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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

How I got the power to write

ImageSometimes in the borderlands, Claire and I felt like authors. The way we were invited into people’s homes, the way we were recommended to seek out others. When people heard we were doing radio programmes, a stream of invitations followed.

“This is what it must be like for authors, researching their next book,” I said.

“Only we’re not writing a book,”said Claire.

A blog site has nooks and crannies for stories and perches for anecdotes. But a book? Book writing is not a part of what we do.

“So how come you did write a book?” you ask.

“Well, one day a package arrived.”

“And?”

“Well, opposite my home in Devon there is this stone barn. For two months each summer, a lady called Thelma, lives there. And each winter it attracts tenants; interesting people, musicians, families, couples with dogs. Two years ago a writer came there to live with her partner. Thelma emailed me that she was writer, Anna Hope. I heard her interviewed on radio 4 and posters of her face filled the plate glass windows of Totnes bookshops.

Anna, Anna Hope, novelist, writer, author.

I saw her very little, but I noticed her regime. By 2pm everyday her car would be gone. I imagined her passing the afternoons with her partner at a cafe in Totnes.

One day around the time of the launch of her novel Wake she was out and I was in. So our postman had me sign for a brown paper package. By its weight and feel, I knew what it was. First name Anna, second name Hope. I wished it was for me. I turned it over in my hands. Random House, USA.

The package gave me the power to write.”

– Anna Keleher

dreamingplacetitleAmazon.com/author/Anna-Keleher

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Collaborative Drawing, 2nd Series – Drawing #5

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Pilgrim Tales: The Brazilians and Kelly

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“Belleza!!”

Our eyes open to four pairs of walking boots, eight pairs of black thermal legs topped by shorts.

“Erphff”

Too many people, too close, too early. Windmills  thrum in my head. I plunk my face back down into dew.

” It’s the B..r…a…Z….i….l…l…e….ñ…o…..s ” says Mark.

I raise my upper body inside my sleeping bag and waterproof layer, cobra like. Four Brazillians beam down at us like grinning gods.

“Bellezzzza” say the Gods.

We smile as widely as we are able at 6 am and utter the magic words”Buen Camino” and the Brazilians tramp off into the rising mist.

“Lets get up quick, before the next wave”says Mark.

And so it is that as a new pilgrim enters our domain we are up and dressed and eating a fine breakfast of cereal bars and figs.

“Oh man. This IS BEAUTIFUL” exclaims an American male. “NATUR- RAL PEEPO” he coos.

“Hellllll ooooooo!!!”

The pilgrim moves off the track and onto our campspot.

“I’m Kelly….. It’s good to meeeet yoouuuu…. what’s yoourrr naaaame”? he extends his hand towards me.

“Anna” I say.

” I looooove you uuu….Aaanna” he purrs.

“Oh God!” I think “he’s going to hug me”. And he does. Oh NO!!  It’s Mark ‘s turn to get hugged. Not sure he’s into stranger hugs.

“What’s youuurrrrr naaaaame?” asks Kelly

“Mark” says Mark.

“I looooove yoouuu Maaaarrrrrkk !”

” I love youuu Kelly!” says Mark.

Kelly gestures towards our camping gear laid out by the wayside.

“I looooove yourrrrrr Caaaamino sssstyyyyle” he says “Yoouuuur such beeeeeauuuutifullllll peeeeeoople.”

The windmills whir and slim, tanned, clean cut Kelly tells us he is from Hawaii and began his Camino in Saint Tropez, France. He tells us how he has ditched most of his gear including his music, tent and other essentials. How he is travelling light, sleeping out under the stars wrapped in a shower curtain.

“What d’you do back home” we ask, intrigued.

” I do this for a living?” he says “Don’t we have a choice”?

And off Kelly trots into his neat little future.

“Preacher man” says Mark

“Millionaire?” says me.

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At lunchtime we see Kelly sitting yogi like before a statue of The Virgin, his world laid out in the sunshine to dry on a stone bench.

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In the old world Camino town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada we wash a bag of cherries in a cool  “fuente” and just around the corner we spot Kelly on the terrace of a busy pilgrim bar.

Kelly opens his arms wide “Helooooo Natuuuuural peeeeople” he says standing to hug us in turn.

