Participating artists: - Alex Braidwood, Janine-Annette Littmann, Yolanda Santa Cruz, Juan Pablo Medina.
In November 2020, we launched our seventh edition of the World of Co@Home Online Artist Residency. During the month, four wonderful international artists from different parts of the world were learning new skills with WOC Alumni, sharing ideas, and creating together, even though online.
Below you can see the latest works of – Alex Braidwood, Janine-Annette Littmann, Yolanda Santa Cruz, Juan Pablo Medina created during the month in the virtual art program.
Alex Braidwood is a sound artist, designer, and educator who maintains an international exhibition and live performance record at the intersection of art, science, and communication. He has been artist-in-residence at a remote Australian mountain village, a communal Iowa farm, a mid-western biological field research station, and on the remote island Isle Royale National Park. Alex is currently Director of the Artist-in-Residence program at Iowa Lakeside Lab biological field research station and Associate Professor at Iowa State University. He is also a board member for the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology and the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology.
Spending time outdoors in different forms of wilderness and traveling to various places in pursuit of capturing natural soundscapes has been a large part of my art practice for the past several years. With the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, this all had to change. Opportunities were postponed or canceled, locations became inaccessible, and the idea of physical travel increasingly feels like an alien concept. The cognitive shift from one virtual site to another without the benefit of changing spaces or time for transport has created a different relationship to place, memory, and connection.
Sunday MASS is an attempt to explore this sense of dis-location and bring more outdoor places to folx’s indoor spaces through a series of speculative soundscapes, performed live every week. These soundscapes are based on field recordings but edited and composed to create a new sense of acoustic place.
Each Sunday is a new exploration of a particular place – layered, stretched, warped, looped, and composed – to find spaces for calm, reflection, focus, energy, and an auditory sense of how large things truly are. It’s a remix of space and intent. As humans have greater influence in a place, the sounds become increasingly chaotic. This is the majority of what one experiences when thinking of naturesound. And yet, there is still value in this listening experience.
By introducing different structural elements, the sounds are allowed to fall in time with methods for listeners to relate in a more immediate sense of composition, texture, and repetition. The repetition is valuable as it provides a sense of comfort, of ease, of familiarity. It allows for focus and exploration within the sounds as they create a new place to be with the listening experience virtually. The investigation of the sounds by the listener is allowed to continue through these repeated forms. Sound is fleeting by its very nature. There is no freeze-frame in audio. To understand audio – to spend time with a given sound – is to listen multiple times with focus and intent. This rich engagement can be possible more often than we allow, and these compositions highlight this by building new, fictitious locations to situate our attention.
These are the soundscapes of a speculative place, built from the real to develop the fantastic, using the energy and content of a dawn chorus as the conceptual model for composition. The dawn chorus begins just before first light in near silence with the presence of insects and other small sounds before picking up the intense energy of mating and territorial vocalizations to continue through sunrise and then settle back down into the structure of the day. This slow growth, space-filling energy, and interweaving structure define each live performance session’s overall approach.
The phenomenological new realities are as surreal, as fiction-full and friction-full as our newfound, deeper connections to our daily spaces, internal places, physical orientations, and mental dis-locations. We are on loop. Our problems are now in some ways coming when we attempt to break this loop too soon before it is safe. Stay in the loop until it’s ok to exit. Keep in mind; your nearest exit may not be behind you. Damn, I miss traveling.
Janine-Annette Littmann uses photography, textiles, and drawings to investigate how our interactions with the natural environment reflect our internal thoughts and social values. Her artworks purposefully re-enact everyday activities including gardening, sewing, documenting, tracing, and mapping in an attempt to understand how these activities symbolise profound philosophical questions and psychological needs.
Janine-Annette Littmann is a Canadian artist who has lived in Vancouver, Montréal, Iqaluit and currently resides in Winnipeg. She has most recently exhibited at La Maison des Artistes Visuels Francophones and the C2 Centre for Craft.
Experiments in Time and Density
Experiments in Time and Density is a collection of in-progress studies that explore formal and metaphoric the relationship between time and density as a mechanism to document my experience during the tumultuous past nine months. Referencing Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée ― that time is experienced qualitatively as a continuous sensation, as felt through the act of tracing one’s finger along a line ― I employ various mediums to examine how time appears to halts, skips, yet unflinchingly continues to evolve.
The Paper Negative is an analogue photograph that I took early in the summer. It is an image that frequently returns in my thoughts, and as such, I chose it as an emblem that anchors my subsequent explorations.
The Sketch marks my initial investigation into transposing the photograph’s imagery into other visual mediums.
The 2 hr Handstitching Study represents my prologued tactile study of the Paper Negative’s textures and density.
For Cyano-photograms Density Study, I use my textile as a negative to produce a new photographic print. This print reveals an inversed image: highlighting the support stitching, hidden threads, and alternative perspectives; hence, accentuating the relationship between time and accumulative density.
Lastly, for the Minute Line drawing Study, I drew one continuous line for a series of incrementally long durations― ranging from 1 to 104 minutes ― thus linking the sentiments of boredom and creative futility to the built-up social aggravations that surround me.
Altogether, these initial studies form testaments for the tensions and suspended sentiments that mark these present days in which we live.
Yolanda Santa Cruz
Yolanda Santa Cruz is a multidisciplinary artist from Cuba. Her visual works explore gender dynamics, question society constructs, and promote female empowerment. She is also linked to the literary world, with many of her writings tapping into relationships, sexuality, and memories.
Santa Cruz has participated in festivals such as The Ephemeral Sculpture Festival (2013) and attended residencies such as Hypatia in the Woods (2016). Her work has been shown at the National Art Museum, Cuba; Confluence Gallery, Washington; Art Scene West Gallery, Los Angeles; Light Space Online Gallery, among others.
She received her BFA from San Alejandro’s National Academy of Fine Arts in 2013 and continued her education at the University of the Arts of Cuba up until 2015, when she decided to migrate to the United States.
“Over the course of the World of Co Residency, I worked on a series of digital paintings titled Losing Game. These paintings intend to convey the feeling of emptiness that we are left with after a relationship ends.
The subjects in these psychological portraits unveil the waiting, the longing, the memories, and the atmosphere that surrounds a sentimental loss. They lack closure, like waiting rooms where something just happened, but we can’t quite know what. They are stills of emotions and thoughts.
Losing Game is, in brief, a calm ode to the silence and the melancholy that comes along with separations.”
Juan Pablo Medina
Juan Pablo Medina is a Mexican multidisciplinary artist working in photography, videoart and newmedia, most recently producing AR art.
Medina develops his work by exploring both the possibilities of remote observation and the inappropriate nature of smart phone cameras. In addition, he collects, reinterprets and reorganizes a seemingly arbitrary selection of visual material that circulates uninterruptedly through the internet to underline the state of constant surveillance in which we find ourselves.
The black image
Work in progress
Social networks are media where photos proliferate with pandemic accelerations. Once inside the devices, images enter the overwhelming torrent of Big Data, where there are no subjectivities and everything is operated by programs.
The black image is an art project at the intersection of social media, AR and human perception. The viewer is invited to use an app an explore the augmented reality of instagram images.