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DREAMINGPLACE technology collaborative drawing 1 by Claire and Anna

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High low ancient contemporary kind unkind

Technology is very much a part of Dreaming Place; the high tech kind, the low tech kind, the ancient kind, the contemporary kind, the kind kind and the unkind kind. Our international collaboration is shaped by the technologies of the past, future and present. So w’e’re delighted to have been invited by Anita McKeown of SMARTlab to contribute to

“The Matter of Technology”- presentation and panel discussion at ISEA12 on Friday September 21st 1:15 – 2:30 at the ABQ Hotel, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

SMARTlab as Claire says “does some really cool stuff”. So together we’ve put together a 15mins power point presentation in which Claire speaks live and I speak via mp3 audio.

The communications technology we habitually use as we work together in our respective rural home places in Devon and New Mexico solve the BIG problem of time and distance. We use Skype for live chats and conversations, dropbox for file sharing and google docs for scripts, idea development, feedback and schedules. Technology enables our project outcomes to travel out to you in your own homes and workplaces wherever you are in the world. (blog hits from 66 Nations in last 90 days) via Radia FM live-streaming, local community radio, our blogsites and website. 

But though technology is the solution to some of the BIG challenges many of us face, often our present-day technologies disconnect us from our environments and sometimes even from our own bodies!

While these technologies protect our bank accounts and the environment from frequent plane rides to and from each other’s home places, too much “screen time”  gives us “square eyes” and makes us feel pretty lousy.

And as Anita flags up in her own presentation online devices and storage systems have a carbon footprint all of their own and are dependent on non-renewable rare earth minerals.

So we are constantly working on how to balance lifestyle with the goals of our arts practice and the screen time required to share our work with diverse audiences. Really absolutely  nothing replaces face to face contact. And our live events are irreplaceable as a potent means of sharing projects with participant audiences.

Some of our best ideas come while we are on the hoof interacting with people, places and things and experimenting to discover how the creativity of our prehistoric ancestors shapes our contemporary cultures.

To be continued….. in our ” The lure of radio” blog on 28th October

Chance Encounters

They are what happen when you are not looking. They take you by surprise. They are “gifts from the gods of the moment.” Chance encounters smell of sweet spontaneity, taste of salty saturation, feel like a hand-carved walking stick, sound like the chirp of the oracle wren and look like the two botanists that we happened to meet on our way up Cuilcagh Mountain. They are offspring of time and possibility, cousins to choice and the grandparents of adventure. They are the fruit of diligent openness after a season of true patience. They are people, places, creatures and things met on roads and under bridges; shared thoughts and coincidental gestures. They are a collision of time, place and invisible intention. They are ground for invention and the willingness to fail or be unseen and forgotten. Chance encounters give rise to shared experience, information exchange and sometimes realizations. While they are born of spontaneity, they require attention to be noticed and can be easily missed or “wasted” if eyes are closed or heads are down while walking the great road.

Two Heads are Better Than One

We dreamt our collaboration into existence with 4 legs, 2 noses and 2 x 6th sense.
During our traveling residency, we “dreamed the world” in our own collaborative image by encountering two headed animals.
A two headed, two armed kid on the ferry cavorting up on deck in spitting rain alerted us to our double headed state;
a donkey with two heads watched us pass from an emerald field,
a push-me-pully deer froze our gaze on the banks of Lough Oughter,
a double yellow kayak held us in its smile,
we laughed and cried,
the twin cultures of Cavan (Eire) and Fermanagh (N.Ireland) welcomed us,
we walked a bridge linking  two cultures,
we spoke and were silent,
we dreamed by day and night,
we laughed at the double entendre,
we met Geopark officers from both sides of the border,
we found our way over and underground,
we  listened to two trees  kissing,
we remembered and we forgot,
we were lost and found,
we caught the landscape gazing at its reflection,
we experimented with ancient and modern,
we took photos of each other,
we followed a bifurcation,
we walked a ridge joining two borders,
we looked east and west,
we ate breakfast side by side,
we listened to the voices of two nations,
we spoke and listened,
we matched-up splitting images, played at duppies, captured mirror images with our cameras while the hills reflected in the sky,
we heard the drip, drip of water as it echoed into a cave,
we  dreamt double,
we learned of old and new traditions,
we drew from twin imaginations,
we did science and art,
we pedaled sister bikes,
we heard how Bridget and her dad saw two houses where there was once one and thought they were tipsy,
we learnt Gallic and English names of towns and people,
our nostrils smelled in tendem,
we followed two rivers,We dreamt our collaboration into existence with 4 legs, 2 noses and 2 x 6th sense.
During our traveling residency, we “dreamed the world” in our own collaborative image by encountering two headed animals.
A two headed, two armed kid on the ferry cavorting up on deck in spitting rain alerted us to our double headed state;
a donkey with two heads watched us pass from an emerald field,
a push-me-pully deer froze our gaze on the banks of Lough Oughter,
a double yellow kayak held us in its smile,
we laughed and cried,
the twin cultures of Cavan (Eire) and Fermanagh (N.Ireland) welcomed us,
we walked a bridge linking  two cultures,
we spoke and were silent,
we dreamed by day and night,
we laughed at the double entendre,
we met Geopark officers from both sides of the border,
we found our way over and underground,
we  listened to two trees  kissing,
we remembered and we forgot,
we were lost and found,
we caught the landscape gazing at its reflection,
we experimented with ancient and modern,
we took photos of each other,
we followed a bifurcation,
we walked a ridge joining two borders,
we looked east and west,
we ate breakfast side by side,
we listened to the voices of two nations,
we spoke and listened,
we matched-up splitting images, played at duppies, captured mirror images with our cameras while the hills reflected in the sky,
we heard the drip, drip of water as it echoed into a cave,
we  dreamt double,
we learned of old and new traditions,
we drew from twin imaginations,
we did science and art,
we pedaled sister bikes,
we heard how Bridget and her dad saw two houses where there was once one and thought they were tipsy,
we learnt Gallic and English names of towns and people,
our nostrils smelled in tandem,
we followed two rivers,
we minded and not minded,
we saw through the looking glass,
we worked with dual purpose,
we dreamed up past and future lives.
we minded and not minded,
we saw through the looking glass,
we worked with dual purpose,
we dreamed up past and future lives.

