Artists as Map Maker brings together Site Sit and four artists whose practices have a connection to
restlessness, whether this emerges through their process, their relationship to travel or through
having flexible/changing addresses.
They are collectively from, currently based or have previously lived in: Wales, England, Scotland,
The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Finnland, Denmark, Estonia, Catalonia, Greece, Austria,
Belgium and Japan.*
My current research studies the perception of wilderness. From this, my work references the collaboration between memory, nostalgia, fiction, the media and their combined role in creating versions of place. Can these fragments build an authentic model for place to exist?
My recent project in midwest America involved interviewing park rangers on their role in creating and maintaining ‘authentic’ wilderness, which is echoed within my work. The perception and creation of wilderness is a broad, on-going body of work ranging from human intervention to natural ecologies. I attempt to understand the rich diversity in the way we perceive wilderness and its role in contemporary society.
Previously lived: Ashingdon and Brighton
Currently Based: London
Image credit: Sam Carvosso
Statement of Intent:
Visiting places, particularly ‘wilderness’, is essential to the development of my practice. Wild spaces have an incredible amount of digital coverage that has never been more readily available.
Collections of similarly framed photographs without the presence of people, buildings, and other man made interventions show the pursuit for ‘virgin wilderness’ is still present. My practice attempts to recognise the ambiguous stance between reality and imagination, and the effect this has on the way we perceive these spaces.
This residency will allow me time to consider the role artists have as map makers. I have recently been making small landscape models of moments that have stuck with me while walking. Through this, place is manipulated through memory and brought to a manageable, malleable size. I aim to discover the diverse approaches to map making (walking, landmarks, conversations,) and its relationship to universal and personal experience (history, time, memory).
Site-specific research in collaboration with personal experience is a key component to my work. Connecting with a variety of partners, organisations and individuals throughout Småland will open up conversations that are incredibly beneficial to my practice. I hope to engage with and learn about area specific ecology, history, myths, and how communities in Småland use the land around them.
‘Campsite as studio’ is an on-going approach to making work. How are we able to make and present work outside with limited tools and materials? ‘Camping’ is also referring to a temporary location to inhabit. Due to the amount of travel in Småland, this notion will be expanded and thought about extensively throughout the residency.
I seek the awkward tension between topics and bodies, extracting choreographic ideas from them. I thrive on interdisciplinary teamwork, working collaboratively with other artists to portray the universe we want to create. Extracts from a subject are interpreted through music and then into dance, or dance into text, and so on. I aim for a progressively confused and entertained audience.
Previously lived: Tranas, Uppsala, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Tallinn
Currently Based: Stockholm
Image credit: Anastasia Semjonova and Fuji Hoffmann
Statement of Intent:
Dance has a built-in component of temporality, meaning it disappears as soon as it’s over. It is also a ‘silent’ artform, lacking words. At this moment, I am working on a project with an anthropologist, composer and graphic designer. I have realised how surprising the outcome of interdisciplinary engagement, with a specific topic, can be. A writer’s text can hint towards the direction a choreography should take, and vice versa. The graphic designer can, by a stroke of the pen, imagine worlds where only the music can go. It all ties together very well. The layers are greater than the sum of its parts. Because of these experiences, I am excited to further pursue transdisciplinary collaborations during, Restless Practice: Artist as Map Maker.
Every good fantasy or sci-fi book starts with a map. I am curious to explore the sense of wonder in a map with blank spots. As artists we have few obligations to document reality objectively, we can create a subjective universe to share. I am very curious about how a map can become a silent guide towards an inner journey. A map and a route leading to solace, or peace? A map with inner terrain as well as the external.
Travel has always been a great source of creativity for me. Sometimes a natural part of it, letting the landscape fly by sitting by the train window, or watching the waves of the baltic sea kissing the archipelago. Very seldom has it been the main subject for me. Therefore, I am interested to discover how this will affect my work, and to share the experience with my fellow travellers.
It is delightful to be invited into this process in my home region. I would never have chosen to take to Småland as a space to create, so I am curious about what impulses I will pick up from this journey of discovery and re- discovery, together with my colleagues. I always look forward to the Fringe Festival in Tranås, where I can connect as an artist with other artists, as I would normally do in international contexts in bigger Metropolises. A small town has more time and focus. The Metropolises are noisy and busy in a way that is not always beneficial for creative connections. So, I am wondering if or how my self-image will shift, being back home, and how that will inform my creativity.
