7 rivers in 49 images
Mariángela Aponte Núñez
Abstract: 7 rivers in 49 images is a collection of 49 photographs of the seven rivers (Aguacatal, Cali, Cañaveralejo, Cauca, Lili, Melendez and Pance) crossing the city of Cali, Colombia.
This project focuses on the relationship of Cali’s people with their water. Like most of colombian territory Cali is rich in clean water resources, but the environmental crisis of our globalized era can be seen here too: Cali’s waste has been reaching a point that today most of those rivers have no drinkable water after they pass through the city. The photographs explore the movement and color change of the water passing through the city of Cali.
The 49 images forms a sequence from the Pance river, the one with better conditions, to the Cauca river, the dirtiest and one of the major rivers in southwestern Colombia.
Originally, the images were printed (size: 100 x 70 cm); for Balance-Unbalance I am proposing a slideshow of the entire collection to be screened at the entrance lobby of the DB Clarke Theatre.
Bio: Mariángela Aponte Núñez, born in Cali, Colombia. With a Visual Arts degree obtained at the Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia in 2007, I am currently completing my Master in Aesthetics and Technology of the Electronic Arts at National University of Tres de Febrero in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 2005 I have been showing my artwork in solo and group exhibitions. Some of my works are: TACTOSCOPIO, that addresses issues related to art and blindness; SONOSCOPIO, an experimental sound installation; and the photographic exhibition 7 RIVERS IN 49 IMAGES that explores the color change of Cali’s rivers from their birth through its mouth. I am actively collaborating in Colombian publications, among them, with the ARTEFACTO section for the “Pandora’s Box” radio-cultural series in Javeriana Stereo Cali as well as several other transdisciplinary projects.
Abstract: ‘Transient Landscapes’ is a live performance adaptation of the installation Sound Mirrors by multi-award winning Australian artist Leah Barclay. Sound Mirrors is an immersive sonic environment that responds to significant rivers across the world. Throughout 2009 – 2011, Leah Barclay travelled through Australia, India, Korea and China capturing the sound of rivers and their surrounding communities. The resulting work is an ephemeral experience that slides through vivid landscapes and rich cultural traditions.
The Noosa River positioned in a UNESCO listed Biosphere of Australia, the historic Han River flowing through the city of Seoul, South Korea and the Pamba River in the evocative backwaters of Kerala, South India form the core of Transient Landscapes. The process has varied from sculpting and layering sounds recorded on location to directly responding to the environment. The source materials range from hydrophone recordings deep in the Noosa River to pilgrims chanting at dusk on the banks of the Pamba in South India.
Transient Landscapes was selected as one of four national projects for the Australia Council’s HELM Award for Environmental Art. HELM is an initiative of the Queensland Conservation Council that recognises innovative work at the intersection of art, science, technology and the environment.
Bio: LEAH BARCLAY is an Australian interdisciplinary artist and curator recognised internationally for her distinctive sonic language. Her work has been commissioned, performed, and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, India, China, and Korea.
Barclay creates immersive performances and multi-sensory installations at the intersection of art, science, technology, and the environment. Her work spans film, theatre, and dance to hybrid performance, interactive media, data sonification, and site-specific installations. Her adventurous nature has led her to complete projects on the floor of the Australian ocean, desolate lava caves in New Zealand, and the evocative backwaters of South India.
Barclay’s dynamic work has resulted in numerous awards, including the Premier of Queensland’s inaugural National New Media Scholarship, the Asialink Performing Artist Residency for South Korea, and the HELM Award for Environmental Art. She has directed and curated environmental projects across Australia, India, and Korea and serves in an advisory capacity for a range of arts and environmental organisations including Noosa Biosphere (UNESCO) and Ear to the Earth (New York).
Wende Bartley and Jacky Sawatzky
Abstract:“Soundlines”, a one channel video with spatialized sound, is both a requiem to the forest and the creation of a new ecological space . Using footage taken in Vancouver’s Stanley Park after a storm destroyed thousands of tress in Dec. 2006, we visually enter into the lush environment of an old growth rainforest, the camera tracing both the elegant simplicity and tangled chaos of the fallen trunks and limbs. Aurally, we are embraced and surrounded by multiple voices and sonic characters which speak a wordless language. The music is created from vocal improvisations made at the megalithic temple of Mnajdra located in Malta and draws on an understanding of the voice as a potent conveyor of memory and the mythic.
