Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Laminated Scrapbook

Now it’s all packed down and put up. “Moving Thought” is musealized. A bulletin board photographic record of the tour is installed at the Contemporary Art Museum through May 25th, 2008. The books we selected are all back on the shelves.

That final cargo included selected published artists’ books selected from Printed Matter, New York, artists’ books already in the CAM bookstore, “crossover” artists’ books from the campus bookstore Barnes & Noble, and some zines.

The circuist of the book opened up during “Moving Thought,” as students involved in zine-making continued to circulate their work through subcultural channels, and others who were teaching asked their students to make handmade one-of-a-kind books. (One of these, I’m told, went on track to be published when a copy shop owner connected the art student with a publisher.) Hands-on workshops – in bookbinding and cyanotypy – took place at different bookmobile venues.

The larger aspects of the artists’ book expressed in “Moving Thought” lie in the relation of the project to contemporary creative work. What is the place, and what is the space of the book today? Handmade artists’ books are very private items. Published artists’ books are rare items on the market for which they were ostensibly created. Since they are often so arcane, and always published in very limited numbers (so there can be no restock on a popular item), almost no bookstores bother to carry more than a few of them. The zine is circulated almost exclusively within subcultural milieux (although some libraries have begun to collect them).

The pedagogical project of “Moving Thought” was a gestural extension of the space of the artists’ book from a tiny few enclaves to a nomadic store on wheels. The project also poses the larger question – as a significant portion of artistic production dematerializes into cyberspace, what is the role of real space in artistic exhibition and interchange?
– Alan W. Moore
Visiting Assistant Professor for Contemporary Art and Critical Theory, 2007-2008
University of South Florida, School of Fine Arts and Art History, College of Visual and Performing Arts

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Connecting with the Mobilivre


For our final gig -- at the 6th Annual Ybor Festival of the Moving Image -- we will be hosting Courtney Dailey, a founding member of the Mobilivre Bookmobile collective in a talk at USF Saturday, April 19th, at 12:30 p.m. (room FAH 290; free pizza after!). (As a foretaste, here is a brief interview with the touring team from projet Mobilivre, talking about life on the road in an Airstream, with its on-board curated exhibition of zines and handmade books, during its September 2005 University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa stop.) Courtney has also worked at the Space 1026 gallery and studio complex in Philadelphia.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Going Downtown


We are going to be here -- in the driveway at Daniel and Cleo's house, 1004 E Powhattan Ave., Seminole Heights neighborhood, Tampa on Saturday. We start the install at 6:30, stringing up the vampire kitty lights and laying out the books. This is a cool annual event in which people show movies on the sides of houses and wander about gawking at 'em. Hope it don't rain... If it does we'll huddle in the Airstream and read comics.

FINAL VENUES:
Only two after this:
• Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19th – Hillsborough Community College for the Ybor Festival of the Moving Image (cyanotype workshop; speaker Courtney Dailey from Mobilivre project)
• April 25th – “Laminate Your Scrapbook!” – “Moving Thought” trailer installed at Contemporary Art Museum, opens 7-9pm

Monday, April 7, 2008

We Are Rolling for Real…

The shakeout cruise of the “Moving Thought” bookmobile trailer has shook. Many of the ‘everythings that could possibly go wrong’ did, and we came through it -- we made the gig and did the show in every instance, all across Tampa Bay and beyond – in Sarasota, downtown Tampa Saturday night, and Safety Harbor. Through non-delivering suppliers, long hot drives on gusty roadways, indifferent passing crowds, drunken hordes, catastrophic loss of power, and extended flooding rain leading to near-submersion of the Airstream, the project was accomplished. Nothing after this will be difficult. This first weekend was sure to be the worst, and the worst now is done.

Of course that was only logistics, the behind-the-scenes struggles which are always swiftly forgotten. “Moving Thought” in Sarasota, Tampa and Safety Harbor was interesting and stimulating. You can see some pictures below… Drop in again for accounts of these experiences… And try and catch "Moving Thought" at an upcoming venue (listed below below).

Saturday, April 5, 2008

All Power to the Imagination! New College Sarasota

     

     

Pictures from the bookmaking workshop to come!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Friday Night Kickoff -- "We Are On Our Way!"

Friday night, March 28th, Moving Thought was ready for the public (sans interior/exterior lighting – but we fixed that after a bit of improvisation). I was there at 7:30pm with April and Kim for the first shift and I brought with me the inventory list of all the books that were now so carefully placed around the vintage Airstream. The bulk of these are from Printed Matter, as well as books from the Contemporary Art Museum and from Barnes & Noble. Friday night was USF’s annual Arthouse, so there were lots of people buzzing around from the CAM student awards show. I can report that the honor of first “official” visitors to Moving Thought went to a couple of middle-aged guys who were very enthusiastic about everything. They were mostly drawn to the book “Your Logo Here” a photo essay by Deanna Templeton about SoCal teens who get their bodies painted with various company logos as they skate bikini-clad through places like Venice Beach (I lived in VB but don’t remember seeing this phenomenon, so it must be pretty new). This led them into a conversation amongst themselves about various arts communities they knew of in California. Perhaps the two guys were interested in the book because the front displayed an attractive photo of one such bikini-clad Californian, but at least they were engaged and complimentary. I couldn’t help but notice that they used one artist book/magazine as a bit of a beer coaster, but it did have a picture of a corona on the cover. After they left, more visitors seemed to roll in and were eager to hear more about the project. Thanks to everyone for their hard work on Moving Thought thus far! -- M Slaughter
...that trailer really is shiny and i want one. i even saw a fancy guy in a suit . if you get a chance you have to come out and find us on our "world" tour.
-- shane hoffman