Grand Canyon Daydreams

Some of you may already have caught this Guest Post from Claire’s Uncle John, when we originally posted it several months ago, we were in the middle of editing Episode 1. But now that many of you have heard Radio Dreaming Episode 1, and the reference that it contains to my Uncle’s 3 month journey through the Grand Canyon, it seemed right to re-post it…..

In the thick of editing the “Food Chapter” of Our DREAMING PLACE radio program, during a casual conversation about this topic with my mom, she mentioned my two Uncles’ unique “food dreaming” experience while hiking the Grand Canyon. I asked my Uncle John (John Donald) about it by email and the following is what he wrote back. It is posted here with his permission.

Francis and I walked most of the length of the Grand Canyon on the south side between late Feb and early May of 1970. The whole hike was 440 miles in several sections. It had been a dry winter and all the South Rim trails were free of snow when we began our trek; then it snowed 2 feet and turned rather cold. After a trial hike we measured our food portions by weight for all our coming meals and wrapped and packed them up in piles for each leg of the journey. We had to be sure we had enough calories to keep warm as well as enough energy to hike with our 55 lb. packs. It was mostly dehydrated food to keep the weight and bulk down. Along with our several types of meals we limited ourselves to 1lb. of crackers per week and had to forgo bread altogether because of its bulk. Well, what you can’t have turns out to be what you want most, I guess. When I ate hot soup I thought how nice it would go with some real coarse, whole grain rolls, the kind you chomp down on and pull real hard to get a chunk loose, you know? None of that white bubble bread for us. It seemed like we were hungry a good deal of the time and one day we ate lunch twice. Still hungry.

Toward the end of our hike we hadn’t seen any people for almost 3 weeks and we came out on the western esplanade in the red sandstone Supai formation. It is weathered into huge rounded blocks and domes that looked just like rolls right out of the oven. They were rich, deep red brown just like giant whole-grain rolls. As the miles went by I began to think fondly of the rolls my mom baked every Thanksgiving and how yummy they were. My daydreams of rolls had tuned to stone, but they brought sweet memories nonetheless.

Just so you see that our daydreams were not stretching the imagination too far, the above photo from the Sierra Club website, shows pretty closely exactly what we saw that got us going on the rolls image. Some of  them, the tastier looking ones, were a little deeper red and close together like rolls in a pan. No steam rising, but close enough.

Hope this is useful in some way.

Love, Uncle John

Dreaming Radio Broadcasts Across the Miles

collaboration what does it meanWhen we collaborate with each other in the field (as in the photo at left), we discuss our project face to face. However, this time of year is different. We are thousands of miles apart communicating via skype and sharing files to create Radio Dreaming Episodes. Dropbox and Google docs are our allies.

Here are are, working together, in our own home places, over 4, 000 miles apart, carefully timing our work sessions around the 7-hour time difference:

Below is a recording of one of our skype chats, or brainstorms. This one is about  stories. Anna is the one with the English accent and Claire with the New Mexico accent.