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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 18, 2009

UI presents Works-in-Progress Arts Festival Oct. 1-3

The University of Iowa Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature is presenting a unique arts festival, one that encourages the public to provide feedback on unfinished projects in painting, film, poetry, music, dance, theater, translation and any medium in between.

The Works-in-Progress (WiP) Festival will showcase the work of UI students, local artists and visiting artists Oct. 1-3 at three locations in downtown Iowa City. The entire festival is free and open to the public.

Works in the non-competitive festival will be "workshopped" by festival attendees and other artists. Because the works presented will be unfinished, it will be up to the artists and spectators to imagine how each piece could be completed to best achieve each artist's stated aims.

"Our goal is to involve the audience in the creative process and to encourage collaboration between artists," said Richard Wiebe, who is curating the festival with Andrew Peterson. Both are doctoral students in film studies in Cinema and Comparative Literature.

The schedule is as follows. (A full list of WiP artists is available at the festival's Web site,

Meet-and-Greet with WiP Artists, 7 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1, Old Post Office Gallery, Iowa City Senior Center, 28 S. Linn St. This is a chance to meet the students and professional artists who will participate in the festival. The event also features two special presentations of collaborative works-in-progress: a work for four dancers aged 12-14 by choreographer Karen Burns and double bass player Mark Bernat, and a performance of poetry, dance and jazz by Reading Aloud, Travelers Dance and the Insiders Quartet. Art by Corbin Bailey will be on display, and gourmet vegan appetizers will be served.

Eight WiP artists will present their work from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2 at Public Space One, 115 E. Washington St. From 8 to 11 p.m., filmmaker Michael Gitlin will screen portions of his latest documentary film essay, "The Earth is Young," about the nature of science and the tools with which one builds a model of the world. His work has screened at venues including the Museum of Modern Art, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Full Frame Documentary Festival and the 1997 Whitney Biennial.

An additional 12 WiP artists will present between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3 at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., and from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at Public Space One.

The closing event features a special presentation by Luke Fischbeck of the Los Angeles-based Lucky Dragons art collective from 8 to 11 p.m. Oct. 3 at Public Space One. Fischbeck creates audiovisual environments that solicit participation of audience members through tactile interfaces and drawing workshops. He has performed recently at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Centre Pompidou, Club Transmediale in Berlin, and the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

In addition to these events, visiting poet Orlando White will be serving as Poet-Moderator in Residence throughout the festival. White is a Navajo poet whose first book of poetry is "Bone Light." His awards include a Truman Capote Fellowship and a 2008 nomination for the Pushcart Prize, which honors the best American poetry and short fiction published by independent presses each year.

The WiP Festival is sponsored by the UI Institute for Cinema and Culture, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with support from the Perry A. And Helen Judy Bond Fund for Interdisciplinary Interaction, the International Writing Program, the UI Electronic Music Studios, the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature, and the Iowa Arts Council.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Richard Wiebe and Andrew Peterson, WiP curators and UI graduate students,; Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070,