Here are a few recent nomadic art projects that share our interest in cultivating creative mobility.
For three weeks this September, Doug Aitken took his fantastic Station to Station project across the U.S. by train, carrying with him an ever-changing community of artists and performers. In An Other‘s video interview, Aitkin defines his project as an experiment, a different sort of creative platform—both tactile and invisible. Creativity doesn’t need to be material, fixed or frozen, he says, and asks: “Can an idea be enough? Can a moment in time be enough?”
Aitken traveled with three nomadic art tents that became gathering places at each stop. Swiss artist Urs Fischer designed the most ethereal yurt—a white dreamscape with mirrored walls and a vaporous aura that served alternately as space for meditation and performance.
For his residency at Philip Johnson’s Glass House this October, New York-based artist Alex Schweder tethered his nomadic habitat to Johnson’s Brick House with an electric power cord. Schweder lived for 10 days in Rehearsal Space, the portable accommodation he created by combining a van, a scissor lift, and an inflatable room.
A few weeks ago, La Criée Arts Centre in Rennes, France, presented Un Grand Ensemble by German-born artist Jan Kopp. Kopp is a steadfast nomad in his poetic social practice. The artist assembled a vast array of objects collected from local residents to create a concrete psychogeographic map. For Kopp, the field of stalk-shaped artifacts—hundreds of sticks, branches, broom handles, curtain rods, bike pumps, telescopic antennas, rulers, and tubes were meant to be used by visitors as way finders for any number of imaginary journeys.
What makes these projects fascinating to us? We love the way these artists move through the material world on a quest for invisible beauty. They achieve work that is site sensitive, yet free. Their art revels in the complexities of itinerant creativity.
Recorded last May, Fresh Talk: Nomad Studio features a creative practice that’s currently anchored in Barcelona.