April 23, 2011

Money for art, not for war

I'm taking the biggest plunge of my artistic life thus far (other than the daily practice of keep-on-keeping-on) and putting my all into publishing "RECORDS", the read-along-record and artist's book I've been working on and avoiding in turns, for the last 10 years.
Right now I'm crafting the funding appeal I'll submit to public and private arts funders. Here's my project summary:

"RECORDS" is an audio/visual essay on impermanence and archiving, in the form of an artist's book and pressed vinyl companion record.  The form is borrowed from the read-along-record stories enjoyed by the children of the late 1970's and 1980's.  This form was chosen for its analog integration of audio and visual information, and because of its concurrence with the birth of Hip Hop culture, in which the artist (a photographer and turntablist) has found her creative praxis in the present day.  The title of the project is a play on words, directly addressing the subject of recording and archiving information, while engaging the interest of audiophiles, DJs, secretaries, librarians, and others interested in 20th century music history and the human compulsion to and practice of organize(-ing) information. The suggested subtext of the essay is that the practice of recording and archiving audio and visual information is a (healthy) response to the awareness of our impermanence.  There is something juicy and real in the act of organizing information for safekeeping, as evidenced by the recipe books, geneologies, discographies, herbariums, legers, and memoirs we are compelled to preserve.

RECORDS will occupy its position in various archives as a 24-page, full color artist's book filled with photographs, handwritten discographies and setlists, diagrams, liner notes, and album covers, accompanied by a double-sided 7" vinyl soundtrack record. It will be fully indexed and documented, with any necessary appendices. Grant monies will produce a 200-item run of the book/record and promotional materials.  The soundtrack is composed in the spirit of the Hip Hop mixtape, using traditional sampling methods as well as archivist field recordings to create a textural and rhythmic listening experience.

I'll share more samples and juxtapositions in the coming weeks. Feel free to cheer me on and suggest funders or just put me in touch with other archive geeks. Please leave thoughts and suggestions in the comment form. Thanks!

-Mothertrucker aka Beccamack


afteralldesigns said...

Go girl!

sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Jane Leach said...

Interestingly enough, during the cold war, a lot of money was spent on the arts as a propaganda tool. Because the USSR was so conservative artistically, the US ironically ended up supporting a lot of more experimental art as a counterbalance. That funding all dried up with the fall of the iron curtain. If there was a more tangible "enemy" now, I'm sure funding for the arts would skyrocket.

Good luck!

mothertrucker said...

Thanks, Mary Jane. That is interesting. I've always enjoyed Dorothea Lange's photographic work, which she considered propaganda, as it was funded by the Farm Security Administration to draw attention to the lives of farmers and migrant workers during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. I quite liked the idea of a working woman artist claiming propaganda as a tool, and using it to make an art product which has become historically and socially significant.

TARA JONES said...

Go for it Becca. This is something you have been wanting to put out for a long time now. I think you should start by creating a fund raising page on FirstGiving.com and appealing to the community for funds. This at least can get you started. I know some about this site so we should talk.

mothertrucker said...

Thanks, Tara. I'll check that out and be in touch. Remember when I asked you to promise to publish the book for me if I died first? Decided to let you off the hook (though I don't think you signed on)! I think that was in 2005. It already feels like a relief just to put my best effort forward.

littlewing said...

GO MO-T!!!!
You know we got your back.
Can't wait to turn the pages.