The public is invited to collaborate and act as archaeologists who, in collaboration with the artists, will research the people, history and stories of the selected site and transpose them into visually contemplative experiences within each tent.
There are several ways in which the public can participate in the creation of The Encampment. The first is as a Creative Collaborator, and the second is as Production Collaborator.
Both Creative Collaborators and Production Collaborators are required. Though they may be considered volunteer positions, we do not consider them as such. Each person’s commitment to be a collaborator is based on an application process, creative exchange and time commitment.
Production Collaborators develop all production aspects of the work; some of which include the set-up and strike of the installation, maintaining the technical aspects of the art-work, front-of-house duties, and other logistical considerations.
The Installation Creation Workshop is a six week process during which the artists lead the Creative Collaborators in transposing their selected stories into what the artists refer to as Memory Constructs, an assemblage of artifacts found and/or created that combine into a visually contemplative experience of the story.
As an actor digs deep within him or herself to reveal traces and emblems of similarities and differences with a character in relation to a dramatic narrative they are to represent, each Creative Collaborator is also asked to dig deep within the history of their story’s characters to do the same. With the actor, it is externalized in their physical being and in the case of the Creative Collaborator, through their visual expression within each tent as a visceral sensation of absence and presence.
The creative process requires a time commitment by each collaborator since their acknowledgement of the proposed process in these workshops is paramount to the success of the artwork. The thoughts, artistry, experiences, insight and enthusiasm each participant brings and shares with the group is the foundation of the creative energy and exchange necessary to complete the final experience of this large-scale artwork. In as much as the final realization of the artwork re-imagines a community of the past, the creative process and exchange proposed in this work seeks to re-imagine a creative and collaborative community in the present.
This collective memory of each and every tent becomes embodied in The Encampment as a total experience, a temporal village where human interaction and creative exchange facilitate the discovery of what has been forgotten and/or ignored.