A new online art project launched today and I've had a lot of fun browsing around the online video exhibition. It's called Decameron Row and when you go to the site you'll see eight multi-story buildings, each with a bunch of windows in them. When you click on a window, it starts a 1 or 2-minute video from one of 100 artists in the series.
I was kindly invited to participate, and next week my video will be available.
For now, check out the first 27 videos.
The launch features contributions in music by the short form masters Ok Go; Chilean bard Nano Stern; songwriter David Poe; violinist Sumire Hirotsuru in Japan; the writer of the title song to the movie Harriet, Joshua Brian Campbell; and Nortec Collective in Tijuana, Mexico. Dance is represented by the inventive Pilobolus, Big Dance Theater, Ohad Naharin, and Mike Tyus. Theater and TV performers include Aasif Mandvi, Natalie Palamides, Geoff Sobelle, Sophie Bortolussi, and the inimitable Christeene. The site features writers from numerous genres including novelists Nicole Krauss, Claire Messud, Nell Freudenberger, Ben Schott, Etgar Keret, and PEN Open Book Award winner Nafissa Thompson-Spires; and poet Douglas Kearney. Visual artists include Boris Torres, Som Sutthirat Supaparinya, and Elinor Carrucci; filmmakers include Ira Sachs, Gabriela Amaral Almeida in Brazil, and Palme d'Or winning Apichatpong Weerasethakul in Thailand.
New videos will continue to launch one building each week throughout the summer until all 100 windows on Decameron Row are illuminated as a testament to this year. Come back each week to discover more surprises from artists in Africa, Asia, North and South America, Europe, and the MIddle East
Decameron Row is inspired by Boccaccio's Decameron, where a group of friends in 14th century Italy avert the loneliness of a 10-day quarantine from the Black Death by squatting in an abandoned villa outside of Florence and telling each other stories — 10 people, 10 days, 100 tales.
"This past year, and all it has produced, has made us acutely aware of our need for community as well. As a group of friends we realized early on that coming together on Zoom every day and looking in on each other's lives was critical to our survival," said Itamar Kubovy, one of Decameron Row's creators.
"One chilly night, this past spring, we sat digitally together, unable to picture when we could meet again, wondering how everyone is facing this unprecedented situation, in different ways, all over the world. We started imagining reaching out to our favorite artists around the globe, make sure they were okay, and asked them to send us a one-minute, very intimate, video postcard of their experience during this time" Juan Diaz Bohorquez, the site's designer, remembered. "Instead of 100 stories like the Decameron, we'd get 100 videos and put each video in a different window on a digital city street. When someone scrolls over any one of the lit up windows, the name of the contributor, their field, and their place of isolation will appear on the screen. Click on the window, and that person's one-minute video will play. We'd call it Decameron Row."