About this project
2 Chairs and Stream Chapter 3, 2016
We are Two Chairs–a curatorial enterprise made up of artists, curators and thinkers. We need your help funding the exhibition Stream: Chapter 3 coming to a stream near South Windham, Vermont in August 2016.
The surrounding Vermont forest where this stream is nestled is a changeable landscape–a site perceived as part of a natural environment, but one that has hardly been untouched by humans. This becomes evident when walking off the trail; one encounters stone walls that enclosed farmer’s fields in the 18th and 19th centuries and that are now part of a forest. Further hidden from view are remnants from indigenous communities ploughed over as European settlements sought agricultural dominion over the landscape. We are struck by what art historian Adrian Stokes calls a “realization of the past-living-in-the-present.” These human markers in the landscape where the stream is situated serve to “keep us in touch with our own development” according to Stokes since “geological time is out of scale with our own weathering, unlike traces of culture.”
All the works in the exhibition will be arranged in and around this stream in South Windham, Vermont. This year we will include international artists David Nash (UK) and Juneau Projects–a collaborative artist team from the UK. David Nash has agreed to make a version of his historic sculpture Wooden Boulder for Vermont from a tree that has been scheduled to be cut down and Juneau Projects will make a site-specific project that will include the local community. Last year we screened Nash’s film documenting the 30-year journey of the original Wooden Boulder through streams and rivers until it finally disappeared. The oak tree that was felled to clear a path and that later became Wooden Boulder was a sapling at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution–a silent witness to the beginning of what we now call the Anthropocene–the term proposed for the first geologic/chronological period where humans have become geological agents.
Below is the Vermont stump (kindly donated by a local woodlot manager and delivered on July 8th) that will be used for the Vermont version. We are all very excited by this!
Stream: Chapter 3 will have a dystopian aspect given the threat of global warming–but one not without hope. The overall perspective is more like Frederic Jameson's “critical dystopia” because the exhibition is really all about hope–communities and artists–communities of artists–working together to interact with the environment.
All of the participating artists, whether abroad or in the US, need some basic financial assistance with travel, shipping and materials. The local 2 Chairs team in South Windham and the community provide lodging, food, local transportation, labor and locally sourced materials (and of course friendship and encouragement).
Peggy Ahwesh (US), Annie Berman, (US), E.E. Ikeler (US), Yu Jin (China), Juneau Projects (UK), Louise Lawler (US), David Nash (UK), Kenneth Pietrobono (US), Rachel Stevens (US), Zoe Walsh (US), Marina Zurkow (US).
We hope that you will consider helping us this year and we hope to see you at Stream: Chapter 3 in South Windham Vermont opening on August 6th! Be sure to check this site for daily updates!
The History of Stream
The idea first came to us when we saw cairns in the stream.
It got us thinking about nature and culture. We decided to make an exhibition in this stream–far from the Global Art World and the commercial forces that are sucking the joy out of art making. Our goal is to have both the artists and the audience address the environment, global warming and the changing landscape of Vermont. Actions like this promote what Lawrence Buell refers to as “place attachment”–what many eco-critics and environmental activists believe is necessary in order to counter human-made environmental crises.
Stream: Chapter 1 took place in August of 2014. There was no fund raising–it was a marvel of generosity from the community, the artists and the ingenuity of the organizers.
We learned from Max Schumann of Printed Matter in NY that Allan Kaprow made a performance in a stream in 1975, entitled Echo-logy.
We followed up since Allan Kaprow challenged the commodification of art through temporary works that encouraged the participation of the viewer to construct form and meaning. Kaprow’s Happenings anticipated what we call Performance art and more recently Participatory art or Social Practice. We contacted the Allan Kaprow Estate to ask if we could re-invent (Kaprow’s term) Echo-logy. They kindly agreed but the fee for the re-invention was five thousand Euros. They liked our project so much that they waived the fee, we thanked them, and the community in South Windham performed it in 2014.
That was the extent of our actual fundraising.
That year we also built a lean-to for Rachel Stevens’ installation Survivalist Cinema. It was re-purposed in 2015 for the presentation of a film and video series entitled Anthroposcenic.
The lean-to, nestled near the stream, is re-furbished every year and has been established as our media center, powered by a solar panel.
Please have a look at images of our rewards below and descriptions on the rewards page-we can't thank you enough!:
- 2016 Commemorative wooden moose $10
- 2016 Commemorative wooden maple leaf $10
- Miniature "do it yourself" Lean-To Kit $25
- 3 Stream Catalogues (2014-2016) $50
- Handmade rustic walking stick $100
- "Market Force, Comfort, (Re) Development" by Kenneth Pietrobono 2013 $150
- Data Ritual Necklace (Magpie) $500
- Data Ritual Necklace (Sparrow) $500
- "What Are You Looking At?" Sculpture by artist Yu Jin $1000
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is working in a natural environment; being dependent upon weather and sunlight while also providing a safe environment in which to view the art installations. We will offer the use of walking sticks to audience members. The lean-to will provide audience members with a sheltered environment in the event of rain.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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