Billboard for COHOST, February 15, 2015 - October 16, 2015
OPEN by Ari Fish
The minute something is printed, it becomes out of date. Please submit a billboard proposal that incorporates this idea.
Ari's Response —
It is not the idea of ‘datedness’ or relevance that should be one’s concern, but the origin of desire to print. The intent to print. The intent to create. My photo assemblage titled OPEN is a piece that I have been considering for over three years, since the birth of my child. Such an experience recalibrated my view on creating art, writing, living, and thriving. What is one’s purpose in all their actions? What can one create that would ever trump growing another human inside of them? I am sometimes completely overwhelmed with these questions, and ultimately come to the conclusion that we are, indeed, not creating anything, but endlessly collaborating with everything around us, both seen and unseen forces.
I witness a world that changes and evolves so quickly in the digital realm, and very little, if only to it’s own detriment, in the physical realm. Digital rot is real, but nature is the actual. In its grounding, timeless existence, nature acts like the cleanser of the our digitally soaked, clogged biomes. OPEN is the image that has lately come to mind to cleanse my consciousness, and has been a successful visual mantra. The picture of the woods in the backyard of my studio combined with the traditional ‘Open’ sign is assembled to invite, elicit, and seep peace within the viewer. An image that exclaims ‘OPEN!’, ‘Come in!’, ‘We’re here for you!’, only to be comforted that it is nature that is, indeed, OPEN, the ultimate creator, that of which we’ve all been collaborating with since the beginning of time. Timeless. It existed in my mind well before this execution, and will exist far longer now upon its creation, and with much hope, it may reach further into the Kansas City collective consciousness with the opportunity to display within 50/50’s Billboard Series.
Billboard for THINGS TO BE READ, October 16th - December 4th
Untitled by Andrew Ordonez
Prompt: Please respond to the following audio clip.
Andrew's Response —
AUDIO: Its population density isn’t measured in units, but oculars.
Manufactory chirping. Solidarity chipping. An ore in a trench.
Billboard for SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF, February 19th - April 2nd, 2016
Untitled by Mariah Randell
Prompt: Create a submission that incorporates the figure.
Mariah's Response —
Experience as the task of the body. It is easy to walk, or sit, or breathe, or sleep, without asking why. When actions are questioned, it interrupts the time in which we spend remembering we have a body. We see everyday, and the images and colors directly affect the pace at which we move; what makes us slow down, what makes us tired or restless. It rains and we sleep, its sunny and we bike to work. Our intake of light and color and feeling directly correlates to an release of action, or lack there of. You see a blue sky and that dictates the day. You see another blue sky, but, is it bluer? Can you tell? You can only compare it to the image of the blue sky from previous experience, the memory of the blue from Tuesday vs. the blue from Friday. The blue sky becomes something that stops the body, as remembering the experience becomes a task and a challenge to remind yourself that you have the choice to compare every blue, the temperature of every wind, and that each time it changes and you are experiencing something utterly new. Isn’t that exciting? That could be every day. One of the blues on this billboard was a real, seen-with-my-own two-eyes, experience; yet, as I look at it, the one catty-cornered is the blue I remember. The experience becomes an imprint and a stock image is chosen to represent an entire understanding.
Now, you look at these blues, and then they sky directly above-- what is that experience? The match may fail, it may be cloudy, the sun may be setting, turning the colors a slightly warmer shade. This new ‘blue sky’ image may contradict the one remembered, so you break down categories into sub-categories. New titles are developed in order to name, ‘blue sky of late winter in Kansas City.” Now, the moment is over, you’ve completed the task of a new experience, and your body will be remembered in a certain location at a specific time. This child-like excitement will return in circumstances that it is allowed to fool preconceived notions, and it is my hope that this billboard will show the urgency of learning such patience.
Billboard for FIFTY AT FIFTY FIFTY, April 15th - June 3rd
Untitled by Benjamin DuVall
Prompt: What is 'new history'?
Benjamin's Response —
I started this poem while I was living in Indiana for a month recently, and thinking about how geography affects history and even the current political-historical moment. Especially now, as we find ourselves in the midst of an election cycle which seems prone to the horrific and xenophobic (need I mention the name of T***p), there is this proliferation of machines of suspicion—on one side, a scatter-shot suspicion of immigrants, Muslims, socialists, etc.—but on the other side, it’s scary to think that there is a population large enough to enable this kind of rhetoric to have a stage in mainstream political discourse. Whatever happens, how can we as sensitive and thinking people go back to post-election normalcy, knowing that a sizable portion of the population edges towards a form of fascism? I’m curious about how myself and others will react or resorb that element—it’s a genuinely terrifying thought to think how the past few months have exposed this dynamic which had been mostly dormant up until now.
Over that same period, I've been returning again to Joseph Beuy’s work, which functioned as a shamanic practice to reconcile the German people to what had happened in their country during WWII. That is the extreme example, which hopefully we never reach, but that role as a collective therapist is something that is becoming more and more necessary, and a space that I aim to occupy in my work. To me the phrase “New History” speaks of that kind of redemption.
Billboard for THE LIMINAL AND THE LIMITLESS, June 17th - August 7th
'I Hope You Like My Stupid Painting' by Stephen Proski
Prompt: Incorporate painting in subject matter or history.
Stephen's Response —
The greater the risk, the greater the reward.
Painting is about taking risks and not being afraid to embrace failure. So for this proposal, I decided not to write anything, but instead rely on the words of another to communicate vicariously the issue I would like to address. (See attached audio clip).