APEX Hour at SUU

2/25/21 The Artist and the Antropocene

Episode Summary

In the weeks show, arts Cara Despain joins host Lynn Vartan to discuss her recent exhibit From Dust, about the radioactive testing and mining in the Southwest. They also discuss environmental art and the position the create artist can have as an activist.

Episode Notes

Video and other resources from this presentation can be found on the A.P.E.X. website at: https://www.suu.edu/apex/2021/02-25-despain.html 

Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] You're listening to the APEX Hour on KSUU Thunder 91.1. In this show, you get more personal time with the guests who visit Southern Utah University from all over, learning more about their stories and opinions beyond their presentations on stage. We will also give you some new music to listen to and hope to turn you on to some new sounds and new genres. You can find us here every Thursday at 3 p.m. or on the web at suu.edu/apex. But for now, welcome to this week's show here on Thunder 91.1. 


[00:00:45] OK, well, welcome in, everyone. This is so fun, we're doing another remote show today and I'm so excited because we get to talk about art and we get to talk about Southern Utah. The guest they have with me is Cara Despain coming to us from Miami. Welcome in, Cara. 


[00:01:05] Hi. Thank you.


[00:01:06] It's so great to talk to you. We had a great time to kind of get started in our conversation today, but now we can get going even more so to just kind of get a little taste of things. Tell me a little bit, just kind of a snapshot about who you are and where you come from and where you are now. 


[00:01:26] Sure. So I was born and raised in Utah, Salt Lake City, and I live in Miami now, which is a very strange transition. But I've been living here about nine years. But I do kind of split my time between the two places. And I'm an artist and I work a lot with sort of depictions of landscape video, sculpture, installation, sound. I, I kind of let the idea tell me what form it needs to take. 


[00:01:58] Well, I just want to ask you more about that. So when you, because your degree is I believe in or one of your degrees is in drawing and painting. So how did you sort of branch out into other art forms? Did they sort of come to you? Did you always know you wanted to sort of do all these different things? 


[00:02:20] You know, it's funny. I don't, I, it's good. I didn't turn out to be a painter. I don't really draw much or paint anymore. I have sort of had to learn all of the sculptural stuff along the way and video as well, and that just kind of happened naturally, I would say I sort of have a continued curiosity and I don't want to be limited to any one medium and certainly not drawing or painting. So I guess, I guess and I have had a lot of friends be very generous with me showing me how to do stuff. My partner is a filmmaker, so he shows me a lot of that sort of technical stuff and yeah, I guess I remember when I was in school, the head of the sculpture department, I took like one or two sculpture classes and he stopped me in the hallway one day and begged me to change my major. And he's like, I really feel like you belong in sculpture. Like, I would love to see you. And I was like, No, no, no. At the time, I felt like that just wasn't possible. And so I was like, no, I'm going to stay in drawing and painting. That's just like what I know. But like I wouldn't say I regret my drawing and painting degree, but I in many ways do regret not moving into sculpture at that time. 


[00:03:45] I'm sort of curious. I love hearing about people's relationship to different mediums. And I wondered if I know in particular with sculpture we'd since we just spoke about it, I wonder if you could tell me what particularly turns you on about sculpture. And maybe then we could also go to the video realm and say, like what? What do you feel you can say in those mediums that that are unique to those mediums? 


[00:04:10] Yeah. So with sculpture, I think the most exciting thing sculpturally that I am interested in is mold making. I like the ability to cast objects. That's just like extremely fun for me. I think some of that comes from me being along with my family, a fossil nerd. So I feel like I'm making these sort of anthropogenic fossils using concrete, which is sort of like a material that I think speaks to our time in the worst way possible. So it's it's interesting for me to put different materials that that fit with the concept into the sculptures. And that's like a very tactile situation a lot of times because I didn't study sculpture. I'm it's a challenge for me. So I want to make something. But then I have to figure it out. And there are plenty of times where that's really difficult and annoying. But I it's also really fun. And I've learned a lot and I just feel like in a very basic, practical way, it's good to know how to make stuff, even if it's like furniture or, you know, doing stuff that you would do in a house or an apartment or whatever. Like, I, I like to know those things anyway, and I'm a kind of hands on person, so. 


[00:05:27] And how about with the video? I mean, because that you do a lot of you do a lot and then it's like a painting in that way that then it's there. And I wonder what is unique to that particular art form for you right now. 


