The Petition Box Project
I have this idea that the reason people are drawn to and seek out artistic experiences is because of the connection these experiences make with that same something inside themselves. As a visual artist, the participation of the viewer is often a passive, private encounter that stimulates the beginning of a conversation between the viewer and the intentions of the artist. Oftentimes, the viewer is looking for a (con)text to begin their end of the conversation, indicating their intent to connect to the art work. I am interested in stretching that conversation in multiple directions by engaging the viewer(s) in the creative process. This project crosses boundaries between what is performance, conceptual and visual art.
I began this project earlier in the year by creating small books from recycled junk mail and posing the question: "If you could ask anything from anyone, what would you ask for?" on the cover. A pen was attached to each book and they were sent on their way through groups of people in various cities and situations. Each person could choose whether to participate or not and was given free range to read other participants answers as well as contribute their own. The responses have ranged from poetic simpleness to serious matters of who we are individually and collectively. The most interesting observations have been the seriousness of thought many of them indicate and the curiosity of what other people would petition for. Oftentimes there is a circle of people reading a book and buzzing about what has been written.
I call this project The Petition Box Project, because it comes closest to expressing what my intentions are; to get people to step outside of the barrage of info and images they are bombarded with everyday and formulate an idea of what they would really want to ask for, if they could have it. It is a conceptual process, the importance being placed in the 'process'. Creating anything is a process, that starts with a question or observation but oftentimes gets buried under the detritus of everyday living. In looking inward, the bits and pieces of an idea coalesce into the world of possibility. After all, nothing can be gained without asking for it first. In the asking is the start of a conversation. In the writing of it down is the belief in the possibility of more.If you could ask anything from anyone, what would you ask for? Add yours, read others at: http://thepetitionbox.blogspot.com