The Committee, performance, mixed media

Site-Specific, Community Integrated, Collaborative: Considers co-operative forms of co-dependence between organisms (human, animal, vegetal, material and nonhuman) within the design of a public art work.

...if nature is dynamic and active, if it is not alien to culture but is the ground which makes the cultural logically and historically possible, then what would a new conception of culture, one which refuses to sever it from nature, look like? (Elizabeth Grosz, 'Nature, Culture and the Future', Time Travels. Durham: Duke Upress, 2005. pp. 52)

...human, cat, dog, mouse, rat, pigeon, raccoon, skunk, bat, bee, flies, grass, trees, cement, wood, cigarette butt, plastic bag, shopping cart, car, oil, sand, chip bag, butterfly, bicycle...

Through this site-specific work, I want to engage questions of potential intervention, forms of knowledge, and the diversity of alliances that could be made visible in a physical location over a set duration. By tracing out of a matrix of interactions and interruptions, the work suggests a different kind of site-analysis - one that moves towards a drawing up of liaisons within an urban context, yet one that is at best speculative, fleeting or ephemeral. By using the model of a public art consultation process and playing with the somewhat utopian idea of an audience beyond the human, an expanded definition of the actors that come into, or around, the idea of what constitutes a commons emerges. What kinds of fractures are possible when opening research methods and institutional processes into forms of artistic interpretation? What relationships can be acknowledged within a particular site, and how do encounters at this site become more than transitory or seemingly insignificant? How can a physical site serve as a kind of proposition in order to seduce, shape and channel a complex array of living organisms and matter while in dialogue with emergent structures, the negotiation of authorship, and both the benefits and obstacles inherent in collaborative practices?

The Site Analysis. I document organisms/matter that permeates a delineated boundary around the centre. This research will take the form of visual documentation and data collection (photography, video documentation, drawing, mapping, time-lapse, interviews, counts, bacteria swabbing), to study the interactions, behaviors, and movements of inhabitants & things.

The Public Consultation. The results of the field work will be presented at a public forum as well as a number of preliminary sketches, studies and maquette’s suggesting possible public art forms that consider the entities that occupy the site as well as invitational to other actants who are absent but whose presence may initiate interesting interactions.

The Committee. At this point the “art work” will be designed in consultation with a volunteer Committee consisting of at least one other artist, technician, community member, nonhuman community member, and curator. If a mutually acceptable project can be articulated, one that fits the requirements of all parties, it would be physically constructed on-site. However, if the Committee can not reach an agreement regarding the design, the final work would exist as another form - for example, a video that details the process of the Committee’s decisions, discussion from the design meetings, audience reaction during the public consultation, and other documents that expose the process and social infrastructure of this particular public art project.