[00:05:41] Yeah. So it's video I, I always struggle with this feeling that film music too can touch people and kind of reach people in and hit people in a different way than art can. Obviously I believe in art and I'm committed to it, but I also feel like there's just something that gets that more people than looking at a painting or a sculpture. Not to say there's not amazing paintings or sculptures that I can stand in front of and cry, but music and film have a very special ability. And I just think that the moving image and music is something that's deeply connected to us as humans. So I like to play in that arena because of that, and I like to exploit whatever that stickiness is. So a lot of my videos are really repetitive and they're just kind of drilling in on that one thing. I do a lot of infinity loops. So like the fuzed piece that I showed earlier in our talk is just simple. It just burns all the way around the room. It uses timed projectors. So it's just like this explosion that never comes and is just over and over, like hitting that feeling of anxiety or that feeling of waiting for something. And I just like playing with the scale that you can with video without having to, you know, it's sort of like easier. You don't have to store something giant. You don't have to construct something giant. You just have to project and get it to look really good. And I like being able to play at a cinematic scale. And use that to my kind of advantage to especially with the imagery that I use, which is usually landscapes stuff for video. 


[00:07:22] Awesome. Well, so many questions. I could go so many different ways. I'm just thinking that we're sort of in the beginning of our conversation before I get into too much detail, I'd love for you to kind of if you had to give a mini artist's statement for anybody who is getting to know your art for the first time in your own words so that you know anybody listening who's like, OK, who is this person? I want to know more. If you could give us a little mini thing about what your art is right now?


[00:07:56] Yeah, I would say that I am struggling against visualizing the Anthropocene. And just to recap that term again, the Anthropocene is the sort of current geologic epoch that scientists mostly agree that we're in right now. And Anthropocene is so named because it reflects that humans have had an impact on the fossil record and the climate, so much so that it's now baked into the stone. And I think that we're at a moment where there are so many large scale systems changes that are having such terrifying consequences that we're almost like buffaloed. We're almost like unable to see them because they're so large in this weird way. It's like they hide in plain sight. 


[00:08:44] Right. 


[00:08:44] So I'm trying to again, getting back to that that idea of repetitiveness like I'm trying to just like hammer that in, like, look, look, it's here, we're visualizing it like, let me interpret it and maybe make it a little smaller or put it in a context where you're meant to examine objects or images and then we can communicate it or translate it that way. So a lot of it is Western US landscapes that are because that's where I'm from. That's kind of what I use as a starting point. But I also feel like there's a real global connection there and also, just land use and the politics of land use, especially in the western areas, has a lot to do socially with with what I work with, too. 


[00:09:33] When did that part of it come into your awareness? And I definitely want to talk about some of your early work, but I'm curious when and at what moment if there was a moment or was it more gradual when the issues of land use you really realized that was a vehicle or it became really important to you? Was was there an incident? How did that come to be? 


[00:10:01] I think that if you have spent any significant time in the western US or if you've grown up there, a lot of that language and a lot of those issues are relatively familiar to you. So when I was living there, and especially for me, my my folks are really into that stuff. I grew up with them talking about the Bureau of Land Management and how that operates and what it meant when the Mormons settled this and other people settled this. And they're really into geology. So I kind of like was steeped in that already. But what I have found is being on the East Coast or even just east of the Mississippi, I think. There's just a different understanding of what what that means, I mean, there's more public lands, for example, federally managed lands in the West than by far than in the east. And in Utah, it's, most of the land is public lands. And you get into some really sticky, really complicated stuff when you start thinking about. When you start peeling back the layers and you start going back in time, you know, there was the Homesteading Act who was displaced with that? There was the railroad. What did that mean for technology and goods and extraction eventually? What does it mean that the oil and gas companies leased public lands to extract what is all of these things? But being away from Utah, actually, I think because when I stepped further into that, because I found myself in a community that that knew and I'm not trying to say that anybody here and in the east or in Florida where I am, is ignorant or doesn't is ill informed. It's just different. It's just the difference in the region. So for a lot of folks here and a lot of my audience, they're still impressed. And in all of these landscapes, I'm trying to get them there and then undermine some of those romantic notions to get at the reality of some of the stuff I just described. So I would say I really I was toying around and playing with it. When I still lived there, but I really stepped into it and leaned into it in the last nine years. 


