PLATFORM PROJECTS/WALKS 2016: a two-week curated project portland, Maine
Amy stacey curtis/jane burdick/annika earley/nina earley/angela ellsworth/megan grumbling/adriane herman/rachel katz/barbara lounder/cathleen miller/julie poitras santos/mitchell rasor/gordon sasaki/katarina weslien/deborah wing-sproul
AMY STACEY CURTIS (TALK, VIDEO) In Curtis's 2nd solo biennial (MOVEMENT, 2002), she started examining the idea of advancing through time and place, making increasingly challenging videos capturing her point of view over the course of a year as she progressed along the center of the "road upon which she lives." After presenting forward VI at her 7th solo biennial (SPACE, 2012), Curtis was invited by Jessica May (Chief Curator at the Portland Museum of Art) to exhibit as part of the PMA Circa series, AMY STACEY CURTIS: 9 WALKS in which she presented 6 new walking videos. These walks are the subject of her talk.
In 1998, Curtis began what would be an 18-year commitment to interactive installation art, 9 solo-biennial exhibits from 2000 to 2016. In the end, Curtis will have installed 81 large-in-scope, interactive works in 9 vast mill spaces within 8 Maine towns. Each solo-biennial exhibit is a 22-month process, each exhibit exploring a different theme while inviting audience to perpetuate its multiple installations. Curtis committed to this ephemeral work to convey that everyone and everything affects, no matter how small or fleeting the impact.
JANE BURDICK(WALK) Walking. Despite some ideas to the contrary, we are perfectly made for being upright and for walking. It’s just that often we’ve all had insults to our uprightness. We’ll begin to remember our own ease in walking by doing a Feldenkrais sequence on the floor at Aikido of Maine. Next, we’ll turn our attention to the carriage of the head while walking in the studio. This will get us ready for walking in a very simple but profound way. Feldenkrais is a somatic re-learning modality and there’s a lot of pleasure and fun in this kind of learning.
Burdick has been offering The Feldenkrais Method for twenty-eight years in workshops, classes, and also in her private practice here in Portland. She has been a Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner since 1992. Her four-winter training took place on Maui, Hawaii. Jane was a potter for twenty years and a Proprioceptive Writing teacher for fifteen. She has studied extensively in various modalities including Body-Mind Centering, Continuum, Matrix Energetics, and SourcePoint Therapy - all body modalities that also inform her work. She runs a weekly meditation group in Portland and is very interested in the influence of the body in all we do and think.
ANNIKA EARLEY (WALK) The Light + Labyrinth project is loosely modeled after the idea of a sculpture garden. Through historical or ecological research as well as careful observation of the experience of specific sites, Earley produces sound pieces that become part of the locations for which they are made. The Light + Labyrinth gardens are magical in that they are invisible until listened to. By diving in and out of the sound pieces through walking from site to site, the listener has the chance to participate in “ear cleaning,” an activity of purposeful listening that enhances the perception of the amount of sound through which they move.
Earley primarily works with sound, printmaking, and sculpture. Her work often takes cues from phenomenological theories of perception — especially those of Gaston Bachelard — as well as Swiss and German folktales. Annika Earley has shown her work in several exhibitions in New England, most recently in a solo show at the Blum Gallery in Bar Harbor, Maine and at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art. Originally from Switzerland, Earley now lives and works in Maine.
NINA EARLEY (VIDEO) Around by the sea. Growing up in two countries on two continents has resulted in my status as a constant but invisible foreigner. I translate this feeling in my work by creating spaces that reveal specific parts of a story while purposefully leaving others hidden. By making use of memories of places that I know well, I create abstracted maps that allow the viewer to dwell in a space of remembering. The lines are drawn from walks that now exist only in my memory; one can never find his or her place in them.
Nina Earley was born in 1984 in Basel, Switzerland. She received her BA in International Relations, Economics, and Fine Art from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada in 2008, and her MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University College of Art and Design in 2014. One of the connecting threads in her work is a focus on the importance of place. As an educator and artist she has taught and exhibited in the Boston area for several years. Between 2014 and 2015 she spent a year as the first Artist-In-Residence at The Umbrella Community Arts Center in Concord, MA, and participated in recent exhibitions at the Cambridge Art Association, Bromfield Gallery in Boston, and the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA.
