Artist Susan Robb joins us today as Artist in Residence for a first site visit in the development of her Wild Times project. Beginning in April, GCAC will be a home base for engagement with the project – a site of virtual connection to Susan during her upcoming 5-month journey.
We are truly excited to be the hub for Wild Times and are looking forward to sharing her journey with you!
Here is a little preview of Susan’s project in her own words:
Wild Times, merging social engagement, land art, and new media, is an exploration of wildness as a geographic ideal and a state of mind.
Beginning in April 2014, I will embark on a 5-month, 2,650-mile hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Using my experiences as inspiration and medium, I will send “trail transmissions” to a series of art venues in proximity to the PCT. These host sites and their guests will serve as collaborators, interacting with the project, with me, and with the broader public via the Wild Times website.
Since I am entering a double wilderness of both place and production, my specific transmissions are as yet unknown. They could consist of anything from photos and videos, to liquors distilled from foraged huckleberries, to ephemeral trail-side sculptures beamed back to civilization and brought to life again via 3D printers.
At its core Wild Times is a proposition to my audience to explore the various wildnesses in their own lives. To aid in this exploration I will also be inviting the public to complete creative tasks and various other calls to action. These might take the form of messages I solicited from museum-goers and announced from the peak of Mt. Whitney, to a workshop where attendees create talismans to safeguard me on my journey.
To deepen this conversation, I will be collecting stories of “everyday explorers” – individuals who investigate or embody wildness through variegated means. Interviews shared online and in print will profile, among others, a breeder of endangered animals, a sex worker, a favela dweller, and an environmental policy maker. Together, they will tell the story of the diverse paths people take to follow the call of the wild.
From the untrammeled spaces of the PCT, and with the help of my collaborators, I hope to plot the coordinates of wildness in contemporary life. Through Wild Times I offer my body and work as a conduit between gallery and wilderness, public and trail, formal and formless, as a way to cultivate the wild terrain that resides in us all.