‘A Phonebook’ centers place and people in award-winning oral history
Roberta speaks with Quinha Faria and Tyler Burdenski, two of the nine-member team that organized, wrote and produced the award-winning non-phonebook ‘A Phonebook.’ The image-rich oral history of some 120 Philadelphia “mom and pop” businesses goes into its second printing this summer and will be available -- free with a purchase -- at selected local shops. This 33-minute interview will whet your appetite for the great community history book! Links below to where it will be available.

sponsored
Tyler Burdenski (left), a white person with long brown hair that is in a braid, and who is wearing a black hoodie with the sleeves cut off, covering most of his face with his hand and making a serious face. Quinha Faria, (right) a Brazilian woman with long black hair that is in a bun, who is wearing a yellow baseball tee, a tape measure hung around her neck, smiling and laughing with her eyes closed.
Quinha Faria and Tyler Burdenski, two members of Philadelphia Packaging Company, the collaborative group behind ‘A Phonebook’. Courtesy Quinha Faria and Tyler Burdenski. Edited for Artblog

In 2019, a group of friends came together under the umbrella name, “Philadelphia Packaging Company.” Artists, educators, health care and service industry workers, all the members shared a love of local small businesses and a desire to thank them for making their communities a richer place to live.

Work began on the cusp of the Covid-19 pandemic, started with a Velocity Fund award and supplemented in 2020 by an Added Velocity award.

The friends spread out into neighborhoods around town and interviewed mom-and-pop business owners, neighbors and others in the communities and gathered those stories together — covering some 120 businesses and including 35+ in-depth interviews — to create a book that celebrates place and people in a truthful and respectful way.

In keeping with their goal to honor small neighborhood businesses, the printed books were available — free with a purchase — emphasis on “with a purchase,” at some local small businesses. The second printed books available this summer will likewise be available “free with a purchase.”

Check out Philadelphia Packaging Company’s website philadelphiapackagingcompany.com and instagram @aphonebook for more information about A PHONEBOOK — release date & distribution locations TBD. You can learn more about Quinha Faria on her website www.eriquinha.com or by following her on Instagram @quinha.etc

About the Velocity Fund

More information about the Velocity Fund and to apply for the 2021 artist grant. Applications are due June 14, 2021. Questions? Sign up for the online information sessions, including group online sessions, individual sessions or drop ins!.

The Velocity Fund directly supports artists to organize ​new ​collaborative projects throughout the city of Philadelphia by awarding grants up to $5000. Philadelphia’s visual artists are a diverse community of makers and thinkers from multiple social, economic and cultural backgrounds. The ​Velocity ​Fund is open to a wide range of experimental practices, particularly those that emphasize collaboration between artistic genres leading to expanded audiences, fresh outcomes and an enriched multi-disciplinary discourse.

The Velocity Fund is administered by Philadelphia Contemporary and is supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’s Regional Regranting Program. Added Velocity builds on the momentum of The Velocity Fund by directly supporting five previously funded Velocity Fund grantees who demonstrate a commitment to expanding their initial projects in meaningful and far-reaching ways in Philadelphia. It is made possible by the generous support from the William Penn Foundation.


Transcription

Roberta Fallon: [00:00:12] Hello, everybody. Welcome to this episode of Artblog Radio. I’m really glad you could join us today. I’m speaking today with Quinha Faria. Hello, Quinha!

Quinha Faria: [00:00:24] Hi!

Roberta Fallon: [00:00:25] And Tyler Burdenski, of the Philadelphia Packaging Company, “A Phonebook” project.

I want to thank the Velocity Fund this morning for supporting this podcast. The Velocity Fund is a local funder, who is a regranting agency of the Warhol Foundation. Their 2021 applications for grants to artists for work in the community are open now. Deadline to apply is June 14th, and you can find all the information at velocityfund.org. So I want to give a small background on “A Phonebook,” and I’m not sure if it is “a Phonebook” or “A” Phonebook, but I kind of like “A Phonebook” for some reason.

