Produced by KQED Public Television, this series is about Bay Area artists and arts organizations/ It is a weekly television show, an educational outreach program and a website. More than a showcase for art objects and the artists who make them, SPARK* takes the audience inside the creative process to witness the challenges, opportunities and rewards of making art.
Arts + Social Issues (#902H) Duration: 28:00 STEREO TVG
Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei explores themes of freedom of speech and imprisonment in a large scale art installation on the notorious former prison island of Alcatraz.
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony appeal to younger, more diverse audiences with a contemporary, classical music experience, video projections, and a cocktail bar.
David Maisel's stunning aerial photographs reveal landscapes irrevocably altered by mankind, including the eerie salt flats of Owens Lake.
The Market Street Prototyping Festival engages innovative urban planning techniques to bring community and public art to a once neglected urban corridor.
Roots (#108) Duration: 25:53 STEREO TVG
In this episode, we meet performers who are preserving traditional art forms, handing them down from one generation to the next. For them, art is a way to understand and explore their ancestral roots, and maintain their unique cultural identity. Included are: five generations of Irish dancers with the Healy family; Hula Halau Aloha Pumehana 'o Polynesia; and San Jose's Mariachi Youth Program.
The Art of Improvisation (#111) Duration: 25:58 STEREO TVG
Nothing beats the thrill of being on stage without a script or a score. In this episode, we get a taste of excitement and dread of winging it in front of an audience.
* 3 For All- Widely regarded as 3 of the Bay Area's most talented and entertaining improvisational artists, Rafe Chase, Tim Orr and Stephen Kearin perform together just a few times a year as 3 For All. Spark is there as these three brave performers walk a theatrical high wire together, hitting the stage without a script and turning audience suggestions into narrative stories that amaze and amuse.
* Rova Saxophone Quartet- An insider's look this vanguard performance group, who have improvised their way along the cutting edge of the music and sound art scene for 25 years. We join them for their anniversary celebration, with a new take on John Coltrane's 1965 classic, Ascension.
* Ruth Zaporah- Ruth Zaporah is recognized world-wide as a master of improvisational theater, using a method she developed called Action Theater. We drop in on a master class with Ruth and her students, and get a sense of just how hard the art of improvisation can be.
Up from the Street (#226) Duration: 25:58 STEREO TVG
Artists whose work emanates from the street.
* Once a professional skateboarder, Tommy Guerrero channels the skate culture through his music and visual art work.
* Graffiti artist and self-described bad boy David Choe has moved from the streets of LA and San Jose into museums and galleries worldwide.
* Reflections of life on San Francisco's market street, with the four-wheeled interactive art work, Wowhaus.
Experimenting (#407) Duration: 28:39 STEREO TVG
Artistic boundaries are redefined through experimentation.
* Follow contemporary experimental dance troupe Kunst-Stoff as they attempt to understand sightlessness in a new piece that keeps changing up to the last minute.
* John Chiara takes photograph to an interesting limit by using a large-scale camera that has to be towed to and from locations.
* Legendary sound duo Matmos are creating a new work for the LA Museum of Natural History.
* Then, Ala Ebtekar explores identity by blending hip-hop imagery with Iranian images.