The Awesome Foundation "distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is pooled together from the coffers of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees” and given upfront in cash, check, or gold doubloons." http://www.awesomefoundation.org/en
I learned of this organization through a friend some time back and it has been on my mind ever since. I was waiting for the right project to write up an application. In the upcoming month of August, I have a solo exhibition at the Hilyer Arts Space in Washington D.C. My rough plan as of now is to transform the space given for the exhibition into a peculiar sensory environment. My work as of late continues to explore interaction, and "new media" aspects as well. I have become particularly interested in how I can achieve interaction, and I am learning that it doesn't have to be physical, and in fact, some times it may be better that the connection is emotional, or mental. The plan for the Hilyer gallery space is to construct walls out of rough-sawn (perhaps barn) lumber, inlay a dirt floor, and suspend a blue-tarped ceiling, bulging with water about to spill through. The idea comes from being inside a hay wagon that has been covered to protect it from the rain. The way the light shines through the tarp is wildly surreal, and this environment speaks to my childhood growing up on the farm. For material that signifies this type of environment, I have used various techniques and specific wood to make it believable. A lot of the lumber is bought second-hand or reclaimed from a former construction project. I have also become rather skilled in making new wood look old... which in retrospect seems pretty silly, but it works. And after all, we're problem solvers, right? The possibility of tearing down an old barn structure and using the lumber for a new project has always excited me, and seems all-too appropriate. One of the nicest effects of the reclaimed lumber is the history it holds in its looks, its integrity, and even its smell. With regards to making rules to follow through the process as a sculptor... the rules here would be:
1. Find a barn through a farmer, or on craigslist to take down for the cost of labor and clean up of the area.
2. The barn must have its own character, and character comes with age. Meaning that I am not looking for an OSB/2x4 shed.
3. If possible, camp there for a day or two (or however long it takes), and work your ass off, carefully deconstructing the building to save as much material as possible.
4. Intensely document the process and make a blog post about the experiment here, following with a finished work of sculpture. (Remember Ten Sculptures In Ten Days)? http://tensculpturesintendays.blogspot.com/
5. Do it alone.
6. The finished sculpture can only be made out of materials from this barn structure... down to the last screw and grain of dirt.
Why am I asking for money? I have slowly but surely been collecting tools as a sculptor and constantly expanding my tool library. Taking down a barn calls for some specific tools, most of which I have. Over the winter months I built a cap and rack system for my truck (almost entirely out of materials from the dumpster at the university theatre). The rack has made it worlds easier to go on rogue missions to collect materials.
One specific tool that I have been searching for quite some time now is a trailer. Not only will this job require a trailer, but many, many more jobs in the future will as well. The image in my mind is to drive up in this truck with the bed-cap full of tools, pulling a trailer to a dilapidated barn on a sunny Friday morning that has turned gray over the years and smells of wet hay inside. Pull out a stereo and put on some T. Rex and unload my tools. Make a plan of attack. Take pictures and video. Eat lunch from a cooler with food and beers. Piss in the bushes. Work like a dog. Prepare some dinner. Sleep in my truck bed. Wake up, make some coffee, and repeat. Bring the materials back to my studio. Write an intensive blog post about the experience including:
-What I ate
-What I listened to
-What I saw
-What I thought happened there in the past
-What I dreamt of
-What I struggled with
-And what made me do this
Then: Make a sculpture about all of this...