So “A Phonebook”, we’ll get into that later, is a project by Philadelphia Packaging Company, which is a group of collaborating artists, I believe. A Phonebook is also a book, but not what you might expect from the title. More like a neighborhood oral history book or an Atlas of local businesses and people, the free book, It’s available at a few shops around town, tells stories of place, and history, and touches on hardships, and social justice, and injustice, as well as some war memories of beloved enterprises, now gone.
So I am so excited to talk to you because I love this project so much. So my first question is about Philadelphia Packaging Company. So talk about that. Quinha, are you Philadelphia Packaging Company?

Quinha Faria: [00:02:11] I am. I am Philadelphia Packaging Company, and I’m also in it with eight of my closest friends in Philadelphia. So yeah, we’re, we’re a collective of nine friends. Some of us identify as artists and some don’t. All of us work in different trades and in different industries within Philadelphia. Teachers, nurses, construction, and service industry.
And we basically came together because, well, because we’re friends who like to make stuff.

Tyler Burdenski: [00:02:43] If I can, butt in, I also wanted to give Quinha some credit because, it really started with a, an incredible series of fake presentations where Quinha just pretended Philadelphia Packaging Company was an entity and then we all just joined because she spoke it into existence.

Roberta Fallon: [00:03:00] Well, and as I poked around on Philadelphia Packaging Company’s website a little bit, I saw that this is not your first book, right? You did a book before this, so I can’t remember the name of it, I’m sorry. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about that book. Cause you, you are now a publisher of books, right?

Quinha Faria: [00:03:18] Yeah, it’s an interesting plot twist that we never expected. But the,

Roberta Fallon: [00:03:22] Okay.

Quinha Faria: [00:03:23] the first magazine that we made was called, well, this is not, the Phonebook is not our first time creating something that looks like something else. So that first one that we made was actually a product catalog for this company that doesn’t really exist.

And for products that we don’t actually make, it was just a way to get a whole bunch of people who don’t necessarily have anything to do with art, identify as artists, ever want to pick up in an art magazine, for example, be able to share any of their thoughts around the concept, that’s so ubiquitous, so packaging.
And we just let people submit photos and write poetry and talk about their job and how packaging relates to that. (Or doesn’t relate to that.) It was really just a way, I think, in all of these projects to kind of push the bounds of who artists for, and what art can be.

Do we have to call it art if it actually makes some people feel less comfortable?

And so that’s why a lot of these projects have, it looks like one thing and it could be doing something else and you can call it by another name. And it’s really just how a person relates to it or doesn’t. So with the product catalog, we distributed that for free in a bunch of mom and pop shops around the city.
And in developing more relationships with some of those mom and pop shops through that project, but also in the years that I’ve lived in Philly before, was kind of where the Phonebook project was born from.

Roberta Fallon: [00:04:53] Thank you that, wow. That’s great. I really love that. You said sometimes people feel uncomfortable if you label something art. That is so true. And to just twist that around and do a project that welcomes everybody, and it was, it sounds like you went deep here and you had, you know, I don’t know how many participants, but a lot of participants in your catalog. And they can call it what they want. Either it’s art or it’s not art, but it’s, it’s a thing. That’s great.

Tyler, when did you and Quinha meet? And how, let’s talk about that a little bit, how did you get these nine people all together?

Tyler Burdenski: [00:05:34] Well, I, I first met Quinha because I was sitting in on a porch and her head just stuck through a window and just stayed in that window for awhile. But I, that’s not so relevant to the project. I’d say like I said, Quinha did a round of these presentations and then it really, I basically came back to Philly after being gone, and Quinha told me I was in a new company. A shell company. And Yeah. just supporting what Quinha was saying, it’s, it was a really great opportunity to make. To, you know, to get a bunch of people who had very different expertises, different things that they’re working in, similar, you know, similar community, but definitely different contact points.

We all started with contacting, when we started the Phonebook project, we started by contacting, You know, people, we had connections to, shops that were recommended to us. So it was. Definitely a good opportunity to just kind of get, you know, several of the people who are part of the project are born and raised in Philly. And, and others had, you know, their own relationship with small businesses and their own families going way back.

So it was just an interesting kind of wedge in the door to, to yeah. Facilitate a conversation that wasn’t just, “Oh, support, small business!” But more like, “what is, what are the weird conversations we can have?” And especially as the year, the pandemic year went on it. Those conversations got weirder and more interesting.

