Term Long/Thesis Project

October 8, 2009

3631175218_2386eec30aDexter, Oregon, a rural community in the southern Willamette Valley. A place I’ve been thinking about, spending time in, and exploring.

This summer I stepped back and took inventory of the kind of work I was making and the projects I was interested in. I thought about the books I was reading, the best experiences I’d had, the trips I’ve taken, the things I daydream about, the movies I enjoyed, the most impactful classes I’ve taken.

9_3186378243969fcee9d6o_v2Get Out, Art 320 Termlong Project, one of my first projects about a place: America.

Was there a reoccurring theme that tied all of these things together? What was it?

Place.

33_wwdl2Where We Don’t Live, This Place Projects Release #2, Collaboration with Will Bryant

One of those impactful classes was Geography of Environment and Society. For the first time since fifth grade, I learned the names of every country on the planet. I also learned the concepts of space and place. A space is a measurable location, an area, an expanse that can be pinpointed, defined. It’s tangible and objective. A place, on the other hand, is a space that has been injected with meaning and experience. It’s a location whose definition takes into consideration context, point of view, personal relationships. A place has heart and a place has history.

3946309859_64dc7c0dccLadd’s Addition, the neighborhood in which I now live. A place with a rich history, an interesting community of Portlanders to think about.

So I made up my mind to start something. Something general enough to encompass my own creative endeavors. Something open enough to facilitate curatorial and collaborative projects with other artists. Something to release products, to hold events, to lend legitimacy and structure to my musings and exploration of place.

This Place Projects.

Right now it’s just a blog. Here is an excerpt from the “ABOUT THIS PLACE” page.

“THIS PLACE  is an experiment in creating and curating location-based projects. THIS PLACE is an independent press. THIS PLACE is a record label. THIS PLACE is a party. THIS PLACE is a gallery, a store, a museum, a website, a brand and an organization. THIS PLACE is an idea. THIS PLACE is an investigation. THIS PLACE is a celebration of here, of there, of spaces that have been infused with meaning and experience to become places.

Through networking, sponsorship and exposure, This Place seeks to highlight, host, and unite place-based projects of all media.”

So, that’s what I want to work on this term. The logo is stupid. I want to fix that. I want to clarify how people can participate. I want to develop a website that makes it easy to join forces, experience the releases, and follow my research on place. I “released” two zines (here and here) through This Place Projects this summer, but it hasn’t been clearly structured so they sort of slipped through the cracks.

36_tp112An Ode to Summer in the West, This Place Projects Release #1

I need to BRAND the enterprise more fully. I need an identity, a press kit. A defined idea that I can refer to for structure.

I want to release more projects from other artists.

I want to hold events relating to projects.

I want to keep a regular blog highlighting the work of others.

state-by-stateState by State, a book I read this year about all fifty states in America. An example of a project I’d want to review, write an essay on, post to This Place Projects.

It’s kind of funny where this all came from. I attended an art opening/lecture Mike Perry gave at the Grass Hut this summer. He had a selection of prints up and was talking about two book projects he edited: Hand Job, on handmade typography, and Over and Over, on drawing patterns.  Someone asked him, “How did you go about getting a book deal from Princeton Architectural Press?” His answer was: “I pitched a ton of ideas to them, and they chose this one.” I thought to myself, “If I could edit a book project about any topic, what would it be about?” Now this idea feels bigger than a book, it feels more fluid and inclusive and scaleable and alive. It’s just interesting to think of corralling all of your crazy ideas, thoughts and interests into a comprehensive topic.

Any thoughts?

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One Response to “Term Long/Thesis Project”

  1. Lis Charman said

    love this idea! go nicole!

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