In association with the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology and The Multispecies Salon, R.A.W. is excited to contribute to the buzzing energies of a curatorial swarm bringing together the international traveling exhibition, M/Others and Future Humans.
This exhibition will bring together works by a number of contemporary Australian and international artists to explore radical perspectives on m/otherhood and care of others in an era of frayed hopes, environmental devastations, and ever-shifting biotechnologies. See the open call for more details. Proposals are due by April 1, 2018.
On a bright late April morning in Philomath, Oregon, a crew of intrepid seekers of microbial encounters braved deep mud, steamy manure, and swirling barn-dust, then undertook a peculiar hunt for invisible “treasures” in the wet grass of the pasture, all as part of the Welcome to the Secretome workshop at the R.A.W. Ass Farm. In association with The Arts Center and OSU Dept. of Microbiology’s exhibition, Microbiomes: To See the Unseen, Domestic/Wild artists Emily Stone and Karin Bolender led explorers through a web of seamy adventures aimed to press against real and imagined boundaries of bodies-in-places and to welcome invisible but lively microbial presences. We conversed and shared a multispecies picnic of fermented foods and drink atop a hotly composting manure pile; we hung out in the barn with resident asses, Aliass and Passenger; and we made friendly gestures of various kinds toward embodied wisdoms of symbiotic kombucha mothers and barnyard ass-tongue microbiomes. Most of all, we all spent the morning welcoming and attending in new ways to the presences of microscopic “old friends” we more often avoid or simply ignore. Thank you to all who attended, and to Melody Owen, Christine Toth, Sharyn Clough, and Hanne Niederhausen for contributing photos.
What strange treasures will discover us in the barn dust, wet grass, and brewing mud? What secrets will we gather from encounters with the Great Muzzle Tongue?
Come find out, on April 29th from 10-12:
This exhibition at Buro BDP in Berlin accompanies the launch of two new publications in the Parapoetics Series from Broken Dimanche Press/Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology: RAW Assmilk Soap, by Karin Bolender, and Air Kissing, by Amanda Ackerman.
Let’s start this off with the old R.A.W. questions:
Who lives here?
What are you looking for?
Where do you go now?
Is it a place, or a way of life? And what is on the other side?
These seemingly-simple questions have guided the wanderings, experiments, and assemblages of the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.) for many years, ever since they grew up from the trashy, thistle-grown pastures of a derelict farmstead in the Valley of Dooms, Virginia, where me and the herd tried our darnedest to make a peaceful-ass and lasting home. In this, that, and every place we’ve grazed and gamboled since, the R.A.W. questions rise up fresh, always opening new paths of investigation into unfamiliar territories.
Knowing a place is always a question of scale. And it turns out that some of the mostly deeply unknown territories we find ourselves in are those we find in the places we call home. When we begin to look past the largest-looming familiar forms, step off the well-trodden paths, questions of who and what and where become wholly new and wild. Even our own bodies are inextricable meshes of biological becomings-with we swim in, themselves housing hosts of unknown others we don’t see or feel or otherwise acknowledge. But here they are, all the time: myriad who, every one with a what and where of its own.
Home is where the unknown is. This is where the journey begins.
Welcome to the Secretome.