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Posts from the ‘Collaboration’ Category

I wish you could come on the Camino…..

Dear Claire,
How I wish you were coming on The Camino Pilgrim Trail with us. It’s a bit of a Dreaming Place adventure, just the sort of journey I know you’d enjoy and learn from. I know it’s not an option for you at the mo’ Amber being small, the distance,the cost. But Mark and I will trail blaze for you and Amber will soon have her walking legs.

Where Dreaming Place was 40 days and 40 nights  this will take us fifty. We’ll walk a leisurely 20 kilometres a day. Mani spotted the easy maths for us. From Sevilla in Southern Spain it is 1,000 k on the Via de la Plata to Santiago de Compostela. Since the towns are few and we don’t plan to use hostels we can’t plug into the grid. So we’ve invested in a technology you’d love’;”solar paper” by YOLK, That way we can “plug into the sun” and stay in contact with folks at home. Not sure that I’ll blog as I just want to live the experience. But I’m taking  pen and paper for drawing, notes so I can spend the darkness of winter writing.  While those miniature solar panels from Yolk are soaking up the sun, Ghyllie will be shimmering in his K9 silver mesh solar coat. It’s strange but his coat is the exact opposite of YOLK. So where the solar paper absorbs, the coat will deflect the solar rays away from his black fur, keeping him from generating too much heat and overheating.

. K9 solar coat

I told you we are taking Ghyllie right? How could we leave him at home for two long months, he’s part of the family. He just had to come. He’s had his jabs. I’m getting him clipped and he’s in training. His dried food is way too heavy so he’ll be eating raw; avocados, bananas, eggs and tinned fish, (like you ate because of Amber in your tum). Mark and I are eating raw too, since even a mini-stove is too heavy to carry in our packs. Luckily we both love bocadillos. “What about your cups of tea?” you ask. It’s a bit of a sacrifice. What could be nicer than a cup of tea at sunset. Or in the cool morning under the fading stars.

Remember how Dreaming Place became a pilgrimage for us?  A pilgrimage to place. Well on this journey we’ll be following in the footsteps of generations who have walked before us. The original peoples of the Camino! And as with our Ireland trip this will be an opportunity to re-connct with the right things, to keep the senses alert, look for signs, listen to people, places, creatures and things. Just like we did on our adventures, you and me. It’s not just a long jaunt, a fun fundraising walk for GOSH It is a sacred journey.

Be thinking of you guys along the way!

Anna x

 

The Observatory

If this was my residency, I’d sleep on a mattress from The Gypsy Moth. Re-arrange stuff, I say. You wouldn’t be a allowed. It’s precious archive material from Sir Francis Chichester’s round-the world-voyage, says Helen. I’d ask.

Charred wood and glass. Revolving studio space. Don’t know what to expect. What would you like me to do? I’ve got some ideas, says Helen.
I hunker down for a warm night, with my dog Ghyllie, giant stacks of chairs and a couple of museum models from Shipwright school. I have dreadful nightmares. What black events can have happened here? Poor Ghyllie did you dream them too?

In the morning before people come to the slipway, I am to wade into the water. The black dress will float, my hair will float, the props will float.
Are you sure you want to do this? Helen will say.
She will place her props.
There’s a hairdryer in her room.

Thermal top, jeggings, wellie boots.
Wavy hair dropping back onto black back,arms salute the sun.
It looks yogic, says Helen. But it’s not yogic inside, it hurts.
Yes like that, hold it there. You are a good model, says Helen whle I rest.
The others say is this right? Is this how you want me? But you help.
Now you Helen, your turn to model.
Reeds, red, blue,rays of sunlight. Swish. Things coming together.

Red disc, white clouds, pale reeds.Looks like savannah.
Lie back, d’you mind?
Twin suns.
She shades her eyes
I prise the red lenses from her fingers,
Rest them on her palms.
Large hands, small white lipsticked face.
You look a mix of seductive and evil.
There is blood on my hands, she says.

Before I leave we flick through our photo shoot of the day.
We have made purple, says Helen.
Made purple?
Youve not heard the expression?
No, I never heard it. What’s it mean?
Something came together in that moment.
Magic happens.

