Last week I got to give a private tour of Depiction to a reporter from WCHL/chapelboro.com. A pretty rare opportunity to get to spend over an hour talking to a reporter about art on a nice day. Her piece aired/posted today. The audio link is at the bottom of her article.
I was quite happy to see a new article this morning about my installation, “Depiction”, in the Daily Tar Heel. I put a check mark in my “win” box for this. Usually, I’m completely disconnected from life at UNC, since I have no direct ties to it, and I’ve never picked up a copy of the the Daily Tar Heel; I’ve lived in Chapel Hill since 2000 and would not have moved here if the city was not a result of how a major university can transform a small town (culture, good restaurants, lots of smart people around, etc). I only ever google “UNC Basketball” to find out whether I should avoid going downtown for dinner (“yes” if there I might be competing for a table with the sports crowd or “no” if I’m not).
But, exposure in the Daily Tar Heel is important for me, as parasol b, because the territory of my Depiction installation overlaps with where UNC foot traffic happens, and not accidentally. I presume that UNC folks are likely to be my market for this installation: they have smart phones, are likely to stumble upon my QR code signs, and are hopefully curious enough to wonder what all the signs are about and participate.
The funny thing is, I corresponded with the reporter via email because she first contacted me early in “my” morning and I requested a bit of time to mainline coffee before speaking with her. So, she sent her questions by email instead, and probably got a more coherent response that way. She asked me what my full name was for the article. I responded “parasol b”. Somewhere during the writing and editing process of the paper it was decided that my work was “his” work. This hasn’t happened before. It amused me and made me wonder if it mattered whether my work was perceived as being made by a man vs. a woman.
I constantly struggle with the black and white sides of “should a work of art speak for itself?” or “should the entire context of an artist, their history, the story behind a particular work, even the title of the work, inform the viewer?”. My purist me says yes to the first question, but I know I often get more out of a piece if I read the placard next to it (even though it feels like cheating).
With a lot of circumstances in life, I think that gender generally shouldn’t matter, or age either. There’s an artist who I’ve met recently, a few times, who I perceive has pretty good standing in the local art community. She was asked her age, in my presence, and when she said 25 (or a similar number, I don’t remember exactly), I was taken aback, first, because finding out a peer is that young is a bit of a shock to my system just because it makes me feel old, and second, until that moment I hadn’t consciously tried to assess her age, because there was no reason to. It sparked an inner dialog about how I could be both shocked and not care at the same time, and is still unresolved.
So, did the editor decide to go with “his” because my work is tech-geeky, not weighing that with the ideas that parasols are more often carried by women (in my experience) and the colors on my web site lean girly (in my opinion)? I wonder, but I also wonder, does it matter?
Please weigh in, either in the comments here or in my corresponding Facebook post.
BTW, I requested a fix to the online edition but I don’t know what their policy is about doing that, so it may or may not still refer to my work as “his”.
With the gracious help of fellow artists Libby Lynn and Beverly Dyer, today we got the paintings and all of the barcodes installed in downtown Chapel Hill. The official start date of Depiction: Chapel Hill is March 1, but you could call today the soft launch. I’ll be testing and tweaking some things over the next few days but go ahead and check it out (and have some lunch at Vimala’s while you’re there–OMGD (oh my god delicious)).
I narrowly missed accidentally getting a parking ticket this time, when I forgot to feed the meter for the last leg. So, fortunately I have no photos of parking tickets to show you this time and somehow I imagine that the Chapel Hill ones would cost a lot more than the Durham ones. ;)
I’m quite excited to announce that my iPhone app is ready for download from the App Store. This app supplements my Depiction installation that begins on March 1, 2013 in Chapel Hill, NC. Now, iPhone users will have a really easy time navigating to photo sites for the installation, getting instructions for taking photos, taking the photos and submitting them to the community photo gallery.
Check out more information about Depiction: Chapel Hill.
Download the free app before you visit the installation, so you can start contributing your photos to this community art project right away.
Non-iPhone users can participate by using a free QR code reader.
This week the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and Town of Chapel Hill Public and Cultural Arts Office announced all three artists selected (including yours truly) for the Spring 2013 Windows on Chapel Hill exhibit.
The opening reception is Friday March 8, from 6-8pm at Vimala’s, where my work will be hosted.
I will be installing a new, Chapel Hill-specific version of Depiction at the end of February. You may have visited the Depiction installation in Durham last spring where viewers became participants by navigating via QR Code around downtown to specific sites where they were asked to take photos and then contribute them to a community photo collection.
The background of this idea is made up of a few things:
The home and starting point of the installation is at Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe. The installation will be up from February 25 – May 31, 2013.
Two walking tours are scheduled. Check the Depiction: Chapel Hill page for updated information.
Contact me if you have questions.