[00:12:08] Cool. Well, I want to make sure that we say talk about the current projects and the up and coming projects. So the one that's coming up next is going to be at the Hollywood Gallery in Miami, is that right? 


[00:12:23] The Arts and Culture Center of Hollywood, yeah. 


[00:12:25] OK, and that is going to be expanding on some of your most recent work, which is currently on display at SUMA, our Southern Utah Museum of Art. And that is the From Dust exhibit. And I wondered if you might talk about that exhibit and what is in it a little bit. I know you talked some this morning, but maybe to just give this audience a little bit of a sense of a way into that. 


[00:12:51] Sure. So for folks that are in Cedar City, you might know some of this history already. Surprisingly, you may not because and that's not so much your fault as it is the sort of education and culture that we have or have not received. And that, to me, is very interesting. So the Nevada test site is 170 miles west of where you are in Cedar City. At that test site, the government tested over a thousand nuclear weapons and radiation from those nuclear weapons affected people starting in 1951 when the testing there began. All the way up until now, basically, they stopped testing in the 90s, but they did above our testing until [1962], I believe. So that meant that that radioactive clouds were going up into the atmosphere and raining down on Cedar City and St. George and other remote areas. And my mom grew up in Cedar City and Newcastle and she was around for that testing. Thank God she didn't get any illnesses from that that we're aware of. My grandmother may or may not have had cervical cancer as a result, but she was OK. So we're very lucky. But so and I'm very grateful for that. So many people were not lucky. Developed thyroid cancers, many other types of cancer, breast cancer, and suffered the consequences of this testing that they were led to believe was safe at the time and that they were sort of encouraged to support because it was a patriotic effort to to support the country and keep us safe from communism and 170 miles east of Cedar City is the edge of the Colorado Plateau and the Navajo Nation, Monument Valley is there where all these iconic Western films were shot and there are over a thousand abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation. There's many more outside of that in southeastern Utah and Colorado and New Mexico. But I focused on the Monument Valley and Navajo Nation area to kind of peel another layer back from this sort of cultural identity stuff surrounding film and the idea of the Frontier Cowboy and all this stuff. And I found that they all sort of circulated around this area, around Cedar City and around southern Utah. And all these things were kind of related. So it felt important knowing that I was going to have a little solo project show. I felt like I couldn't look away from that. Honestly, I have a personal connection, but I felt like the people in the community, the down winders, they for decades, they were kind of unheard and unseen and in many cases gaslighted and not believed. And I imagine those were mostly white people. Imagine what happened to the indigenous communities who still are living with the consequences of contamination and remediated uranium mines. So I felt like I needed to, to put all that in there, and since my you know, I'm not an expert on any of this stuff, I'm not as well versed in nuclear activism. I try to keep up on it. But what I am an expert in is visual language. That's my career. So I wanted to use I mean, I don't like calling myself an expert. I don't want that to come out weird, but that's what I know. And that's the platform that I have available to me to drill down into these issues. So that's kind of what I wanted to do. 


[00:16:37] And then you're expanding on it for the next installation and the next exhibition, which is amazing. 


[00:16:44] Yeah, it's it's a bit of a dreary topic, but I feel like it's important. 


[00:16:52] Yeah, for sure. Well, it's already time for our first music and I have a couple different things planned and a couple that that relate specifically to Cara. But this first one is one that relates a little bit more to a student of mine. A former student of mine is in is currently a drummer in France. He was here at Southern Utah University and then in in L.A. for a little while. And now he's in a band called Calamity Jane or Calamity J. And they just released a song called "Simple and Slow." And I definitely want you to check it out so. Well, let's have a listen. You're listening to KSUU Thunder 91.1.


[00:21:20] All right, well, you're listening to the APEX Hour. I'm Lynn Vartan. That song was called "Simple and Slow" by Calamity J. And it's just a great band. Very, and they're just kind of all from all different places. And they met in Los Angeles and a former student of SUU is the drummer for that group. So shout out to them on that. We are back with Cara Despain, and we are talking about her art that centers in and around issues of land use in Southern Utah. And Cara, I wanted to talk with you more about the research involved in your, in your work, because it seems like you are doing so much, talking to people, recording their stories, getting involved in topography, maps of the landscape. And I just wonder about the research element. What is that like for you? How do you go about it? Tell us about that. 


