There’s a time and a space for everything. At least, that’s the idea behind art-and-music collective Space Time, which held its first of many events at Barrio Logan’s Bread & Salt in July of 2016. The group traces its origins back to Sam Lopez’s experimental Stay Strange events, where San Diego native Nick Lesley and New Yorker Alexis Negron — both Chelsea art-world professionals recently relocated from Brooklyn — got to know musician Scott Nielsen and projectionist/videographer Xavier Vasquez. Lesley joined their droney krautrock band, Die Mißbildungen Des Menschen, and they joined Space Time.
1955 Julian Avenue, Logan Heights
Another of Lesley’s musical collaborators, Jason Begin (Octagrape, the Donkeys, Vytear), would later become the fifth dimension of Space Time. Nowadays, the Space Time collective curates “time-based” interdisciplinary art (that is, interactive, generative, and game art rather than gallery-wall fixtures), music, film, and performance art events with an eye on expanding San Diego’s creative scene beyond the county’s (albeit vast) borders. Currently working as production manager at San Diego Art Institute, Lesley takes us on a trip through Space Time.
CD: How did the Space Time team assemble?
NL: When we arrived in San Diego, I jumped into the experimental music scene and met a lot of people through Sam Lopez’s Stay Strange shows [including Nielsen and Vasquez]. Xavier documents the music scene in SD and does projections at shows all over town. Scott is a brilliant musician and sound engineer. We’ve all worked together to run events and to perform. Also, about a year ago, I was working on music with Jason Begin, and he would talk about his dream of teaching electronic music. He spurred a lot of ideas for future development of Space Time.... Rather than a curatorial project, we want to think of Space Time as an artist collective. We’re all very active artists and performers, so we want to represent our work, our interests, and our taste.
CD: Do you see San Diego as insular when it comes to arts and music?
NL: Many arts organizations in San Diego are proud to support local artists, which is great! But a lot of artists here say that — although they show their work consistently, all over San Diego — it hasn’t particularly helped their careers. There’s an unintended downside: that San Diego may be inadvertently isolating the scene here from the rest of the world. Of course, it’s great to support the local artists, but better still to help connect them to the global art world. This has formed the model for Space Time: to try to group local artists with people from out of town, and all at varying points in their careers. We want the major art mags to talk about what is happening here, and that requires bringing people in from the outside, rather than just telling local artists to go show in L.A. and NY.
Also, there is a lot of media work by well-known artists that we’d like to see presented in San Diego. We hope to have regular screenings of experimental and historical works that may not otherwise be shown. We want to pair screenings and touring musicians with local artists and performers.
CD: Tell me about your curatorial process.
NL: There are things we’d like to see more of in San Diego. We may think of artists or a kind of work we’d like to see, then we have to do our due diligence and find artists in the area who may be doing something similar. We also think of various elements of time-based art, such as language, abstraction, appropriation, interactivity, and relevant social themes. There’s a lot of ground to cover! Our focus has been to find local artists and illuminate their work in relation to global art trends and established approaches. We’re trying to poke a hole in the San Diego bubble; maybe not burst it, but poke a hole in it. Ideally, we’re giving the audience two different entry points: they may come for the famous out-of-town artist, or they may come for the local artists. In both cases, the San Diego scene is connected to the larger conversation.
- Friday, July 28, 2017, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Bread & Salt,
1955 Julian Avenue,
Join the conversation at Bread & Salt on July 28th for a screening of Joan Jonas’s I Want to Live in the Country (and Other Romances) with readings from local poets Itza Villaboy, Cassie Pinner, and Paola Capó-García. Also on Space Time’s event horizon: a screening of Mike Kelley’s The Banana Man & BLINDCOUNTRY, with a new performance by Todd Moellenberg titled Cheeseball Seatbelt at Bread & Salt.