Truck Show Archive

pigeonOne year and one month ago, we were in the midst of touring our Truck Show. I finally put together an archive of the project on our website.  Check out all the details, images, credits, research, inspiration, and ephemera:  http://travelingtruckshow.org/

Peruse menus on the site or follow the narrative (with links) below for a behind-the-steering-wheel view of this project.

Meet WHO was involved in making this thing.

Meet the GUEST PERFORMERS who joined us on the tour.

Explore our RESEARCH + INSPIRATION for the show.

See images of the MAKING of this show: from the beginning stages of conceptualization to practice and site set-up.

Check out the custom ANIMATION, MUSIC, + BACKDROPS we created.

Learn about each show and its customized characters and acts.  Also see images from the individual events:

LOGAN SQUARE  |  ROSCOE  |  WEST TOWN  |  PILSEN

View our PR materials + some of the PRESS attention the project received.

Finally, you ask, “What’s next?”

Well…Chris and I are in the initial planning stages for a slightly smaller-scale public project that will debut this summer. To stay up on that news, you can “like” the Traveling Truck Show FB page, as we’ll make announcements there.

Thanks ya’ll!
~Kayce (AKA Proud Pigeon)

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The Start of a New Animation

IMG_1193

I've begun a new animation.  Using all hand-drawn illustrations, and combining some frame by frame animation techniques with camera work in AfterEffects.  Thinking about "the frame", contextual value makers or breakers, the anticipation of the spectacle, and banal consumption of entertainment.

full-stage-still

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new songs in the works

So...It's been awhile since I've written a song, and I am feeling the call of my singer-songwriter roots.  These are both really rough recordings - just trying out some voice layering and structure stuff.  Everything will morph and flush out as I play them more.  I'm also not totally set on lyrics, but wanted to get something down to review.

The Walking Man:  Using a tune I wrote for the Truck Show - "Moody Western" I was calling it - this was the background music for the introduction to Denim Dennis. This new version is based partially on Dennis's sad wandering story, but mostly about the mystery of the Chicago Walking Man.  Words will likely change.  Wanted to try out how the three melodies could overlap (towards the end of song).  I envision this becoming very dramatic, in the spirit of Scott Walker.

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 I've Gotta Roll:  True to singer-songwriter form, this one is personal.  Thinking about low times and that feeling you have as you're climbing out of that.  I really want the bottom to drop out when I do the first chant, and then it can build to an anthem-y peak.  Need more instrumentation, especially some driving beats.

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the “creative introduction”

I put together this little video to act as a creative introduction to my personality and interests. Paired with my current resume, it gives a better picture of who I am and what I'm all about.

I am Kayce from kayce bayer on Vimeo.

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Good Stuff House on Sixty Inches from Center

I was interviewed by photographer/writer Brooke Herbert Hayes for Sixty Inches From Center about Good Stuff House and our Traveling Truck Show project!  Here is a little excerpt:

Brooke Herbert Hayes (BHH): Can you tell me about the inspiration for The Great Fire: A Traveling Truck Show?

Kayce Bayer (KB):  We were inspired by early American traveling shows, like medicine shows, dime museums, and early vaudeville.  A few things intrigued us about this early form of performing arts:  the variety of acts that performed in these shows, the idea of this fringe group of artists working and traveling together, and the unifying experience for the audience—people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and demographics laughing and crying and heckling together.  At the same time, we were exploring Chicago history, with all its mythology and characters, and thought it a rich topic for storytelling.

BHH: Would you ever consider doing the truck show on a larger scale and traveling further with it?

KB:  We like the idea of exploring new territories and topics, but it can’t get any larger without hiring a crew.  We were thinking smaller, actually, more intimate, more focused.  We learned a lot from this go-round and would like to build on that, but we’re not sure what that will look like just yet.

BHH: So, what did you learn from putting on such an in-depth, multi-act show and why do you think you’d want it to be more intimate?

KB: I learned a great deal about community outreach and navigating city codes.  Unlike other projects in the past, I wanted to do this right, get permission, speak with authorities, and make connections with people around each site.  After much research and blind calling/emailing, I presented our idea to a City Park Advisory Council, alderman, community leaders, organizations, and just about anyone I could think of that might be interested in either being involved or hosting our show.  Once I got in, it was an easy pitch, but it was often hard to speak to the right people.  Other than that, this was a big undertaking, especially for such a small team of makers.  Chris and I literally spent every weekend for 6 months working on the many aspects of this show.  Luckily we had a lot of help, too!

