The Farm/Art DTourSauk County, WI
A couple artists, some folks from land conservation, a farmer, a writer and an impresario of sorts – have been traveling the DTour route scoping out art installation sites and general points of interest to add to the map – thinking about renaming it Corn Silk Road. All the brochures are printed so we’ll see how DTour plays and consider it next year.
Fermentation Fest – A Live Culture Convergence is a ten day food and farming festival that contains the DTour. A live culture-filled day may include: sauerkraut and yogurt making workshops; a talk about probiotics; a drive in the countryside noting creative invasive species in dialogue with the hay and the corn; stopping at Roadside Culture Stands for poetry and vegetables.
It’s September, three weeks from opening day of our pilot project and the ubiquitous round bales set just so in the hayfields intimidate the artists as the farmers have already made the coolest multiples possible – the geometric shapes scattered on undulating hills casting shadows, contain the history and nutrients of the land on which they rest.
THE ‘A’ WORD
It must be a rural thing – limited arts infrastructure, no museums, few galleries (though this goes for many inner city neighborhoods too). There is a definite antipathy to the word ”art” we’ve learned to avoid the ‘A word’, it makes folks uneasy, disengaged.
We rarely hear it among the artists oddly enough – whether they are artists in residence through our residency program or the installation artists hard at work getting ready for the DTour – the conversation is about: the work, the piece, the practice, the thing, the concept.
I was chatting with Cathy Bouzide one of the artists who lives in Chicago but is a self-described “corn-fed Wisconsin girl”. Some of her most thoughtful pieces (not artwork, mind you) have been in rural areas and she has had similar challenges with the A word. She shared the best definition for ‘art’ I’ve heard in a while “to make- special”. I like it – it works for early fragile creative experiments and seasoned esotertic explorations.