Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 8, 2012.

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Human bodies carved from wax melt and transform into abstract landscapes. This new work captures it before it is gone forever.

ANNOUNCING OUR STRETCH GOAL:

FIRST OFF: THANK YOU! We have reached our goal and we still have a week to go! Because of you, this show is becoming a reality. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU.

Now let's talk numbers! The $31,000 goal we set allows us our melting materials, and a very basic camera setup. This budget is BARE BONES. But the enthusiasm for this project is opening up ideas and possibilities that we never, ever could have dreamed of without this money. 

Amazingly, several filmmakers have contacted us with suggestions about how a high-definition video camera, professional lighting equipment and new editing software could CATAPULT our work to a whole new level, providing higher quality stills and animation frames. When we melt the work, it is gone forever. All we have left is the documentation. This equipment would transform this aspect of our work.

These additions to our budget add up to about $10,000. With a week left, we are going to try for it! PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD! HELP US REACH $41,000 BY NOVEMBER 7th! 

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HELLO. Steph Kesey and Erin Pollock here! We are thrilled to be here on Kickstarter to announce to all our friends the newest KESEYPOLLOCK multimedia art exhibition coming to Seattle: MELTING BODIES. 

(First off: SOME PICTURES OF REWARDS! PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE INFO ON OUR WORK AND OUR STORY.)

THE REWARDS: 

$25: DVD OF MELTING

Own video art! Watch in your own home or throw a dance party with projections!
Own video art! Watch in your own home or throw a dance party with projections!

$50: POSTER FROM SHOW

(The show is slated for March, no sample poster yet. It will feature our favorite melting still, name, date, and location of the exhibition.)

$75: PRINT OF MELTING, SIGNED

SAMPLE of a still from melting video. YOU choose your own from our image bank!
SAMPLE of a still from melting video. YOU choose your own from our image bank!

$150: ORIGINAL PRINT: HAND-DRAWN ANIMATION FRAMES, SIGNED

SAMPLE of a print of animation frames.
SAMPLE of a print of animation frames.

$250: ORIGINAL PRINT: TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP OF MELTING BODY, SIGNED

SAMPLE of a print. Hands grab skirt, color-coded to indicate melting patterns over time.
SAMPLE of a print. Hands grab skirt, color-coded to indicate melting patterns over time.

$450: WE CAST YOUR FACE!

Make any face you want! We'll make a natural bees wax version of it for you.
Make any face you want! We'll make a natural bees wax version of it for you.

$1,800: PRINT OF YOUR FACE, MELTING, SIGNED

Insert YOUR face here! A frameable color print for your wall.
Insert YOUR face here! A frameable color print for your wall.

$2,500: ORIGINAL COMMISSIONED PAINTING 

(No image here because for the original commissioned painting we work with YOU to create something that represents a part of the process that interests YOU and works perfectly in YOUR house!) 

$2,850: FACE CASTING PARTY

Host a party in our studio and learn to cast your own face!
Host a party in our studio and learn to cast your own face!

$5,000: CASTING/MELTING COMMISSION

(Let your imagination go! You wrapped up in your partners arms, all of your family's hands together...we will work with you to make it happen!)

OUR STORY

For those of you who have supported our work thus far (friends, fans, followers, yay-sayers, grant-givers, patrons, commissioners): THANK YOU! For those who are asking : when/why/how did you start your melting sculptures?, here is our story:

In 2008 Erin's uncle, a county mortician in rural Washington State, arranged for us to make art in a Cherry Packing Warehouse. For a month, we made stop-action animations. They were tedious and frustrating and boring. So we went outside into the cold and sunny winter. And we built a snowman. We watched it melt back into the earth. It was beautiful and sad and hopeful all at the same time. And it was more expressive than our animations. We were so taken with melting faces that we built more snowmen, and we made ovens out of tinfoil and hair dryers to melt the faces faster.

But snow is not a kind sculpting material. It is too damn cold on the fingers. So we turned to wax. That winter, in Oroville, Washington, we made a video of 3 melting wax faces and submitted these images to the MTS Gallery in Anchorage, AK. Given our teeny-tiny work sample, MTS took a huge risk on us as young artists and granted us our very first solo show as the collaborative artistic team KeseyPollock.  (Thank you MTS!!!)

Check out this (shortish!!!) documentary of our very first gallery show, "367 lbs of wax" at the MTS Gallery.

After "367 lbs of wax", support for our work in Alaska soared. From this small opportunity to prove ourselves as artists in Alaska, The Municipality of Anchorage and the Mt View Community Council selected us over experienced artists to design and fabricate a permanent public sculpture. (If you are in Anchorage, go check it out on the corner of Mt View and Commercial.) The design called for a sculpture that celebrated the diversity of the neighborhood.  