Roberta Fallon: [00:06:57] Yeah. Yeah. You launched this in 2019, I believe, the project. And, and then the pandemic hit. That must have been, like you said, deeply weird to have those conversations. Did you use zoom a lot? Or what did you do? Phone calls?

Tyler Burdenski: [00:07:15] Yeah. I mean, it was, it was weird because we started it and I mean, by starting it, you know, a lot of these businesses, some of the people we knew, but a lot of them we had just kind of cold called and introduced ourselves. So a lot of the year was really slowly building a relationship with a lot of the people in the magazine.

A lot of, a lot of people, you know, were, I think we kind of built the intimacy of kind of regularly contacting, kind of being in touch. And it was I mean, definitely some really tricky moments where, you know, even though we had had number of conversations with a number of people, you know, there was a lot of, a lot, everybody was touched in some way by 2020.

And several of the businesses and people that I was interviewing, you know, I would contact them and say, “okay, we’re going to do our, you know, we did a video series, maybe follow up into this thing.” And they would be in this place where they would say, “I just, my business just closed down. I was forced out of my shop. I like can’t really process what’s going on right now or what the next steps are. Like, I don’t, I don’t have the clarity right now.”

So there’s a lot of tricky balancing of saying, okay. Yeah. We’re, we’re here to like talk about the contradictions that are coming up inside of your community and inside of what, what you’re being asked to do. But yeah, it was, yeah. For a lot of people that were working with it, it got it. It was there’s some raw moments, you know?

Roberta Fallon: [00:08:42] Can I ask you a technical question? Did you record these? I assume it was interviews or conversations, maybe not straight Q and A, but uh, when you wanted to have someone participate, how did you get the information? I mean, taking notes is not going to really cut it necessarily, although it is a tried and true way to, to do business.
So what did you do?

Quinha Faria: [00:09:09] Yeah. The irony of calling this a Phonebook and then actually conducting these interviews over the phone, (laughs) isn’t lost on us. There’s also something that happened with COVID where business owners, who are the, some of the busiest people I know, who have no time to talk on the phone, suddenly had time to talk to them on the phone.

And we did record them, because it was really important for us as an oral history project to document and highlight their stories in their own words, in their own languages. Exactly how they wanted it to be said. And that means there’s a lot of doubles backing so that you know, this isn’t, we were talking with one of the reporters from The Inquirer about this, this isn’t journalism.
We actually showed them everything that we edited and we showed them their entire transcript. That was really important because some people weren’t uncomfortable with their English, or didn’t want this one piece said exactly the way it came out when it was written, transcribed. That’s really important because when you’re talking about somebody’s business and you’re trying to highlight them, and they don’t like how they’re being perceived, you’ve just done them a disservice.

So that was really important to us. And then the other thing is just that we. I’m sorry, I just lost my train of thought.

Roberta Fallon: [00:10:27] That’s okay. (laughs) We’re kind of free associating here. That’s fine. So did you get into your particular neighborhoods in Philadelphia? So you got nine people, I assume maybe you all lived in the same neighborhood, or in maybe two neighborhoods. Did you go outside your neighborhood boundaries and go far and wide in Philadelphia?
Any place that you dipped into heavily?

Quinha Faria: [00:10:55] I’ll answer a little bit about this, but another thing that was important to us was to use word of mouth. So we’re not pretending that this is an unbiased project. It’s completely biased.
It’s based on people that we know, people who’ve lived in Philadelphia a long time, people who say this spot used to be this place you should call them up, and you should also talk to that person’s cousin who lives down the street and owned the place down the store, the store down the street. So like it was partly a lot of it was in Southwest, but a lot in the Italian Market, in South Philly. We got some in North Philly, not too much in Kensington or Fishtown a little bit in Germantown, but really, I mean, we had over 120 businesses involved in the project. We did I think 35 or 38 full interviews.

And we tried to get as, as widely dispersed as possible, but we didn’t want to just pick a random neighborhood and say, “Hey, you seem like a good, we don’t know anything about you, but you seem like we should highlight you.” So it seemed like the fairest way to actually do this project.

Roberta Fallon: [00:11:57] Tyler. You want to add anything to that? Where, where do you live, right now? Where do you guys live? If I can be so bold as to ask.

Tyler Burdenski: [00:12:05] (laughs) Are you asking for my address? No, I um, I w now, ironically I just moved to right on right past the Western border of Philadelphia. I was, I lived in West Philly for many years. And now I’m living in East Landstown, right, like I could throw a stone at Philly. But yeah, so I’ve suburbanized.

But we’ve definitely, I’d say that. Yeah, there isn’t, I mean, you know, there was, there was a kind of, there’s a bit of a specialty focus, you know, like we had one member who is started out, you know, joined the project because they heard about it. And they, they had been talking to two Korean businesses in Germantown and really wanted to kind of explore some of the things that were going on within Korean led businesses and black neighborhoods, and, and, lot of interesting topics.

So it’s also worth saying there was a lot of conversations that were started that didn’t end up being full interviews that didn’t go, you know, like that member Jungmok had talked to multiple businesses, but only one or two from Germantown ended up in the book. So.

Brewery town. Yeah.

So yeah, there was a bit of a neighborhood, you know, different people kind of focused on different neighborhoods, but a lot of it was just the relationships that we had and, kept developing. And sometimes it would be, you know, I was, I would talk to someone and they would say, “Oh, you know, I ran a business for many years and you know, the old gallery. And then I, I owned a business, blah, blah, blah.” And then they’d be talking to me about all the struggles they had, keeping it open.

And then I would say, “well, if you want to. If you want to have a more formal (laughs) conversation and interview about this, this is like, we’re trying to figure out what it means to hold space in this city, and, you know, people who have tried in the past and people who are still trying are, you know, experts, you know, have a lot to say.”

Roberta Fallon: [00:13:55] Totally. And that gets to sort of, what is the mission of this book? It seems to me that it’s very socially justice focused and about revealing. And like you said, Quinha, not unbiased at all, which is a revelation, right? That you would put out a book that’s called Phonebook and it’s, it’s biased.

It’s the way it should be, right? Not that the news, you know… News, fair and unbiased, right? No. Not ever. Not ever fair, not ever unbiased. So talk a little bit about what you hoped to achieve with “A Phonebook.” Are these people in a Phonebook now, part of your posse, so to speak, you know? You have heart for them, they have heart for you? Was that part of it?

Quinha Faria: [00:14:51] Yeah, there were all, it was a very far reaching. There were a lot of goals that we had, but also very few goals. We were sort of like, let’s just see what happens, but I mean, you could say that the, probably the greatest mission was just to record the stories told by the business owners themselves.

I think in this era of Yelp and Amazon and everyone leaving reviews, it’s always from the customer point of view. And it’s never actually from that, you know, business owner who has a family, who has a history, who has rent, who is dealing with issues like, being bullied by L&I, or being bullied by their neighbors, or having to put up with some stuff that they never had to put up with before, or just talking about COVID.

So it was really just trying to capture these stories and give, give a space for them to be shared. But I think, artistically I think we were all really excited to let something unfold that we couldn’t even imagine what it looked like. Like we were like, let’s make a book that kind of looks like a Phonebook, but serves multiple purposes.

And I think that was a really beautiful aspect of the project to see something unfold that we just couldn’t have imagined. I think that’s, to me a great reason to make art. Is to watch something unfold that you couldn’t quite, figure it out before.

But there’s something that I’ve been thinking about now in retrospect, with the project, which is that like the importance of home and this sense of home? Tyler and I are both not from Philadelphia and while some people in the packaging company are, I think that if you’re listening to this podcast, there’s like probably a good chance that where you are right now is not necessarily where you’re from.

And I think that when you come from another place and whether that’s because you’re an immigrant to this country, or you’re a transplant to the city, or you left and you came back and it’s a different place now? Your sense of home may have become disrupted. And I think that that disruption or that break can create this urgency to create home. Or to make home. And I think that when people are trying to make home, they sometimes stop looking at those who are already home. Who already have home, and already have a sense of place. And it was a worry that like, as neighborhoods change, these small businesses are having a harder and harder time.

And I think that, with that urgency I’m speaking of, we like really center the self in a place. And I was thinking about how this project really tries to center place within the self. And by centering place, you’re centering people, you know? So you’re creating these relationships with people and really saying, thank you for giving me context at this time. For me, here.

