What are the dreams closest to your heart?
Take a minute to consider your wildest dreams, the things you have always wanted to make, the places you have always wanted to go. The Carl Wagan Bookmobile can help you articulate those dreams through art making.
Partly motivated by the passionate work of astronomer Carl Sagan, The Carl Wagan Bookmobile is a manifestation of my highest ideals—play, imagination, rigour, and outreach.
Carl is a mobile gallery, publications studio, library, classroom, and dream machine—all contained within a 1988 VW Westfalia camper van. Through Carl, I teach workshops in screenprinting, bookbinding, zine making, and creative writing, collaborating with various communities to tell stories and to generate artists’ books. Participants come away with self-published works, new studio skills, and a sense of the possibilities that can emerge when we come together to make art!
Why The Carl Wagan Bookmobile is Important
I believe that publication—with its emphasis on public engagement, exchange and distribution—is an ideal tool for addressing our human-ness and for sharing that human-ness with others. My work employs play as a tool for research, education, and discovery. If you are a dreamer, the Carl Wagan provides resources to help you tell your essential stories and to connect with others.
In July and August of 2013, the mission is to drive Carl from Toronto to Newfoundland, stopping at artist-run centres, community spaces, educational initiatives, print shops, arts and literary festivals, bars, homes—you name it—to lead workshops, produce publications, meet people, and inspire new ideas!
Bigger on the Inside!
The Carl Wagan Bookmobile first developed in collaboration with the OCAD University Student Gallery during their summer camp programing in 2012, where we used the van as a library, bookmaking workshop, and performance space. Summer camp activity included ukulele jams, sing-alongs, crochet, and even s’mores—all activities to mediate the creative process and nurture intimacy.
Since then it has become a flexible community space, operating as a mobile playground, opening up at large street festivals, serving as an artist’s residency, and driving down to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art for a student response/performance in the gallery.
I would like to expand the scope and impact of Carl’s transformative potential into new cities.
In order for Carl’s summer tour to run, I need your help!
I’m working with the design dream-team ALSO Collective to produce a short documentary film and a book that tell the first part of Carl’s story. We will also be creating new publications in every city we visit and leading workshops and hosting community events. Those materials need backers (and makers and readers and revelers!) to get made and to reach a broad audience. The film and books demonstrate the possibilities that can emerge through collaboration, and also inspire other visionaries to live the lives of their dreaming.
I would like each workshop and engagement to be accessible to anyone. Your contribution will go a long way to lifting financial barriers for participants.
Some of the perks derive from the first enthusiastic manifestations of the project:
Carl Wagan patches and badges, including Participants' patches and Achievement Awards!
Carl Wagan T-shirts!
Our short documentary film about Carl's first year!
Our book about Carl's history and first enthusiastic projects!
Some perks will spring from collaborations on the road:
The whole library of books we make on the tour!
New faces: Your portrait drawn as a Carl Wagan Junior Scout
Carl COMING THROUGH YOUR TOWN!!
Each perk in some way helps to fuel the dream—they are instruments that go out into the world and spur-on more dreaming! If we can make something this great, anyone can!
The flexibility and potential created by a crowd-sourced campaign are very exciting intersections with Carl’s emphasis on PEOPLE! If you can’t give financially, there are lots of ways you can be part of the project!
Send me feedback or share your own community-driven visions and work! Let’s cross-pollinate! Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we’re coming through your town and you have space to shelter or feed our small group, please let us know when you might be available and how many folks you can support.
If you work with or know of a space or project or festival or group that might be interested in participating, put us in touch!
Billions and Billions of Thank Yous
The Carl Wagan Bookmobile is about people, and it needs people to run. Help us power this project so we can share the dream with others!