One of the most difficult parts of traveling to these different communities was explaining to locals why a bunch of artists out of Boulder, CO were interested in them and their surroundings. The connotations that come along with the term ‘art’ can often lead people to an insecure, anxious comprehension or skepticism of an artists’ intention, especially when in an area that is not known for their artistic nature. Conversing with locals about our presence often led to confusion as they mentally searched for what they considered art in their town. Some arrived at places or representations of art instantly and others remained weary of our presence. With the notion of landscapes, there is an immediate adherence to nature and not the human condition.
In our brief interactions, addressing the complexity of landscapes to others proved largely difficult, as the concept itself is still developing in my mind. Incorporating human interaction with nature and culture into the traditionally understood notion of ‘landscape’ is a developing skill on my part. With the brief exchanges between locals while purchasing postcards or parking our conspicuous vans, our purpose to interpret landscapes was often lost. Though translation seemed limited, the conversations were infinitely valuable and appreciated on my part as an artist and potentially provided a fresh perspective to some that have perhaps seen their home in the same light for many years. A new understanding of landscape is inquisitive, meaningful, and honest. As Limerick said, “ While geography plays a role in their definitions, regions are much more the creations of human thought and behavior than they are a product of nature.”