Mana Contemporary Goes Digital

by Michael Scivoli

Over the last few weeks, we’ve had to temporarily adjust to a new lifestyle, one which has affected so many facets of our lives. Social distancing is especially grievous for our art community—with everything from ballets to exhibitions being canceled altogether.

Last week I talked about Google Arts & Culture’s virtual collaboration with over 2,500 museums worldwide, which brings users inside some of the globe’s best art exhibitions including our very own, Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. The initiative serves as a hub to give us that dose of culture we’re so desperately lacking right now. (If you missed it, I listed my seven favorites here.)

In Jersey City, Mana Contemporary—Hudson County’s very own cultural hub—has shifted its program in light of the current social distancing guidelines. The abandoned tobacco factory turned premier art destination, has ramped up things like guided meditation, artist social media takeovers and workshop streams. Mana is home to hundreds of artists including many who are local residents.

Earlier this week Mana Contemporary announced that, for the time being, they have completely shifted their public program to a digital platform. Many of their scheduled career developement talks have been listed on their website, such as “Marketing Strategies for Artists” with Annie Wang and “Digital Strategies” with Mark Rosen. In addition to this, they will be hosting ongoing online events regularly.

Ongoing Online Events

move, connect, reflect

Streaming every Wednesday at 3 p.m., NYC movement artist, writer and choreographer, Dani Cole, guides us through creative writing and movement strategies. move, connect, reflect is an improvisational exercise that encourages the celebration of the body and mind. In order to participate in the streaming event, participants need a notebook and athletic clothes. The stream is free for users with a suggested donation of $10.

From Barbara’s Library: Recommended Reading

From Barbara’s Library: Recommended Reading is an online campaign sparked from a collection of texts from Barbara DeGenevieve at Mana Contemporary’s Chicago space. She is developing a library there, the aim of which is deeply philosophical questioning that DeGenevieve herself translates into her work. Materials touch on subjects such as gender, race, sexuality and linguistics, using mixed mediums including photo and video. Every week, the Mana community selects one of their favorite texts from the reading list. This weekly selection is “The Lover” by Marguerite Duras.

Movement and Meditation

Every Monday and Friday at 11 a.m., artist and yoga instructor, Cydney Williams, leads a 30-minute stress reduction session. The stream is broken down into two parts, with 20 minutes of movement and 10 minutes of guided meditation. Each Streaming Live: Movement and Meditation class is offered free by Williams. A donation of $5 is suggested with each class if you are able to do so.

Vidium Party TV: Containment Series

Vidium Party TV—an aesthetic internet live stream program—recently released the first episode of their Containment Series which captures a video portrait of Jonathan Hancock. Vidium focuses on traveling musicians and performance artists, displaying unique portraits of different experimental artists. “Hancock is a film producer and noise artist from Brighton, Ohio, and his works deal with the underground artist community—he is known to live-score his own films, accompanied by trumpets and wind instruments.”

You can join Mana Contemporary’s newsletter here.

About the Author/s

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Michael is the Editor-in-Chief of New Jersey Digest, COO of X Factor Media, and an avid writer. Growing up in Bergen County, he discovered his passion for words while in Friday detention. Michael loves kayaking, a fat glass of Nebbiolo, and over-editing.

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