WHAT IS THE MISSION FOR TEMPORAL ART?
The Mission for Temporal Art [MTA] at the French Broad Institute (of Time and the River) [FBI] in Marshall NC is a new joint initiative between British native, Asheville NC based Performing Artist Claire Elizabeth Barratt (Cilla Vee Life Arts) and veteran NYC intermedia artist David Linton (BicamRL AV - "Bicameral Research Sound & Projection System")
HOW DID THIS ALL COME ABOUT?
In late 2013 'WE' - Claire Barratt - having recently returned to Asheville from NYC… and David Linton - still rummaging about Brooklyn ever looking for a viable work/live space solution - made an off the cuff inquiry into the status of what we now call "The MTA" (a former Methodist church built in downtown Marshall NC in 1912) to the buildings owners - NYC artists Tony Torn and LeeAnn Brown, who had purchased the place a few years prior as a mostly 'seasonal' home base to their "French Broad Institute (FBI) of Time and the River" (an organization whose mission statement is almost alarmingly compatible with our own. http://frenchbroadinstitute.wordpress.com/ )
After a speedily arranged late Autumn Sunday morning meeting with Tony and LeeAnn near their home in Chelsea it was determined that the space was indeed currently inactive and might soon be put on the market for sale if something didn't intervene to alter the current stasis. After some deliberation 'WE' (Claire and David) decided to take the plunge and enter an agreement with Tony and LeeAnn to take over maintenance and occupy the space on a year round basis to proceed to develop a plan for our own cultural programming platform which was thus christened 'The Mission for Temporal Art.'
WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW?
We are now in the early phases of this development and hope to
introduce a full calendar of cultural programming by late spring this
year. Thus far the most pressing part of our 'mission' has been to
rebrand "The Mission" in a clear light, rendering our intentions
visible to the diverse communities (local and distant… social and aesthetic -
etc) that comprise our constituencies… moving forward with a new profile of the
Site as a full-time collaborative platform for the development of Experimental Multimedia Artworks based in
ABOUT THE REGION ….
Our new headquarters is picturesquely nestled within a culturally resonant but perhaps demographically challenging regional setting.
The Town of Marshall is the county seat of Madison County, which is located deep in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina where "much of the terrain is rugged, heavily forested, and sparsely populated."
This region is also widely recognized as place of unbroken continuity in one of the richest historical veins of American Folk Culture - The Southern Appalachian Music and Oral traditions… & the continuity with that tradition is so deep here that even as recently as the 2000 census we find a population density measurement of only 44 people per square mile and the per capita annual income for the county listed as $16,076.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison_County,_North_Carolina (Perhaps this has inched up somewhat in the last 10 years but apparently not to any great extent.) We joke that our presence here is not likely to make any great contribution to pushing this number upward any time soon!… and thus we realize it will be essential to our Mission's 'mission' to attract People - both Artists and Audiences - and Resources to here from afar if our mission is to flourish in this setting.
The fund raising campaign we are initiating here now at Indiegogo will be the first in an ongoing series of public steps to extend our outreach beyond Main St. downtown Marshall.
WHAT ARE WE ACTUALLY TRYING TO DO HERE?
The goal of the MTA here in our new regional home is to forge a common platform drawn from OUR (Claire & David) respective backgrounds in body based and real-time media Performance from which we can develop an open format public Art Space best suited to encourage Experimentation among a broad range of Artists working in any Media where Temporality is explored.
We conceptually identify our activities within a Contemporary Global Community of Artists joining 'together' remotely to work to transform Creative Potentialities through Engagement with Local Settings.
The MTA’s objectives within this larger community function on a variety of levels:
To be a constituent in the contemporary global world of ideas – contributing by providing a platform to bring out of region artists to our Site for residency work periods that will culminate with public presentation of new and in some cases 'site specific' works by these Artists.
To emphasize the work of regional North Carolina and Southern Appalachian contemporary artists who are working in the Temporal vein and to help bring them into conversation with out of region Artists.
To offer unique educational opportunities to young regional artists though free access to visiting Artist Residency workshops
To embrace a Collective approach to shared resources on the model of Artists Presenting Artists
To eventually produce unique Artworks realized in this environment that will be exportable to other settings.
The objectives of the MTA’s engagement with the local public community also function on a variety of levels:
To work with the general public toward a unique focus on Art dealing specifically with Temporal concerns through linkage with Temporal aspects of Traditional regional Art Forms.
To recognize the local community and it’s needs and to develop ongoing relationships with that community - to build a viable sustainable interest in the Contemporary Temporal Arts within that Community.
To become a regional magnet in this specific area of Experimental Art that will bring new visitors into the local community.
