I made it all the way to the west coast. Over 500 mantras were recorded in the trailer but I only have 200 archived on the website so far. Keep checking back I promise to have more of the travel log and all of the mantras posted by the end of the summer.
It has been an amazing journey and the people I’ve met! Thank you all for making this project with me.
05/06/08 Sunrise in the Canyonlands / Utah
Ringing a bell at sunrise near the Canyonlands National Park. This one’s for you Brenda! Daily Bell 2008
Here I am with my home, with Natania in front of her home. My visit to Galesburg was one of the best. The students and faculty at Knox College were outstanding and thoroughly engaged in their work and community. Some of the best recordings of the trip were made here and I got plenty of hugs. People waited for up to 45 minutes for a turn in the trailer. Natania is a poet who teaches at Knox. We met at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts last fall and she hooked me up! Galesburg was a peaceful antidote to Chicago. Lots of space and no parking hassles.
Next stop WEST.
Andy was more than a friendly neighborhood mechanic. Early Saturday morning I pulled into his shop after jack-knifing and forcing the Mantra Trailer out of an alley behind Threewalls Gallery. I dented my car car and the rear fin of the trailer. I was devastated. Andy said there was nothing that could easily be done to take out the dent, but he could fill the split seams with silicon so there wouldn’t be any leaks. As I watched him thickly ice the trailer seams with black silicon, he could tell I was still upset and simply explained that when there is nothing that can be done you have to move forward.
I can’t explain it but he was awesome. Later that evening he took me out to dinner and the split seams, dents, and devastation seemed like a blessing.
04/18/08 I Need a Mascot / Chicago, IL
I met Liz and her pug Winston in Chicago on Michigan Ave. People were lining up to have their photo taken with Winston which made good business for the trailer. He is a most irresistible dog. Liz has the perfect civic engagement project. All she needs to do is stand on a street corner with Winston. If only it were that easy to draw a crowd with the Mantra Trailer! To see more adorable pictures of Winston and his friends visit his blog – winstonthepug.com.
April 11 – 27, hosted by Three Walls Gallery, Chicago, IL
Here’s the current schedule of Mantra Trailer appearances in Chicago:
April 18, 11 am – 3 pm, the drive at 401 N Michigan Ave.
April 22, for students only, A.N. Pritzker Elementary School, Wicker Park
April 26, 10 am – 2 pm, Hyde Park Art Center, Creative Move: Moving Mountains, 5020 S Cornell Ave.
Life Radio Broadcast:
April 24, 10 am – Noon, “God Talk” on Vocalo.org 89.5 FM
04/06/08 Visiting Friends / Cincinnati, OH
Visiting my friend Denise Burge, a visual artist, in Cincinnati and meeting some of her best friends at a cookout in her backyard. Denise is a down and dirty Carolina girl and she was and always will be the hostess with the mostess. She also teaches art at the University of Cincinnati.
What a great turn out at the University of Cincinnati. The art faculty secured me a killer location right in the middle of the flow. I had a steady stream of students. Some stayed in the trailer so long I had to check in on them and break them out of their trance. Some came back two or three times with friends. The art and architecture students turned out for the lecture and asked great questions around ideas of psychogeography and anthropology. Look for an upcoming piece on the Mantra Trailer by me and Denise in the psychogeography issue of the online journal Drain.
04/04/08 Defiant Participation / Bethany College, WV
The weather was gloomy and the participation was light yet defiant at Bethany College, my alma mater. It seems some students wanted something edgier on the side of the trailer. Over night the mantra changed from WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER to WE’RE ALL IN SHIT TOGETHER. It brought back memories of late night pranks wrought during my college days.
After interacting with people all day I noticed that I was nicer and less demanding to the cashiers at Kinko’s, Smoothie King, and the Harris Teeter. Not that I’m rude usually but as a consumer I seem to carry around an inner voice of entitlement. It’s a voice so embedded that I normally don’t notice it. After a day facilitating the Mantra Trailer at the University of Virginia, I lost the embedded feeling of entitlement and noticed it’s absence. Like noticing silence after the repetition of a mantra.
I’m not sure why this happened. Maybe because I spent the day being open to every experience? Maybe from the careful act of listening? Maybe from being in the position of asking for participation? Maybe from relationship exhaustion???
I was at Davidson College the day after their Friday night NCAA win. It was cold and rainy and a large percentage of the student body was in Detroit but I still managed to get 19 people into the trailer. Their mantras were awesome.
I felt a new sense of integration while interacting with people who were less interested in participating. Graciously accepting rejection eased the experience of discomfort for me and the rejecting audience. Letting go of a personal sense of rejection freed me to encounter the next exchange with fewer defenses.
03/28/08 Setting Up the Mantra Trailer / Durham, NC
This is the first day of the cross-country tour. The kick off is tonight at the Center for Documentary Studies. I’ll be presenting the project during the Fresh Docs program. “Setting Up the Mantra Trailer” was shot in January with Erika Simon in Atlanta, GA. We edited it this week for it’s premier tonight at Fresh Docs.