“How are you doing”? says Mark.

“Oh I’m resting today” says Kelly” I’m gonna hangout in this cafe’s all day with PILGRIMS”

” You okay Kelly?  I ask.

“Everything! hurts ” says Kelly his eyes swivelling towards buttocks, thighs, calves, ankles, feet.

” Yeah best to rest up here then ” we say “Hasta luego Kelly, have fun”

“Buen Camino Natural people” says Kelly.

(This is a one of series of pilgrim stories by Anna about her experiences with Mark on the Camino de Santiago Pilgrim Trail in Northern Spain).

Tis the Season + micro-video: Ode to our Forests

Wishing you a peaceful and dream-filled Holiday Season and many warm wishes for a wonderful, “off-grid” New Year!

As a small gift to you, our readers, we wanted to share this micro illustrated video – Ode to Our Forests – that we made recently. It was inspired by efforts from Forest Ethics to protect the Boreal Forests of North America.

Collaborative Drawing, 2nd Series – Drawing #2

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Learn more about our approach to drawing here.

‘If you’d like to….’ goes off-grid for THE PASEO!

One of our on-going projects is called “If you’d like to…” and now it’s on the move again! This time it’s coming to Taos, New Mexico for The Paseo art festival on Friday September 26th.

For its new off-grid incarnation, we’ve added a new solar component to the unit (see the little tri-winged solar panels?) and we’ve been crafting a new set of off-grid, Taos-based options for participants to choose from as well. Here it is stretching its new solar wings….and getting a test run by Claire’s husband, Chris. (Big shout out to Chris, who was instrumental in building the unit, it’s rolling platform and making the recent solar modification! Thank you!)

We are so honored to have been invited to participate in THE PASEO! It is a festival dedicated to bringing the art of installation, performance and projection to the streets of Taos, New Mexico in conjunction with the Taos Fall Arts festival (now in its 40th year).

You can read all about it here: http://www.paseotaos.org/

We are number 19 on this interactive map, though we will actually be a “roving installation”: http://livetaos.com/paseo-map

If you live nearby, please come for a stroll on The Paseo this Friday, September 26, 4 – 10 pm! Claire and family will see you there! (Anna will be cheering them on from Devon.)

Tales from the “Camino de Santiago” Pilgrim Trail.

P6150062As we rove the hills, mountains and villages of our “project-lands” around the world we meet with the wisdom and  kindness of strangers.

So too on “The Camino de Santiago Pilgrim Trail” in Northern Spain, Mark and I encounter  many inspiring and interesting people and Mark records their names on a hand-carved “tally stick” as a momento. I have added my own titles to their names to help me remember them.

Daniel the Courageous, Paulino of the Well, Serg the litter picker, Felisa of the Figs, Girl and boy with horse and dog. Mother and daughter Pila and Raquel, Irish politician Paul, Young Lisa and dog Roxanne, Eduardo Keeper of  caves and his Wife.

(and what about the girl and her mule “Chupito”maybe the stick was too short, Mark?)

I’m eager to share stories of some of the pilgrims we have met and I’ll start with the story of Daniel the Courageous.

DANIEL THE COURAGEOUS.

Waves of  barley break over the low-wild hills of Navarra to our left as a we catch up with another pilgrim. There is something about his lurching gait….that worries us.

“Oh my God,” says Mark. “Heart attack?” I reply.  The man stumbles again.  Mark is off…running  to his aid.  “Are  you alright?” he has real concern in his voice. The man is calm “No es nadam, estoy bien,” he says.

“How can we help? ” Mark replies.

“Here.” He passes over our water bottle. “Have some water.” The man is clearly exhausted, dying perhaps, beads of sweat on his forehead.

“What to do?” We look at each other for inspiration.

“Estoy muy bien, muchas gracias” repeats the man quietly, slowly.

A fellow pilgrim is suffering, we won’t leave him to his fate here on the dusty track. Mark asks him again how we can help.  He waves a tube of suntan lotion.  “Gracias,” he says shaking his head. “Estoy muy bien.” “You should rest a bit in the shade, its too hot,”  we say.   The man looks at us sympathetically then extends his hand in friendship.

“Soy Daniel” he says quietly.

