Waters of the Past: Walking with the Ancients
Tracey Benson ( bytetime, Australia) and Josiah Jordan
Keywords: identity, place, genealogy, migration, journeying, culture, environment, intangible knowledge, tangible knowledge, ritual, performance
My proposed works are both collaborative. I am currently working with software designer Josiah Jordan to develop a sound element to both works which uses my DNA to create notes which are aurally expressed using ancient Celtic and Viking instrumentation.
My online contribution will take the form of an interactive map which enables participants to add their stories of place, overlaying my initial genealogical narrative which is composed from some of my family history.
The project is an expansion of another project that I am focusing on titled “Changing Tides: Waters of the Past”. This project is the latest chapter in an ongoing project about the connections between water, humanity and culture – Words for Water initiated in 2013.
The map will have place markers with images and sounds that connect to the Buskerud, the region where I will be doing some research into my Norwegian family line.
As with the virtual aspect of the exhibition, I see the work expanding on another project that I am focusing on titled “Changing Tides: Waters of the Past”. This project is the latest chapter in an ongoing project about the connections between water, humanity and culture – Words for Water initiated in 2013.
For the work at BunB, I will be collaborating with software designer Josiah Jordan, who will be creating a soundtrack that is formed from the patterning in my DNA. This music is a reflection of ancestral ties and the composition combines Celtic and Viking instrumentation.
I am currently developing “Changing Tides: Waters of the Past” at Drammen Kommune as an artist in residence. I will be in Norway for 3 months in Norway developing this project. My plan is to build a visual knowledge and language base from a range of media including DNA, photography, video and augmented reality. During my time in Norway, I will be building my knowledge of the region, with a focus on the countryside around Oslo, Drammen and Hurum (where I have ancestral connections).
As an artist ideas of place, identity and environment have been ongoing themes in my work as well as the notion of journeying. I would be interested in using the material gathered to also develop an augmented reality artwork that would virtually remain in Plymouth.
While in Iceland and the Faroes in 2016, I started to learn more about early language and the Runic symbols and alphabet. This interest is slightly disconnected from my main focus of water and water stories but has links to my interest in culture and storytelling. At SCANZ Te Mahia, I have expanded this work, collaborating with a Maori artist to create runes from found objects and then ‘offering’ them back to the sea.
My intention is to explore the iconography of the sea and natural environment as a juxtaposition to the runic symbols and sound elements created from my DNA. For me, these different elements represent a culture and language lost as well as a ‘proxy’ for ancestral links to the old country. I see the reinvigoration of these symbols very powerful in regards to constructing a narrative about place, history and belonging as well as offering a link between culture and environment at an experiential level.
is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between NATURE, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY and SOCIETY as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities.
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