[00:22:20] Yeah, I suppose I, I guess it stems from just not being able to help it. I, I don't do it so much anymore. But I used to write but not a lot, but some art reviews and do some different types of journalism a little bit. And I think from that I, I've always been an inquisitive person but I think. Being in the practice of interviewing other people or other artists or whoever, I really just gained a taste for it. And I also I always just kind of want to make sure I'm the person that's with the saurus and dictionary at every turn when I'm writing something just to make sure I don't have the meaning of the word wrong. Like, I just want to make sure I know what I'm talking about with with my work and that I'm just a rabbit hole person. So it is just an interest that I have. I if I'm interested in something topical, I just sort of go in and with this stuff, it's so complex and there's so much that I'm always learning. Settlement, land use, history, all of that stuff really tells us a lot about who we still are and how we're still living in different places. And I think it's easy to forget that. So I'm always interested in digging up the history. I also work site specifically a lot. So any time I and I like that because it may be an excuse to research the building or whatever or that or the place where I am. And I just kind of got used to that. So I do spend a ton of time on Google Maps, like I know I am nuts even when I'm even if it's not for a project, I just get really into it. I don't know what it is like. I know there's a lot of problems with big tech. There's a lot of weird speaking of ownership with imagery and how Google is photographed everywhere on the Earth and they've used their satellites to photograph everywhere on the Earth and like, who owns those images? And I'm kind of like leaning into the weirdness of that. And I also realize there's problems to it. But I also totally enjoy looking at it and enjoy, like seeing to the best of my ability, like what's around this place, or I can zoom in and look at what this mine looks like from space or from Google and see how that was translated using their technology. I just I go crazy. 


[00:24:58] That's so cool. Do you, do you have a, is there a moment where you feel like, you know enough about something to move forward or-


[00:25:07] Oh, that's a great question. 


[00:25:08] Do you just like, keep learning and keep learning and at some point you have to start making the art? 


[00:25:13] I think that I do sort of like fill up at least one or two cups of knowledge and then I'm able to, like, get started. A lot of times I have already been absorbing stuff kind of sideways for months or years. And then I circle back maybe to an idea like some of this uranium stuff. I've been circling around for a few years and other areas of research and it just didn't gel until I had this opportunity to show in Cedar City. But, you know, through through researching other projects or just taking in information, I already had a pretty good amount. Also growing up, knowing the term downwind or having my mom tell me things, hearing things, reading things regionally, it was there. So I guess, like. You know, I'll have like a basic feeling of like I'm going to step into this and then once I have an idea of what I want the outcome to be or the peace to be, then I do my dictionary thesaurus mode where I'm like, well, am I right about that? Or like, is this really like let me just let me just get to the bottom of this or let me double check my facts on this. That is and also traveling like I'm lucky, I love road trips, I do a lot of field work. 


[00:26:29] So also, like a lot of the traveling that I do does inform or inspire or invite me to different areas of research too. 


[00:26:38] It sounds like you have an incredible mental flexibility to be taking in all of these different kinds of information at different times. Do you, do you feel like you're constantly organizing that information or do you feel like you're compartmentalizing it? How do you, how do you store or maintain that sort of repository as it comes to you or as you're looking for it? 


[00:27:06] Oh, wow. I hope my friend is listening. She is an archivist and she has been after me to organize my research and present it better. And she would just adore this question. I, I could definitely be better at organizing it in a concrete way. It's all, it's all somewhere in my massive brain and it and it's organized for me and in my mind. So when I have like a bunch of images all over my computers desk desktop or, you know, I, I sometimes collect stuff on Instagram as highlights or in stories for different projects. To me, it all makes sense because it's here now, but I don't know that it's clear to an outsider looking at my research strategy and collection, if it's like, if it does justice to the amount of research that I have done, yeah, I've been better with some projects than others seeing the stone, the one that we talked about earlier today with the cast rocks. That was a bit more organized. But now it seems like it's a little more conducive to that because you were in specific sites recording specific altitudes and taking casts of specific entity specific rocks and things. So that makes sense. I'm just always so curious. I mean, of that mental flexibility and how that plays out in terms of organization in the artistic minds. 


[00:28:39] So I'm happy to know that. A really big question is, do you, do you ever feel like an artwork is finished? You know, I know that's a question artists get asked quite a bit, but in your, in the context of the work you're doing, at least right now, we kind of talked about how, you know, some of these that the changes in our landscape and are are ongoing. So I'm curious about works in the past if you feel like they, do you feel like a work is ever finished and has that changed? If so? 


