Just back from an amazing, life-and-practice affirming few days on Lethbridge at IAST 2018. More on that later, when I aim more grounded and in a better space.
Being immersed in such a creative and positive environment made the return to ‘the news of the day’ perhaps more jarring & disheartening, I don’t know.
What I do know is that what is going on globally, and most certainly to the immediate south of Canada is deeply disturbing, more so by the day. And it is mirrored elsewhere in the world, including in my home province (to a lesser degree, to be sure – for now).
But I wonder increasingly about the entire notion of ‘humanity’ and ‘civil society’ in a time in which we are witness to fewer and fewer examples of both.
So, for the moment, I must sit with this reality, in order to move forward in a positive way.
If you would like more background on this project, see the blog posts here>, here>, here>, and here> – and the project page HERE>
It’s going to be a really interesting few days, and I am looking forward to meeting the other participants and talking with them about discipline-bridging work. I’ve long held the belief that the ‘divide’ between art & science as disciplines is false and limiting – which is not to say that there aren’t real challenges to be faced when working this way.
But there are so many rich opportunities to be had for artists to stretch themselves and learn to ‘speak science’ a bit better, and pay attention to the precision in research & practice in that discipline – just as there are for scientists to learn how to ‘speak art’ a bit better and open up the potential for co-creation, and approaching their work with fresh eyes (and ears!)
Back in Edmonton now, doing some post-performance and post-Thanksgiving work: the “get yer ducks in a row” for the next work to be done.
Much to be thankful for, as always – being able to make work with talented collaborators, the opportunity to share ideas and approaches here and in person, the tremendous support I receive from my family and friends (without whom none of this would be possible).
So – a brief moment to take stock, and to share a link to the video of the performance shot for Livestream on October 5th.
Click on the IMAGE BELOW to go to the UBC School of Music’s video:
I’m in Vancouver now, and working on the last edits for the video work I am creating to accompany the world premiere of Slippages on October 5th.
I am delighted to share UBC Orchestra Director Jonathan Girard‘s take on what we are doing:
“Deborah’s gorgeous score presents a thrilling challenge. How do we, as musicians, interpret visual art?” explained Girard.
“We want the music to speak to the cool beauty of the work, but also the ideas behind it: of flux, of change, of loss. Just as the natural world has a life of its own, a kind of agency apart from human influence, we want the music, through improvisation, to have a life of its own that goes above and beyond the performers.”
For those of you not able to attend in person – the performance will be LIVE STREAMED – so I hope you have a chance to check it out!!
This new work is part of a larger performance and installation work – Slippages – developed by Montreal artist Deborah Carruthers, that is an outgrowth of her work as Artist in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Slippages is a synthesis of material from researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) regarding the physical, anthropological, and philosophical properties glaciers. In collaboration with Maestro Girard (and Wall Scholar for 2018-2019), Deborah is working with the 110-member orchestra to present a structured improvisational sonic piece drawn from a graphical score she has created; the video work we are creating will be presented above the orchestra as part of the performance.
Ice contains no future, just the past, sealed away. As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way – cleanly, clearly. That’s the essence of ice, the role it plays.
― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
For those in the Vancouver area – this is my invitation for you to join us!
I am really thrilled to be working with Deborah, Maestro Jonathan Girard, and the UBC Orchestra to bring this work to life.
A HUGE Thank You to everyone that came out on a busy evening, with less than ideal weather!
We all had a busy night; lots of lovely conversations, and thoughtful comments. The best way to launch new work into the world.
I was also really happy that the lovely humans that have supported this project from the outset – and on whose land the original living installation sits – were able to attend and see this first foray into taking the MAKE=BELIEVE project into a different context! looking forward to lots of chats and feedback from them on this exhibition!
For those of you who weren’t able to be there last Friday: Archived Terrain – Terrain Archivéis up until 5pm September 29th. Regular hours are NOON – 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays – other times by appointment.
I will be gallery sitting on Sunday, September 23rd, NOON – 5pm, if you want to visit!
Some images of my installation/room below:
photo montage of animals in the installation on the farm
tail of an old windmill from the farm; what we do to bend the land to our purposes never lasts
a sun and compass from found objects
the windmill tail again
digitally manipulated photo and found object installation … the immigrant/homestead experience is part of this work
3 digitally manipulated photographs; human use of raw materials becomes camouflage
I am very happy to say that I will be presenting some brand-new work in a group show coming up very soon!
Details below – I look forward to seeing anyone in the area who cam make it to the Opening Reception.
Exhibition hours after the Opening are listed in the invitation, or by appointment.
Some information about the exhibition:
ARCHIVED LAND : TERRAIN ARCHIVÉ at Jackson Power Gallery, Edmonton September 15 to 29
2ndfl, 9744 60 Ave, Edmonton, AB
Opening reception 7pm, September 14, 2018
Exhibit hours: Noon to 5pm
Saturdays and Sundays, September 15 to 29
Or by appointment: 780-499-7635
Jackson Power Gallery presents Archived Land : Terrain Archivé, the final exhibit before the gallery closes its doors.
Land holds memory: layered, fragmented, buried, or strongly etched. It represents identity and connection to our own history and to those who came before us; a narrative landscape that intersects human experience and the natural world.
The gallery’s layout of separate but interconnected rooms forms an environment for individual artist’s interpretation of the theme, providing the visitor with the perception of movement through time and place.
Une initiative par collaborateurs/a collaborative initiative by:
Patrick Arès-Pilon & Conor McNally
BELLE//MONDO vous invite à rentrer dans un assemblage de photographie tirée de vrai pellicule diapo Ektachrome datant de 1997. Cette oeuvre place un regard sur les environnements naturels et bâtis captée sur le territoire du traité numéro 6 incluant à Edmonton, Spruce Grove et La Sapinière en 2018.
BELLE//MONDO welcomes you to enter an immersive photography installation using vintage 35mm Ektachrome slide film (frozen since 1997). This collaborative work features layered sights of natural and built environments captured on Treaty 6 land in and around Edmonton, Spruce Grove & La Sapinière in 2018.
Paddy considers himself to be a Canadian, Irish, Ulster Scots, Quaker, Huguenot, Celtic, Proto-Indo-European citizen of the world. His painting, drawing, and installation work acknowledges the role of landscape as a repository for our history, culture and collective memory, exploring the imprint of society on nature and how we form deep and lasting attachments to the land. His work is also a form of self-examination – a search for alternatives that continue to define his ‘sense of place’.
Sydney’s multidisciplinary practice explores the complicated position the individual inhabits in relation to ideas of place, land & ownership, and the ways in which both people and spaces are ‘written upon’ by larger social-political-cultural narratives over time. She is interested in the realities exposed by branches that only bend so far and how newer growth offers much more flexibility, but less strength for supporting weight.
Ultimately, her work is about how we understand and make sense of the land and the space between us.
As a long-time archivist and now Edmonton’s Historian Laureate, Marlena Wyman’s art practice is informed by history, and her rural Alberta upbringing provides her with a deep connection to land.
We interpret our memories and identities in part through traces of past lives, whether of our ancestors or others. A haunting photograph or a handwritten passage in the diary or a letter of a long dead stranger can create a profound personal connection.