Living Objects (2017-2019)
Contemporary arts’ nonhuman turn brings to the fore the agential nature of nonhuman lives and how they intersect with our own. My current research concerns the ethics of human-nonhuman collaboration within this emergent field, with a particular focus on plants and microorganisms.
Is it possible to make, think, speak, mourn, resist and grow with beings and forces other-than-human in times of ecological collapse?
Are processes of collaboration with the nonhuman even possible? Should they be attempted? In merging speculative and lived modes of making, how might a proposal of human-nonhuman collaboration engage ethics of care?
Moulding, binding, weaving, watering, feeding, aerating, holding, retreating, rending, mulching, burying; my latest works have culminated in a series of installations titled Living Objects which present mycelial formations in hand woven habitats.
This research is being conducted in fulfillment of the Masters of Fine Arts Programme at Simon Fraser University within the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, (Vancouver) Canada.
Artist Residency, Isle of Gigha School & Pre-Five Unit (2017)
Over 3 seasons of 2017, I worked in partnership with Isle of Gigha School to facilitate playful and creative adventures in nature. This unique school is situated on the Isle of Gigha, one of Scotland's most beautiful western isles. As Artist in Residence these projects focused on supporting the school's community outreach programme which aims to place Learning for Sustainability at its heart.
The creation of a new learning garden and series of micro regeneration projects on the school grounds and the Isle of Gigha, sponsored by Grow Wild UK, Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew and Big Lottery Fund.
A hybrid short course in Digital Journalism and Botany facilitated in partnership with the Achamore Gardens Trust. This seasons highlights also included the founding of the Isle of Gigha School Community Gardening Club and the creation of an award winning garden designed by Isle of Gigha School. The Gigha Garden was showcased and exhibited at Gardening Scotland 2017 and was awarded the Peoples Choice Awards 2017.
Earth Charter Inspired workshops introducing learners aged 5 - 11 to key concepts in Ecoliteracy. This series of workshops was facilitated in partnership with Earth Charter International and in collaboration with the Earth Charter Youth Network.
TC 2-22.303 (2015)
TC 2-22.303 is a free form poem and interactive drawing experience which unfolds under it’s focus the practice of elicitation.
TC 2-22.303 is titled after the United States Department of Defence doctrinal guidance documents from which it was constructed. Its creation sought to investigate the languages that underpin the practice of elicitation, as expressed in the TC 2-22.303 document. Its contents explicitly outline the operational frameworks of a Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Centre and the training manuals which govern the competencies of the personnel that operate within its limits.
Via a handmade concrete territory, participants took part in an audio tour of the JIDC facility. Moving within this drawing of the JIDC’s foundations, participants were invited to visualise its workings and move within the linguistic joints that inform human intelligence gathering and elicitation as a practice.
191 Descriptions of 191 Bodies (2014 - 2015)
The poem 191 Descriptions of 191 Bodies is an acknowledgement of the dead which sits out of odds with the comfortable network news readings of casualty numbers.
NOTE TO OBSERVERS
Divided into 13 files, the poem was constructed following examination of The Feinstein Package, a video presentation delivered to the United States Intelligence Committee on the 5th September 2013. Created on request from Sen. Diane Feinstein and compiled by the United States Intelligence Community, the video package was presented as evidence for the consideration of members ahead of a vote on military intervention in the Syrian Civil War.
The vote was initiated following allegations of chemical weapons use on Syrian civilians by Syrian Government forces. The package took the form of a sequence of 13 YouTube videos taken from hosting sites online. Sources have been traced and examined at each stream origin.
Findings show body count at 191.
Begehungen Festival Artist Residency (2014)
In 2014, I was selected to become an artist in residence at Begehungen Festival  in Chemnitz, Germany. Moving from zone to zone each year, the festival offers free access to publicly engaged arts within the city through transforming sites of social neglect. The residency offered me the chance to write, explore and create a new site specific work under the festival's theme of 'consumption'.
This residency culminated in the transformation of a local ruin, from a derelict and restricted zone into an inhabited construction site. The participative action Letters used this site for the release of digital testimonies made by Syrian refugees. As night fell participants bypassed safety lines to dig up buried testimonies. Smashing preservation jars they distributed their contents amongst festival crowds.
“Crazy - horse 1 - 8 you_are_free_to_engage - Over” (2014)
“Crazy - horse - 1 - 8 - you_are_free_to_engage - Over” examines the contents of leaked United States National Defence files commonly referred to as the Collateral Murder Files. As a historic, archival document the files offer unique insight into languages that are constructed under the influence of war.
The Collateral Murder Files were widely publicised in the media after being publicly disclosed by the organisation Wikileaks in 2010. They included a recorded 39 minute radio/visual transmission between US operated Apache fighter helicopters and their ground/force control which depicts the the killing of civilians in a public square in central Bagdad on July 12th, 2007, through the gun sights operated by US forces within helicopters.
The performance “Crazy - horse - 1 - 8 - you_are_free_to_engage - Over” took place during the online censorship of the ‘Collateral Murder Files’ in 2014 and featured secured downloads of uncensored content in the form of printed and transcribed materials. A participatory intervention was instigated, when domestic tools were offered among crowds with the direction that they were “free to engage”.
Props for Performance (2013)
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