About this project
Become a Krowsworker!
Since its founding in 2009, Krowswork has provided a welcoming, yet rigorous space for ambitious, experimental, museum-quality exhibitions, often featuring video, installation, and performance. Much of the art that has been presented at Krowswork might not have otherwise found a home in the Bay Area.
Throughout the years, Krowswork's shows have received a lot of wonderful critical success including reviews in Art in America, the San Francisco Chronicle, Art Practical, Diablo Magazine, and many others. Krowswork has showcased the work of more than 200 artists since opening its doors, and presented numerous special events and curatorial talks. It has been a steadfast member of the Oakland Art Murmur and has been part of more than 60 First Fridays!
With this year's programming Krowswork is making a radical shift in its approach to its role as an art and exhibition space that is more in keeping with its core tenets. (See below for details.) At the heart of its new mission is a change from a traditional gallery model to a more dynamic, self-reflective place of artistic exchange.
For the past five years, I have managed to run Krowswork without outside financial support. But now in order to make this year’s ambitious programming possible, AND to be able to continue operating at all, Krowswork needs your help.
With this all-or-nothing Kickstarter, I am looking to raise a minimum of $12,000 (and I hope more) through a new membership financing model.
Please keep Krowswork going and thriving—become a Krowsworker today!
There are a lot of great rewards that come with Krowsworker membership. So please pick your level of support and help keep a dynamic, experimental art space in Oakland alive and well!
A NEW DIRECTION:
2015 brings the end of Krowswork Gallery and the beginning of Krowswork, a Center for Video and Visionary Art.
The initial year of Krowswork's reconsidered approach has been curated as a series of four-week “Residencies” with a number of local Bay Area visionaries: artists, poets, scholars, and collectives, who are dealing with complex issues around art and art making, of course—but also keenly focused on unearthing or returning to something essential regarding language, form, race, geography, healing, and divinity.
The Residents will share their own art in either a formal or informal way in the exhibition space. But they will also host conversations and events, and in some cases bring in the works of others. As Krowswork’s founder and director, I will serve as a facilitator and chronicler, producing online visual “Maps” that complement the residents' work by providing a crow’s eye view of the relevant surrounding landscape through her own writing, outside articles and artworks, and links.
More than simply the financial facilitation of this shift, your participation as a Krowsworker is vital to the quality of exchange that I hope will take place here. Through the shared Maps, gallery walkthroughs, talks, public programs, and a year-end members' screening and salon, each Krowsworker will bring their own vision to this conversation and expand it by taking away the message of what you have seen to your own community.
THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THIS SHIFT AT KROWSWORK:
For five years, Krowswork has answered more or less to the idea or form of “gallery” but the longer I am around, the less satisfying this form has been to me personally. The intention of Krowswork has certainly never been wholly commercial, and I feel the points at which I and others (artists or visitors) have found real meaning within this space have occurred when that form is largely dropped, and experimentation, play, and a more engaged sense of discourse outside the idea of gallery begins.
Before Krowswork was a physical space, it was a word I made up to denote a type of mapping of an imagined community—a survey of many disparate points of art and the poetic language that tied them together. To me these were direct emotional lines of connection but I found no way to literally connect them in the material world. So, how, I wondered could I tell the world about these connections if I couldn’t even place them in time and space? Like a scientist, then, I made up a constant to solve my dilemma, figuring that it was something that would eventually be found. This constant was the word “Krowswork.”
When Krowswork eventually became a physical gallery, its mission was already coded in its name. Crows are known for charting direct courses between disparate points. And they also aren’t afraid to tell about what they see. They are messengers and protectors. They operate individually yet within tight-knit, collective communities. Their function is both practical and, as acknowledged by a wide range of cultures and mythologies, the stuff of magic—connecting the every day realities to the divine vision.
Along the way I got tied up in the expectations of a form that took me away from these instinctual roots of Krowswork. I needed to explore the world of art fairs and art dealers and tout my critical successes, but in the end this just drove a wedge between me and what I really was seeking for Krowswork.
With the dissolution of Krowswork as a gallery and its emergence as a center for video and the visionary impulse, I am returning to my love of early video art and re-engaging with the interest these pioneers had in understanding media as medium—in the psychic sense—as a way of conducting vibrations from the universe. I think these sci-fi/pseudoscience instincts from forty years ago are actually bearing out in this new, digital age. I am also re-acknowledging visionary poetry as the heart of so much of what drives Krowswork. Add to this a recent intense study of the automatism of Surrealism and the esotericism of cultures from the Egyptians to the Celts to the Yoruba, along with a personal path which has led me into study with a shamanic healer in Peru.
What is common to this esotericism, and the healing work I have been doing in Peru, is the idea that forms precede and inform being. This approach, which represents a merging of alchemy and conjuring, considers that artists, like healing shamans, are tasked with not so much creating new forms as pointing out and dispersing false ones, while channeling and uncovering the ones that have always been here, ancient resonances upon which our humanity originated. I think this way of thinking is also key to living more in balance within our natural ecology, which happens when we understand that nature and its forms came first and think of them as beloved teachers, not something we outgrew.
MORE ABOUT THE RESIDENCY PROGRAM:
This year at Krowswork will be an engaged look at these ideas. The year's residencies will feature a diverse range of artists and artwork—from graffiti to poetry and from elaborate sci-fi video installations to Kabalistic painting. These Krowswork Residents will present their own work and in some cases the work of others. Each Resident will be implicitly or explicitly in conversation with those who come before and after.
I will become a facilitator, an observer, and a chronicler of what unfolds, and will send out regular dispatches in the form of Krowswork Maps. These Maps will be online documents that will include writing about each exhibition, while visually charting related explanatory and supplementary articles, images, artworks, and links. In other words, these Maps will give a meta-view of the entire landscape and more explicitly point out what I see as the direct pathways between and among the various residents’ ideas and works. My intention is to have this all culminate in a festival with talks, exhibitions, and screenings around the topics that have been unearthed and explored during the year.
Please visit the website to see the Schedule of Residents: krowswork.com/krowsworker.html.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT NOW AND THROUGH THE YEARS! – JASMINE
Risks and challenges
I have a proven track record of making Krowswork work! This financial support will allow me to bring another year of programming to the Oakland/Bay Area art community, and likewise this Krowsworker Membership is valid for one year. The timing for delivery of the rewards will be variable. T-shirts should be ready by March and can be picked up at Krowswork or mailed to people outside the Bay Area. Other rewards such as the "Maps" are on an ongoing basis and will be sent via email. Advice/talks can be scheduled individually. The art and festival rewards will be available at the end of the year's programming. Thank you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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