brand new video:
       
get all 177 hours of
presentations here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

planning and facilitating a group installation?  RSS feed

 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5908
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
365
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
sharon, Thanks, for being here!
I am looking through your projects in the book summary that Cassie posted and am so excited to see them.
The mindfulness of each installation is just inspiring
Have you had to do much convincing to get folks to join in? or does the practical part, the clean up of an invasive, for example, draw people and then you slip in the art work/installation?
My work as a weaver hit a wall at a certain point where I realized what was bothering me and not feeling complete was the fact that I was buying weaving materials that weren't in line with how I wanted and was living. So much became clear then and I switched to organic yarns and recycled thrift store clothes as warp and weft....a step in the right direction for awhile....but still not quite where I wanted to be.
Now, I've been having the urge and not the focus to do some large group projects and your work may have just given me the nudge in that direction that I needed
How much do you plan each project? How much do you allow it to evolve at the will of the people involved?
Thanks for any thoughts on this.
 
Sharon Kallis
Author
pollinator
Posts: 58
Location: Vancouver British Columbia
30
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Judith! you are so on the same path and asking the same questions I have!
Basically, I look at my projects as being a research event with public participation- I open up my studio doors so to speak, and allow the chaos of public participation to stimulate the process further then I could alone. Saying that, there is a process of sorts- or a recipe I tend to follow.
steps_
1. material availability- what do we have here to work with in abundance?
2. material investigation- what techniques are useable here? are we stripping and using the bark>? the whole branch? are the branches flexible or brittle? how much can we manipulate the material? is it big or small and delicate in nature?
3. Knowing the material and the technique- I look to the place- how do we want to install? do we want to hang something from trees? put in water? hang on a fence? what does the environment offer both as inspiration and pragmatically as structural support?
4. think modular- how can many hands be involved? are there multiple small pieces that can be joined together in some fashion, or is it a large weaving structure that many can work on at the same time?
This is my general process I follow though most of what I do and tends to work in various ways... the main thing is the material HAS to dictate what you can do- don't fight the materials, but let the inherent quality of what the materials can do dictate the final aesthetic of the work.
participation:
I have a philosophy I use in planning projects, how can this engage the Head, Hand and Heart? If there are entry points to the work from all three perspectives, then anyone can find an entry into the work- is it intellectually interesting? is it tactile? does it have an emotional connection point?
On many of my big projects, it won't be the same people that come out for each step- so find the folks that will be keen on each area to participate- like ecology groups will be game for an invasive pull, but a knitter's group might not be- with the odd exception of course- I find there are three component often- the material gathering is one group, the general making another and the installing can be others yet- some folks are game to come out for all of it which is great- but don't force that kind of rule, as you will have people with exceptional hand skills who just don't have the knees to do an invasive pull anymore, or someone who loves to be outside, but doesn't have the patience to sit and do hand work- so find the tasks to fit the types of activities people are game to engage in, and often they fall in love with the project and come back for more and push their own boundaries. Make it Fun! have tea breaks, bring cookies and if you have friends with related skills, drag them along as your ringers to help you out and assist in teaching the skills needed.
As far as how much I plan out each project- it varies, sometimes it is very planned, but usually not- I am an 'externalize processor" ( much to my husbands dismay) I have to talk everything out loud all the time- so I think that helps in leading groups- in that we talk through the process of what is working, what isn't, how to make it better. I will start by saying, these are our materials, lets see what we can do with it- or teach the techniques if I already know what techniques we are using- and the ideas often come from the group, and I edit, coach and cobble things together on the fly. If there is a general direction- such as- we are going to make a big boat sculpture, we need to bind these sticks, then build the frame- and then it goes from there- there is always someone with a better engineering brain in the crowd then mine! As far as getting people excited, the novelty factor goes along way to interesting people, and I have a sign I stick out when working in parks that says- welcome, eco art project- then people feel they can ask what we are doing, and might join in when they stumble upon us.
I would say start with what you already know, see how you can translate your techniques into the materials you find around you, do it with a few friends to start and see what happens. I have been enjoying your dye posts on the site, so look forward to seeing where this goes for you in the future! all the best, Sharon
IMG_9458.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_9458.JPG]
my favourite technique- coiling- with fennel, rosemary, bound with invasivevitalba
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5908
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
365
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thank you, for such an informative response! I really like your approach to this and I am beginning to see where my challenges will be. I have always worked in isolation, rarely collaboratively. We even have a thread here at permies that has pointed out how many of us here are 'introverts' I can see all of it happening except my talking my way through the project. I have worked on many things of my own where I've felt like any outside input has interfered with my 'creativity'....I suppose what it really interfered with was my 'ego'...and for most of that time it was also my income business.
On the other hand I always had involvement with undirected 'installation' type stuff with our two sons when they were growing up, where much of the joy was in the process not necessarily the finished part.
My experience teaching has been withing narrow boundaries...frame loom twined rugs, four harness weaving, inkle loom weaving and some natural dyes...but always with limits on the results even though I encourage all to experiment later on future projects.
This is thinking out loud, I guess. I think your idea of starting with a group of friends first is going to work for me.........a friend has been talking for awhile about having a group day to make a bent twig gate/fence...........maybe I'll nudge a bit in that direction.
...and I most love the Head, Hand and Heart philosophy to guide the project.
The coiled structure pictured above is wonderful
 
Sharon Kallis
Author
pollinator
Posts: 58
Location: Vancouver British Columbia
30
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
HAHA! YES, BEING AN INTROVERT CAN BE A PROBLEM FOR GROUP PROJECTS.... BUT--- I think sometimes it can actually help! in the way that, having something in your hands and lap to focus on takes the pressure off constant socialization- it gives a purpose to the conversation- can be a gentle segue into other conversations.... I actually write in the book about how most people think I am an extrovert, but I always feel socially awkward- unless I have a common task I can focus on with others- so group work can still function for the introverts! that is where modular projects are best, and focus on projects where discovery is the main point- not a finished piece- that takes the pressure off of the perfection attitude you might be used to in your own studio based work. Think of the final piece is as being just a postcard or souvenir for the experience of working in a group learning about the materials- THAT in itself is the project- that shared experience- what remains is simply the souvenir of the time spent learning together! I think of this shared experience as being the third room- not a room you live in, or I live in- but a place we can cohabit together, where we each bring our skills to share....
You still do need someone who can be wide angle and oversee the whole project- but maybe that is not you but a friend??
 
expectation is the root of all heartache - shakespeare. tiny ad:
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree - 15 workshops in one event
https://permies.com/wiki/63312/permaculture-projects/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Workshop-Jamboree
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!