January 1, 2016:

Signal Fire announces a call to artists of all disciplines, as well as activists, curators and researchers for Unwalking the West, our 8th year of retreats and residencies on the public lands of the American West. Our 2016 theme is shaped by historic land journeys that informed the cultural and political geography of the contemporary West. We will retrace segments of these routes in the reverse direction as a symbolic gesture of “unwalking.” Our discussions will focus on the continuing demand for Indigenous sovereignty, as well as the contemporary legacies of development and resource extraction. From Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's brutal quest for El Dorado to John Wesley Powell’s strangely prescient survey of the Colorado River Basin, our routes will look to the sagas of European-American exploration and aggression, and attempt to connect those formative journeys to the challenges facing the West today.

Signal Fire trips bring small groups of creative people to a wide range of wild places to inspire and inform their work. Our guides handle the logistics, and our trips are accessible to absolute beginners but will remain engaging for those with considerable outdoors experience. Each journey infuses readings and discussions, visiting experts, personal discovery, and time for solitude in an atmosphere that is safe and supportive amidst a group of compelling new friends.

Applications for all trips are open January 1 through midnight on February 29, 2016. Applications for the Wide Open Studios Summer Immersion trip remain open through April 1. As usual, the process is free and happens online, and we have an all new ‘Celebrity Jury’ of Signal Fire alumni: professional artists with diverse backgrounds and accomplishments.

Our 2016 Celebrity Jury:

Eduardo Gabrieloff lives in Denver, Colorado with his partner and child. He was born in Cali, Colombia and moved to Colorado when he was four years old. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Luna Luna, The Journal of Ordinary Thought, Leaf Litter, Bluestem, [PANK], Pilgrimage, and more. He is a CantoMundo Fellow, a Callaloo Fellow, and a Signal Fire Fellow.

Liz Harris lives and works on the Oregon Coast. She has been recording, performing, and releasing solo material under the name Grouper since 2005 on various imprints including Kranky, Type, and her own YELLOWELECTRIC. Her music and visual art explore a paradoxical relationship between literal and impressionistic experiences of environment and human behavior. Liz' work has been commissioned and shown across Europe and the United States, including Galerie Zdb in Portugal, the Berkeley Art Museum in California, and Issue Project Room in NYC. She has recently completed art and music residencies in Lisbon, Marfa, TX, and the Bunya Mountains, and was awarded residencies in 2014 with Signal Fire and The Ucross Foundation.

Cristina Victor is an interdisciplinary artist currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Victor’s work plays with the inheritance of the exile experience and notions of displacement. Through performance events, video and installation, Victor creates environments where language, parody, fiction, contradiction and nostalgia are all ingredients to addressing the complexities of framing and questioning how identity is constructed and digested.

Gary Wiseman is a Portland-based multimedia artist whose repertoire includes curating, drawing, painting, food, video, photography, installation, performance, large scale event production, publishing, writing, and interviews. He was Signal Fire’s inaugural Tinderbox Resident in 2015, in collaboration with Portland nonprofit Bark.