10 thoughts on “Question 1: What is your expectation of your destination?

  1. Anonymous

    Morning of departure: rain, but the forecast is to improve over the next couple of days. River levels are high for canoeing but we, that is Alice and I, will give it a try and if progress is too slow we will walk.
    We do expect to get to EAFS while it is on.
    See you there.
    Mark

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  2. Mark Zygadlo

    21th. August. Journey to Eafsland.
    I have calmed down a bit.
    After a sleepless night entertaining my demons, the source of my trepidation, the journey itself has become clearer.
    They are my demons, by the way, and I often entertain them.

    I love the look of Simon’s bike. What is that gas cylinder? Difficult to decipher how it all works.
    I echo your thoughts about being waterproof yet uninsulated.
    You don’t say where you will start. How long will it take you?

    I have expectations of the destination unconnected with the journey. As I look out of my kitchen window at the veil of rain sliding across the hill opposite, my thoughts are of balmy evenings, firelight playing on the castle walls, an atmosphere of well-being, an Irish jig played on a single violin…

    A journey by water.
    By water, by the rivers, by boat.
    Beginning at the high water mark, an arbitrary point of departure but every journey starts somewhere even if the destination is unknown.
    What is the expectation of your departure, is a good question too.
    It’s neap tides this week so somewhere below Dumfries, Kingholm perhaps.
    A journey by water from the edge of the sea, by the River Nith, by the Cample Water, by the Kettleton Burn and by the nameless burn that flows into it from Morton Loch, to the Castle of Eafsland.
    Estimated distance over the ground: 40 km. 25 miles
    Distance through water, perhaps double.
    Duration: 2 – 4 days.
    I had thought to sail (hello demon) but the practicalities rule it out. Overall, one could maybe sail a few miles with a good breeze from the South but its mostly going to be paddling as far as the Cample and then it’s like this:
    (how do you load pictures)
    at its widest. Beautiful, with obstacles, but not for boating.
    and this:

    and this:

    An inward journey.
    An upward journey of some 150 metres over a steady gradient.
    The arithmetic says a gradient of 1:266.66
    And no downhill in this journey.
    In direction it meanders, though not hugely once out of the Dumfries basin,
    but in elevation, from the horizontal perspective, the river is the most direct route.

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  3. I guess my destination is on many many levels……I feel its a journey with a group of friends (artists and thinkers and farmers and landowners and healers and local people). I was born and brought up in Dumfries and Galloway and as I child I played in the landscape and the farm building dens and tree houses and huts and playing cowboys and indians and swallows and amazons etc. and we created amazing, beautiful things in our gang. I feel as orchestrator of EAFS that we are doing this together. Of course its not all smooth sailing but through that process we find out more about ourselves and where our strength and weaknesses are. I am convinced that climate change is our biggest challenge and finding new ways of living with the land and our environment. There is one thing for sure we will not resolve things as individuals we have to collaborate for a bigger goal, generously sharing knowledge, encouraging each other, allowing people to fulfil their full potential, and then working together to creatively solve problems and find imaginative solutions. That collaboration has to be cross disciplinary, across social structures, across generations,political divides and using our wisdom and insight to create and bring other with us. We have to work quickly and together we don’t have time to wait around. For me environmental art is the art form that has the capacity to achieve all this. It can be transformational and has a deep empathy with the landscape and environment. I hope we are exploring this role through EAFS – Off Grid.

    EAFS has taken me back to my practice. For many years I have been developing environmental art projects which connect people with landscape and celebrate place. However this has taken me away from my own practice the freedom to follow a hunch, take time to respond intuitively in the moment, to follow my heart on an adventure, a mission, a “Quest”. I am naturally a heart driven artist but project management has demanded I develop my left brain and be business like, professional, emotionally controlled, doing contracts, risk assessments, planning ahead, fund-raising, briefs, economic impact reports, strategies etc. Now I feel finally able to integrate my project management work with my practice. 2015 is demanding I work as an artist/producer now, so I have developed the project “Quest” which brings together people, place, horses, landscape, local ritual and history. Although the research for “Quest” has been in development for many many years. The encouragement and confidence to create it has been as a result of conversations with colleagues.

