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.
Isle of Stories (2017- ongoing)
Established in 2017, Isle of Stories is a collection of creative events, encounters and opportunities for storytelling, story making and story sharing.
Isle of Stories facilitates creative, placed based, learning adventures in nature for the public. We promote reciprocity through collaborative arts projects with authors, academics, scientists, actors, musicians, artists and islanders. We value creativity, playfulness, hospitality and friendship. Our approach is relational, engaging, adaptive and life-enhancing, unlocking people's potential to create change.
Isle of Stories is based at Isle of Gigha School on the island of Gigha, one of Scotland's most beautiful hebridean isles.
Spanning across cultural and geological borders, Isle of Stories is also a newly forming, futures focussed international research network connecting island communities across the globe through a love of adventurous storytelling and inclusive arts.
Artist Residency, Isle of Gigha School & Pre-Five Unit (2017)
Over 3 seasons of 2017, I worked in partnership with Isle of Gigha School and Pre-Five unit to facilitate creative, place based, learning adventures in nature.
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. BEE Wild! is a series of micro restoration projects supported by Grow Wild UK, Kew Gardens and the Big Lottery Fund. These ongoing garden projects focus on increasing local biodiversity, caring for endangered species and creating spaces for sharing and generating knowledge of indigenous plants and culture.
This hybrid course combines an introduction to botany and digital journalism facilitated in partnership with the Achamore Gardens Trust. Skills in botanical drawing, sculpture, film and photography are introduced in this course. I also helped establish the Isle of Gigha School Community Gardening Club which aims to provide the school community with locally grown, organic fruit and vegetables. Our award winning garden designed by Isle of Gigha School was exhibited at Gardening Scotland 2017, Scotland’s Premier Horticultural Festival.
The Earth Charter in a universal expression of ethical principles to foster a more sustainable future. As part of our learning programme this workshop series introduced students aged 5-11 to key Ecoliteracy concepts through placed based learning adventures. Concepts explored included: Ecosystems, Decomposition and Plastic in the Oceans. This series was supported by Earth Charter International and 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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