The second installment of Q and A with Artists I Love is with one of my dear art heroines, the incomparable Karin Bolender. Karin’s interdisciplinary art practice engages performance, writing, installation, video, and photography to investigate the hazy seams where our human selves meet other domestic species. For over a decade, KB has lived and traveled with a special herd of American asses, exploring a sort of barnyard ontological choreography that negotiates between human logos and other embodied ways of being and knowing. Major projects include several journeys through the rural American South with two American Spotted she-Asses, Aliass and Passenger, and often in the company of other artists, mammals, and passers-by: including Little Pilgrim of Carcassonne (2002), The Dead-Car Crossing (2004), the "Can We Sleep in your Barn Tonight?" MYSTERY TOUR (2006), and the ongoing She-Haw Transhumance series. Since 2008, KB has presented solo and collaborative works in the US and abroad under the auspices of the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.). For more of her incomparable work, check out her website and blog.
Questions by FF answered by Karin Bolender in this merry month of August 2013:
Q: What is your emotional state at this very moment?
A tiny bit grievous.
Q: How do you describe your creative process to family members who may not be super privy to the art world?
I try hard to avoid situations that require this.
Q: What is the first thing you want to eat most mornings?
Nuts. Sometimes, clouds.
Q: When you were a child, did you ever have a recurring dream?
Yes, but I can’t remember it. I hope it comes back.
Q: If you were to choose one color to represent who you are as a person, what would that color be?
This would be the color I would see when I opened my eyes underwater while I swam with my dog at an abandoned, cedar-blown quarry in upstate New York around the turn of the millennium. But the color must also include the rocks and the glowing dog and the fragmented beams of light and the little silver glints of fish in the dark below.
Q: How do you motivate yourself to make stuff?
Mornings: I have an awesome big old wooden rolltop desk in a room, and I love being there every a.m.
Q: How would you describe your personal scent?
Rowdy of late.
Q: What are you reading right now?
"Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium.FemaleMan_Meets_OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience," by Donna Haraway; "The Others: How Animals Made Us Human," by Paul Shepherd; "Immortality," by Milan Kundera; and "Never Tease a Weasel," by Jean Condor Soule (the 1964 version, several times a day)
Q: If you were to choose a name other than the one you currently have, what name would that be?
Q: Are you experiencing any physical discomfort at the moment?
Q: Can you recommend a song for the world to listen to?
The night trill of raccoons in the dark woods. I’m also really into the spine-tingling common call of a red fox. But if we’re talking iTunes, the most played song by far around our house and in the car these days is one we call “Baby Patience,” a lullaby version of Guns & Roses. It’s quite catchy and surprisingly soothing at the same time. All the foxes I know really dig it, too.