SITElab 7: Faces Santa Fe
Ben Haggard launched the FACES Santa Fe project in 2010 as a way to explore how the relatively solitary act of painting could support community interaction.
The concept was simple: create a social networking process that was real rather than virtual. He began with friends and family members, inviting them into his studio to have their portraits painted. They, in turn, would then invite their friends, who would invite others, and so on. Haggard has carried out FACES projects in three different cities—Santa Fe, New Mexico; San Francisco, California; and Berlin, Germany. He had originally speculated that the cultural differences among these places might show up as subtle differences in the paintings. Although local differences in light affected the color palettes, the underlying humanity of the experience remained the same across all three projects.
FACES has exhibited in Berlin, San Francisco and Santa Fe and each time the result was magically convivial, as community members met and interacted around a shared, highly improbable experience.
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