Low Tech High Magic

Loisaida Inc. and Casa Múcaro presents:


Schedule: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Starting Monday, May 9th through Sunday, May 29th.

Eventbrite - Low Tech High Magic


Create puppets out of recycled and upcycled trash, waste and discarded found materials. Learn how to transform junk into beauty! Spin straw into gold! Art with an ecological, green twist. Create your own wondrous puppet or assist in larger collaborative group puppet project.

Making art with trash is one way of reusing everyday found objects and instead of seen as a nuance, if used right, it could become an object of beautification. The purpose behind this workshop is to create a group of community members, or volunteers, interested in working together to be part of a parade happening on the 25th of May and be part of a pageant, happening right after. As a way of bringing people together with under a similar motif, centered around the Loisaida community’s societal impact as pioneers of urban ecology creative innovation.

We’ll be making masks and big puppets, with “upcycled,” or reused materials and full body masks and costumes, made with reusable and recyclable materials. We’ll be reliving the lives of those that made this neighborhood alive, with those that are present today. Be part of this event and help us exalt the creativity of the Loisaida community towards an ecological mindset. Trash, or daily found objects, will be our best friend for this workshop, as they are a cost-effective material filled with endless applications.


1. A new contingent will be added to the opening Carnival Procession (Parade) of the Loisaida Festival. An exuberant celebration of Caribbean solidarity, drawing inspiration from Afro-Caribbean mythological symbols, and the resilient creative spirit of looking backwards and forwards: a recognition of all the lives of those that made this neighborhood alive, with those that are present today. (Featuring the collaboration of: Braata Productions, Semi-Upright Cultural Workers Collective,and RMO)

2. Join our Giant Puppet making community workshop Low Tech, High Magic. Learn how to create masks! Parade costumes! Larger-than-life Puppets! Colourful parade floats!

3. Beyond the Parade, join the amazing outdoor street-theatre puppet-pageant that follows as part of the Theater Lab inside La Plaza Cultural!  Be part of this homage to the legacy of Latino community builders from the Young Lords forward in celebration of all lives that make this neighborhood alive.

Workshop is led by Pablo Varona of CASA MUCARO.


Casa Mucaro Logo F BlackCasa Múcaro is a collaborative project on a forested mountaintop near Las Marias, Puerto Rico. We are multidisciplinary artists in pursuit of self-sufficiency for ourselves and others, through “the sharing of tools, materials, and know-how.” We envision “termitopia” cities, like termite mounds, in which by means of re-use, or recycling of materials, their citizens understand the benefits of self-managing “waste” generated by their neighborhood and can actively participate in the construction and maintenance of their own city.

Collaborative Practices: Casa Múcaro’s project will feature a collaboration of with Braata Productions, Semi-Upright Cultural Workers Collective, and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra (RMO) with the goal of joining the talents, resources and visions of multiple theater, music, arts and culture collectives working on projects related to the people and culture of Caribbean Islands living in NYC.  It will produce a collection of different works to be presented at the 29th edition of Loisiada Festival and Braata Production’s Caribbean Folk Festival in Jamaica, Queens the following weekend.

Individual Bios:

Bill Birdsall is an artist refugee from Los Angels, with about 40 years of residence now in backwoods Puerto Rico.  Bill went from airplanes to coffee farmers, learning survival skills along the way. He built his own home out of free, discarded fishnet and cement, using a technique he calls nylon-cement.  Bill invents things and posts his inventions on Instructables.com under the name “Thinkenstein”. Search for his “nylon-cement”, PVC, and “tootophone” instructables there, among other things. See his website: http://thinkenstein.info for other things Bill do, like paintings, sculpture and music.

Pablo Varona or “Pablillo José, spends most his time living close to the forested mountaintops of Puerto Rico. At the time, he is a puppeteer, street performer and a supreme believer of juggling as his way through every corner he visits. He is amazed by the immeasurable value that the reuse, recycling and/or “forgotten” objects do when it comes to the transformation of urban contexts. His interests revolve around making these issues relevant and accessible to the general audience, with the hopes that some day we will all learn from its potential uses and collaborate in the creative process of experimenting with the most abundant material out there: Trash. To see more of his work, go to http://www.diminuto.info.

Daniel Polnau has created puppet parades, circuses, and outdoor theatre spectacles for over 30 years. He specializes in creating larger than life puppets out of recycled junk and up-cycled materials making the mundane become extraordinary. Projects and residencies have spanned the globe from Moscow to Bali to Juneau, Alaska to Puerto Rico. Highly collaborative, at the heart of each project he strives to demystify the creative process and quicken the innate creative abilities in all – regardless of age, abilities or arts experience. He is committed to respectfully embracing underserved and marginalized populations.