I remember Dreaming Place with Claire.

http://www.lookinlookout.org/helen-snell

The Observatory is currently at Buckler’s Hard, Beaulieu in the New Forest National park, England, until June 2017

Artist Schedule
Ella Frears – 16th – 20th Nov and 6th – 20th Dec
Helen Snell – 2nd of January to 24th of February 2017
Christine Mackey – 12th of March to 28th of April 2017

Collaborative Drawing, 2nd Series – Drawing #5

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Collaborative Drawing, 2nd Series – Drawing #2

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Learn more about our approach to drawing here.

Pilgrim Tales : Serge, Jonno and Charlie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANear Logroño the silouette of a knight pokes the air with his sword. He carries an old frame style backpack and is bent to one-side by the pendulous weight of a black plastic sack. As we approach the knight’s sword arm flies as his sword pecks up a tissue, a crisp packet, a water bottle and drop them into the bag.

“Buen Camino” says the knight.

“Buen Camino ” we reply and “Will you be dumping that outside the townhall ?” I point a finger at the litter filled black sack. “No” says the man through bushy hair and beard . “When I get to  town,  I’ll put it in a the first BIN  I see¨ he says.

This pilgrim has a pure heart.

We have been genuinely impressed by the cleanliness of the Camino since our start point in the squeaky clean northern city of Pamplona. So pilgrims doooo drop litter  after all. We are scarred but we need not worry for this pilgrim is a saint and he picks up what others have dropped.

“A clean camino is a wonderful thing.” We say! “Where are you from ?” I ask.

” I’m Serge and I’m French” says the pilgrim.

We ask as politely as its possible to ask a really nosey question ¨Are you on the Camino because you’re homeless”?

 “I have a home” says Serge, but after my first “Camino” I went back there to France and It didn’t feel right, it wasn’t for me any longer, so I came back here and made the Camino my home. I had found my MISSION !”

Holy smoke a holy litter-picking knight!! Stories travel the Camino as pilgrim currency and Serge has entered into Camino legend.

Further along the trail as we pass through a field gate near the village of Tosantos, we meet  a couple of young Laurie Lees in revolutionary beards and khaki shorts. They carry half drunk bottles of red wine and walk with sticks cut from the hedge; good companions who have met along the way and will continue together to Santiago. Jonno says he’s from Sydney  though he sounds English and Charlie says he’s a Scot though he too sounds English.

“I’m mixed up” he says.”

You must have been to boarding school then!” I say.

“No,” says Charlie,” I was brought up in Cyprus, but my parents split up and we came home”.

Charlie tells us how he has grown up with his dad’s stories of the romance of the Camino. My dad came here himself as a young man, way back in the eighties. It was different times then, fewer pilgrims, it wasn’t a tourist destination.”

He tells us how his dad and a friend had been working on a building site when over their sandwiches at lunch one day they decided it would be fun to go to the Pyrenees. They’d get there by hitching rides. Charlie’s dad had a lot of luck and arrived in just two days, but his friend wasn’t so fortunate and took ten whole days, by which time they were both out of money. The story goes that they walked up the mountain and became lost in a storm, coming down on the wrong side of the mountain into Spain.

“Are you doing the Camino?” people would ask.

There were few pilgrims back then and Charlie’s dad and his friend had such high novelty value they were Invited into the homes of old ladies to eat. And won over by the lure of hot dinners and the kindness of locals they became pilgrims and walked all the way to Santiago de Compostella. It was an experience that changed Charlie’s dad’s view of the world.

Such is the Lure of “The Camino” that when Charlie’s dad became a father he wanted to come back with his son. Now Charlie, has got the bug and tells us he is quitting his temporary job in Scotland to finish the Camino with his new friend Jonno. Before we leave these Camino adventurers we share Camino stories about the way this ancient pilgrim track lures travellers back, sometimes time and time again.  Jonno tells us he’d met a French guy who has done the Camino Pilgrim Trail twenty seven times.

So that would be Serge the litter-picker,  the frenchman with a mission!

This blogstory is one of several by Anna is writing about her experiences with Mark on the Camino de Santiago Pilgrim Trail in Northern Spain.

Notes from The Paseo: A Multivoiced Snapshot

Paseo - 02A curious Paseo visitor approaches. “Are you part of The Paseo?” he asks.

“Yes! ” says Claire. “We’re number 19, would you like to have a listen?” She hands him the headphones.

