Thursday, December 8, 2011

In Brief: Regional Relationships

Two aspects of A Map Without Boundaries; Regional Relationships

Today we will introduce some work that we will be covering in greater detail soon: the Regional Relationships project. We're focused on bringing rural-urban and rural-international considerations to light, and it's very exciting to encounter these artists making multimedia art from such exchanges. 

A Map Without Boundaries, RR's first project, is a mail art installation by Matthew Friday that considers the cultural, environmental, and even aesthetic effects of the networks of abandoned mines in southeastern Ohio - and his project asks for RR's audience to become participants in the creation of a larger exhibit. RR's current project is Greetings From The Cornbelts by Claire Pentecost; the Chicago-based artist is connecting corn production in the fields of northern Illinois and with those of Mexico. Her field work in Mexico will be presented in postcards, posters, and written documentation.

Please follow the links to learn more, and to discover how this work can find its way to your doorstep: Here's their introductory notes:
What: Regional Relationships commissions artists, scholars, writers and activists to create works that investigate the natural, industrial and cultural landscapes of a region.
It is a platform to re-imagine the spaces and cultural histories around us. An invitation to join in seeing what we can learn—and learning what we can see—by juxtaposing spaces and narratives that are usually kept apart.
Why: Popular beliefs about human geography are composed of binary oppositions like “urban” and “rural” and “cosmopolitan” and “provincial”. These divisions naturalize synthetic borders and harden political boundaries, obsfucating their cultural function. 
Applying a regional lens encourages us to think more expansively about the disparate geographies that might exist within the space of one small town or across continents and oceans.

Published works will be sent to subscribing individuals and institutions on a semiannual basis.
These Regional Relationships projects contribute so much to the new kinds of dialogue that we can cultivate about rural and urban linkages, and about how rural places find connections of culture, economy, and practice with other places far removed from their local fields. This site is highly recommended, and we'll be expanding in greater detail on their work soon.