The first week of my one-month residency in Eckerö Post and Customs House on Åland Islands has been dominated by the Constellate event that replaces the PSi (Performance Studies international) conference this year, or rather the three day online symposium or workshop or gathering called Perform-Respond-Extend, organised by the Artistic Research Working Group. Exhausting and inspiring, and actually hard work, but, I am also very happy, because I managed to make two real videos as part of the assignments of the event. I made both of them together with the same ash tree near ”postbryggan”, the old pier.
The first video was made as a response to Danai Theodoridou’s work Languages of the Unheard, and is called On Vegetal Democracy. There I recycle parts of an old text published in Ruukku journal already in 2015, but otherwise the approach is new to me. The second video is using a familiar technique, writing a letter to the same ash tree, and was made as an extension of Göze Saner’s response to the presentation by Caitlin Main, dealing with trauma. That video is called The Ash Tree in Eckerö, and the text is written and spoken in Swedish, with English subtitles. Although both works were made as exercises or comments and as part of collaborative work, I am happy with them as independent works in their own right, especially after making an adjustment to the subtitles of the latter. And the brief mention of the material they are responding to does not prevent them from being seen independently. They are both available to watch online here. Because the two videos with the ash tree are ready to watch now, they feel much more like real accomplishments than my ongoing work. Time will show if they will feel relevant or not later on.
My main task on Eckerö, so far, are the two time lapse videos I am creating by posing daily with a maple tree in the yard and with an apple tree in front of the building. But those exercises will produce some results only at the end of my stay. These ongoing daily meetings are documented as still images, here. In any case I am enjoying my stay at the newly renovated residency and cherishing the spacious setting and the historical environment.