Thursday, December 11, 2008

Art Program Proposal

Bird Sculpture Park

Place and Time: A Dialogue with Nature
Sculpture Residencies and Exhibition 2009

To organize an inaugural exhibition of site-specific sculpture and earth-art at Yellow Bird Sculpture Park in the Summer/Fall of 2009. There would be four month long residencies (two for each of August and September), and 10 awards of $750 for costs involved in preparing and installing individual works selected from maquettes, proposals etc. The resulting exhibition would run for six weeks Oct 1 - Nov 15 2009.

To establish Yellow Bird as a site for displaying and enjoying outdoor sculpture and earth art, to promote the educational benefits of public art, and to bring local artists into contact with the wider international scene.

* Residencies [4] @ 1000 + travel (max $600), materials ($400), accom + misc costs $500 [$10000]
* Awards [10] @$750 (travel, materials etc.) [$7500]
* Prizes [3] $$ ($2500, $1500, $1000) [$5000]

Planning and organizational assistance [$5000]
Other costs (incl installation, advertizing and promotion) [$2500]

Total $25000

Collaboration hoped for with Vanderbilt’s Studio Art Department, and Cannon County Arts Center. Financial support tba

Wet dreams

Everywhere cold grey rain - cascading off the gutters, soaking the screened-in porches, turning the horse pasture into a paddy field, spawning fractal rivulets, chasing the horses onto higher ground. Tomorrow, if it lets up, I must see if the lakes have filled again, swallowing the exposed submarine rock sculpture, repairing the effects of the summer drought. I am lucky to be able to welcome the downpour, even as it dampens the spirits. How far can one extend that principle of affirmation? Nietzsche once asked: How well disposed would one have to be to will the eternal return of all things? It is not just passive acceptance of the rough with the smooth, or a recognition of the interconnectedness of all things. It is a capacity to delight even in the ugly and misshapen. But we need to remind ourselves not to be sentimental. Can we not delight in the mosquito's aeronautical skills, and its delicate proboscis, even will its existence, in some sense, while slapping it into oblivion?

The rain pours into the night, turning grey wet into black wet. I think tonight is the night of the longest moon. Will its white glow dissolve in this rain? Or will it nonchalantly swim across the lake, staying as dry as a duck? If you watch very closely, can we see it pull itself up on the far side of the lake, and towel off?

I imagine unending rain. The Flood comes, surrounding the house, gently floating it off its foundations. It bobs like an ark. Grateful horses embark in pairs, joining the deer, the squirrels, the turkeys ... Global warming will have strange often dramatic consequences. Will YB return to being an inland sea, once more supporting coral, as it did 450 million years ago, the fossil evidence still shouting from the limestone slabs? Perhaps not: "The United Nations has found close to a third of the world’s corals have disappeared, and 60 percent are expected to be lost by 2030". We can surely embrace change, but not decay, dissolution, loss of diversity. Art is truly important in galvanizing our creativity, but it would all be in vain if it produced rainbow froth on flat beer, if the earth died even as we celebrated the latest crop of baubles. How can art bring a return to what makes the whole game possible? How can art become e(art)h?