Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Human Body Project: Business Partner(s) Wanted

I'm dealing with a weird dilemma. When I decided to do this project, I thought of it as an art project. I thought the photos and video plus the work people did plus related work I might do would make for some kind of interesting ongoing art project, one that was also about my body changing over time.

The thing is, since the event, I realize that those things are secondary. The event was it. That was where the meaning is. And there's not a whole lot I can do to translate what transpired during the actual event. (I haven't yet had time to view the video footage, which may be the strongest translatable piece). I can write about it and document it, but I wonder how it becomes an ongoing art project or how it is even art?

As an artist one of the main requirements I've had for my work was that it provide an accessible emotional or sensory experience that stirs the viewer on a visceral or soul level. I've been a painter for years and I paint in a very intuitive manner without getting in my own way. I make decisions based on intuition, not intellect. To me, they are visual, not about words. If required to speak about them I would say that they convey deep truths about life in the sense that beauty, harmony and fulfillment exist concurrently with pain, disconnection and loss. I have sold many paintings because people do have an emotional response to them. I quit a very promising journalism career and lived on the edge (socially, financially, painting in virtual isolation, etc) for more than ten years to paint them. In other words, creating this energy has been very important to me.

And so, I carry out my idea and do Human Body Project 44. In less than 2 hours, more than 70 people in some way connected to that energy that I want to create in my art. But because we were all in that room together, all contributing our own energy, the energy was bigger and stronger than any painting or any artifact from/documentation of the event.

So, logically, it makes sense to focus on creating more events and let go of the project as an art idea since the event conveys so much more. Ever since the event my mind has been occupied with thoughts about how to create this as some kind of business. Why a business? Some key reasons: as a painter I was an idiotic businessperson. I had this idea that the work would sell itself, which in a way it did, but not enough to support me. And this is the world we live in. Money is an energy I no longer wish to ignore. To continue making Human Body Project events I need them to pay me what I need to live and function well, i.e. it has to work for my family too. I seriously think I need to take these events on tour and the sooner the better. I need a business plan and a partner or partners.

(I also have a commitment to make art from the event for the Southern Alberta Art Gallery's show, Current, in June of this year. One thing I've been considering is a straightahead, utterly non-ironic documentation, more museum than gallery.)


  1. I have been wanting to leave a comment for you on numerous occasions, however until this blog entry I wasn't sure what or even how to say what I was thinking.

    The stuff you write about truly intrigues me. At first I thought it was so out there, and I really didn't understand where you were coming from. Not to say that I now fully understand exactly what you are experiancing in terms of your personal journey, life, health, energy etc but bit by bit you provide insight into how it is and how it feels to you and this provides for some clarity.

    This specific entry was particularily interesting to me because I think your idea is genius. I think that you would be so successful as a 'travelling art tour,' if you will. It would be a travelling art show, that is so unique! In this day and age anything is possible.... I strongly support this idea, I honestly couldn't think of a better way to further this project into exactly what you want it to be.

    I hope that you follow through with this and I hope you find a way to do it so you can feel not only emotionally and spiritually satisfied but also so that you feel financially secure.

    I wish you so much luck with your journey, with your project, and with life, you have inspired many and you spark so much conversation. I look forward to future blogs and to the future of the Human Body Project!!

    Best of luck now and always :)

  2. I think this progression from an annual project, to a traveling art project is a natural one. I've been talking to people about the Human Body Project, and many have suggested you take it to other areas. It shouldn't be just an isolated experience, it isn't just about the people in Lethbridge, but about all human beings.

    When I thought of the project outside of Lethbridge, I first thought of how it would be received in my hometown, Fort McMurray. It's cities like that where a sense of self in connection to others is completely lost, that the critical mass you speak of would reach a remarkable high, if the project were successful. I think it would be really interesting to see the differences and similarities of people in relation to the project, in different areas.

    While I still like the idea of documenting the event, and would personally love to see some footage and art created in that room, you are right, it is secondary to the event itself.