FLOAT 2015: Tactical Walking Camp (An Imperative to Map)

Saturday, August 8 - Saturday, Aug. 15th, 2015

The map is not only a map; it is also an imperative to map. Cultural histories that are forgotten, erased or lost – and especially those that are haunted – necessitate mapping devices that can help us navigate their spectral terrains. The structures of these terrains cannot be predicted or even imagined; they reveal themselves only as they are traversed. The rhythm of the traversal is therefore as significant as the map itself.
- Gascia Ouzounian

FLOAT 2015 provides time and space for cultural workers and activists to gather, discuss and exchange ideas. During the intensive week we will collectively traverse the greater St. Louis region as a mobile camp by walking and talking through the relationships between art and activism. By navigating in urban, river and rural landscapes, FLOAT 2015 offers the opportunity to step out of our regular routines, expose, discuss and resist dominant structures, form new social imaginaries – and, of course, go canoeing.

This year’s guests are artists Anthony Romero and Moira Williams, who will share activities and lead discussions and walks throughout the week. Anthony Romero is a Chicago-based artist, writer, and curator interested in documenting and supporting artist-communities whose narratives and practices are often excluded from art historical narratives and exhibitions. Moira Williams is a founding member of the walking cooperative, Walk Exchange. She creates participatory works that bring people together to make explicit the complexity of their community and the environment.

FLOAT 2015 is a week of experiments – in movement, collaboration and communal mobile living. We begin with the occupation of dedicated art spaces, first The Luminary and next Paul Artspace. We continue our collective movement with urban walks in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, then barter our way onto the Mississippi River for a guided tour of the St. Louis waterfront and southern rural waterway, sleeping on the bank and under the stars. On the final leg of our long walk we head inland to a 230-acre organic orchard and intentional community for further exploration and certain relaxation.

Can the simple act of ‘gathering’ be the basis for discovering and articulating new possibilities? How can forging new paths by traversing geographies in non-normative ways (such as with the dérive) affect our perception of place – architecture, land ownership and the shrinking commons? How is our historical awareness shaped? What is concealed, or revealed, about exploitation, structural racism and other forms of oppression? What informs our ideas about work, ‘free time’ and creativity? – our relationship to the environment? How might we utilize the time and space to consider and enact ‘alternative’ models of coexistence? These questions and more will be actively engaged through the participatory nature of this unique workshop residency.

The application is open to all cultural workers (artists, curators, critics, designers, etc.) and activists, and may be of particular interest to those working in socially-engaged, collaborative and/or collective practices.

To apply for the workshop residency please email the following materials to sarrita@theluminaryarts.com with the subject line “FLOAT 2015.”
Application deadline: April 26th, 2015

• CV or resume with name and contact information
• documentation of 1-3 projects representing the applicants practice (preferably as a website link)
• short letter of interest (500 words or less) highlighting reasons for participating and how the workshop relates to or could influence your practice

The registration fee for FLOAT 2015 is $375. Accepted applicants will be asked to make a $175 deposit to secure their place in the program. The remaining balance ($200) will be due by August 1, 2015.

The fee covers accommodations (8 days, 7 nights), all meals, guided canoe trip and workshop enrollment for the residency week. Travel expenses to and from the residency are the responsibility of the participants.

Please contact sarrita@theluminaryarts.com for more information.