Arts Letters & Numbers in Averill Park, NY offers a summer workshop every year for artists, musicians, architects etcera. From various disciplines on a specific theme examined. In 2016 the theme was "zoetrope sun". Bart Drost was invited to contribute as a visiting artist for four weeks.
During his stay, he developed an interactive series of meetings with twenty-three individual participants. But first he built his own house with a view, a view at the inner side.
"Because I was afraid one could get overruled by the great event of the summer workshop, I decided to build my own "headquarters" from which I could set up my personal project. I thought that an approach to the participants face to face would be a welcome and indispensable change within the huge offer of group experiences and events where generally a workshop is characterized by.
So right next to the large workshop of aln - the mill - I built from leftover materials which I found my own little house. With a table, two chairs, something on the wall, flowers, a clothesline, a small veranda and a door with a latch on the inside. A suitcase. And a mailbox.
At that point I had no idea yet how the project would develop itself exactly. First I had to build. It surely would be grand and comprehensive, this four-week workshop. Guests would come every day to work with the group of participants: dancing, movement, mime, drawing, expression, and so on. And at the end there would be a intensive two-day festival.
Thinking of the zoetrope I realized that there was something special about it: you can focus on the outside of the zoetrope or you can focus on the inside. Both entities exist at the same time, you know for sure. But you only can observe one of them.
In my opinion it was about the inside and the outside and suddenly I new what my project would be about. I wanted to work with the individual participants. I wanted to share a day with each of them. To talk with them, to exchange ideas. I was curious about them. Who are they? What moves them?
So no spectacular workshop at my place, no big gestures; keep it small."