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April 25 – May 24, 2008
USFCAM Bookstore and USF Library Special Collections

Forward Projections
"Moving Thought" May Be Like This

We are on the road. But why? How did this crazy idea get going? Recently, as the logistical challenges of this project mounted, I've not even been able to remember... But it was Irineo Cabreros, the School of Art and Art History’s Shop Supervisor, who first fed my arriviste whim to live in a trailer—he spotted a 40-foot doublewide on a huge asphalt pad for me. I didn't rent that rock concert venue, but the germ of this scheme was hatched: a nomadized venue for USF's artists to get out into the face of Tampa Bay's diverse peoples. By cosmic coincidence, a major RV dealer, Frank Bates, had discovered his inner artist and launched a project called the "Airstream Ranch." (You can look it up.) My belief that the artist and entrepreneur are closest kin was confirmed when Frank bit on the scheme, and agreed to lend us his vintage 1974. Bates RV salesman Mike Brucker, who truly loves this school, moved the project along. When he drove our chariot of dreams into the USF studio yard, we were all but jumping up and down.

The "Moving Thought" Airstream carries artists' books—a specialized kind of art product most people don't know exists. But artists' relation to books is very deep—before Gutenberg, of course they made every one. In the days of the Bolshevik revolution, propaganda trains crisscrossed the country bringing word of the new society to the Russian people and evangelizing literacy. (See sidebar.) Now, we invoke the spirit of those humanist and modernist initiatives as we foray forth. To bring a "bookmobile" by contemporary artists to the streets today is to raise the possibility of every variation that those artists' presence and the scandalous reproductions of artistic practice may allow. Where the art action is happening in April in Tampa Bay, the "Moving Thought" vehicle is likely to be popping up. An anarchists' convention, two film festivals, a "sound art" show and a library festival are currently on the venue list. Since this catalogue goes to press before our adventure has properly begun, we really have no idea what is going to happen, who we'll meet, what we'll make. (See the "Moving Thought Tampa" blog ( for the blow-by-blow account.) But because Tampa is a real 'crazy' place, in the sweet sense that old beatniks used the word, we will discover more than even now we can imagine. – Alan W. Moore

The USF Institute for Research in Art is recognized by the State of Florida as a major cultural institution and receives funding through the Florida Department of State, the Florida Arts Council and the Division of Cultural Affairs. The Contemporary Art Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

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