The most influential part of my career has always been travel. I travel for residencies, conferences, or simply to meet new arts professionals and arts organizations. Through my travels I’ve met future collaborators, artists, writers, curators that have become presentation partners, which have in return been instrumental for other travel opportunities. The best way to travel for me has always been to look for the opportunity (exhibition, conference, self-directed residency, etc), then for funding through public sources or perhaps at the host institution, and then to take the leap of faith and create appropriate connections towards an extremely detailed itinerary.
For example, I would never travel to one city, without planning a stop over or a connection to other cities, countries, or venues. If I get myself out “there”, then I want to maximize my experience. Last year, I began a research “project” (I use that term loosely) in studying the general field of BioArt. I did a Hospitalfield Arts residency in Scotland in 2014 (that trip also brought me to Luccerne and Basel in Switzerland, Dundee and Edinburgh in Scotland) which helped me write a more concrete research plan and identify travel destinations to meet experts in the field. I will blog separately about my awesome experience there and the artists and new orgs I met. One of those artists was Uma Ray, artist and co-founder the Unbound Studio, located in Pune, India. Uma mentioned that BioArt was a new topic for her and likely for her art community back home, and that she would be interested in hosting me to present my research. Thus began another connection to a new-to-me community, and would allow me to formalize my early research into an introductory lecture.
My original plan was to spend three months at SymbioticA, which is the leading arts and science institution in the world (I believe), to help with an anniversary exhibition about the Ear-Mouse (I’ll discuss in other blog posts). Sadly, I didn’t receive all my funding, and so I downsized my time in Perth, where SymbioticA is located, and added other locations, such as the trip to India, and broader look at (Bio) Art in Southern Australia. I left Halifax February 20th, 2015 to undertake this really exciting research trip. My Fiancé, and art-interested partner Joe who’s in the film industry is travelling with me. Over the next 34 days or so, we are traveling to: Mumbai, Pune (India), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), and Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Tasmania (Australia).
The purpose of this trip is/was to present an introductory lecture to Design students at two prominent Institutions in India, have a discussion with a group of professionals who work in Bio Technology. While in Australia, my goal is /was to meet influential artists in the general field of BioArt, learn about the creation of works using living matter or scientific methodologies to create art, and also discuss exhibition practices in this context, which brings into questions important debates in the field, current and disputed terminology, etc. Another overall goal is to see and experience contemporary art being made and presented in this part of the world, which is fairly unknown to me.
Because I’m blogging while traveling, I’m in a state of constant tiredness and excitement, and my words are casual, not as researched as an art essay… Please keep this in mind if you are following. The purpose of these posts are to share artists, art spaces and experiences that I encountered as a way to share information on what’s happening in a part of the world other than where I’m based. If you’re more interested in the tourist part of my time, that I’m keeping for personal story-telling and facebook!
Next post: Mumbai and Pune