R.A.W. Home

The Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.) is a home-base/platform for collaborative interdisciplinary art practices that root in rural landscapes (all the faunal, floral, mineral, and chemical forms that comprise them) and specific acts of un/naming and imaginative, responsible, and respectfully inclusive inhabiting. Through experimental arts and research, the R.A.W. explores porous becomings among tangled lives, seeking “untold” stories amidst (un)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 tangled 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 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 little ass farm tucked into a ramshackle barnyard and patch of woods in Carnesville, Georgia. The whole big ass family moved westward in 2011, and 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 foothills just west of a town called Philomath, Oregon–on what is the traditional homeground of the Champinefu Kalapuya. The R.A.W. reckons the hidden histories of this landscape, 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 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 and justice-seeking 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
The R.A.W. herd in Orland, California. Photo by K-Haw.

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