I also learned that creative people are amazing!  All our help—makers, acting talent and guest performers—were volunteers.  Everyone came together for the sake of putting on this crazy thing.  I am really grateful for that.  I would want future endeavors to involve some pay for these folks.

Overall, I gained experience in organizing a large group of people (we were almost thirty), planning four somewhat customized events, and understanding the ins and outs of production equipment rental. The initial challenge for me was being a part of every step of the process—research, script-writing, music, visuals, promotion, and performance. I really enjoyed this creatively speaking, but I physically exhausted myself (and Chris, too!).

In the end, it was an adventure!  And I’m glad we pulled it off without any complete disasters.As I reflect about it now, almost two months in the distance, the desire to create something more intimate might just be for opposition’s sake.  I’m ready to withdraw and take on a small attainable goal.

But also, we’re interested in learning from the successes of the show and spinning that into a future venture.  Although the show’s variety was intentional, I sensed the need (from audience reaction and feedback) to narrow the scope. We had so many characters and storylines, I’d like to focus in for more cohesion.  Space-wise, the outdoor arena was a strategy for accessibility and inclusion, but I missed the audience interaction and sense of community closeness that is imbued in more intimate settings.

Read the full interview and view Hayes's fabulous photos of the show here:  http://sixtyinchesfromcenter.org/archive/?p=18425

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Stuffed Study

I made this little piece out of the smaller remnants of Soft Shops I + II, and donated it to SHoP's closing silent auction.  For other views, click here.

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updates POST Traveling Truck Show

Wow! I've been sooooo busy with the Traveling Truck Show project, I completely ignored my own website for 6 months. If you wanna know what I was up to in that time, check this out: http://travelingtruckshow.org/

It was a ginormous undertaking, but I learned a lot about organizing a large group of people, connecting with community leaders/groups, and navigating City of Chicago permits and whatnot.  With the help of many many friends and talented folks joining us, we pulled it off! I will share photos and videos soon.  In the meantime, we were on TV!  Take a peek:  http://190north.com/episodes/The-Great-Fire-Traveling-Truck-Show/8880226

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the Soft Shop II in NYC

Good Stuff House just returned from New York City, where we installed a souvenir version of the Soft Shop at the Verge Art Fair in Greenwich Village. We got a couple teeny web mentions on ArtInfo.com:

...Still, a conversation between two visitors couldn't help but catch my attention: "Do you ever notice that the only difference between an 'independent' or 'alternative' fair and the 'major' institutions," one asked his friend, "is that the 'independent' guys are always broke?"

For better or for worse, the man had a point. Formally, the smoothly mapped-off plains of color in acrylic paintings by Japanese artist Tsutomu Nunokawa could be confused pretty easily with oil paintings I saw by American artist Andrew Masullo at the Whitney this past March. The fort made of quilts and cushions made by Chicago's Good Stuff House (artists Kayce Bayer and Chris Lin) seemed like a riff on the late Mike Kelley, highlighted in an underwhelming homage in the Whitney. I'm just as sure that Esmerelda Kosmatopoulos's giant inflated canvas glove, titled "Palm Authority," could fit in pretty much anywhere, no matter how glitzy or drab. The point is this: This work looks like contemporary art, as good as bad as any other contemporary art, but not meaningfully alternative enough, perhaps, to feel really underground — which is what a fair like this needs to spotlight to best serve its purpose.

Although a critique of the Fair itself and the concept of "alternative," it's nice to share a sentence with a Mike Kelley reference.  Full article here.

Also, we were included in the Slideshow for "Best of Frieze Week"--alongside some very big names in art!

More photos to come.

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Cooking with Friends

Finally, we put it all together. We gave Stacey and Ryan a 4-disc set on April 28th. Just wanted to share these with all of you, too. Chris and I enjoyed spending time with you, and eating your goods! Thanks for being a part of this!
~Kayce

Barrett's Homemade Pizza + Butternut Squash Soup:

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Edra's Pineapple Upside-Down Cake:

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Jefferson's Chicken 4.5, Ginger-Maple Sweet Potatoes, + Bulgar Wheat Salad

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Diego's Sunday Breakfast: Omelette + Pancakes

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Kayce's Pasta Puttanesca + Simple Salad

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Patrick + Rebecca's Vegan Bean Tacos

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Corinne's Roasted Potatoes and Sautéed Kale

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Deborah's Homemade Apple Pie

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Kathy's Chunky Vegan Chili over Home Fries, Salad with Parisian Vinaigrette, + Chocolate Tofu Pie

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Chris's Ma Po Tofu + Stir-fried Bok Choy

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logo animation: a study

I made this as a sample for my Motion Graphics class.

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