Playground Isolation [Karen Stever]

I am not going to write a long analysis for this week’s inspiration because I interviewed her!

Karen is a friend of mine from a long time ago (Literally, we met on MySpace). I had seen a B-Horror flick back in 2005 (CHECK) called Desperate Souls. The movie was alright, but the soundtrack was horrendous; lots of heavy metal (just not my particular jam). It wasn’t until the credits rolled that I heard something new, something my ears had never heard before. It was Karen Boshort (now Karen Stever). I needed the song, so I scoured the internet and found several MP3’s of her music. Eventually, I found her on MySpace and sent her a message.

The rest is history.

Karen shared her story with me, her traversal from Canada to LA to Canada. Her name change, and her current explorative musical process. She was writing her album, “Playground Isolator” at the time, which was a descending journey into her depression.

During graduate school, my thesis was based on Playground Isolator. Taking the medicalization of mental disorder through the DSM-IV, I used the track listing as patients and diagnosed them all, then met them through their recovery through photo, video, music, and installation. The project can be found here : _____ LINK _____

Although this week is looking at mental health, in some ways, this entire project looks at mental health through a design of physical means. Mental health is very multi-dimensional, and I believe that fitness is one way to provide therapy to it. Another way is through art. I have found that my own story and mental health has come together in a complete way due to both fitness and art.

The reason for Music Monday is not just to provide songs to get through workouts, but also to provide introspective pieces to look at life, but because they are songs that got me through struggle.

I said I wouldn’t go on and on and on, so I am going to quit now and just let you watch the video.

This is a long interview that examines mental health, art, and a little bit of the serendipity of finding people in your life that make it a little better.

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