We want to hear more so we lean in towards him and watch his lips. “Tengo Parkinsons”  says Daniel. We read his message loud and clear.

“PARKINSONS?” we gasp incredulous.

“But you are walking THE CAMINOOO and you have PARKINSONS ?”

Daniel is on a roll. “Voy a Burgos,” he says !! It turns out that Daniel is walking the whole Camino ,but like us he is doing it in stages.

“Oh my god.” “This is amazing “!! ” You are incredible” we say with English understatement. Meeting Daniel is awe – inspiring. We will NEVER complain AGAIN !!!

We wish him well shouting” Buen Camino” as we  pace off towards the horizon. But soon the violent glare of the sun forces us to stop and we sit out the siesta hours in the shade of poplars.

AND …. after a while who should  come down the lane but our friend DANIEL. If Santiago himself had just caught us up with us we would have been less surprised.  We run out into the sunshine to greet him.

He smiles and  begins to fumble in his bumbag. We watch his fingers struggle with the zip and search for a paper. He hands over his photocopied details in English, French and German.  “I am Daniel. I have  Parkinsons” says the English version.  We fold the paper with his contact details and tuck it away in Mark’s pack.  We want to join Daniel’s fan club.

“We’ll email when we get home ” we say. But Daniel is not finished. He tells us how his motor-biking companions bugged him to visit the doctor when he simply thought he was getting old. He got his diagnosis some years back and decided to do the Camino.

We wish Daniel well as he sets off again. The sun is still way too hot for us so we’ll catch him up later.The funny things is that we never do. Daniel is the tortoise and we are  the hare.

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

Shampoo, a shrine and a pop-up shelter

P6090036 What to pack in your rucksack and what to leave out  is the all time Big  Camino Question. I wanted to enjoy walking  but not to suffer too much discomfort and I knew that getting it right might make or break our trip so it was essential to pack well. Choices re pack size and content should depend on accommodation not strength. This might be in hostels, pensions or Paradors, the luxury Spanish hotels. We chose to sleep by the wayside under the stars oblivious to the large wolf packs that still roam Northern Spain.  The guide book suggests a medium size rucksack, if you use a large pack it warns, you’ll be tempted to fill it up!Most of those carrying big rucksacks on this trail are men and this observation made me feel a bit smug at times as  I had ditched  my ipad, phone, camera reading glasses, shampoo, conditioner and face cream during the packing process at home.

Camping gas turned out to be a burdensome luxury, so after a few days Mark gifted it, unopened, to the owner of a hostel whose “Camino ” stamp was a red beating heart. Though we survived without hot food, we still had to carry the small aluminium pan and stove top as they were expensive and we’d be needing them back home. Mark made a shrine to the Camino from a pair of boots he decided he didn’t need. He continued along the way in sandals!

boots Sleeping well  is important, so the majority of space inside my pack was dedicated to the art of sleep. My luxury bedding choice consisted of a very tiny, very posh, very orange super – lightweight, self inflating sleeping mat and my beloved down sleeping bag, which folds down to almost nothing. Next a khaki coloured bivvy bag to protect from rain and dew and a cheap and cheerful rolly mat for insulation, geat also for yoga, siestas and a picnic. My first aid kit is disproportionally large, complete with essential oils to heal wounds and keep bugs and bigger things at bay, arnica gel for aches and pains, homeopathic remedies for toothache, the shits, injuries and rescue remedy for and just about anything else. I packed my black rain jacket that has a dodgy zip, but left my rain trousers at home. I’d wear my skirt in the rain and dry it once the sun came out.

Actually we were lucky and only got wet once.  Pumelled by giant hailstones Mark and I cosied under the good old DREAMING PLACE mat,  beneath the mightiest oak in the forest. Though lightning streaked down on all sides the oak didn’t get hit. Later a man made shelter popped  up magically out of the forest by the trail side, as the thunder rolled and the rain re-commenced.  It had a bench, a waste bin and a sitting man called Paul Murphy; an activitst and MEP for the Irish socialist party  We couldn’t have packed a more interesting and entertaining companion for a rainy afternoon in the wilds.

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

What is dreaming?

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DREAMING has led us through our DREAMING PLACE residency and it’s also the thread that ties together our 6-part series, “Radio Dreaming.”

But what in the world is DREAMING?

