Fred’s Rainbow Bar and Other Stages On the International Border

Thrilled to announce selections from ‘Fred’s Rainbow Bar and Other Stages on the International Border’ ( @fredsrainbow ) debuted at the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival at New Mexico State University on April 16.

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Fred’s Rainbow Bar and Other Stages on the International Border (working title) is an in-progress topographical film essay and archive using a variety of animation styles along with live-action and archival imagery to interrogate histories, memories, and imaginings of the border landscapes of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, the region where I grew up. The film is mostly set in the early 9o’s or the era before NAFTA and before the erection of the Border Security Fence with flashbacks to the Battle of Juárez and flashes forwards to contemporary events, like the razing of the ASARCO smelter. The International Border (or the river with two names) remains the main-frame through which events unfold. More information about the project and clips coming soon. For specific questions contact me here: nicole.antebi(at)gmail.com Visual Notes

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This film was made possible in part from a generous grant from the Jerome Foundation. If you would like to support this project, please consider making a tax-deductible donation through Brooklyn Arts Council (acting fiscal project through 2018). All amounts welcome and thank you in advance for your support! -Nicole

Dead Horse Bay: The Glass Graveyard of Brooklyn

“The Beach That Speaks” An Excerpt from Brian Thill’s Waste; Animated by Nicole Antebi

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Produced for “Dead Horse Bay: The Glass Graveyard of Brooklyn” curated by Allison C. Meier

February 1st – April 1st, 2017

Curated by Allison C. Meier

Opening reception: Wednesday, February 1st from 6-9pm.

On view: February 1- April 1, 2017

Exhbiting artists include: Nicole Antebi, Gerard Barbot, Alex Branch, Yael Eban, David Horvitz, Nathan Kensinger, Jackie Mock, Rose Nestler, Rachel Owens, Amanda Patenaude, Anna Riley, Mark Splatter, and Brett Swenson

It is easy to forget Dead Horse Bay exists. Cradled by a slender curve of shore on the southern edge of Brooklyn, between Marine Park and Jamaica Bay, it feels sequestered from the rest of New York City. Except every aspect of Dead Horse Bay is embedded with the city’s history, from its topography shaped by Robert Moses, to its name referencing the horse rendering plants that were among many unsavory businesses that disrupted its ecology in the 19th century. And then there’s the trash strewn on its beach, where everything not decomposed since the landfill beneath was closed in the 1930s is slowly revealed by the waves.

When walking along the shore of Dead Horse Bay, you soon hear the clinking sound of glass bottles as the Atlantic Ocean laps against the sand. On the beach, there is glass of every variety, from amber bleach jugs to delicate and clear perfume bottles, to green soda bottles, and blue medical bottles. Nowhere else in the city, perhaps, is the connection of glass to our daily lives so evident, as in this detritus of lives lived decades ago.

Dead Horse Bay is essential to explore now, as it is a site of disparate tensions. There are the plants and animals attempting to live alongside the visible pollution, and the consideration of greater planetary concerns with climate change threatening rising currents, which could submerge this strange place. And there’s the conflict between artists who use this as a resource and site of inspiration, and those who see it as protected as any federally-controlled park, even if it’s toxic litter. Finally, it’s the idea that in a city so dense, so developed, that there are these overlooked locations that remain, that are unpleasant and ignored, yet can tell us so much about our history and our individual impact on the world. Now our trash is mostly whisked away from the city, seemingly vanishing; here is evidence that it does not go away.

As an exhibition theme, Dead Horse Bay offers a chance to examine reuse of glass, the history of glassware in consumer goods, and how the sonic and tactile experience with glass at the place, in all its luminous colors, can be an unexpected muse.

About the curator: Allison C. Meier is a Brooklyn-based writer focusing on the arts and overlooked history. Currently, she is staff writer at Hyperallergic, and moonlights as a cemetery tour guide at New York burial grounds. She’s also worked as the senior editor at Atlas Obscura and has published stories for the New York Times, Art DeskARTNewsNarrative.lyBrooklyn Based, the Oklahoma Gazette, Oklahoma Today MagazineBust, and others.

