life as i know it

infinite birthdays

Last Sunday I threw 100 surprise birthday parties, to 100 unsuspecting guests.

The Calder Foundation invited me to stage a performance for a one night only private event.  The theme of the event being transformation, I decided to welcome each attendee with their own surprise birthday party – an invitation to be open to transformation and an invitation to the infinite.

I worked withe the tireless team at The Calder Foundation, including Katherine Cohn and Eric Guy Booker, who helped me to transform a part of a Gramercy townhouse that was completely under construction, into a space to perform and celebrate.  Friends and frequent collaborators Tracy Gilman, Mari Gustafson, Sarah Mcmillan, Ruth Ann de Leon, and Moses Grubb helped me throw the party… over and over again.  Completes with an infinite pinata (custom made by Brooklyn’s own Llaves Designs) and infinite cupcakes, we celebrated birth and transformation all night.  Below you can see a selection of images from the event.

All photos by (except the last two) by the amazing Elisabeth Smolarz.


LaurenSilberman_02_InfiniteBirthday-2563LaurenSilberman_03_InfiniteBirthday-2564 LaurenSilberman_04_InfiniteBirthday-2566LaurenSilberman_05_InfiniteBirthday-2560 LaurenSilberman_06_InfiniteBirthday-2562 LaurenSilberman_07_InfiniteBirthday-2601 LaurenSilberman_08_InfiniteBirthday-2570 LaurenSilberman_09_InfiniteBirthday-2584 LaurenSilberman_11_InfiniteBirthday-2593 LaurenSilberman_13_InfiniteBirthday-2607 LaurenSilberman_14_InfiniteBirthday-2619 LaurenSilberman_15_InfiniteBirthday-2611 LaurenSilberman_16_InfiniteBirthday-2616 LaurenSilberman_19_InfiniteBirthday-2635LaurenSilberman_30_InfiniteBirthday-2710LaurenSilberman_29_InfiniteBirthday-2699LaurenSilberman_28_InfiniteBirthday-2663LaurenSilberman_27_InfiniteBirthday-2689LaurenSilberman_26_InfiniteBirthday-2655LaurenSilberman_25_InfiniteBirthday-2681LaurenSilberman_23_InfiniteBirthday-2675LaurenSilberman_24_InfiniteBirthday-2677LaurenSilberman_22_InfiniteBirthday-2666LaurenSilberman_21_InfiniteBirthday-2647LaurenSilberman_20_InfiniteBirthday-2645LaurenSilberman_32_InfiniteBirthday-2757LaurenSilberman_34_InfiniteBirthday-2762LaurenSilberman_35_InfiniteBirthday-2768LaurenSilberman_36_InfiniteBirthday-2772LaurenSilberman_37_InfiniteBirthday-2774LaurenSilberman_38_InfiniteBirthday-2779LaurenSilberman_39_InfiniteBirthday-2782LaurenSilberman_40_InfiniteBirthday-2792LaurenSilberman_59_InfiniteBirthday-2948LaurenSilberman_65_InfiniteBirthday-2975LaurenSilberman_62_InfiniteBirthday-2964LaurenSilberman_49_InfiniteBirthday-2844LaurenSilberman_50_InfiniteBirthday-2853LaurenSilberman_51_InfiniteBirthday-2865LaurenSilberman_52_InfiniteBirthday-2868LaurenSilberman_53_InfiniteBirthday-2870LaurenSilberman_54_InfiniteBirthday-2873LaurenSilberman_58_InfiniteBirthday-2926LaurenSilberman_57_InfiniteBirthday-2904LaurenSilberman_68_InfiniteBirthday-2945LaurenSilberman_67_InfiniteBirthday-3001LaurenSilberman_69_InfiniteBirthday-2995

life as i know it

Young Americans.

On my last night in New Orleans, I ended up at Libbie’s birthday party.  Also a photographer, she had a small set set up, with an American flag for a backdrop, and asked guests to pose for her.  When posing, she asked me to think about being an American, or to do something American, or something like this (I can’t remember exactly how she phrased it).

It was a lot to think about on the spot.

But later it got me thinking about America, and New Orleans, and how New Orleans is one of the most unique and vibrant cities in America.  And it got me thinking about all the Americans I meet (and fall in love with) whenever I am there.

New Orleans surprises me.  It keeps surprising me.  It surprises me the way that New York used to surprise me. You can get your bloody mary (flavored with Guinness) to go and hop on your janky cruiser and ride from the French Quarter, through the Marigny to the Bywater and to the Lower 9th Ward and still see the effects of the hurricane that devastated the city five years ago when you see houses still marked with the X’s that indicated how many survivors were found.  It’s still kind of dangerous (actually pretty dangerous I hear – but I’ve been lucky everytime I’ve been down there).  People are friendly and smile and old men say “Good Evenin'” to you on the street at 2 in the afternoon.  There is music everywhere you go, coming from houses, bars, and street corners.  You go out at night and run into the people you wanted to see because it’s kind of a small town.

New Orleans is raw and sticky and dirty and real and beautiful and the people who live there are proud of their city and love it immensely.

I’ll be back there soon.  And hopefully I’ll run into these folks again.

Libbie laughing on her porch on her birthday.

Moss, Jamie, Darron, Sasha... sing it!

Lydia in the bathroom.

Am and Dena upstairs at Mimi's in the Marigny

Austin in the tub.

Schlitz to go.