If you’ve met us out in the field, on the road , at an event or you know us through our blogs you’ll have heard us tell about “dreams of place” and our own dream of discovering how lands speak through dreamers and how that has lead us to an unexpected range of places, rather like a cave of unknown depth with many different passages.

Eager to discover more about dreaming, we threw ourselves right into the thick with DREAMING PLACE.  We swam, sang recorded and listened to stories and sounds, but even now after all these explorations we are still unsure of what dreaming really is.

We’ve published  lots of posts that reveal our journeys and imaginings, but we are no closer to knowing the definitive habits and customs of DREAMING. This reveals as much about the nature of  dreaming as it does about us and our collaborative practice. Just as a butterfly cannot be understood and appreciated by pinning it onto a collectors tray, DREAMING will not be understood by trying to bring it into sharp  focus in the harsh light of day. It also shows a bit about  how we ourselves have come to feel about DREAMING. Sometimes we feel that DREAMING is our primar protagonist and sometimes we feel its the other way around and that our project is actually DREAMING us, its hard to tell. We respect the wild nature of DREAMING and its wish to remain mysterious.

We hope the outcomes of our project such as this blog, our poetry, drawings and most of all our radio broadcasts continue to refresh, comfort and entertain. But most of all our wish is that they will also inspire you in your own journey and imaginings. We invite you to jump right in and join the flow.

Where will DREAMING carry us next?

Pod Tour Adventures on View in New Mexico

Collaborative Drawing Series #2, Installed at OCHO, Questa New Mexico

Collaborative Drawing Series #2, Installed at OCHO, Questa New Mexico

For the last week and a half, visitors at OCHO Art & Event Space have been getting a glimpse of some of the adventures, observations and imaginings that flowed through our pens and out into our “Dreaming Place Collaborative Drawing, Series #2” that we created during our Place Dreamer Pod Tour in 2013.

The sixteen linked drawings are installed in a wide hallway between rooms, so everyone passes them when moving from the front gallery to the back of the building. It is appropriate that viewers are usually on the move, transitioning from once space to another while looking at the drawings, as we were often in the same situation, moving from place to place in the Irish Borderlands, when we made these drawings.

It’s been fun watching people look at them and fielding people’s questions and comments. There was a very well attended “PechaKucha Event” at OCHO last night and we had lots of positive feedback from viewers enjoying the quirky patchwork pen and ink drawings nailed to the wall.

Claire and her young sidekick installing the drawings….

Here is an excerpt from the statement that is installed next to the drawings:

“We see drawing as an exploratory tool, like wandering, never knowing what you’ll find or who you’ll meet on the way. Whether a kind of dreaming tool into our own psyche, an observational tool illuminating the world around us, or  a tool of introduction, allowing us access to people’s homes and lives as subject matter, for us they are all aspects of one of our favorite Place-Dreamer tools: Drawing.”

You can see images of all our collaborative drawings from both Series #1 and Series #2 HERE.

Individual drawings are available as limited edition prints.
Please contact us if you’re interested in ordering prints.

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 23

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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.

 

Dreaming on the Camino

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During both our journeys (DREAMING PLACE Residency in 2011 and Place-Dreamer Pod Tour in 2013), conversations about dreaming, journeys and slow travel led to at least three lengthy discussions about walking El Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. We both share a fascination with pilgrimage and walking, so we were eager to hear about people’s experiences on this very famous traditional route of walking pilgrimage.

Here is Janet McAllister sharing a brief reflection on her experience walking the Camino:

We also thoroughly enjoyed talking with Janie Crone and Susan Hughes, both Camino walkers. You can read about Susan’s experiences on the Camino HERE.

NOW…..Anna and Mark (Anna’s husband) are currently finishing their own trip to walk a section of the “Camino.” They were planning to go either from Pamplona to Logrono or Logrono to Burgos….when they return from their journey we can look forward to hearing about which route they chose as well as some reflections on their journey and perhaps some dreams as well!

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.

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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.

 

Place-Dreamer Tool “On Stage” in Penzance

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Our favourite Place-Dreamer Tools has been”on stage” in the intimate space of a Georgian townhouse in Penzance, Cornwall as part of ‘Salon de Texts: Edition2‘.The rhythm of fragments(You can read more about it here.)