It’s Friday, Sept. 26th in Taos, New Mexico, just a few minutes after 4pm and there  is tangible excitement  in the air.Volunteers are rushing around or expectantly waiting at the info window to help with enquiries. Something is happening in Taos that has never happened before; the first ever “Paseo” is beginning and Claire and Anna’s If you’d like to….Taos Off-Grid is on the move!

The man puts on the headphones and inclines his head, listening, a finger poised ready to press a button when the inclination strikes. He smiles and settles in to listen for a while, enjoying the experience.

“If you’d like to let cactus fruit dribble down your chin, please press five. If you’d like to apagar las luces para siempre, please press six.  If you’d like to inhabit the wilderness of your dreams, please press seven.  If you’d like to….”  The man  presses 7 on the keypad to confirm his choice. 

“You’ve gotta hear this! And it’s SOLAR POWERED!” he calls to his wife, who is gathering info at The Paseo info booth. Part pet, part machine, the”If you’d like to….” Unit has a private message for Claire.

My new solar panels seem like they’re working well!”  it says.

“Anything else?” says Claire, eager to hear more.

“I love being centre stage, people listening to me pressing my buttons. I live for moments like this, I’m thriving on the buzz.! And I like the way the roads are laid out here in Taos, I can relate to that. But am I all terrain enough for these wonky sidewalks? And what will happen if we  take a dirt side-road?” 

Paseo - 03Another visitor approaches and  hesitantly puts on the headphones. “Is it working?” She asks. “Nothing is happening when I push the buttons!?”

Claire is glad that no one else can hear the unit’s next utterance.

“That part is up to you, silly! You DO HAVE an imagination DON’T YOU!? I can’t be expected to do everything, can I?” 

“Yeah, Its working!” Claire  reassures the woman, “You see, in this piece low tech meets high tech and the high tech part is your imagination! The wooden buttons are there for you to physically register your choice, they don’t do anything to the options soundtrack. Your imagination is the thing that makes it ‘work’ and the most important part of the piece!”

A light comes on in the woman’s head and she smiles. “Oh I see,” She says. “Cool. Interesting idea!”

At this location, people are a little wary and are slow to interact, so Claire approaches passers by with an upbeat “Would you like a listen?”

Some do stop, but some hurry on their way. “No thanks,” they say.

Anna across the pond is lying awake in her cozy bed in Devon.”What’s happening at the Paseo? I wonder if it’s busy?”

“Time for a new location,” says Claire to the Unit, as the two of them make their way to the opposite end of The Paseo. By the time they reach the festival’s North end, The Paseo is in full swing.

“This is more like it!” says Claire. At the new site  near #4 on the map, Axle Contemporary Gallery piece, “The Potato,”  Claire and the mobile unit are literally “mobbed” by eager participants who all want to listen.

The Unit thrives on attention. Just as more people really begin arriving en mass, it whispers to Claire between listeners, “I love community! I want to start conversations and set imaginations whirring!”

Claire and the Unit are fascinated that each individual has a different experience of and reaction to their piece. Lots of folks chuckle and stare off into the distance while listening.

Paseo - 09“I want to do all the options!” Exclaims a pregnant Mama who comes up to listen. “My favorite one is, “If you’d like to plant a forest garden!?” she beams as she repeats what she has heard.

Now its the turn of a young child; she is enthusiastic to try it, but then says “It’s too fast! I can’t hear the options! Mama I want you to listen too… erkkk… yau…” She dissolves into tears and leaves questioning her parents about the piece. Paseo - 10

Later a group of kids comes along and the supervising grown-up has to enforce a time limit for listening so that everyone gets a turn. “But I haven’t gotten to hear all the options yet!” protests one child when it’s the next kid’s turn.

Paseo - 06One man listens for a very long time, fully engaged with the piece, but he presses very few buttons. “Nice piece,” he says. I had to listen really carefully to find some options that I wanted to do.”

There are so many people on the streets and not everyone gets to listen. “Hmm I wonder what that is over there?” says a man as his eyebrows lift. “What do you think people are listening to?” says another.

There is much speculation. Paseo - 07 Some people want to experience the piece, but can’t locate it because it is “roving.”

“I’m so glad we happened to find you! I really wanted to see your piece but didn’t know where to look for you!” exclaims a friend of Claire’s.

Claire laughs, “It is all about being in the right place at the right time. People just have to happen upon us. That is part of the experience the piece!”

“If you’d like to be Off-grid all the way please press….” says the Unit and then adds under its breath, “I certainly am!”

