Collaborative Art Projects by Jessica Wimbley and Chris Christion
Fieldnotes explores the culturally diverse and layered history of California principally during the westward expanse driven by the 1849 California Gold Rush and its relationship to the various sites both temporal and geographical in California history. Histography, a type of interactive timeline which allows users to interface with views between decades to millions of years, is used as framework to create dense multilayered imagery. Additionally, archive building, collage, histography, performance, and video are used to create artworks that investigate California’s natural, social, and political histories.
Fieldnotes namesake, is a homage to the anthropological research and film production of Zora Neale Hurston, in her groundbreaking documentary Fieldworks, 1928, while also demarking archive building, collage, video and performance as forms of fieldnotes.
Film Still, Fieldworks, 1928 Zora Neale Hurston
The Unauthorized Histography of California Vol. 2: Fieldnotes, 2022
The Unauthorized Histography of California Vol 2: Fieldnotes is an 8 -minute collaborative video collage. It is part of a two-volume series and weaves together vignettes composed of archival imagery from the Sacramento Historical Society of the Negro Bar and Sacramento/greater California Community, sourced video footage, and video/photo imagery produced by the artist team at the Negro Bar State Park, Sacramento area, and artist home studio. Imagery is layered in a framework to create dense multilayered remixing of video/ still imagery.
Queen Califia, a fictional character in which California received her namesake, played by Wimbley, will be used as a central figure throughout the length of the video, navigating through a multilayered video collage of Californian history and landscape, (histography) centered on the location and history of the Negro Bar State Park, a historic site named for African American gold miners during the 1849 California Gold Rush.
Clip,The Unauthorized Histography of California Vol 2: Fieldnotes,2022
The Land of Milk & Honey is a traveling multidisciplinary arts and culture program that focuses on concepts around agriculture in the regions of California and Mexico and is presented by the MexiCali Biennial.
The exhibition explores artists’ views around multi-layered topics associated with agriculture including environmental impacts, cultural culinary traditions, identity and migration, regional histographies, and familial and mythical connections to food.
Still, The Unauthorized Histography of California Vol. 2: Fieldnotes, 2022
Land of Milk & Honey
California’s Agricultural Histories in
The MexiCali Biennial continues its collaboration with the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress in an upcoming Story Map contextualizing Land of Milk & Honey, a series of exhibitions which interrogate ideals of agriculture and foodways and the symbiotic relationship between California and Mexico. For the StoryMap, curators have selected four artists from the exhibition that were exhibited at “The Cheech”, a repository with strong holdings of Chicana/o/x art – much of which the museum’s namesake, actor-comedian Cheech Marin donated. The chosen artists’ works visually communicate their personal histories, connections, and experiences with topics around the Land of Milk & Honey, which was inspired by John Steinbeck’s views of California as a corrupted Eden. Researchers Samuel White and Daniel Velazquez then connected these concepts with digital resources available at the Library of Congress to identify historical patterns, bridging the past with the present. The StoryMap will serve as a visual study guide to the influences of border art, the relationships between neighboring countries, and the agricultural histories of California and Mexico, from an art historical perspective. The following will be featured in the StoryMap:
INSCRIBING “LOST” HISTORIES IN ISIDRO PÉREZ GARCÍA’S PENCAS DE MAGUEY
HISTORIES UNEARTHED IN JESSICA WIMBLEY AND CHRIS CHRISTION’S UNAUTHORIZED HISTOGRAPHY OF CALIFORNIA
FLOAT FOR RECLAMATION: CONCEPTUALIZING A COLLECTIVE VIRTUAL MEMORY
RUBEN OCHOA’S COMIC CORRIDO DE TAMALES EL PRIMO: CELEBRATING THE CREATIVITY AND COMMUNITY OF LOS ANGELES TAMALEROS
Works from artists Chris Christion and Jessica Wimbley, and Shinpei Takeda, form part of Land of Milk & Honey, a series of exhibitions that interrogate ideals of agriculture and foodways and the symbiotic relationship between California and Mexico.
Selected Themes and Sources
The narrative within the composition of the California Seal is used as conceptual and aesthetic framework .
Calafia, or Califia, is the fictional queen of the island of California, first introduced by sixteenth-century poet Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo in his epic novel of chivalry, Las sergas de Esplandián (The Adventures of Esplandián), written around 1510. When colonization was in its infancy, he established a portrait of the powerful ruler of an independent, matriarchal, and militarized kingdom.
Flying Geese Pattern
This pattern originates in Indigenous culture and is repeatedly seen in the basket weavings of the Maudi tribe who originally lived in a territory extending eastward from the Sacramento River to the crest of the Sierra Nevada. Used in quilting codes of enslaved African Americans as directions North to freedom, following migration pattern of geese.
Negro Bar State Park, a historic site named for African American gold miners during the 1849 California Gold Rush.
Blacks in Gold Rush California
Rudolph Lapp pieces together in a coherent and fascinating narrative this missing chapter of American history.
In Freedom's Frontier, Stacey L. Smith examines the battle over slavery as it unfolded on the multiracial Pacific Coast. Despite its antislavery constitution, California was home to a dizzying array of bound and semibound labor systems: African American slavery, American Indian indenture, Latino and Chinese contract labor, and a brutal sex traffic in bound Indigenous and Chinese women.
California Natural Resource Agency, Sacramento, CA
Public Art CA Digital Art Collection
Fieldnotes: Califia, 2021
Chris Christion & Jessica Wimbley
In partnership with the State of California and Dyson and Womack, Fieldnotes: Califia is featured on 35ft digital screen in the lobby of California Natural Resource Agency in Sacramento, CA.
Clip, Fieldnotes: Califia, 2021
Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art
@ Chaffey College
September 6 – November 12, 2022
HOME EDITION Artists:
Pável Acevedo, Adam et al. ,Claudia Alvarez ,Amanda Maciel Antunes , Isabel Avila, Willie Baronet, William Camargo, Jodie Cavalier, Jonah Elijah, Christina Erives, Thomas Hamdani, Stanton Hunter, Dulce Soledad Ibarra Cole M. James, Jenny Kane, Justin E. Kemerling, Ann Le, Jackie Marsh, Katie Mendoza, Robert L. Newman III, Landyn Pan, Zeke Peña, Isabel Quintero, Nicole Rademacher, Cindy Rehm, Amy Sarkisian, Nicole Seisler, Macha Suzuki, Eric Tenorio, Rebecca Ustrell, Danielle Giudici Wallis, Jessica Wimbley & Chris Christion, Micah Wood
Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art , Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA