THE NATURAL & THE MANUFACTURED 2009
For the past five years, this unique project in the far Canadian north has worked to stimulate and engage people in a re-examination of the various cultural and economic values imposed on the environment, while exploring alternative political, social, economic and aesthetic agendas and strategies towards a re-interpretation of the regional landscape and social infrastructure.
As a site of creation, as well as presentation, the N&M seeks to promote new research and creation projects with participating artists making works specifically for the project while in residence at KIAC's Macaulay House studios. As such, this annual project explores issues related to site-specificity, as well as land-based and environmental art practices: the meaning of geography and the geography of meaning, the ephemeral and the concrete, the transitory nature of "nature" and our philosophical need to resist and respond to it.
The Natural & The Manufactured 2009 consists of two exhibition projects, a participatory community action project , and a public lecture and commissioned essay which, among other things, are linked by the thematic rubric of the "mediated landscape," the ways in which technology and mapping underscore our relationship to the land, as well as the ways in which our own subjectivity, social structures and sense of community are impacted.
Working through the KIAC Artist in Residence program, artists Stephen Kelly (Halifax, NS) and Brandon Vickerd(Toronto, ON) will be living and working in the Macaulay House to develop their individual installations in the weeks leading up to the launch of this project. Joining the duo is writer and theorist Dr. Jeanne Randolph (Winnipeg, MB), who will be traveling to Dawson City to undertake a public lecture and begin writing a response to the project, which will be published after the opening, and artist Harrell Fletcher (Portland, OR) who will be leading a participatory lecture-walk throughout Dawson City.
Through the exhibitions, actions, artist talks, essays and lecture, The Natural & The Manufactured 2009 will engage artists and audiences in a re-examination of the various cultural and economic values imposed on the environment, while exploring alternative political, social, economic and aesthetic agendas and strategies towards a re-interpretation of the regional landscape and social infrastructure.
Stephen Kelly Open Tuning
In the ODD Gallery, this installation uses real-time data delivered delivered from oceanic buoys operated by Oceans and Fisheries Canada to create a work that is part kinetic sculpture and part sonic environment. The wave patterns recorded by these buoys are transmitted and transposed to Kelly's work, which responds simulatneously to the actual ebbs and flows of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Brandon Vickerd Northern Satellite
Vickerd's public sculpture project is a detailed scale-relica of a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite made entirely from birch wood and installed on the Dawson City dike as if it is has violently crashed to earth. Part apocalyptic spectacle, part sociological crtitique on the ways in which technology and mediation help frame our notions of landscape and place, Northern Satellite is a highly crafted, visually stunning composition that resonates with narrative and perceptual tension.
Jeanne Randolph My Manufactured Life
Dr. Randolph's lectures and writings are marked by an experimental approach to her chosen subjects, a deeply ethical philosophical meandering that blends cultural theory and art criticism with personal history, and a highly individualized poetics of the imagination. Her lectures, which often take the form of performances, are informed by her work as a practicing psychoanalyst. For her lecture and her subsequent text, Randolph will be placing the stale dichotemy of nature/culture on the therapist's couch for a reconsideration of its practical, personal and social potential.
Harrell Fletcher Lecture Hike
Fletcher's project takes the form of a group walking tour of Dawson City. Invited participants and members of the public will be encouraged to give a short lecture on some area of personal knowledge, occuring at a point in the hike that related to the lecture topic. Taking conversation and discussion as its art-form, this project will explore the ways in which moving through a shared landscape or community can enable subjective knowledge within larger cultural frameworks, and also locate points of shared experience.