Electronic Textiles Artist Barbara Layne on Creating Interactive, Wearable Fiber Art

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Professor Barbara Layne with two of her wearable pieces that were shown at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
The Dairy Center for the Arts is opening a new exhibition, The Art of Fiber: Fifty Years of the Handweavers Guild of Boulder, that showcases a juried exhibition of new work as well as a historical display of textiles and technology. In celebration of the show, the Handweavers Guild and the Dairy have invited Barbara Layne, a professor at Concordia University in Montreal who works through the Interactive Textiles and Wearable Computers research axis at the Hexagram Institute, to speak at the opening tomorrow night. A former Colorado resident, Layne studied art at the University of Colorado and was an early member of the Guild. In advance of her talk on electronic textiles at the Dairy, Layne spoke with Westword about the origin of her work in the fascinating field of fiber art and technology.

See also: DIY feminist science writer Margaret Wertheim discusses the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef

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Mona Lott plays Strip-Joker With Comics for Stripped Down Standup

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Mona Lott at Stripped Down Standup.
Strippers and standup comedians have more in common than it would seem at first blush. Both performers take to the stage -- usually alone -- trying to evoke a reaction from an audience full of creeps they'd avoid in other circumstances. Bridging the gap between these two disparate art forms -- in much the same way that cocaine did in the '80s -- is a comedian and host of "Ball Bustin' Bingo."

Less of a Drag Queen than a Drag Empress, Mona Lott seized upon the idea of having comedians and strippers share the stage in "a game of strip poker that uses jokes instead of cards." The show, called "Stripped Down Standup" has been packing the house with crowds of over 200. The next one takes place Wednesday, December 3 at the Denver Improv. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.50 on the Denver Improv website.

Turn the page to hear more from Mona.

See also: Nate Bargatze on Recording His Special and Playing Baseball With Pizza Boxes

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Nate Bargatze on Recording His Special and Playing Baseball With Pizza Boxes

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Nate Bargatze has been on the cusp of stardom for a few years now. For a comic whose fanbase includes luminaries such as Marc Maron, Bargatze's act is much more approachable than his reputation might suggest. Affable and generally TV-clean, Bargatze has a playfully dark sensibility that's buoyed by innate comic timing and a Southern accent. He's appeared on Conan, Maron and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, who also featured Bargatze on his Clean Cut Comedy Tour. His debut album, Yelled at by a Clown, made it to the Billboard Top Ten Comedy Charts and he's toured extensively with the USO, performing for deployed troops in Iraq and Kuwait. Bargatze has already endeared himself to Denver crowds with a strong showing at last year's High Plains Comedy Festival; in advance of his upcoming headlining gig at the downtown Comedy Works, we caught up with Bargatze to discuss comedy festivals, his new special, and playing pizza-box baseball at High Plains.

See also: John Leguizamo on His Standup Tour, Fugly and Summer of Sam

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Dan Stafford on Cowtown Comics Fest, Kilgore Books and His John Porcellino Movie

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Noah Van Sciver
There's no shortage of fun for comics lovers in Denver, but local creators can get lost in the shuffle at some of the bigger cons. Not so at the Cowtown Comics Fest, hosted annually by Kilgore Books and happening Sunday, November 23 at Morey Middle School. Aside from John Porcellino, who no longer lives here but has deep roots in the Denver comics scene (including founding the Cowtown Comics Fest years ago), all of the talent at the fest will be people you might see scribbling away in your favorite coffee shop. That includes renowned artists such as Noah Van Sciver, Stan Yan and Karl Christian Krumpholz, as well as up-and-coming creators you haven't heard of yet. Plus, Stafford's own documentary film on Porcellino, Root Hog or Die, complete with a post-screening Q&A with Stafford and Porcellino, will close out the day's activities. Before the fest, we sat down with festival organizer Dan Stafford to find out what to expect from the fest, why it disappeared for a few years and what's so great about Denver's comics scene.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Noah Van Sciver

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David Fodel and Janet Feder on Curating BMoCA's MediaLive 2014

Categories: Interviews

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The Light Surgeons will perform at CU-Boulder's ATLAS Institute as part of MediaLive 2014
When David Fodel was invited to help launch MediaLive two years ago, one of his goals for the performance-, workshop- and talk-filled symposium at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art was to showcase artists who are exploring new forms of live audiovisual work. This year's three-day festival, which runs from November 14 through November 16 at the museum and CU-Boulder's ATLAS Black Box Theater, was co-curated by local guitarist Janet Feder; it will feature artists from around the globe, including the London-based Light Surgeons, Chicago-based Nick Briz, Moscow-based VTOL and many more. In advance of MediaLive 2014, we caught up with Fodel and Feder to talk about curating the festival, some of the artists performing at it and how its scope has grown over the last two years.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives -- Janet Feder



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Rudy Gonzales on Servicios de la Raza's Four Decades of Work and its New Home

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Servicios de la Raza's Executive Director, Rudy Gonzales.
After providing community health and services in Denver's Sunnyside neighborhood for decades, Servicios de la Raza moved this week to a new home at 3131 West 14th Avenue. To do so, the organization had to sell its buildings at 41st Avenue and Tejon Street, which meant the removal of the "Privavera" murual, which had been a landmark there for more than three decades. But the move should be a good for Servicios, says executive director Rudy Gonzales, who spoke with Westword about its work and about the challenges facing the population its serves -- as Denver neighborhoods continue to change.

See also: Jerry Jaramillo's Sunnyside Mural, "Primavera," Is Gone But Not Forgotten

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John Leguizamo on His Standup Tour, Fugly and Summer of Sam

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Courtesy John Leguizamo
To call comedian John Leguizamo versatile is an understatement. The man is a show-business chameleon, flexing his talents in writing and producing, while also acting in film, television and on Broadway. This weekend Leguizamo will bring his Latin History for Dummies tour to Comedy Works South. In advance of the two-night run, we talked with Leguizamo about what makes him tick and how he can switch roles so effectively.

See also: Bob Saget on Riffing, Self-Awareness and Dirty Daddy, His New Book

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Are You a Rocky Horror Virgin? Andrew Altman Tells You What To Expect This Weekend

Categories: Events, Interviews

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Westword
Rocky Horror Picture Show Virgins
For nearly forty years, the Rocky Horror Picture Show has been A popular cult classic. Originally performed as a musical and later adapted into a B-movie, midnight showings of the sexual comedy began in theaters in the '70s and continue in some cities today. With audience participation and the opportunity to go out in public wearing fishnets and a corset, these showings are even more popular around Halloween.

Denver is one of thirty cities in the country that has never stopped showing the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and audiences can catch four screenings of the Halloween production this October. Colorado Elusive Ingredient, a shadow production company that re-enacts the film while it plays on the big screen, will be performing at the Boulder Theater on Friday, October 17 at 8 p.m. and midnight on October 24, 25 and 31 at the Esquire Theater. For information about any of the upcoming Colorado Elusive Ingredient shows or to purchase tickets, visit the Rocky Horror Denver website.

Westword recently caught up with Andrew Altman, cast manager of Colorado's Elusive Ingredient, to reminisce about the early days of Rocky Horror, the virgin revival of the show and the upcoming showings.

See also: Rocky Horror Picture Show at Film on the Rocks

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Bob Saget on Riffing, Self-Awareness and Dirty Daddy, His New Book

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Natalie Brasington
Bob Saget has a famously dichotomous public image: While he's still widely recognized for his '90s television ubiquity, Saget was a standup long before he became a huggy surrogate father to a generation of Full House viewers. The ribald nature of Saget's act is less shocking to today's comedy audiences, thanks to his appearance in The Aristocrats and a role that subverted his family-friendly image on Entourage; still, what stands out about Saget's humor is how defiantly strange it can be. Saget's penchant for the absurd shines through, whether he's onstage or behind the camera for the underrated cult comedy Dirty Work. With his first book, Dirty Daddy, due out in paperback this month, Saget is really hitting his stride. In advance of his run at Comedy Works South this weekend, Westword caught up with Saget for a rambly and digressive phone conversation covering Dirty Daddy, his dichotomous public image and why you shouldn't have sex with things.

See also: The Ten Best Comedy Events in Denver in October

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Meet Ello, the Social Network Created Right Here in Colorado

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ello.co
If you have been anywhere near the Internet in the past week, you've probably heard about Ello, a new social networking site that's still in the Beta stage. But it's picked up a lot of steam as Facebook users started jumping ship after Facebook announced its "real name" policy -- which drag performers and other members and allies of the GLTBQ community charge is dangerous and discriminatory.

Ello's Denver-based programming team is is spearheaded by Paul Budnitz -- the guy behind vinyl toy maker Kidrobot, which moved its headquarters to Boulder in 2010 -- along with Mode Set and fellow Colorado designers Berger & Föhr. We recently chatted with Mode Set's Justin Gitlin (also known around town as music and multimedia artist Cacheflowe) to find out what, exactly, Ello is all about -- and how it's been affected by the recent Facebook move.

See also: CacheFlowe Releases Open-Source Robot Vocal Software to Welcome Our Digital Overlords

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