There are projects which mirror the artistry and generoustiy of their makers–Manor House Quarterly is such a project.
Dane Cardiel has recreated a space for artists to shine and more importantly share experiences. The entire work is in conversation.
1) How did you come up with the concept for Manor House?
The concept of “Manor House” derived out of a haphazard community of people who lived together in a foreclosed home within a suburb of San Diego, CA. This home was called “The Manor.” Here — for two years — a group of 20 something’s forged a sense of home that extended to residents, friends and strangers alike. They lived with the wisdom of old souls and the passion of children whose parents strongly believe in the freedom of self-expression. This was a community I had the unexpected privilege of sharing residence with, a family that I am forever indebted to.
When asked where the “Manor House” concept comes from, I can only direct you to the many people who contributed themselves fully to this community: the perfect storm of artists, teachers, students, poets, thinkers, activists, musicians, videographers, chefs. We were forthcoming with our ideas and transparent with our dreams, and because of this we all had an experience that brought us to new possibilities: both individually and collectively, relationally and creatively.
This community generously demanded me to question and discover what particular contribution I had to offer. Soon enough, one idea led to the next. With a budding interest in writing, without any real background in print media or publishing, I dove head first into the world of publishing with what is now known as Manor House Quarterly.
2) I love how Manor House has the feel of being a home to artists. When looking at the website and journal, it seems like the art is still in process—that the images and texts are actively creating new art by interacting with each other. Was this your intention?
I think this is the result of the care my own art has received in the past and the level of engagement experienced in The Manor. I think I find the depth of an idea (or story, or image) to be most fascinating when it is evolving and willing takes on new skin. This happens, I believe, when artists share ideas and create new work within open, inviting and challenging community.
With art, there are multiple stories being told within a given piece. First, the artist sets out to tell a particular story with their work, the viewer/reader then inevitably interprets that story anew given their own experience. And then, there is the story that takes place with a particular piece in regard to the history of art that came before it. Within each episode of MHQ I hope to hold these avenues of story in tension with one another, as we introduce another dynamic tension between two separate artists and the marriage that takes place between cross-media expression.
I firmly believe this element generates incredible new meanings for a reader and I hope that this publication hospitably provides “home” for an artist and their continual becoming.
3) What does combining text with images add to a reader’s experience; what does combining images with text add to a viewer’s experience?
Because literary and visual arts have such strong personalities in their own right, it becomes difficult to keep the integrity of an individual’s piece, while at the same time, allowing another artist’s work to become an informative vehicle for that piece. However, the result — when done properly — can be incredibly moving and surprisingly interactive.
I think every medium has a particular way of communicating the nuances observed in life. A painting can do what a poem cannot. A photograph can do what an illustration cannot. A story can do what a composition cannot. And the inverse of them all is true, too! In our hyperactive world, filled with texts and images continually attempting to win over our affections, it takes some convincing for someone to invest in an art piece. Because I am convinced that our psychologies do not lend us the strength to trust unknown material, I seek to bring readers into the visual arts world through literature, and viewers into the literary world through the visual media. This cross-pollination allows for the multiple nuances found in each art discipline to be exposed, as each collaboratively informs the other. All this, hoping to serve as more reason to commit to a larger story that a haphazard collective presents.
5) How would you like to see Manor House grow and expand in the next few years?
Manor House Quarterly began as my attempt at preserving a small community of individuals I have tremendous respect for. As we enter our third completed issue, this small community has extended as far as Portugal, Australia, Canada, New York, Texas and even down in Colombia. Over the next few years I simply hope to sustain the level of care and time I was given while at The Manor. I am confident this publication has an exquisite potential that can inform the movements experienced within the publishing, literary and art communities.
6) How do you see art evolving? Do you think the new social media is
affect people’s relationship to art?
I think artists are continually forced to reevaluate their art and the relevance it is taking within an ever-changing technological world. That is, will artists return to more traditional expressions, or will they drift toward more experimental forms. Also, how artists understand the dilemmas that face a global community can have incredible impact on shaping a future socio/political landscape. As new technologies are created, the human corpus will have to distinguish the value between human experiences and non-human experiences and I am curious to observe how future artworks go about suspending the questions we all confront.
As far as our relationship to art, new social media only increases our access to more work and new artists. However, with these large waves of stimulating work, our attention to detail and appreciation for its meaning may diminish. However, with that said, new social media may also have the reverse effect. I’d be interested to see how publishers, curators, etc. steer the direction of the many possibilities that lie ahead.
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