We spent an entire year casting faces of people in the neighborhood, from age 5 to 80, and creating an installation of steel and fiberglass lamps based off their faces. The whole experience of working and making community art in such a diverse and sometimes violent neighborhood was a reminder that together we glow brighter. Here are the faces glowing at night. 

image by Bob Hallinen, The Anchorage Daily News
image by Bob Hallinen, The Anchorage Daily News

Here is a close up of our fiberglass lamps:

And here is a local news story of some participants talking about the project:

WE ARE DREAMING SO MUCH BIGGER!

It has now been almost 4 years since we made our first snowman. Since then, we have cast over 400 faces and dreamed of advancing our work to include full bodies. We have spent time observing the harsh and awe-inspiring Alaskan landscape as glaciers melt and land erodes. We have accompanied friends through happy and terrible moments, and watched political movements from across the globe. We are inspired to embed these concepts of change and transformation inside the fragile human body, reflecting both the internal emotional human landscapes and natural environments that affect us all.

Last fall we were accepted to the MacDowell Colony, the oldest artist colony in United States. It is an AMAZING place for artists to get work done. At MacDowell we were able to teach ourselves to cast full bodies, engineer the melting surface in order to deal with such large quantities of molten wax, and design a non-toxic material palette of melting substances. We have started using butter, Crisco, and food pigments and we are close to our goal of making this process increasingly friendly to our environment and our own bodies...ideally the melting process should smell like baking cookies! 

All of these new technical understandings and visual vocabularies have prepared us to create melting portraits that change and transform in more compelling ways. We hope you join us in making these images and videos possible.

$31,000 DOLLARS? PLEASE EXPLAIN!

This seems like a lot of money to us, too. It is the minimum amount that we need to cover the hard material costs of casting, carving, sculpting, engineering, melting, lighting, filming and printing. This does not cover any artist fees. In other words, any money you contribute goes directly toward the art. 

SOME MORE DETAILS:

WHERE IS THE EXHIBITION?: Seattle, WA. In an unused warehouse space. It is awesome. Nothing is in ink, and we are too superstitious to tell you exactly where! But we will keep you posted. 

WHEN IS THE EXHIBITION?: This work will take some time. We can only sculpt so fast! Right now the exhibition is scheduled for March. Again, we will definitely let you know!

I WANT A POSTER AND A PHOTO (for example!), CAN I BUY MORE THAN ONE REWARD? YESSSS!!!! You can! Just contribute the amount of both rewards and send us a quick note on what you want. We will make it work. 

WHEN WILL I GET MY REWARD?  3000 pounds of wax is a lot to carry, carve, cast, paint, process, melt, film, photograph, etc! We anticipate this work taking several focused months of work. You should get your reward in the mail by March. For rewards that involve casting in our Seattle studio, we will schedule your visit in the next several months. 

OTHER THAN BUYING A REWARD, HOW CAN I HELP? Please help us by promoting this project! Kickstarter relies on lots of contributions to help us reach our goal. We need to reach lots and lots of people. Please post this project on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Please send an e-mail to your art-loving friends. Please talk about this project to your co-workers or friends at a party. A simple link with something like "check out this rad project" would make a huge difference and make this project possible! Thank you.

I DON'T LIVE IN SEATTLE, WHY SHOULD I SUPPORT THIS SHOW? We call this project a "show" or an "exhibition." Which is true! We will be exhibiting this work in Seattle for the public. All are welcome! But the funds from this Kickstarter campaign will fund the very creation of this work. In turn, we will give you a piece from the working period. You don't have to live in Seattle to enjoy a part of this work!

WHY KICKSTARTER? 

As arts funding in the United States gets slashed so aggressively, artists are looking for a new solution. Though we personally have been lucky that our work has been honored and awarded with grants, residencies and commissions, our goals and visions have outgrown the ability of available grant organizations. At the same time, many friends and followers have approached us wanting to buy and support our work. Kickstarter is a safe platform for artists to pre-sell work and for art-lovers to insure, through relatively small amounts, that no matter what, art and culture endures and continues to get made in this country. We also like Kickstarter because it cuts out the grant panels and committees and lets YOU decide what art you want to see in the world. We hope you choose ours!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

To date we have cast over 400 faces and melted many to make videos and installations. We have completed about 8 full body tests. As in any creative endeavor where the process is more about creation and invention than straight fabrication, there are inherent risks. This has never been done before...and that is the exciting part! These risks often lead to the best innovations. We are prepared and qualified to deliver all the above stated rewards... Look out for exciting new surprises as the work develops and progresses!

FAQ

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    YOUR NAME ON THE TITLE WALL OF OUR SHOW. This project, really, really, really cannot happen without this funding. We truly appreciate your help. And for that, we say: THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! (written in public for all to see.)

