Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 25, 2011.

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A performance art show of visual art + creative writing to document the coming of wind turbines and transmission lines in rural Texas.

Hello. Thank you for reading our project.

I’m Laura. I grew up in Lubbock, Texas and this panhandle city is my home. Most people know Lubbock for Buddy Holly, Bob Knight, and Texas Tech University, and a few more know about its flat horizons and fierce wind that kicks dirt in the sky. Cotton fields and red-rock mesas flank the city and growing up with their sandy stones and tawny weeds gave me many words for brown. With these words, I learned to see beauty outside of green forests and look to grasses blowing in the wind and prairies running for miles. I am drawn to the landscapes people don’t always call pretty because our interactions with them can be similarly rugged and rough.

Currently I am working on a wind energy oral history collection housed in Texas Tech University’s Southwest/Special Collection Library. My boss, Andy Wilkinson, designed the project to capture the changing landscape of wind industry through the voices of those involved and impacted by areas of development. We have interviewed farmers, landowners, wind developers, municipal leaders, and environmentalists.

Right now, the transcriptions are on digital files in the Southwest/Special Collection Library. Outside of those involved, the stories of turbines, transmission line, and the farmers and ranchers with towers on their land are often untold. Visual artist Kim Cypert and I want to stir these stories and shed light on the changing landscape of Texas because our rural space, the cotton fields, yellow grasses, and mesas, are being strung with lattice, metal, and wire. Landscapes turn industrial as cities reach toward towns, and we are hanging on the edge, waiting for the touch. To document this moment of brief suspension, we are creating a performance art show.

We are not trying to change minds, force an agenda, call one side bad while the other is good. Rather, we are using our art to ask questions. We want to our friends, neighbors, community, to ask for themselves what is beautiful, what is industrial, what we can get used to and what we can’t. The performance is a collaborative project, unfolded in two pieces. The first is an outdoor installation designed and implemented by Kim. The installation will be constructed outside the city in an attempt at interaction and engagement with local landscape. The installation will be video documented and played at the show. I wrote the second piece, a creative nonfiction short story. It draws from the oral histories, specifically those of the farmers and ranchers and is set on a backdrop of my experiences growing up with wind. At the show, the piece will be read and performed in conjunction with shadow theater.

To engage both rural and urban communities, the show will be performed twice. The first is set for January 2012 in Junction, Texas. The second is an outdoor performance in Lubbock scheduled for May 2012.

Your donation will go toward: supplies and materials used for the installation; time spent writing, installing, painting, documenting; venue rental in Junction and Lubbock.

Thank you for your time, for reading, and for helping us.

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    2 backers

    Thank you podcast featuring a clip from the oral histories.

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    7 backers

    The above and your name on donor list, creatively illustrated and displayed at both shows

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    3 backers

    All of the above plus a copy of the creative nonfiction piece.

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    3 backers

    All of the above plus a CD of the show, featuring a performance of the outdoor installation and creative nonfiction piece and extended clips from the oral histories.

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    0 backers

    All of the above plus a private, home cooked dinner in Lubbock before the May show with musicians and artists

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Funding period

- (31 days)