In “Soundlines”, the visual becomes the bowl that holds the sound. The intersection of image and sound create a mode of engagement that goes beyond a complimentary relationship but rather creates a space that enables an entry point for an intimate encounter and experience with the heart of the forest. We mourn the natural cycle of loss, which can occur both suddenly and over time, while simultaneously becoming re-engaged with the vulnerability of a natural space upon which we are dependent for creating and maintaining sustainable life. “Soundlines” is a collaboration between video artist Jacky Sawatzky and composer Wende Bartley and grew from their collective experience amongst the Stanley Park trees in the days following the storm.
Bio: Wende Bartley is a freelance composer and sound artist dedicated to exploring the full range and potential of the human voice on multiple levels of engagement. Much of her creative work combines vocal sources, electroacoustic practices, soundscape and mythology. She has written for the concert stage, video and film soundtracks, music theatre, installations and site specific performances. She is currently launching her 2-disc album “Sound Dreaming: Oracle Songs from Ancient Ritual Spaces” based on her vocal recordings created on-site in Crete and Malta and mixed in 5.1 surround sound.
Jacky Sawatzky is a visual artist working in the medium of video and installation. She sees her work as cartographies that aid in her search for a home. Currently she is researching the potential impact that renewable energy sources will have on our expectation and understanding of landscape. She teaches part time in the Faculty of Art at OCAD in Toronto.
One World 1
Abstract: One World 1 is based on sounds from New York and New Delhi, as if the world were one large crowded city, its space shared through a common human bond.
At the same time, it seems clear at this moment in history that the idea of sharing one world through a common human bond is a utopian goal rather than a current reality. It is one of the major problems of our age that inundated with information, much of it disturbing, we view the world today as a complex, turbulent and chaotic system of different nationalities, religions, cultures, and politics, as if the world were one large crowded city overwhelmed by urban noise and discord. We all face the same dilemma. How do we interact with this world? How do we extract humanity from the chaos to focus on individual lives?
The field recordings from New York were done by Benjamin Chadabe. The field recordings from New Delhi were done by Shankar Barua. One World 1 was composed with support from the New York State Council on the Arts.
Bio: Composer Joel Chadabe is a pioneer in interactive music systems. His music has been performed at Human Voice in a New World (New York City), Xenakis and a Changing Climate (La Tourette, France), Electronic Music New York (Brooklyn College), Suono Aperto (Conservatorio G Rossini, Pesaro, Italy), ElectroWorks Festival (Athens), Ear to the Earth (New York City), Tevereterno (Rome), HörZeit-SpielRaum 2005 (Berlin), NYU Interactive (NYC), New Mix (Palais de Tokyo, Paris), and other venues worldwide. His music is recorded on EMF Media, Deep Listening, Lovely Music, and other labels. He is the author of Electric Sound, a comprehensive history of electronic music and his articles have been published in Organized Sound, Leonardo, Contemporary Music Review, Computer Music Journal, and other leading journals and magazines, and anthologized in books by MIT Press, Routledge, and other publishers. He co-authored the first digital sequencer. As president of Intelligent Music, he pioneered interactive music software. He has received grants from NEA, NYSCA, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Fulbright Commission, and he is the recipient of the SEAMUS 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Chadabe is Professor Emeritus at State University of New York, visiting faculty at NYU, and president of Electronic Music Foundation.