[00:29:15] Yeah, I'm definitely a person who almost all the time I'm, it's done and that's it. And I don't look back. 


[00:29:24] Oh, wow. 


[00:29:25] Yeah. So and I think that that's why it's, I don't know, I think with something like painting, especially oil painting, you can mess with it forever because it doesn't like it doesn't it dries very slowly. You can come back and be like, no, that doesn't look quite right. The stuff I do, it's kind of like, that's it. And I and I mostly don't have an interest in going back and changing the object itself. It's more about changing the context. With that said, you know, I recently did a race that yes. Word into one of the carbon paintings. And that's an unusual move for me to make. 


[00:30:04] But that felt really good to you. 


[00:30:06] It did. I think I could be next. And I think it made the peace. I really liked it all with no text, all black, just the charcoal. But I think that it feels really powerful now, especially the longer we get since the fire happened. They're cool. 


[00:30:25] All right. Well, it's already time for another song. So this one I think I saw online. And I may be mistaken, but I was trying to see if you liked any music on Spotify. And do you like Lana Del Rey? 


[00:30:41] I do! [A] pleasure. 


[00:30:44] That's awesome. So I have "Chemtrails Over the Country Club." I thought that might be particularly appropriate. That's the song we're going to listen to now. You're listening to KSUU Thunder 91.1.


[00:35:22] OK, well, as that little drum break ends there, I'll tell you about that song, "Chemtrails Over the Country Club," Lana Del Rey. We are back in the studio, KSUU Thunder 91.1.This is Lynn Vartan. You're listening to the APEX Hour. I am in the studio with Cara Despain, [an] artist who's currently living in Miami, but splits her time between Utah and Miami. So welcome back, Cara. I want to talk to you about some of your other work that you've done. And one of the ones that I was just completely intrigued by was the piece that you have called "Sea Unseen." It just seemed so amazing to me. And it's kind of a performance art people can experience in so many different ways. Can you tell me about that piece and how it came to be? 


[00:36:15] Sure. So that was for a project called Fringe Projects. That is specifically temporary public artworks that are installed in downtown Miami. And a friend of mine here, Amanda Sanfilippo, was running that at the time. And she invited me to come up with some ideas. And I was like, I actually this is cute. So I there's these little frogs here in Miami called coqui frogs, and they make this little, like sound. I don't want to try to recreate it, but I was riding my bike and I heard one in a storm drain and the drain amplified the sound of the frogs so loud. I was like, that is beautiful. That's incredible. So I was like, I want to do some sound in a storm drain. It would be amazing. I told this to Amanda and Fringe Projects is awesome, because in Miami in general, I would say is awesome with this, like the crazier or more difficult the idea, like people just want to go for it. And so she's like, yeah, let's try it. It's going to be a pain to get permission to open the drains, but let's do it. So using the storm drains, it was another moment where I felt like I couldn't sort of escape the situation of the situation, which is that the storm drains are flooding every time there's a bad storm, because ultimately there's a few conflating factors. But sea level rise is making it so that the water table and the ocean water are sort of like competing for space. So the water has nowhere to go. 


[00:37:45] Right. 


[00:37:45] And also raising the water table and drinking water is getting salivated all this stuff. So I was like, I'm going to do this kind of allegorical, almost like a radio drama from the mid century, that style. 


[00:38:01] Yeah. 


[00:38:02] To create this, to have in the drains, and it played 24/7. And it was just this really strange thing. I had a friend of mine, Patrick, is an actor, read the part, I made him kind of like an industrialized sounding, almost like old old tourism videos. Another friend of mine, Scott Fetzer, read the part that I wrote kind of as the sea like I gave the sea a creepy character. And then Andrew Shaw, another friend of mine based in Utah who is a brilliant everything and a brilliant musician, helps me do the score. So, yeah, it was a really fun project and it was really crazy when it was playing in the Dreams downtown, we pulled it off and it was awesome. 


[00:38:46] So it played, did it play in multiple places and where and so did you have multiple kind of speakers set up in a few different drains? 


[00:38:55] There was four speakers and four drains, but they were kind of across the street from each other. They were on the the plaza of a campus, college campus, Miami-Dade College. So they you know, they were in proximity. But you definitely had the surround sound effect. 