Image credit: Triple Canopy and Phoebe d’Heurle

Waste by Brian Thill 2015 Bloomsbury Object Lessons 

“Riparianism” recently premiered at Underwater New York’s 5th anniversary in DUMBO (2014)

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Prior to the “Doctrine of Appropriation,” what would later become known as the “Colorado Compact” was the accepted belief in “Riparianism” or the idea that nature should be left free to do what it does. This short non-fiction animation is a stab, a nod, a gesture toward reviving the term in the context of ecstatic real estate development persistently cropping up around Brooklyn’s historically toxic waterways specifically the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek. The film re-imagines a national anthem around the “most” polluted waterways in this country, amplifying the voices of friends into an animated conversation around this term.

Originally produced for Underwater New York’s fifth year anniversary Gala at DUMBO SKY in DUMBO, NY http://underwaternewyork.com/archive/2014/10/14/riparianism-by-nicole-antebi

Official selection at The Americas Film Festival of New York: http://www.taffny.com/#!shorts-animation-2015/cfg9

The Shack screening at the 94th meeting of the New York Comic and Picture Story Symposium (2014)

Orion Martin at The Rumpus wrote a nice little summary of my talk with graphic novelist, Miki Golod at Columbia University’s Butler Library:

THE NEW YORK COMICS AND PICTURE-STORY SYMPOSIUM: NICOLE ANTEBI AND MIKI GOLOD

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August 19th, 2014

The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work. Open to the public, it meets Monday nights 7-9 p.m. EST in New York City. Presentations vary weekly and include everything from historical topics and technical demonstrations to creators presenting their work. Check out upcoming meetings here.

On August 11th, the ninety-fourth meeting of the Comics and Picture Story Symposium was held at Columbia University’s Butler Library. Nicole Antebi and Miki Golod presented about their recent work.

Nicole Antebi: Why Animation?

Antebi has worked with animation on a number of projects that combine historical description and fantasy to address contemporary issues. She began her talk by describing her introduction into the world of animation. Growing up, she was discouraged from watching Disney films. As a result, she had little exposure to animation until later in life and came to see the possibilities in the medium from a different angle.

In 2009, Antebi made the short animated film, Uisce Beatha. The film begins with the story of William Mulholland, the man who oversaw the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, but expands into an exploration of the relationships between whiskey, water, and Uisce, the fantastical trickster of Irish mythology who is constantly seeking water.

Antebi spoke about the possibility for magical thinking to highlight new connections and meanings in historical research, saying, “I settled on the idea that all representation is largely a form of fiction or at the very least, mediated by fiction.” She argued that animation has a unique relationship to representation because the hand of the creator has been visible from the beginning of Cinema. In classes she’s taught on animation, she would ask her students, “Why animation?” For her, the answer is in its unique ability to represent the intangible.

In a recent work, The Shack, Antebi used The Winter Shack, a collaboration with artist Alex Branch, as a launching point for a discussion of improvised housing in New York. The film weaves together hand-drawn animation, photography, and digital animation.

Antebi’s work can be found online at www.nicoleantebi.com

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Miki Golod: Full Body Scan

Miki Golod is an Israeli cartoonist who has lived in Brooklyn for the past several years. He presented about his work in Israel and about Full Body Scan, his final project at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

Golod said he was hoping to focus on three issues with Full Body Scan: his move to Brooklyn, his sexuality, and his memories from the years he spent in the Israeli army as a field medic. Although he had completed autobiographical works before, these were issues that he had been avoiding.

Full Body Scan begins on a snowy night in Brooklyn, as Golod’s date begins to ask him questions about his time in the military. Using the conversation to give context to his memories, Golod addresses some of the questions he is asked most often about his service. Ranging from mundane to terrifying, his stories depict the reality of military life.

When he began the work, Golod wanted to make a comic that avoided the stereotypes he had seen in LGBT comics (namely, the focus on sex) and in Israeli war stories (the troubled soldier, trying to remember what happened). The comic also addresses some of the culture shock he felt when encountering American ideas of war in films such as Act of Valor.

When asked about which parts of the comic are drawn from memory and which are fictional, Golod said that the date which provides the frame for the story is fictitious, even though it is drawn from many true stories. As for the war stories, Golod said, “I drew it the way I remember it, but I can’t be 100% sure.”

You can find Miki Golod’s work at golod.prosite.com

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About the author: Orion Martin is a comics writer and critic whose work focuses on the intersection between science fiction and social commentary. You can find his work atorionnotes.com/art or r-o-martin.tumblr.com.


The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work. Open to the public, it meets Tuesday nights 7-9pm EST in New York City. Presentations vary weekly and include everything from historical topics and technical demonstrations to creators presenting their work. Check out upcoming meetings here. More from this author →