An interview of Peter Cramer and Jack Waters conducted 2007 September 6 and October 9, by Liza Kirwin, for the Archives of American Art, in conjunction with the Artists' Spaces Archives Project, at Allied Productions, Inc. Studio in New York, New York.
Cramer and Waters, former co-directors of ABC No Rio, speak of their family and educational backgrounds; dance studies; forming their own company POOL (Performance On One Leg) and their "umbrella" non-profit group Allied Productions; their performance "Seven Days of Creation" at ABC No Rio; "crisis management" of ABC No Rio's building at 156 Rivington Street; Colab [Collaborative Projects]; residents in the building including Bobby G and the Acosta family; programs located at ABC No Rio's including the Naked Eye Cinema, Open Mike, Z Club, hardcore Matinee (punk music), and others; seeking grants; incorporating as a non-profit organization; fostering a queer aesthetic; AIDS and the art community; ABC No Rio's traveling exhibitions and performances; gentrification on the Lower East Side; ongoing conflicts with New York City's Department of Housing, Preservation and Development (owner of the building); management of ABC No Rio's Board; community outreach; NEA funding and the "culture wars"; and the "burnout factor" of running ABC No Rio. They also recall Lou Acierno, Charas/El Bohio Cultural and Community Center, Christa Gamper, Carl George, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Becky Howland, Joan Karlen, Michael Keane, George Kurtti, Alan Moore, The Pyramid Club, Arlene Schloss, Kiki Smith, Brad Taylor, Brian Taylor, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Peter Cramer is an interactivist artist from New York, New York. Jack Waters is a media artist from New York, New York. Liza Kirwin is the curator of manuscripts at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 22 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
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Funding for the interview was provided by Artists' Spaces Archives, New York, New York.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.