OH WOW! WE DID IT!!!!
I am so excited and filled with gratitude!!!!!
Sincerely feeling the love and support of the community around me that already extends across North America. A 1000 Thank you's to everyone who has backed and shared this project = it truly is a collaboration and this couldn't possibly be happening without all of you.
I look forward to sharing and continuing to collaborate with all of you as it continues to grow.
EVERY CENT COUNTS =
WHERE ANY BACKING OVER THE ORIGINAL GOAL WILL GO:
Gas, gas aaaaand… more gas. More importantly, it will help fund the extra expenses I was planning to solely take on to outfit the pop-up photo studio to be as eco-friendly as I can, in order to leave the least amount of damage to the earth through carbon footprinting along the road as possible.
"What Is Love" will reveal through comparative photography the strength and beauty of vulnerability that can be found within all adults, regardless of age, nationality, income, sexual orientation or gender.
At different locations across North America I will collaborate with individual passersby in a travelling pop-up photo studio, conversationally questioning the word love and photographically capturing the micro-expressions shared in the process. As a result, through observing all the combined final images, understanding and compassion will emerge individually, helping to build community across North America.
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN ON THE ROAD
- May and June (2015) I will travel with assistant Joel Tong in a pop-up photo studio across North America.
- We will go to a minimum of 10 confirmed locations in addition to numerous stops in small towns along the way.
- To represent a broad spectrum, the confirmed locations have been and will be selected based on suitability, timing and willingness to participate.
- Confirmed locations will be at neighbourhood, rape/trauma awareness, gay pride, photography, art, music, post-secondary school, health and environmental events and festivals in cities and towns on route.
- We will start in Vancouver BC, head South to LA, East to Memphis, North through New York to Montreal, West through Detroit, North to Winnipeg and then West back to Vancouver.
- On shoot days, the pop-up studio will be open to the public. I intend to photograph as many people as possible. Each location will have a different number of participants depending on the event and passersby's interest.
- Before entering the studio each participant will be asked to read and sign a model release (witnessed by Joel) complete with email and social media usernames for unlimited use within this project.
- At each location I will have artist statements with contact information readily available.
WHERE THIS PROJECT COMES FROM
"What Is Love" is part of "Wabisabi Butterfly", an umbrella project encompassing several initiatives aimed at unifying adult survivors of trauma and sexual abuse with safe, respectful, inclusive communities embracing acceptance and change.
I have successfully completed three projects in the past with similar structure as intended for "What Is Love". I share below to describe how "What Is Love" has come about and my ability to complete it.
1. “Mirrorface” 2010
Depicting the difference between what we actually look like and what we think we should look like. I worked with 40 of my immediate peers and showed the work at both Paul Wong's ON MAIN Gallery in Vancouver's VIVO Media Arts Centre + Grace Gallery.
2. "Profileface" 2012
Depicting what we look like when standing at ease in comparison with how we choose to project ourselves for online social media profile images (Facebook, LinkedIn etc). Created at Camera/Whore, a curated interactive art event at the VIVO Media Art's Centre held over one evening, I photographically collaborated with over 100 people, mostly strangers.
Watch the project video for "Profileface" here
3. "How Are You" 2013
I connected through asking the question "How Are You" while collaborators had their eyes closed, capturing images as they opened their eyes to respond.
Created outsideThe Acorn Restaurant during Main Street Car-Free Day 2013, I set up using a Boler camper as my pop-up photo studio and showed the work with Capture Photo Festival 2013 at The Museum Of Vancouver and later at MAKE studios.
Watch the project video for "How Are You" here
Connecting with my surrounding communities through these projects I have not only come to accept and understand some of my own vulnerabilities, I have seen the communities interconnect within themselves and grow as a result.
ABOUT ME + THIS PROJECT
Through collaboration I climb out of my own ego to communicate with and learn from others. Right now, where I am at in my life, I feel the need and ability to take this style of collaboration further.
With "What Is Love" I plan to connect with my surrounding community and then to reach further and connect with the communities that surround us to encompass and cross-pollinate as much as I can of this continent in the time I have cleared to do so.
I want to share the healing and good that can be found through personal growth. I want to connect through positive intention, with that comes vulnerability and sadness. When I think about love, personally, I almost start to cry. It's a scary thing for me, so I am curious. I want to find out through comparison what it is for others and the only way I can learn is through asking.
Charles Darwin concluded that many expressions and their meanings are universal. I look historically to photographers Diane Arbus and Dorothea Lange; contemporary photographers Richard Renalde and Lalage Snow and performance artist Marina Abramovic for inspirational proof that the practices of using engaging straightforward photography, performance through collaboration and interactive travel do work to cultivate social change.
With this Kickstarter campaign and the "What Is Love" project I hope to:
- Collaboratively and interactively create art with as many individuals as I can.
- Gain and share education through connection.
- Do whatever I can to help feed and maintain personal and communal connection and understanding with individuals locally, nationally and internationally.
HOW "WHAT IS LOVE" WILL BE SHARED
- “Mirrorface”, "Profileface" and "How Are You" were displayed as hanging art shows. As this project will cover so many communities over so many miles, I want to take this further and make it more accessible, hopefully to better reach each individual and their surrounding communities.
- The official showing of "What Is Love" will begin as the performance art of the pop-up studios themselves and conclude with showing the captured images through a hands-on printed book and online galleries.
