riends, art whores, Earthlings, lend me some bandwidth. I come not to bury atlas(t) but to extend its reach, visually, and perhaps aurally, if I get a digital recorder.
I've been perpetrating atlas(t): mapping, taxonomy, and you, since March of 2006. The purpose of the blog is to give vent to my strange obsession with varieties of space- and concept-charting as some sort of metaphor for order on the most sub sub sub surface human level. Or something. Since about December 2006, the blog has been stuttering, and I haven't posted now for over two months. This is owing to my acceptance of a Full Time Job, and the concomitant brainsuck.
On July 20, I am going to half-time at my job, which allows me to keep my health insurance. Yay, job! On July 21, I am going to the Philippines with some of the artists and cultural types of Galleon Trade, a 2-3-year international artists exchange along the route of the old Spanish galleon trade: the Philippines, California, and Mexico. At the suggestion of one of the organizers, I am "embedding" myself, Fox-News-style, with the invading force: i.e. pretending to a sort of independence and journalistic objectivity that I have zero intention of maintaining.
The project opens with a fundraiser on June 30, and sends its first batch of exchange artists (Bay Areans, of course) to Manila on July 24. The second leg will be San Francisco in 2008, and the third will be Mexico, in 2008/9.
The timing of the project's start is genuinely coincidence, but a furiously serendipitous one. It won't take an atlas(t) reader long to figure out that Galleon Trade is so far up my alley I'm pregnant with little tall ships. Most of the currently participating artists are friends of mine, fellow geography-obsessives, people of color, transnationals, culture clash commentators, and, of course, art geeks. They art it up with maps, landscapes, trope melds, sly appropriations, and lotsa lotsa hybridy synthesis.
Soooo ... atlas(t): the galleon trade edition, i.e. this very blog you're reading now, will be atlas(t) all over again, but more focused. I'll begin with the Galleon Trade project, continue with it, circle around it for as long as I can, and when I inevitably jog off in pursuit of tangents and shiny baubles, I will try to make sure they have at least a superficial connection to the galleon trade theme.
I'll start with the Galleon Trade project fundraiser in Oakland on June 30 (yes I will be there), and my post will NOT be just another blog post reporting on a fun party that you didn't get to go to. There will be atlas(t)iness. Much much.
I'll continue with posts about the project itself---interviews with the organizers, thoughts about the theme and purpose---about the participants---interviews, studio visits, commentary on their work and practice---and of course research into the history of the galleon trade. This will all take some time and I won't be able to get most of it done before the trip to Manila in July/August.
Which is fine, really. I'll also be reporting from Manila and about Pin@y artists we meet out there and how stupide they think we are. Maybe some studio visits. Very arty. I will, of course allow myself to be distracted by street signs, manhole covers, city infrastructure, landscapes, and, of course, maps.
One of the main differences between atlas(t) proper and the galleon trade edition is that I will be traveling to, viewing in the flesh, and taking pictures of the things I'm blogging about (well, a lot of 'em, anyway) rather than just finding them on the internet. I've been dissatisfied with my writing about art and landscape because there's no yumminess---no viscera---in the writing. It's hard to feel the yumminess of a work that you've only seen digital documentation of. So one of my goals, and pleasures, of the galleon edition will be getting my eyes dirty. Yum!
I might, as I hinted above, also get podcasty with it, if I get my gear together. Then again, I might not. We'll see.
(I don't know if I'll do all my posting over here for the duration, or if I'll put non-galleony stuff over in atlas(t) proper. My recommendation for those who actually want to read along, is that you keep a subscription to both.)
Hope you'll stay tuned.