poly-pockets banner © Stratton Coffman

Sat, 05/13/2023 -
Fri, 05/19/2023

Goethe-Institut Boston

with artists-in-residence Aaron Powers and Stratton Coffman

Studio 170, the Goethe-Institut Boston's artist-in-residence program, hosts artists/architects Aaron Powers and Stratton Coffman with their project Poly Pockets. Inspired by the new street uses that emerged during the pandemic, Poly Pockets is a public art installation in the form of a series of reconfigurable tent structures.

Aaron Powers (he/him, @aaeon_poeer) and Stratton Coffman (they/them, @bagstrat) are friends who collaborate on design projects. They both received Masters of Architecture from MIT in 2020. Individually and jointly their work has appeared at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, the Multimedia Anthropology Lab at UCL, and the Serpentine Pavilion in London. 

More info on the Studio 170 page.
© Stratton Coffman
During the pandemic, buildings turned inside out. Things that used to happen inside moved into the street. The tent became the enclosure of choice for this new zone, but it has been used almost exclusively for dining. Poly Pockets is a set of modifications made to generic tent materials to expand what the street tent can host and what is legally permitted and culturally desired within the street. A roll of poly sheeting is subdivided and sewn into pockets that take on versatile roles when stuffed with whatever is on hand. Sand or crushed aggregate to make weighted pockets. Insulation to make thermal mass bodies. Soft stuffing to make comfy pads for resting. Sheet material to make rigid planes. Or mostly anything else. Through cutting, stitching, attaching, and filling, the building enclosure is deconstructed into pockets with special talents that can be recombined and linked together into different formats, from piles to lean-to’s to columns to [  ].

Pockets Opening
Saturday, May 13, 6-8 PM

Join us for Poly Pocket's big debut. Residents Aaron Powers and Strat Coffman will introduce Poly, while visitors toss around, drag, and crawl under the pocket assemblages, to the sounds of a dj set about holding and being held. Munch on hot pockets and empanadas while laying on some pocket piles and watching the debut of the pocket video performance, poly won't you won't you. Together we'll give new life to Poly.

poly won't you won't you
Displayed alongside these assemblages will be a new video piece starring the pockets, by the performer, digital artist, and clown Carlos Sanchez. Performed through the lens of the eponymous Polly Pockets, "poly won't you won't you" is an absurdist clown short that tests the limits of the pocket's immaterial capacity.

Pockets Listening Session with A. Campbell Payne
Tuesday, May 16, 7-9 PM
Get comfortable among the pocket structures and piles with a drink, and relax to the sound of live ambient creations by local artist A. Campbell Payne. Find out more here.

Film Screening with "The Airship"
Wednesday, May 17, 6:30 PM

Director Rainer Simon brought together an exceptional team to create DEFA Film Library’s most unconventional film, including Lutz Dammbeck (animation) and Friedrich Goldmann (score). More info here.

Game Night with Pockets
Friday, May 19, 6-8 PM

Enjoy an evening of playing small and quick 'pocket' games with our German Game Guru Stefan Sadecki - anything that fits in your coat pocket is fair game, excuse the pun. More on the event and registration here.

Visit outside of planned events
If you'd like to come have some personal time with Poly Pockets outside of our planned events, please book a rendezvous here.

Beyond just another gallery or concert hall, Studio 170 provides an open, lively place for inspiration, experimentation and open discourse. With this new format, the Goethe-Institut Boston invites New England artists from all fields of artistic practice to use our newly-renovated space to experiment, innovate, and connect with our international community.