Watch the “If you’d like to…” Mobile Unit SPEAKING Video here.

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 26

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Our Camino de Santiago


Wayside campspot

Mark and I  started our” Camino”  experience at Pamplona bus station by a star shaped fort they have there.  A grandfather became our first guide directing us towards a tree with a yellow arrow. The way  may also be marked by a  shell icon.

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If you are uncertain or have ventured off the official route  someone magically pops up to show you the way.  On one of our frequent diversions,  three generations of women were waiting  for us outside their home to point us in the direction of the next “aldea”. They chatted with us as they walked  us over the hill and around the corner to make sure we didn’t get lost, wished us “Buen Camimo”, planted kisses on our cheeks and were gone.

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The  John Brierley guide book to the way of St James has become a bible for English speakers and many follow the suggested stages, making particular hostels more busy than others. Also known as “The Camino Francés” this popular  pilgrim route starts at St Jean Pied a Port in the northern Pyrenees, but you can start your pilgrimage anywhere, from a train or bus station in Spain or France or from your own doorstep.  We met a man who has been on “The Camino” for 12 years and it has become his home. He has walked it 27 times. The pilgrim trail measures just  780k  from St Jean to Santiago so it could easily take  4 -5 weeks.

We spent only ten days and nights on the Camino because this holiday was  a simple ” go see” trip for us. We plan to do the full Camino (Frances) next year and will be allowing forty days and forty nights, leaving plenty of time for excursions and rest days.  You will remember that Claire and I chose this biblical sounding time frame for our DREAMING PLACE project and it kind of suits this pilgrimage,  don’t you think?

P6160079Most  pilgrims we met came on their own and have many different sorts of motivation and stories. I’ll be telling you about some of them in subsequent blogs. Pilgrims of the Camino  generally travel on foot, carrying their own packs and  sleep and eat in hostels.  Some do the journey on bikes and we met a man from Germany cycling  contra -flow, whose pilgrimage had begun in Portugal, he’d already reached  Santiago de Compostela and was going on to Lourdes.

There are a total of around 200.000 pilgrims per year which seems a lot, some use different routes but in any case you only meet a small proportion of these people, so don’t let numbers put you off. Our main challenge was the very powerful sun that shone nearly the whole time,  so we split our day in two parts, resting up in the shade for a giant siesta each day and walking on into the evening. We  really enjoyed the company of strangers and spent part of each day walking and talking with others, we were particularly grateful to them because we chose to stay by the wayside in bivvy bags we missed out on the famed communal meals, which are also great for sharing and exchange.

Many pilgrims show their status by hanging an outsize cockle shell from their back pack.  We carried snail shell talismans to inspire us in the art of SLOW TRAVEL.

Though I was not officially “on project” and  this trip wasn’t conceived as an art work. Our experience of the Camino was deep and rewarding and had elements of DREAMING PLACE. We even carried the Red and Silver DREAMING PLACE mat that Claire brought with her from New Mexico for our Dreaming in Ireland. As the Camino passes through homelands inhabited by foxes, genet, wild cats, European Bison, brown bears and wolves, we further protected our camp spot with drops of lavender hoping to deter any beasties small enough to enter our sleeping bags.  We never woke up with a bison in our bags so it really does work.

As in our off-grid experience in Ireland we came to remember once again the importance of food, water, shelter and  to feel again the kindness of strangers.

We walked and talked with “perigrinos” from  France, Catalonia, Korea, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Spain, Germany, Italy, America and Brazil in both the English and Spanish language.  Our path took us through oak forests, barley fields, olive groves and industrial zones. We saw deer, quails, partridges, hops, barley and many wild flowers. We are in love with the Camino its flora, fauna, diversity and hospitality. So watch this space for anecdotes, stories, adventures and mabye even a song.

 

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 22

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A kettle full of generosity

“It’s my dream to own a kettle like that!” says Mary-Jane, her tiny frame tilted back to take in the beauty of our family-size kettle which hangs from the pod’s rear hatch. Its brown enamel surface is hand-painted with bright bargee swirls and flowers and it’s slightly scuffed.

Teapot
We are bursting to say “here you are, Mary –Jane please take it as a gift from us; for hasn’t she just given us an envelope with money in it, to repay our visit just as if we are her own children or grandchildren? But we don’t and the kettle stays in our care, ‘cos without it who knows how can we boil water for our visitors’ tea?

