$2,173
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
12
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, July 12 2019 2:30 PM UTC +00:00
$2,173
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
12
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, July 12 2019 2:30 PM UTC +00:00

About


My name is Chelsea Steinberg Gay. I am a sculptor and performance artist with a BFA in Sculpture from SUNY Purchase College and an MA in Jewish Art and Visual Culture from the Jewish Theological Seminary. When I am not in my studio working, I am raising three amazing girls with my partner, an abolitionist working to end modern slavery and human trafficking, and a longtime supporter of African artisans through fair trade social entrepreneurship.

For more than two weeks this July and August, I will be at Unity Ecovillage in Cape Coast, Ghana for my first residency, collaborating with staff, study abroad students as well as local artists, musicians, and performers to create installation and performance art works. 


The installation will feature eight mud golems equipped with wireless Arlo surveillance cameras for heads. Golems--legendary humanoid creatures made of mud and animated by rabbinic incantations -- are part of the Jewish mystical and folkloric tradition, predating Frankenstein, robots, and artificial intelligence. 

I will also create a series of two-dimensional works, which will culminate in an onsite exhibition, lead a one-day workshop on technology and environmental stewardship with students at the local community school [and University of Cape Coast, of which Unity is an affiliate organization]. In addition, I will give an artist talk on the genesis of this project and its overlapping themes with West African and Jewish art and mystical  traditions. 

Unity Ecovillage is the perfect location for this work, as its mission is both to further the performing arts and traditional crafts of Ghana, and to educate visiting students and the local population about sustainable building methods. I will be merging these two missions by using sustainable technology to fabricate the bodies of my surveillance golems, and involving them as props in a drumming and dancing performance. 

The remainder of the time in Ghana will be spent recording footage from the golem cameras, which will be relocated daily around the Ecovillage campus. At the end of the residency, the mud that formed each Golem will be returned to the earth, embodying a leave-no-trace environmental philosophy and freeing up the cameras for future eco-surveillance projects. 

Funds raised through this campaign will help cover the cost of travel, equipment (including 8 cameras) and materials needed to realize this project. After a decade of splitting my hours between mothering and art making, I am excited about totally focusing on my work, while my partner takes on the parenting. With your help this residency can be realized. 

Upon my return from Africa, I will reward my backers with original works of art fabricated in my New York studio during the remaining months of 2019 and delivered by the end of the year.

Risks and challenges

Recognizing my short time in Ghana, I am conducting much of the research and testing the surveillance cameras before my departure to Ghana. Raising the funds for this preliminary work in a timely manner will help ensure the project’s success.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    Digital Photos of Installed Golems

    Digital photos of the completed Eco-Surveillance Golems on site at Unity Ecovillage, sent to your inbox with behind the scenes and in-progress images as well.

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Signed Small Golem Print

    A limited-edition, signed 8 x 10 print of the original surveillance golem collage.

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    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    Signed Golem Print & Original Work

    A limited-edition, signed 8 x 10 print of the original surveillance golem collage, plus a bonus original work on paper made during the residency.

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    Pledge $36 or more About $36

    Set of Four Golem Prints

    Limited edition signed 8 x 10 prints of all four original Golem collages.

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    Pledge $54 or more About $54

    Virtual Residency Studio Visit

    A live thirty-minute Skype of WhatsApp call with me while I'm in Ghana at the EcoVillage, see works in progress, and behind-the-scenes footage and exactly how my curly hair is reacting to high humidity.

    Includes:
    • An original 4 x 6 work on paper made during the residency.
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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    Custom Amuletic Necklace

    For those who fell in love with the jewelry pieces in my Apotropaia series, now is your chance to have a custom necklace made, with the words of your choice in gold or silver mirrored acrylic.

    Includes:
    • Handwritten certificate of authenticity with your word(s).
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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    Custom Amuletic Earrings

    For those who fell in love with the jewelry pieces in my Apotropaia series, now is your chance to have a set of custom earrings made, with the words of your choice in gold or silver mirrored acrylic up to 2 inches in diameter.

    Includes:
    • Handwritten certificate of authenticity with your word(s).
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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Miniature Mud & Resin Golem Figure

    Limited edition 4 inch tall Golem figure made of mud and resin on a wooden base.

    Includes:
    • Digital behind-the-scenes photos from the residency
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Ribs and a Stern Lecture via Phone

    Does getting hit up for cash make you want to dial-n-yell? For those unfortunate souls who can't make it to Harlem to lunch with me, I will ship you Kansas City BBQ ribs, via Goldbely and Joe's Kansas City Bar-be-cue, so you can have an actual lunch, and give you to opportunity to call me and lecture me about any subject you wish for exactly 20 minutes. Why are you asking people for money? What's with your hair these days? Why don't you send me photos of the kids? What are you thinking? All valid questions, plus BBQ by mail. Expires in 48 hours! Get yours now!

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Studio Visit and Lunch in Harlem

    A private studio visit with me in my West Harlem, NYC studio and lunch at your choice of Red Rooster, Sylvia's or Dinosaur BBQ. Limit 2 guests.

    Includes:
    • An original 4 x 6 work on paper made during the residency.
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Studio Visit, Museum Visit & Lunch

    A private studio visit in my West Harlem, NYC studio, and museum tour of a NYC museum of your choice, plus lunch. Limit 2 people per visit.

    Includes:
    • An original 4 x 6 work on paper made during the residency.
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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    Surveillance Golem (Adam) Sculpture

    The original sculpture behind the residency, Surveillance Golem (Adam). No editions made, an original work. Clay, moss, plastic and mixed media on wooden base.

    Includes:
    • Signed 8 x 10 prints of the original four Golem collages.
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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    Surveillance Golem (Chava) Sculpture

    The original sculpture behind the residency, Surveillance Golem (Chava). No editions made, an original work. Clay, moss, plastic and mixed media on wooden base.

    Includes:
    • Signed 8 x 10 prints of the original four Golem collages.
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Funding period

- (29 days)