One goal of Asylum was to create a culture of reciprocity, giving and receiving knowledge and inspiration as part of a learning community.

To physicalize this concept, we asked all of the artists at Asylum to bring with them an object that motivated or inspired their creative practice in some way, and that they were willing to give away to another participants. They then placed their objects in a brown paper bag, and at the end of the retreat, they gave away their bag, and took someone else's home with them. Each person took with them another artist’s inspiration, yet without knowing necessarily who brought it and what the story was behind the object.  We saw this mystery as similar to how a viewer can approach a work of art and find their own meaning.  Yet, we also wanted to share the objects’ stories with those who took them home and the larger community.

Throughout the retreat, artists sat down in front of a camera and explained the stories behind these objects. Click on the artists to view their videos.

Inspiring Object Videos

Alejandro Cohen

Data on a USB Drive

Aaron Henne

Two Books

Zhenya Plechkina

Three Slides