Art is about opening up doors that seem to be closed, and exposing the unnamed and the unreachable, the unspeakable. Collaborative art is about reaching out, about sharing, about getting rid of ego to realize we all add to each others being by that which we know needs strength. Collaborative art is about support, about community, and of course exposure.
Tonight, the window to my backyard is open. It is a warm night in San Francisco. Warm enough to eat ice cream without a sweater on, warm enough to touch the moon that lights up the spring plum tree in bloom. I can hear the airplanes, the sirens, dogs. Its too late to hear children, they must have all gone to bed.
The neighbors are laughing… they must have just finished dinner. A moment ago I heard my neighbors sharing stories, and now they are singing! The most beautiful things, the most amazing things, happen, when people come together. Tonight I wish I had someone to dance with, but for now I will listen to the voices of the people next door who enjoy what is all of ours to share… each other. What is greater than that, truly? -Hilary
The August Artist-in-Residence at the De Young Museum, Alexandra Blum, is a printmaker and painter who will spend this month in the Kimball Education Gallery. She will be interacting with guests in order to create an exhibit that displays the museum-going populace as not only a collection of individuals, but also a collective with a communal vision.
The Kimball Education gallery is a fantastic and under-used place to check out local artists at work. I interned there for a few months in 2009, and was shocked to discover how few people knew about this great resource in the city. I was able to hang out with some incredible artists and see their processes as they use the space as a “studio for a month”.
Alexandra Blum is particularly interesting to Artlarking, because she aims to collaborate with her audience, by tracing silhouettes of visitors while recording their descriptions of their favorite De Young permanent collection artwork. These pieces will then become part of a mixed-media collage/ silkscreen project in the gallery. Her conceptual artist’s statement is “to humanize the private individual experience of viewing art and also transform it into a vision of a shared experience”.
Check it out- the Kimball Gallery always free! and is located across from the main ticket desks and entrance to the “tower”, at the corner of the museum.
So I normally want to use this blog to focus on local Bay Area collaborations, but I just woke up to an email from my mom describing a multimedia collaborative event (above photo) that she attended in Santa Fe, NM where I grew up. Santa Fe is an artsy place, but normally errs on the side of the turquoise-howlingcoyote-desertscene. Of course there are tons of brilliant artists living there, but music/theatre/dance tend to be a bit lacking. So I was excited to hear about Meow Wolf, an arts collective started in part by a guy I went to high school with, Quinn Tincher.
Meow Wolf is housed in a 2000 sq foot warehouse that is literally recreated every few months with different massive collaborative installations. Members also host individually curated shows on the other side of the warehouse. The collective’s member’s range from sculptors to directors to interactive media designers to dancers to musicians. Meow Wolf is here ”to foster diversity and encourage the birth of new ideas”.
The concept that brignt new ideas spring from diverse collaborations and creations is right on par with Artlarking’s mission. An article in the Santa Fe Reporter (8.12.09) puts one of their artists’ visions nicely:
Poet and installation artist Vito Acconci states that he likes to work in a group because it takes at least three people to have an idea suitable for the public. In this spirit, you will not find titles of individual works or a list of individual artists, and it is exactly this pack mentality that gives the exhibition its strength. The prize here is the energy invested and the confluence of so many minds working together to achieve a sustained pitch that is as overwrought as it is resplendent.
Last Thursday night, SF’s Kokoro Studio hosted an animation screening and tiny-set/prop showing of the newest collaborative work by Brooklyn artists Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter. Ru and Max have been working together on incredible mixed-media animations since 2007 under the company name Tiny Inventions, and their latest 10 minute animated dark comedy about a “vacationing couple’s encounter with a man they believe to be the Zodiac killer” is definitely a labor of love. The husband and wife team met working at other design firms and joined forces with TIny Inventions. Together they create the characters, sets, and props, do stop motion photography, video, and post production all within their Brooklyn apartment. Each person has their specialty- Ru focuses more on creating the characters, while Max is the main photographer, but the storyboarding, ideas, and execution are done as a team. At a Q and A after the screening, I asked Ru and Max what the most difficult thing is about doing collaborative works. They paused to think for a brief moment, and then Ru answered simply: “Lunch”. Lunch? Max agreed. Apparently the couple enjoys working together so much, the biggest problem they face on a daily basis is where to get take-out. Check out their work to see the intricate, adorable, fruits of their great connection.