Sunday, October 12, 2008

Leaving Your Impression: Finding Common Ground (2007)

Together with the affordable housing community residents of Terracina Gold Apartments, Sacramento, CA, I made inked prints of one of their fingers. The fingerprint was used as an image signifying something that everyone in the community had in common. I made enlarged laser-cut stencils of their fingerprints. The residents then stenciled their prints with fluorescent paint to represent this community’s ‘collective fingerprint’. This project was sponsored by LifeSTEPS, a provider of social services for affordable housing communities in California.

The court site, adjacent to the small community center, was originally built as a small basketball court to be used by the residents. In 2004, the property management became concerned that, as a basketball court, it was attracting what they identified as youth gang-related activity. Before discussing their concerns with the Terracina residents, the management removed the basketball pole. When I began working with the residents on possible community-based art projects, they expressed feeling both demoralized and disenfranchised in part by this unilateral ‘decommissioning’. They reported that they did not use this space other than for events annually staged by the property management.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Brainstorm (2007)

Brainstorm was facilitated in conjunction with the artists at the studios of Arts of Life, El Valor, Esperanza, and Project Onward as part of a larger exhibition, Minds Eye: Developmental Disabilities, Mental Illness, and Visual Art. These four Chicago organizations provide artist support services for developmentally disabled adults. The slats were painted and/or collaged with images and text by the participating artists in response (virtual and actual) to tornadoes. These flexible wood slats were then collaboratively woven into a large tornado-shaped iron rod armature.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Inter-Actions (2004)

For a period of approximately eight weeks prior to the installation of Inter-Actions, students at Western Michigan University daily recorded interactions they remember having that day on one of three colored sheets of paper. Each color (red, blue, and yellow) represented three categories of motivation: kindness, fear, and anger. Students determined which category best represented each of the interaction they described. The accumulated mass of balled up paper was stacked as columns in the three planters located in the inner courtyard of the Art, Education and Psychology departments’ building.

This project is intended to make tangible the interactions that occur between individuals and the relational space and discourse that exist between the intrapsychic and the interpersonal. The manner in which we engage with others involves a complex matrix of multiple and contradictory motives. In everyday life, more often then not, these interactions go unexamined and are quickly forgotten. Central to this project will be a reconsideration of those interactions. Interactions was conceived and executed in collaboration with Karen Bondarchuk, Foundations Coordinator, Western Michigan University.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shattered Sparks (2004)

A project that I developed and facilitated out of a series of conversations I had over the span of a year (2004) with members of a Jewish congregation (Oheb Shalom) in South Orange, NJ. Initially conceived as a remembrance and reflection on Kristallnacht, this project had since come to focus on the overarching theme of what do we do as individuals and as a community with the inherited materials and contents of our lives. Participants collectively assembled a form from shards of broken glass that they had written on with personal reflections of the Kabala concept of tikkun (fixing/mending/rectifying).