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