Swap-O-Rama-Rama addresses America’s endless quest for “more” and “new,” as spurred on by the fashion industry’s commodification of individual image through the imposition of spending brackets and prescribed choices. Through a collaborative process Swap-O-Rama-Rama participants are invited to essentially re-design and re-brand already existing clothing. The do-it-yourself process encourages the individuality and creativity that was once innate in clothing design and manufacture before the craft became subsumed by industry and the machine. This project by artist Wendy Tremayne was originally funded by the Black Rock Arts Foundation, getting her initial vision started, and has since grown into a non-profit organization that hosts Swap-O-Rama-Rama events in over 100 cities worldwide.
To create ArtCarTraz, New York City based artist Anne Kristoff worked with juvenile offenders in correctional facilities across three southern states to make an art car destined for the 17th Annual Art Car Parade in Houston, Texas (May, 2005). The finished work, a collaborative effort by youth in three different facilities, was awarded the First Place prize in the Juvenile Contest in Houston. This restorative justice project was designed to raise awareness about the important benefits of institutional art programs. The finished piece was sold at an auction, and proceeds went to Skip, Inc. (Saving Kids of Incarcerated Parents) in an effort to halt the cycle of incarceration.
The Clachan was a clutch of trees, an abstraction of the term’s original meaning of a small village containing a church. Constructed of steel, this clutch (or church) was a collection of shade-giving, fire/water bearing trees standing to help temper the Arizona desert climate. The piece was an oasis, a sacred place gifted to travelers, passers-by and sojourners. Comprised of both temporary and permanent components, the plan was for the entire grove to be first displayed in Arizona, after which some trees would travel as theater backdrop, while others were destined for more permanent homes in parks and schoolyards.
This sound installation, according to the artist, was “meant to revitalize the environment, not by changing it, but by altering one’s perception of it.” The project utilized varied sites throughout New York City including an abandoned pool, the underpass of the Brooklyn Bridge, an office park, a subway platform. Participants were given headphones through which a radio transmitter broadcasted pre-recorded, site specific sounds such as monologues, discussions on themes, ambient sounds and music, all of which invited participants to consider their surroundings through the auditory filter created by the artist. Quiet City begged the question, “How does the way a place sounds make it look different?”
The Urn Project
The Urn Project brought together some 200 volunteers in the creation of a very large-scale urn that would be burnt as the culmination to Tucson’s All Souls’ Procession in November, 2005. Designed and constructed by the community, the Urn carried the names, photographs, prayers, money and offerings of participants as it moved through the two-mile parade route. This piece marked the beginning of a new legacy of fire sculpture creation and participation and was eventually staged for burning on a large, abandoned train dock.