Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer spent their Social Studies residency at the ASU Art Museum searching for miracles. The artists explored the miraculous through conversations with students, faculty, school children and community members. They approached…
Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer spent their Social Studies residency at the ASU Art Museum searching for miracles. The artists explored the miraculous through conversations with students, faculty, school children and community members. They approached the subject matter as "curious amateurs," and their interviews explore the history of the word "miracle," its secular and religious meanings, and the relationship between miracles and daily experience.
The artists' decision to focus their video cameras on people's hands provided the comfort of anonymity as participants shared deeply intimate stories. They filmed at various locations, using only the Arizona sun to highlight the hands against a shrouded background, an effect that preserves and enhances the mystery of the miracle. Throughout their reporting on miracles, the artists grappled with the balance between the sacred and profane, belief and skepticism. This complexity was reflected throughout the resulting installation in the video vignettes, the darkness of the gallery and the layering of sound.
Miracle Report was supported by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of theSocial Studies series. The artists and curators thank the following for their assistance and participation: John D. Spiak, who initiated the project; the staff of the ASU Art Museum, particularly Nicole Herden, Curatorial Assistant, and Andrea Feller, Curator of Education; ASU School of Art intermedia faculty and School of Art Director Adriene Jenik; Peter Bugg; Robert Madera; Sean Deckert; Christian Filardo; Ben Mack; Barbara Perez and Tesseract School students; Amy Hardgrove and students from Academy with Community Partners High School; J. Eugene Clay and Mark Woodward from the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies; Beth Ames Swartz and John Rothschild; and especially all of the people who lent their stories and viewpoints to this project.