The 1980 eruption of the mountain that the Puyallup call Loowitlatkla reminded the world of the Earth's awesome power. Ash rained across Western North America, 57 people were killed, and an entire swath of Cascades ecology was �"reset" in momentous fashion. The eruption of Mt. St. Helens also presented scientists with the opportunity to observe ecological recovery and succession on an ecosystemic scale, from the first forbs nudging through the ash blanket to the introduced fish filling Spirit Lake, and from the elk herds browsing the backcountry of this popular National Monument to the swarms of tourists who make the pilgrimage each summer to be close to a place of power and beauty. 2018 marks our ninth annual Outpost Residency, and we plan to locate near the slopes of the flat-topped volcano whose temper still shadows the Pacific Northwest. Outpost is our version of a �"traditional" residency. It's supported and self-directed, and open to artists, activists, and art professionals of any discipline. This year a unique partnership offers us proximity to the seasonal scientific field stations that operate on St. Helens. Our flagship Outpost Residency started in 2009 and has continued each year in a new location. Artists are provided with food, maps, and a magnificently spacious 12×12′ canvas tent that provides both work and sleep space. The tents are equipped with a desk, cot, and rug for a comfortable camping experience, as well as kitchen utensils and food for self-prepared breakfast and lunch. Each tent is set apart from the others, but within a short walk to a base camp. Signal Fire organizers are stationed at the base camp, available for emergencies, unforeseen needs, or friendly chats whenever needed. The group dines together each evening, on a meal prepared by Signal Fire at the base camp. We work to create a comfortable, generative experience, but the nature of the project means artists should be prepared for unpredictable weather and camping conditions. There are no bathrooms or running water. Signal Fire provides drinking water and a charging station for cameras, laptops, and other electronic equipment. Aside from registered service animals, no pets are permitted. Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from the chosen rendezvous city. We provide travel between the meetup city and the Outpost site. Signal Fire can assist in support of grant applications or visas, and we encourage international applications.
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