New Makers-in-Residence Program Focuses on Art and Technology

Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood LibraryThe Tenleytown neighborhood and high-tech innovation might not be two phrases normally paired together, but thanks to the Friends of the Tenley-Friendship Library our town is on the cutting edge.

A new Makers-in-Residence program, run through the DC Public Library Foundation, gives designers and artists the opportunity to pursue a year-long project using innovative tools for creation, such as robotics, micro-computing, and 3-D printing. The FreeSpace Collective, founded by artists Bill Friebele and Michael Dax Iacovone, received this year’s Makers-in-Residence grant, which was fully funded by the Friends of the Tenley-Friendship Library.

The FreeSpace Collective focuses on community engagement, public spaces, and mapping. Some of their recent work includes an interactive photographic archive of the city, a robotic sound machine that reacts to the position of the viewer, and a three-dimensional map of Arlington.

As their first project as Makers-in-Residence, Friebele and Iacovone will partner with Tenleytown residents to create a three-dimensional map of the area around the Tenley-Friendship Library. This “Walking as Drawing” map will utilize GPS and digital imagery to create what they describe as a “collective time-based map.” Friebele has created similar maps in New York and Miami, as well as overseas in the Netherlands, Peru, and Indonesia.


2015 Makers-in-Residence

Tenleytown residents can learn more about the work of FreeSpace Collective, as well as Friebele and Iacovone, on Wednesday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. The artists will host an information session at the Tenley-Friendship Library and will discuss the evolution of their collaborative approach to art production. They will also discuss plans for the 3-D map of the neighborhood, to which residents, ages 10 years and older, can contribute on October 10. The October workshop will include an introduction to the use of digital tools to track physical movement through urban spaces, and a self-guided walking tour of the neighborhood to collect data to create a collective drawing of the area.

The mapping workshop will be the first of four quarterly workshops the FreeSpace Collective will convene in Tenleytown. Future events will touch upon 3-D printing, robotics, and digital and electronic artistry.

“The Tenley Friends are excited to be supporting this new, very of-the-moment project for the benefit of our library system-wide, as well as for our Tenley Library community,” says Melissa Kunstadter, President of the Friends of the Tenley-Friendship Library. “Billy and Mike are not only terrific artists, but they are also superb teachers. We look forward to enjoying a great year together.”

The Friends of the Tenley-Friendship Library, which sponsored this year’s Makers-in-Residence program, is comprised of volunteers dedicated to supporting the Tenley-Friendship Library, which serves the AU Park, Friendship Heights, and Tenleytown communities. Its members advocate on behalf of the library, sponsor events for the community, and raise funds for library programs, books, and equipment. The organization was the first Friends group established in Washington, DC. For more information, visit their Facebook page or stop by their office at the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue.