improvisation

Piloting Strategies: Arts and Land Use

Originally written by Kate Foster and myself for ecoartscotland the following blog gives an overview of work we have been doing around Land Use.

ecoartscotland

Kate Foster and Claire Pençak have written this article to highlight the ways that they as artists (visual and dance/choreographic), have been engaged with land use and in particular the development of Land Use Strategy for Scotland through the Borders Region Pilot.  The article specifically responds to a previous piece on ecoartscotland which asks “What can the arts contribute to a Land Use Strategy for Scotland?”

Some of the really central challenges for artists working with land use issues are highlighted by Kate Foster and Claire Pençak including the discipline and practice specific languages used by environmental scientists and land managers as well as the dominance of Geographical Information Systems technologies.  Kate Foster and Claire Pençak’s projects demonstrate some of the best approaches that can be learnt from the past 60 years of ecoart and the longer history of art.


Introduction

Previous posts on this topic have pointed out that…

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Dispatches from the Source: writings from improvisations

Working the Tweed

In June 2014 four of us went to look for the source of the Tweed.

Back in the studio  I was interested in exploring how we remember a place and what we remember about it through movement improvisation.

Below are a selection of short pieces of writing that came out of these improvisations.

The writings are illustrated by images made by Tim Rubidge at the source by pressing paper into the peat.

i
Imagine a path following along a curve.

The curve
The Tweed
And the imagining.

ii
It was a green – veined white, its wings, tributaries of a river, flowing towards the source.

 peat_edited

iii
Who was the person to first put their hand into Tweed?
No, it wasn’t me.
One of the others.

peat1

iv
And we listened
And we listened

What did you hear?

Trickling

Trickling ?

Trickling underground.

You heard it even though you couldn’t see…

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Approaching Choreography

Working the Tweed

Improvisation, Meeting of Ettrick and Yarrow Dancer Tim Rubidge. Photo Kate Foster Improvisation, Meeting of Ettrick and Yarrow
Dancer Tim Rubidge. Photo Kate Foster

Approaching Choreography is an attempt to articulate a more ecological approach to dance making and choreography through the frames of Placing and Perspective; Pathways Through; Meetings and Points of Contact and Working with Materials and Sites.

It emerged through a series of improvisations and conversations in the Scottish Borders and Northumberland with dancers Merav Israel and Tim Rubidge, environmental artist Kate Foster and writer/researcher Dr. Wallace Heim.

Improvisations, Ettrick Water, May 2014 Photo Kate Foster Improvisations, Ettrick Water, May 2014
Photo Kate Foster

The idea was produced into a small booklet as part of a collaborative Speculative Ground Project with anthropologists Jen Clarke and Rachel Harkness for the Anthropological Association Decennial Conference, in Edinburgh June 2014.

You can download a PDF of the booklet here:Approaching Choreography

Approaching Choreography is a Tabula Rasa collaboration.

Text and idea:  Claire Pencak

Design: Felicity Bristow

Video Images: Kate Foster

Dancer: Tiim…

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Proposal for Engagement: An action score for place making by Claire Pencak

Working the Tweed

I had been wondering if there were other ways of considering how we use land that made it easier for more people to be able to engage with ideas around Land Use and feel able to contribute to debates and consultations around these issues. The Scottish Borders along with Aberdeenshire was selected to develop regional pilot Land Use Strategies which will ultimately inform the  revision of the national Land Use Strategy which is to be published  in 2016. In the Scottish Border this regional framework was developed through mapping and a series of public consultations to seek the views of communities. I had been to a few of these and found it tricky to know how to engage with it as someone that isn’t a land manager or land owner.

I wondered what might be a choreographic response to thinking about habitat and Land Use?

Current ideas around place-making seemed…

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