Anna chose to perform ” This Place has Seen….” as  a” duet” with  Mark  in this very special spoken word showcase. Originally generated under the circular navigation  aid at Berry Head National Nature Reserve  the piece offers glimpses into hidden worlds.

You can hear Anna reading the piece here.

We invented this Place-Dreamer Tool siting next to a bubbling brook at the foot of Cuilcagh Mountain in the Marble Arch Caves Geopark during our DREAMING PLACE residency. You can read some of what we wrote that day here. “This Place Has Seen” also features in our Radio Dreaming broadcasts and you can read all about  this and other “free writing” tools in the Place-Dreamer Toolkit here.

To use “This Place Has Seen” yourself:

  • Sit comfortably in a place that you want to get to know better.
  • Have pen and paper at hand.
  • Use the phrase, “This Place Has Seen” as a prompt for your imagination, intellect and psyche to delve into the known, unknown and imagined history of the place where you are sitting to retrieve images and snippets of its past.
  • Write down whatever comes to mind, unedited.
  • Have a look and see what you’ve written. It may surprise you.

We’d love to hear about your experience if you try using “This Place Has Seen”.

What are the “tools” that you use to delve into a place?

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 17

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Place-Dreamer Pod at “Renewable Energy Market Place”

Place -dreamer pod Anna (representing both ClaireandAnna and Encounters) will be taking the Place-Dreamer Pod out of its Compton den on Tuesday 8th April for the Renewable Energy Market Place at Westpoint Arena, Exeter, Devon.

We were invited to participate as an exhibitor in this renewable energy expo by Chloe Uden of Regen Southwest. Billed as “Self-sufficiency and the power of dreams” our interactive art installation presents “Radio Dreaming Off-grid Part 1 & 2”, which will be playing inside the Pod as well as our expanding collection of props to spark conversations around renewable energy and sustainable lifestyles.

Some of the props visitors might stumble upon in and around the pod will include our trusty Kelly Kettle and driftwood kindling, camping gas stove, solar panels facing south, and new props to spur conversation about clean, dirty and potential fuels,  ie. bottle of bluegreen algae, seaweed, turf, wood, coal, plastic, hemp oil, dandelion head, plants, fermented foods.

If you’re in the Devon area, come and check out the Pod! More info on the event here. If you’re out of range, have no fear, we’ll be doing a follow-up post rich with images for all you eager readers wanting a report on our experience.

Dreams of Weaving and Power-Generating Looms *Audio*

During our first trip to the Geopark, we met with friends, Wayne and Louise Hardman, for a paddle on the lake, tea and cookies on an island and lunch at Crom Castle. It was a lovely afternoon full of interesting conversation, but our ears really perked up when we started talking with Louise about her weaving.

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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.

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Gratitude, Episodes and an Article

1. Gratitude: As it is the season of “Thanksgiving” in the U.S., we would like to express our gratitude to everyone and everything (people, places, creatures and things) that have contributed to, participated in and supported DREAMING PLACE and Radio Dreaming. (Of course our thanks includes you, our readers too!)

Rad_Dream_Article_Nov2013we2. Episodes: We are very pleased (and grateful) to finally be able to announce that the complete series of Radio Dreaming Episodes (including the two NEW, long awaited Off-Grid Episodes) are now available for one and all to listen to, both on radio stations and here on our site. We would love for Radio Dreaming to play on your local radio station, so if you don’t yet see your local radio station on our broadcast schedule, please let us know and we will do our best to get the series on your local station.

3. Article: Now that the Radio Dreaming Series is complete, it is making it’s way onto the airwaves and also into “the local papers.” Check out this article recently published in the ‘Tempo’ section of the Taos News. (A larger, legible view of the article is available here.)

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 6

Campspot down by the jetty

Campspot down by the jetty

We Dream of Thwacking Shitake Logs

shitake

Listen to Radio Dreaming on Soundart Radio and a stream of Art and Community Radio Stations around the world

We love radio and it’s the perfect way to share our adventures with people whoever they are and wherever they may be, in their cars, homes and workplaces.

Radio Dreaming Episodes 1-4 live-streamed on Soundart Radio every Monday in September at 3.30pm.

