there is so much incessant noise in this room
With support from scientists at Northumbria University’s Department of Applied Sciences, I am currently developing a film-based work, which connects concepts of remoteness and abstraction to working with human cell lines as part of my ongoing Offering the Body research and CNoS’ Working Together project.
Over a period of 6 months during the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, using remote exercises and discussions through Zoom, imaginative approaches to working with human cells were explored, generating insights into the processes, ethics and regulations around working with human cell lines. Esoteric laboratory diaries were used to draw attention to overlooked aspects of human cell care, whilst speculative exercises enabled a reimagining of the liveliness of human cells, leading to discussions around ancestry, identity and the necessity of detachment.
This work is ongoing, with scientists from both Northumbria and Newcastle Universities recently attending a clay dig event with myself and ceramic artist, Rosie McLachlan, where an unfolding intention of the project is to immortalise human cell lines through art not science.
BE THE SEA is a project commissioned by Sea AIR, part of SeaScapes Co/Lab the creative engagement project for SeaScapes: Tyne to Tees Shores to Seas that asks:
how we can become more capable of living with and not just on the coast - in ways that are mutually sustainable with fellow human and non-human beings?
BE THE SEA is a collaboration between myself, Hayley Jenkins, composer and lecturer at Sunderland University and Dorinda Kealoha, Intertidal Interactive Officer at Durham Wildlife Trust. Our extended project team includes field recorder and sound artist, David De La Haye and the Self-Publishing Lab at Sunderland University.
The BE THE SEA project centres around three methods to foreground listening:
Attunement field-recording activities that zone in on the non-human sounds of the coastal seascape through listening and recording.
Resonance deep listening activities and voice/instrumental activities that use imaginative and creative strategies to develop an empathic and reflective relationship with the coastal seascape.
Resilience sound collage activities leading to a publication and composition that engenders ongoing stewardship of the coastal seascape.
Participants can join the BE THE SEA project to learn how to connect to the coastal seascape through sound art. We will learn skills in acoustic ecology, deep listening, field recording and expanded collage that will lead towards the collaborative development of a publication of “Instructions for Listening” to the marine environment and a sound-based sharing event.
Forthcoming events will be posted on the Durham Wildlife Trust website and here:
Sea AIR is part of SeaScapes Co/Lab, a two-year creative engagement project for SeaScapes, which is led by University of Sunderland. Sea AIR brings SeaScape partners together with artists, academics and coastal communities to explore ways we can connect to our natural, cultural and industrial marine heritage through socially engaged artistic and creative practices.