Brittany and I have had an incredible partnership - it's felt easy, dynamic and insightful. So I’d say that’s our primary accomplishment! I’m excited about our project which is fairly well-planned, but with still a few final things to work out. We took a bit of a pause so that Brittany could focus her full attention on her incredible installation at Transmediale.
I ordered 100 green banana roaches, so I’m hoping they can play a role in the final piece. I look forward to the final planning and execution of our work. I can’t stop imagining someone in an evening dress leaning into a mask of green roaches. Excited to make it happen!
Cara and I have had a great partnership working together in this residency. Most of all our compatibility has been great in terms of quickly having a lot of things to discuss, incredibly informative, and most of all very fun. I have looked forward to talking with her every week and she has been incredibly generous in helping me with questions outside of our own project as I embarked on something new for my piece at Transmediale. To be honest, in the beginning, I was skeptical of a process that would manifest itself online, especially in regard to making something or coming up with a final project. I have found this process to very useful and the gaps that are created due to lack of face-to-face meetings have spurred some of the more interesting jumping off points for our process and project. I have enjoyed this so much that I am trying to figure out ways that distance collaborations via online could happen again within my own art practice. This has been one of the more fun collaborative processes I have been a part of and it has informed my art practice a great deal and having Cara as a friendly resource has been incredibly helpful. Most importantly Cara has made me feel much more comfortable in asking questions about specific species / sciences / insects that hasn’t made me feel inferior or intimidated as an artist trying to engage with things that are not my expertise.
I am incredibly excited to start working towards our physical project. Cara and I are both easily excited by many ideas and all of the complex possibilities that working with insects can provide so it took us some time to land on a final project idea. I believe we finally landed on a piece that we are going to begin collaborating on making together that involves pushing human’s proximity to insects, the era of the selfie / monitoring, and amusement part tactics of commercialization of an experience (like having your picture taken on a roller coaster). We are going to begin working on a vacuum cast plastic face. Once a face has been detected, a light will illuminate, drawing the insects towards someones face while simultaneously activating a camera to take a picture. We have spent some time trying to figure out what kind of insects to use, Cara has some new cockroaches that I am excited to learn more about.
Overall, I have been incredibly thankful for this experience, have enjoyed it immensely, and am very excited to finally begin working on our own piece together.
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Brittany Ransom is an award-winning artist, technologist, and assistant professor of Sculpture and New Genres at California State University, Long Beach.
Cara Gibson is a graphic designer, director of Science Communications, and Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson.