Published on April 3, 2014
Dr Tracey M Benson aka @bytetime “Cross-connections: linking art, science and identity” School of Music 2014
Acknowledgements – I would like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the country on which I now stand. – Also, I would like to acknowledge all Indigenous peoples, whose wisdom and knowledge offer great opportunities for humanity to learn how to be more sustainable and respectful of the land we inhabit. – Last but not least, I would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement of Te Urutahi Waikerepuru, Jo Tito, Sharon Atkinson, Lee Joachim, Aretha Briggs and many other people who, by sharing their stories and passion, encouraged me to explore more deeply my own history and place in the world.
Topics covered: - Introduction to my art - My role with LivingGreener - Linkages: SCANZ2013:3rd Nature - Relative projects for composers
Creative works: Place + identity
What do big bananas, fairy chimneys, Namadgi National Park and the Murray River have in common?
They are subjects I have used to creatively explore themes of place, identity and belonging. Some projects: - Big Banana Time Inc. (1996 – 2001) - Performances in real and cyberspace - Fauxonomy (2007 – current) - Finding Balance - Words for Water
Big Banana Time Inc. 1995-2001
Souvenir objects – questioning values 1996 - 1997
Souvenir objects 1996 - 1999
SciArt'99: Queensland Sciencentre Queensland Sciencentre 1999, Curated by Paul Brown
Performance works 1995-1999
Scalpland: place and embodiment 1995, 1996
Virtual selves: performance and embodiment 1998 - 2001
Lateral shift Online and communications mgt - Research School of Bioscience - CERF - LivingGreener - Clean Energy Regulator
Fauxonomy 2007-2013 taxonomy-folksonomy-faux place-experience-truth
Fauxonomy: mapping as experience
Project: Cultural Strangers Turkey 2011
Project: Cultural Strangers, Turkey 2011
SCANZ: 3rd Nature Artist residency Aotearoa 2013
SCANZ: Artist residency Aotearoa 2013
Message to the Mountain Puke Ariki Museum SCANZ2013: 3rd Nature Taranaki, Aotearoa
Project: SCANZ2013,3rd Nature, Taranaki, New Zealand
Finding Balance: Mura Gadi Canberra 2013
Project: Finding Balance : Mura Gadi, 2013 Canberra
Project: Finding Balance : Mura Gadi, 2013 Canberra
Words for Water 2013 - current
Background Words for Water has evolved from a number of events: A residency in NZ – SCANZ2013 A Jawun secondment with the Yorta Yorta People of the Goulburn Murray Region Conversations about water both online and offline
Reflecting on SCANZ2013 An artist residency linking art, science, Indigenous knowledge and the environment. This event crystallized many links between my practice, my values and my need to make sense of my place in the world. At SCANZ2013, I learnt to acknowledge my mountain and my river, by my Maori guides.
Reflecting on SCANZ2013 One of the conversations at SCANZ that reasonated was about Wai – Water. For Maori, Wai means many things, For example: Water is classified into categories each based on spiritual and geographical features. Wai has many meanings related to the idea of water as the essence of life. Waiora, waimaori, waikino, waimate and waitai - are used to define concepts for maintaining balance and interconnections between all living things and processes. Also, Maori regard the river like a human body, if it becomes sick, it can die. I remembered the creek we played in as children.
Remembering Scalpland While thinking about my mountain and my river, I was reminded of a performance piece from the mid 1990s – Scalpland. This performance explored a range of issues related to place, the body and identity. A key theme was the changes in the landscape, witnessed in my suburb Aspley, after living away for a decade.
Yorta Yorta Country From YYNAC website: The Yorta Yorta people of southeast Australia are a river people. Dhungala is the life source and spirit of the Yorta Yorta. River basins around the world are critical for water resources, biodiversity and agriculture, but they are facing increasing stresses due to degradation, overuse and climate change. We must find new, more integrated solutions that deliver benefits for: healthy river ecosystems sustainable agriculture empowered communities From (http://www.yynac.com.au/learning_from_indigenous_knowledge.php)
Yielima: On Country
Responding to the river After spending the day on the paddleboat and seeing the damage caused by this tourist activity, plus seeing the river level so low I needed to find a way to bring together my disparate and desperate thoughts. Then I had an idea... about the words for water...
Gathering words Gapu: Yolgnu, Kapi: Pitjanjatjara, Gugu: Wubuy, Air: Bahasa Indonesian, Wair: Bahasa Sikka, Wada: Myla, Voda: Russian, Sui: Cantonese, Pani: Hindu, Water: English, Aqua: Latin, Eau: French, Ma: Arabic, Agua: Spanish/Portuguese, Nepo: Greek, Wasser: German, Wai: Maori, Galin: Wiradjuri, Wala: Yorta Yorta, Su: Turkish, Tubig: Filipino, Vann: Norwegian, Uisce: Irish Gaelic, Dwr: Welsh, Ilma: Maltese, Vand: Danish, Vatten: Swedish, Banyu: Javanese, Vesi: Estonian, Auga: Galician, Ouse: Old English, Av: Kurdish
Words for Water Project description (excerpt) Words for water is an exploration into the many aspects of the chemical of H2O. Water makes up over 70 per cent of the human body, it is essential for sustaining life and has massive social and cultural significance. This project seeks to raise awareness of the significance of water to humanity – its critical importance to our existence: spirituality, culture, health and ecological sustainability.
Project Development Tracing the Murray River To create the video over 70 images were collected of the Murray River, following the river from its source in the mountains, not far from where I live, to the sea - the Coorong in South Australia.
The Chakra of the Murray - Crown
The Chakra of the Murray - Heart
The Chakra of the Murray - Base
Making Maps for ISMAR
Video for ISMAR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd0SqODdIOU
Next steps: Wellness In many languages the words for water have multiple meanings – as in the example of Wai. In my mother tongue, English, there are also many words that have a connection to water, which have disparate meanings – e.g Wellness, Spring. What are other examples? What are their connections to water?
Sharing personal stories As part of the expanding collaborative aspect of Words for Water, I will be collecting audio and video about water. The focus is on personal stories and histories of place You can contribute! Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Connection points SCANZ2013 Sound artists
Thanks for having me! Contact details: Tracey M Benson www.byte-time.net www.traceybenson.com www.geokult.com http://mediakult.wordpress.com Words for Water project: http://geokult.com/projects/words-for-water/ You can find @bytetime online at twitter, delicious, scribd, flickr, identica and slideshare Skype and facebook me @ mediakult
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