VR Installation Presentations Day 1

The Forming Culture curators began a month of presentations today with talks on artists Charlie Gage, Betty Tureaud, Ali Goldflake, The Poubelle Twins, Aoi Yamaguchi, and Vanessa Bonet.

Session moderators Liz Juarez and Kaitlin Hodgdon help the curators of the Poubelle Twins installation prepare for their presentation.

Moderator Patrick Ho introduced the curators for Charlie Gage, Betty Tureaud, and Ali Goldflake:

Sal Galvan & Chris Grzelecki giving their talk on Charlie Gage's work in the CSULB University Theater.

Charlie Gage

by Chris Grzelecki & Sal Galvan
Catalog Essay

Charlie Gage is a filmmaker who works both on traditional Hollywood projects as well as more personal documentary projects. Most recently he created Inspired: The Voices Against Prop 8 an “accidental film” he made from shooting footage of events surrounding the controversial California Proposition.

Grzelecki & Galvan created a VR Installation Project featuring a movie theater screening Gage’s works and included a Camera Dispenser so individuals can also roam in the physical world or virtual world, record video, and add it to their YouTube playlist.

Lothar Leborski skates through the Charlie Gage theater carrying the video camera built by Chris Grzelecki.

Betty Tureaud

by Alec Daniels, Carlos Grimaldo & Mike McHenry
Catalog Essay

Betty Tureaud curators Alec Daniels, Carlos Grimaldo & Mike McHenry presenting on the campus of California State University, Long Beach.

When the curators asked Denmark’s great lover of color, video, and vibrant, immersive experiences why she created these works Tureaud told them that she doesn’t believe in an afterlife, and so you have to create your fantasy dream experiences here and now, so she uses virtual worlds to bring those mental images into existence.

The curators created a garden maze featuring videos of her work.

Jasmine Yarbrough, Erika Seanez & Miesha Jacobs presenting the work of Ali Goldflake

Ali Goldflake

by Jasmine Yarbrough, Erika Seanez & Miesha Jacobs
Catalog Essay

The curators created a 2-story installation on Goldflake’s work: the bottom floor a showcase of her often dark visions, and then on the 2nd floor, a much brighter amusement park.

The 2nd-story amusement park in the Ali Goldflake exhibition.


After the early-morning session and a coffee break, moderator Katilin Hodgdon introduced the midday panel featuring presentations on artists The Poubelle Twins, Aoi Yamaguchi, and Vanessa Bonet.

The Poubelle Twins

by Anthony Ghannam, Stephen Lopez & Jonathan Fuentes
Catalog Essay

Curators Anthony Ghannam, Stephen Lopez & Jonathan Fuentes presenting the work of Fifi & Bibi Poubelle.

The Poubelle Twins, Fifi & Bibi, began their careers in the world of performance burlesque as French Maids and later evolved into Mexican Luchadora Wrestlers. Wrestling for the past 10 years, the Poubelles have found the physical intensity and injuries to be be significant as they move into yet another phase of their work as typified by their recent Slapping Booth, where paying customers instead of receiving a kiss from the “lovely booth attendant receive a slap on the face.

Impressed with the twins’ power and courage, the curatorial team felt that the possibilities for them are endless, that they don’t seem to have a ceiling or limits.

Aoi Yamaguchi

by Alix Ogawa, Berenice Lopez & Tien Tran
Catalog Essay

Curators Ogawa, Lopez & Tran presenting the work of Aoi Yamaguchi in the mid-day session at the CSULB University Theater
Ogawa, Lopez & Tran's virtual realization of Yamaguchi's working and performing space.

Curators Ogawa, Lopez & Tran wanted to work on a performance artist and were excited to discover what a “Performance Calligrapher” was. In the USA with an “extraordinary ability” visa, Aoi Yamaguchi wants to be a liason between Japanese and American culture, combining aspects of both cultures with fashion, video, photography and live music.

3 work cycle performed in New York:
Trace of Nature – circle of life
Reunited with Nature – our journey at the end of life
Infinity with Nature – the process of life and reincarnation

Ogawa, Lopez & Tran took her Reunited With Nature project as the inspiration for a virtual installation. They created an interior space with tatami mats and garden elements which signify reuniting with nature. On the 2nd floor is a simulation of her working and performing environment. They created an open balcony where you can see the ground floor garden below.

Sign outside Vanessa Bonet virtual exhibition

Vanessa Bonet

by Tyler Erkelens, Timothy Driscoll & Maddie Champagne
Catalog Essay

Born in Pittsburgh, raised in Florida, college at Arizona State where a professor guided her away from her lifelong passion for art and to anthropology. About 10 years ago Vanessa Bonet moved to Los Angeles to once again pursue art. Her sculpture and installation projects explore what people find scary or shy away from. Prime example: her 10′ tall Clown Sculpture, “Sprinkles.”

Because so much of Bonet’s work involves fiber arts, Erkelens, Driscoll & Champagne created a giant spool of thread for their Vanessa Bonet space and installed a fashion runway inside where they exhibit her wearable art.

Moderator Kaitlin Hodgdon after a long day of presentations.

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