where do you summer?

Back in grad school, inspired, like so many students from elsewhere suddenly in this foreign land known as New England, I created one project inspired by travels there as well as back in California and Oregon. Miniature Adirondack chairs were eventually scrapped from what became a pared-down floor installation of many, many CMYK screen prints of sand, water, etc. I honestly can't remember what my original intention for the chairs was, but they've been hanging around my studio ever since. This spring I got the idea to distribute the freshly re-painted white chairs to artists, friends, family, fellow alums, and other creative folks as I posed the (it would seem to me, anyway) dated question, "Where do you summer?"

Friends have started receiving the nearly 50 chairs late last week and today, with a second batch going out via USPS on Thursday. So it's early and I'm not sure exactly what form this project will take.

As images start trickling in (above are some examples over the long weekend of the chair I kept and will carry with me all summer), I'll share them by linking here in addition to writing about overall ideas as they develop around the project as it takes form. As I wrote in the brief statement for the original project, titled "for we are where we are not," I'm still very much interested in the distance in time and space in the dissemination of these chairs around the country (and, as the participants travel this summer, around the world), and in creating a setting for the possibility of narrative. What that narrative looks and sounds like is to be seen and largely dependent upon the project participants.

Stay tuned! And email me if you'd like to play along - becky [at] rebeccabirdgrigsby [dot] com


it must be bunnies

It's been an odd couple of months and this post will be a little odd, likewise. Humor me. As the busy-ness of my day job settles down, following the academic year as it does, I finally have a little bit of mental wiggle room to reflect back and plan forward. Let's start with the former and I'll get to the latter over the next week or so. Because I've been doing a lot of planning for summer projects and goals over the past few days, but I need another day or two to flesh things out a bit more, as they say.

A month or so ago, right before Prince died, I was thinking again about David Bowie. His song 'Fame' came on the radio one day while I was in the car, and that song always reminds me of Pretty Woman. And I just thought, how silly it is that all of these people I admire, from relatives to friends to artists and musicians, have these profound memories of Bowie, about how they owned a certain album - on vinyl, no less! - or how Bowie inspired them to be whoever they wanted to be, however unique that vision might be, male, female, whatever... And, me, I thought back to a movie that I watched multiple times as a budding teenager.

Then when Prince died I was struck with an almost identical memory, flashing back to the bathtub scene in that same movie, where Julia Roberts' character is singing along to Prince's 'Kiss', with Richard Gere's character secretly watching her, unbeknownst to her and her earbuds. "Don't you just love Prince?"

I do. Not that the two deaths need comparison, and I was incredibly shocked and saddened by the loss of David Bowie, but Prince's death, as far as celebrity deaths go, affected me a little more. I have so many memories of his music and the movie 'Purple Rain', all of which extend way beyond Roberts' brief bathtub rendition of a couple of lines from one popular song.

For some reason that I think has to do with my recent interest in serendipity and stuff, I found comfort in the fact that artist Amanda Parer's giant, inflatable rabbits (technically titled 'Intrude' which is appropriate if you didn't dig their presence then and there as much as I did) were witness to San Francisco's tribute, with City Hall donning purple lights for one night after Prince died. We had just taken the family to see the rabbits the weekend before and they were deflated a few days after the Prince tribute.

Because who's not cheered up by the sight of giant, inflatable bunnies, you know? (Well, everyone except Anya, I suppose. I can almost always work in a Buffy reference, after all...)

let's play polo: a long overdue recap

I have two new projects that kind of fall under my umbrella of "social practice art" in that I'm trying to get other folks, in one of the two projects other artists specifically, to participate in some way. But before I launch those here, I wanted to, at long last, compile a quick recap of #letsplaypolo as it unfolded on October 10, 2015.

In short, participation was light, as these projects tend to be for me lately. But a handful of folks went along with it, and I'm much appreciative of they're being game to do so. Here are some pictures from the day.

Locally, we teamed up with another family - so there were 9 of us in total, all in matching yellow polo tops - at the Oakland Museum of California.

I saw one other person, not in our group, wearing a yellow polo, but didn't act quickly enough to capture it on camera. And of course I have no way of knowing if he was participating intentionally or if it was a coincidence.

I'm still deciding if I want something like this to be an annual thing. Check back soon for those other two projects I hinted at above!