Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hopping the Fence

Collaborating Artists
I am putting together 5-6 multi-disciplinary artist teams for possible collaboration--pairing TC3 resident artists with professional working artists in Seattle to begin a dialog. Artist teams agree to meet for a one hour conversation sometime in the next two weeks. The actual collaborations may or may not happen, that's up to the artists, but all artists will meet and work towards collaborative ideas. This is about real time connections. It's about art as a battering ram. It's about hopping a 10' fence with a paintbrush and a poem. Teams will, in late December, go into a recording studio. We're pleased and honored to be invited into Chris Wilson's studio in Fremont to present our work. Ah! Then we'll have proof of what's possible when the fence comes down. The tricky part is getting the artists together. Some residents have phones, some don't. Some I see everyday. Some it's by chance. When I do see an artist these days, I pull my calendar out and get an artist friend on the phone and set a date.

Lyn and Mark were the first two artists to meet. Brave pilots. I facilitated their meeting on Friday and, wow, I couldn't have asked for a better match or a more exciting start! It began with Lyn reciting a section of the Battle of Maldon in Old English and Mark pulling out a copy of that very poem from his knapsack, in The Cambridge Old English Reader, which he's currently working on recording. From there, they moved on to Beowulf and then Lyn's finger settled on a line, "homeless they wander." That started a litany of "you know what I'm thinking" and "it would be fun to." Lyn and Mark worked easily together and decided to follow their collaboration through. They're working on an original script via email and will meet again next week before the studio recording. Bravo team! Bravo!!

I'd met with Mark the night before. We read out a section of Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae, a comedy Mark plans to present at the American Philological Association. Mark is a Classics scholar, a Greek translator, an actor and an all around brilliant man. He carries a full pack of tomes about with him and seems to have whatever he needs just when he needs it. The rain is ruining them, he says. He is studying for his Japanese equivalency, applying to graduate programs and has many project going.

4AM in Meadowbrook
Alas. I showed up for the camp-wide meeting. It was cancelled. I didn't eat enough. I waited around. There was laughter. I sat in the middle of it. I pulled out my typewriter and became the song. I gave my lantern hundreds of cranks. It faded, so... the hot sucker fish came swimming along and latched onto my face. Feverish, stuffy head. Like Jiminy, I rubbed my feet together in my sleeping bag. I have cold feet. I am unable, simply unable, to sleep with cold feet. I'm dressed well enough, I think. Two pairs of long johns, gloves, a scarf, a hat and a down jacket. I'm dressed for bed. O but sick, sick, sick, I am, and cold. Cold, cold, cold in my sleeping bag, seeping bag. Out goes the heat. How many hours in a warm place will it take this time? I gave it up at 4:30am. I got out of my bag, walked down to the kitchen tent and found the morning coffee brewing. I needed tea! I walked away. I drove to my office. After a 30-minute shower, my feet were still cold. I curled around my heater under a wool blanket. Cold! A few hours later, finally, I got warm. But that hot sick fish on my face persists.


  1. This project in some ways parallels some of the work I did with a team of six artists 50% of them homeless. We used various found materials, and later textiles and set-building materials on about a dozen projects together ranging from outdoors installations to theater sets with good results. Rock on !

  2. warmth needs to precede cold. cold prevention.