ANGELA ELLSWORTH (TALK, WALK)The Museum of Walking (MoW) is an educational resource center committed to the advancement of walking as an art practice. MoW houses a small-but-mighty archive and library comprised of walking related material engaging disciplines of art, science, philosophy, health, activism, and cartography. Through workshops, exhibitions, guest speakers, and site-specific projects MoW fosters relationships between people, land, action and site. The Museum of Walking was founded in 2014, and currently resides at Tower Center Suite 206 at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
Ellsworth is a multidisciplinary artist traversing disciplines of drawing, sculpture, installation, video, and performance. Her solo and collaborative work has taken in wide-ranging subjects such as illness, physical fitness, endurance, social ritual, and religious tradition. She is interested in art merging with everyday life and public and private experiences colliding in unexpected spaces. She has presented work nationally and internationally including The Getty Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, National Review of Live Art, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and Phoenix Art Museum. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Art at Arizona State University and is represented by Lisa Sette Gallery in Scottsdale and Fehily Contemporary in Melbourne. She is a founding member of the Museum of Walking in Tempe, AZ.
MEGAN GRUMBLING (WALK) "Poetry," a word derived from the Greek root "to make," can help us both learn and create our places. In Make/Walk, local poets and poetry lovers will lead a walk through stretches of Portland, letting poetry help us pace, know, make, and re-make the places we walk. Poets who will be reading include Lee Sharkey, Betsy Sholl, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, and Kristen Stake.
Grumbling writes poetry, criticism and essays, and dramatic works, and serves as an editor, teacher, and writing mentor. Her work has been awarded the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Fellowship, the Robert Frost Award from the Robert Frost Foundation, a Hawthornden Fellowship at Hawthornden Castle, Scotland, and a St. Boltoph Emerging Artist Award, and has been included in Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and Verse Daily. Her collection Booker's Point, awarded the Vassar Miller Prize for Poetry, was published the University of North Texas Press in 2016. She earned a Master’s Degree in Cultural Reporting and Criticism from New York University’s School of Journalism, and studied oral history, ethnography, and American Studies as an undergraduate at The Evergreen State College. Megan’s work is strongly influenced by stories, history, and the natural world.
ADRIANE HERMAN (WALK) It's All Downhill From Here: Surrendering Something, from the Superfluous to the Sisyphean Whether it’s the habit you’ve tried to kick for years or the tchotchke that, unable to put your finger on why you are devoting precious energy and space to something that only brings up unhappy memories, you transfer from one home to the next, what would it take to get you over the hump and let go once and for all? Bring your own loving witness or bare your soul to one of our empathetic receivers who will gladly unburden you as the culmination of a serpentine-style procession up the steep hill at the furthest East point of Portland. After traversing the most circuitous route possible between two points, dare to deposit your discard with an empathetic soul who promises to find an appreciative home for unwanted objects or witness your intention to rid yourself of an unsupportive behavior.
Herman traces the trajectory from intention to action, observing what humans consume consciously, and unwittingly take on board, then work to jettison, i.e., physical and psychological baggage. She mines the extraordinary by sifting through the purportedly ordinary. Herman has had solo exhibitions at Adam Baumgold Gallery (New York), Western Exhibitions (Chicago), Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and Rose Contemporary (Portland). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at The Dalarnas Museum (Sweden), Portland Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Chapel Street Gallery at Yale University, The Ulrich Museum (Wichita), and International Print Center New York. She has lectured at 50+ institutions; been an artist in residence in Nova Scotia, Kansas City, and India; and has work in The Yale University Art Gallery, The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, The Progressive Corporation, The Ulrich Museum of Art, The Walker Art Center, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. Her collaborative exploration into the mechanics of letting go, "Freeing Throwers", was recently featured on public radio.
RACHEL KATZ(WALK) into night. In the darkest afternoons of winter, when it seems the seasons will never change, we dream of warm summer evenings outdoors. On this evening walk we’ll take the opportunity to soak in summer and linger in the twilight of Portland's east end; we’ll dodge street lamps and look west following the sun as it disappears. Noticing the world above us, the turning of the sky from blue to dark indigo to black, we'll meander towards the Eastern Promenade, watching for stars and constellations, meteors and airplanes, moons and planets. Please bring: bug spray, blanket or towel to lie/sit on, flashlight.