Back on the road we decide we will  gift the kettle, but later on when we don’t need it so badly. So when we get back to England it is carefully wrapped and sent over to its new owner, Mary-Jane of Tawny McKelly. So that if you pass by her cottage today or tomorrow asking for “a little water from the tap” just as we did, to quench your cyclers’ thirst, Mary -Jane will say, “You can, Aye, so you can surely, surely.” And then she’ll say, “Are you needin’ a cuppa tea o’ anything?” And when you say, “Yes that would be grand!” She’ll invite you in through the front door and you’ll l sit on the sofa by her dresser, decked with birthday cards and the radio still playing.IMG_8585
“It’s a long way you’ve come isn’t it?” she’ll say and “D’you want a chicken sandwich d’you?”

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 20

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Collaboration and Successful Off-Gridding

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Recently Anna, who is now an  Encounters Associate, worked with Usha from Torbay Development Agency and a guy called Ryan, who was on a “work placement,” to hang the “Aging Well” photo exhibition in Torbay Hospital gallery. The show is part of a creative participatory consultation that Encounters  has been delivering in Brixham, Paignton and Torquay.

SeedExhibit

Across the pond in Questa, New Mexico, Claire recently also spent many collaborative hours on a LEAP project with Connie Long, Claire’s mother and also an instructor with SEED, as well as Mariquita Rael, the art teacher for the Questa Elementary and Intermediate School. Together they worked with 188 students doing hands-on science and art about seeds. Then Claire, Connie and artist, Anita McKeown installed the resulting art show for Earth Day, “Seeds: Time Capsules of Wilderness” at Questa’s OCHO Art & Event Space.

These days of “working together” to get a job done got us thinking about day to day collaboration. Collaboration is an important theme for us, since we’ve been working collaboratively (we would venture to say successfully!) since 2007. As artists, we collaborate in a variety of ways….Onsite with people, places, creatures and things, via the internet, even telepathically at times it seems…..and of course we collaborate and live interdependently with people, places, creatures in our daily lives. Ex. It’s hard to imagine gardening without earthworms as collaborators!

We’re interested in how collaboration relates to the “Off-Grid Ethos”. Are they interrelated? Does successful or authentic off-gridding require collaboration inherently like a bee hive?! Or is being completely self-sufficient and not needing to depend on anyone else at the heart of being off-grid?

First, what is collaboration? It’s a hard word to define because there are so many possible manifestations of the word, but here’s a definition from Wikipedia:

Collaboration is working with each other to do a task and to achieve shared goals.It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized and egalitarian group. In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition for finite resources.

(That last sentence seems particularly related to our inquiry into the relationship between collaboration and off-gridding, doesn’t it?)

Second, what is the “off-grid ethos”? This is even harder to define, because as you can hear in our Off-Grid Radio Dreaming Episodes, almost everyone has their own definition and associations.

What are your thoughts and experiences on collaboration and off-gridding? or

How do you collaborate and what are your experiences of off-gridding.

“Self sufficiency and the power of dreams” at Renewable Energy Market Place

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Our Place-dreamer pod really is lovable and willing, billed as “Self-sufficiency and the Power of Dreams” our little micro-caravan draws the attention of many curious visitors at” Renewable Energy Market Place,”  the biggest energy event in the South-West of England.

At the comfortable Encounters compound visitors are invited to join the great energy debate, sitting down to “tell a story” to another visitor and climbing into the cosy interior of the pod to immerse themselves in the rich collage of music, voice and sound that is “Radio Dreaming Off-grid.”

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That Artists are invited to collaborate in such an event is a great innovation and a forward looking response to the challenges of the future. The upbeat Visual minutes company documents the conference with drawn image and text  and The Art and Community hub  generates a tangible thrum to enliven the wider energy debate.  Matt Harvey,  Regen South West resident poet, David Buckland of Cape Farewell and Ruth Ben-Tovim  of Encounters are  among the inspiring speakers of the day who share their particular energy and vision.

 

“Under The Blanket of the Land” – new review by Tracey Warr

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We are delighted to share a wonderfully evocative, new piece of writing about Radio Dreaming and Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, by novelist and art writer Tracey Warr. It is called “Under The Blanket of the Land: ClaireandAnna, Radio Dreaming.”