Like thank you for continuing to turn on the lights and open, and take the highs with the lows, and have a bad day in the shop, or have a day when two people come into your restaurant and you come back and open again. That’s, you know, I think that we’re really indebted to these people who continue to make place for us.

Tyler Burdenski: [00:18:11] I’m also going to butt in (laughs) and say that um, one… One thing that definitely informed the direction that we went with it was, as we were starting, the Hoa Binh Plaza, which plays a prominent role in the book was there was a, just a very troublesome episode, a type of collaboration between L&I and a developer named Streamline that was, you know, basically kicked all of these Chinese Vietnamese businesses out of the Plaza, and so that was really part of our early conversations of like, what does it mean to hold…. yeah, people who are holding space for a community, these kinds of instances, it’s very clear. One community is getting substituted for another, in terms of the way that space is provided.

And, but I think the purpose of doing an oral history is also to tease out. You know, it’s not just it’s it, there there’s injustices there, but there’s also contradictions and, and not to assume that, that you know what they are, but that people themselves can tell you.

I mean, often we would walk into it saying, okay, you know, gentrification, like, we’re going to think about that. And this is what’s going to be important to people and you talk to people and it would be like… They would come out of left field with something else that was important to them. And I think that’s a valuable thing of, of, you know, I mean, having a burning, having some burning questions, but really letting people articulate for themselves, what’s actually pressing, what actually causes them stress, what actually is pushing them out.
It could be sometimes this clear cut, streamlined developer-city relationships, or it could be something totally different, you know?

Roberta Fallon: [00:19:55] That’s so true. I love sort of putting the participants in the driver’s seat and seeing, I mean, you both said this scene where the project is going. So, when did you have critical mass and felt like you could publish the book? Was there a clear thing that happened or was it sort of, well, I’m onto something else and let’s get this on the shelves. Was there a moment?

Quinha Faria: [00:20:25] Oh, at some point we had just so much content (laughs). Andrienne Palchick did the majority of the heavy lifting of the design and layout of this entire book, with the help of our friend Heidi as well, (laughs) and many other people, but, but Andri was really, I think, had so much content to work through there.

And we just had our hands full. Also we were trying to get it done by the end of 2020 which didn’t actually happen. (laughs)

Roberta Fallon: [00:20:53] Yeah, I was going to say, did that happen? (laughs)

Quinha Faria: [00:20:57] No, I mean, as, as you know, with COVID and everything, everything got delayed and the printing we were, it was important for us to use… We looked for a local printer in Philadelphia to try to carry this out the way we wanted it with the newsprint, and certain things that we had decided were important to the, the final object, but. We ended up using a printer in, in Pittsburgh that we were really happy to use, but by the time it was fully printed, it was in February? The end of March?

And um, through Added Velocity, which is the additional grant we got, we’ll be able to print about a thousand more copies this summer. We printed 300 copies and we ran out from all the various sites within two and a half weeks.

Roberta Fallon: [00:21:44] Wow. Congratulations. That’s really exciting.

Quinha Faria: [00:21:49] Thank you.

Roberta Fallon: [00:21:50] And I’m really glad you’re printing a thousand more this summer because I want one. (laughs) I really want one.

Tyler Burdenski: [00:21:57] (laughs) Yeah. you and everyone’s mom in our project.

Roberta Fallon: [00:22:01] Well, I’ll stand back. All your project people get them first. (laughs).

Is anything available online? I know somewhere I read that there are some videos that you made. Is this accessible?

Tyler Burdenski: [00:22:16] Yeah. Well, we’re doing a larger rollout this summer. We’re doing, as part of Added Philosophy, an extended video series. So we were producing kind of minute-long videos and, you know, the whole point of the project was a lot of offline connectivity. So making, trying to push, you know, the algorithmic logic that makes people successful in business in a city, you know, like Yelp and all these like pay to play formats, you know, we’re trying to replace it with like, actually, what is human story? What is like, what is the person who’s occupying the place, and who are they supporting and in place around them.

