The Backpack Kiln
The Backpack Kiln project has been made possible by a Cattaraugus County Council for the Arts 'Artist in Community Grant' which is Funded by the New York State Council on the Arts decentralization program. The grant awards $2500 to a non-student resident in Allegany, Cattraugus or Chautauqua Counties to conduct a project that will engage and enrich their community.
Construction of the Backpack Kiln took place from January – March of 2016 and upon completion its maiden firing was held as the event Something S'more which occurred as part of the opening reception festivities of the Across the Table, Across the Land exhibition that was curated by Michael Strand and Namita Gupta Wiggers for the 50th Annual NCECA Conference in Kansas City, MO. Something S'more looked the opening reception as an opportunity to prop up the content of the exhibition which was a survey of artists projects over the year prior that had used pairings of ceramics and food as a vehicles social engagement. Prompts regarding overarching themes and questions of the exhibition were presented along with images and artifacts from the showcased events, and Something S'more created an example of the work being discussed as an opportunity to both experience it and discus it further. A analog speaker/cup with commemorative sprigs detailing the event was the only object fired in the kiln during the event, the entire event was recorded on an old iPhone and following the firing the iPhone is now playing the recording through the speaker, the object retelling the story of its production and presenting the critical discussion of itself and the event it supported as being central to beginning to assess its value as an object.