It starts:

“Hold a shell up to your ear and you hear the sound of the sea, a sound that tells you maritime stories, conjures up ships, waves, tides coming in laden with seaweed, sea breezes whipping your hair into your eyes. Artists Claire Coté and Anna Keleher make artworks that do something similar but with the sound of the land instead. Their artworks and radio broadcasts invoke ancient and contemporary stories of the land: its undulations, its soils, the layers of rock beneath our feet in a subterranean world usually hidden from view. The artists use the human geography and history of landscapes to speculate about our shared future.” Read more

Claire and Anna dream of growing edible fungi

Shitake mushrooms

Lots of us are dreaming of growing edible fungi at home. Not the magic kind but the gourmet kind (though there is a bit of magic in the process of growing shitakes!) These Shitake mushrooms have been grown by homesteaders Rob Doyle and Mairead Higgins in  the Leitrim hills of Ireland. Oh they are lucky!!! Shitake mushrooms have health giving-properties. We we want to grow mushrooms too.

Read more

Travelling with a question

what does it mean to be off-grid

Inspired by the technological challenges of our journey into the wilds of Marble Arch Caves Geopark in Ireland and Northern Irlealnd for DREAMING PLACE, we returned to the island of Ireland early this summer for a new and entirely different experience. This time we carried with us folding solar panels, a kelly kettle and an important question.

What’s does it mean to be off-grid ?

Its always enlightening to travel with a question, it offers a slant, a fresh perspective and gives much inspiration. As we travel  invitations flood in from people eager to share their off=grid lifestyles and ideas with us so we came back with a bundle of recordings  for a final episode of Radio Dreaming.

We are excited to announce that Radio Dreaming Off-grid part 1 and Radio Dreaming Off-grid part 2 is almost ready and will be coming soon.

Listen to “What is off-gridding?  and  Radio Dreaming Episodes 1-4 

Tasting the past: Hans Wieland on Kefir (audio)

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Listen as Hans introduces us to kefir. 

Hans talks about kefir fermentation.

In the kitchen of Hans and Gaby Wieland we learn of the off-grid properties of Kefir.  Lactic acid fermentation doesn’t need any energy to produce, it doesn’t need energy to keep .The result of a symbiotic relationship between lactic acid bacteria and yeasts it has been transforming and preserving milk for millenia. The usefulness of Kefir, its health giving properties, powers of preservation and tangy taste have ensured its preservation from the first dairying cultures.  Hans feeds his kefir with goat’s milk. Water kefir is a slightly different strain that eats sugar.

“You put in lemon and raisins or sultanas and let it ferment for three to five days,” after which time it will have turned into a wonderfully refreshing drink, sweet and sour at the same time similar to elderflower champagne. 

Find out more about kefir here. 

Did you see Our elderflower fritters blog?

Our thanks to Hans Wieland  of Rossinver Organic Centre, for providing info re Kefir fermentation for this blog. Hans runs courses on all aspects of fermentation. This blog is based on a transcript of our audio conversation with Hans at his home in Co. Leitrim, Ireland.

Wilderness of my dreams (Phoebe + ukulele)

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During our stop with the Pod at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre, we met artist in residence, Phoebe, who is also a poet and musician. She invited us up to her second floor studio above the print rooms to listen to her play her ukulele.

Between Phoebe’s lovely, descriptive song  and the rare Irish afternoon sunshine streaming in the window, we were charmed to be sure!

Listen to the song here:
See, hear and read more of Phoebe’s work here.

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 3

Inhabiting the dream is camping off-grid on Trinity Island

Inhabiting the dream is camping off-grid on Trinity Island

Dreaming place with our Pod Tour

Like a faithful pet our little pod follows us to outlying homesteads, castles, museums, lakes and windy hilltops, providing refuge to all sorts of people and their dreams. With its gleaming shell, comfy sofa and tool-kit of unusual props the pod  becomes a vibrant hub of dialogue, music , ideas and laughter.

In the coming months we’ll be creating  Episode 5 from audio footage gathered on the island of Ireland so completing our  Radio Dreaming series. Look out for news of broadcasts on Community radio stations around the world.

A pod party is a great way to make art in outlying areas.

A pod party is a great way to make art in outlying areas.

Inhabiting the dream

We are home after a month long launch journey to the homeplace of Radio Dreaming.

Inhabiting their Geopark dream has been fun, engaging and rewarding. Novel encounters with audience participants have included honey bees, Jehova Witnesses and an upturned boat.

