Webbed Feats explained in an interview with Mika Brzezinski
Bytes of Bryant Park
Produced and presented by Stephan Koplowitz & Company (Kop Art, Inc.) in association with the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation
Web site online June, July, August, September, 1997- Click on the original gif to access the archived original website:
Date of performance in Bryant Park: September 6, 1997
Executive Producer and Artistic Director of Webbed Feats: Stephan Koplowitz
for Bryant Park Restoration Corporation: Executive Director, Daniel A. Biederman, Director of Public Events, Donna Lieberman, Associate Director of Public Events, Andrew Beard and Jody Boese, Park Supervisor
Event Production Manager: Kathy Kaufmann
Sound production and co-ordination by See Factor Industry Inc.
Live On-line: Adam Cohen and Dan Rayburn
Video, Directed and Produced: Invision, Cynthia Urbaez and Michael Jones
Stage Managers: Lee S. Miller, Erykah Zebe, Caroline Copeland, Katie
Gibson, Claire Murphy
Event Guides: Mira Bowin, Jesse Nisselson, Thomas Stokes, Dionne Walker, Veronica Cabrera, Caryn Repaci, Jennifer Byrd and Catherine Despont.
Web site produced by Planet Theory Inc., designed by Rob Roth, written by Paul Malmont, produced by Dino Citraro and managed by Rachael MacLean
Site hosted by el Net
Cybercasting by Live Online and Thinking Pictures
Webbed Feats Radio Network, produced and hosted by Naomi Lewin, assisted by Miriam Lewin
Press Representatives for Webbed Feats: Connors Communications
The Webbed Feats project was the first crowd sourced dance/theater production on the web that resulted in a seven hour performance event in Bryant Park, NYC and was seen by over 3,000 people.
The production is also notable for being one of the first live-on-site broadcast radio programs on the web
Webbed Feats presents: Bytes of Bryant Park. with Artistic Director Stephan Koplowitz and the Webbed Feats creative team transformed hundreds of selected on-line submissions into a seven-hour performance extravaganza comprised of two dances, a play, performance art and improvisational comedy. The combined casts of artists was over 50 in addition to 30 technicians/stage hands who were on hand with digital and live production needs. While on-line participants who attended the performance could at times recognize their contributions within the full work, the project was a mediation between on-line contributions and commissioned artists who curated the submissions that interested them and then created an art work that was a balance between their own creativity and the
Webbed Feats took over two years of fund raising and had its inspiration (beginning in 1995) when the World Wide Web was referred to as the “information highway” and locations on the web were called “sites”. The language of architecture was being appropriated for this new platform and it immediately inspired me to think about how to stage a site-specific event within this new “space”. I was only interested in creating an event that bridged the digital world and the real world.
My memory of the summer of 1997 is that I spent almost every waking hour online trying to get other people to visit www. webbedfeats.org which unfortunately did not have the luxury of a marketing budget. I was lucky to have Connie Connors, CEO of Connors Communications (which was one of NYC’s best media PR firms) helping me to get local and national press interested in the project.
“The event had the random adventurousness of the best street art, demanding nothing from the passer-by but offering opportunities for contemplation. But at the heart of ‘Webbed Feats’ was a small gem of a dance ... that confirmed Mr. Koplowitz’s extraordinary sensitivity to environment.”
“‘On Lawn’ was for those moments an intrinsic part of Bryant Park. And it was hard to imagine seeing that lawn again without some memory of red.”
--Jennifer Dunning, NYT 9/19/97
“Koplowitz launched the first phase of an ambitious new project that invites cybersurfers to collaborate on a multimedia dance project that will take place in September both in Bryant Park in midtown and on the web.... It will be one of the most ambitious online art undertakings in New York in some time. Maybe Silicon Alley hasn’t lost its creative juice after all, huh?”
--The New York Internet Newsletter, 6/20/97
“Koplowitz has more than 10 years’ experience producing massive environmentally-dependent dance pieces....For Koplowitz’s purposes, the Net is merely an extension of public space, another kind of edifice in which to work.”
--Mike Tanner, Wired News, 8/5/97
“‘Interactive,’ the Holy Grail of new media, takes one step closer to useful reality with a project called Bytes of Bryant Park. Stephan Koplowitz, the artistic director and executive producer of the project, has never been one to think small.”
--Gary Parks, CultureFinder, 8/8/97
“The choreographer and teacher Stephan Koplowitz has a passion for making large-scale pieces in unlikely places....Unlike Mr. Koplowitz’s earlier work, ‘Bytes of Bryant Park’ was constructed in part from suggestions he received on his world wide web page, Webbed Feats...More than 50,000 people have visited his Web site; some 180 have contributed ideas.”
--William Harris, NYT, 9/14/97
“This week a remarkable thing happened in Bryant Park. Choreographer Stephan Koplowitz presented a multimedia, collaborative work centered around dance but including original music, visual arts, poetry and prose...The process of creation was not only remarkably democratic but Net-specific in the best way...User interaction is something the Net excels at fostering; and it’s something that was integral to the process of creating Webbed Feats....Webbed Feats is a work of true Net-based collaboration.”
--Jason Chervokas, siliconalleynews, 9/19/97
“En baskets et tee-shirts, une vingtaine de danseuses font la rue. pour une fois, elles ne repetent pas dans une salle aux murs couverts de miroirs, mais a Bryant Park, une pelouse bordee d’arbres en plein cour de Manhattan. L’emplacement, un jardin public du XIXe siecle, est cependant moins exceptionnel que la danse qu’elles executeront: Webbed Feats... Car cette oeuvre a ete composee par le choregraphe americain Stephan Koplowitz grace a... l’internaute lambda.”
--Michel Arseneault, Le Monde, 9/28-9/97