Threads and Trails are binding elements between our two journeys of research, conceptualization, and enlightenment of our maternal familial lines. Cybele Moon dives into her Slovakian history through oral histories, traditions, and textiles. Erica Larsen-Dockray explores the texts from pioneer women on the Oregon Trail as they passed over the land where she grew up in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. This collaboration between Larsen-Dockray and Moon builds on their previous works exploring reproductive issues and sculptural costume which have combined installation, projection, moving image and live performance.
Development of this collaboration will shift between three phases of focus between each artist’s pursuit of her history and will culminate in a shared exploration of the connections between their studies.
Phase one, titled "A Modern Woman's Wit" was workshopped at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT in the Spring of 2018. Building on themes in the Slovak folktale "A Woman's Wit," this interactive installation combines projection, sound, textile and movement to explore modern feminist connections to historical texts.
Phase two will narrow in and further define the relationships to the content, its subversive narratives, and aesthetics of the space. Content focuses on Larsen-Dockray's relationship to the westward travels of the female pioneers to her own journey west.
Phase three is the final culmination of the two explorations into the artists’ introspective journeys into their histories and incorporate feedback from broader voices.
The shapes of covered wagons, Slovakian bridal headdresses, Nebraskan and Slovakian landscapes are some of the sculptural elements to be explored.
Viewers will walk under, through and around various soft structures containing visual elements conveying stories and connections to our specific journeys with those of women in days gone by.
Elements such as colors, pattern, shapes, and text from each culture and period will be translated into sound, projection, light, and space to form the installation.
Project Research Images
COLLABORATING ARTISTS BIOGRAPHIES
CYBELE MOON, MFA
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Brind School of Theater, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA | Guest Co-Lecturer, School of Theater, Film and Media Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA | Guest Costume Designer, Boyer College of Music and Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA | Textile Crafts Artisan, Monkey Boys Productions, Philadelphia, PA
Cybele Moon is a costume designer for theater and dance whose work has been seen regionally in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans and many other locations. Nationally recognized companies and organizations include: Disney Imagineering/Disneyland, CalArts, Steppenwolf Theater, ArtSpot Productions, Soulographie at La Mama, Chicago Dramatists, and the American Dance Festival, among many others. Recent projects include costume design for 8 choreographers as part of the Drexel University Dance Winter and Spring Concerts, costume design for a theater production at the University of the Arts and most recently for 'Proceed with Caution', a new choreographic work that was part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Upcoming commissions include costume design for Taiwanese choreographer Wen-Chung Lin in performance with the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia.
As a creative collaborator Cybele Moon has worked with visual and performing artists to create films, installations and interactive events. These collaborations have included A Modern Woman's Wit, Right in the Dark, and My First Pregnancy with Erica Larsen-Dockray of eekart studios. She has also created textile installations for community-based events including the Santa Clarita Earth Arbor Day Festival (Santa Clarita, CA) and for a Beth Chaim Reform Congregation Sukkot Celebration (Malvern, PA).
Working as an educator, Cybele has taught the arts to students ages 2-70 during the past 20 years. In the past 10 years she has had academic appointments at Wesleyan University, East Carolina University and Austin Community College. She has given guest lectures on costume design for numerous colleges and universities across the United States, and is currently teaching at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.
ERICA LARSEN-DOCKRAY (L)
Media Artist and Animator, Teaching Artist and Entrepreneur
Los Angeles, CA
CYBELE MOON (R)
Costume Designer, Textile Craft Artisan, Lecturer
Creator and Director of Calibraska Arts Initiative | Co-founder and Board Member at SCV Adventure Play Foundation | Advisory Council Member at Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts | Occasional Special Faculty at the California Institute of the Arts |Owner - e e k a r t studio| Teaching Artist in Animation at Inner-City Arts
Erica Larsen-Dockray is a Los Angeles based Media Artist, Entrepreneur, Educator, and Activist. Erica is the Founder and Director of the Calibraska Arts Initiative, a cross-cultural summer program bringing artists from California to her hometown in Scottsbluff, Nebraska to teach multi-generational workshops in their métier. She also is a Co-Founding Director of SCV Adventure Play Foundation with her husband Jeremiah, creating play spaces for children and adults, which facilitate and support self-directed and unstructured play. She currently is a teaching artist at Inner-City Arts in downtown Los Angeles where she instructs Saturday High School Animation.
Erica also serves on the advisory council for the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and is an occasional adjunct faculty at her alma mater, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), in the Film/Video School’s Experimental Animation program. One of Erica’s classes, The Animated Woman, was covered by the Associated Press and Agencia EFE, and featured in over 1,000 news outlets including the New York Times. She also holds Animated Woman workshops and lectures at various organizations to continue to raise awareness of gender bias in animation.
In her undergraduate studies, Erica studied graphic design at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. After two years at Lincoln, she transferred to The Art Institute of Phoenix and graduated in 2003 with a B.A. in Media Arts and Animation. In 2010 she received a B.F.A. in Experimental Animation from CalArts and in 2012 graduated with her M.F.A. in Experimental Animation and Integrated Media, also from CalArts.
Her art practice includes hybrid installations consisting of varying elements such as painting, moving image, dance, theater, interactivity, and experimental projection. Her work has been shown domestically and internationally in cultural institutions such as the Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, Future Studio Gallery, Thymele Arts, The New Children’s Museum in San Diego, CA and at the Art Festival Kesenian Indonesia.
You can see her work and more information here:
A Modern Woman's Wit
DOCUMENTATION OF PHASE ONE: A MODERN WOMAN'S WIT
Exhibited at Davison Arts Center - Wesleyan University
Supported by Wesleyan University Creative Campus Initiative & Wesleyan University Theater Department
Great Plains Art Museum
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
October 2, 2020–February 20, 2021
In Too Big for her Britches, media artist Erica Larsen-Dockray uses journal entries and accounts from Pioneer women as a springboard into her own journey out west from her birthplace of Scottsbluff, Nebraska where the Oregon, California and Mormon trails converged.
In the work, she and her collaborator Cybele Moon, convey connections they feel to these tenacious pioneers into a large scale, interactive installation. Too Big for Her Britches combines Larsen-Dockray’s expertise in media arts and interactive space, with Moon’s in costume design and textile arts to create a truly unique experience. Recurring themes in this collaboration include resilience to skepticism, doubt and unexpected obstacles, as well as the on-going tension of leaving one’s ‘home’.
As viewers move through the gallery, they will explore a variety of two, and three dimensional interpretations
of women traversing new landscapes, as they search for equity, stability, and independence. Larsen-Dockray and Moon use their anomalous pairing to reinvent the sound, sight, and feel of the space.
Projection of interchanging symbols connecting the current to the past such as highway lines to wheel ruts and speedometers to spokes, will flow over gradually decaying textiles on a larger than life covered wagon form. Female figures frozen mid-pose will serve as snapshots of bodies in motion heading to a better life. Threaded maps will define the unique paths of the artists with their pioneer counterparts. Photographic collage will depict historical figures en-route, while journal entries, letters, and emails place words to the experience through sound and text. Animated paintings will depict landscapes along the expeditions overlaid with projections of ghostly figures traveling along the routes.