R.A.W. Home

Since 2008, the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.) has been a home-base/platform for collaborative interdisciplinary art practices that root in rural landscapes (all the faunal, floral, and mineral forms that inhabit them) and human acts of metaphor, un/naming, memory, and imagination. Through experimental arts, the Rural Alchemy Workshop explores the porous seams between humans and other kinds of being, especially other domestic species, while seeking the deepest roots of our common histories, passions, and needs.

new khaw bio pic
Photograph by Jacob Mitas.

The principal investigator of the R.A.W. is Karin Bolender (K-Haw) Hart, an artist-researcher who seeks “untold” stories within muddy meshes of mammals, plants, microbes, and many others. For almost two decades, her interdisciplinary art-research practice has been exploring dirty (ass) words and entangled wisdoms of earthly bodies, through performance, writing, video/sound installation, and experimental book arts. In the company of she-asses Aliass and Passenger and a diverse herd of humans and other species, R.A.W. cultivates experimental multimedia forays like R.A.W. Assmilk Soap, the She-Haw Transhumance series, m<other tongues, and The Unnaming of Aliass. Early journeys through the rural American South with Aliass, Passenger, and many others began with the Little Pilgrim of Carcassonne (2002), followed by Dead-Car Crossing (2004) and the “Can We Sleep in your Barn Tonight?” MYSTERY TOUR (2006). The site-specific Rodeo Lab playfully subverts the breakneck speeds and dominance paradigms of traditional rodeo events like Bulldogging and Team-Roping, in search of slower and more contemplative ways of being and knowing embodied others. K-Haw has an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College and a PhD in Environmental Humanities from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

A Little R.A.W. History

K-Haw founded the R.A.W. in 2008 on a little ass farm tucked into a ramshackle barnyard and patch of woods in Carnesville, Georgia. The whole big ass family of the R.A.W. relocated in 2011 to the golden light and shadowy buttes of the northern Sacramento Valley in California, and then again in 2012 to the mossy forests and sweeping grass valleys of western Oregon. Since 2014, the R.A.W. has been grounded in a home-plot of paddocks and backwoods in the Coast Range foothills just west of the small town of Philomath, Oregon, while at the same time cultivating fertile (if far-flung) associations with others around the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, and other places.

Celebrating its ten-year anniversary in 2018, the R.A.W. began shifting gears toward new ways to both reach out and to go deeper into places and ecologies we call home — to enmesh and share its mode of contemporary creative explorations with other rural adventurers, both very-local and worldwide. The R.A.W.  cultivates knotty nodes and possibilities for collaborations of all kinds, but especially projects that mix the generative provocations of contemporary ecological-art practices with the fertile (agri)cultural energies of rural places. Please get in touch with any collaborative ideas, suggestions, and/or radical curatorial propositions:

Email ~ rural.alchemy.workshop{at}gmail.com

black butte arrival
The R.A.W. herd in Orland, California. Photo by K-Haw.

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