And I think part of that, know, we decided to do, to not focus on online publishing, which was a decision during COVID, but it still was central to what we were, the conversations we were having, was trying to get people into these shops, just to pick up the copies, to have the conversations, to build the relationships. And the online video series was conceived as a way to elevate the voices, and get people aware of, okay, the, you know, this is the type of conversations they’re having. This is the texture of, the tenor of, these, these stories and, and the people who were in the magazine, the book, but, you know.
Honestly, yeah. It’s just to direct people to the physical places to pick up the physical books. We didn’t want to do an online publication because it’s, this is about the place and this is about the people. But yeah, so now we’re doing, you know, we did it a run of kind of one minute ish videos that were excerpts from these conversations and their stories.

And this summer, when we released the, the new. Issues. There’s going to be, you know, inclusions in, in the actual book where you can watch the much longer videos that have more in depth conversations with more different businesses too.
Roberta Fallon: [00:24:11] Cool. I want to say this book came together extraordinarily quickly, right? You started working in 2019 and you published in 2020?

Tyler Burdenski: [00:24:22] It didn’t feel quickly. (laughs) We had, you know, it’s, we had nine people on our end and lots of conversations, you know, bi-weekly meetings. So it definitely, I mean, it’s interesting. Now we have a slimmer crew who’s doing the Added Velocity, it’s, you know, everybody’s still in the PPC family, but. .. And it’s like, it it’s, I think time is moving faster now.

Roberta Fallon: [00:24:46] Ironic. (laughs)

Tyler Burdenski: [00:24:48] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, thank you. We need to Pat ourselves on the back about that, I guess, (laughs) but definitely we were all like, “yes, we’re finally, it’s out in the world!” That was such a relief when it hit the shelves.

Roberta Fallon: [00:24:58] Yeah. Yeah. And second edition coming up.

Let’s turn to the two of you individually, now. You’re both not from Philadelphia. Let’s start with Quinha? You are from Brazil, I believe. How did you come to be in Philadelphia? And also tell us about your art, because you have a show that you’re in right now at Vox Populi Gallery that has a va-va-va, boom!, picture of your amazing uh, sculptural fabric design.
So yeah. Tell us about you.

Quinha Faria: [00:25:34] Yes, I was born in Philly. (laughs) No it wasn’t. I was born in Brazil and um, I came to the United States when I was very young, with my mom and my brother. I’m raised by a single mom in New Jersey. I studied, in undergrad, Human Physiology with the thought of becoming a nurse in Oregon. Then I lived in California, back in Brazil for a little bit, I moved all around.

And then I moved to Philadelphia to go to nursing school. I never had any intention to become an artist or really any interest, honestly. And I kinda just fell into making. Well, I had always been making kind of weird stuff and always doing one thing while it looks like I’m doing another thing, right?

So I… I don’t think of myself as like a publisher of books. I would say I am a packaging person. I work in garments. I apprenticed learn Larnell Baldwin, who is a master tailor on fabric row. He’s been there for 45 years. He taught me how to make garments, and I think of garments as packages for the body.

I’m an ER nurse. I’ve been a nurse in Southwest Philadelphia at Penn for six years. And I like to assemble things into other things. So that’s what my art is about.

Oh yes, I have this show at Vox, which is closing at the end of the week. It’s a beautiful show about sustainable fashion. And I was just really thinking a lot about like supply and demand and where things come from and the value of, Of garments and packages.

And I’m going to have a public installation through mural arts hanging over Concourse, South of market on Ludlow between 11th and 12th. Gunna install that in a week. And then, yeah, and then I’m going to go the following week to pursue my MFA at Bard.

Roberta Fallon: [00:27:41] Wow. holy smokes! That’s awesome. That’s awesome on so many levels.

Tyler, where are you from, originally? And what brought you to Philadelphia?

Tyler Burdenski: [00:27:54] Well, I was born and raised in Texas, all about. Or mostly in central Texas, but, my dad’s family, my dad kind of grew up in Philly and his whole family, you know, his, my grandma immigrated into, into Philly when she was in her twenties. And yeah, so I, you know, I’ve lived, I, I could tell you all the places I’ve lived. Too many places as well, but I’ve been in Philly for, many years now. And when I first came here, it was really just uh, sort of, because I wanted to feel like I was from a place, you know, I didn’t feel a lot of belonging anywhere else. And this was the highest concentration of family I had anywhere.

