Ryder Richards & Sue Anne Rische
CC: How has covid19 and the quarantine impacted your artistic practice both conceptually and technically?
SAR: Mid-March I saw the writing on the wall and decided to move a good chunk of my studio to my home, where it’s now located in the dining room. I have access to all of the things I did before for the most part. The problem is that in a home studio, it can be hard to stay focused with all the chores that need attention, teaching online classes, the refrigerator, the video game console…
Conceptually, the current recommendation to wear masks in public suits my typical subject matter, privacy, quite well. I’m making masks from recycled t-shirts and giving them to friends and family. The Olson mask is my favorite choice after I tried a few prototypes. I’ve been reading every article I find about masks to stay current on the best materials and safety practices. I’m using my vinyl cutter to cut heat transfer vinyl which allows me to add a subversive touch to the fabric before they are sewn. I hope that masks become part of the new norm so that we can protect ourselves from facial recognition biometrics.
RR: Technically, the biggest difference is trying to order supplies and tools online, rather than picking them up at a store. This requires new protocols of dressing like an apocalypse nurse with mismatched work gloves, a shower cap, and old underwear as a respirator to open the packages that arrive, then disinfect everything, and finally have a small bonfire built from the enormous amount of packing materials needed to send me a drill bit.
I have been making DIY-based work for a few years, so this current crisis feeds into the mentality of “what can you do as an innovative amateur to empower yourself.” I am working on a functional ventilator made from buckets and car parts, and a collapsible distancing rod powered by a drill gun. You know, the same things any 13-year old boy would be doing.
CC: With all the museums and galleries closed, what innovative ways have you found in order to stay connected to art and artists?
SAR: As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve fallen for a piece of social media: Instagram. I follow many museums and artists there and feel like it gives me the opportunity to interact. Through Instagram I was also invited to participate in a zoom panel of dancers where the subject matter focused on how to infuse dancing with the other arts.