“Earth systems and structures are changing daily – environments that took millions of years to evolve are in a process of accelerated change. My fieldwork monitors these geographic shifts, transcribing them into situated knowledge and embodied meditations. My surveys take place in mountain ranges, forests and deserts, rivers and lakes, natural parks and remote islands, post-industrial landscapes and urban centres. My performances and installations develop adaptive environments to test our capacity to be agile.”
My research draws parallels across Arts and Geography fieldwork methods; and contributes to a wider discussion on instability and environmental change, using experiential fieldwork methods to monitor erratic performances in the landscape. Against the pervasive anthropocentric view, this research investigates how the natural environment with all its fragments is itself an act – a mobility of material already activated. This work adds to current debate involving the recording and documentation of performance and live event in the arts, exploring slow capture in an age of acceleration at the intersection between visual arts practice and physical geography, to investigate image-making as a form of material transformation and transportation.
My work engages with the challenge in recording and broadcasting time-based practice.
FIELDWORK Q&A – May 2015
How is fieldwork part of your practice?
Fieldwork is my practice. I have an unfixed idea of what fieldwork is – it is multi-dimensional, has many roles in my practice, and is a variable framework within which I make work. My fieldwork involves research, performance, survey, mapping, charting, documentation, and more – it is an itinerant mode of working that is experiential, experimental, changeable and ephemeral. For me, fieldwork is as much a working methodology as it is an art form… and everything in-between.
How would you describe your fieldwork activity?
My art deals with an exploration of the Earth’s surface – unfixed topographical features and fluent spatial dynamics, envisioned as the activated spaces of landscape to be surveyed and mapped. Travelling between object and situation, expeditions form a framework for my itinerant practice of fieldwork. I have developed an evolving framework for exploring different geographical environments and situations, using artist-led expeditions to encounter and enter landscapes. Through performance surveys, I look at the underlying structures of landscape – I am interested in the form of the earth, how I negotiate the idea of form, and how I navigate place.
How are you currently sharing your fieldwork?
I work mainly in still and moving image, and the intermedia between sculpture and performance through my practice of fieldwork. Documents are made into a range of publications including maps, books and folios – these are distributed through exhibitions, presentations and other events. My recent fieldwork project Guide74 uses an expedition format to take an audience on a metaphysical journey to the Alpine regions of France, through a series of performance lectures involving spoken word, books, maps, objects, and photographic documents.