Veins in the Gulf
Elizabeth Coffman and Ted Hardin
Abstract: Countries around the globe seem locked in political stalemates whenever they try to solve their environmental problems. The state of Louisiana in the U.S. has faced some of the worst disasters in the last decade—hurricanes, oil spills, river flooding. But the biggest disaster is land loss. Southern Louisiana is the fastest disappearing landmass on Earth. If the community doesn’t do something soon, Louisiana may not stretch past New Orleans. Filmmakers Elizabeth Coffman and Ted Hardin have documented the Cajun bayou communities of Southern Louisiana as they reach for political consensus to restore their wetlands. “Veins in the Gulf” (76 mins, 2011) traces the environmental crisis of southern Louisiana, the loss of Cajun culture and the rapidly disappearing bayous since before hurricane Katrina. Through interviews with fishermen, engineers, writers, and scientists, Louisiana poet Martha Serpas bears witness as residents confront the mortality of their culture, and a community tries to solve its environmental crises. Serpas guides the audience through the complex story of coastal land loss, hurricanes and damage to the marshes caused by the 2010 BP oil disaster. While shrimping, attending public meetings or looking for tar balls on the beach, Serpas guides us through the heart of Southern culture to discover where great American seafood and oil have come from for the past century, but may not for the next.
Bio: Documentary filmmakers Elizabeth Coffman and Ted Hardin have completed films about communities in crisis. Their last film, “One More Mile: A Dialogue on Nation-Building,” (2003) investigated the delicate and controversial role of the international community in a post-war society trying to build a new nation. “One More Mile” was broadcast in Bosnia and screened at NYU, Northwestern University and won an honorable mention from the University Film and Video Association. Their current film, “Veins in the Gulf,” documents historic bayou communities of southern Louisiana as they try to solve their environmental crises related to land loss.
Between my sky and your water (Entre mi cielo y tu agua)
Ricardo Dal Farra
Abstract: Surrounded by water or asking for it, with clear and bright skies or cloudy days and long nights, maybe different languages but perhaps common hopes. Who knows? Bridges are all around, both real and virtual. Impossible connections, feelings, thoughts and sensations flow between and across my sky and through your water. Between my sky and your water (Entre mi cielo y tu agua) is a picture in sound of the geography and culture of some Latin American regions, and their relationships with the geography and culture of the Nordic European region. This piece was composed in 2007 using sounds recorded by colleagues in their native lands, in the north of Europe, with plenty of water around; and by colleagues living and visiting the Cusco region, ancient heart of the Inca’s empire in the higher mountains of Peru, closer to the sun but far from the ocean. Between my sky and your water is part of the North-South project. An initiative by Nordic and Latin American composers to share experiences and to know more about each other’s culture and environment exchanging ideas and sounds, and composing a series of electroacoustic works. All pieces are based in a common pool of sounds, created by the contribution of each composer in the group. Between my sky and your water was realized at the Electroacoustic Music Studio, Argentina.
Bio: Dr. Ricardo Dal Farra has been conducting activities in the merging fields of arts, sciences and new technologies as a composer and multimedia artist, researcher, educator, performer and curator focusing mainly on new media arts and electroacoustic music for more than 30 years. He is an Associate Professor at the Music Department of Concordia University (music.concordia.ca/people/faculty/full-time/ricardo-dal-farra.php), Founding Director of the Electronic Arts Experimenting and Research Centre (CEIArtE) at National University of Tres de Febrero, Argentina and Associated Researcher at the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort Univerisity, in the United Kingdom. Dal Farra has been national Coordinator of the Multimedia Communication program at the National Ministry of Education in Argentina during seven years; Research/Creation Coordinator of the (original) Hexagram interuniversity consortium in Canada; Senior Consultant for the Amauta – Andean Media Arts Centre in Cusco, Peru; Coordinator of the Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage (DOCAM) international research alliance in Canada; and national Education Manager at NCS Pearson, Argentina. He has also been consultant for organizations such as: The MIT Press in the US, the interuniversity project No2s in Chile; and consultant and researcher at The Daniel Langlois Foundation in Canada and UNESCO (Digi-Arts), France. Dr. Dal Farra’s work has been distinguished with prizes, grants and commissions by the International Computer Music Association, the International Arts Biennial of San Pablo, Brazil, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Rostrum of Composers from Argentina, the Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, France, and the Centro di Sonologia Computazionale from the University of Padua in Italy, among others. With over 20 international editions including recordings of his electroacoustic music, Dr. Dal Farra’s works have been performed/presented in over 40 countries.