Katz is an artist whose work investigates the sublime and existential ramifications of what it means to be small in a large universe. This takes many forms including cut paper pieces utilizing light and shadow, embroidery with electrical wire, charcoal drawing, and occasional photographs. Rachel received her BFA in Drawing from Arizona State University in 1995, and her MFA in Studio Art from Maine College of Art in 2000. She works as the Administrative Director of the MFA in Studio Arts program at Maine College of Art.
BARBARA LOUNDER (WALK) Having Words at Jewell Falls is group walking project designed to produce a temporary installation in the form of a flexible, responsive linear network. The network, a large scale drawing made in the forest space at Jewell Falls by participants in the event, uses colored elastic shock cord to trace walkers’ movements. The words that are provoked through the act of walking, in interactions among participants, and in personal reflections about the location are also materialized in the installation. Guidance, materials and direction for participants in Having Words at Jewell Falls are provided by the artist.
Lounder is an artist from Nova Scotia. She has a BFA from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, and an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), where she now teaches. Her current art practice focuses on walking as a creative methodology, often engaging members of the public in carefully designed group activities. Objects such as walking sticks, stilts, backpacks, and blindfolds, and locative devices such as portable digital projectors are sometimes incorporated in her work. Lounder’s art has been presented in gallery exhibitions and other venues across Canada and internationally, and she has participated in a number of walking-based arts residencies. She is a member of an interdisciplinary collaborative group, Narratives in Space and Time Society, and is a founding member of the Hermes Gallery collective in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
CATHLEEN MILLER (WALK) Walking/Seeing/Writing: Beginning our walk in Evergreen Cemetery, we will cultivate a contemplative practice that allows us to bring awareness to our sight. From this space of observation, we can allow the world to touch us deeply. We will engage in short writing practices along our walk that encourage a direct relationship to what is in our sight, finding the words that naturally arise, the way our feet connect us wholly to the earth. In this walking/writing workshop, we will not attempt to produce polished pieces of writing, but rather we will use writing to remind us how presence changes our ways of seeing and interpreting the world.
Miller writes poems, practices meditation and has only owned a car for six months of her life. She has spent many years on foot, seeing the world at a pace only walking allows. Cathleen holds a master's degree in poetry from Temple University. She has practiced meditation in the Shambhala tradition for over 8 years. Cathleen has taught poetry workshops for the Kate Cheney Chappell Center for Book Arts at the University of Southern Maine and teaches meditation classes at the Portland Shambhala Center. She works full time as the curator of the Maine Women Writers Collection at the University of New England and teaches herbalism at the University of Southern Maine. Her poetry has been published in journals and in a collaborative chapbook authored with Deborah Richards, published as Cut and Shoot (2001, MAN Press).
MITCHELL RASOR (WALK) The Darwin City: Put a Referendum on It project is a to scale transposition of Darwin’s Thinking Path over the Portland Company site. Darwin walked his Thinking Path twice a day refining his theory of natural selection. Natural selection is arguably the most important scientific principle still challenging belief systems since Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859. The Portland Company site, founded in 1846, has also been studied and contested for years. It is located on strategically filled land below Fore Street, which was the original shoreline. In 2004, The City of Portland retained Mitchell Rasor to complete the Eastern Waterfront Height Study, including the Portland Company site. In 2015, plans to redevelop the Portland Company site triggered a referendum to adopt a scenic view ordinance. The referendum failed. Come walk Darwin’s Thinking Path as intertwined with the politics, urban design, economics, and geography of Portland. Join a discussion of selected readings on Darwinism, urbanism, and the role of citizen referendums.
Rasor maps patterns shaping our perception of place. This research informs his work as an artist, writer, urbanist, and educator. By translating spatial and syntaxical relationships into a range of mediums, place is identified as a value system and concept rather than a location fixed in time and space. These mappings identify contradictory and hypocritical cultural constructs, particularly our fetish for Nature and the Authentic. Mitchell’s events, installations, and work have been shown throughout the United States and Europe, including such venues as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Central Artery “big dig” construction project in Boston. In 2015 he was awarded the Institute for American Art Summer Sculpture Prize for his installation and community event, There are Systems in Place. The City of Rockland recently commissioned, Contiguous Segments, which is being installed between the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art from June 2016 to June 2018. Sarah’s Hearth is currently part of group show, New England Village: Rethinking Regional Identity, at the Sarah Orne Jewett House. In addition to his practice, Mitchell is the Principal of MRLD Landscape Architecture + Urbanism and is an Assistant Professor at MECA. He holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Literature and Art from Oberlin College and a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
GORDON SASAKI (VIDEO) to Kokura describes the journey between two cities in southern Japan on the island of Kyushu, traveling from Yahata to Kokura. The video is shot from the artist’s point-of-view, the camera points downward, alluding to that which is outside of the frame as much as what is contained within. Jump cuts are placed at each change of the topographical landscape as the artist encounters and literally feels the many surfaces of this journey. Upon arriving at his final destination, he is greeted by a friend and fellow artist. This project was created in conjunction with the performance artist Marina Abramovic and the Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu.
