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Here are the pictures from Between the Lines (experience exchange) at College of the Redwoods. The piece has already moved from the library at the Eureka campus to another campus for the next two weeks. Sadly when I install a participatory work and then leave it I don’t get to see it fill up with responses, nor do I get to photograph later responses myself. Here are some of my images from Between the Lines (experience exchange) before I left.
To recap the action: Each participant responds to a personal question related to experiences in the book (Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates). They write their response on one of the 600 individually painted Pages. They then drop their response in the box and take someone else’s response to hang in the frame they feel it belongs in.
The images below are the subjects for the Frames. Each one is two sides of a major theme in Coates’ book. Because I was told that some of the students (and certainly the public) would not have yet read the book I had to make certain things differently than if they had. For example, one of the major themes of the book is “The Dream”, which might sound positive if you haven’t read the book, except in context it is an almost fictional, fenced-in privileged world built on oppression which other people are excluded from, the false promise of which which keeps people from addressing the systemic problems. Since people wouldn’t know that, I used “Privilege” instead. I also put quotations from the book around each major theme to contextualize it.
Here are some of the experiences which were exchanged…
#DadaTarot at the SFAI alumni show (curator Katya Min of the Yerba Buena Center) was especially interesting because it was right after the election (November 13th and 14th). There were unsurprisingly a fair number of questions about the direction of the country. Notably a few of these were answered with a U-Turn sign. One question about whether “It was going to be okay” (post election) was answered by a picture of Trump making a rude gesture with his fingers, a plane and a car. Definitely an intense and rattled climate here in liberal San Francisco at an art school.
The gallery environment of the Diego was more open space with people coming into the gallery in a steady stream of singles and small groups for hours. The pace people approach a piece and how much they see of what other people do first really changes the dynamic. In this case people were greeting it almost on their own, or one group at a time. One of the best dynamics in this case was two strangers wanting to do the piece, but lacking a partner they knew. There were people who looked like they had little in common (age, clothing, etc.) who seemed deeply skeptical of each other, but in a couple cases embraced after doing the piece together and found they had ideas to offer each other. This was one of my hopes for the piece. Really, it has worked out to be everything I hoped for and more. While the records are interesting, the interaction itself is the core of the piece.
#DadaTaroT was at Pataphysical Studios’ special exhibit on the ‘Pataphysics of Dada’ as part of Citylights Dada World Fair. Here are the participants from the Nov. 5th event.
I did a less formal version of the #DadaTaroT piece at this fall’s open studios. I am really enjoying this piece! A lot of people asked some pretty intense questions, and many interesting interpretations and conversations arose.
A few odd things keep happening: out of the (4?) times people have asked about Trump winning the election (the piece was made during the primaries), Elvis has been drawn three times out of the nearly 100 media cards. What is one to make of that?
Another thing that has happened at least three times is that pairs of friends have picked the same card after the entire deck was shuffled.
Two groups went as three people together instead of a pair.
In this iteration, a questioner asked about the nature of the artist as a child, and the person answering was actually quite right. Another person made an offhand comment that the questioner would get a tattoo on their hand… which it turned out they already had. A surprising number of people asking about their own mortality.
Narratives upon narratives.
Apologies… the notes on the two responses seems to be lost. I’m working on recovery and will post them when and if I get them.