Total Essential Knowledge is a collaborative graphic communication archive that uses conversation and drawing to share, visualize, and document our combined knowledge.
It began in 2015 while I was an artist in residence at Het Bos, a culture center in Antwerp, Belgium. I invited visitors to explain something they knew a lot about while I drew it. Discussions ranged from a doctor describing how to use pressure points in healing a sprained ankle to a very hungover guy telling me how to make a sandwich that is easy to pick up and set down. I made one major change in developing this project. I no longer draw the essential knowledge of others, now everyone visualizes their own knowledge while I facilitate.
To date I have worked with visitors to Het Bos, refugees at a refugee center in Belgium, teens at Escuela Verde, docents at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, participants at workshops at the Arts Lit Lab and the Lynden Sculpture Garden, and 3rd graders at Dousman Elementary and Brown Street School. The drawings are scanned and published in a series of zines that serve as the project archive. We just published volume 6 this April, 2017.