Relevance of Place is an online series of site-specific dialogues that explore the meaning of place at Tippet Rise Art Center. Guided by Shannon Jackson, Chair of the History of Art Department at UC-Berkeley and a scholar of socially-engaged art, Relevance of Place invites artists, architects, designers, and creative thinkers to engage in conversation about the ethics, aesthetics, and relevance of place. These conversations explore “place” as a global, local, and personal concept as well as “place” as it refers specifically to Tippet Rise, a site that brings together “art, music, land, sky, and poetry” creating an “algorithm that is greater than the sum of its parts.” In individual interviews and group dialogues, each guest offers stories and insights from their own practice. Together, they reflect on the historic past and sustainable future of Tippet Rise—as an environmental site, as a wide-ranging art center, and as a creative gathering space.
Here, Jackson interviews designer, artist, and architect Ronald Rael on how an indigenous understanding of land and materials inspires his contemporary innovations in art, design, and new technology. In this episode, Rael considers the productive tension between principles of art and the principles of design, and how that tension influences his own site-specific practice. Watch as he describes a “truthful” approach to materials and to historic landscapes and to hear his responses to the interventions of Ensamble Studio (Inverted Portal) and Patrick Dougherty (Daydreams and Cursive Takes a Holiday) on site at Tippet Rise.
Filmed in October 2022.