A few years ago I read a statistic that claimed less than 3% of the contiguous United States is considered wild. This made me think. As we're under increasing pressure to maintain a "brand," be in constant contact, and snapchat every moment, maybe it's not just our geographic wild spaces that are endangered, but our personal, internal wild spaces as well.
Wild Times merges telemetry, social engagement, and a long-distance hike as an invitation to explore wildness as geographic ideal, as part of an urban identity, and a state of mind.
Beginning in mid-April, I will embark on a 5-month, 2,650-mile hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. Using the trail as a nomadic studio, and my experiences as inspiration and medium, I will create digital works - photos, videos, and 3D files - periodically releasing them to a series of West Coast art venues. There they will be printed, projected, and installed, evolving into cumulative exhibitions.
Host venues include: Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Desert, CA; 826 Valencia, San Francisco, CA; Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, OR; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; and the Frye Art Museum and Henry Art Gallery, in Seattle, WA.
At its core, Wild Times is a proposition to YOU to seek out and explore your own autonomy. To aid this process, I have developed satellite programming such as a "hero’s journey" writing workshop, group "therapy" explorations, comedy improv dérives, and a "trail magic" master class. Those who don't live on the West Coast can participate through a series of "hack your wild" tasks that can be completed anywhere and the results subsequently shared on the project website.
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, I have collected stories of “everyday explorers” – individuals who investigate or embody wildness by their own light and mettle. These interviews, shared online and in print, will profile, among others, a former dominatrix, a favela dweller, an environmental policy maker, and a former prison inmate. Together, they depict diverse paths taken in pursuit of the wild.
The collective exhibitions, satellite programs, and participatory website will enable venue visitors and the public at large to serve as collaborators - interacting with the project, with me, and the broad Wild Times community.
From the untrammeled spaces of the PCT, and with your help, the host venues, and 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, form and formless, and as a way to cultivate the wild terrain that resides in us all.
How will your hard-earned cash be put to good use?
Your support will help fund:
•Wild Times website design and development;
•My tireless project manager;
•My production assistants responsible for receiving the digital files and maintaining the exhibitions and website;
•Some "trail" costs. Thru-hikers average six pairs of shoes, need over 5,000 calories a day, and seek the occasional hostel or motel to do laundry, dry gear, and rest our barkin' dogs!
To underscore my commitment to Wild Times, I am giving up my studio so that all of your generous support will go directly to project costs.
JUST SOME OF THE PERKS!
Pledges of $99.00 will receive a Projecteo mini-projector (http://www.getprojecteo.com) along with five signed image-wheels stocked from the Wild Times Instagram feed - all packaged in an adorable, custom-designed box.
Pledges of $100.00 will receive a signed 3D printed rock "collected" from atop Mt. Whitney.
Pledges of $125.00 will receive a signed, limited-edition Mt. Lonely print from the Upper Kingdom series.
Pledges of $175.00 will receive a one-of-a-kind incised stoneware vase made at my Djerassi Artist Residency.
Risks and challenges
Wild Times grew out of a previous project called The Long Walk, 2010-2012 (www.thelongwalkseattle.com). Through The Long Walk's three iterations, I gained experience with "heavy planning" and working with a project manager and advisory committee. I've taken a similar approach to developing Wild Times.
In September 2013, I rehearsed Wild Times with a 100-mile solo thru-hike of the Wonderland Trail that circumnavigates Mt. Rainier (and is similar to hiking Everest in elevation gain). I did this while creating work and communicating with collaborators. It was great practice. I noted problem areas and have made small changes to the project to provide a smooth experience for everyone involved.
Additionally, I have been physically training for the hike. Along with regular visits to the gym and the Wonderland Trail hike, I participated in an ultralight backpacking class with Andrew Skurka in the Olympic Mountains to familiarize myself with the worst conditions I might find in the Sierras. I also had my gait evaluated as a preventative measure.
I feel confident that the more than two years of planning that have gone in to Wild Times will allow me to weather any setbacks. The project is, after all, an exploration of wildness and I have a great team on my side.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)