The Butterfly Effect
María Ezcurra and G. Scott MacLeod
Abstract: “The so-called Butterfly Effect, the notion that a butterfly flapping its wings in China can influence the weather in Florida”. (From http://people.sc.fsu.edu/~jburkardt/fun/misc/butterfly.html)
Through an animation and textile performance of the Monarch butterfly this performative inquiry explores the interconnections that exist between ecological and social issues. Based on ideas of immigration/migration we want to investigate the interconnections, possibilities and consequences of global environmental change. As Maria Ezcurra is from Mexico and G. Scott MacLeod is from Canada, we will use the Monarch butterfly as a symbol to represent the connection between our two countries via the migratory pattern of the Monarch, which in reality transcends our man made boarders and adheres to natural set of rules. This presentation is a metaphor for the emergence of the life from the chrysalis state of the butterfly, before the migration process of the Monarch, showing both its vulnerability and strength and acting as a symbol to illustrate that what happens locally affects us globally. We believe that in our environments we have a responsibility at this defining moment in our history to act and be the change we want to see in the world. Our performance could conclude with an open discussion that reflects how we function as a society within ecological and social matrix. We both feel strongly that by raising issues around social change and its connection with ecology, immigration, migration, transformation, it will incite new interpretative possibilities for a better environment, social and global consciousness.
“And if we seem a small factor in a huge patter, nevertheless it is of relative importance. We take a tiny colony of soft corals from a rock in a little water world. And that isn’t terribly important to the tide pool. Fifty miles away the Japanese shrimp boats are dredging with overlapping scoops, bringing up tons of shrimp, rapidly destroying the species so that it never come back, and with the species destroying the ecological balance of the whole region. That isn’t very important in the world. And thousands of miles away the great bombs are falling and the stars are not moved thereby. None of it is important or all of it is.” (Steinbeck, John (1951). The Log from the Sea of Cortez. P.p. 3).
Bios: Maria Ezcurra: Artist, Art Professor and Mother. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1973. Lives and works in Mexico City since 1978. Currently she resides in Montreal, where is coursing a PhD in Art Education at Concordia University in Canada, with support of Concordia, Promep and Fundación Jumex Awards. Previously she studied at the Visual Arts School (ENAP) in the National Autonomic University of Mexico, received a Master’s degree in visual arts at the Chelsea School of Art in London and completed coursework at the San Francisco Art Institute. A recipient of the Fulbright scholarship, multiple FONCA programs and currently a member of the National System of Art Creators (SNC), Ezcurra has participated in more than 50 group and 10 individual exhibits in the Netherlands, Greece, Australia, the United States, England, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Mexico. Additionally, she has installed her works as outdoor sculptures in Mexico City, London, Caracas and San Francisco. She has taught at diverse universities in Mexico, such as La Esmeralda, UACM, Centro, and is part of the Faculty of Arts at the Autonomic University of Morelos (UAEM) since 2001.
G. Scott MacLeod: Multimedia Artist, Film Director, Musician and Educator.
Born in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, in 1965. Scott received his diploma of collegial studies in Fine Arts at John Abbott in 1984 and BFA specialization in printmaking at Concordia University in 2003 and is currently a candidate for a Masters in Art Education at Concordia University. He is a fellow at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico and sits on the Concordia Fine Arts Association. Scott has over 150 exhibitions and performances nationally and internationally and his work has reflected social, political and historical themes with an aim to promote education and accessibility to art and culture. His work is in many museums, corporate and private collections. He has presented his work in Canada, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Czech Republic, and the USA. He was awarded the following grants notably; The William Blair Bruce European Travel Scholarship for his Ancestral Homes Viking heritage project, a Conseil des arts et des Lettres du Quebec ‘A’ grant, on two occasions the Filmmakers Assistance Program from the National Film Board of Canada for his documentary After the war with Hannelore – A Berliner war child’s testimony 1945-1989 and the Saga of Murdo MacLeod, a Conseil des arts et des lettres research/creation grant his Animated short the Saga of Murdo MacLeod and finally the Fr. Shaun Gerard McCarthy Govenlock Scholarship from Irish Studies at Concordia University for his Master’s thesis work on the community of Griffintown in Montreal.