So I was like, Oh, I’ll I’ll move to Philly. And I’ll, it’ll make sense. I’ll, I’ll just belong here, contextually. And then you discover that that’s not how things work, but you, build your own context. And that’s, that’s what I did. I, you know, I, I just love the community here. I really love … it’s, it’s, in some ways it’s kind of a mixture between the South and the Northeast in some ways.

So I really appreciate the space I found here, and I think this project is kind of a way of, of exploring how, yeah. How belonging works.

Roberta Fallon: [00:29:07] That’s great. And are you an artist, Tyler?

Tyler Burdenski: [00:29:11] Yep. Yep. And I do plenty of weird art things. (laughs) I do a lot of, I mean, I’m a filmmaker primarily, so I have a lot of film projects going on.

I have a feature film. That’s like a, it’s a, a bizarro period piece about an apocalyptic Christian doomsday movement that happened in the early 18 hundreds that I’m finishing up right now. And plenty of other weird things (laughs) in addition.

Roberta Fallon: [00:29:38] Sounds great. Are we going to be able to see these in Philadelphia somewhere?

Tyler Burdenski: [00:29:44] Absolutely. It was, I dragged half a Philadelphia. It, it, the film is set in Maine, or the characters that it’s based on were all from Maine. So I dragged half of Philadelphia up to Maine to, to film it. So I I’ve got to do a, I’ve got to do a big screening here, but. I’m waiting until, you know, everyone can pack into the same room.

Roberta Fallon: [00:30:07] Yeah, that’s a big thing.
We are closing out here. And I just want to say, is there anything else that you’d like to say about “A Phonebook” or Philadelphia Packaging Company, or… closing words? Quinha?

Quinha Faria: [00:30:24] I think I would just want to say what the whole project is trying to say, which is thank you, to the small business owners that have welcomed us into their shops, and into their homes, and told us stories about their families, and gave us context for ourselves here. Really happy to call them all friends now.

Tyler Burdenski: [00:30:45] Yeah, I would echo that, but also say that I was so surprised during the project of the different kinds of ideas that a lot of the people in this, you know, I don’t, I’m kind of turned off by the conversation of Just Small Business as like a, like an economic forest or something about the middle class or something.

I really think that people it’s just about making yourself… being able to sustain yourself and your community in a place. And I, I think that there’s really, people have really amazing ideas. You know, we had people who are questioning what rent structure between, you know, small businesses who are renting places and percentages and all these things that were like, wow, this could, you know, it was a fun, a very wild year where everything was shifting. And I was like, Oh yeah, if you just ask people with an open mind, how things could be restructured. They have the, you know, people have their own ideas.

So definitely I guess if I were to sum it up, I’d say, keep an open mind and, and really think generously about how we can reorganize our social relationships with each other.

Roberta Fallon: [00:31:53] Okay. Bravo. Amen! I want to say, thank you so much. I’ve been speaking with Quinha Faria and Tyler Burdenkski of Philadelphia Packaging Company, whose “A Phonebook” goes into a new publishing, new printing that is, this summer. So will be available this summer. Look, look out for it. More information and links will be on our website when this podcast is published.

By the way everybody, the Velocity Fund applications, which we told you at the beginning are open now. Go to velocity fund.org for more information. The deadline for applications is June 14th. Thank you everybody. Thank you so much, Quinha and Tyler. This has been a wonderful conversation. And congratulations and bye bye.

Tyler Burdenski: [00:32:48] Bye!

Quinha Faria: [00:32:49] Bye! Thanks Roberta.

Tags

Added Velocity, althea baird, Andrienne Palchick, andy warhol foundation, andy warhol foundation for the visual arts, buy local, Heidi Ratanavanich, Hoa Binh Plaza, italian market, Jamie Bokan Blair., Jeremiah Jordan, Jungmok Yi, Kirby Reiko McKenzie, Nam Son Bakery, philadelphia businesses, Philadelphia Contemporary, Philadelphia Packaging Company, Quinha Faria, Velocity Fund, William Penn Foundation

sponsored
sponsored

Moving Artblog Forward - Celebrating 18 Years - Donate Today!

Artblog is passionate about art. If you are too, please help us in our Annual Appeal Campaign!

Donate Today!

Send this to a friend