Wednesday, 26 March 2008

artist's plan - march 26

*collecting process:*

1. walking:
- between springs, following waterways, walking the length of a river, around a reservoir.
- between dawn and dusk, and in relation to specific times/measurements
- finding on foot what I view from Google Earth, making connections, finding translations.
- as a way of encountering people, non human life, plants, narratives.
- tracking boundaries, perimeters and movement across them
- collecting sound. ideas and images

2. driving:
- as a way of crossing and navigating the neroche area and finding my way, including passing on the M5
- as a means of getting to interview and talk to people
- collecting images, video and sounds
- contributing to pollution and climate change

3. google earth & internet:
- a satellite perspective from above the landscape to find curiosities, traces of contemporary and historical movement, and to map places to walk
- as a source for other materials and connections such as youtube blackdown hills sites

4. investigating and researching:
- Rebecca Solnit, Richard Long, Alan Solnfist, The Harrisons, Miranda July, Simon Whitehead, Francis Ayls, Annie Dillard & Richard Mabey.
- rural politics, conservation and leisure, agriculture and migration, countryside as depository, darknesses, isolation, contemporary and historical perspectives.

5. mapping:
- routes and paths, water flow including water table and rivers, geological shifts, weather and prevailing wind, animal bird and butterfly migration, dust and air, seeds, flights paths, historical migration and human movement.
- tracing a map of Neroche landscape through springs and waterways and some additional transient and moving features (emotions, stories, memories, ideas, particles)

6. interviewing / speaking with:
- conservationist
- butterfly and moth expert
- waterways engineer
- migrant worker
- person who held, or attended raves
- postwoman, or horse rider

*outcome / realisation*

at present i am seeing the outcome (the thing that’s lasting and public) as a website directly linked to the neroche site, driven by my artistic interpretation of the neroche landscape. currently it manifests as a mapping (drawing) of all the springs and waterways in the neroche landscape and using them as 'portals', routes or hotspots to reveal collected images, sounds and stories from the moving and changing landscape. It ideally would work in a similar way to google earth - the user would be able to move across the surface, drift across the landscape, and then click on hotspots to reveal other layers, memories and ideas in relation to things which are migratory, transient or passing/passed through, including me as the artist in relation to trips/walking I’ve made.

- some of these collected pieces (audio clips/video/images) could also work on the hand held system.

*questions I’m asking*

- how practical or realisable is this? is this the best manifestation of the work?
- could there be a way of using Google Earth / You Tube to host/ghost some of the work so that people come across it in different ways?

- I would like to avoid making DVDs or books that won’t necessarily find a life or be distributed. I like the idea of making something that is ‘immaterial’ in itself - it reflects the nature/content of the work. The website would need to be very accessible and user friendly, and crucially, simple to maintain.

Friday, 14 March 2008

things passing through : cafe red car


someone living in here the light is on at night it's on all day there's someone living in behind here

meeting : rural time

I'm in Hemyock to talk with G and J from the Neroche Scheme and from the Forestry Commission, to ask them questions about natural history, migratory species, and significant events in the landscape. we cover all the topics. we talk about conservation, climate change.

All sorts of beginnings come from this meeting, a kind of network is laid out on the table, people to meet, species to track (invisible, rare) and events to consider.

When i ask G about a sense of personal events that have 'passed through' Neroche for him, he talks about two things, two houses where he played as a child. One is now gone, there's nothing left, it has almost vanished into the ground, and in such a short space of time. The other was bought up, converted, done up and now the owners like to keep their privacy. they bought a cottage for a rural life, and they don't want paths and people running through. they have a high fence, and some solid boundaries.

The polarity of the stories of the two houses become kinds of marker points for me at either side of my peripheral vision.

They recall my own childhood to me within my 'square mile': a milkstand in the hedge, almost gone now, hardly anything left, and so quickly. And there, some new commuter houses where Quandary and Merrylegs' (!!) stables were. The village's architecture visible in my mind's eye now, my sense of place written between my hands and feet via nerves (and horse dust). My immediate ability to recall both somatically and sensually where I 'was', and all those other things 'were' - it's electric. Palimpsest, accretion, disappearance.

"It may be that loyalty to something as immaterial as ideas sets thinkers apart from those whose loyalty is tied to people and locale, for the loyalty that ties down the latter, will often drive the former from place to place." Rebecca Solnit 'Wanderlust - a history of walking'

culmstock : some things there

travelling up from south devon, crossing back over the M5 on the way to Culmstock were these at the side of the road, small white portals right by the motorway bridge, right by the roadside

and on into Culmstock, where a small ending was occurring

beside the actual and symbolic small 'deaths' in the village life, another demise; the tenderness of class 4's ceramic tiling work was a warmth by the skip - the ducks are so Yellow, the sheep so White and there's a Strawberry at the door

and out the other side, wrapped countryside