About the work
1. How would you explain your topic to someone who is unfamiliar with planning?
McCulloh: Look into a future, any future. Be sure to notice what’s not there.
Johnson: Picture in your mind what could be. But some individuals cannot draw pictures in their mind. So how can vision be defined in the simplest form so that most everyone gets it? The fantasy of the art led to the reality of the definition.
Vision: Somewhere between fantasy and reality.
McCulloh: As you picture in your mind what could be, beware—human beings have the capacity to make fantasy into reality. Examples range from democracy to Auschwitz.
Johnson: Our “Vision” could be orgasmic for a road builder or the ultimate nightmare for the “Monkey Wrench Gang.”
2. Discuss how the art piece interprets the planning concept.
McCulloh: It is the viewer who makes the work. Viewers know the piece was produced as a response to the planning concept “vision.” Therefore, the piece interprets the planning concept “vision.”
Johnson: Transport yourself into the vision to discover where it takes you.
McCulloh: It seems that another working definition of vision might be “transporter,” even, “ultimate transporter.”
Johnson: “Far away; Show-the-way; Float away; Fly away” (from: The Moment by Vargo on Buddha-bar VII)
3. What was the thinking behind the creation of the piece?
McCulloh: Dystopia and utopia blend at the edges. Planning creates as many problems as it solves. The future isn’t what it used to be. Vision may not help.
Johnson – There may be problems in one’s journey but there are options too.
McCulloh: Too many options can be one of the problems.
Johnson: One option leads to a better future: But, how many people notice? How many people believe? How many people care?
4. What do you want people to get out of your piece?
McCulloh: People can get all the meaning they like out of the piece. All types of meaning are available. (Not to exceed 64 ounces per person.)
Johnson: To think, “Is this fantasy or is it reality?”
McCulloh: Current fantasy? Future reality? For good or for ill?
Johnson: 100 years from now there will be an answer.
5. What information or idea do you want people to walk away with after viewing it?
McCulloh: People can walk away with all the information or ideas they like after viewing the piece. (Not to exceed 64 gigabytes per person.)
Johnson: “I can’t explain why, but this art resonates within me.”
McCulloh: Images are good when words are insufficient.
Johnson: Art is impactful when the images stay imbedded in one’s mind.
6. How did the collaboration affect the outcome?
McCulloh: The collaboration effectively created the outcome.
Johnson: The dialog was organic. The stream of ideas, quotes and images flowing between the artist and the planner inspired the artist to create the visual image. And the visual image inspired the definition.
McCulloh: And inspired this conversation, and future conversations. Over this hill, then the next one.
Johnson: Since the view from each hill is different, are we creative enough to capture the vision?
7. Did the planner influence the artist, and/or did the artist influence the planner?
Johnson: The process was circular.
McCulloh: Complex feedback loops.
Johnson: A continuous spiral?
8. How so?
McCulloh: Through collaborating effectively to create an affecting outcome.
Johnson: By trusting and respecting your partner.
McCulloh: Mutual trust and respect give people permission (more accurately, allows people to give themselves permission) to be pushed off center, set off on a new journey, feel comfortable arriving somewhere new.
Johnson: Where are we? Where are we going? I don’t know, but I like the ride.
9. How would the process have been different if there had only been planner/planner or artist/artist teams?
McCulloh: Same old/Same old. People hang around with their own types too much. You, the reader, for example. Get moving. Learn a trade. Try a sport. Pinch yourself awake. Hop like a frog. Trim your eyebrows. Polish your résumé. Date a fireman.
Johnson – Planner-to-planner / artist-to-artist may have created a work that takes one to the next level but not to another universe.
McCulloh: Farther is better. We’ll drop a line.
Johnson: “To the universe and beyond.”
10. What did you personally get out of the experience? New information? New perspectives?
McCulloh: 1) Good experiences are mostly about meeting interesting people, and that part worked out just fine, thank you. 2) There is, generally speaking, already too much information and too little clarity. 3) Photographers know that every slight move produces a new perspective. New perspectives are a dime a dozen, a piece of cake, water under the bridge, in the bag, the whole nine yards, the spice of life, a flash in the pan, out on a limb, down to the wire, finger lickin’ good, over the top, anyone’s call, between a rock and a hard place, and everything but the kitchen sink. The idioms have left the building.
Johnson: This was fun, thought provoking and inspiring. More importantly, this pairing established a comradeship that will lead to future planner/artist out of the box collaborations.
McCulloh: A toast to comradeship.
Johnson: Hear! Hear!—to comradeship!
(Note: Questions are as provided by the project organizers.)