Sunday, May 31, 2020

T minus 14 days....


I'm not getting my heart set on being the team selected as artists in residence in the Dry Tortugas for 2020, but I do care about it.  We worked hard for over a year.  Coming up with a plan and then implementing the plan.  I'm really proud of our podcast and the trailer or promo we made for the documentary film we will make on the during our stay on Loggerhead Key.  The time between submitting the application and the announcements is a reflective one especially when its a short time between upload and announcements.  Covid19 forced the deadline for submissions to be extended several times, but in fairness to the winners who go to Loggerhead Key in September they can't push off the announcement much so its a perfect storm.  I don't know how other artists deal with the time.  Shannon and I go into a daydreamer mode.  We talk about what supplies we will need.  not the final list more spitballing as we are limited in how much we can bring and we need to plan to bring food for a month!  We talk a lot about what we think the days on the island will be like.   I have done a bit of research about when the new moon falls ( September 17th) because the best Milkyway photographs will be possible from the 15th to the 19th.  We had a bit of panic this week when the video we sent up as part of the submission had gotten corrupted in upload.  Problem solved and it all in the hands of the judges now.  In the process of looking for the video to confirm it was ok here and could go back up I looked at our submission folder from last year.  Yes we applied and were not accepted last year.  Which turned out to be a good thing in so many ways and set us up to be really and truly prepared with a vision for this year. Anyway, while I was looking through the 2019 folder I found a press release we wrote a month before the winning team was announced.  I can't believe we were that cocky and confident since last year we applied at the last minute.  

Win lose or draw this year, this very strange year of 2020 with so many things going on and not at the same time, I am not really concerned anymore about 'winning or losing'.  The idea that it is the journey and not the destination is so true.  I have enjoyed every minute of recording interviews, filming, editing the trailer and putting together the application with my fellow Tortuga Brother Shannon.  I'm ok with whatever happens.  I'm thrilled with my artistic growth this year.  That said it would be great to see this thing all the way through to its logical conclusion and be on Loggerhead Key for all of September.

Carl Stoveland
for the Flying Tortuga Brothers

Thursday, May 28, 2020

a shift of thought for today

 Sunset in the Keys

Today I have some more thoughts as the days pass before the 2020 AiRs for Dry Tortugas National Park are announced on 6/15.  Today I'm not thinking about Shannon and I and what we would do as AiRs.  I am thinking about who the other applicants are?  I have no way of knowing really.  We were the 11th team to apply when we started the application in March.  Last year we were number 61.  Who are the other applicants?  What are they planning to do on the island?  What mediums do they work.  Are they dreaming of a month on the island like we are.  I imagine at least this year they are with so much shut down and people social distancing there is so much time to get in your head.  I have a running movie in my head of what the days will be like.  We have been planning for over a year so it's natural that I'm thinking about the days.  Are the other teams?  maybe they applied six months ago and have not thought about it since.  What are the team makeups?  Are they couples, or artist pairs?  Is one an artist and the other company?  so many permutations... Whoever they are I hope they are having fun dreaming of sunsets like this one taken in Islamorada or sunrise on the other side of the island like I am and I know Shannon is!

17 more days until announcement day!

Tomorrow I'll share my thoughts on how I think days will go and what we will get done on the island if chosen.

Loggerhead 2020 or Bust
Carl Stoveland
for the Flying Tortuga Brothers

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Some Thoughts after the application has been uploaded

Hi everyone-

Well here we are the FTB application for Dry Tortugas was submitted and we are in what Shannon and I call the radio black out period of residency applications.  It lasts from the moment you lock and submit your application right up through announcements, which are 18 days 13 hours 38 minutes and 35 seconds from now as I write this.  We feel really good about the application package we sent up it shows our diverse talents and the year of effort we put into being selected and becoming the AiRs for 2020.  Combined we are 3 for 3 in our 2020 residency applications.  This one is special though it's the golden ticket the one we really hope we get.

Why is the waiting harder this year?  Well... the Pandemic and self quarantining have a lot to do with it.  Time has slowed way done for both of us.  In some ways it's been good for us.  Plenty of time to paint and pursue new directions.  I think each of our art has grown during the last three months.  On the other hand I hear each tick of the clock every day.  Time is moving so slowly.  My other residencies are in a wait and see mode depending on when different places open up.

I have had a lot of time to ponder as well and one of our themes for Dry Tortugas is going to be the effects of isolation on artists who use social media as part of their work.  This has been practice for us in that we both have spent long periods cut off from other people and social interaction, but on the other hand social media and zoom have been a bit of a lifeline with friends.  So from that angle we are really interested in seeing what a month with no internet, no Instagram or Facebook or Google for videos on how to do and fix stuff will be like.  If we get the residency our google will be the daily radio check in with the national park service at Fort Jefferson.  We both look forward to finding out what that will be like and the artwork that will blossom from it.  In the meantime we 18 days until announcements.  Time for us to dust off my spreadsheet we made last year of what to bring and what things we need will cost.  It is kinda like the week before Christmas dreaming of the big day,  But this is more like a Willy Wonka Christmas with just one golden ticket.  Will this be the year for the Flying Tortuga Brothers?  We sure hope so,

Carl Stoveland

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Dry Tortugas Residency application uploaded!

It is a very funny feeling to have the application uploaded after the submission date being pushed back several times.  If it had stayed the original date we were ready to submit.  all of the moving parts like the video, the podcast, Shannon's Poem and the artwork were all ready to go and just needed a deadline for me to name all the files correctly and send the documents up.  The current deadline is 5/21.  We sent up on 5/17.  I don't think it can be pushed out any further since the residency is in September and once somebody is selected in June that does not leave a lot of time to for the winning team to prepare for the adventure.

We are now in that gap time between when you hit submit on the application files and when the announcement is made on 6/15.  Nothing to be done but wait.  That's not an easy task as in reality Shannon and I have been talking about and working on the project for 15 months.  All the work, the podcast, filming video footage and planning come down to a thumbs up or a thumb down on the application.  I love the very idea of being on an island for a month to create with no internet.  We as a team are well suited to the idea and will hopefully get the chance to create a lot of great work.  It kind of reminds me of those memes you see on facebook.  Stay in this old house with no phone or internet for a month and win a million dollars.... Could you do it?  In this case there is no million dollars on the line and we are still like Hell Yeah!  where do we sign up?

So, daydreaming a little I'm going to fast forward to 6/16 and pretend we get accepted for the residency.  What would happen next.  Well, after the champagne to celebrate.  It would be onto the starting two new project plans as the first one was all about the application and laying the groundwork for the project over more than a year.  We'd build two plans.  First up would be everything that needs to be done before we go like meeting with the NPS, orientation about Loggerhead Key and the particulars of getting us and our stuff there.  Planning supplies and shopping lists, securing a satellite phone, figuring out how much money we'd need beyond the supplied stipend and doing some fundraising.  the second plan would be life on the island what we need to do for the movie and what daily life would look like as well as the year following the residency when the project would be due to be produced and shows be put on.  It's all exciting things to think about, but like I said at the beginning this is daydreaming stuff until we find out.  What I do know is there can't be a team that put as much thought or care into showing they want this residency and would do a great job.  We have been actively working on this since the day the 2019 winners were announced.

I have a feeling I'll be posting here often as the announcement day draws near.  If we are selected I want a record of my thoughts during this void period.  In the meantime I'll keep doing what I have been doing painting everyday.

Loggerhead 2020 or bust!

Carl Stoveland
The Flying Tortuga Brothers