Friday, October 13 - 9:00AM to 9:50AM
Embassy Suites, Fon du Lac A-C
"The quiet kingdom of Bliss sleeps on a hill above the Snake River. It is dilapidated barns in fallow cornfields and white potato cellars stuffed with the future french fries of America. Cowboys ride their horses through the country as they guide their grazing cattle. The locals satiate their thirst at Jenny or Frank's bars and fill their bellies at Ziggy's Gas and Grill. Life in Bliss is simple, but not simplistic. Our hamlet is content, yet proud of our humble community and gracious natives, so we eagerly show it off to all who come and visit." – The Prince of Bliss
This Is Bliss is a transmedia narrative project (photography, video, performance, sculpture, and text) investigating the vanishing roadside geography and culture of a rural Idaho town named Bliss. The project is rooted in a broad consideration entrenched mythologies of place and traditional mythologies of happiness colliding (and frequently confounded) in a location that bears a complex narrative of booms and busts and reflects the complicated history of American Idealism and Manifest Destiny. This talk will touch on many of the iconic figures who have some historical connection to the region including Evel Knievel, Holden Caulfield, and Ansel Adams, as well as reference the numerous relationships I developed with Bliss residents and the collaborative art pieces that emerged as a result.