An online residency entitled Frontier together apart, supporting artists across the world to collaborate and research on these themes. Conceived during the pandemic as a safe space for artistic practices, the project proposed such areas as closed borders and restricted physical contact in a time of lock down, supporting the promotion of collective research and experimentation projects between and among trans-disciplinary artists. Details here on the Proyecto Ace website.
Can our memories of place change place ? what is continuum in relation to river and sea ? An online residency entitled Frontier together apart, supporting artists across the world to collaborate and research on these themes. Conceived during the pandemic as a safe space for artistic practices, the project proposed such areas as closed borders and restricted physical contact in a time of lock down, supporting the promotion of collective research and experimentation projects between and among trans-disciplinary artists. Details here on the Proyecto Ace website.
I made short video about lock down, entitled Crossing Point, it can be seen here on you tube exploring confinement and freedom
Crossing Point, image from a video concerning lock down
Conversation with a plant, a sketch on about inside outside boundaries of home
A final film was developed entitled Littoral zones: the frontiers between. It was developed alongside Heidi Bergstrom located in Canada and Anna Goodchild in the UK, on the theme of boundaries and liminality. This film was later shown at Lacuna Festival in Lanzarote, 2021
An online residency entitled Frontier together apart, supporting artists across the world to collaborate and research on these themes. Conceived during the pandemic as a safe space for artistic practices, the project proposed such areas as closed borders and restricted physical contact in a time of lock down, supporting the promotion of collective research and experimentation projects between and among trans-disciplinary artists. Details here on the Proyecto Ace website. I made short video about lock down, entitled Crossing Point, it can be seen here on you tube exploring confinement and freedom Crossing Point, image from a video concerning lock down Conversation with a plant, a sketch on about inside outside boundaries of home A final film was developed entitled Littoral zones: the frontiers between. It was developed alongside Heidi Bergstrom located in Canada and Anna Goodchild in the UK, on the theme of boundaries and liminality. This film was later shown at Lacuna Festival in Lanzarote, 2021 Together apart – Frontiers Residency
Fundacion' ace para el Arte Contemporáneo and Proyecto' ace Artist-in-residence International Program, Buenos Aires, Argentina I have chosen to write about my experience of working on a project during the residency with fellow artists Anna Goodchild and Heidi Bergstrom. I wanted to put things on paper in order to remember the process, in addition to understanding the process of collaboration and letting go of fixed ideas of outcome.
Who are we and what led us to come together? Over the final two weeks of the four week residency, we were placed randomly into a group of three. Up until this point, we had been on zoom for the duration of the residency and apart from the initial introduction to each other’s work, we had little time to get to know each other’s practices. We arranged our first group meeting on zoom, and gave for ideas to emerge and grow with a focus on the between space. Some ideas and thoughts fell by the wayside, and others resonated. Somehow we worked together to develop a project in two weeks, which spoke to all of us and offered a space for each other’s differences and creative leanings. What kept us as a cohesive group was the early agreement that we shared more than our differences. There is no room for ego’s and individual ownership, when working in collaboration, fixed ideas of outcome are constantly challenged. We had an interest in the fluidity in which we could work and managed to find shared ground reasonably easily, we all identified that we wanted to cross pollinate the work and find ways to unite the work beyond the limits of us as individuals. Each artist in the group contributed with their own experience and skills and this combination and blend can be seen in the final video work produced, working together as co-authors, resulted in a work which would not have been possible as individuals. Suzi Gablick in her book Connective Aesthetics (1992) claimed that participatory and relational works were emerging and challenging the notion of the individual artist ‘a new, less specialized, less monocentric mythology of the artist is emerging that affirms our radical relatedness. At this point, we need to cultivate the connective relational self as thoroughly as we have cultivated, in the many years of abstract thinking, the mind geared to the principle of individual selfhood.’ I see our meetings as a series of relational art events between our group. I would have been happy to have experienced the dialogue and process of the group, which enriched my thinking and journey on the residency. An added bonus was a video piece, which grew out of our dialogue and created a new form of collaborative authorship amongst us.
The subject area of water and the in-between frontiers theme We are hundreds and thousands of miles away from each other, across oceans and unmapped depths but water is a uniting force. We come from water in the womb and we all need water to survive. Shared thoughts from our first meeting around the subject area (taken from Heidi’s notes of the meeting) : Something with instructions - collect some water, Anna near the sea, Annie near a river, Heidi near a lake - all doing the same thing in different places Water flows and connects Different margins of land and water Territories of water International boundaries Contested spaces Thames runs out to the sea We are both islands The paradox of water - it separates but unites Trans pipeline Idea of living on the edge Take it for granted Climate - rising sea levels Glasgow summit Water as elemental Soil in water that grows plants Air that we breathe Cross contamination Annie - Both sides of Thames separates both sides of Oxford, but the edges unite Heidi - Force of creek getting to the bottom, picks up momentum and levels out at the lake Anna - Segment - chain links revealed when water retreats, water, links, chain A number of experiences and processes were developed in our dialogue and contributed to the process and production of the video work made in the two weeks we were together: Creating a dialogue and adding ideas to the pot, which came up with an early set of loose agreed actions, which we agreed to carry out in our individual chosen sites. Anna the Atlantic Ocean English Channel in Devon, Annie The River Thames in Oxfordshire and Heidi at Matheson Lake, British Columbia An agreement to choose to use our phones, filming and photographing in situ in our chosen locations Collating and working in dialogue to distil the work we collected and shared with each other. Editing the work, in dialogue with Heidi, who very generously took time to develop the piece in dialogue with both of us Showing an initial sketch of the video work to the group Developing further ideas which came out of sharing in the group and further discussion between the collaborators. Followed by returning to the same locations to extend the work, add text and footage of returning water Finally, Heidi carried out the final editing – we had to trust in Heidi and support her in communicating and making decisions whilst also having some input.
