Thursday, November 13, 2008

Snow Job

Tacoma Art Museum Snowbound here

Here's what we're thinking, the project (three components) is titled Snow Job,

1. Installation covering Richard Rhodes' untitled "stone wave" or, Stone Garden:

Second-hand sweaters, quilts, and blankets sourced from Tacoma will be placed over the 650 stones in the 1,650 square-foot enclosure, creating a dense collage (or quilt) of patterns and textures. Each of the stones measures approximately 24 inches square and will be individually covered with its own sweater or blanket, creating a temporary covering; softening the environment, providing a warm, comforting space in the heart of the museum. Assembled at random, the work is designed to address our community; how we share, take care of one another, and protect ourselves.

Rather than cutting or destroying the garments, we intend to fold the clothing articles to mimic the shape of the stones; temporarily altering their shapes to fit the pavers, without destroying their history or compromising the initial function of the clothing. In part, this work is designed to draw attention to not only the space, but to the materials being used and community in which they exist. We will purchase the majority of these items (some will be donated, some will be ours), financially supporting our community on one level, but what of the materials and their place in the world after this installation? What responsibilities (as artists) do we have to working in sustainable ways, supporting people in need, and how do we draw these tenuous connections? Virginia Woolf has written, "For fiction, imaginative work that is, is not dropped like a pebble upon the ground, as science may be; fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible…But when the web is pulled askew, hooked up at the edge, torn in the middle, one remembers that these webs are not spun in mid-air by incorporeal creatures, but are the work of suffering human beings, and are attached to grossly material things, like health and money, and the houses we live in". (Woolf, A Room of One's Own, pp. 41-42.)

At the conclusion of the installation, we propose to donate the garments to local shelters, in effect allowing the work to expand and reach (back) into the community. Pieces of this work will have had lives previous to this intervention, and we hope to give them lives afterwards.

2. Installation/performance in The Murray Family Event Space:

We propose to bring the snow inside, conceptualizing the Murray Family Event Space as an improvised Snow Globe. Utilizing recycled paper (ideally, we would be recycling the paper from Tacoma Art Museum as well as businesses and institutions that we are affiliated with currently), and working in conjunction with a donor-based project in the Open Art Studio (as well as additional snowflakes being added to the installation the day of the performance), we will be cutting and gluing individual paper snowflakes that will be initially sited in a corner of the Event Space, much like a snowdrift (we're from Ohio, and this image is very clear in both of our minds).

At scheduled times throughout the day, we propose to activate the snowflakes with electric-powered leaf blowers (doubling as "snow" blowers here), pushing the paper cutouts up and out, into another area in the room. Since moving to downtown Tacoma in 2004, we have been haunted by leaf blowers. We have seen countless mornings (6:00 am is the earliest incident that we recall specifically) broken by the grinding and whirring of the motorized blowers navigating along our sidewalks and gutters.

3. Welcome back Shreddy.

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