Awardee: Susan Robb

Emerging Fields, 2013

Susan Robb’s work is an ongoing investigation of people, place and our search for utopia. She orchestrates temporary, site-responsive and socially-engaged projects to transform contemporary concerns—climate crisis, social isolation, high-speed daily living—into opportunities to re-envision and re-connect. Her projects include The Long Walk, ONN/OF "a light festival", Parking Squid, Sleeper Cell Training Camp and Warmth Giant Black Toobs. In addition to the Creative Capital award, Robb’s work has been funded by a Pollack Krasner Foundation Grant, two Artist Trust Fellowships, a Stranger Genius Award, 4Culture, and the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture. Her work has been collected and shown nationally and internationally.

Project: Wild Times

Wild Times merges new media, social engagement, and site responsive art as an invitation to explore wildness as a geographic ideal, part of our urban identity, and a state of mind. Beginning in mid-April, Robb will embark on a 5-month, 2,650-mile hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. Using the trail as a nomadic studio, and her experiences as inspiration and medium, she will create digital works—photos, videos, and 3D files—periodically sending them to a series of West Coast art venues. There they will be printed, projected and installed, evolving into cumulative exhibitions. Host venues include: Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Desert, CA; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA;  and the Frye Art Museum and Henry Art Gallery, in Seattle, WA.

At its core, Wild Times is a proposition to Robb’s audience to seek out and explore their own wildness. To aid this process, Susan has created satellite programming such as a "hero’s journey" writing workshop, group "therapy" explorations facillitated by a psychoanalyst, comedic improv workshop dérive, and a "trail magic" master class.