Though we were rained on quite a bit, our big thank you to the people, places, creatures and things of Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark has left us with an inspiring afterglow.

And its definitely been worth the effort and all the hassles with funding. Our solar panels worked a treat and it has is been a fabulous way to celebrate Cultural Heritage, Geology and the Arts.

Radio Dreaming at Shannon Pot

Dreaming Place silk-screen printed tea towels

Check out our 100% linen silk-screen printed tea towels! We had 100 printed for backers’ rewards for our successful Kickstarter campaign as well as to sell during our recent Radio Dreaming Pod tour and here online.

A DREAMING PLACE online store is in the works, but in the meantime, if you are interested in purchasing tea towels, contact us and we will email you the details.

100% linen teat owels by Claire and Anna

100% linen tea towels by Claire and Anna

DREAMING PLACE technology collaborative drawing 12 by Claire and Anna

Mapping Dreams at Killykeagan

Mapping Dreams at Killykeagan

Automatic + Free Writing = Place-Dreamer Tool

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Usually Automatic Writing and Free Writing are considered to be two distinct practices, however we practice a combination of the two as part of our Place-Dreamer Toolkit.

According to Wikipedia “Automatic writing or psychography is writing which the writer claims to be produced from a subconscious, and/or external and/or spiritual source without conscious awareness of the content.”

Wikipedia defines Free Writing  as a “prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. It produces raw, often unusable material, but helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and self-criticism. Unlike brainstorming where ideas are simply listed, in freewriting one writes sentences to form a paragraph about whatever comes to mind.”

We use Free-Writing techniques combined with an aspect of the intention of Automatic Writing: we agree on a set amount of time in which to write continuously and we do not stop to correct spelling or grammar and we often agree on a starting phrase to get us going. The “Dreaming Place ” part of the tool is the location where we write and the approach that we take there. This goes back to the quote that inspired this project:

 “There is an early Celtic tradition that the earth remembers everything, perhaps accounting for what some call “dreams of place,” in which the land speaks through the dreamer.”

When we write, we write “In Place”, immersing ourselves in the environment and the unseen histories and personalities of that place. We allow our unconscious/subconscious to dictate the words that we write. What comes out is often interesting.

Below is a short excerpt from a free writing session that we did along the road up to Culcaigh Mountain. It is a combination of phrases from both Anna and Claire’s writing:

This place has seen every shade of green, turmoil under its roots, darkness falling from the sky in a blaze, a tiny man in a waistcoat silhouetted against a white horse, an epic game of chess, a knife blade broken in two, sun-warmed oats sprinkled into a hollow, layering of memories on bones and seeds and quietness. 

We have posted other examples of this technique HERE and HERE. Give it a try! See what happens. Let us know what you find….

DREAMING PLACE technology collaborative drawing 11 by Claire and Anna

DREAMING PLACE technology collaborative drawing 9 by Claire and Anna

DREAMING PLACE technology collaborative drawing 8 by Claire and Anna

Wild dreams and stories Claire and Anna’s Skype snippet audio

Just 4,000 miles of ocean, desert and  rolling hills lie between us, so at the mo’ a lot of our collaborative dreaming happens over Skype. In the new year we’ll be using  google docs to storyboard our 3 new Radio Dreaming Episodes, then we’ll be using dropbox to share our audio files and texts to create our pieces for broadcast on local community radio.

Its 3.30 pm in Compton, Devon and Claire is still crunching toast in her  off-grid earthship home in Questa New Mexico, when I decide to record our  Skype conversation.

So listen in to us discussing dreams, stories and other DREAMING PLACE things.

DREAMING PLACE technology collaborative drawing 7 by Claire and Anna

DREAMINGPLACE technology collaborative drawing 5 by Claire and Anna

DREAMINGPLACE technology collaborative drawing 3 by Claire and Anna

Invisible Technology

We’ve shared  thoughts and conversations, images and dreams, music and sounds and all sorts of other shareable things on our DREAMING PLACE blog. Human body technology and communication technology have been working harmoniously to create images in your mind’s eye.  Technology is everywhere around us and it solves both life’s serious challenges and life’s little problems. Its very much a part of how we live, whether its here in England or absolutely anywhere else. Its been around for as long as we have and it is part of our relationship with the rest of the natural world.

The technology of the written word solves the problem of time, distance and travel.

