“WALKING IN THE COLOUR FIELD: LOCAL AND REMOTE (2018)
ArticulateUpstairs, Articulate Project Space, Leichhardt, Sydney.
WALKING IN THE COLOUR FIELD is an interactive artwork that takes place both inside and beyond the gallery. By wearing a specially designed sensor armband, two ‘remote’ participants who are simply going about their daily lives determine the colours displayed on the largest screen. The smaller screen responds to changes inside the gallery. Its ‘local’ colours are affected by viewers passing in front of the adjacent painted panels. Placed in public view but communicating across multiple sites, WALKING IN THE COLOUR FIELD echoes the way that public and private spaces are increasingly entwined through mobile technologies.
WALKING IN THE COLOUR FIELD was presented in FOOTSTEPS IN THE CORRIDOR, the final exhibition in a series curated by Nadia Odlum on the theme of Navigation.” (credit)
“This project began in 2009 as a virtual Twitter guided walk. Participants from anywhere in the world join in via @mcayer. Over time it evolved into an on site performance as well.
So far there have been more than 55 walks; each is a shared moment—a step towards peace.
Walking together, though apart, we’ll journey along the same path. On site I’m assisted by a Town Crier, Tweet Master and Drummer. During the walk, I ask questions about specific topic(s). Prompting dialogue, inviting participants to sing a song, say something nice to someone, etc. In example LTAW #39 took place during The Climate Strike, LTAW #40 addressed social justice. Walk #41 and #42 took place during the shelter in place due the the Covid-19 pandemic.
The onsite performance involves a knitted overskirt I wear (created days prior each walks with passer by) as we walk, it unravels, leaving traces of our journey. Performance artifacts along with film and photographs of our journeys are compiled into an installation, showing the experience of our group walking in different places yet moving in sync. All are documented http://letstakeawalkmc.blogspot.com” (credit)
“Lucia Monge started bringing people and plants together as Plantón Móvil in Lima, Peru. This is a participatory, walking forest performance that occurs annually and leads to the creation of public green areas.
“Plantón” is the word in Spanish for a sapling, a young tree that is ready to be planted into the ground. It is also the word for a sit-in. This project takes on both: the green to be planted and the peaceful protest. It is about giving plants and trees the opportunity to “walk” down the streets of a city that is also theirs. This walking forest performance culminates with the creation of a public green area.
Plantón Móvil started in 2010 while I was walking around Lima, my hometown, and noticing how many trees and plants had their leaves blackened with smog, were being treated as trash cans, or even used as bathrooms. I started to put myself in their place, and thought I would have left town a long time ago. Instead they are sort of forced to sit there and accept this abuse because of their planted “immobile” state. I wondered what it would be like to encounter a walking forest that had taken to the streets like any other group of people would do, demanding respect.
Plantón Móvil, however, is not a group of people carrying plants: at least for that time being we are the forest. I find it important to make this distinction because it changes the nature of the gesture. This is about lending our mobility to plants so that they can benefit from the speed and scale that draws people’s attention. In return; we may momentarily borrow some of their slowness. Essentially, it is about moving-with as a form of solidarity.” (credit)
Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds, (Cheyenne/Arapaho, 1954-)
This work was a temporary memorial for Native Americans who died in Italy as part of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show in the late nineteenth century, and was installed at the Venice Biennale in 2007. It consisted of a series of 16 outdoor signs to remember and honor their loss, 8 outdoor signs that serve as commentary, several signs in the water-taxis encouraging repatriation of the Native people’s bodies from Europe to the U.S., as well as a large billboard at the Venice airport that stated ‘welcome to the spectacle, welcome to the show’ as a faux welcoming sign, which was visible as people walked through the airport check point. These Lakota warriors were formerly imprisoned in the U.S. and were given the choice to remain in prison, or go perform in Europe, which was not much of a choice.
