In 2018 the Sunset Bubbles Project was given the Arts Dean’s Award for “outstanding achievement in art” by University of California, Santa Cruz Arts Dean Susan Solt.
Since 2015 the project has involved the facilitation of bubble-making events for up to 300 people at one time—providing bubble juice, buckets, and 3-foot-long tri-cord wands. The project was supported through grants from the UCSC Art Department, Santa Cruz Museum of Art History, UCSC Porter College, and the Santa Cruz County Regional Burning Man unSCruz.
Special thanks for their support of this project goes to:
Marcy Ramirez, James Blaine, Sean Keilen, Emily Hope Dobkin, Jennifer Parker, Anne Della Corte, Brian Lawrence, Katie Perry, Beth Stephens, and the Circle K Club.
What began with the desire to contemporize the medieval notion of the vanity of earthly life, developed into a notion of play as a method of bypassing conscious thought processes to access free associations. In a series of thirteen 1.5-hour public events, 60 to 260 people were engaged at one time in the making of gigantic soap bubbles—held at University of California’s Porter College, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art History, and the Santa Cruz County Regional Burning Man unSCruz.
Most events were timed to end at sunset, when there was both enough sunlight remaining for participants to be sure footed, yet dark enough to facilitate the viewing of intensified light refractions. A number of image artists were compelled on their own volition to document and share the results with me, including: Carolyn Lagattuta, Stephen Louis Marino, Zhill Olonan, Shubham Modi, Lia Pierce, Bridget Lyons, and others. The artists who gave their time and skill, recognized that through their medium could be captured the ephemerality present at each event. The outward appearance of the inner experience of participants is evinced through their documentation. If not for their effort, only memory would remain.
Look closely at the body language and faces of participants and observe the varying embodiments of play and untethered consciousness. C.W. Thomson observed you could spend a lifetime studying a soap bubble. I posit that you can spend a commensurate time observing the people who make them.
A public action injecting bubbles into daily live of visitors to West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, CA.
photo credit: Nikko