Erica Barnes asked me to work on this project many months ago and without knowing anything of the poem or her plans for it, I agreed. I am past the point in my life where I take projects blindly. There is criteria on which I base my participation in any artistic project:
*Does it pay (either long term or immediately)? A 75 dollar stipend does not count as pay.
*Will it force me to develop a skill or technique I wouldn’t otherwise learn, and is that skill useful to me?
*Is the project so close to my heart that it overrides all reasonable doubt?
As I have developed, a project generally has to satisfy at least two of those categories. In writing this I realize there is also one more category I had neglected to name over the past years, though I know that for me it is always a consideration. This is the question of COLLABORATORS.
So Erica… I know her– I know her brain, and her imagination, and her heart. I took this project because I knew that whatever direction she decided to take this poem (that she seemed to be so in love with) would be incredible. Erica is an intensely grounded yet creative force, inspiring me to dream huge and then work to create that essence through the resources and limitations available.
That is what this “play-oem” is to me. This poem encompasses an incredibly large portion of the breadth of humanity- citing mythos, overarching principles of life, gigantic metaphors for existence. And at the next turn looks at the practicalities. It takes the large ideas and makes them personal, or takes personal moments and draws out some real and significant ideas to live by. It melds “humanity” with “human.”
I am Art Directing this piece. Which means, creating objects- props and other pieces of art, as well as working with Erica to create sound and being a semi-outside eye on the overall picture. I am always striving to make meaningful beauty, but sometimes one really gets lucky and strikes gold. This is one of those projects.
-Taylor Bibat, Art Director