About the MORE from LESS Project

Inspiration for the project comes from Melissa Ichiuji's performance Stripped, in which over sixteen weeks, she successively gave up more and more things in her life, culminating in two weeks spent without food or shelter in front of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The MORE from LESS project asks individuals in the community to give up, or live with less of, something in their lives, and then to identify and share an object that represents what has been given up. Participants drop off their objects at one of four locations in the area. At that time, they are invited to write a brief description of what they have given up and why. Then, an exhibition of the objects and accompanying descriptions is presented, and a discussion among participants occurs. Finally, after the exhibition, each object is either returned to the participant or donated to charity, according to the wishes of the participant.

The project explores questions such as:

  • What is gained by giving up something important in one's life? What is lost?
  • How do we respond to what others have given up?
  • How can an artist be of service to the community?

The project organizer is Mike Keller, a frequent visitor to northern Minnesota and an artist. He received degrees in computer science from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, and in business from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania in 1954, he has been a resident intern at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, and has lived in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Amsterdam, Washington, D.C., Denver, New York City, and San Josť, Costa Rica. He was awarded the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, in Plainfield, Vermont in 2007. Today he lives in Tucson, Arizona.

To learn about the outcome and fruition of the project, please continue reading.