Final Presentation / Opening day of our visual artist in residence:

Florencia Escudero presents: GULIVER X

May 7th from 7:30PM – 9:30PM

with Sound Performance by Stephen Decker at 7:30 pm

GULIVER X was developed by the visual artist Florencia Escudero for Loisaida’s Artistic Residency Program.

In her own words:

Over the field, up the stairs, under the bed, through the door, under your feet, the things you can manage and the things that shrink you down in size. “Guliver X” is an installation that was initially conceived as a map of objects in space.

“Guliver X” refers to an erotic comic by Milo Manara describing a series of unfortunate adventures that bring a woman from one island to another. In the story her physical size radically changes from miniature to that of a giantess.

With each of these changes she must reevaluate her position in space and how this affects the world around her: when she is a giant she can potentially crush the people of the island, and when she is as small as a mouse she must fight a rat in order to survive.

Escudero appropriated the literary source and modified it for her own use, imagining this character as a post-gender one. She also explores the connection of the book with the idea of visiting different islands, since the island of Manhattan is so closely connected to the Puerto Rican island.

Even though the initial inspiration is fantasy-based, the actual objects produced are a result of a concrete movement through urban space, in particular that of the Loisaida neighborhood. Escudero collected hundreds of images from weekly excursions, principally through the Loisaida gardens, but also paying attention to urban detritus and anything that caught her eye along  the way. These images were fused into the objects: a chain link fence merged into a staircase; a piece of a wig which mixes in with grass and becomes contained in a puzzle; flowers, cigarettes, mirrors and statues become a face.

The goal of the placement and scale of the objects give the viewer a chance to look through holes, to crouch down or look up or go through the pages of the book. The oversized book reminiscent of taxonomic books is part of an ongoing exploration of the human silhouette as a placeholder for visual information and materiality that we all have access to in our day to day. There is a back and forth between 2d and 3d and a strong emphasis on the act of looking. In addition to spending time walking around the neighborhood she began to research its history and how different factors have molded and affected the local throughout time.

This installation will serve as a site-specific performance by Stephen Decker utilizing a live radio broadcast for web browser. Those in the audience will be able to experience the work with their mobile devices, thus amplifying the performance through the built in speakers. The performance will involve electronic instrumentation as a way to segue between or interrupt multiple scenarios that will conclude when all audience members’ browsers have been closed, thereby rendering it inaudible.

Stephen Miguel Decker is a Virgina-born artist based in New York. He has participated in a yearlong residency program at the MoMA PS1 Print Shop as a part of the artist-collective ALLGOLD, presented an evening-long performance to inaugurate the Filipino American Museum and extends his activities as a DJ on the London-based station NTS Radio, where he hosts a monthly show (NODE).

Stephen often works with sound as a multi-genre medium that frequently intersects online/transmission-based infrastructures, narrative techniques, graphic representation and the experience that emerges from it. Stephen holds an MFA from the Yale School of Art and is currently a lecturer at The New School, where he teaches classes on experimental publishing and sound art.

Florencia Escudero is an artist from Argentina that currently lives and works in New York City. She is a multimedia artist working predominantly in the field of sculpture, photography, video, and drawing. Her work seeks to explore her sensorial experience of the world through the collection of images and creation of objects. She is curious about how information is selected and processed. In order to understand this phenomenon she explores the relationship between object and image and fact/fiction through collapsing both past and present into the same space.

Florencia has a Master in Fine Arts from the Yale University School of Art (2012) and a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts (2010). She received a full scholarship to attend Pilchuck Glass School Residency (2010) and has attended the Nebraska Art Farm Residency (2013). Her work can be seen in different publications such as Trapper Keeper, CREEPS annual and Precog magazine.

Upcoming events as part of the residency:

May 29th, 2016 – Workshops by Karen Tepaz and Colectiva Cosmica from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm part of The 29th Loisaida Festival.

June 11th, 2016 – Video Screening at 710 East 9th Street, The Loisaida Inc. Center East Courtyard from 7:30 pm.


Loisaida Inc. is proud to present:

Marvel writer Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

Opening Saturday, May 28th 2015 from 1:00PM to 5:00PM.

Miranda-Rodriguez brings an exhibition of original artwork from his best-selling debut comic book Guardians of the Lower East Side from the anthology series Marvel’s Guardians of Infinity.

Guardians of Infinity by MARVEL
Guardians of Infinity by MARVEL

Join Edgardo for a book signing and art talk. Miranda-Rodriguez and his Marvel team will discuss comic book making and how traditional art techniques and digital technologies come together to create today’s comic world heroes. The art talk is part of El LOOP, Loisaida Inc.’s new fair for Latinos in Innovation.

*Exhibition dates are May 31st, 2016 through July 28th, 2016. Gallery is open to the public by appointment and for special tours Monday to Friday 12:00PM – 5:00PM.

Follow Edgardo on Twitter: @MrEdgardoNYC

GuardiansOfLoisaid_KeyArt (2)