Arthouse/Moving Thought Testimonial

It has been a long day of editing, writing, mailing and other non-art related functions. Thankfully, a friend invited me to USF's annual Art House; an event where all the students open the classrooms and studios and show their art works. I was quite tired, but I did promise my friend that I would enjoy myself.
The festivities from CAM carried my eye beyond the perfectly manicured party foods to another impeccably green lawn nearby from which grew out what seemed to be a 20 foot head of Lincoln. Alas! An aged call from the political arena. I ventured out there to find that is was surrounded by shiny, lit up robots and more cardboard sculptures that had nothing to do with what one might expect of any sort of partisan party. Although there were mini-fireworks present in some ode to something.
I did tell my friend that I was going to enjoy myself that evening and I found entertainment in the green field of cardboard scarecrows. Since I was to enjoy myself, I was in luck to spot a silver air stream with party lights, lawn chairs set out in front of it and a table with many (still vertical) bottles dotting the silver trailer landscape. It seemed like the perfect place to explore after the CAM ceremony. My legs were tired and the chairs looked welcoming. Among the lawn furniture and people occupying them I saw what looked like a book shelf. When I peered into the trailer, there were more shelves with books and magazines inside. It was a curious assemblage of writings. I promised my friend that I would enjoy myself and it seemed like I just would. I picked up a couple of books and one zine from the collection and headed to one of the still empty chairs. Since I did not recognize any of the chatter around me, it was easy to focus on the writings at hand. I found the art zine to be of particular interest as it was geared towards more serious issues, but illustrated in a comic-book, lighthearted manner. To my surprise, I did not notice that nearly an hour went by and I was still sitting in the same spot with the same beer at my side. As cynical as I might have been about the surrounding events, this, what I found out was called the Book or the Thought Mobile, was actually one of my more enjoyable pieces of Art House. I must admit, I quite enjoyed myself." -Anonymous Testimonial video

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Selling...

Heading down I-275 on a Saturday morning, we crossed the Howard Frankland bridge towards Pinellas County, hauling the Airstream trailer behind. A couple gallons later, we arrived at downtown St. Petersburg, to peddle our artists’ books as outsiders during the annual Triathlon at the Vinoy Park, a venue sure to bring people traffic. Since many at the event would be obviously preoccupied with athletic things, we focused on the spectators. My first encounter was with a little woman named Clarice. She was there to watch her grandson. Clarice said she never went to museums, but she collected figurines and her walls weren’t covered with any art, but with photos of her 13 children and their children. She liked to line them up in staggered grids of 13 by 13. After she browsed a while, I showed her Judy Gelles’ Florida Family Portraits, a book containing portraits and photos of the author’s family taken every year for 20 years.
Ah,” she said, “I wish I was able to do that.”
I asked her what she meant.
“I wish I was able to get everybody together, long enough to capture it. I’m stuck getting individual photos sent to me in cards and I have to line them up next to each other. I hate all those spaces between.”
After minutes of looking, she came back to it and bought it.
I sold about 12 different books that day. I enjoyed being repeatedly surprised by seeing who lingered over what and which books were more saleable than I first expected.
-- time traveling Moving Thought bookmobile participant

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Anticipation...

I have never experienced such a thrill as the Moving Thought Book Mobile! Touring around the city of Tampa in the 31' Airstream trailer brought me back to the days of my childhood, camping and touring, not to mention a nostalgia for those elementary school days as I and all the other 3rd graders anxiously awaited the arrival of the book mobile. Seeing the sea of people proudly create their very own artist’s book was well worth the long, hot, late spring days of Florida. Bringing art culture to an
audience who would otherwise never be exposed to it was a privilege that not many are able to say they have had. -- time traveling "Moving Thought" project participant.
* Arthouse opening, USF, School of Fine Art & Art History, Friday March 28
Saturday March 29th -- [no venue]
Sunday March 30th -- [no venue]
* Friday April 4th - "All Power to the Imagination" conference, New College, Sarasota,
* Saturday, April 5th - Flight 19 artists' space during the "Loud Art" exhibition (bookmaking workshop: "100 Books for 100 People," ongoing)
* Sunday April 6th - Safety Harbor Public Library
* Friday April 11th -- ["Neighborhood Watch" screening series in Seminole Heights]
* Saturday April 12th -- ["Neighborhood Watch" screening series in Seminole Heights] Sunday April 13th -- [no venue]
* Hillsborough Community College for the Ybor Festival of the Moving Image: Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19th -- [no venue; Flight 19? visiting speaker from Mobilivre project]
* Sunday, April 20th -- Hillsborough Community College for the Ybor Festival of the Moving Image (cyanotype workshop)
* April 25th - "Laminate Your Scrapbook!" - "Mobile Thought" trailer installed at CAM, opens 7-9pm

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A mobile artists’ bookstore and experimental laboratory...

