It's What We Make Together

April 3, 2014

One of my first assignments at the Walker was to sit down and read the book written about Open Field in 2012. The truth is that when I got hired, my real knowledge of the program was limited to what I'd read when a Walker staff member told me about the job, and a couple instances years ago where I'd happened to bike by the Walker and meander around the empty Field space. But the book sealed the deal for me that I was in the right place taking on the right project.

Open Field began in 2010, but took a year off in 2013 for outside construction. In those three years, hundreds of projects have taken place on the Walker's outdoor green space. The projects all have something in common: they exhibit a spirit of play, sharing, and social interaction. Open Field asks the question "What would you do with an Open Field?" and community members answered with the following: bullwhipping demonstrations, financial education classes, string game demonstrations, community dance, art exchanges, prompted conversations with strangers, crafting-- and a good amount of picnicing, drawing, lounging, and game playing.

I'm a sucker for art that comes from a place of inclusion-- art that anyone can participate in, and that can be found places other than galleries and traditional performances venues. (Want to read something awesome? Check out this article on buying art from a vending machine that a coworker brought to my attention yesterday.) I make things usually from a desire to bring people together, because I'm pretty familiar with how strangely isolating and lonely being alive can feel, even though we're supposedly having a million universal experiences. And I'm probably more exhausted than ever before with art that feels esoteric, academic, and exclusive; I crave art that connects.

All to say that I'm really excited about this Field thing, and I hope you'll come play. Tuesday the updated Open Field website went live, along with a programming proposal form. You dream up some kind of activity that involves participation, and I'll help you schedule it and invite people to come join you. Anything could happen, and something will happen, and I'm thrilled to discover what it might be. Find out more about what's in store for the summer over here-- including a visit from famed Fluxus artist Alison Knowles, where she will MAKE A GIANT SALAD and we will CALL IT ART!

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