Listen in to Episode 1: Dreams, Food and the Edible Landscape  live-streamed on Soundart Radio  102/5fm Monday 9th September at 3.30pm  here

Or select and listen to Radio Dreaming Episodes 1-4 with ear buds right now  on our blogsite.
Radio Dreaming Broadcasts

See Radio Dreaming  schedule updates here

Inhabiting the dream: postcard 5

Drift wood for firing up our Kelly Kettle and making tea

Electric car ambassador dreaming

Listen here as sound  recordist Maurice Barnich from Luxembourg, tells how his electric car enhances his vision of a cleaner planet. (Extract from an in-depth interview with Maurice about his e-car)

On-shore and off-shore commercial windfarms are an evident sign of Ireland’s commitment to sustainable energy production.  As  we tour with our pod we look out for  alternative and micro- energy generation. “If only we could photosynthesize.”

Our first stop on the pod tour is at Cavan courthouse. Here you can re-charge your electric car for free while you have your day in court!

A vision for a sustainable future cannot include energy production based on oil shale gas extraction using the fracking process. We support our friends and others  who oppose fracking at Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.

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 1

Inhabiting the dream is inspiring the curiosity of an Irish Hare

Inhabiting the dream is inspiring the curiosity of an Irish Hare

Place-Dreamer Pod at Green Lough, Cavan town

Musicians in Pod at Green Lough

Musicians in Pod at Green Lough

Today, 15th May we are at Green Lake on the outskirts of Cavan Town for the official opening of Green Lake from 7-9pm.

Please join us!!
Green Lake

Place-Dreamer Pod Ready for Tour

Radio Dreaming Pod Tour:  Marble Arch Caves Geopark, Éire/Northern Ireland
25 April – 17 May 2013 Claire Coté (New Mexico) and Anna Keleher (Devon)

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Part listening booth, part Place-Dreamer tool-kit, Anna and Claire’s roving off-grid installation features voices of Marble Arch Caves Geopark. A 5-part radio adventure, Radio Dreaming whisks you over-ground and underground in search of edible landscapes, wild dreams and myths of the land. Visitors to the Pod are invited to share a pot of tea, step aboard to listen or simply to dream.

Catch the pod at MAC visitor Centre 5th May 10am-5pm, Enniskillen Castle Museum courtyard, Mon 6th May 10am-5pm, Green Lake opening 15th May, 7-9pm Cavan town or look out for the Place-Dreamer Pod as it tours to off-grid locations in Cavan, Fermanagh and Leitrim through 17th or May.

Visit www.dreamingplace.eu/pod for info and venue updates.

Big Thank You – Big Plans

Radio-Dreaming-Thank-You

We made our Funding Goal, thank you so much for supporting us along the way.

We chose Kickstarter as our funding platform and the process has taught us so much.  Our backers are now in a very real sense, part of our project.

A big thank also to Claire’s audience at Ocho Art Space in Questa, New Mexico, for their interest and support of our “Radio Dreaming Launch and Fundraiser”.

Radio Dreaming Ocho Presentation
The audio-visual presentation, like all other aspects of our work together, was a collaboration. It was a fun evening!

Anna spoke via prerecorded audio and then Claire picked up the rest of it live. Our collaborative DREAMING PLACE Drawings were also on view in their entirety and Radio Dreaming Episode previews were available for listeners on headphones. The audience was great, so responsive and they asked great questions!  Aspects of this presentation will be available soon here at www.dreamingplace.eu.

Radio Dreaming Ocho Drawings

Also, our Place-Dreamer Pod adventures have begun!

On Saturday, Anna picked up our new Place-Dreamer Pod, a taste of things to come. There were still patches of snow in the English Midlands and narrow boats were breaking through thin-ice on the canals. Looks like we may need long-johns, gloves, scarves and hats in Ireland; or will it be spring?

It was lovely to meet Nigel, of Diddyvans Teardrop Trailers, who built our Place-Dreamer Pod and see his workshop. Midlanders are real family people so as well as Nigel, we met his mum, who made the polka dot curtains, mattress covers and two extra cushions. The Pod is easy to manoeuvere (at least Nigel made it look that way as he brought it down the alley to hitch up with the van).

