This publication collects a number of works from my Wild Creations residency in Fox Glacier, including student works from the GPS drawing workshop that I offered. Though documenting mostly video works, they are adapted to the book format to give a sense of their intended presentation. The publication is introduced by Joe Gerlach, a lecturer in geography at the University of Oxford.
GPS trace from a 6.8km walk at the confluence of the Fox and Cook Rivers, South Westland, New Zealand.
This piece explores the propositional nature of mapping; the assertion that “this is there”. As a walked text piece the statement connects the direct experience of walking with a playfully banal statement of truth-testing.
These paired images offer complementary ways of thinking about stillness in the context of Fox Glacier and any attempt to represent it through mapping. One is an image of my GPS location taken over a 15 minute interval while sitting still, with the GPS device subject to “drift” due to the geometry and material nature of the glacier. The other image is a still from a 15 minute video, recorded at the same times as the GPS drawing. The video records the subtle changes to the glacier in real time; melting, cracking and changing light conditions.
Vertically tracking video projection
7 minutes 44s
Constructed from video footage recorded while walking in Fox Glacier valley, this video slowly tracks up the space in which it is shown. It forms a vertical section of the landscape, from the Fox River, up the valley and finally on to Fox Glacier itself. The work attempts to create a spatial document of this environment without resorting to cartographic encoding, seeking a balance between abstraction and the experiential act of walking through the landscape.
I will be presenting work from my recent Wild creations artist residency in Fox Glacier, New Zealand, this Tuesday from 4pm at the Art, Space + Nature studio, Edinburgh College of Art. The talk is organised and promoted by ASCUS : art science collaborative.
Stereo Field Recording
2 minutes 15s
Recorded early morning, 9 December 2010.
This work approaches the physicality of Fox Glacier, through a recording of guiding staff maintaining access on to the glacier. Each day staff work to re-cut a series of steps and pathways into the surface, making modifications to allow for the melting and shifting of the ice. The materiality and physicality of this small scale and repetitive act is in turn linked to the larger scale dynamics of the glacier as a whole.
This is an early sketch of some of the material gathered during my recent residency period in Fox Glacier, New Zealand. During the residency I undertook a dozen or so walks on the glacier, recording each route with a GPS device. With this work, my interests are in the experience of moving and navigating on the ice.
Resolving this piece of work will require an examination of the relationship between the line, movement and material experience, which I hope to achieve through a process of making physical and spatialising the collected GPS data.
At the conclusion of my residency in Fox Glacier township I gave a presentation to the local community. As well as work in progress, I showed past works and works by other contemporary artists, such as Jeremy Wood to contextualise my project. Approximately 50 people attended, which considering the town’s population of 350, was extremely pleasing.
As Wild Creations artist in residence I offered to run a drawing workshop for pupils of Fox Glacier Primary School. Over three sessions I introduced the idea of drawing on the land, beginning with historical precedents such as the white horse chalk drawings in England and the Nazca drawings in Peru and moving on to work by Richard Long and Hamish Fulton. After a session on using Global Positioning System devices to record their movements, the students then created their own digital drawings by walking carefully designed routes; walking as a creative act, rather than a means of travelling.
Student participants were : Ollie Clarke, Jacob Sullivan, Liam Sullivan, Lucas Bron, Rhys Hopkins, Charlie Jewell, Matthew Morgan, Bayley Sullivan, Peter Williams, Taryn Hopkins, Rhiannon Barber and Naomi Halford.
Thanks to school staff Lesley Gillgren, Rebecca Griffiths and Linda Holmes.