Alex kicked into high gear on her last week in residency; defining her projects, finishing some and setting deadlines and parameters for ongoing ones. Inspired by her camp experience, Alex collected wool blankets and embroidered “Shared Space” on each one to dress our bunk house with. Along with a couple of full work days, she kept a sense of play and adventure in her daily practice- getting us out to the Newaygo County Fair to see the hog show early Tuesday morning. On the way home, we saw a sign for local peaches, and she picked them up to make another creation in her series of pies.
On her last night in town, Alex was the director for our first official episode of the Beach Cam Variety Show. On Tuesday, we went to the beach for sunset and started experimenting with the live-feed webcam that is always watching Pentwater beach. By Wednesday we had a plan to launch a week-long variety show with each episode being directed by a different resident artist or facilitator. We chose 8pm EST Thursday evening for our pilot episode, where we set up our dinner table in front of the camera, and broadcast ten-minute episodes on Friday and Saturday. Alex directed us in a mock-prom to the sounds of our local oldies station WEEH-FM, and Eliza dressed everyone in her handmade costumes to dance to an electro-remix of Enya. Passersby were curious and excited to join the fun, and we made friends with a group of kids that made our dance troop that much better.
Nick spent the week investigating Pentwater. With video camera in hand, he has been observing the world around him through interaction with people and technology. As the self-appointed Pentwater P.I. he has spent time snooping on people using the internet at the library at night; recorded what happens when you spin donuts in a gold jeep in the dirt; and made a short documentary about the wrestling match at the county fair and the relationship between co-facilitators Mary & Eliza. After our slide talk on Sunday, he borrowed six smart phones from our willing guests and conducted an experiment with GPS audio.
The group of residents this week turned out to be the most interested in preparing amazing foods together and for each other than any previous group. On the evening Nick signed up to make dinner for the crew, he gathered us in the kitchen, making a progressive five-course meal of sandwiches.
Scotty has also been working on constructing a puppet out of a deer carcass and a lawn chair- both found in the riverbed on a canoe trip. He got familiar with everyone in the studio by throwing a karaoke dance party on Saturday, complete with video projections and rum punch.
Amber's ongoing project back home, The Full Moon Choir, is designed to bring people of any singing ability together to perform a collection of moon inspired songs under a full moon. This recurring event brings people together and closer to rhythm of the earth by observing the cycles of the moon. Inspired by Mary's moon dune story in her Field Trip Field Guide, and an impending Super Moon, Amber decided to put on a choir event in the Silver Lake Dunes. After our slide talk on Sunday, at least a dozen people stayed to craft their own poncho out of a sail. Flowing and shimmering cloth was the dress code for the evening, and each participant received a song book and a candle. The caravan arrived at the state park entrance past midnight and climbed up the dunes in a moonlit sandscape. After a quiet procession and a grounding lead by Amber, we all stood in a circle and sang a moon round, gazing up at the Sturgeon Moon as it slipped in and out of cloud cover. Grand Rapids photographer, Carson Davis-Brown was there to document the event with a special low-light camera, and we are excited to see what he makes out of the footage.