Christopher Allen and UnionDocs

We are pleased to announce the 2006 recipient of the Macktez Summer Stipend: Christopher Allen and UnionDocs.

His winning application and a description of his project:

This is very cool that you guys do this. I am applying for a project of UnionDocs, a small documentary arts group started by Jesse Shapins and I. The project has been accepted to the Conflux Festival in September and we have been working on it for a while, but are now closing in on production. We are in the midst of the process to become a non-profit organization but the IRS is taking much longer than they promised. So our funding efforts have been majorly challenged. At this point the entire project is being paid for out of the pockets of group members. We have recently hit the bottom of the well there, so to speak. Financial help at this point in the process would be amazing. Here is the project description:

There is a payphone outside 322 Union Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Like payphones all over, it is a public staging ground for private dramas. Raised voices are not uncommon, and conflicts range from relationship management to business affairs (legitimate and otherwise). It is, in fact, rare to see someone having a quiet interaction on this phone. And unlike the cellphone user, whose conversations are more ubiquitous and less remarkable, everyone notices the payphone user. Her inner life becomes a performance, whether she likes it or not. UnionDocs, a documentary arts collaborative, works inside 322 Union. The members have been observing the payphone outside for about two and a half years. For the 2006 Conflux, UnionDocs will devote part of its space to the observation, interpretation and expression of the contemporary payphone experience. Members will conduct a study into the curious phenomenon of a public resource whose liminality amplifies the intensity of its value. The aim of this study will be to outline precisely the emotionial/psychological field surrounding this piece of public infrastructure as it exists today. Findings will be presented in an sculptural installation, which will attempt to augment 5 separate payphone locations in the neighborhood, in an exhibition of documents in the gallery, and through a scheduled performance lecture.

A hearty congratulations to our four runners up:
Israel Kandarian for money to buy a sewing machine to fix his jeans and write stitched love letters.
Carrie Bobo for money for a camping trip to the fingerlakes.
Juliet Ross, a jeweler, for her request for funds to give her some space for creative freedom.
Pollyanna Rhee for her request for help getting materials to support a project that provides a homeless shelter across the street from Columbia University.

Lastly, don’t forget about the 2005 winner, Daniel Marr, a local artist whose concept album wove his lunchtime jaunts through Chinatown with a love story.

And finally a very big thank you to all who applied. We had some fantastic applications and wished we had an unlimited number of Stipends to give out. Until next year!

— The Team at Macktez