Susanne Cockrell and Ted Purves work collaboratively to create social art projects that investigate the overlay of urban and rural systems upon the lives of specific communities. Their projects ask questions about the nature of people and place as seen through social economy, history and local ecology. Their two and a half year project (2004-2007), Temescal Amity Works facilitated and documented the exchange of backyard produce, conversation, and collective biography within the Temescal Neighborhood of Oakland, CA. In the fall of 2006, Amity Works created Sonoma County Preserve as an original project for the exhibition Hybrid Fields at the Sonoma County Museum. Sonoma County Preserve was an exhibition and installation of a wide variety of home-preserved foods made by residents of Sonoma county who had grown, foraged or hunted and had preserved for future use. In their current project, Green Language: Rural Logic and Urban Practice, they are traveling to research and visit artist projects in Arctic Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and Rumania creating a collective network, research platform, and publication series. They have received a Creative Work Fund grant from the Elise and Walter Haas Foundation, a Visual Arts grant from the Creative Capital Foundation, and support from the Oakland Office of Cultural Affairs and California College of the Arts.
project involves re-valuing the worth of personal items through
conversation and exchange. To begin the project, we chose 4 items
from our lives that held a certain amount of personal value and
"art" value. After we choose these items, we initiated
a conversation with our son Oliver about what they might be worth
within his own system of value, relating their worth to things that
he already has or things that he desires.
Bird House by British artist Peter Liversidge,
no..34 point d'ironie, Michel Foucault,
#4: ceramic work exploring use and function by