Loren Erdrich and Sierra Nelson met in 2008 during yearlong artist-staff residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and began their collaboration with the lyrical choose-your-own-adventure book I Take Back the Sponge Cake (published by Rose Metal Press in 2012, and recipient of the 2010 NYU Washington Square Review Prize for Collaboration). They continue to collaborate under the name INIVISBLE SEEING MACHINE.
In April 2013 Sierra and Loren took a week for themselves out on Hood Canal in Washington state. Having spent the past few years on opposite sides of the country they saw their “Hood Magic Retreat” as a chance to rekindle their collaborative momentum that distance and time had worked hard to forestall. Sierra had brought with her a bag full of tiny realistic yet strange plastic animals. One afternoon Sierra and Loren started writing dialogues for these animals. They positioned the animals in pairs or small groups, and each wrote a line from the perspective of one of the animals. “Animal Dialogues” was born. They weren’t sure what would become of them, but both felt there was some exciting potential there.
Sierra and Loren will use their time at Studio Nola to expand upon Animal Dialogues. Each week they will pick from one of the many, many pairs of dialogues and will offer new translations to the reader – in the form of pictures, video, song, dance, poems and more.
Let the magic begin!
Sierra Nelson is author of chapbook “In Case of Loss” (in Embark, Toadlily Press, 2012) and her poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry Northwest, Forklift Ohio, Crazyhorse, Diagram, City Arts Magazine, anthologies Pink Thunder and Alive at the Center, as well as on a Seattle Metro bus and in the Seattle Aquarium. As co-founder of literary performance art groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, she has collaboratively written, performed, and created installations nationally and internationally. Sierra lives in Seattle.
Loren Erdrich is a Brooklyn based visual artist. In 2011 she was featured in Vogue Italia, in a photo essay of female artists to watch in NYC by photographer Francesco Carrozzini. She currently has work showing at Avis Frank Gallery in Houston, TX, and this May will show at Butter Projects of Detroit, MI with visual artist Bunnie Reiss. A 2011 show at the Joan Cole Mitte Gallery in Texas featured Loren’s work alongside that of Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, and Félix González-Torres. Please see more of her work at www.okloren.com.