My work sits within the realm of environmental art and audio installation. I combine visual art, scientific research and sound experiences to express my ideas. This creative, multidisciplinary way of working allows me to explore concepts that I would not otherwise be able to access, functioning as a method to open up questions about human nature. My current research project (Un)Heard, plays with the idea of plant communication, by making unheard plant messages heard.
Previously lived: Devon, Newport, Edinburgh, Toronto
Currently Based: Cardiff
Image credit: Peak
Statement of Intent:
Throughout Artist as Map Maker, I am looking to develop my sonic based research on the human presence in, and impact on the natural environment.
Each location that we visit will have its own sonic map, as humans and non-humans interact with their surroundings, guided by the infrastructure in place. Through binaural field recordings and hydrophone recordings, I plan to collect information on how people are in contact with the natural environment. These subconscious interactions are what interest me most. To expand on this, I am also curious to compare and contrast the soundscapes recorded in each location.
The permanency of our impact can be viewed in the layers of strata of Earth. When we listen to the environment, these permanacies are less noticeable and require different ways of listening in order to hear and understand the layers of change.
In my recent work, I have been using sensors to capture micro-voltages from plants and then translating them into sounds using MAX MSP and Ableton. I would like to question how I can do this outside of the studio environment, whilst journeying. It will be interesting to hear what differences there are between public community spaces, in both urban and rural environments.
When I show my work, there is often an interactive element, to draw the audience’s attention to the impact of their physical presence. During this project, I would like to explore how I can exploit this method in different ways, especially when sharing work in progress.
As a result of gathering data at a relatively fast pace from across numerous locations, I’m curious about subsequently reviewing everything simultaneously, and what that may be able to tell us about patterns of human-nature interaction. This will be an interesting way of working - with science, research and sound as the key elements of the project.
Outi Elena Valanto
With a background in dance and architecture, my practice is focused on cross-disciplinary techniques, combining the artistic and scientific, movement and architecture. I am interested in the possibilities for city development through inclusive and interdisciplinary art practices, and in exploring movement that engages with technology.
In my works Supertarget, Transformer and Spiritual Cabaret, I explore present movements in society, where subjects like social media, technological development, food culture and public space are focus points. As a freelancer I have worked on international productions such as, Moving Digits, Common Ground, Moving Beyond Inclusion and Move the Public Space. I am currently a researcher within the project Receptive moving in urban spaces.
Image credit: Timo Gmeiner, Stephan Jürgens and Outi Elena Valanto
Statement of Intent:
This residency has a very special quality, that of being in constant movement. I will be encountering many spatialities through my body, and within the common body of various artists. These characteristics will allow me to dive deeper into my investigations of the body in relation to its surroundings.
Through observing innate body reactions to and with the environments we travel through, I will transform characteristics of these reactions into movement scores. I will develop these scores further through improvisation; as Susan Leigh Foster describes in her essay, Taken By Surprise: Improvisation in Dance and Mind, to extend into, expand beyond, extricate ourselves from that which was known.
Exploring the water thin line between known and unknown space I will question, how does the body know space? How fast is possible to make space know, even if the body is just traveling through it? How does this impact moving in it? These questions will be in conversation with the fact that our group is visiting/ foreign/ other; exploring the space alongside everyday users will challenge the possibilities that the environment offers.
In addition to laying focus on the physical body, I aim to examine how inhabitation of our environment is known through non-physical space. How much do we inhabit a space just with our bodies? What kind of knowledge is needed in addition to bodily knowledge, in order to inhabit a space? Are we, in this century of information society, really able to be, in the spirit of Foster taken by surprise?
This residency could benefit not only my artistic practice but also my research on Receptive moving in urban spaces. The experience of arriving, inhabiting and departing, alongside the tasks we undergo, will enable me to create new connections within subjects I am already working on.
Since my practice aims to create a universal improvisational score that can work anywhere, no matter what the characteristics of the space or the body are, Restless Practice offers the opportunity to investigate what stays even when travel happens, what kind of body perceptions are constant, what is the common core.