Corn Field Performances and Live Dining
Abstract: From GMO cornfield to adaptable concepts – “Being there” – food, soil, plants and us. Most people don’t like getting dirty, you get your hands in the dirt, and you want to clean them off. Plants can pick or many people these days have allergic reactions to them. Nature is messy and chaotic, and in our attempt to control it’s messiness human’s have played their role in causing inbalance in Nature. I will present two artworks, the first is “Corn Field Performances” (2002), a questioning performance intervention in a GMO cornfield in eastern Quebec, and the second is the adaptable concept and collective performance “Live Dining” (2005-2011). The evolution of the first artwork to the second, is going from questioning industrial scale monoculture practices in agriculture, to living a solution, of poly-agriculture. In both cases, I am there. I am in the environment. “Being there” is about being in the environment, with plants and soil, in the country and in the city, in particular how it relates to relationships with each other, to food and human consumption. I include in polyagriculture being with biodiversity and eating with it around us, with wild plants, drought resistant plants and plants that naturally survive and live in depleted soil, and do not need to be genetically modified to do so. This polyagriculture is about embracing the messiness of Nature in its diversity, as opposed to trying to controlling it, through monoculture. While presenting “Live Dining”, I will explain two concepts the ‘interconnected-self’ and ‘adaptable concept’, which define my artworks since Live Dining. This concept introduces the inclusion of interspecies interrelationship into what I define as a relational environmental aesthetic. Reflecting invisible complex interrelationships and the idea of performance ecologies, these new performance rituals are about celebration and critiquing norms. The rituals perform the concepts, which are about interrelationships between members of diverse communities and species, adaptation and interconnectedness to the environment.
Bio: Nicole Fournier is an artist, activist and founder and director of InTerreArt. She has exhibited her art internationally and for more than two decades has been addressing ecological environmental issues in her artwork. Since 1996, her practice has embraced the interdisciplinary of art, communities and environment through independent research and the development of concepts and actions with polyculture-food-medicine systems. In the last 10 years she has been addressing the idea of sustainability by bringing together biodiversity, systemic causes of poverty and new art practices that include environmental thought, performance and conceptual art. She holds a BFA from Concordia University (1993) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Studies from McGill University (2005).
Threat of Extinction by Oil
Stephen H. Kawai
Abstract: The focus of my visual art practice for the last decade and a half has been mobiles (and suspended installations). Although these explorations of mass and gravity draw from a very wide variety of themes and subjects, expressions of molecular phenomena which fuse my artistic and scientific experiences have been of particular interest to me. Of the mobiles especially relevant to the theme of the Balance-Unbalance Conference, “Threat of Extinction by Oil” highlights the Far North’s vulnerability to environmental damage and climate change.
(Due to technical constraints, the “Water Trilogy” won’t be displayed)
Bio: Stephen H. Kawai was born and raised in Montréal, Canada. Obsessed with drawing from a very young age, his formal art training began as a teenager at the now-defunct MMFA School of Art and Design where he first encountered kinetic art during an outing to see the works of George Rickey. This artist’s spare and slowly moving pieces mesmerized Stephen and eventually (or inevitably) led him to the work of Alexander Calder and to reproduce the basic mobile forms. For many years, mobiles took a sideline to drawing, painting and ceramics, as well as scientific pursuits.* It was during a three-year stay in Paris in the early ’90s, the city where the art form was invented and the term “mobile” coined, that his interest in modern sculpture was rekindled. Upon returning to Montréal in 1994, he began to create mobiles in his own style, focusing on a wide range of natural materials (rock, shell, plant material, etc.) rather than the brightly coloured abstract elements typical of the work of Calder and those who emulate his style. Stephen continues to broaden his artistic scope, incorporating mobile work into installations and exploring novel means of augmenting the kinetic aspect of his creations. He also continues to draw and experiments with a range of mixed media. His work can be found in private collections throughout Canada and in Europe.
*Stephen holds degrees in biochemistry and chemistry, and will be teaching these subjects at Concordia University in the fall of 2011.
arghanum V [1990-1] ∏, for piano and electroacoustic sounds
Abstract: The piece, arghanum V, was written as a reaction, as a statement against the destruction of nature by man. When accordionist Joseph Petric commissioned the original version of the work, it was to be premiered at the “Sound Symposium”, in Newfoundland in 1990. At the time, the deforestation in that area of Canada was considerable. Large industrial conglomerates destroyed complete forests having no plans for re-forestation of the area. The first indication in the score “agitated and wild, with repressed anger” is a commentary “sobre la belleza de lo salvaje” [on the beauty of the wild] and the exploitation and destruction of the wild by mankind.