As an artist and wheelchair user, Gordon brings a unique combination of personal insight and academic training to his multi-dimensional works. His work focuses on the intersection of art and life, with an emphasis on inclusion in the broadest sense. Having arrived at disability through an automobile accident as an adult, his experience simultaneously understands and embraces the worlds of walking and rolling. Gordon is a founding administrator of the Wynn Newhouse Awards, the awards program supporting professional artists with disabilities. He currently works in New York City at MoMA as a Community & Access Educator, creating art experiences for disabled and underserved populations.
KATARINA WESLIEN(WALK) mycophilic /mycophobic: foraging fungi in the Maine woods* What is the speed of observation? Rebecca Solnit speaks of the mind at three miles an hour in her book Wanderlust, suggesting that exploring the world at a slow speed is a way of exploring the mind. The required speed for foraging might be even slower than that, requiring the skill of a determined sniffing dog traversing the territory of the forest floor in an apparent random and haphazard way. Looking for mushrooms is a process of trusting clues, wandering; getting lost and following the extensions of the mycelium growth, the microscopically thin threads traveling underground that comprise the vegetative body of mushrooms. It is a commitment to a process without the possibility of a goal. A small group will be invited to ramble around the woods outside Portland collecting fungi and impressions. Following the walk we will spend a little time before a prepared meal from our bounty, to map the influences that shaped our individual and collective experience of walking.
Weslien is a multi disciplinary artist, educator and publisher. Her work takes form in cross-media installation, immersive experience, collaborative efforts, video and photography addressing issues relating to the fragility of cultural memory, imagined landscapes of pilgrims and radical shifts of perspective and scale. She received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and is the recipient of numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and the Payson Foundation. Her work has been shown internationally. She is a visiting faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she has co-facilitated study trips to India, focusing on material culture, pilgrimage studies and contemporary art. As the former Editor of the Moth Press (Maine College of Art) projects included interviews with Alison Knowles, Marina Abramovic, among others, and the publication of Mapping The Intelligence of Artistic Work by Anne West. She has recently returned from a residency in Varanasi, India where she has gathered material for an ongoing installation project focused on encoded meaning in the landscape of pilgrims. She divides her time between Portland, Maine, Stockholm and Chicago. Her love of foraging started in the woods of Sweden where she grew up.
*(mushroom loving /mushroom fearing)
DEBORAH WING-SPROUL(VIDEO) Footfall, follows me walking over varying terrains at two locations of my Tidal Culture project. Walking is one of the essential ways I begin to understand place. It is the exploratory counterpoint to the Tidal Culture work itself. As Denise Markonish (Curator, MASS MoCA) writes in her essay, Dowsing for Silence: "In… Footfall, she has reversed the dynamic of Tidal Culture, setting herself in motion within a particularly obdurate landscape. Striding determinedly over various terrains in the Faroe Islands and Outer Hebrides, including beach, meadow, the sheer face of a mass of rock and a steep incline with grassy clumps...she is...a pendulum swing away from her previous exercises in static contemplation. But Footfall sustains the earlier work’s focus on the exigencies and beauty of the natural environment, and its sublime disregard for human presence."—Excerpt from catalogue essay for "Deborah Wing-Sproul: still / moving," CMCA 2011
Wing-Sproul's multidisciplinary practice is greatly informed by her early career as dancer/choreographer in NYC, having studied with Merce Cunningham, Meredith Monk et al. Her work bridges sculpture, printmaking, performance, photography and video/film. In 2010 she performed multiple works for Marina Abramović's retrospective, The Artist Is Present, MoMA. She has exhibited in numerous venues including MASS MoCA; Carlos Museum, Emory University; Pelavin Gallery (NYC); Housatonic Museum of Art (CT); Center for Maine Contemporary Art; Portland Museum of Art; and the Rose Art Museum. Her videos have been screened in more than 50 national and international film festivals in venues such as the Corcoron Gallery of Art, National Museum of American History; and Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany. In 2013 her project, "Durational Devices" was selected for Creative Capital's "On Our Radar" in the performance art category. In 2011 she was awarded the Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Media/Performing Art; in 2009 she was nominated for a Smithsonian Artist Residency Fellowship. Travel—especially to relatively remote areas of the world—is a key element to her work and working process.
