Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Which Side Are We On?" Justseeds collaboration in Milwaukee!

I just returned from spending the last week in Milwaukee, collaborating with 13 other members of the Justseeds cooperative on an exhibit at the Union Gallery at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM). We spent six straight days working 15-17 hours per day to bring together a massive installation from scratch, using largely recycled materials and cheap lumber and paint. Besides being an intense exercise in collaboration and compromise, it was also probably one of the best-supported shows I've been involved in. UWM staff and students were extremely helpful throughout the week as we all cobbled together something of a massive sculptural theater of impending doom and expressions of hope for a more just future. For my part, I made a pack of carbon-copy coyotes out of old boxes, put a life-sized cut-out of a kodiak grizzly up on the edge of a collapsed model highway overpass, and lit the exhibit with all kinds of random colored gels from a rather sketchy hydraulic lift.

The whole installation process was really an intense ride. Having just returned, I'm having a little trouble parsing out all of the elements of the past week into something articulate, so for now I'll post a couple of pics and direct towards some in-process images folks were posting on the Justseeds blog. Other photographers were on hand documenting the whole process - these images should be on the Justseeds Flickr in the next couple of weeks as they are sorted through for inclusion in the exhibition catalog.

You can track the transformation of the space over the week in these photos from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, and the opening, plus some other detail shots here and here.

From the press release: "Which Side Are You On?" examines the use of walls as physical and mental barriers that create de-facto segregation, whether it is the walls that divide nation states, the streets that separate one side of town from the other, or the barriers that separate humans from the environment. Which Side Are You On? challenges these barriers while envisioning a more just and sustainable future.


Anonymous said...

The idea is inspiring and thought provoking for that a sketch of Socks? Amazing what large groups of people can do when they feel passionate about getting the same ideas across. I'm excited just reading your description. Sounds like a great trip.


Anonymous said...

Very impressed with the end result when 14 people can cooperate & collaborate. Viewing photos makes me want to see the show in person and then talk to some of the artists. Well done, everyone!