Friday 16 September 2011

Taking Root - Taking Part: Experts inspire

During an exciting, if slightly drizzly, afternoon of speedy presentations and short treks through the wild edges, our team of experts shared their thoughts on nature, wilderness and their experiences of the edges of the Camden Arts Centre garden.

The experts we invited were

Tony Canning, a Biologist. We invited him because of his interest in nature conservation. Tony is a seasoned environmental campaigner, which we trust brings a political edge to the project. He also works for the Wildlife Trust at the Camley Street Nature Reserve, which is an important local alliance.

Augusto Corrieri, a choreographer, performance artist and writer. We invited him as an artist of a discipline (choreography), which is about space, people, movement and sound. A practice of spatial exploration. All aspects of which we think will be key to a project, which will invite people to explore a space.

Petra Ungerer, a Zoologist, originally from Vienna, now researching at Queen Mary University in London. We invited her as we wanted to learn about the existing microsystems and creepy crawlies in the wild areas, how to see and find them and how to protect them and learn what makes them work.

Roberto Sanchez-Camus, a psychogeographer. What interested us about his discipline and work was his interest in edges and thresholds and their interconnectedness to a wider context.

Paul Lyalls, a poet. We invited him as we were interested about how ideas and experiences are communicated and put into words, an aspect crucial in disseminating aspects of a nature ‘trail’.

Before the date we asked interviewed each of them to get a better understanding of them, their interests and working practices.

Participants at the event were encouraged to share their experiences on the artist led treks, locating their experiences on a map of the site using.

The concluding discussion unearthed some thoughts by the audience about the wild edges. Several people were concerned whether permanent installations or even an actual trail would destroy the wild edges. They treasured its secludedness and feeling of enclosure allowing space for retreat and thinking.

We have come to the conclusion that an actual path might not be the appropriate response to the space. Perhaps a series of installations? Or devices? Would they be of temporary or permanent nature? What is their spatial relationship to the wilderness? Would they require people to enter the wilderness at all?

The brief for the day can still be downloaded here. We are keen to know about your explorations and thoughts until our residence in the drawing studio in spring 2012, when all research will be informing our proposal for the wild spaces.

You can also still see the little bug hotel Zoologist Petra and Richard of the Camden Arts Centre built as part of the event to welcome additional wildlife in the garden.

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