As part of our activities this year, TEDxSalem has launched an Artist in Residence program. The Artist in Residence (AIR) will help set the tone for our event, communicate the event theme and convey an ‘idea worth spreading.’
As you can imagine, it’s a mighty large undertaking both the selection of an artist to take charge of the role and for an artist to create a work of art that will impact a space, express a feeling and convey a message while being suitable for photography and videography.
It’s a tall order, but also a unique opportunity.
We received a number of wonderful applications, but there was one that stood out among the rest, one that made an unforgettable impact. It stirred a response both mental and emotional. It showed innovation and intuition.
Meet Brianna Miller, our inaugural Artist In Residence for TEDxSalem.
A Salem-born Keizer resident, Brianna was drawn to art in her youth, doodling, crafting and creating. While attending McNary High School, her ultimate goal was to land a job with Wieden+Kennedy, a Portland advertising agency best known for its work for Nike and Travel Oregon.
She is a recent graduate of the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where while studying design and dabbling in illustration, an interest in installation art grew. During the creation of her thesis, she developed a fascination with color theory, experiential design and synesthesia.
Her final project was an interactive installation called “The Magical Chromachines.” It consisted of three moving light sculptures, her take on “The Dream Machine” by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs, which were each accompanied by a mixed tape of hand-selected songs that represented or inspired memories from her past. It was an exploration of the interconnectivity of color, music and memory that could be experienced collaboratively or with individual interaction.
At the urging of a friend, Brianna applied to be the TEDxSalem AIR. Although a longtime fan of TED, since she only moved back to Salem in November 2014, she was not familiar with our local event but when she read our post about the development of this year’s theme, co-curator Brian Hart’s words stuck with her.
“Fearless as a theme resonates with me,” Brianna said. “I like to explore topics of philosophy. Why do we have fear? What is fear? Is it possible to be completely fearless? How do you become fearless?”
For the TEDxSalem stage she is leaning towards a light installation, but has a number of ideas in mind. Essentially, she wants to create an immersive, sensory experience with her installation.
The AIR program is a unique opportunity for an artist. Brianna is exploring her work, ideas and creativity to fashion a stage display that will intrigue and inspire. She will also present a TEDx talk about her art.
After the event, TEDxSalem hopes to secure a public location to display her installation so the whole community may enjoy and experience it as well.