Some images of new work from International art project, Jan - Feb 2011.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Some images of new work from International art project, Jan - Feb 2011.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
At some point in high school a friend and I hatched a plan to hike a mountain with hammocks in hand. I found it paradoxical that hammocks were relegated to backyards when they were much more enjoyable hanging over creeks, on mountainsides or on next to a lake. Since then, I have been curious about figuring out new uses for resources people take for granted or simply overlook.
While studying at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University in upstate New York, I found tremendous purpose in using discarded resources to create artwork. I was enthralled to justify being creative by using garbage and sought to inspire others to do the same. The solution was a free-in free-out material reuse program housed in a shipping container dubbed ‘RePo’. It still diverts about eight tons of usable materials away from the landfill every year, back into a cycle of creative reuse.
After graduating I flirted with Colorado, and was a resident with Colorado Art Ranch in Steamboat Springs, and later interned at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. After the work ended I moved back to Jackson, Wyoming and convinced a start up non-profit called the Center of Wonder to employ me as the Public Art Ambassador. My goal was to raise the awareness of the benefits public art provides and begin work on a public art master plan for the community.
During my two-year fellowship I created participatory projects with and for the community. In the background I explained the intricacies of public art policy with elected officials. The final public project was titled ‘Vertical Orchestra’, which transformed a ski lift into a musical carousel of live musicians playing to an audience relaxing in hammocks slung up in trees along the slope.
The Hardrock Revision opportunity is especially exciting to see how 'transdisciplinary collaboration' is defined outside the program of study I am engaged in. This is going to be an interesting adventure, and I will come with a couple extra hammocks in hand.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
As a landscape architect I have found that communities all have specific differences, and general similarities.
1. Individuals within a community don't all agree with each other.
2. They want to have their say, and to be taken account of in decisions.
3. They know lots about where they live that we don't know.
The most successful projects I have worked on were the ones where we began without prejudice. That is to say, we deliberately kept our own ideas and wishes and opinions out of the way until we had gained an understanding of what local people told us.
In 'The Fairytale of Burscough Bridge' we began for several weeks by asking local people
1. what they thought of their town
2. what other people thought of their town
3. the best bits about their town
4. the worst bits etc....
One of the most important things was allowing people to see that there were significantly differing opinions within the community. There was not one magic solution which would please everyone living there, we tried to get them thinking about each other's opinions. We simultaneously did extensive research into the area, following leads given to us by local people. Once we understood how people felt about where they lived, and were able to suggest solutions involving bits of their own history that even they didn't know, it seemed that we'd gained their trust.
In another project, BCAL entered a competition where the community would vote for the winner following a presentation. All the other entrants showed images and plans of how the place would look once the project was finished. BCAL gave out postcards and asked people to return them to us with their memories and thoughts about their place, we got the commission in the end.
Once we arrive in Lake City I would like to meet, and listen to, as many people as possible. I find it always feels a bit scary to not be producing ideas and 'stuff' as soon as possible, but I believe it's better.
Some practical suggestions...
Opinions/stories/ideas in written or video (or some other recorded form that is as little mediated as possible) would be a great resource for us when we arrive.
Tapping into pre-existing groups (sports/social/professional) and meeting them. Allowing those who are most interested/committed to find us. That way involvement can trickle up!
Meeting different groups separately, then all groups together later.
Asking the community to consider how others, both within and outside their community, view the situation.
I don't know what anyone else thinks, but I'd be interested to hear.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I am really looking forward to meeting, hanging out and working with all of you! I am not sure how to begin. I live in Portland Oregon, teach part-time at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), garden, do yoga, hike and make art. Cooking and red wine also play a part in my life. I am married and have 2 step daughters and a fabulous grown daughter …. who spent a summer at Dartmouth and is now in DC. With an aunt in Maine I occasionally go to Arcadia National Park during the summer. For money, I teach contemporary art history (I know that sounds like an oxymoron … think art since 1945) but my professional practice is studio art. I mostly make Public Art and Art in Public. So I have worked on large collaborative projects that involve landscape architects and engineers, as well as, temporary and unofficial things like my most recent midnight poster project Look Up. These posters sprung from my anger at a Coal Power Plant that continues to release mercury into our air and the green washing done the local power company.
My work in very interdisciplinary and often involves moving heavy objects. The primary focus is the interface between natural and built systems. I have a long history of collaboration with a video artist Pamela Chipman. One of my favorite joint projects is Beneath Our Feet. We filmed the inside a huge sewer pipe that went under the Willamette River and then continued through various neighborhood. We made a video and projected it on a large outdoor screen in parks, empty lots and schools along the route. I hope Lydia will be interested in looking at BOF.
The experience that I always carry with me is the years I worked as a union carpenter. After getting a MA in Art History at the University of Maryland (I grew up along the Chesapeake Bay), I lived 2 years in West Virginia (mining community) and then moved to the west coast. As a struggling artist in Portland, I decided to try something completely different and enrolled in the Carpenters Apprentice program. All of a sudden I was building bridges and high rises – plus welding, rigging cranes and climbing up 30’ walls with 25 lbs bolts. It took me 5 years to get through the 4 year program but I made it and became a “journey man”.
My experience of the thrills and dangers involved in high stakes work changed by life and my art for ever. It also led to a series of installations and performances called “Art at Work”.
I have not worked as a hard hat for many years but I continue to have admiration for the men and women who labor at unsung jobs. Now I do more urban planning. My current project is helping to design an urban green street.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Orion has been a perfect fit for me in many ways, particularly for its combination of artfulness and urgency expressed through writing and visual art concerned with the intersections of nature and culture. (If you haven't yet, you may like to check out the article by Erik Reece on AMD&Art.) I have always been drawn to interdisciplinary projects and enjoy looking for connections between ways of thinking, figuring out how to shift perspective to get a larger picture of the whole.
My favorite place, and the place that feels most like home to me, is the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I love hiking, gardening, cross-country skiing, identifying trees and flowers and birds, and jumping in cold mountain streams. I think they have some of those in Colorado.
Here's the gorgeous elm tree at the top of the hill where I live:
The last week of April I will be going to Lake City to meet with: Editor of the paper, Chamber of Commerce, County Commissioners, educators, and others. Of course, that is just a beginning and these folks enjoy their own challenges of trust within the community. How best to have involvement trickle down to a community that we don't live in?
I welcome ideas you may have on how to engage the community before, during and after Hardrock Revision.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I live out in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and occasionally venture in to town to teach in the art department at the University of Virginia where I direct the new media program. For better or for worse, most of my art making happens on the computer now (more about that here). Alternately, I secretly dream of living off the grid and last year completed a certification in permaculture design. My hobbies include chopping wood and attempting to grow things.
I’m excited about this project and looking forward to meeting you all out West.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
|Hexhamshire in Northumberland|
|Angel Field by BCAL|
|Anwohnerpark Cologne by OSA|
Monday, April 4, 2011
Married to Peggy Lawless whom I met at Wildlife Camp.
Two kids: Blake 27, and Alex 25
I will be your facilitator. My job is to keep things moving and stay out of the way (I think). I started this project three years ago.