Winter is such a great studio-time to reflect, research, and read! One interesting book I’ve been diving into this month is: Where the Wild Things Are Now: Domestication Reconsidered, by Rebecca Cassidy, Molly Mullin. In summary this book is a collection of essays delving into human-animal relationships from the perspective of anthropologists, biologists, and archeologists. Exploring the historical and evolutionary concepts surrounding domestication of animals and our continual kinship with them. This book offers an interesting perspective about the difference between animal selection vs. a co-evolutionary relationship between humans and wild or domesticated animals.
I turned to this book while looking for answers to questions I have about sparrows, reindeer, or other animals sharing the boundaries between human-made and natural habitat. Having made a number of past projects touching on the hand-of-man-upon-the-land themes. When thinking about issues surrounding the environment or natural spaces, I haven’t spent as much time considering the creatures we share our environment with. Although this book was published in 2007, I feel it might be a good gateway into the next contemporary books I have on my plate delving into Anthropocene Ecological Theory.
Why would an artist who is not a biologist or ecologist be interested in reindeer, you might wonder? ‘Tis the season to apply for artist residencies for the new year, and it is my pleasure to announce I’ve been invited to several cultural centers this year to continue a project in the Swedish skog (forest).
Close to the edge of the Arctic Circle, the first program I will visit this year is Ricklundgården in Sweden. I’m really excited to travel here because the terrain and mountain tree line will be very different than other natural spaces I’ve been working in. The second residency I will visit this year is RUD AIR, another rural artist retreat and work-space. The location of this residency is ideal as the surrounding forest will be an alternative studio, providing a wild space important to my continuing project to build and photograph light installations in the Boreal forest.
In support of this project, this week I finished one application and the next few months I’m currently working to secure a travel grant or Künstlerstipendium financial support. A future creative supported crowd-sourced campaign might follow to raise funds for travel and equipment. Stay tuned and cross your fingers for me!