Yesterday was day one of install....it's going to be pretty minimal and its such a large space...here are some sneak peaks. Today I'll play around with some sound...
Next week I'll be doing a project at GPS (Greensboro Project Space); a brand new, experimental space.
Title: (un)making sense
Friday: First Friday Opening 6-9pm, Performance starting at 7pm, followed by a casual Q & A.
About: This project is an environment for the rearrangement of language. Much like momentary thoughts swirl around in our heads, this space will hold sound: amplifying ephemeral thoughts both sensical and not. By using words and phrases as contextless fragments, new arrangements create new meaning.
Performance: In the center of the industrial gallery space will be a personal pop-up studio. I'm going to be typing stream of consciousness style on a scroll of paper loaded into my Smith-Corona typewriter. The sounds of the keys punching the paper will be audible in the space. Two readers* will occupy the space, reciting written words arranged by participants. Throughout the space, several audio speakers will be looping sounds of writing, typing, and spoken word.
Participation: There will be two interactive pieces that the public can participate in. On one wall of the space, there will be three slender maple shelves holding slips of paper. The paper holds fragments of language, both sensical and not. Beneath the shelves will be a stack of more paper (more fragments). The public is encouraged to handle these cards, rearrange them, switch them out, scramble them up, and edit them - making/unmaking phrases and meaning. To document these changes throughout the duration of the project, the words will be spoken aloud and amplified, adding to the composition of sound. This sound will be live; its made and then its gone. On the opposite side of the space, there will be a pile of words typed on paper. Participants are encouraged to use the provided words and pin them directly to the wall creating poetry/phrases/stories by addition (much like novelty magnetic poetry sets for refrigerators). Throughout the project, this piece will grow in size as words are continually added.
*Thank you readers, Kate Gordon and Caroline Bugby.
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to share my Letter Project with the wonderful people of the Triad Health Project and Dining for Friends (see my earlier post). In short, this group is celebrating 30 years of care, education, and funding for people affected by AIDS in the Greensboro community. At their community party, held at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, I set up a small installation with hundreds of handmade envelopes and invited party-goers to pause and write a letter. They could write to anyone: those living with the disease, those living without the disease but are affected by it in some way, those who have lost their life to AIDS, and to anyone they care about. A handmade wooden keepsake box on the center of the table held a hidden speaker, which softly recited the 700 names of those in the community who have lost their life to AIDS.
I set up the space and waited. The party had over 300 people. I did not get 300 people to participate; but thats okay. To me, strength is not necessarily in quantity. I saw one man sit down at the table for a long time. Once he wrote his letter and sealed the envelope, he began to write another. He sealed it and began to write another. And another. Others came and went and he still sat there writing. This sight filled my heart and broke it at the same time. Because of this man, I knew the project mattered. My only intent was to set the table as an offering; a space to use if anyone wanted to use it. To actually see healing unfold before my eyes was so heartfelt in both a warm and achey way.
Installation shots from the Thesis Exhibition, Big Quiet, at the Weatherspoon Art Museum
Its a beautiful day for the Triad Health Project and Dining for Friend's annual community party! I'm so excited to be a part of such a healing and celebratory event. I created two interactive art memorials: a quilt, and The Letter Project. I'll update my site soon with photos from this evening! In the mean time, here is a glimpse of what I've been working on....