- There is a Facebook page for the online galleries, with comment areas and questions will be asked to facilitate conversation and interaction throughout the communities. I will also set up galleries on www.angelafama.com and www.wabisabibutterfly.com.
- All images on Facebook galleries set up will be tagged and emails will be sent out when the images are up for viewing on www.wabisabibutterfly.com.
The book and online galleries will be ready for release November 2015.
- An official book launch is scheduled for November 2015 at Initial Gallery, in my hometown of Vancouver BC. I plan to also show images from the road to help describe the universality through visually sharing locations reached.
- If additional book launches or hanging shows in other places come about organically through the process of travelling and connecting, I will be happy to take this project further.
ANSWERS TO A FEW Q'S YOU MIGHT HAVE
Q: WHY SHOULD YOU FUND THIS PROJECT?
A: My Kickstarter goal is researched and set for how much is needed for the motorhome/pop-up studio itself and including funder's rewards.
The rest of the costs and other expenses (gas, camera, equipment, food, emergency) are covered through hopefully some grant funding and definitely through personal savings I have been building this past year and will continue to build this coming year.
I have to ask YOU, my community, to help me build this project, it cannot happen any other way. The collaboration begins here!
Q: WHY SO LONG A WAIT?
A: I have to prepare. If the funding goal is met, I will purchase a Class-C "pre-loved" Motorhome and create the pop-up studio.
I have PR, marketing and conversations to continue creating with social media, radio stations, magazines, national and local newspapers, locations, events, festivals and volunteers.
Q: WHY MAY?
May is Sexual Assault Awareness month, the perfect date to officially begin this adventure. It is also the beginning of the two months both Joel and I have committed solely to this project.
Q: HOW CAN I LEARN ABOUT THE JOURNEY AS YOU GO?
A: I can be abundantly found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and/or my blog. Once the project "officially" begins, I will update these daily with stories, thoughts and/or images.
Q: CAN I BE A PART OF IT?
A: Yes of course! Both here on Kickstarter and on www.wabisabibutterfly.com. I will have locations listed with corresponding dates, addresses and times.
Q: DRIVE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA IN A MOTORHOME?!? EWWW! AREN'T YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE ECO-FOOTPRINT YOU'LL BE LEAVING BEHIND?
A: YES! I intend to DIY the motorhome to be as eco-friendly as a "pre-loved" motorhome can be. In addition to solar paneling for the interior electricity that will recharge my photo gear between locations, I will be looking into rain harvesting, wind energy and composting toilets.
IT TAKES INDIVIDUALS TO BUILD A COMMUNITY.
COLLABORATE WITH ME NOW TO HELP GET THIS PROJECT OFFICIALLY STARTED!
- Help myself and hopefully communities all across North America by pledging your support (and receive cool rewards).
Please help to spread the word about this project by sharing this link with your contacts.
- Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter.
Come and participate along the road.
(tell me face-to-face you heard of it from Kickstarter for a surprise gift bag)
- Tell far-away friends that are on route to come join along the road.
- Accept my gratitude for taking the time to read this Kickstarter campaign!
- Do a combo of any or all of the above.
Again, underlined, asked and back-flipped: This is a community-building project. It cannot be completed without your help!
In the words of Mae West: "Wishing isn't good enough."
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT WORKING WITH ME
"As a participant I felt like Angela had really taken time to care for me as an individual, this made me feel open to being genuine and even vulnerable with her, when I would normally need quite a bit of time to feel myself.
Angela invited me to help with the organization of participants outside of her pop-up studio. I spent most of the day outside her studio meeting every person that entered and I noticed that very quickly a community of strangers that were walking past each other on the street began connecting, creating conversation. I met and connected with more strangers that day on the street of Vancouver than I ever have in my years in this city. The concept of Angela's work goes far beyond the photograph, the experience fosters genuine human connection between strangers, extending to the community."- Katie Huisman, Photographer, Curator, Teacher
“I first met, and was deeply impressed with, Angela Fama when she took my photograph for The National Post. She was effortlessly great during that session, and in the time I have gotten to know her better, as an artist and as a person, my opinion has only gotten more and more positive. Angela is a wonderful talent, and a wonderful person.” – Jim Tobler, Editor (Montecristo Magazine)
“Fama snaps private moments to reveal slippages in self-image, leaving unvarnished outtakes on humanity” - Jordan Strom, curator (Surrey Art Gallery)
"I had the pleasure of sitting for Angela last summer as part of her 'How Are You' project. I later exhibited alongside her at The Museum of Vancouver where she presented the images from 'How Are You'. The resulting portraits in triptych are intensely intimate, yet fragmented intersections between the photographer and her subject." - Brian Howell, Photographer
"It was such a delight to be part of Main Street Car Free Day where she shot the material for her work for The Museum of Vancouver show. The community collaboration was wonderful as was the concept of 'How Are You'. Very Zen and poetic. I look forward to the next body of work from this talented photographer.” - Julie Lee, Director (Capture Photography Festival)
I hope to see you on the road!
Risks and challenges
I can see the potential of being too burnt-out to connect on shoot days, making it hard to maintain presence with each person stepping into the studio. I will practice self-care through yoga and mediation. Joel and I both have friends and peers across North America to draw support from.
Obvious risks are the motorhome breaking down, volunteers not showing up, no interest of passers-by… if these risks occur, including ones I can't yet see, I am ok with facing them. I view challenges as problems to be solved, introducing more room for growth and change, which I find necessary to create a fulfilling existence.
WABISABI: “Acceptance of transience and imperfection.”Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)