“The Muster is a one-day, open-air celebration centering on the question “What are you fighting for?” posed by artist and self-appointed Mustering Officer Allison Smith (b.1971, Manassas, VA). This public art event takes place on Governors Island, the former national military post located in New York Harbor. Once there, visitors can tour an encampment of more than 50 campsites and art installations, created by an army of “enlisted troops” selected by Smith and the Public Art Fund. The afternoon includes an array of activities—mock battles, American Folk portrait painting, magic shows, quilting bees, soapbox speeches, and more—culminating with a formal “Declaration of Causes” on a central stage.
As a military term, muster refers to a gathering of troops for the purposes of inspection, critique, exercise, and display. The Muster adopts the language and aesthetic of a Civil War reenactment. Like Civil War reenactors, participants in The Muster engage in the articulation of identities through performance and expand on the reenactor’s belief that events lost to history can gain meaning and contemporary relevance when performed live in an open, participatory manner. However, The Muster does not involve enacting a specific war from the past; instead, Smith uses the format to create an occasion and a forum for individual expression of diverse causes.
Beyond its military roots, The Muster also bears a resemblance to a country fair or an early 20th-century carnival. Blending art, craft, culture, history and social activism, the event embodies Smith’s interest in community and freedom of expression. The causes of the participants vary widely, from the political to the whimsical, addressing art history, technology, gender, democracy, and sociology.
For more information visit www.themuster.com.” [credit]
Alan Michelson (1953-, Mohawk) created a type of sculptural reenactment when he installed Earth’s Eye (1990) in lower Manhattan’s Collect Pond Park, outlining the now absent pond, a freshwater source that sustained Manhattan residents until tanneries polluted it and it had to be filled in during 1803. Forty cast concrete markers (22”x14”x6” each) referenced the natural and social history of the pond with low-relief imagery of plants and animals, and were arranged in the outline of the pond. Passersby walked around and within the installation, “bringing previous states of the locale into the here and now.” (Everett, Deborah. “Alan Michelson,” Sculpture, May 2007, Vol. 26 No. 4. Page 31.)
“Michael Belmore’s Coalescence was conceived as a single sculpture in four parts, [as part of LandMarks2017/ Repères2017 invites people to creatively explore and deepen their connection to the land through a series of contemporary art projects in and around Canada’s National Parks and Historic Sites from June 10-25, 2017.]. Sixteen stones, ranging in weight from 300 to 1,200 pounds, are fitted together and inlaid with copper, then situated to frame the vast distance between the southernmost boundary of the Laurentide Ice Sheet near Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan, to one of its points of drainage into Hudson Bay in Churchill, Manitoba.
Sites in Riding Mountain National Park and The Forks National Historic Site, both in Manitoba, punctuate the stones’ migration. Together, the four locations mark meeting points between water and land: ancient shorelines, trade routes and meeting places, sites of annual mass migrations of animals, as well as the forced displacement of peoples.
Belmore uses copper as a way to invest the stones with labour and value. The stones come against each other to create a perfect fit, while their concave surfaces move apart slightly to reveal the warm glow of copper to reflect light. Each crevice is filled with a fire that will be extinguished with age, turning brown, then black, and reaching a luminous green hue as it settles into the landscape. They are a marker of how everything comes from the ground and returns to it, and how these processes stretch far beyond human understanding of time.
Belmore has created a moment of connection between deep geological time of stone and the linear human time of labour. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, this connection acts as a reminder of how the timelines of national celebration do not take into account the timelines of the land on which they take place. The stones were going to traverse a land familiar with rising and falling waters to reach their locations, but spring 2017 brought a record snowstorm and a spring melt that washed out the rail line that serves as the main transport artery between Churchill and southern Manitoba.