Chapters of video work The site-based responses to location were photographed and filmed at a particular moment in time; they could not be replicated, they were ephemeral on that day. We agreed to make a three minute video work in chapters: Collecting Edges - the littoral zone Gathering returning Sounds, gurgling, breath
Collecting Questions arising from collecting water from our individual locations: Why did we collect water and remove it Does there have to be a rational meaning in an action The futility of collecting water The sharing of an action in different locations, gave the action some power Watching and waiting action before the action of collecting was important to Annie, this time of stillness and recognition of awareness in the location and the other side of the river - that of looking from one bank and acknowledging ones presence in the location was important. It was a reminder of the native America Indian belief that you should ask a stone before you move it Standing at the edge and putting the bucket into the water In the early showing of the video sketch, other artists questioned the containers we used to collect and hold the water from our individual locations. Anna used a small plastic transparent bucket, Annie used a black bucket, and Heidi used a Mason or preserving jar. During the pandemic we had a little choice about the containers we used and this did bring up some strong discussion. The buckets were cumbersome and certainly I wasn’t happy with the container I used.
Edges – the littoral zone The discussion of The Littoral came up, and after some research we decided this was a useful the zone which is part of the sea, lake or river that is close to the shore. Collecting from different locations and the shared action of this Edge lines and the margins of the sea, rivers and lakes, the limits of these and the possibilities of breaching of those limits by water and collected sound of breath, water and soil/sand The word varies in art; it can mean the shoreline but also the interaction between artists and the public or viewers, art outside the gallery space or action in co-operation. We worked in co-operation with each other, the work lost its sense of ownership of ideas thoughts and ideas overlapped and lost their me-ness, they merged and crossed over. In a patchwork of making, being, voicing and experiencing. Sound - intro text - perhaps Heidi's Littoral text
Edges Edges in Permaculture are the use of natural patterns; the edge effect is the place where 2 eco systems overlap such as land and water. Life bodies such as plants, and other microbes and life live here and are specially adapted to this zone between two edges. Edges as lines mirroring the cycle of waves forming lines on the sea shore, The littoral edge
Gathering Unlike collecting, this part of the video was introduced later in the work to explore the importance of interacting with water without removing it. By using cupped hands to lift the fluid water and working with a shell to scoop water, we wanted to convey to the viewer the interaction between human presence and water and counter the earlier futility of collecting water.
Returning We all agreed it was important to return the water we had collected. Annie wanted to walk with her water, to experience the effort in collecting and returning, the futility of the act but at the same time the importance of returning to complete a cycle and echoing the continuum of flow and constancy and change. Macro to micro Anna - can we take just one idea at a time and really expand and explore Annie - mustn't give up your ideas - about what's in and what's out; -happy with it though;
Breathing Thinking about the value of the breath we used in the work, I am reminded of the first gasp as we are born and as we are coming into being. The breath is a reminder of ephemerality, transience and of change. As with the breathing body, I am also reminded of the ocean waves as a form of breathing as life force the opening gasping letting air in and letting air out. In Yoga we have the term ocean breathing also known as the Ujjayi breath, it is deep breathing as if like the ocean waves. Ocean Breathing is breathing in and out through the mouth. Breathing body, ocean body Littoral Zone How can we all participate, find our own rhythm? What excites us and informs our practice and add a dimension, not offered as individuals? Can we work together remotely as artists without knowing each other’s history common ground? We are interested in the cross fertilisation and cross contamination of our dialogue and the actions of collecting water from the areas we worked in. Doing the same thing in different places. Our areas highlighted in the video include The use of video and the subsequent use of editing created a further piece of work, which does not take anything away necessarily, form the work in situ. Ann’s microscopic sand images which were made using a magnified phone lens were chosen to punctuates each chapter. These close up offered a hesitation and a change of the position of looking from the wider open space of looking from a macro position to a micro, more intense looking for the viewer Google earth - the in between frontier - distance between us Geo Physical frontiers Text for each section Voice over at all? In between frontiers theme Like idea of performance, video, book formats, and the terms are often used interchangeably. However, the meaning of littoral zone can extend well beyond the intertidal zone.