So far, this month, I’ve been gathering a collection of discursive interests and content ranging from a radio programme about marine ecology to visits to arts and science events and workshops in Cornwall, relational, perhaps, to ‘TTP’. In radio wave form, a broadcast of underwater recordings of fish tapping and or what seems to be bumping into coral reefs or gnawing algae from the reef’s surfaces with emphasis on just how noisy, or how much sound there is at any given moment in the oceans. In the other direction, that of deep space attending workshops at Goonhilly Earth Station near Helston and the experience of being close to the working, concave/convex and towering forms of the satellite dishes sited in Goonhilly Downs National Nature Reserve. The shadow drawing made by sunlight in collaboration with the antennae of the radio communication discs acts as its own time keeper, reminding me of a sundial like apparatus on the surface of this mottled and weathered disc.
This subliminal-like effect seems to permeate all around including the lily ponds where I found myself, without thinking, quietly tracking the movement of a tiny reed warbler sensing its environment through the feedback of information from its feet as it traveled slowly across a lush and giving surface of weed. I’m back there in the moment of memory, image and sound.
My actual focus on the project over the past couple of weeks has generated a bubble-like structure of thoughts and actions around practice and making as we get closer to starting our residency. Questions about the ways in which an individual or a collective’s creative processes can bring about a potential communication and response to an environment or space have been surfacing. For instance, which elements – materials, concepts, shared visual and audio experiences, or just simply doing – can best support our exploration of experimental approaches in working in installation through our performances and workshops? How to discover and recognize cognitive events taking place through play and within our engagement with, for example, materials, tools, instruments and happenings as they take shape. Will this be, for example, in the exchange of sound and visual recordings we make, the feedback we collectively give, interpret and translate as well as the experience and skills we’ll all take away?
One question which surfaced and one I will be thinking about came in a conversation in 2016 which is how do participatory and collaborative events different from one another in content and action? My interest in Brazilian artist Lygia Pape’s process and play from wall-based practice into viewer-participatory pieces developing into collaboration and event seem all the more appropriate.
Next step: looking forward to working with my fellow collaborators in a couple of weeks time…
‘The Life Scientist’ with Professor Callum Roberts, Marine Biologist University of York, UK
Goonhilly Earth Station, Helston, UK
Ground Work: international art in Cornwall, Helston, UK
Dark Skies: Bright Stars Project Cornwall UK