SUSAN ROBB: WILD TIMES
What is wild? Where is wild? Are you wild?
May 3 through October 12, 2014
Opening reception: Saturday, May 3 from 7-10pm
Artist Susan Robb‘s Wild Times merges new media, social engagement, and a 2,650 mile hike as an invitation to explore wildness as a geographic ideal and a state of mind.
Robb will walk the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, making and sending digital artworks to Grand Central Art Center and collaborating West Coast museums and art centers.
Only 3% of the contiguous United States is still considered protected wild space.
As our culture increasingly pressures us to maintain a personal “brand,” be in constant contact, and snapchat every moment, maybe it’s not just our geographic wild spaces that are endangered, but our internal wild spaces as well.
Beginning in mid-April 2014, Robb will embark on a 5-month adventure from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. Using the trail as a nomadic studio and her experiences as inspiration and medium, she will create digital works—photos, videos, and 3D files—periodically sending them to Grand Central Art Center and a series of additional West Coast art venues. There they will be printed, projected, and installed, evolving into cumulative exhibitions, a meditation on what it means to be wild today.
In addition to Grand Central Art Center, collaborative venues include: Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Desert, CA; 826 valencia, San Francisco, CA; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA; and Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA.
At its core, Wild Times is a proposition to YOU to seek out and explore your own wildness. To aid this process, Robb has developed satellite events and programming. The project website features “Hack Your Wild” instructions for creative action, the results of which can be posted and shared. Additional experiential opportunities are being offered at the venues: a “hero’s journey” writing workshop, group “therapy” explorations, improv comedy situationist dérives, and a “trail magic” master class.
Collaborators include: artists Fallen Fruit, Eroyn Franklin, Mandy Greer, Anastasia Hill and Eric Olson, writer Michael David Lukas, psychoanalyst Nicole Wiggins, artist and improv comedian Graham Downing, designer Katrina Hess, radio producer Jenny Asarnow, and writer, filmmaker and cultural critic Charles Mudede.
To further deepen the conversation, Robb has collected stories from “everyday explorers,” individuals who investigate or embody wildness by their own light and mettle. These media-rich features, shared online and in print, explore disaster edens, portray the life of a dominatrix, and consider the social and emotional toll of wild fires, among other subjects. Together, they depict diverse paths taken in pursuit of, or in response to, the wild.
The exhibitions, programs, and participatory website will enable venue visitors and the public at large to serve as collaborators—interacting with the project, with Robb, and the broad Wild Times community.
From the untrammeled spaces of the PCT, and with the host venues and her collaborators, Robb hopes to plot the coordinates of wildness in contemporary life. Through Wild Times, she offers her body and work as a conduit between gallery and wilderness, public and trail, form and formless, as a way to cultivate the wild terrain that resides in us all.
Wild Times is a project of Creative Capital and is supported by Grand Central Art Center, Palm Springs Art Museum, 826 Valencia, Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, and the Henry Art Gallery.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Susan Robb’s work is an ongoing investigation of people, place, and our search for utopia. She orchestrates temporary, site-responsive, and socially-engaged projects to transform contemporary concerns—climate crisis, social isolation, high-speed daily living—into opportunities to re-envision and re-connect. Her projects include The Long Walk, ONN/OF “a light festival”, Parking Squid, Sleeper Cell Training Camp, and Warmth Giant Black Toobs. Robb’s work has been funded by a Pollack Krasner Foundation Grant, two Artist Trust Fellowships, a Stranger Genius Award, 4Culture, and the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture. In 2013, she received a Creative Capital grant to produce Wild Times. Her work has been collected and shown nationally and internationally.
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More information on Susan Robb: