Give & Take (June-July 2010)

Indianapolis Island was installed on the IMA’s thirty-five acre lake located in the newly opened The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park: 100 Acres in November of 2009. During the island’s inaugural summer, Herron School of Art and Design students Jessica Dunn and Michael Runge were selected to act as island residents. Dunn and Runge designed and constructed the interior of Indianapolis Island while developing the conceptual basis for their project Give and Take. Their project combined individual experiences of living and working on the island with community interaction and transparency of their daily activities. As residents, Dunn and Runge provided 100 Acres visitors with the opportunity to tour their living space and ask questions via receptacles for floating messages. Additionally, visitors to the island were encouraged to bring an object to the artists, to be traded for another item either owned or crafted by Dunn or Runge.

Project Description by the Artists

Our aim is to embrace the “give and take” nature of this collaboration with Andrea Zittel and to reflect the concepts of adaptation and evolution in our actions.

We will invite small groups to visit us on the island, encounter our living spaces and learn about our life. When we raise a green flag on the island, guests may ring a bell on the shore to signal their desire for a tour. We will pick them up in our row boat and give a tour highlighting the efficient living space we have designed, including dual-purpose modular furniture, floating self-sustained gardens, and a bicycle generator. Guests may bring us an object or material of any sort and we will let them choose from an ever-changing collection of sculptures and drawings.

Besides island tours and artist talks, we welcome communication with visitors to 100 Acres. We will create message-writing centers for visitors to author their own anonymous messages, which they will release in floating containers aesthetically reminiscent of the island. We will collect these messages and post them on our blog accessible to anyone with the Internet. Also on our blog, we will record daily discoveries and challenges, updates about the fabrication process, and trade logs.

About the Artists

Jessica Dunn attends the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, IN and will graduate with a BFA in Sculpture and Painting in May 2011. She finds inspiration from many sciences including anatomy, physiology, and biology as well as psychology. Most of her works include an interactive element whether it involves performance, implied interaction, or direct interaction with the viewer. Dunn has participated in the IMA’s On Procession art parade event by Fritz Haeg, with a performance piece called Fig Leaves. She has also participated in Masterpiece in a Day and won Best of Show in 2009 for her interactive sculpture, _O_ N _ _ A _ N SQUARE. Dunn’s work has also been shown in the Herron Student Show at the Eleanor Prest Reese and The Robert B. Berkshire Gallery as well as the Big Car Gallery and Gnosis. In addition, she has performed at events including Visionary: The Herron Experience and Performative. Dunn embraces her curiosity in life and treats her art as a continuous interactive experiment.

Michael Runge is the founder of Know No Stranger (KNS), a community building artist collective set on engaging the citizens and bringing creative projects to their city. He has curated and coordinated many of their projects including but not limited to, Optical Popsicle '09, KNS at the Mall, and The Middle Drawer. Michael will graduate in May with an Art Education Bachelors Degree from the Herron School of Art and Design. He has spent time living in Chicago and St. Louis but returned to Indianapolis to be closer to his family.

Michael is also a small-scale urban farmer. He raises chickens, bees, and has a seasonal vegetable garden. The produce of these activities is shared with his neighbors and friends.

Visit the 2010 Give & Take blog.