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    DVD OF "3000 LBS of WAX." + YOUR NAME ON TITLE WALL Congrats! You have just pre-ordered a DVD of a brand new kind of video art. This DVD will be a visual poem. Full bodies disappear and re-emerge from abstract color fields. It will get you like those bird videos get cats. Awesome to watch as a moving meditation, either from your couch with a glass of wine or projected HUGE at a raging dance party. A cheap way to collect videoart. Plus! As a DVD extra, we'll include "367 lbs of wax," the DVD so many of you have asked to purchase from our 2009 show in Anchorage, AK. THIS FILM WILL MELT YOUR FACE OFF!! (international, pls add $7 shipping.)

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    SIGNED, LIMITED EDITION POSTER FROM THE EXHIBITION YOU MADE HAPPEN + NAME ON TITLE WALL (ADD $15 FOR DVD) This poster will feature our favorite still from the melting process. (international, pls add $15 for shipping.)

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    12x18" FULL COLOR PRINT OF BODY MELTING + YOUR NAME ON TITLE WALL (ADD $15 FOR DVD) This is Steph’s all time favorite perk! It's easy: 1) When we are done with the show, we will email you a link to a website featuring tons of stills from the footage of our melting sculptures. 2) You choose your very favorite moment in the melting process. 3) We send you a full-color print of it. In other words, YOU choose your own print! And if you get the video add-on, you can show your friends the process. If you want a triptych, which is a striking way to see the image transform, we'll make you a deal, 3 prints for $150, just twice the price but 3 prints instead of 1! (international, pls add $15 shipping.)

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    42 backers

    SIGNED, FULL COLOR PRINT OF 3 HAND-DRAWN ANIMATION FRAMES + YOUR NAME ON TITLE WALL (ADD $15 FOR DVD) When we are designing a melting body, we often make animations of how, exactly, we want the body to melt (see sample animations in kickstarter video for example). This is a framable piece of original art and it is available in December, shipped before Christmas! (international, pls add $15 shipping.)

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    24 backers

    SIGNED LIMITED EDITION PRINT: hand-drawn topographical map of a full body melting + YOUR NAME ON TITLE WALL (ADD $15 FOR DVD). This limited edition print of an original drawing is a visually rich, framable art piece for your wall. It features a unique visual language we have developed based on mapmaking. This type of drawing helps us compile, organize and document the many complex aspects of our time-based pieces seen in our melting videos. This option is perfect for the early stage art collector who wants a hand-drawn rendition of our work. (international, pls add $15 shipping.)

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    YOUR FACE (OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE) IN WAX + YOUR NAME ON TITLE WALL: A 3D version of your face is a wild, weird thing, kind of like a picture must have been in the early days of photography. Come to our studio, we will cast your face and give you a wax version to hang on your wall. Perfect for anyone curious, especially parents who want to capture their childrens youth (Note: the youngest we have cast is 5. Also note: Our face casting feels like a minty facial. No worries, we've done it over 400 times. MANY references available upon request.)

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    20x30" PORTRAIT PRINT OF YOUR FACE MELTING (OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE) + YOUR NAME ON TITLE WALL. Come to our Seattle studio, we will cast your face. We will carve, sculpt, paint, and design a melting version. You get a high-quality color print. (Note: nooooo worries, we don't melt your actual face!)

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    ORIGINAL MIXED MEDIA PAINTING + YOUR NAME ON TITLE WALL. This is the most unique, original, one-of-a-kind handmade artwork available on this list. We will work with you to choose a part of the process that interests you. Then we will take the visual information contained in the video of a melting/transforming/emerging body and compress it into a rich 2-D surface, that works for your home. This is for the collector or the believer who is interested in owning a piece of our process. (Within Seattle, we will deliver to your home. Outside Seattle, we'll crate it, the cost of shipping will be additional.)

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    PRIVATE FACE CASTING PARTY AT OUR SEATTLE STUDIO + YOUR NAME ON TITLE WALL. Host a party in our Seattle art studio! We will teach you and a slew of your friends to cast your own faces. We can envision this as a scout troop activity, a bunch of friends before Halloween, a family reunion event, or a memorable birthday party. Limit to 15 people per party. Spoil your friends with this experience. Or if you can organize some folks, make a go of it for $190 a pop! All materials will be provided, including: alginate, plaster gauze, plasticine, heat guns, wax, brushes, pigments and false eyelashes to make yourself pretty.

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    CASTING/MELTING COMMISSION + YOUR NAME ON TITLE WALL: Come to our Seattle studio. You choose if you want us to cast your entire body or just a portion. We then sculpt, paint and accessorize it until we've cloned you (or made an idealized/ bizarro/ alternate universe/ fictional version of you). Then we melt, film and photograph the piece. (You are invited back to watch the melting process!) You'll take home a 20x30" full-color print of your favorite moment in the melting process to add to your art collection. ACTUALLY: this amount makes such a difference to us that for this price, we can talk about a lot of different options...your entire family's hands? you and your partner melting into one another?

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