Saturday, October 17, 2015


We grew up with the myth of the solitary artist, starving in a garret, wresting a vision from the depths of the soul. A lonely existence — why would anyone aspire to such suffering? But, as the myth goes, the rewards are great — that devotion to suffering for the creative life would be inscribed in the annals of art history, or at least a mention in the back pages of Artforum magazine.

So you might imagine that we when we met, the idea of collaborating met with a bit of resistance. Could the sum of the parts really be greater than our individual efforts? Could we really join forces with someone we love to make art?

The research proves true that humans have a long history of working together, whether tiling the soil or building a monumental cathedral, many hands make light work. As a noun it is called team-work; as a verb, coupling; or maybe yoking up to pull a heavier wagon. There is a quite a list of couples who have changed art history: the Delauneys, the Eames, Gilbert and George, Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

In 1999 we forged an artist partnership to work with plastic found on Kehoe Beach. Since then, as our collection of plastic has grown, we have grown as individuals and as collaborators. Now with the Venn Diagram of our lives set we understand the challenges and pleasures of working with each other and we have have worked successfully with curators and directors who have helped to enlarge our project, adding other circles to our set. We appreciate the lively conversations that ensue when problem solving big issues about installations and exhibitions. As we like to say, we play well with others.

Thanks to director Farley Gwazda at the Worth Ryder Gallery at UC Berkeley we prepared the table for participation for the exhibit theme (processing). Farley was interested in engaging students in our sorting methods so we were able to experiment with the idea of adding circles to our Venn Diagram by including others in our collaboration. Visitors would complete the table setting by sorting and arranging pieces of plastic on the plates we provided. 

Check these fun fab pics of the (processing) opening reception with in-action shots of people gathered around our table of plastic, creating plates full of amazing arrangements.

In the corridor adjacent to the gallery, our posters asked passersby for help identifying plastic objects from our collection. Inspired by the have you seen me? question posed on milk cartons, our posters evoked written responses — both serious and sublime. 

We are pleased to be in the fine company of other artists whose work addresses society’s endless accumulations: Bay Area Society for Art & Activism, Carrie Hott, Rose Khor, Heather Murphy, Sugata Ray, Danielle Schlunegger, Andrew Ananda Voogel, and Tali Weinberg.

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