Come, come, whoever you are,
wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
This is not a caravan of despair.
It doesn’t matter that you’ve broken
your vow a thousand times, still
come, and yet again, come.
When I brought this project to Eastern in 2008, it was really out of a desire to get all the people I wanted to collaborate with back together in a room. It was designed to be a homecoming for people I missed making work with and a way to introduce them to each other. The most exquisite accomplishment of that seed of an idea has been the establishment of this community that continues to thrive and investigate how to make work together.
That there is a desire to keep coming back together, even in new space, even though life has taken us far afield, even though we have said goodbye to some of our collaborators and hello to new ones - that desire to return is the deep impulse from which this work springs.
I don’t feel like I have anything new to tell you about this process, in fact, most of you have more experience with it than I do and I hope there will continue to be many things that you will teach me about it. What I have a newfound appreciation for is the home that this process has always had at its core, though I couldn’t see that very clearly until now. We need homes in our lives as artists. Places where we can work out ideas, where we can fail extravagantly, where we can communicate openly because there is a cushion of unconditional love built in and an invitation to return that doesn’t expire.
As some of you know, I have been re-homing over the past year, both physically and artistically. I have met some wonderful people in this transition and have been invited to be a part of some truly fantastic work with visionary makers. But I have also been introduced to a kind of untethered artistic life, one where I don’t experience that standing invitation to fail and mess around and make work with people just because I am hungry to make work with them. Without these places of freedom and safety how can one practice being a better collaborator, a better maker, a better citizen? In this time of drifting, the calls to return from the people and places that are my home carry a whole new weight and meaning. I’ve realized that these places don’t appear magically; they start with small ideas and are sustained by hard-work, enthusiasm and a perennial returning.
My hope for each of you, as you return to the work this summer, is that you will take some moment in all the chaos to appreciate the beautiful community you have made and sustain; that you will keep making and sustaining spaces like these throughout your lives; that you will keep saying ‘yes’ to the invitation to return.
Whether we have known each other since the beginning or our paths have not yet crossed: you are my family, my home, and I am grateful for you.