[00:39:15] And I saw some pictures of kind of people interacting with it. That must have been really fun to experience. Like what what did people make of it? 


[00:39:26] I, you know, what I really am dying to know is the person that walked by it like 2 a.m. and heard it and was just like, what the hell, you know? And I'll never know. I'll never get to know that. But what when I witnessed people experience it, it was pretty cool. It was just sort of like very novel, very strange. But it is storytelling and storytelling is powerful. So I think that it drew people in because of that. 


[00:39:51] Were you, you actually just hit on something very interesting that I want to ask about, and that is the perception of your work or of an artist's work. And I wonder what you ultimately hope for the reception of your work to be, you know, like we were saying, I wonder what this person at 2 a.m. thought, and I'll never know how you feel. What is your relationship to that, to the perception of your work? Is it something you think about a lot or?


[00:40:29] I think I own, I think about it mostly in the way where where I'm checking myself like, oh, or are people going to see this and think that I don't know what I'm talking about or have I done due diligence? That's more where my head's up with audience stuff. I don't I mostly don't get too tripped out on whether people sort of aesthetically like or hate it, because I just assume that that people don't like stuff and they like other stuff and I've made peace with that. That's fine. I don't want to get caught being cheesy or being like trite or doing's. I certainly am supersensitive and worried. Like if I have an idea that's close to someone else's idea or vice versa, I never want it to feel. Like taking anyone's idea that I try to be sensitive about all that kind of stuff, but you know, otherwise, I kind of like let it sit. I think the most important thing for me, for audiences is I want them to like, get it, like I want them to be affected in in what I'm trying to pull out. I want them to have a visceral kind of like. Something more like a film can do. 


[00:41:47] Right, cool. Thank you for that. Well, you know, you mentioned a bit just now about ideas relating to other people. And that reminded me of something else I wanted to ask you about, which is about collaboration, and especially as it relates to one of your earlier works. I think you had a colleague from college in the 2010 Into The White Project, and I was really curious about that project, first of all. And all of the different shades of white is almost too pedestrian of a way to say it. But I was curious about the project itself and the white, but also is curious about the collaboration and what that was like and how you feel about collaboration. 


[00:42:37] Yeah, so that was awesome that one of my best friends, Mary Toscano, was the other artist that I collaborated with and she is amazing. If you don't know her work, look her up. She's in Salt Lake City, actually, Andrew Shaw's wife. And I say that only to point out the fact they're just like this creative power couple off there and they do a lot of collaborating between the two of them as well. 


[00:43:00] Cool. 


[00:43:01] So Mary and I, we met in college. Thank God that we finally found each other. And we did a show, another it kind of into the White House. Let's see, was it prior to, it was prior to that at Chayo Gallery back back in the day, and we Atum that was running Quacker that he wasn't the director at that time, but he was still involved with quacked when it was in from he invited us to to kind of continue that show in the Kristiansen cabin. And the cabin is has a cool, weird story that got moved from another location and refinished to be this art center. And so we wanted to kind of like expand on what we had done in Salt Lake, but be even more collaborative, so we each had in the gallery, we had had a series of drawings that we each did and then some kind of sculptural element elements. Mary had some laser cut birds that were really cool, like flying into a flock. I had some all white horses that were evolving that gets into a whole thing about the evolution of the modern horse in North America. So I had some sculptural elements that started to come out of the drawings and on the back wall they combined into this installation. So we thought, well, let's let's go full blown in this little cabin, but let's do all super subtle, almost invisible white on white inside. And then outside, there was those same elements. The bird's eye did a big bear sculpture kind of coming out of the cabin. It's not similar to the things I make now, but it was really fun. We almost lost our minds because what was happening was we were in there painting. We and this was early, this was 2010, so we had we had decided to live stream it for some reason. 


[00:44:56] Wow. 


[00:44:56] And people watching on the Internet, we must have looked insane because it just looked like we were in there toiling for hours on something that was totally invisible. And and we had that moment where we looked at each other and we're like, are we crazy? Like, we had this, like, crazy existential spiral down, like just like wondering what we were doing. But we made this kind of interior and we sort of made this like imaginary, somewhat creepy little narrative drawing inside the cabin. And it was all pencil. And yeah, it was different, different sort of tones, different finishes of white paint. So there was parts that were glossy, parts that were matte. And you had to look really close and be really subtle to have it be legible. And then it all just got painted over. 


