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Wild Times explores wildness in contemporary life via new media, social engagement, and a 2,650 mile hike.
Wild Times explores wildness in contemporary life via new media, social engagement, and a 2,650 mile hike.
222 backers pledged $20,284 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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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.

Feeling, 2013, C Print, 20 x 28 - Wonderland Trail thru-hike
Feeling, 2013, C Print, 20 x 28 - Wonderland Trail thru-hike

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    My deepest thanks and, while hiking on the PCT, I will think of you in the presence of a beautiful sunrise.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The above plus a shout out on the Wild Times website that links to a "wild" internet site of your choice.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Same as the $25.00 level plus a handmade camp stove and windscreen just like the one I will be using on my hike.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Kimchi/Pickle Workshop! Because there's nothing like a little kimchi to elevate a backpacking meal, I'll be making and dehydrating my own kimchi to bring with me on my journey.

    Join me at my house for a two-hour course where I'll teach you Kimchi and pickling basics. You'll leave with a jar packed with probiotic deliciousness!

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Kimchi/Pickle Workshop #2!
    Because there's nothing like a little kimchi to elevate a backpacking meal, I'll be making and dehydrating my own kimchi to bring with me on my journey. Join me at my house for a two-hour course where I'll teach you Kimchi and pickling basics. You'll leave with a jar packed with probiotic deliciousness!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    An image of your pet (or you dressed up like your pet) on the Wild Times website.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Let's collaborate on a video.

    While deep in the Mojave, I will video myself whispering into the desert at night any question you would like answered. The video of this action will be projected at Grand Central Art Center, Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Desert, and the Schneider Museum of Art. You will also receive a copy.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Ultralight backpacking basics workshop.

    A 4-hour course designed to give an overview of ultralight backpacking. We'll cover how to stay warm, dry and comfortable including: backpack, footwear, clothing, shelter, and sleeping bag selection, assembling an ultralight kitchen, ultralight food choices, water treatment, and a variety of tips and tricks I've picked up along the way.

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    I'm super excited about this perk! I've teamed up with Projecteo - the coolest little Instagram image projector around! You'll receive a Projecteo projector plus 5 image wheels stocked with images from the WIld Times Instagram feed. I'll packaged all this for you in a custom made box. See it in action: http://www.getprojecteo.com

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    During each day of my journey, I will create a 3D file of a rock that I find on the trail. I'll send these files back to the host venues where they will be printed (in corn-based plastic) and installed, eventually forming a rock pile the size of my hike.

    I will send you your very own signed, 3D-printed rock "collected" from Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous US).

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    A signed, limited edition, 16 x 20 inch print of "Mt. Lonely" from the Upper Kingdom series.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    A one-of-a kind stoneware vase created while I was at the Djerassi Artist Residency Program. These wild beauties are incised with a pattern reminiscent of Redwood trees and finished with an iron oxide wash on the outside and an iron oxide and clear glaze on the inside. And hey, Big Spender, they look great in groups of three or more - like a little forest!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Throughout the 5 month hike I will be creating photographs and sending the files to the host venues where they will be printed and displayed. You will receive one 20 x 30 inch C-Print of your choice from a selection of five possible images.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Snacks, drinks, and a slideshow for six!

    Post journey, you and five friends will make yourselves comfortable at my home (or yours) and I'll regale you with stories and images from my PCT adventure.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Let's be pen pals!

    Each month I will send you a personal letter written in my (mostly) legible handwriting complete with doodles, gossip, asides, and things not mentioned on the project blog. You can do the same (and if you want to include oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that would be fine too). Plus, after completing the PCT, I'll choose an image from my journey that I think you'll love and give it to you as a one-of-a-kind print.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Mystery date! This perk is for those really living on the wild side. I will send you a curated collection of objects and photographs produced during Wild Times. We won't know what they are until they come into being, but they will definitely be worth it!

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    During each day of my journey, I will create a 3D file of a rock I find on the trail. I'll send these files back to the host venues where they will be printed (in corn-based plastic) and installed, forming a cumulative sculpture: a rock pile the size of my hike. I will send you an edition of the entire 3D rock pile - approximately 150 rocks, each color coded by the elevation at which it was "collected" along with your choice of wall mounts or a light box table top display.

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Funding period

- (30 days)