ABOUT THE PROJECT
Conference of Longitudes is a series of drawings by three artists separated by thousands of miles and multiple time zones. The project seeks to promote a mutual exchange of ideas and cross-cultural understanding through the medium of drawing.
While conducting an exchange of ideas can be challenging during the best of times, the artists collectively decided to use the challenges of life during the time of COVID-19 to collaborate on a project intended to illustrate what a unified global conversation can look like even when individuals are separated by space, time, or self-imposed isolation.
Conference of Longitudes is less about individual drawings by individual artists and more about what can be envisioned and accomplished through a collaborative process in which the individuals must come together, while remaining separated, and adapt to each other’s individual artistic practices.
Conference of Longitudes began just as the COVID-19 virus attained pandemic status. Due to the variability and unknowability of the times, the artists were unable to meet in person. Instead, each would make drawings that capture their rich experiences and upload them to a shared folder online. The artists would subsequently print each other’s work, respond to them with a new drawing, and reupload as a way to communicate with each other without the constraints imposed by space and time.
Because of the process by which the separate drawings were created, the artists intend for the series to be viewed in sequence. As the viewer moves from one drawing to the next, they will notice a story that begins to unfold in the transitions. Developed over a year in real time through video conference calls, emails, digital messages, and drawings, the story unfolds as the individual creations intertwine, entangle, and mesh with each other to create a common visual language.
THE STORY IS IN THE TRANSITIONS - SASKIA KRAFFT
STILL TO MOTION
Here the drawings come to life through paper cutouts, a shadow box, light, and motion.
Conference of Longitudes is a collaboration between a group of three artists, Priscilla Suarez Aleman, Saskia Krafft, and Ruhee Maknojia. The artists met at Columbia University as graduate students and built a lasting friendship through their mutual fondness for art, knowledge, and intellectualism.
Wanting to remain connected after parting ways following graduation, the artists started making drawings and sharing it as a method to remain invested in each other's individual art practices beyond their mutual institutional walls. While the project began as a light-hearted exchange, it quickly grew to represent a unique and unexpected period of history.
Meet The Artists
In Aleman’s art practice she researches the correlation between the natural environment and the formation of communities. Aleman’s training as an archaeological technician influences her methodology for creating sculpture installations, enabling her to conduct an intimate investigation of history, nature and culture, and its relationship to a region.
Saskia Krafft's drawings and sculptures are inspired by experiences with nature, adventures while traveling, and the sensation of being in motion. She grew up in Germany and was raised traveling along the Atlantic Coast of France in a VW bus. Saskia creates a subjective portrait of a place in order to address questions surrounding human's impact on ecosystems today.
Inspired by her South Asian- American background. Ruhee Maknojia's work and research echo the philosophy and traditional aesthetics of the Mughal Gardens. Her art seeks to carve out illumination and peace in the milieu of violence and chaos by questioning what it means to open the gates between the internal space of serenity and an external world of disorder.
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