[00:45:46] Wow. 


[00:45:47] Yeah, it was, it was really fun. 


[00:45:50] But you collaborate a lot. I mean, what do you feel you get from collaboration? 


[00:45:57] Um, you know, I guess as artists, like you're always kind of collaborating whether or not the finished piece is a collaboration, because if you're engaging with people that you respect creatively or intellectually and your ping ponging ideas back and forth, you know, that's like a really kind of fertile ground to be in. And sometimes, naturally, it's you are doing that. And then you have this moment where it's like, oh, let's let's make this thing together. And also sometimes like like in the case of unsign, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to create the musical elements of the score like Andrew could. So I was like, I'm going to bring in somebody that is talented, that has these skills and that I can like talk to and we'll get my vision and use his talents awesome, well said, I love it. 


[00:46:48] Well, speaking of Into The White, I have one more song for you. 


[00:46:51] Yes! 


[00:46:51] And I know you love the Pixies. 


[00:46:53] I love it!


[00:46:54] And "Into the White" by the Pixies, I think was the namesake in a way for this project. And so we're going to listen to "Into the White" by the Pixies. Here you go. You're listening to KSUU Thunder 91.1.


[00:51:43] All right, well, welcome back. So that was "Into the White" by the Pixies, specially chosen for our guest, Cara Despain, because it has to do with a project that she did back in 2010 named "Into the White." So welcome back, Cara. We have like five minutes, not even, left. And I want to ask you my favorite question that I ask everybody all the time, every week. And it's just sort of a fun question for our audience to kind of get to know you in a different way. And the question is, what's turning you on this week? And it really can be anything. It doesn't have to be related to our discussion. It can be if you want. It doesn't matter whatever you like. So, Cara Despain, what is turning you on this week? 


[00:52:30] I guess it's sort of a funny one. So, you know, as much as like the pandemic has sucked so bad, I feel like I have gotten to I've come to appreciate even more these tiny little ships and also these big ships that exist between my two locales. And, you know, when I was, I was kind of in Utah for 11 months, I kind of stayed put there as the pandemic got really bad, which is usually I'm there for four or five months. I ended up being there for 11. But like, I started to just like really be aware of when the temperature was changing or even in Utah where it's so dry. I was like, oh, it's a little more humid today. Or I hear these different birds that I didn't hear before. And it sounds like kind of corny, but I don't know, there's something nice about just like reading the environment around you. And when I since I've been back in Miami, you know, definitely appreciating the beautiful weather here. I'm sorry for you all listening in Utah, but it is amazing here in the winter and I've been really appreciating it. But even the humidity, like even when a storm has been coming in, the temperature will drop in and even you'll feel it drop like in the course of half an hour. 


[00:53:47] Wow. 


[00:53:48] You know, like 10 degrees and it's cool. And so, like, this week, it got really humid because it was rainy. And the humidity is causing some issues for me with my blaster. But I also like it's so cool to just feel the air changing around you. 


[00:54:02] Yeah. 


[00:54:02] And I don't know what that is. I guess it's just like I am glad that I haven't forgotten how to be observant or something. 


[00:54:09] I love it. I love it. Observation of barometric pressure is turning on this week. 


[00:54:16] What is where. (laughs)


[00:54:18] It's fantastic. You know, a guest recommended a book, a guest, it was last week about "The Things You Notice When You Slow Down" this book. And I haven't read it. It's, I'm getting it and I can't wait. But it sounds similar to what you're describing. You know, that if anything, we can learn to observe what's around us. So thank you for reminding us of that. Yeah, well, this has been just an absolutely great time. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your time. And I can't wait til you're here in Utah and we can hang out. So thanks for spending time with me, Cara. 


[00:54:54] Yeah. Thank you so much. 


[00:54:56] All right. Well, that's it for us for this week. 


[00:55:01] Thanks so much for listening to the APEX Hour here on KSUU Thunder 91.1. You can find us again next Thursday at 3 p.m. for more conversations with the visiting guests at Southern Utah University and new music to discover for your next playlist. And in the meantime, we would love to see you at our events on campus. To find out more, check out suu.edu/apex. Until next week, this is Lynn Vartan saying goodbye from the APEX Hour here on Thunder 91.1.