Soon we were streaming along the ancient Fosse Way with the Pod in tow, passing through quaint villages in Shakespeare country and looking forward to all that awaits us in Ireland.

Diddyvanpick-up

Radio Dreaming Kickstarter Video is LIVE!

Radio Dreaming Kickstarter Video
Almost two years in the making, Radio Dreaming is definitely our most ambitious (and expensive) collaborative project to date.

We invite you to join the final push to launch our 5-part series and Radio Dreaming Pod Tour through Kickstarter. Watch our hand-crafted video and find out how to support our project. Donations from £5/$7 are rewarded with gifts of hand-drawn dream cloud postcards and printed Place Dreamer artifacts.

Go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/radiodreaming/claire-and-anna-radio-dreaming

Automatic + Free Writing = Place-Dreamer Tool

DewDrops

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 9 by Claire and Anna

Oracular power of a cave

An unexpected acoustic experience at Coolarken Cave at Boho prompts Claire and I to consider the musicality of water in contact with Geology.  Did prehistoric tribal peoples dwelling near the present day village of Boho visit Coolarken cave  to collect  dreams?

Listen here to  our  Coolarkin Cave Musings snippet:

Learning from “The Puzzler”

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Exploring methods of slow travel and off-gridding are important elements of our Place-Dreamer toolkit. During our DREAMING PLACE residency at Marble Arch Caves, we were fortunate to happen across a couple of experienced slow travel and off-gridding experts on “The Puzzler” – Andy, Sally and Catkin Rawnsley, who we already introduced to you on our blog here and here. (You can learn even more about them and their slow travels here.)

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“The Puzzler” is a bespoke narrowboat outfitted beautifully, as pictured below, for comfortable living and traveling on waterways. With plans on the horizon for our own Dreaming Place bespoke travel vehicle (more to come on that soon!), we are re-examining our interviews with Andy and Sally with great interest.

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Using space creatively and effectively is one of the most important (and most fun!) aspects of kitting out a mobile vehicle such as The Puzzler. We asked Sally and Andy what their favorite piece of kit was and this is what they told us this:

As they showed us how each step of their little staircare holds a handy storage compartment. Genius!
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Dream Ecology

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In DREAMING PLACE, the word “dream” has many applications, but we are also VERY interested in its more traditional definition describing that mysterious action which occurs, whether we know it or not, while taking a nice snooze in the sun on a hammock or in a bed at night.

Did you know that scientists estimate that (almost) every person on Earth has over 1,460 dreams every year? That’s an average of 4 dreams per night. Multiply that by the Earth’s human population (over 6.5 billion) and you get A LOT of dreams – and that doesn’t count the billions of dog dreams, horse dreams, cat dreams, pig dreams, cow dreams, bird dreams, deer dreams or daydreams!

According to Wikipedia, during a typical lifespan, a person spends a total of about six years dreaming (which is about two hours each night). Most dreams only last 5 to 20 minutes.

This sometimes invisible “dream ecology” is thick everywhere. We all live with it swirling around us all of the time. How does it affect us, shape our worlds, our places, our histories our futures?

Prehistoric technology report – Crom Estate

As you can see we’ve had technology on the mind since our recent presentation in the “Matter of Technology” panel at the ISEA2012 Albuquerque Machine Wilderness symposium. We’ve been mulling over the fact that our arts practice is very much about different kinds of technologies both contemporary and prehistoric, as is DREAMING PLACE. Check out other posts recent posts on this topic  here and here.

One of the things we find so fascinating, as inhabitants of what many would call  “the technological era,” is that every era has been technological in its own way. According to Wikipedia:

Technology is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of toolsmachines, techniques, craftssystems, methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species’ ability to control and adapt to their natural environments.”

Listen in to our prehistoric technology report from the Crom Estate below:

Radio interviews

Lucinda interviews Anna on Soundart 102.5 Fm an Art and Community Radio station about Radio Dreaming and her collaboration with Claire Coté. Sound Art radio broadcasts from Dartington, Devon  and is associate member of RADIA fm.

Anna Keleher + fiddle music by Susan Hughes on Amelia’s Culture show, Riviera Fm, a community radio station livestreaming in English Riviera Geopark, Torbay, Devon .Amelia’s culture show Riviera FM interview 11.10.12 copy

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?

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.