Bio: Canadian-Argentinian composer, conductor and pianist born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1929. He moved to New York in 1965, having received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and lived there from 1965 until 1971 where he worked at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. In 1971 he was appointed professor of composition at the Faculty of Music, McGill University in Montreal. Since 1974 he has been the director of the Electronic Music Studio at McGill. lanza is now the EMS Director Emeritus. alcides lanza continues to have a very active international career as a pianist and conductor specializing in the avant garde repertoire. His programs reflect his particular interest in the music of the three Americas. lanza has performed Piano Marathons at Pollack Hall in Montreal, in 1987 and 1992. This last featured lanza performing for five hours – non-stop – and included 48 different pieces for piano, electronics and film. alcides lanza has done innumerable radio and television concerts, several LP recordings and compact discs, and has organized contemporary music forums and events.
Stati d’Acqua (2006)
Abstract: Stati d’Acqua (States of Water) was inspired by water’s constant physical transformations. These field recordings explore motion, stagnation, evaporation, condensation and falling. Water produces an infinite variety of sounds throughout the entire range of audible frequencies, sometimes creating the perfect white noise (i.e., the equal overlapping of all audio frequencies), and sometimes creating pitched tones. The field recordings for this composition were done along the entire course of the Tiber River, from its source at Mount Fumaiolo to its outlet in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Many techniques were employed, including special microphones and recording while in motion along springs, streams, waterfalls, caves, and waves, as well as the sea. The recordings also include the sound scan of a six-month old fetus – the fluid resonance within the human body. The work is a tribute to water, as a symbol and metaphor for the various states of mind and emotion. Carefully observing and analyzing the microcosm of tones in the recordings of streams inspired me to organize the water’s sounds complexity into a tuning system that uses the whole ratios of Zarlino’s XVI Century system. 120 filters were used to create discrete resonant filters carefully tuned on the partials of different harmonic series, ordering the chaotic energy of water along natural intervals. Stati d’Acqua premiered on June 21, 2006 as a 30-minute, multichannel sound installation with 18 points of sound diffusion on an 80×500 meter site in the heart of Rome. The work was created for Tevereterno, a site-specific, multidisciplinary project conceived by artist Kristin Jones to celebrate the Tiber River. The version presented at Balance-Unbalance 2011 is a 17-minute reduction to 6 channels and was first performed at the Festival Ear to the Earth 2006 in New York City.
Bio: Composer, performer and sound-artist, his work documents natural sonic environments and untouched ecosystems throughout the world with cutting-edge field recording techniques. Combining detailed lab analysis and eco-acoustic composition, he creates original music for sound installations, museums, films, contemporary art and new music concerts. Over the past two decades, he has conducted recordings throughout Europe, Africa, North and South America. During recent travels to the Brazilian Amazon in collaboration with Greenpeace (2002) and the African equatorial area of Dzanga-Sangha (2008), he began collecting high definition ‘sound portraits’ of primary equatorial rainforest ecosystems for his major international project “Fragments of Extinction”. His research and music have been published by international labels. Publications (2004-2009) include: CD Canto Sospeso (Domani Musica – Rome, Italy), CD Paesaggi di Libero Ascolto (ANTS Records – Rome, Italy), CD Prima Amazonia (Wild Sanctuary – San Francisco, CA), CD After the Untuned Sky (Coclearia – Urbino, Italy), CD Eco-Acoustic Compositions (EMF Media – New York, NY). Since year 2000, Monacchi taught Multimedia Acoustics at the University of Macerata, and is now Professor of Electroacoustic Music Composition at the Conservatory of Music of Pesaro – Italy. He is based in Italy and travels widely for field research, media and film music composition, and gives lectures and concerts throughout the world .
