Curated by Sarah Breen Lovett, ‘Palimpsest Performances’ is a series that explores contemporary art performance, as a way of simultaneously drawing forth the past and layering present interpretations of the unique architecture and grounds of the Woodford Academy. Palimpsest Performance #2 by contemporary artists Ben Denham and Honi Ryan are two separate but intertwined performances, both explore the land and its resources as communication device. Through an examination of walking as art practice Honi Ryan communes with the site, exploring and revealing its traces and history as a navigation tool. While Ben Denham's performance uses water from the land to create sound instruments which are calibrated to the geometries of site. Ben Denham grew up in the Blue Mountains and studied visual arts at the University of Western Sydney. He works with performance video and make machines that engage different parts of the body in the process of drawing and writing. Honi Ryan is an interdisciplina...
I am presenting work this week at a creative salon in Manhattan around the theme of a new bohemia looking at radical new intimacies in a post digital state.
For the last decade or so I have been working with a nomadic social practice that grew in response to it’s formation along side the emergence of the digital age. Moving around a lot, many of my meaningful relationships have been maintained online. In response to this I work with unmediated human interaction as my medium, placing the work in the space between people by building human relationships as sculptures, and approaching mindfulness as creative practice.
We have found ourselves in a situation where the necessities communication can now be taken care of digitally, which, to my mind, opens up the real-space encounter for redefinition. As it is when anything becomes obsolete, it becomes available to unprecedented experimentation, since it’s utility function taken care of.
This makes it a super exciting time for human to...
Today I went on a workshop at Wavehill public garden and cultural centre in the Bronx, NY called Sounding Silence and the Winter Walk. It was led by one of my favourite pedagogs, Nicolás Dumit Estevez. Nicolas is a truly empathetic leader, and surrenders to the shared moments people create in the act of being. This walk was no exception. The experience mustered ideas for me of the idividual and the collective and ceated a space where creative ideas flowed through me as we crunched our way thorugh the freshly fallen snow, holding hands to help each other through, and stopping in a circle to share 4 oranges between the 12 of us. There were no phones, no photos, no talking and it created a unified and focused situation within which to contemplate the self. This workshop was an infuential part of my development process for a piece that I am to perform in a couple of months in Australia called Along The Well. You can see that performance on this blog in March.
This month I was invited by artists J. Morgan Puett and Mark Dion to come out to their 'living art comlexity' - Mildred's Lane. It is a wonderful place where life, art, education and ecology come together in a convivial spirit on an old farmstead in Narrowsburg on the border of New York and Pennsylvania in the US. It is the off season, and was thick in snow, the place runs formal sessions with fellows in the summer. None-the-less a handful of wonderful creative folks gathered to eat and talk. What a wonderful and inspiring place.
I attended a 3 day Symposium and exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago on the theme of A Lived Practice, where life is seen as the site of the artwork. It brought together socially engaged practitioners to speak to an audience of artists and art workers. We heard from Beuysian theorists and city farmers, and Ernesto Pujol, my mentor, gave a performatice lecture on 'The Art of Consciousness' that was a truly captivating and evocative experience where they asked "Can a life practice be an art practice? With this fall program of exhibitions, symposium, events, and books, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago explores the role artists can play in shaping the future."
In October I was an artist in residence at ‘Elsewhere‘ in Greensboro, North Carolina, US.
Elsewhere is a living museum in a former thrift store on the main street of Greensboro. The artists and organisors of the museum live on site in the old three story house, and the premise of the residency is that you bring nothing in, and take nothing out, but constantly remake the museum with the stuff you find there. And there's a lot of it!
Elsewhere functions as a living community and so the daily life activities and us doing them in the museum are as much a a part of the organism of elsewhere as the quirky objects and spaces that house it. The kitchen was my favourite installation, that and the ghost room. It's open to the public about half the time, so you constantly have people walking through your living and making environments.
One of my favourite moments was swinging on the swings in the streetfront window when a passerby stopped, backed up, looked at me and said, "oh, I thought you were...