The political negotiations that followed have left the responsibility for its repair unresolved — part of the continued legacy of colonialism, the challenges of northern transportation and migration, and the importance of international trade routes that go back to Canada’s first trading posts. Belmore’s piece remains intact in Churchill, its splitting and migration halted by the processes that reach out from its conceptual core.” [credit]
In TH&B: Beachcombers, Hamilton collective TH&B (composed of artists Simon Frank, Dave Hind, Ivan Jurakic, and Tor Lukasik-Foss) stage an urban camping expedition at Ontario Place. In this durational performance, the group explores the West Island on foot and by canoe, producing an artwork that encompasses their process, their camp, and an installation built during their time there. A tongue-in-cheek response to narratives of wilderness exploration and discovery, TH&B: Beachcombers revels in the absurdity of scouring an artificial island, with the aim of collecting materials to create a rescue beacon. Referencing the 1970s kitsch exemplified by the Canadian TV show Beachcombers, TH&B’s performance combines industriousness, outdoor-savvy, and a healthy dose of humour.
TH&B is the creative partnership of Simon Frank, Dave Hind, Ivan Jurakic and Tor Lukasik-Foss, a group of visual artists working out of Hamilton, Ontario. Resuscitating the moniker of the defunct railway that once serviced the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo rail corridor from 1895-1987 as a geographic marker, the team develops projects that response to site, context and history. Collaborating on all aspects of authorship and production TH&B investigates the intersection of rural, urban and industrial environments in the Great Lakes region.” [credit]
“I have always loved walking by the sea and was increasingly disturbed by the amount of plastic I was finding washed up on the beach. But in 2006, the United Nations Environment Programme reported that humankind’s exploitation of the oceans was ‘rapidly passing the point of no return’ and I was really shocked to discover that they estimated that on average there were around 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating on every square mile of ocean, leading to the death of over one million seabirds and over 100,000 marine mammals every year due to entanglement with or swallowing of litter.
We now know that over 12 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year, travelling on ocean currents to every part of the globe. These plastics endure in the marine environment indefinitely: items from the birth of plastics are washing up on our shores, virtually unscathed. Scientists estimate that plastic can take 1000 years or more to degrade in seawater and even then will continue to pollute our environment with thousands of microscopic fibres: samples taken from a Northumbrian beach were found to have over 10,000 fibres in just one litre of sand… But disposal of plastics in our oceans isn’t just harming wildlife now. We are also providing a toxic legacy that may last an eternity. Moreover, plastics can be found throughout the food chain, even ending up in the food on our plates.
plastics, like diamonds, are forever…
I was so shocked by what I had learned, I felt I had to do something and resolved to ‘save’ one square mile of ocean by collecting 46000 pieces of litter whilst walking on the beaches near my home. Every time I visited the beach I picked up all the litter I could carry. My challenge took exactly a year to achieve (September 2006 – September 2007) and in total I walked over 200kms and carried away nearly a third of a tonne of rubbish.
But sadly my challenge will never really be complete. Scientists estimate that the amount of plastic in the sea is increasing at a rapid rate, doubling every 2 or 3 years. I’m still collecting (I can’t stop!). But this could be a lifetime’s work and I still might not save a single square mile of sea… My efforts may only be a literal splash in the ocean compared to the immensity of the problems are seas are facing. But what if everyone tried to do something about it? Luckily there is a lot more we can do – have a look here at the things we can all do…
Exhibitions The plastics I have collected have become my materials: I create huge installations with what I have found, ‘recycling’ it as art with potent message, playful but deadly serious. See photographs from some of my exhibitions.“
On a small headland near the town of Roundstone, it was comprised of beach pebbles. Map makers Tim Robinson (1935 – 2020) and Máiréad Robinson (1934 – 2020) sent a map of this work and others by Richard Long, who protested their recording of the sites. Robinson replied, “…once the artist has made an intervention in the landscape and left it there, it contributes to other peoples experience of place, which may well be expressed in someone’s else work of art.” He goes on to write, “…your marks on the landscape will have a career of their own; they are no longer defined by their origin in your creativity.”
“A work whose presence slowly becomes an absence performs a special type of work. The pattern of beach pebbles continues its conversation with the winds and the rain—the pebbles are there, though the sculpture may not be. Connemara sculpture has now become a form of signage pointing out its former location: “This is the place where Richard Long’s Connemara Sculpture once was.” The stones will inch away from each other without concession to any human intention other than the one that views all human aspirations as vanity.”