Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bledsoe; Lubbock; Plainview - trip 2, Install Prep

(That's Jon opening a fence so we can go four-wheeling!)
Well thank goodness for Jon and Danielle Whitfill.
They are my hosts here in Lubbock, Texas. They and their three kids are putting me up, feeding me, and ferrying me all over West Texas. Jon has introduced Earthbound Moon to a slew of amazing people in Lubbock, and scared up a ludicrous amount of in-kind goods to make our install possible this September. They are freaking art heroes!
I got into Lubbock Monday night, and Jon and I were on the road at 8am sharp the next morning to visit an artist and farmer in Plainview, Texas. He is using only a small portion of his farmland to grow these days (producing just for farmer's markets), and has been considering ways to set the remainder up as a sculpture garden with attached residency program. He has several old farm buildings that could be converted to studios and residences.

I am incredibly pleased to say that EbM is now planning a September 2011 install for the property. And will soon begin writing five and ten year plans to help set-up and manage a residency program and sculpture garden there. This is very similar to SG-23E, the proposal we made for Parsons Hall in Holyoke, MA. SG-23E gave birth to EbM less than a year ago. For its own part, SG-23E is moving along at a relaxed New England pace. The sculpture garden/residency combo is also similar to what we hope to do in Lebanon, NH.
Some of you may have thought I was joking when I said I see only the Louvre, the Getty, and the Guggenheim as 23E's competition in the art world. I was not.

After Plainview we headed to Bledsoe, Texas where we are installing our first work this September. Jon and I took his truck off-roading in an effort to find our property. But without a GPS, and with a week of rain transforming the desert since our last visit, we couldn't actually find it in the sea of green. D'oh!
We did establish, however, that there is absolutely no way we are going to be able to create a path from the road to our site that is safe enough for Carol-Anne's truck to transit. (Have I mentioned that the amazing Carol-Anne McChrystal is one of 23E's primary patrons and heroes? I should have by now.) Fortunately, our new plan is vastly superior to building our own road (we'll do that in 2011/2012) - we are borrowing an ATV (or two)! That's right, picture it my friends: me, Alex Clausen, Amy Sampson, Heidi Hove, Libby Reed, Jon Whitfiill, Carson Murdach, and Benoit Coeuret in the Texas desert for two weeks with ATVs, a shotgun, rattlesnakes, wild boar, mosquitos, a giant solar powered "Welcome" sign, an augur, and scaffolding.

Did I not mention the scaffolding before? Oh, sorry. After visiting slaughter ranch (where our property is located) we spent a little time chatting with Priscilla, the co-owner of the only business in Bledsoe. Then we visited HD where we confirmed that we can rent a 15' scaffold very affordably. Let's face it, the very best part of Disembody was the scaffolding. It was pure unadulterated excitement trapped in vibrating yellow tubing.
And now, yes, now we are going to set up 15' scaffolding in the freaking desert. I could explode just whispering it to you here and now. I have butterflies in my stomach, and my heart rate is dangerously elevated thinking about it.
We're going to wrap it in tarps (an homage to Jean-Claude and Christo?) to create shade for working. We will keep our supplies elevated on it. We will sleep in its metal and plastic womb. This may be the sexiest thing ever achieved in America.

Yes, yesterday was exceptional, and the thrill of it will keep me adrenalized for weeks to come!

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