Sunday, January 12, 2014

Really Large Numbers (a collaboration with Chad Stayrook)

For the last 6 months I've been in New York working on a collaborative project with installation and performance artist Chad Stayrook--as part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Swing Space residency on Governors Island. Together Chad and I are Really Large Numbers, and in Fall 2014 we will have a solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Baltimore. But in the meantime, here's a little preview.

Really Large Numbers (RLN) is a laboratory that encompasses the individual and collaborative experiments/expeditions of Chad Stayrook and Julia Oldham. Early in 2011, the two artists spontaneously began to dream about each other as characters in mythical dream adventures. Soon after the development of their Dream Thread, they had a series of discussions that led them inexorably into a collaborative relationship. For the majority of their collaboration, Oldham and Stayrook have lived on opposite coasts. Luckily, a copper wire connects their minds and allows them to communicate instantaneously, making the distance between them shrink to nothing. This need to use the copper wire has given them both a keen interest in communication and connection, and in the psychological space between two individuals. Together they create a mythology and physics of this space. When working in physical proximity, Really Large Numbers always establishes a laboratory as their base of research and making, and they engage in laboratory experiments to understand their surroundings. Using technomagical devices designed by Stayrook, Oldham unlocks secrets from landscapes. Using coyote skulls as a medium, the artists reveal dreamtruths, and they charm insects with bone instruments. As a team, Really Large Numbers combines science, fantasy and dream language to blur the boundaries between the REAL and the unREAL.

The Really Large Numbers Laboratory on Governors Island.

We attempt to learn about flight.

We communicate with dead animals.

Dream creatures move from one brainforest to another.

We charm grubs and make golden offerings for deceased squirrels.

Arctic Wolf and Shadow Wolf come to life.
Copper wires are tuned and mysteries of the universe revealed.

Experiments and expeditions are planned and executed.
The Coyotes observe.

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