Crowdsourcing Mornings Stuff

Crowdsourcing Mornings: Publishing Campaign For Ergo Sum: A Crow A Day Book

Welcome to the Crowdsourcing Mornings segment!  Every weekday morning, Geek Alabama talks about and features one crowdsourcing project from crowdsourcing sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and others.  The hope with Crowdsourcing Mornings is to feature and help a project be successful and reach its fundraising goal.  Please enjoy today’s featured project!

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My aim with this Kickstarter is to create a full-color, perfect bound softcover book from a series of my drawings called Ergo Sum: A Crow a Day. The series, 365 works on handmade gessoed panels, has been a traveling exhibition for the past five years, sponsored by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum of Wausau, Wisconsin. Multiple visitors to the venues in which it has appeared have asked if they might obtain a book of the set, which gave rise to the idea that it would be ideal to have the images available in independent, portable form. This Kickstarter will enable the publishing of 500 copies of the book.

The ISBN description for the book reads as follows:

Ergo Sum: A Crow a Day is a visual chronicle of a daughter’s experience of her mother’s decline with Alzheimer’s disease. By creating a drawing each day for a year, the artist Karen Bondarchuk attempted to both signify and substantiate the days that her mother, Yvonne, no longer seemed to comprehend. The images display an emotional range – from humorous and quirky to confused, doleful and chaotic – that invokes the constellation of feelings one often encounters in dealing with a loved one in cognitive decline. The book will contain full color reproductions of all 365 drawings and an essay by the artist.”

The nature of this book — image-heavy, the unusual content in its non-academic relation to Alzheimer’s, and the fact that it lies outside an easily-defined publishing niche — leaves it “outside the box,” as they say, for a standard publishing approach. Supporting local businesses and artists is an ethical value of mine, so rather than seeking less costly overseas printing, I have opted to complete all of the designing and publishing (as well as sourcing most of the incentive items) here in my hometown, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The very personal and yet universal experience that was the impetus behind the series, described as emotionally moving by many who have seen it in museums and other venues, merits a life outside the strict confines of its exhibitions, which is why I am seeking to have it published. The series is both an homage to my mother and our interrelated past and a way for me to create something of substance, something physical, out of a journey that was so formless and quickly disappearing. The book is another, more intimate means through which to render the series and experience tangible.

Corvids, those intelligent background witnesses to the human endeavor, have figured heavily in my artwork for years as valuable representatives of so many qualities they share with us, hence their centrality in Ergo Sum. Without realizing it initially, I began to conflate the work in my studio with my mother’s deterioration. Her physical and cognitive decline was such that she was incapable of speech, mobility and simple motor coordination, and yet she was still able to communicate – a smile, a knowing glance, a heavy sigh – without language. Ergo Sum: A Crow a Day is an attempt to encounter, to grasp after visually, something of the complexity of humanness and life – of being a mother, a daughter, an artist – which includes the knowledge of mortality, but levity as well. It is also about the disquiet I have felt, and continue to feel, in her absence.

As of June 6th, this project has raised $16,200 of their $16,000 goal. This project has 1 day left to raise as much as it can. For a pledge of $30, you will get one PDF book.  For a pledge of $60, you will get one signed book.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/crowaday/publishing-campaign-for-ergo-sum-a-crow-a-day-book?

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