Stacy Isenbarger & Jacob D Wilson

"Isolation implies severance."

"The absence of where..."

"Inside is the place I am."


These thoughts among many where expressed today as we stepped into this isolation project for the first time creating in collaboration. While we find ourselves severed from our daily rituals, we find ourselves, as partners, closer together, quarantining together, sharing space.


When you find yourself so close to someone, how do you create works connected to isolation?


Today we've cleared space, ruminated, and put our sudden abundance of time to good use... tomorrow we will get to [...]ing further.


(pictured: 7in x 14in collage created from Jacob D Wilson's words)

"...a specter of specter of specter gone microscopic in her lungs, becoming particulate." @stacyisenbarger @mutenarrator

“We are receptacles. That is all. We receive. We are passive. We are not pitchers filled with water. We are not rail cars filled with iron. We are not greenhouses teeming with life. Nor are we dumpsters filled with waste. We are receptacles. Vessels for language. That is all.”

Even in isolation, work never ceases. Work used to be a place to which we commuted, a physical space that we occupied for eight hours, but today, in our digital world, work occupies us. We are the space. Our bodies contain work. So, in a nod to our existence as receptacles, today we allowed our bodies to be incubators to the language of isolation. We allowed the US’ daily briefings, social-commentary, imagery, and each others’ ideas to occupy us. Sketching in 3D, we considered our thresholds, flattened accessibility, and what we have on hand to work with.

Thresholds, enter us

like hesitation. Pierce us,

like proximity. Trace us,

like boundaries. Welcome us,

severed, you remain.

On Day 3, we continued exploring with materials in house and for Jacob, narratives were built.

Today we struggled with the reality of making. In the mornings, Stacy has been sewing cotton masks for community members, and in the afternoons, making art. The same process, same fingers, same stitching. And, as the crisis stretches on, the question of where does our responsibilities fall as makers has permeated the studio—do we continue to make art or shift our skills to making utilitarian objects?

(pictured: face mask in blue fabric, asphalt chunk and gold painted stone)

Exploring possible wall text for an in-progress installation that we will continue making tomorrow and will, with all likelihood, keep making beyond the residency.

Beside the Pointed (work in progress, working title)

This was the first time Stacy and Jacob have collaborated on an art project, and, now that that third person is out of the way, it seems fitting to address the fact that we completed this weeks residency, not as solitary artists, but as a team. Throughout the week we’ve been contemplating the nature of the rhetoric surrounding the Covid outbreak, how even as we sequester ourselves in our homes, isolate ourselves from social situations, that somehow the weight of our friends desire and our communities fears seep into our homes. 

Perhaps it is simply the shift in expectations or the creation of new social dynamics that disturbs us: six feet of space here, to wear or not to wear a mask, the reality of all these new social obligations creating a new paradigm that has shifted our awareness to the reality of the uncertainty of our speech. That, here in the midst of unfolding, with every new revelation we realize that a belief we assimilated yesterday—today, no longer holds true.

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