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Transformers: Nick Cave at the 2010 CAA Conference

Ever since I first saw one of Nick Cave‘s Soundsuits, I’ve been fascinated with them. Then I got the opportunity to see one in person at the Rubell Family Collection Museum in Miami this past summer. So, imagine my excitement to discover that he would be presenting his work during the Transformers panel with Sabrina Raaf and Jason Salavon.

Cave later went on to elaborate on his video installations and one of his latest projects, “Bunny Boy”. Bunny Boy is a pink, yellow or blue bunny who is “out and about, moving through the city and hitchhiking.” His intention for Bunny Boy is to have him in different places around the city. The piece happens once the interaction with the person picking him up begins. Would you pick up Bunny Boy?

I entered the session as Cave was describing his “Tondos“, which are large, circular, 6 to 18 feet in diameter pieces. He described them as constellations, sequined and beaded works. They are the “world in which the Soundsuits exist.”

Lately, he has spent his time doing performance labs where he works with the community, institutions and people to create pieces that combine many elements. They combine sound, video, his sound suits, music, poetry, and choreographed dance. In the video he showed of one of these performances, the hair on the sound suits pulsed to the beat of the music and the rhythm of the dancers, creating a great visual experience. He said, “I’m not quite where I need to be [with this project], but its headed in the right direction.”

My fascination with Nick Cave isn’t simply in the amazing art and art spaces he creates or his interdisciplinary performances. It is how his work is elevated and solidified with his life’s goal, which is to “provide a tool to bring people together.” That is what Nick Cave does, and what I think a primary function of art should be.

This interview is also published on the Columbia College Chicago CAA Conference Blog.