In 2014, two collaborators at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Kelly Lloyd, Michal Lynn Shumate) and I received an EAGER Grant through the Shapiro Center for Collaborative Research to conduct a year-long scholarly collaboration called HAIR CLUB. HAIR CLUB is a collaborative, research-based initiative into the multi-valent topic of HAIR in our wider culture spanning genres, histories and disciplines. Under the auspices of this grant, we have been able to put on an entire academic year's worth of meaningful programming, exhibitions, and events at SAIC. We have conducted research in a collaborative mode, sharing our findings on our archive/blog (www.hairclubsaic.wordpress.com) through experimental writing, research, art-making, conversation and dialogue/discussion. In periodic Hair Salons, we gather with the community to hive mind significant hair tropes in Culture (literature, visual art, film, popular media and advertising, etc.) and across cultures. We have united artists both within the SAIC community and beyond who are working through issues related to Hair as subject, object, image or symbol in their work in a discussion that spans medium, material and mode of art-making. Moving forward, we hope to continue this work, opening up the conversation beyond SAIC and beyond Chicago.
To read more about HAIR CLUB: