm at ap-ART-ment. She has given us ingredients and will join us from the East Coast via Skype to direct our cooking/baking. If you are interested in joining us for a long distance dinner party, please RSVP to apartmentrsvp@gmail.com. Space is limited.

In conjunction with this meal, Dori will be showing her "Love Portraits" at the ap-ART-ment.
Project Description: Love Portraits, a series of drawings of my own romantic narratives, are offered to apARTmentto reciprocate on the generosity of inviting someone in to the intimate space of the home. Love Portraits is also part of a process in dealing with distance and the complexities of love.


We had a wonderful evening on Monday- people making new friends or getting to know each other better. We projected the exquisite movie Orlando onto the wall, ate popcorn, and drank champagne. A great start to what will hopefully be a continually morphing two week residency.

We look forward to tonight's project with Dori Latman.


Answering and Asking

As the other collaborator in this project I check this blog religiously, more often than I pet my cats these days. I've reread each entry that I've made (quickly noting my errors), and the ones Laura has posted and I thought it was time for me to respond to the question Laura posed one day, "Why we are doing this project?"

Though the project description is right there for anyone to read, it doesn't really explain our motivations. Originally I wanted to make work in an empty domestic space. I have drawings of ideas for pieces and works that look just so. A drawing for a bed: you never have to make it! I had been making work in my living space for 3 and a half years and the idea of an empty domestic space seemed like a dream. Albeit a rather average dream, it's not like I dreamed of working in a 5000 sq. ft. loft in midtown Manhattan.

The project of making art among your life's belongings has been written about a lot: see any writing about Kiki Smith and you'll read something more prophetic than I can attempt. What I can say is that to make work in an un-blank place is tricky and convoluted, but no more so than it is to just make art in your studio. Neither is more right, or more wrong, but as an antidote to the constant studio time commensurate with an MFA we wanted to alter our path. We wanted to make work for 2 hours then fold someone's laundry. We wanted to watch our friends neighbor's smoke illegally on her fire escape while we were trying to decipher critical theory.

We have both been long fascinated with the major themes of domesticity, feminism, and modernism and many other ism's(!). Our approach to work is decidedly opposite: I am sloppy and fast and regularly don't remember the title that I passionately gave a piece even two days ago. Laura is skilled and patient and gifted and, yes, slow but tends to actually know how to use tools. We thought these opposites should lean on each other for a while.

I hope all manner of mess and work and writing can come from this ap-ART-ment. I hope many friends and colleagues and lucky strangers happen upon us in these next two weeks as we make our first go round. Our plan is to look back in order to actually answer the question of why we are doing this and many other questions: Why not make this domestic art in our own apartments? Why should we choose someone's apartment we know, but not someone we know well? Why does Nicole Lattuca trust us with all of her worldly belongings, keepsakes? What is there to investigate in her home? How can this process teach us to look critically at things so personal?

Ben Hur

ap-ART-ment is taking place in the Ben Hur Apartments building in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. According to the website for the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District (All or part of 33 blocks roughly bounded by Market, McAllister, Golden Gate, Larkin, Geary, Taylor, Ellis Sts.- listed as an historic district in February of 2009), the Ben Hur Apartments were built in 1926. The apartment building was built with 69 2-room units. The owner and builder was Louis Johnson. As for the building specs: 7B stories; steel frame and reinforced concrete structure; stucco facade, chariots on spandrel panels, 5-and 6-story bay windows, cornice; 2-part vertical composition; Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation; vestibule: arched entry surround with decorative panels, marble floor, decorative side and ceiling moldings; lobby: decorative column order with beamed ceiling; alterations: none.

As stated above, what makes this building very unique are the chariot panels marking its facade. The building was built the year after the release of the 1925 silent film version of Ben-Hur, the third highest grossing silent film of all time. With its over the top sets (exoticism anyone)and mesmerizing chariot scene (disturbingly, I don't know how many horses were injured or killed during the filming because it is quite a messy scene), I can only imagine that Ben-Hur was on the minds and lips of many people in 1925 and 1926. The fact that a year after the movie's release a building was named in its honor, is testament to the film's influence at the time.


Domestic vs Avant-garde

Read the book:

Not At Home: The Suppression of Domesticity in Modern Art and Architecture
edited and introduced by Christopher Reed


Reason for Being

Cathy and I were talking about possible collaborations this past year and when she mentioned the idea of renting an apartment space in which to make art responding to the space, I was on board. Within the past year or so, I have been thinking a lot about the divisions between public and private space as well as the permeability and intersections of these divisions. Cathy and I started looking for an apartment or a room in an apartment at the beginning of this summer. While searching we found Nicole Lattuca’s Facebook posting about subletting her apartment for the summer. This is when our conversations with Nicole began.

Cathy and I both knew Nicole but not very well, so we thought this might be the perfect place to begin. We set up a meeting and from the get-go, Nicole was on board for us invading and responding to her space. Nicole has since been extremely open and willing to give us access beyond our expectations.

Nicole’s space is very personal and yet edited to what she finds most important. A hand embroidered hankie sits just so on the top of a side table, a few hand made items are placed on the wall, and family photos and books line her book shelf. We all know the feeling of seeing someone’s home and feeling like you know them just a little bit better. The way any space but especially a personal space informs a person (a body) and in turn the way that person (body) informs its space offers endless fodder for creative thought. This idea of dwelling and of personal imprint will most definitely influence the way we work in the space.

In addition to our personal response to the space, Cathy and I are very excited about extending our collaboration to other artists, curators, and thinkers within the community. Through film and video screenings, food/art projects, and roundtable discussions, we hope to foster intense dialogue and community within this private home and ultimately spark a nexus of ideas.


Link to Frank Prattle interview

Cut and Paste this web address to your browser window. Great radio broadcast with Jocelyn Saidenberg and Margaret Tedesco.




"In 1973, with Eleanor Coppola, she created one of the first-ever installations outside a gallery setting, The Dante Hotel, for which each artist rented a hotel room which they furnished with a miscellany of objects. The objects in Hershman's room evoked traces left by previous occupants and by visitors, who could re-create fragments of fictional lives. Here Hershman was interested in the multiple strata of life contained by a place or site in a given socioeconomic environment. From then on, her work was characterized by such elements as the use of masks and personae to explore "identity, reality and truth." (1) As early as 1972, a work titled Self-Portrait as Another Person revealed her interests in masquerade and in the persona, so central to her work."

from this site http://www.fondation-langlois.org/html/e/page.php?NumPage=168

The undeniable influence of Lynn Hershman's Dante Hotel on the ap-ART-ment. Go to the link above to read synopses of Hershman's other work also.