Audio technology is just great for throwing words and sound images via cyberspace right inside  peoples’ bodies.

Visual images, drawings, photos and mental imagery appear inside your mind via several screens, lenses and projectors.

Food technology cooks up some delicious dishes at home, in restaurants and also in factories.

Technology is so ubiquitous, I’d say its turned invisible. It’s in light, food, handles, string, skis, grease, transport, fields, food, wrappings,IT, carrying equipment, communication and in absolutely all jobs and tasks, travel clothes. So take a fresh look at your environment and you’ll find technology almost everywhere.  Where s’thing needs to happen there is technology  working with us to do it.  Its in algae, seawater, sound, animals, fish, rock, stories and dreams. And of course all our projects are naturally powered by dreams.

Take a look at some of our technology blogs .

Now take a mo’ to google animal technologies… termites, elephants, cuttlefish its not just humans who use technologies, whoever said it was. You will quickly appreciate that whatever we have thought of, plants, creatures, bacteria and fungi have  thought of first. Its boggling and humbling don’t you think?

DREAMINGPLACE technology collaborative drawing 2 by Claire and Anna

The lure of radio

Radio as a means of dissemination is a sculpting force in our practice.

Radio broadcasts and live streaming by radio stations  have become a primary medium for sharing our work with local and international audiences. (Soundartradio and Riviera Radio in Devon, Radia fm 24 countries, KRZA in New Mexico and Colorado,  Cavan Community radio in Éire) We have two projects in which radio broadcasts are the primary result.

Our Travelling Residency by van and ferryboat to Finland and back in 2008 resulted in the illustrated radio journey “How Far From Home Are We?”

Our  latest piece is Radio Dreaming.

Listen to Radio Dreaming Episode 1. Dreams, food and the edible landscape Thursday 11th October.If you’re in the Torbay area tune in on 106.2 FM to Riviera Radio or streaming online at http://www.riviera.fm/

Or you can always listen in to Radio Dreaming at www.dreamingplace.eu/radio

Our practice and projects all have audio elements, in combination with live events.

We combine exploration of ancient technologies with modern communication technologies in live – events and exhibitions. Multi-sensory experiences are one of the main goals for participatory outcomes of our projects.And this often requires modern technologies as well as “traditional” ones.

Eating Time, Taming Food was a project that looked at prehistoric food technology.
The project culmination was a sort of archaeological treasure hunt and “Bronze Age Tea Party” followed by a lab session and film viewing.
Approaching an Exchange is a multi-layered project embodying an intercultural, inter-temporal “exchange” with the original inhabitants of prehistoric archeological sites. We ask participants, “If you could bring an object or an idea to share with the original inhabitants of a Bronze Age hut circle, what would you bring?”

“Butter Walk – Harnessing the motion of our gait” explores human-powered technologies. This idea often resurfaces in our projects and installations. Harnessing existing motion is something that really engages us, something we are continually exploring in our work.
In our gallery installations we enjoy combining older technologies with newer ones.
Technologies have also become to protagonists in our projects. This sculptural unit that we created has taken on a sort of personality as it travels from site to site……it has little hooves… and it leaves tracks.
If you’d like to … Albuquerque This is the piece that we have here in ABQ for ISEA at 516 Arts. So if you have a chance, go check it out or join Claire at the block party on Sunday as she takes the unit on a walkabout outside the gallery. Our “If you’d like to…. Albuquerque” video short allows our “perambulatory pet” to find its voice and directly speak to audiences.

We certainly don’t have the skill sets at this point to develop the instant star-trek-like transporter technology that we so wish for at times or the ability to create the solar, wind, gravity and human powered mobile studios for land and sea that we’ve discussed. But imagining and manifesting “collections of techniques in which resources are combined to produce desired products, to solve problems, fulfill needs, or satisfy wants” (Technology definition – Wikepedia) is well within our reach and its what keeps us making ART.

Our DREAMING PLACE project (Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark in Éire and Northern Ireland), engages us in creating a kind of novel “technology” – DREAMING PLACE TECHNOLOGY, including different methods to “dream ourselves and others into place”

Listen to RADIO DREAMING Episode 1 here

Our projects  challenge us all to keep our definitions of technology broad, to cast our creative nets wide and to consider how we can each invent our own technologies in our own lives and home places.

DREAMINGPLACE technology collaborative drawing 1 by Claire and Anna

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.

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.