Monday, 20 January 2014

The Tide Is High

A Creative 'Slow Residency'
Beginning in Spring 2014, Sabrina Dreaming (Severn Estuary Tidelands) sets out to creatively reimagine this estuary coastline and floodplain, through an interweaving of the scientific (landscape study, pollution, flooding etc); the social/cultural (working lives, folklore, built heritage etc); and the imaginative (stories, myths, poetry, inspirations etc). The terms geopoetic and deep mapping can be useful in describing this kind of remixed, hybrid exploration of a place.
In this year-long experimental project, the surreal and unsettling qualities of a dream will come into play, anchored in the real, physical, sensuous experience of these tidelands and tidewaters (including entanglements with other tidal coasts around the world)...

Therapeutic possibilities of water environments; symbolic associations; environmental change and rhythms; local heritage; these are all ingredients in the mix to be gathered, woven, assembled. Others include the proposals for a huge energy-generating barrage and two new nuclear power stations on the Severn shore.

"As Artist-In-Residence at The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI), Antony Lyons will draw on his previous work exploring water environment issues (pollution, landscape-change, climate-change, biodiversity). At the same time, he will link to, and highlight, CCRI's research areas relating to landscape policy, ecosystem services, 
water/food security and other community issues. Whilst evolving a new body of creative works (especially film, sound, sculptural installation), Lyons will be meeting local community groups, artists and organisations such as the Severn Estuary Partnership, The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and others."

The project aims to initiate new conversations about, and perhaps alter perceptions of the Severn Estuary through assembling experimental film/sound-based artworks, derived from the often hidden and intangible ecological uniqueness of this water landscape. Presentation and communication of findings will give equal prominence to the factual/scientific and the imagination (a geopoetic weaving). Through juxtaposition and interweaving of some CCRI research strands, there will be an opening up of new research questions, possibilities and perspectives. The residency will contribute to growing interest in transdisciplinary responses to situations of environmental change.

Some aspects of Sabrina Dreaming (Severn Estuary Tidelands) include:
  • Fieldwork, information gathering, encounters, dialogues, film/sound recordings, scientific data-streams/databases and archives. Artist-led walks.
  • Production of film/sound works, sonifications and visualisation of some scientific data-streams to assist with creating a bridge between the direct sensuous experience of the setting and research carried out at CCRI and elsewhere.

"Data is routinely visualized in a range of diagrammatic forms (e.g. graphs, bar and pie charts) and these are staple forms of scientific analysis and communication. Data sonification offers the chance of analyzing and communicating processes in very different ways. Firstly sonification artifacts or events retain temporal and performative dynamics within themselves as they play in time. Secondly human affective processing works very differently between the visual and its ability to express “hidden” systems, or “hard-to-perceive” processes, sonification might be particularly useful .... Recently James Lovelock has said that the definition of life that underpins, and emanates from, biology is far too narrow. Systems live (and breathe) differently. We need to learn to listen to that breathing.” Jones and Palmer, 2013

  • In late 2014, there will be a film-based installation or performative event. An augmented installation space may involve the addition of interactive sonification or data-activated kinetic sculptural works (Aliveness Machines). These latter are based on experimental artworks originally produced by Lyons and sonic/kinetic artist Jon Pigott for the Confluence Project on the River Torridge, Devon in 2012. Aliveness Machines are kinetic sculptures, incorporating sound and light in ways that have strong site-specific associations to place, and to the investigation themes. For the River Torridge, they were activated by river pollution and bat-activity data. 
  • As well as this blog, there will emerge a series of recordings for wider distribution, supplemented by publications including journal articles.

The project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and is intended to bring artists into academic research and study environments.

Online Summary Graphic - LINK TO FULL COPY

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