Along with the steam roller printmaking workshop we've also seen the close of another project that has been long in the works. & In One Another was a project that we began putting together many months ago. This was a very ambitious project were we enlisted about 85 artist across the U.S. to make one drawing a day for sixty days in response to daily prompts.
We sent out 85 uniform 7.5" x 10" Moleskine extra large blank Cashiers note books. Eben and Myself along with Michael Gundlach and Bobby Toher, generated a massive list of ideas of assignments which I narrowed for the final cut of 60 prompts.
We started February 5th with the prompt "Your House" and finished 60 days later on April 5th with "Now Draw Yourself", with everything between ranging from "Tales From The Ripped ", "Least Favorite Person","Lazy apparition/ Half hearted haunting " to "What I Ate Today".
The idea of collective unconscious came up early in talking about the kinds of things we thought would result from this project and when the books came back it was present across the board. A lot of people drew Cat Stephens for the prompt "Cat Man Starring", Most people literally drew exactly 20 Beasts for the assignment "Twenty Beast", A few references to Jack Shepherd from Lost for the assignment "Cool Doctor" where a lot of other people drew ambiguous doctor's smoking with sunglasses.
All in all this project was such a huge learning experience for us and the artists involved. We wanted this project to generate a sense of community amongst people that didn't know each other, in some instances lived on opposite sides of the country, and amongst people that would possibly never interact with again, even if the interaction was sharing the experience of going through this project, again, collective unconscious.
This project was more of an experiment than a project and we didn't even realize that for ourselves until we got towards the end. We attempted to cancel the show when the return was low, we neglected to consider all the people who finished and instead we concentrated on the terrible retention rate, thinking we had failed some how. Maybe our assignments were lousy, maybe the project was a bad idea. Well neither was true and we learned the hard way that if you can get 30 people to do a drawing a day for 60 days, on top of all the other people who made it part way through, it is a success and it speaks volumes and deserves celebration.
We had the show and the response was overwhelming, at the opening reception people swarmed the the books, people just camped down on the floor and didn't move for the three hours of the reception. This project made me realize again, as Papergirl did last year, that a true measure of success is when someone you have never met before comes in and experiences the art that is going on and then you talk to them, they are so ecstatic and you can tell by the look on their face that they want to go home and make something.
It was also fantastic to see the artists who participated in the show, go through the other books, having the experience they had, the ideas they had for the prompts, and getting to see what other people came up with, drawing connections between themselves and amongst the whole group.
At the moment we are in the process of returning everyones book and from there we are going to encourage people to scan some of their drawings to post to a group flickr. Link to follow soon.
All in all, as previously stated, this was an experiment and a learning process for us and we will run this project again, with improvements on our end of organization and a little restructuring. So keep an eye out, late next fall, it will be sketch book time again.