…rolling through Tampa Bay like a stormcloud in April. Like Billy Pilgrim, we imagine that we have done this all before. We need only to recollect this great creative adventure. What happened? What do we remember? It was a brilliant sunny weekend day, shining on the parking lot at Publix as the “Moving Thought” vehicle pulled up. A mob of screaming kids rushed inside, nearly filling the Airstream with a squirming, squealing tangle of excited humanity. They were there from the Seminole Heights community arts workshop, come to make books. When the kids realized the workshop was outside, the trailer emptied as quickly as it had filled. Adults, their parents, stood by shaking their heads and smiling. With this energized crowd, “100 Books for 100 People” – our announced goal, looked as if it might be achieved this very afternoon.
P.S. A great site, another "trip" is -- Les Sentiers de l’Utopie | Paths Through Utopia A 7 month journey through Europe in search of Utopian ways of living http://www.utopias.eu/paths/

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Trailer Dreams…

Now we are well into our "Moving Thought" artists' bookmobile project, with our first book selections made, and some red-hot venues lined up (see below). But I want to recall the beginning moments of this scheme when I spoke with Irineo Cabreros, USF studio manager, about my dreams of living in a trailer, of running a gallery in a trailer. It’s an old artistical dream, really, from Wallace Berman’s Larkspur Gallery on a houseboat, to numerous contemporary art fair projects around nomadism and its technology.
These ideas seemed especially appropriate to Florida, where many a moss-encrusted trailer can be spied in shady glades, signs of a life lived on the edge of the grid. Irineo was talking to Bates RV, whose owner was apparently burying Airstreams in the ground as part of a monument of some kind. This seemed very strange, but intriguing. Irineo hoped to procure one of these trailers slated for the project for us to use as a traveling exhibition venue. In this he failed… the Airstream was buried. “Did you see it in the paper?” he asked one morning. I was dejected, and missed the notice.
Meanwhile, I contacted the Mobilivre project group at the suggestion of electronic media professor Anat Pollack. This project circulated artists’ books and zines for several years inside a remodeled Airstream trailer. It seemed we might be able to borrow their trailer for our project – an enticing prospect. Yet the logistics of moving it from New Jersey to Florida and back seemed daunting, and the group did not stay in contact.
Someone tipped me to the 2008 Florida RV Supershow at the State Fairgrounds, and I caught it on the last day. I brought my folding bicycle to wander amidst more RVs laid out and open than I’d ever seen in my life, hoping to find a dealer who would warm to our project and loan us a vehicle. Bates RV was all over that show, petitioning to save something called the “Airstream Ranch” from closure by public officials. I zipped up to the main Bates setup on my Dahon, and caught the ear of Mike Brucker. He works sales for Bates RV, put two kids through USF, and warmed to the notion of using one of their Airstreams for the “Moving Thought” project. Mike introduced me to Frank Bates, who, with mere hours before this major expo closed, said he thought it could be done…

Friday, February 8, 2008

Moving Thought and the Ybor Festival of the Moving Image

On Tuesday February 5th, Lauren and I went to Hillsborough Community College to interest in the art department about hosting Moving Thought. We first met with Suzanne Camp-Crosby who seemed interested in the project but recommended that we talk to David Audet. David Audet is the director of the Ybor Festival of the Moving Image, a film festival that is now going into its 6th year. We were lucky to find that Mr. Audet was on campus and we were kindly escorted to meet him. It had turned out that Audet had been contacted by Shane Hoffman, and was somewhat familiar with the Moving Thought Project. The three of us sat in the HCC cafeteria to discuss what could happen if Moving Thought were to become part of the Ybor Festival of the Moving Image. We discussed the possibilities bookmaking/printmaking workshops that occur on the HCC Campus. Audet suggested that Tracy Midulla-Reller might be interested in helping us set something up for HCC students. There was also talk of projecting video on and around the Moving Thought Vehicle. As we discussed the potential of our visit it was more and more clear that Moving Thought would be a perfect fit for the film festival, and tentative plans were made to include our mobile library on Thursday, April 17th and Saturday April 19th. The festival opens on the April 17th. During Audet would like us to perform activities designed more for the HCC students, and we will then continue with our project that evening in a manner that will highlight our time based media. We would be expected to return to HCC on the following Saturday to continue peddling our wares. Audet wants us to come on Saturday because that is when the general public is more likely to come; he said that Friday is a slow day at campus and would be less profitable. He also mentioned that he wouldn’t have a problem with us selling some sort of concessions. If we want to be part of the project we need to provide a detailed project description by the end of the month. I think that’s all for right now. I will follow up with Audet next week.

Jim Reiman

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Moving Thought

"Moving Thought," the USF Fine Arts program bookmobile, is set to
roll out to selected locations throughout the Tampa Bay area in April
of this year. The 31-foot classic 1974 Airstream will be stuffed with
artists' books from Printed Matter, the New York non-profit store.