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Anybody Know Anything About Getting Sponsorships For Large Scale Art Installations | by Thomas Hawk
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Anybody Know Anything About Getting Sponsorships For Large Scale Art Installations

So I've never shown my work in any sort of art show. I get asked by people to be in shows or am I doing shows, or stuff like that alot. I always sort of just say I'm not really ready to start doing shows or books or all that yet. I've only ever sold a couple of prints and those were only for charity auctions.


The truth of the matter is that in my own mind, how I visualize showing my work is really complicated. What I've wanted to do for a while is to build a large scale installation involving various simultaneous plasma or LCD screens doing slide shows of my photographs of neon signs.


I've probably got about 9,000 photographs of neon signs now from all over America and I envision a huge wall (the bigger the better) of flat panel screens, one after the other making a square or rectangle larger display. Each display would be the same size (40 inches or larger) and each would rotate through these 9,000 photos of neon signs at random. The result would be a fast moving chaotic installation centering on neon imagery.


I've never pursued this because it seems to me it would be enormously expensive to purchase or rent large numbers of plasma screens and the computers needed to run the slide shows. I figure each plasma would need it's own computer or I'd need to hire someone to write a program that could use one computer linked to many displays to rotate the slideshows.


Anyways. While in Miami this week I had the good fortune of getting to meet Jim Winters of Bulldog neon. Jim is a hell of a nice guy and made me feel really at home. He showed me some amazing old signs that are in in his live/work loft (including the old animated dog racing sign from the Biscayne racetrack and a huge RAYCO sign). He also took a group of us out on his bus all over Miami showing us great signs and other Miami sites (he has an old special ed school bus that he uses for tours). Jim's also a great photographer and keeps his photoblog here.


To make a long story short, Jim is involved in the arts community down in Miami and has access to some indoor/outdoor space to possibly show work this coming December during Miami's Art Basel. This is one of the most prestigious art shows in the world. Jim contacted me about maybe doing something together. He could do some cool neon signs. I could do my plasma display idea, etc. He's got access to some very visible great space down there.


So I'm looking to get my hands on a bunch of plasma displays and computers that I could borrow for one week during art basel. I don't need to own them or anything, just use them for a week down in Miami to build this display to show down there.


I'm thinking I'd need a minimum of 12 screens and 12 computers, but really the more the better. 24 would be even better. I could certainly promote a corporate sponsor associated with financing this showing. It would be an amazing display and combined with Jim's real neon signs could be an amazingly vibrant and well visited installation during this huge arts event.


I've never done anything like this before so I thought I'd blog about it and see if someone at some company, or someone who knew some company might be interested in underwriting an installation like this. Hopefully it would be the first of many large scale plasma photographic displays showin in the future. Maybe nothing will come of this, but I thought I'd throw it out there on the blog and see if anyone had any suggestions or advice.

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Taken on March 23, 2010