Bay Area Now 8 Interviews

Carrie Hott

Q: I've been asking everyone kind of a variation of this to start -> You are in the upcoming edition of Bay Area Now at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Have you been to many Whitney Biennials or Bay Area Nows etc. before? What is your experience of these types of overview exhibitions? 

A: Yes, I have been to both. I appreciate seeing so much work at once, although, sure, it can be hit and miss. I can't say that I have an overall impression one way or another of any that I remember, but I always remember specific artists' work or projects that I love. Sometimes these surveys can feel like a bunch of solo shows at once, which is maybe why my memory of these shows is really just specific to artists and their projects. 

Q: Your practice is heavily research-based and exhibition-based. By the latter I mean it commonly involves a pretty fully thought out installation and planning, versus being single pieces in a group show. I imagine you'll in this show go somewhat big, but how do you imagine your practice working in this kind of non-thematic group show?

A: I've approached this in a similar way – thinking about the space and how people will encounter the work, and then tying that context into what I'm currently invested in in my practice to make a new project. Yes, I'm working on an installation, but I think this one is pretty contained. I guess group shows become another variable to consider, just like location and the environment, if I'm able to make new work. 

Q: What media outside of art are currently informing your practice? Are certain movies, books, television etc. in some way connected with what you are thinking about?

A: I've been doing a lot of "experiential research" lately that has been useful to thinking more about what I'm reading – this for me means visiting power plants or internet utility sites or whale watching, or maybe going to a dollhouse store or emergency preparedness store. The two books I just read are Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things by Jane Bennett and Blackout: On Memory and Catastrophe by Joan Grossman. 

Q: I worked with you what seems like very long time ago (2011, a one-weekend show with Mik Gaspay and Chris Rochelle) and in the time since then you’ve constantly added to your repertoire of subjects and materials while maintaining something particularly you about the work. I suppose that’s not much of a question, more of a complement J

A: Thank you- that’s a nice observation. I loved that show at MacArthur b Arthur.

Q: As someone that seems comfortable both in a gallery and institutional setting, do you think about how your work will be activated by the difference in those audiences?

A: I do think about audience in that I think about how the work will potentially be experienced and in what kind of environment and location, what narratives might emerge – and that's in any setting, imagining a general public as much as I'm able to do so. I think my work has been in institutional and non-conventional settings more than galleries so my thinking has been driven more by that context – which has in turn really shaped my practice. 

Q: Maybe we first met when you were co-running Royal Nonesuch… there’s something curatorial in your practice albeit more so research filtered through your particular type of making, but do you think about doing any more curation?

A: I haven’t thought a lot about curating a space regularly again, although I do enjoy that work. I just have not had time or bandwidth. But I think curating does continue to happen in my work, like you said- whether its organizing found objects, research, or in teaching. I do have ambitions to someday start up a long term project again... I think this organizing/ collaborative drive is a constant part of my practice and will continue to evolve, hopefully.

(Images are from Hott's recent research)

aaron harbour