Shacking Up with J. Otto and John Muir
In conjunction with OMCA's exhibition A Walk in the Wild: Continuing John Muir’s Journey, the Oakland Standard asked artist and illustrator J. Otto Seibold to delve into his self-admitted Muir obsession. J. Otto grew up in Martinez, California, across the street from John Muir's home, which is now the John Muir National Historic Site.
The artist completed a two-part project. The first part was an online travelogue and diary (below), and the second was a sculptural installation in OMCA's gardens.
From 1869 to 1871, John Muir famously lived in a rudimentary shack that he built along the course of the Yosemite River. J. Otto constructed his own interpretation of Muir's shack, and furnished it with art and objects about Muir's life. Through both projects, J. Otto tried to imagine Muir as a naturalist transplanted in historical time, and living in 2012.
The travelogue lives online, and the shack was installed in the Museum gardens from October 2011 to January 2012. The project was christened September 30, 2011 at a Museum event featuring a performance by Boots Riley and The Coup.