Souvenir_collab is a collaboration with my husband, Matthew Suplee. Our project explored the themes of memento, memory and travel, as embodied by the roadtrip souvenir. Our piece was experienced in the vehicles of participants of High Desert Test Sites, or HDTS 2013, as they traversed the desert landscape between Joshua Tree, CA and Albuquerque, NM. Viewers collected an object from each of our sites along the route and hung them from their rear view mirror, (or wore them on their body, or even put them on their dog) ultimately creating a composite souvenir of the experience. The video was created by Matt using our dash camera, and music provided by Portland band Sun Angle.
Since the HDTS 2013 program was a series of art events and installations that viewers traveled between, we wanted to involve the viewer in our piece during the time between other artists’ works. We did that by creating small parallel HDTS sites where travelers picked up a hanging souvenir object. These objects were unique to each site and carried a distinct fragrant note - a sensory reminder of that place and the overall experience.
As the event progressed and participants visited a selection of our sites, the souvenirs could amass and form a kind of sculpture in the traveler's vehicle, with both the scents and objects blending into a layered, composite piece. During their journey, participants may have also observed other vehicles amassing similar sculptural adornments, connecting their collective experiences.