Where is everybody? -paraphrase of the Fermi Paradox
Creatures adapt to their environments and yet a sudden, sweeping change can produce stress and confusion for even those species who feel they hold dominion over much of their surroundings. To be faced with an intrusion that cannot be controlled is to feel alienated in your own world – at odds with the very nature that, just yesterday, felt comfortable and familiar. Much of what the human world is experiencing now gives rise to this feeling of unease, the sense that what we thought we knew is now dissolved, replaced by a growing new reality that we cannot yet define.
Randy Rollison is Executive Director of Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, the largest fiscal sponsorship provider for the arts in the Bay Area. The organization has been around since 1965 and has gone through multiple iterations. For Rollison, his role is a wonderful culmination of his own journey and presents the opportunity to work with young start-up organizations as well as mature organizations including those who may have seen their day and face the need to reinvent or dissolve. Rollison relishes his role of service and helping artists realize their project goals. When Rollison spoke with us in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic he discussed how this time affects those he works with. He described two project directors within Intersection for the Arts who came together to form a safety net fund for artists who have lost day jobs as a result of the pandemic. In order to bring support for artists, they reach out to a broad network of potential donors. During the recent period when ICE raids were prevalent, artists were using drumming as a warning that ICE was approaching. To hear more about the sorts of projects that Rollison oversees in his role at Intersection for the Arts, listen to the complete interview.
Arthur Menezes Brum is an artist, educator and consultant located in Cincinnati, Ohio where he just moved from New York City. Brum finds much of his current work must be condensed. He is working on smaller sculptures and works using materials from his day-to-day environment under quarantine. A lot of this work at the moment has to do with the theme of keeping the interior world healthy while we are surrounded by illness. The artist is attempting to grieve what has been lost in the world while building up for an uncertain future that worries him. Another, less hermetic action Brum has begun taking is to venture out to get groceries by way of a park by his home dressed in a seersucker suit, white gloves, boat shoes, an alien mask and the appropriate medical mask, respirator and sunglasses. For Brum, this represents the alien nature of public mask wearing which, to him, feels like an aggressive action that is a constant reminder of illness and death. To hear more of the artist’s thoughts about the current moment and his work, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
If you feel like a stranger in your own land, know that you are not alone and know that all things pass and soon we will adapt.
Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Randy Rollison is reading The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume I. Although Twain never actually wrote his own biography, the volumes include letters, speeches, social observations and stories from the legendary author’s life. Arthur Menezes Brum is reading works by J.G. Ballard. The dystopian nature of the books helps him contextualize what is going on around us now.
Love me Love my Belly is a body image zine. High contrast black and white work is preferred, though they will consider all work as long as the central theme is the human body. In their own words: “dedicated to the acceptance of self and imperfection as beauty. It’s about the space between us, our differences, our scars, our wobbly bits, and our power as it relates to the bodies we live in.” For more details and to submit work, visit the website. Deadline for submissions is May 10.
Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.
Join GOLDEN on Facebook Live!
In these uncertain times, our first responsibility is assuring staff, their families and our entire art community is safe. We hope to turn the page on this devastating virus and return to normalcy soon. In the meantime, we continue sharing educational resources and have developed new Facebook Live events, providing an informal and intimate opportunity to meet artists and engage in topics we all love. Follow the GOLDEN Facebook page to join!
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius.