“Deelstaat” means “State”

I’m really excited because I’m leaving on Sunday for a site-specific arts residency in the Netherlands! (I love site-specific art and I have never been to the Netherlands!) The organizations running the show are Sandarbh, who I worked with in India (I wrote a post about them previously) and Extrapool, a local Dutch org. You can check this Group Blog for updates.

Here is the flier. Unfortunately I can’t understand it. Maybe you do.

I copied and pasted the text, sentence by sentence, into a translator for you. Don’t you love awkward translation-speak?

Sandarbh come from the small city Partapur in Rajasthan, West-India. Sandardh mean context in Hindi. This artist initiative strives several examine forms of artistic practice. It organises at site specific projects, performances among other things workshops, residence programmes aimed, community-art-projecten and projects in the public space. The initiatives which take part in state =, its all set up from a certain urgency which has to do with their specific context. Sandarbh have put themselves by means of art and in a natural manner new ideas and of transmitting dispositions on the local population.

Participating Artists

For state = Sandarbh Shreyas Karle and Lochan Upadhyay as send envoies. They are the Heads of State during the project. Moreover they have invited artists who have participated rather to their own esidentieprojecten: Anne Percoco from the United States, Florian Tuercke from Germany and Szigeti G. Csongor from Hungary. They all have been well confessed with the working methods of the indian initiative. Artist and curator Anke Mellin () and artist Ivan Smith (Great Britain), who sits in the advisory committee of Sandarbh, will accompany the residence. Extrapool the artists Michiel Huijben, Jason of of the Woude and Julia Boix-Vives has invited cooperate with aforesaid artists.


I recently had to cut my artist statement down to 100 words for an application. It was hard to do, but now I think I like it better.


I make art not by creating something new, but by reorganizing what’s already there. My process is resourceful, responsive, and playful. I spend as much time exploring and researching as I do making. I respond to my immediate surroundings, especially to found materials, so my work is often tactile and textured. Each material has unique formal properties, as well as historical, cultural, and environmental resonances.

My site and community based work keeps me grounded; I enjoy the challenges of working with and for a diverse audience. When making work for gallery settings, I enjoy greater focus and control.


ILSSA asked me to submit something on the theme of OLD/NEW for a publication in conjunction with their upcoming show at St. Mary’s College, and the next day I bought my first pair of new sneakers in 3 years. I’m sending them these rubbings.

Pretty Damn Unconventional

Great Downtown Express article on Elastic City! It’s written by Lily Bouvier.

Some excerpts:

Poetry, sound, paranormal and ritualistic performance and other art forms are incorporated into showing participants a city they may think they already know well.

“A lot of [them entail] things that are…what one might call eccentric. I think that it’s kind of up to the artist to liberate the participants on the walk and make them feel more uninhibited to either try new things or to do things that maybe otherwise, in another setting, they wouldn’t do.”

“A big part,” [Todd] says of the walk format, “is bringing people together and forming community, however ephemeral.” But ultimately, he concludes, “if we can give people one new angle or new perspective, through which they may look as they walk down the street, then I feel satisfied.”

Reserve a spot on one of my upcoming Elastic City walks here.

Sandarbh Site-Specific

The Sandarbh Workshop for Site-Specific Art was one of the highlights of my time in India. It was founded by Mumbai artist Chintan Upadhyay in his home village of Partapur, in an attempt to show his friends and family what he does and what contemporary art is. (In India, contemporary art is more marginalized than here, especially in rural areas.)

The village hosts 10-day residencies a few times a year, bringing in artists from all over India and the world, and it’s mutually beneficial. The artists get to know the village in a way that wouldn’t be possible as tourists.

Nandesh Shantiprakash

And the village residents are now so familiar with contemporary art that they’ve become good critical viewers of it.

Bhuvanesh Gowda

The first 3 days are for getting to know the place. The hosts introduce you to different sites and communities, and show you where to get various materials.

You have the next week to make a site-specific piece. The hosts help you in any way they can.

I can’t think of a better way for an artist to travel.

Palak Raval

Now Shreyas Karle is the director, and they’re branching out to other countries. They’ve just  invited me to join them in Nijmegen, in the Netherlands this November, where they’re teaming up with a local arts org called Extrapool for another workshop.

I don’t know much about the Netherlands…..Amsterdam, Vermeer & Theo Jansen, global warming & flooding…. Apparently Nijmegen is the oldest city in the country, founded 2,000 years ago. But I guess I’ll know more soon.


P.S. Looks like Sandarbh India is accepting applications for a one month residency. See the link on their homepage.

Keeping Cool

I just hung UV reflective curtains to block the summer heat.

They’re translucent during the day, and silver at night.

It brings me back to Partapur, where I patched together foil wrappers to make a covering for a migrant family’s house.

It was hot in the sun, picking the wrappers from a heap of trash. Washing them in buckets and in a lake.

Yesterday, riding on the air conditioned Path train, I looked over a woman’s shoulder at her magazine and saw my work looking back.

It’s a little blurb within a compilation: various things you can do, eat, drink, see, places you can go in New York to keep cool. I’m sure it’s the first and last time time I’ll see my work compared to Monet’s Water Lillies, Beekman’s Beer Garden, and ice cream sandwiches in the same breath.

Trees keep you cool. Can fake trees keep you cool?