The Travelers

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The Travelers is a multi-channel video installation describing the experience of several nurses, social workers, home health aides, and chaplains working in hospice care, examining the labor they perform in the intersection between the reverent and the banal.

The end of life is a well-tread territory in documentary film, but the labor of the hospice workers that ease the dying process is largely undocumented. For the families they help, the experience is intense, terrifying, and devastating. For the workers, it can be all of these things, but is also a job. They walk a delicate line between being stewards of a profound transition and laborers like any other, managing a daily list of tasks, their work often unnoticed in a haze of grief.  This duality is represented in the installation itself, through two separate sets of images which are present in a single room, but which cannot be seen simultaneously.

As in my previous works Scaredycat and The Pull, an unfolding narrative will be composed of interwoven anecdotes, supported by a stylized representation of the subjects’ experiences. Each scene will be represented in two views, presented synchronously. In the first view, narrative vignettes will represent the experience ofpeople dealing with a dying family member.  These will be projected onto two walls of a room, outlined in beams to suggest a view into the cross section of a home.

In the middle of this room, a partial wall will obscure an empty hospital bed.  Only by walking to this far corner and looking at the reverse of the partial wall will the viewer be able to view a second set of images; extreme close-ups representing the daily labors of the hospice worker: the mundane and necessary tasks that fill the day, and the invisibility of which allows for the profoundness of the experience of death to be fully appreciated. 

The final element of the installation will be audio interviews with the hospice workers themselves, made available to viewers through wireless headphones. These stories—covering a broad spectrum of perspectives on the work, from the sacred to the irreverent—will add an additional context and meaning to the visual experience of the installation.  In this way, the Hospice workers will function in the piece as they function in their jobs; as able guides through a challenging landscape. 

Funding from USA Projects will be used to pay the technical crew and rental fees for camera, sound and lighting equipment to shoot the constructed elements of the project, and to pay a technical consultant to aid with final design and installation.  Any funds earned beyond our minimum goal will be applied toward the goal of bringing the project to additional audiences, especially underserved or remote audiences with limited exposure to video art.

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    • May 13, 2012

      Susan A.

      Community Member

      Portland, OR

      Hi I'm a hospice respite volunteer. would be glad to chat about the experience. I truly hope you will include some imagery that relates to the compassion and empathy that are truly vital to this work. Listening is my most important job.
      • May 13, 2012

        Susan A.

        Community Member

        Portland, OR

        my email is sgoldfield@aol.com and best of luck on your project!
    • May 09, 2012

      Jeffrey Krieger

      Artist

      East Hartford, CT

      Very interesting!!!
$100
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Donate as little as $1, or get exclusive perks for your support...

$25
Gracious thank you card featuring image from the project, as well as acknowledgement on our twitter feed and facebook page.
$40
DVD of The Travelers, edited specifically for home viewing, and containing additional interviews not included in installation, in addition to all gifts above.
$50
Signed DVD copy of "Fifteenth and Taylor", a collection of award-winning short films by Andy Blubaugh, including Scaredycat, The Pull, and five others, in addition to all gifs above.
$75
Signed DVD copy of "The Adults In The Room," the debut feature film by Andy Blubaugh, winner of "Best Narrative Feature" in the 37th Northwest Film & Video Festival, in addition to all gifts above.
$100
Signed, numbered, and framed prints of image from installation, in addition to all gifts above. Bidders will have the opportunity to choose from several available images for their perk.
$250
Signed and numbered companion art book featuring images from the installation and additional writing exploring the transition of death, in addition to all gifts above.
$500
License to install the piece in the exhibition space of your choice, in addition to all gifts above. Video and audio content will be provided, as well as installation consultation and guidance Additional materials are the responsibility of the pledger.
$1,000
Installation of the piece in the exhibition space of your choice, accompanied by lecture or workshop by the artist. Audio and video content will be provided. Travel, lodging, and exhibition space are the responsibility of the pledger.
Experimental documentary filmmaker, in Portland, Oregon specializing in connecting the personal to the universal.
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