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

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

Radio Dreaming Goes International

Radio Dreaming, Episode 1: Dreams, Food and the Edible Landscape.

  • August 20th – 27th, Radia broadcasts on 24 Radio stations around the world at www.radia.fm
  • Tuesday, 21st August, 1 pm GMT – SoundArt Radio, 102.5 fm Dartington and live streaming at www.soundartradio.org.uk
  • Friday, 31st August, 8:30 am MDT – KRZA, 88.7 fm, Alamosa/Taos and live streaming at www.krza.org
  • Listen to the entire Episode 1 anytime HERE!

Montréal, Berlin, Dublin, Melbourne, London, New York – During the week of August 20th Radia FM listeners around the world will be tuning into Radio Dreaming Episode 1: Dreams, Food and the Edible Landscape. One year ago contemporary artists Anna Keleher (English Riviera Geoopark, Devon, England) and Claire Coté (New Mexico, USA) were busy “DREAMING PLACE” at Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark in Éire and Northern Ireland. Now, an international audience can share their sonic adventures via a series of radio broadcasts woven from their experience. Based on an ancient Celtic tradition that the land remembers everything, Radio Dreaming explores how the land speaks through dreamers.

“DREAMING PLACE is about deepening and illuminating our relationship with Place and we are excited to be sharing our project with audiences around the globe. Radio is an exciting medium that enables artists to reach people in their own homes or cars, in cities, small towns or very rural settings,” says Claire Coté.

In this first Radio Dreaming episode, listeners are invited to join Anna and Claire wild camping, eating, drawing, walking and kayaking their way through the Geopark to meet its people, places, creatures and things. Episode 1 features stories, conversations and soundscapes of dreams, food, and edible geopark landscapes.

“Our broadcast gives protagonism to the diverse voices of these Geopark homelands. We really hope that Radio Dreaming will inspire others to listen and share stories in their own homeplaces,” says Anna Keleher.

This summer Geopark Artist Anna Keleher has been gathering stories closer to home. Funded by National Lottery through Arts Council England, her film short The Ballad of Berry Head  may be enjoyed at the Guardhouse visitor Centre projection room, Berry
Head National Nature Reserve. Anna began her successful international collaborative partnership with Claire in 2007 at Dartington College of Art on the innovative MA Arts and Ecology. Together they continue to make audio journeys, radio broadcasts, drawings,
sculptural installations and performative events, transcending the miles through internet technologies. The only thing they can’t share is a pot of tea!

Radio Dreaming Episode 1 is broadcasting on Soundart Radio (Dartington) and Riviera FM (Torbay) Devon, as well as KRZA Radio (Colorado/New Mexico) USA and twenty-four Radia FM stations around the world.

Slow Travel Vehicles

What we now consider slow travel vehicles are the result of the interaction of place, distance and dreamers of the past. A vehicle’s design and aesthetics are determined by the water, path, bog, or snow that it must travel. Boats and bicycles are “Dreams of Place” created by the agency of rivers, gravity, wheels, the human body and the need to get from place to place.

Ancient technologies: humans + environment

We met an interesting man on our stroll around Money Cashel near the Burren,  here he is on ancient technologies and drawing. 

Radio Dreaming Episode 1 is here!


We are oh-so-pleased to share Radio Dreaming Episode 1 with you all! It is called “Dreams, Food and the Edible Landscape.”

Listen to the entire radio program here.

This first episode of our Radio Dreaming series will debut on air in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark on Cavan Community Radio 97.4 fm, today, Thursday 21st of June at 2:40 pm, GMT. Other broadcasts are also scheduled for this summer. If you can’t catch the program on air, we invite you to listen to the entire radio program here at our blog.

Our evolving broadcast schedule can be viewed here and the Radio Dreaming press release can be viewed here.

Many thanks to all the people, places, creatures and things at Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark for teaching us about DREAMING PLACE. And special thanks to those that contributed to this program and helped make it possible in a myriad of ways.

Please let us know of any radio stations that might be interested in broadcasting Radio Dreaming! More Radio Dreaming episodes are in the works so stay tuned….

We hope you enjoy listening and look forward to your feedback.

harnessing motion and seasonal energy

Here we are chatting on about  ideas for harnessing motion and seasonal energy.