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Posts tagged ‘collaboration’

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.

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Collaboration and Successful Off-Gridding

DSC01825
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.

Michael sings Old Flames

Michael at Castle Manor Rest Home

Michael at Castle Manor Rest Home

DREAMING PLACE technology collaborative drawing 12 by Claire and Anna

Mapping Dreams at Killykeagan

Mapping Dreams at Killykeagan

DREAMINGPLACE technology collaborative drawing 5 by Claire and Anna

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.

Romantic or premonitionary?

Listen here to our fears for the Geopark and decide for yourself – are our words romantic indulgence or premonition?

A very big and real threat now hangs over “our” Geopark and its beloved people, places and things. A license has been issued to the powerful mining company, Tamboran Resources, for the extraction of shale gas within the Geopark using the controversial process of “fracking.”

Far from Ireland Claire and I have been blogging away without doing anything until one day we realised that some of the most precious nature reserves are threatened along with the fresh water supply and clean air. We have written to Fermanagh Councillors with our concerns. Read our letter and the responses of individuals here –  Dear Anna and Claire.

We agree with Councilor, Barry Doherty, (Sinn Fein) for Erne West when he says “We have so much natural beauty above and below the ground in this part of the world that to even contemplate fracking this area is surprising if not down right crazy.”

We  join present inhabitants, organisations and councilors in demanding a moratorium on the license so that the Geopark vision keeps strong and the people, places and things of all Ireland remain vital and alive.

Find out more about fracking and the MAC Geopark here and how you can get involved here.

Radio dreams – coming true!

Our dream of making some of the audio footage we recorded during our travels through the Marble Arch Caves Geopark into a 30-minute radio feature is becoming reality….We are hard at work on our radio show, Anna in Devon and Claire in New Mexico, listening to footage, comparing notes, editing and stringing sounds together. The show is forming roots, taking shape and growing and changing in the process, much like potatos growing underground.


Listen below to a description of ideas for DREAMING PLACE radio, as described to Ignatius Maguire during our tour of his traditional farm, his potato fields and the special pot designated for potato washing:

Since this was recorded, we have had oodles of ideas and time in front of the computer editing. We are very excited to share the results with you. We plan to post “preview” segments of the upcoming radio show here on the blog and we would love your feedback. Tell us what you think!

When the first DREAMING PLACE radio show is finished we will of course let you know when and where it will be aired so that you can tune in on your radio or via live streaming online.

Two heads – four legs dreaming our collaboration

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.

collaboration what does it mean

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,

 mobile studio

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,

twinning

we found our way over and underground,

we  listened to two trees  kissing,

we remembered and we forgot,

audioing trees

we were lost and found,

we caught the landscape gazing at its reflection,

we experimented with ancient and modern,

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,

twin camouflage

we learned of old and new traditions,

we drew from twin imaginations,

we did science and art,

we pedaled sister bikes,

our 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 minded and not minded,

reflective space

we saw through the looking glass,

we worked with dual purpose,

we dreamed up past and future lives.

Drawing as Dreaming

Drawing has a special place near the top of our now bulging dreamers toolkit! It’s fun and useful and a methodology that travels well.

Collaborative drawing is a way people can dream together. It’s also a valuable way to explore experiences, connections and ideas.

As our drawing grows our adventures deepen. Like the ancient fossilized coral reefs under our feet here at Marble Arch Caves Geopark, the  nooks and cranniess created by our pens are home to interesting and unusual inhabitants. For the time we are here the rich biodiversity of our imaginations and dreams forms part of the wider  Geopark ecology.

Dreams, thoughts and imaginings of people, places and things are part of the distinct ecologies of the planet.

The whole world is a drawing.