Monday, August 1
9am Light + Labyrinth walk (Annika Earley) DIY anytime! Access the map and sound files here.
Tuesday, August 2
9am Reading discussion* with Adriane Herman: "The Uphill Road to Grace…" from Wanderlust, by Rebecca Solnit at the Gazebo on the Eastern Prom
6pm Public Talk: Angela Ellsworth: Museum of Walking, at the Institute for Contemporary Art at MECA, 522 Congress Street
Wednesday, August 3
9am Reading discussion* with Annika Earley: Gleaning, by Elaine P. Miller meet at Arabica (Crema), 9 Commercial Street
4pm Walking/Seeing/Writing (Cathleen Miller) meet at Evergreen Cemetery entrance, 672 Stevens Ave
8pm Video Shorts: Gordon Sasaki, Nina Earley, Amy Stacey Curtis, Deborah Wing Sproul, Katarina Weslien, Francis Alÿs, Will Self, Werner Herzog and more. At the Institute for American Art (IfAA) project space, 24 Preble Street.
Thursday, August 4
9am Reading discussion* with Angela Ellsworth: Walking Women: Interviews with artists on the move, by Heddon and Turner, from Performance Research. Meet at Tandem Coffee Roasters, 742 Congress Street
Friday, August 5
9am Walk (Angela Ellsworth) Join Angela Ellsworth for a contemplative walk beginning at the Gazebo on the Eastern Prom.
Saturday, August 6
10am It's All Downhill From Here: Surrendering… (Adriane Herman) meet the foot of Congress St, Eastern Prom
8pm into night (Rachel Katz) meet at field across from the East End school on North Street. (Please bring: bug spray, blanket or towel to lie/sit on, flashlight.) UPDATE:: stay tuned for a possible rain date
Sunday, August 7
9:30am Walking: Feldenkrais class (Jane Burdick) at Aikido of Maine, 226 Anderson Street
3pm mycophilic /mycophobic… (Katarina Weslien) meet at Bakery Studios, 61 Pleasant Street. There is an approximately 15 minute drive to the site. (SPACE IS LIMITED FOR THIS WALK; contact email@example.com to put your name on the list. First come, first served). UPDATE:: this walk is full. Thanks so much for your interest, hope to see you at another walk!
Monday, August 8
9am Reading discussion* with Julie Poitras Santos, "Up, Across and Along" from Lines, A brief history, by Tim Ingold. Meet at Tandem Coffee Roasters, 742 Congress Street
Tuesday, August 9
8pm Film: London Orbital at the Institute for American Art (IfAA) project space, 24 Preble Street.
Wednesday, August 10
9am Reading discussion* with Barbara Lounder: Landscapes and Narratives: Compositions and the Walking Body, Katrín Lund. Meet at Omi's Coffee Shop, 28 Brackett Street
7pm Public Talk: Amy Stacey Curtis: 9 walks, at Zero Station, 222 Anderson Street.
Thursday, August 11
4pm Having Words at Jewell Falls (Barbara Lounder) LOCATION: The walk will start at the small parking lot on Starbird Road. The latitude and longitude for that location are: 43 40'01"N and 70 18' 38"W. If you prefer to come to Jewell Falls via another trail (such as Rowe Ave or Congress), meet us at the Falls at 4:30. The latitude and longitude for the Falls are: 43 40' 14" N and 70 19' 07".
Friday, August 12
6pm Make/Walk: poets walk (Megan Grumbling) meet at Congress Square across from the Portland Museum of Art
Sunday, August 14
7pm Film: Patience (After Sebald), Bakery Studios, 61 Pleasant Street.
Support for PLATFORM PROJECTS/WALKS 2016 was provided by SPACE Gallery through the Kindling Fund www.kindlingfund.org