Loren Kronemeyer for Pony Express. Image credit Matt Sav.
Creative endeavour: “To invite audiences to immerse full-body into practices that explore alternative futures, adaptations, and survival skills.”
“My creative practice is my entire framework for connecting with the world! The relationships I’ve developed through my practice are among the strongest and most nourishing in my life. The creative conversations I have go on for years; they encompass entire worlds of observations, emotions, and experiments developed in dialogue.”
Artist Loren Kronemeyer
About the Artist
Loren Kronemyer (TAS/USA) is an artist living and working in remote lutruwita (Tasmania), Australia. Her works span interactive and live performance, experimental media art, and large- scale world-building projects aimed at exploring ecological futures and adaptations beyond the human. As part of duo Pony Express, she is co-creator of projects like Ecosexual Bathhouse, a touring queer sex club for the entire ecosystem. She collaborates frequently with laboratories, including most recently as the first resident at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. Loren’s projects have been presented Australia-wide and internationally, inviting audiences to immerse full-body into practices that explore alternative futures, adaptations, and survival skills. Her most recent solo live work, After Erika Eiffel, 2019, premiered at ANTI Festival in Finland. She is co-curator and contributor to the show ‘Preppers’, which is currently touring regional Australia through ART ON THE MOVE.
How did you get started in your career?
I have insisted on being an artist since I was a kid. I spent lots of time alone making crafts as a kid, which got more elaborate and technical as I got older. Persistently making things, alone and for no audience, probably set me up to have an ongoing practice in adulthood.
I was deeply into drawing and realism when I was young, but eventually started digging into shows and books that exposed me to wilder and more experimental forms of art which I was drawn to instantly. When I realised there were no rules, I set myself free from any limits on my practice. I am lucky that I’ve been able to pursue art as a study; I went to The San Francisco Art Institute for an undergraduate degree in the New Genres department, which taught me how to make and discuss work with ideas at the forefront and how to explore beyond the traditional studio. I don’t think studying art in an institution is necessary to building a career as an artist, but developing habits of seeing art, reading about art, and writing about art certainly is. My first shows were all self-produced between myself and collectives of other artists. Finding small spaces, making things for your friends, turning nothing into something.
I moved to Perth to study a Masters degree with SymbioticA lab, because I thought that working with actual living material was more interesting than working with representations of life. I got involved with artists in Australia by looking out for events that sounded like my vibe, attending and following shows and gigs and initiatives as a total stranger, learning the lay of the land, and eventually making my own contributions once I found the pathways that fit me. I worked retail and hospitality for many years to support my practice, and I will probably do so again at some point, but at the moment I have made a career by constantly applying for and developing projects through the channels that excite me. I think one reason I have gotten to work a lot is because I don’t pay much mind to boundaries between disciplines. I try to follow and stay interested in all sorts of art, which means I have many opportunities to create and experience artwork.
Does your creative practice make you feel connected to a community, and if so, how?
My creative practice is my entire framework for connecting with the world! The relationships I’ve developed through my practice are among the strongest and most nourishing in my life. The creative conversations I have go on for years; they encompass entire worlds of observations, emotions, and experiments developed in dialogue. I am very open and inquisitive about my interests, which helps me connect with people who share those interests. Eventually those relationships deepen as you invite one another into your personal wormholes. I love being at the age where I can see peers who emerged at the same time as me taking new steps in their careers, developing and exploring new things. I also get a lot out of supporting other artists on their pathways, and always try to remain transparent and helpful when sharing resources with those who are looking for things I may have found.
How does your creative practice impact your mental and physical health and wellbeing?
My creative expression is the healthy outlet through which I explore the dark and possibly pathological aspects of my worldview. I always acutely struggled with anxiety around the ongoing higher-order crises I was born into. My practice is my way of responding to those through play and through dreaming – two things which are free and which cannot be taken away from me. Someone once told me that they imagined me at the end of the world, still maintaining some sort of artistic practice for myself as I foraged the barren wasteland.
I have found that I need to constantly be making things that amuse me or bring me pleasure in one way or another. Even if an artwork requires endurance or tenacity, I make sure it’s of the pleasurable kind, the type of thing I can look forward to. The darkness of my subject matter is apprehended through absurd humor, or collaborative solidarity, or soothing palliative care. That creative side of practice nurtures me, but the professional side has its frustrations. I am experimenting with trying to advocate for myself better, to develop the sense of justice and equity and love within the professional aspect of making work. The cycle of applications and rejections can get some people down – I have found that taking on collaborations really helps with that struggle because the ideas and labor and frustrations can be shared and validated.
Do you have anything you’d like to share with community members considering participating in arts activities?
One thing that’s helped me on many occasions is the practice of writing fan-mail. If I see something I like or connect with, I make a point to reach out to the creator and let them know in simple terms where I saw it and what interested me. Don’t be intimidated, just drop a line or give a quick shout out. Sometimes these messages go unanswered, but sometimes they open portals to other worlds that have potential to develop into meaningful exchanges. During this COVID-era, I think this is especially important. We are all making things in challenging circumstances, for reasons we don’t understand and for audiences we can’t experience. Having received that type of support and feedback, I know it goes a long way.
This Act-Belong-Commit Engagement Program presented by ART ON THE MOVE is sponsored by Healthway promoting the Act-Belong-Commit health message.