Guest Artist Anne Blackburn speaks and carves tomorrow, 6-9pm

August 27th, Saturday: Guest Artist Event, 6 – 9pm;  Artist and Lo-Fi Arts Festival curator Anne Blackburn Artist Talk and hands-on demo of book-carving for her environmental installations.  Photos and films from her two-year installation of human-made shelf fungus.

Earlier this summer, just a week before I started Solstenen project, I had a small exciting adventure at Smoke Farm with Anne Blackburn.   Smoke Farm has popped up its amazing acreage into my work before;  I’ve walked all over the place, made a film, done photoshoots…but it continues to yield hidden places and surprises.  Anne took me to one; her two year Shelf Fungus Project.  I’d heard about it…seen some pictures floating around, and had missed it at the last Lo-Fi.

Teeth Marks....

Teeth Marks....

I always imagine  Anne so immersed in her work — which also includes curating and organizing and gathering people together — that she doesn’t really do the full onslaught of ‘marketing’ that seems the norm for our age.  And I’m glad…not really knowing all I wanted to know from the computer put me in the position to get Anne to take me on a hike to see her woman-made Shelf Fungus.

After a hike down a path I was familiar with, we took a sharp turn towards the mountain and under some evergreen boughs that opened up into a cathedral-like clearing where you can’t see the sky.  The most striking element were the many very tall old-growth stumps, with the notches carved a century ago by lumbermen, tool marks still very much visible.  Each stump now has a 50 year old ‘new’ tree sprouting out the top, creating this dense canopy, but also very much showing the process that Smoke Farm itself is undergoing; renewal in the form of decay.  Once harnessed and used for human industry, the land, the trees, the water – through human care and the unceasing urge of nature to renew – are changing back (or changing forward) to a wild place….or a place that references the wild place it once was and can never truly be again.  It was easy for me to see a time-lapse in my mind of the clearing of the land, the farm being built, the cows, the effort, the lives made and past.

I could see the trees head to the saw mill and go through a myriad of processes to become any number things to meet  human needs, including books.  Then in this little village of massive stumps, we see Anne’s human-made Shelf Fungus….made of books.  Again, I can see another time-lapse of paper being made, books being bound, and used for half a century — law books about property rights, no less — then discarded when the weight of digesting information in that form became too cumbersome.  They became trash.

Until Anne Blackburn takes them up, carves them like one would if they were wood (because they are…..) and makes them back into the image of something they once were, a flourishing opportunistic organism, an ecosystem.   The tools marks remain, just as they do on the stumps in that old and new forest.  Then she sets them back into the forest, to decay and renew at the same time; in private, the only audience the life that goes on around them, and sometimes with human visitors.  Anne, an enthusiastic scholar of land art, science and the gathering of human effort, asks ‘when is the work done’ ?

On hearing that the Fungus project was nearing an end (if there is one….), and that there were miles of unedited footage of days and nights passing before a little wildlife camera trained on the Fungus installed, and the incredible overlapping of cycles of destruction leading to creation, leading to destruction leading to creation…some by human industry and need and some by the ever-pervasive natural cycle, I really wanted to learn all I could about this work where the edges seem to bleed over, and share it with everyone through my time at The Project Room.

Please join Anne and me, as we look over images, and artifacts, actual pieces removed from the forest (as books always are anyway…) and explore ideas about when anything made ever really ends. Have some treats and join us for conversation I’ll turn into a Solstenen Artist Profile.  We’ll add one more layer to how ‘work’ evolves and lives on….when it inspires.

See even more images in the slideshow below…

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Creative works engaged with the land : “Lo-Fi Arts Festival” this weekend, 8/13, ‘Solstenen’ off-site

I am SO thrilled to be getting out of the city and taking Solstenen project up to the   Lo-Fi Arts Festival-”Not to Scale”,  at Smoke Farm, Arlington Washington!

Sarah Kavage's "grass braid" from 2009 Lo-Fi Festival

Sarah Kavage's "grass braid" from 2009 Lo-Fi Festival

Smoke Farm is a truly transformative place, itself a metamorphosis from wilderness to farmland and now back to salmon habitat and a space to creatively engage with the land.  I have had the privilege of getting to do a few residencies at Smoke Farm, and the site has changed me; the massive slugs that crawl out at dusk were the beginning of my Slug Princess for The Silvering Path film I co-created in 2008 (shot on location at Smoke Farm), and my photographs from my recent show “Honey and Lightening” were all shot at various places at this incredible site.  Please come experience it for yourself, August 13th, Saturday, All-day, Join Solstenen off-site for Community Crochet!

winter fields at Smoke Farm

winter fields at Smoke Farm

You still have time to get tickets before you come, camp or just stay for the day.

ADVANCE TICKETS: Gates open at 12 noon on Saturday August 13. Tickets are available online at Brown Paper Tickets: http://www.brownpaperticke​ts.com/event/171964

INFO: festival@smokefarm.org

Keely Isaak Meehan at Smoke Farm

Keely Isaak Meehan at Smoke Farm

From the Facebook invite:

The 2011 Lo-Fi Arts Festival *Not to Scale features site-specific work in all visual and performance media and happens at Smoke Farm on August 13, 2011.

The Lo-Fi Festival Vision: A 24 hour exploration of installation, performance, and interaction with the Farm which seeks to seed the Farm with narrative and inquiry about place and our use of landscape; providing an unusual opportunity for artists to work in expansive ways within a specific site.

Lo-Fi Artists: Aaron Loveitt, Alexandra Baybutt, Amy Billharz, flatchestedmama, Anne Blackburn, The Lonely Coast, Arne Pihl, Interrupture, Chris McMullen and Steve Withycombe, Daryle Conners, “Awesome”, South Meadow Cabaret, dk pan/NKO, Doug Nufer, ticktock with Sculpture by Miguel Edwards, Ellen Welcker, Eric John Olson, Dr. Calamari and Acrophelia, Greg Bem, ilvs strauss, Jennifer Law and Toby Cohen, Jenna Bean Veatch, Jodee Adams-Moore, John Boylan, Josh Peterson, Kate Fernandez, Fruition Productions, Kathleen Skeels, Keely Isaak Meehan, Kelly Igoe, Ken Turner, Kristin Tollefson, Laura Becker and Evan Blackwell, Mandy Greer, Maridee Slater, Meg Hartwig, Mike Katell, Mike McCracken, soikowski research/performance, Rick Araluce, Robb Kunz, Sara Edwards, Sarah DeWeerdt, Sarah Ferreter and Katherine Wimble, Sarah Kavage and Adria Garcia, Saskia Delores, Vis-a-Vis Society, Stephen Roxborough, Steve Leroux, Bear and Beaster, Susan Balshor, Valet Design, Titanium Sporkesta, Tom de Beauchamp

Food: Regional food trucks and produce vendors will be on hand, so bring your cash! We will also provide grills and charcoal to cook your own.

CAMPING: BYO gear!

Tickets: Gates open at 12 noon on Saturday August 13. Tickets are available online at Brown Paper Tickets: http://www.brownpaperticke​ts.com/event/171964

Info: festival@smokefarm.org

Parking is limited – carpooling is recommended.

DISCOUNT OPTION: Bike to the farm and pay only $15! Available only at the gate with bike! (Be sweaty..)

The Smoke Farm Venue: As the Farm is invested in conservation and habitat restoration as part of its mission, a lo-tech or no-tech; pack it in, pack it out ethos is central to our approach to the land. A 360 acre former dairy farm in a serene river valley situated outside Arlington, WA; Smoke Farm focuses on supporting art, science, and philosophy through creative engagement and community work as a project of the Rubicon Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.