R.A.W. Home

The Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.) is a platform for collaborative, experimental art-research practices that root in rural ecologies (all the faunal, floral, mineral, and chemical forms that comprise them) and specific acts of un/naming and imaginative, responsive, and respectful inhabiting.

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 more than two decades, her transdisciplinary art-research practice has investigated the frayed edges of languages and submerged wisdoms of earthly bodies, through durational performance, material-poetics, video/sound installation, and experimental book arts. R.A.W. cultivates time-based, multimedia forays like R.A.W. Assmilk Soap, She-Haw Transhumance, m<other tongues, Welcome to the Secretome, and The Unnaming of Aliass. Early journeys through the rural US South with Aliass, Passenger, and many others began in 2002 with the Little Pilgrim of Carcassonne, followed by Dead-Car Crossing, and the “Can We Sleep in your Barn Tonight?” MYSTERY TOUR. 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 neglected farmstead with a ramshackle barnyard and patch of hardwood forest in Carnesville, Georgia. Then the whole big ass family herd moved west to golden pastures of Orland, California in 2011, going north to Oregon soon after. Since 2014 the R.A.W. has been grounded in a plot of paddocks and woods in what’s known now as the Coast Range foothill forests just west of a town called Philomath, Oregon, traditional homeground of the Champinefu Kalapuya. The R.A.W. reckons the hidden histories of this land, while at the same time cultivating fertile (if far-flung) associations with others around the planet.

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 ways we inhabit — 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 feel free to get in touch with any collaborative ideas, suggestions, and/or radical curatorial propositions:

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

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s