WHY (DOES) TEMPORAL ART (MATTER)?
IT is certainly true that ALL Art - as human endeavor - must exist 'in Time’. There has always been Art 'in Time'... though questions remain about 'Time in Art'... In other words: There are some areas of Art Practice that engage more actively and self consciously in addressing how Time is perceived and articulated within our experience... and how these articulations that forge our relationship with Time are placed in the natural World at Large and eventually treated therein as primary Aesthetic Material in the making of Art.
There are works of Art concerned with Temporality that may occur across diverse media genres while remaining focused on duration, process, information flow, and experiential architecture of many different stripes.
This is what we mean by Temporal Art... and our main 'mission' at The MTA is to grant Art of this sort a well-deserved Time and Place to flourish.
Indeed when we consider the Temporal, it's clear the most obvious example: Music (which we can speculate has risen from prehistoric sacro-magical ritual) has been the dominant template for most of Human history (as far as we can tell) because it fulfills so well it's role in modeling how the Flow of Time 'behaves' when subject to undivided Human scrutiny. Even so... by the early 20th Century the baton of Temporal dominance was handed over to Cinema... but Cinema - almost as soon as it had conquered Time technically - left it behind for the 'prerecorded' Time of Literature... leaving us with only the 'Live Arts' to wrestle, tally, and announce the raw unmediated terrors of the commonly lived moment...
If we consider a Musical Performance before the Time of Walter Benjamin's "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” we recognize that to experience the Music of that era required not only a Temporal commitment but a Spatial one as well. One had to be physically in the room with the instrument producing the sound to have access to the experience.
Of course all that changed abruptly with the advent of Phonography and Radio... and we are still reeling from the reverberant implications more than 100 years later.
Today, especially in light of the digital revolution in Media transforming our lives daily, we cannot easily escape the awareness that most Music in current practice cares even less about the required physical essence of it's own ritual ontology than it did in the early post 'mechanical age'... and it is not just the Performer who is impacted by this.By now we've migrated over the course of Human History from the Ritual to the Mechanical to the Electrical and eventually to the Digital... all along dragging our shifting ideas of the Temporal with us. It has often been said that what happens first with Music will follow in other Media... By the later 20th century there was the Mcluhanesque sense that Real-time Electrical Connectivity - seen as the primary energy vector into 'The Future' - would transform the human environment into an integrated 'Global Village' 'within our Lifetime'... Hmmm?
We can speculate that with the onslaught of today's Media following "on demand" models of distribution made viable by the Internet the average sense of engagement in the biological continuity of "being in time" with what one is experiencing is drifting even further to the margins in the value structures of our Mass Mediated Culture... much further than in the Benjamin schema... Experiential Continuity is 'disembodied'... in Space certainly, has been for over 100 years... but we now find the disembodiment being extended to the continuous experience of Time as well... and we at The MTA find in this cause for concern.
It is at this point our thoughts cycle back once again to our regional setting and the traditional forms of expression so deeply embedded here.
We believe that committed engagement to biologically rooted Temporal experience in Life and Art will remain a key ingredient in Human Cultural Evolution to the extent that the latter remains viable… and from this perspective we are coming to understand that the intimate proximity to the living Folk Traditions that our new environment affords - having long dealt with raw human time on it's most existential terms - can only be a good thing.
IF YOU CAN HELP US GET THIS THING GOING ......
Drawing on the definition of Temporal as pertaining to the temporary and transitory nature of events In Time and their effect on Materiality, the MTA will seek out and work to present recent and historical works investigating the qualities of Temporal Experience in any Medium: be it Performance, New Media, Dance, Music, Spoken Word, Expanded Cinema, Intermedia Collaboration, or Installation.
We can see a day in the not too distant future where WITH YOUR HELP we will mount regular publicly accessible experimental explorations into Shared Social Time that will meld rural and urban, regional and international sensibilities into something the likes of which we have not seen before.
For now we literally need to 'buy the time' to enable us to get to the next stage…
We have derived our requested amount estimated on quarterly scale of basic operational, utility and lite renovation costs essential to keeping the building occupied and heated while we work on infrastructure and programming.
The first quarter period this year is no doubt the most crucial since it is the period during which the most work will be done to prepare the venue to launch into revenue producing events by our target date. If we can make it through this first phase we are confident the subsequent stages will follow along according to plan.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP …
As well as much needed monetary funding, there are a great number of items that can be directly donated.
For a full “wish-list” of in-kind donations, please go to our Donations Blog at:
For images and more information about The MTA, please visit our temporary start-up site at:
Sample a little taste of our New Year event with some of our local friends on the scene:
And PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!