Floating Land (2011)
James Muller and Leah Barclay
Abstract: Australian cinematographer James Muller and composer/sound artist Leah Barclay have joined forces to create an evocative response to Floating Land 2011. Floating Land is an ongoing conversation about creativity, the environment and culture pivoting on a dynamic ten-day event in the UNESCO listed Biosphere of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Conceived in 2001 as an outdoor sculpture exhibition, Floating Land is now solidified one of Australia’s most significant green art events sparking the imagination of artists, scientists, politicians and conservationists globally. This abstract exploration of the event features the iconic Lake Cootharaba, one of Australia’s most pristine natural environments, with over thirty resident artists working on the shores. The collaborative projects were realized as ephemeral installations, incorporating projection, light and sound in the natural environment. Performances such as Blue Gold by Australian composer Ros Bandt investigated the delicate balance between wet and dry in our natural landscape, while the multi-sensory installation of Lyndon Davis recognized the critical value of Indigenous knowledge systems in ecological crisis.
Bio: JAMES MULLER directs Earth Base Productions, a multi- disciplinary, creative media studio. He has over 12 years experience in the film, television and digital media industries. Earth Base Productions produce a diverse range of projects utilising screen technologies and emerging digital media. They collaborate in cross sector and cross platform environments to create projects with intrinsic cultural and creative values. Earth Base Productions is based on the Sunshine Coast and works throughout the State. www.earthbase.com.au
LEAH BARCLAY is an Australian interdisciplinary artist and curator recognised internationally for her distinctive sonic language. Her work has been commissioned, performed, and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, India, China, and Korea. Barclay creates immersive performances and multi-sensory installations at the intersection of art, science, technology, and the environment. Her work spans film, theatre, and dance to hybrid performance, interactive media, data sonification, and site-specific installations. Her adventurous nature has led her to complete projects on the floor of the Australian ocean, desolate lava caves in New Zealand, and the evocative backwaters of South India. Barclay’s dynamic work has resulted in numerous awards, including the Premier of Queensland’s inaugural National New Media Scholarship, the Asialink Performing Artist Residency for South Korea, and the HELM Award for Environmental Art. She has directed and curated environmental projects across Australia, India, and Korea and serves in an advisory capacity for a range of arts and environmental organisations including Noosa Biosphere (UNESCO) and Ear to the Earth (New York). Barclay is currently engaged in a series of collaborative research projects addressing the value of creative methodologies in ecological crisis and is completing an interdisciplinary PhD under Gerardo Dirié and Kim Cunio at Griffith University in Australia.
Listening to a Sense of Place
Abstract: How do we listen? And what does our experience of listening tell us about the pioneer experience, the transformation (and continuity) of resource-based living to environmentalism, and the contemporary importance of sound in the cultural history of British Columbia’s coastal communities? At the intersection of acoustic communication and memory studies, this video and audio piece documents the ethnographic process of community-supported research with residents of Echo Bay, located in the Broughton Archipelago, BC. This fishing and logging community is transforming into a remote tourism destination, and the Archipelago is also home to the highest density of salmon aquaculture in the province. As such, the area has become a contested site over the (mis)use of local knowledge concerning the impacts of salmon farming on the local ecology and community. Using sound as a catalyst and soundwalking as a form of ethnography, storytelling and expression, this multi-media piece explores historical and contemporary ideas about both the global and local environmental crisis. We bring together both scientific and situated knowledge by listening to biologists, researchers, community members and, specifically, to the life-story of Billy Proctor, a renowned elder and pioneer of the community. In doing so, we are able to “hear” the past in the present and understand the importance of historical, contemporary and environmental listening. This piece and research suggests that through listening to sense of place, ideas of nature, art, science, technology and society provide us with a vital interdisciplinary platform as we move into an era of ecological threats.
Bio: Jennifer Schine is a Masters student in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University and an active sound artist. Her work explores the relationships between soundwalking, aural and oral heritage and culturally-specific listening practices within the fields of acoustic communication and memory studies.
Greg Crompton writes, makes video and uses sound in his creations. He began creating narrative fiction films while studying writing at the University of Victoria. Video journalism took Greg to Africa, where he worked as a journalism trainer and documentary filmmaker. Greg is now the creative director and producer of a video production company based in Vancouver.