Fax2theFuture Dream Machine installed

Visiting artist Genevieve Rae Busby explains to seniors Sarah Mahnfke-Baum and Erika Wong how to hang up paintings for the Syufy Theatre Fax2theFuture Dream Machine Installation. Rae used the dreams of Convent Elementary second graders for the project.

Gabriella Vulakh, Senior Reporter

Artist Genevieve Rae Busby, installed the Fax2theFuture Dream Machine this morning with the help of juniors and seniors called “dream apprentices” outside Syufy Theatre.

The art installation, part of the Convent & Stuart Hall Visiting Artist Program, involved a multi-step process beginning with the collection of Convent Elementary second graders’ dreams and culminating in circular paintings of the sky with the dreams inscribed on the paintings.

“We acted as the installation team,” senior Sarah Mahnke-Baum said. “We assisted the artist and helped with curation because we know the space really well. Prior to this project we talked about composition and enhancing space in our art classes, which really helped with this installation.”

“We can all take someone’s dream and turn it into a painting.”

The project was inspired by the 2016 elections and the lack of unity and common goals in America, according to Busby. She said her intention with the Dream Machine is to capture people’s hopes, whether they be for America or other aspects of their lives, and through her art make them into a reality.

“This project involves depicting people’s hopes and aspirations for the future,” Busby said. “As an artist, I function as a machine by following a set series of commands. Once I have executed those commands, ideally I have helped incrementally change whether or not these dreams will actually manifest themselves in the future.”

Busby was first introduced to the Visiting Artist Program through Visual Arts Department Chair Rachel McIntire. With the help of Library Department Chair Amanda Walker, they worked with the second grade class and discussed how experiences are mediated through different types of machines. They specifically focused on fax machines, the inspiration for the “Dream Machine”, and how messages such as dreams are transmitted.

“We thought it would be a great idea to work with our young readers and writers and see how they are expressing their dreams,” McIntire said. “Each student was invited to share a dream they have for the future, and then after the process was over, get back their dreams in these very abstract and beautiful paintings.”

After the dreams were collected, Busby and the “dream apprentices” followed a strict series of commands to process the dreams. These procedures included reading the dream, saying the dream out loud under the sky three times, writing the dream three times, meditating on the dream and finally painting the sky in an 11 cm diameter circle and once more writing the dream below the painting.

“The standard operating procedure that I use is just like any worker in a factory or any machine would have,” Busby said. “Each of these paintings, in theory, serves as vessels for the dreams.”

Other art students, such as junior Abby Anderson also created art projects inspired by Busby’s Dream Machine.

“As a side project, I took dreams of my peers and interpreted them through my art,” Anderson said. “Before beginning, I would get into a meditative state by listening to music — the same song on replay — and completely get into the zone of the art.”

The installation helped to inspire students with their art while also uniting the Convent & Stuart Hall community, according to McIntire.

There will be a reception tomorrow showcasing the different machines and objects Busby uses during her art process.

“It really is a powerful thing to make art together, whether it be the second graders or 11th and 12th graders,” McIntire said. “I would love for students, faculty and other community members to continue this project. We can all take someone’s dream and turn it into a painting and that would be lovely.”

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