    “Quest” is a journey to bring prophetic and healing water from Moffat over the hills to Morton Castle on horseback. It explores the journeys people in the past made over the high hills (rather than down in the valleys as we travel today). The journey is through layers of time, of landscape change, initiating conversations about landscape change and future challenges. It is also about water quality and its importance in our future. The art is the “act”, the “process” and the “intention”.

    For me I hope EAFS will be a transformational journey for everyone involved and anyone who experiences it.

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  4. Pingback: What are your expectations of your journey? | journey2eafs

  5. Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for your thought provoking question, and also your interest. I love your attention to process.

    Our project Flux Chamber is about processes in landscape that can otherwise be overlooked.

    This is just a first response – my ideas are growing with the project. David Borthwick and Susan Waldron have their own starting points and destinations of course. We are working together to take Flux Chamber to EAFS. The project title includes the idea of considering change, collaboratively.

    EAFS is a step on a path, not a destination exactly. It will be a great weekend and that is an end in itself of course.

    This is a chance to work with the idea of carbon landscapes – the movement of carbon from one reservoir to another, about exchange and changed state.

    Morton Castle as a site is a familiar kind of landscape to me (it is similar to where I live in the Borders) but I want to understand it differently. So my destination, if you like, is learning to see carbon landscapes by exchange, through company, and to think what changes these insights brings in how I relate to the landscape.

    It is hard to cope with understanding of what changes in CO2 in the atmosphere means, to life. It’s tempting to ignore it. It is in the same category as ideas like mass extinction, or ocean plastic pollution – these are all too big for an individual to grasp and work with, in the here and now. I want to try to come to terms with the information reliable science is producing, and to find company to think how to respond.

    One of the things Susan points out is that while the carbon cycle constantly occurs, we do not have a cultural awareness of where carbon gain, loss or recycling is occurring. So an aim is foregrounding the part rivers play in releasing carbon to the air – and making this awareness become part of the experience of walking through land.

    Of course, the interesting thing is not so much the numbers generated about how much CO2 is released by the scientific instrument (a Flux Chamber) – but what this means, what it helps show about localities, and how this links to what is happening in other places.

    I dislike versions of a future where humans appear lonely – outwith the tangle of other life which has shaped our cultures, languages, even the evolution of our own bodies. I don’t want to reach towards such a future. Developing a biocentric approach means changing viewpoints, and that means pushing ways of finding how art contributes to wider culture. That sounds a bit of a grandiose statement, I’m just trying to say what I want to be part of, and why EAFS is attractive to me.

    As an environmental artist, I am trained to think up new patterns of working and new contexts to respond to – but still I am inclined to cling too much to a plan, once I have made it. Working alongside someone who is skilled in dance improvisation practice, Claire Pençak, helps keep flexible and be less concerned about the destination.

    Working across art-forms, talking to people with different expertise and specialist knowledge about environment – this is all worth travelling far for!

    meansealevel 04/08/2015

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  6. I hope my destination at EAFS will be something that will completely surprise me…..everything on the EAFS journey has surprised me so far. If we are serious about moving away from the way we do things currently in the world – then I figure we need to let in the possibility of things we have never thought before.

    Matt Baker 06/08/2015

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  7. Here is another thought from Morag:
    “Rolling fields, water, landscape, walkings, explorings, restings, gatherings, experiences, learning, sharing, shifting consciousness, awakenings, awareness, meditations, wisdoms, food, fire.”

    Morag 08/08/2015

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  8. …and James’ thought:
    ” I have a strange habit of visualising or conceptualising what everything will look like and how events will unfold in advance which is ridiculous because the reality is usually the exact opposite of my expectations. I also get confused between expectations and what’s desirable. However I would expect that I will be able to achieve at least 50% of my objectives which will involve encouraging (or coercing!) people to participate in various sonic investigations in the environment around Morton castle. I would expect that there will be much fruitful discussion during and after the investigations and that new collaborations and connections might emerge from these. I would expect as well to do a lot of learning myself from the approaches of the other artists and the visitors. Finally I would expect that it will rain.”

