About this project
New potential cities have been added! See the updated list at the bottom!
Hi, my name is Andy Bloxham. I'm an Assistant Professor of Art at WV Wesleyan College, and Faculty at the Maine Media Workshops. You can view my imagery at http://www.andybloxham.com
To get a feel for what a Shootapalooza is like, and if this is something you'd be interested in backing, I kept a blog during the original one. Feel free to browse through it to read and see the range of journeys and photographic opportunities took place on this trek. http://www.andybloxham.com/shootapalooza
In 2010, I set out on a journey. I routinely traveled from Louisiana to Maine each year to teach photography at the Maine Media Workshops, but that year, I decided to expand a 3 day drive into a 3 week adventure across the middle and northeastern side of America and Canada. In 4,000 miles, I stopped off at big and small cities, networked with local actors, and constructed elaborate fictionalized photographs from my personal notebook of ideas. The completed imagery went on to launch in solo and group exhibitions, featured in publications, and is a focus now in both a documentary and artist talks around the country.
Currently, I am midway through an entirely new fictional photography series. I have been working on them steadily amongst travel and teaching. The content deals with a collection of short stories I wrote over the span of 9 months, which in many ways served to expel stress and frustrations. This was my only creative outlet that made sense during this time. I have extracted the core messages of each story and am translating them into abstracted narratives. Thus far, either for special trips to photograph or squeezing time in during visiting artist talks, I have worked on the project while in Louisiana, West Virginia, Utah, Indiana, and Pittsburgh. I suppose I enjoy the diversity travel offers me for a full range of image potential. I want the project completed this year, and I want to wrap it up at locations around both America and Canada. So this year, I'm doing a Shootapalooza again, but this time I'm raising the stakes. After visiting family, I'm setting out from Louisiana but traveling the most out of the way possible to reach Maine for the workshops.
My goal is 50 days on the road. I will be leaving Louisiana on May 23, and will arrive in Maine on July 11. The current shooting locations scheduled are:
West Monroe, LA
San Antonio, TX
Las Cruces, NM
Prescott, AZ *new*
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA
Santa Cruz, CA
Chico, CA *new*
Harlan, IA *new*
South Bend, IN *new*
Cleveland, OH *new*
Essex Junction, VT *new*
Quebec City, QC
I have networked with local actors, models, and photographers in each of the areas. Each day at a new city will bring a new set, a new idea, and a new creation. I am approaching the creation process in a diverse manner, with both singular creation processes in addition to using this trip as a teaching tool across various locations with possible colleges and universities.
In addition to crafting these highly involved productions, I will also be working on a side project during my "free time" on this journey. One of the things that I took away from the previous trip was how, no matter where I was, the human spirit of residents everywhere was a consistent variable. Using a scaled-down, personal lighting setup, I will be creating portraits of everyone I come across and interact with along my trip. My conservative estimate is to finish the trip with 50 portraits, though I imagine the total will come closer to 100 or more if past experiences are any indicator.
At the conclusion of this trip, work made on Shootapalooza II: The Sequel, will debut in a new solo exhibition at Livaudais Studio, in Monroe, Louisiana, during February 2014. From there, it will continue on as part of this consistent traveling "Fictions" exhibit. Additionally, the work will be submitted for publication across a variety of magazines, and I will use this experience to build an entirely new photography artist talk to discuss both the work, and the power of using networks and social media to complete rather large photographic project undertakings.
For this trip, I am using my own personal funds but reaching out to Kickstarter to help finish the goals. I'll be driving 7,000 miles over 50 days. Factoring in my 30mpg gas mileage and the current average price of gas between America and Canada, I'm looking at around $1,000 for gasoline. Additionally, if I eat on $20 a day, 50 days of travel will lead to a need of $1,000. My car will also need two oil changes while on this trip. To help with these basic needs, I am setting the launch goal of this Kickstarter at $1,500 to help offset these costs. Combined with my income, these are the very basics that will be needed in order for this photography trip to successfully launch.
I will be bringing my own studio equipment and assortment of props, but if *fingers crossed* the Kickstarter is successful and people continue to contribute, there are a few extra items that will add productivity to the trip. First off, this will help ensure the full range of the gas/food budget will be covered. I would like to add a Vagabond Mini with an additional battery pack to my photography inventory, for increased power flexibility in tricky shooting locations. Proper sandbags would be a fantastic addition to the equipment. I lost a few good umbrellas on the last trip due to inferior bags. Extra batteries and memory cards will be highly beneficial, as will extra hard-drive storage for the massive amounts of imagery that will be acquired over 50 days. Production materials such as paper and frames will be bought with surplus contributions, which will go towards the rewards for backers. And if someone backs this project with the 5D Reward (which is not only a completely functional camera but also one that has specifically been responsible for the first Shootapalooza and nearly every other photograph you've seen of mine in galleries or magazines) then I will be upgrading to a Canon 5D II for this trip, adding the ability for video capture in addition to higher resolution stills.
Speaking of backers, I have provided a wide range of options for anyone interested in helping make this trip a reality. Anyone who backs this project will be receiving a variety of project-specific mail. I will be creating one of a kind instant photographs while on the trip, that are available as a reward. Additionally, if you would like to own a final print of work created from this trip, I have provided you with a wide range of size options, from the standard 8"x10" for both portraits and the fictional imagery, all the way up to 13"x19" for each, and 16"x24" for the fictional photographs. One step higher will receive the largest, editioned images as framed prints, presented in the exact same manner I show the work when I have an exhibit. I will be in constant communication to ensure you receive the exact reward you are looking for, and am super excited by the potential of your contribution helping create a successful launch of this ambitious 7,000 mile, 50 day photographic journey.
Travel note: There will be a scheduled two day interlude in the middle of travel: in June, I'll be cashing in some of my frequent flyer miles at one of the airports along the journey so I can be at my nephew's 2nd birthday party in Louisiana!
Risks and challenges
I have made multiple cross-country road trips in my relatively new car (the silver S-package portable studio, if you will). I have successfully navigated an extended trip built around constructing imagery. I don't foresee any mechanical issues preventing me from completing the trip. On my last trip, I did experience a few flakes on talent in different cities, so I had to quickly learn to be quick on my feet in rerouting and planning out alternative photographic solutions.
One of the problems I ran into last time on the trip, and is something I've planned around to avoid this time, is the conundrum of driving and photographing in the same day. Often, I would drive 8-10 hours to a new city and immediately launch into a photo setup. At times, this created a rushed set. Now, I've scheduled out my trip to allow for travel and planning to take place on a day, giving the whole second day to the image-making process so the meticulous nature of these images can be crafted correctly.
Once the trip is finished, the biggest obstacle I will run into will be time. For the next month after the trip, I'll be teaching workshops at the Maine Media Workshops. After that, I have about a week or so until classes resume again at WV Wesleyan College, where I am a photography professor. My weekends will be devoted to building these images up from the 100-300 shots collected from each shoot. It will be a slow process, but in the end, successful.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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