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Art & Life with Emotional.Store, Bailey Hikawa, and Scotty Wagner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emotional .Store, Bailey Hikawa, and Scotty Wagner.

Bailey and Scotty, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
We met in the Oakland art scene back in 2013. We hadn’t seen one another or spoken in two years when we ran into each other at an Anne Carson performance at The Hammer in 2016.

At the time of our re-meeting, our independent art practices were leaning toward a need for collaboration. Bailey wanted to incorporate performance and digital media into her large-scale, immersive installations and Scotty wanted to produce a more developed visual world for his performance and videos.

Soon after our reunion, we discussed our interest in creating a project together. Our collaboration we call Emotional.Store began when we started production on our first major project, “Trial Child: Nurture a Better Nature,” a sci-fi comedic narrative about a couple who purchase a robotic replica of their own would-be child. As a video, a live performance and an immersive installation, “Trial Child” set the foundation for our interest in multidisciplinary work centered around systemic issues related to technology and culture.

Earlier this year we were awarded a residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson where we created our second and most recent project, “100 Year Plan.” We intentionally blurred our roles as collaborators much more with this project, which was difficult but more rewarding overall. “100 Year Plan,” is a non-narrative, experimental performance about two creatives who put everything into their live stream show, desperate to succeed in an era of automation takeover. The work debuted at MOCA Tucson this past August, and we are now planning a West Coast tour for early 2019.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
In our artist statement, we write, “Emotional.Store creates large-scale, multimedia projects that explore the newly forming collective consciousness brought about by the union of the physical with the virtual and the onset of obsolescence.” And this is true. We do those things. But saying only that leaves out how much our work is inspired by a strong desire to communicate the complexity of contemporary issues in ways that are as fun as they are critical. We want people to know that experiencing our work in person is a lot more fun than what reading about it would lead you to believe.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
The biggest challenge facing artists today is finding the means to produce their work without compromise. In the same way, the free market should not regulate environmental policy, the free market is not a good arbiter for allocating resources to cultural production, yet this is the condition of American society today. If we truly want a thinking, growing, critically engaged and even economically competitive society, we have to recognize cultural production as a crucial element of a thriving contemporary culture and support it as such.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Visit our website www.emotional.store check out the new gram @emotionaldotstore
Come see our show “100 Year Plan” in 2019 in Los Angeles. Date and location to be announced. And if you really like us, subscribe to our newsletter.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.emotional.store
  • Email: emotionaldotstore@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @emotionaldotstore
  • Facebook: Emotional.Store

Image Credit:
Portrait by Tinylicious (www.Tinylicious.co)
All other photos courtesy of Emotional.store

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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