    August 08/08/2015

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  9. Hi Stephanie,

    You asked ‘What are your expectations of your destination?’

    We made a site visit in January so have memories of the site with a sideways sleeting rain so hopefully this August the weather will be more clement! It was however and no doubt will be extraordinarily beautiful. I love the Loch and the Castle.

    I will ask my colleague Tabitha to write separately about her expectations.

    You mention in your blog about the value of documentation. Certainly the EAFS 2015 website is already a beautiful intriguing entity in itself. It was the compelling nature of the EAFS 2013 website that encouraged us to make a bid for the commissions they were offering, last Autumn.

    And so reading the brief details of the upcoming artist led events, I anticipate getting involved. The onsite dark room sounds great as well as journeying on horseback and by canoe. I hope there will be time to play as well as explore what the Urchin is and could be.

    In many ways the destination has changed for us. Originally we were commissioned to create a large piece of public artwork journeying through the landscape. Now, we are bringing a single Urchin to Dumfries and Galloway for the first time. Though we have taken the Urchin out onto the sea for a performance in Wales, we won’t have had a chance to play on the water in Scotland. We will be offering an exploration of the work rather than a fully developed piece of performance art. Projects change, budgets change, expectations change.

    I think this will be a good chance for Tabitha and I to look with fresh eyes at what the Urchin is. To decide how we want to develop her. We may create two small flatter spheres to mimic hydrogen atoms to play with the larger, pre-existing oxygen atom. We may decide that she works best as a stable floating shelter rather than as a rolling, submerging, dynamic performance piece. We don’t know. We have discussed our desire for the Urchin to be more of a space for the public to be inside than as a spectacle viewed from the outside. We hope that there will be resources and liability in place to enable this.

    And that’s probably what I am expecting of the destination.To arrive with some questions surrounding the mechanics of the performance potential and to leave with some of those questions answered. To learn more about what is compelling and what is not, and why.

    And of course, to be receptive to all that will be on offer. And hopefully not too caught up in ‘delivery’ to miss the great gift that EAFS will be.

    Thanks for asking,

    Jenny

    http://www.craftedspace.co.uk

    Jenny 14/08/2015

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  10. What are your expectations of your destination, Mark Zygadlo?

    What are my expectations of my destination?
    WHAT?
    I hadn’t thought of it. The journey occupies all my attention,
    Only the journey,
    and my question is still:
    How on earth will I get there by water only?

    And what vessel,
    what vessel is right for this journey?
    Am I a vessel? Is my body a vessel? Is that enough, the arrival of a flesh and blood vessel,
    the vessel of – do I have a soul these days?
    A somewhat archaic cargo.
    What do I carry then?
    My past, my memory, my well edited document, my history – I made it up as I went along –
    my expectations then?
    Or am I the cargo?

    I am 90% water, apparently, and I am 90% trepidation; I have no fucking idea how I am going to get there. I fill my time with mending broken boats, broken vessels that will spill their waters inside, and when a vessel is filled it will sink.
    Sand falls through the vessel’s neck, it empties towards departure and I am 90% unready, unresolved.
    I am 90% trepidation.

    The ship, as a vessel, is contradictory, it withholds water. Yet the ship is a perfect vesica, the intersection of two identical circles whose circumferences pass through each other’s centres. A perfect geometrical form. Taking one circle as water and one as air, the vesica inscribes buoyancy, an equilibrium.
    That’s okay, then. It must be a ship.

    Then, where does it start, this journey?
    This journée, this day, this documented day.
    And: Destination?
    Destiny, what is destined. What is intended, what is meant to be?
    How can we know that yet?

    Expect? Wait for something to happen. – What?
    Expectation of my destination? – Bollocks.
    Expecto resurrectionem mortuorum.
    That’s the trouble with optimism. The promise that everything will be okay if some orthodoxy is observed. Well, it bloody won’t. Not for that reason anyway.

    The journey is all there is, and the will to make it.

    Mark Zygadlo 17/08/2015

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