The R.A.W. is . . .

. . . presently in an exciting period of transformation. For ten years, the R.A.W. has provided a home base for a collaborative interdisciplinary art practice that roots in rural landscapes (all the faunal, floral, and mineral forms that inhabit them) and human acts of metaphor, un/naming, memory, and imagination. Through performance, writing, video/sound installation, experimental book arts, and collaborative workshops, 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. This year, celebrating its ten-year anniversary, the R.A.W. is shifting gears in search of 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. is currently seeking 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 cultural energies of rural places. Please get in touch with any collaborative ideas, suggestions, and/or radical curatorial propositions: rural.alchemy.workshop[at]gmail.com

A little history of the Rural Alchemy Workshop goes like this: In 2008, interdisciplinary artist Karin Bolender (K-Haw) Hart founded the R.A.W. on a little ass farm in the pine and poplar woods of Carnesville, Georgia. 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 barnyard, paddocks, and woods 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.

new khaw bio pic

The facilitator of the the Rural Alchemy Workshop 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 practice has been exploring “dirty” 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 of collaborators, this practice cultivates experimental multimedia forays like R.A.W. Assmilk Soap, the She-Haw Transhumance series, Gut Sounds Lullaby, and The Unnaming of Aliass. Early journeys through the rural American South with Aliass and Passenger and many other collaborators include Little Pilgrim of Carcassonne (2002), Dead-Car Crossing (2004), and the “Can We Sleep in your Barn Tonight?” MYSTERY TOUR (2006). The site-specific Rodeo Lab series 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.

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

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