This video and performance was created as the first virtual artist in residence at the Maine Farmland Trust's Joseph A. Fiore Art Center in July 2020. I experimented with what movements, sounds, and materials could illustrate the harmony in the body that comes from deeper relationships with the land. The issues of public health, land health, growth, and nourishment are all connected although can be made invisible through everyday life.
I wanted to create a performance and installation which could open up a conversation about how when we re-frame our experience of food to include an intimate understanding of the living system which allows plants to grow, we can restructure the system that our food is grown in to be more kind to the earth, the worker, and the public. As popular industrial agricultural practices informed by colonial structures have decreased soil health, public health, and food sovereignty, there is a lot of repair work to be done.
The product is this video: a meditation on agriculture as a living system. It was created after many generous conversations, readings, interviews, and podcasts about regenerative agriculture, biodynamic farming, indigenous agricultural practices, and many other methods of growing on the land. Everything is cyclical here, seasons, actions, sounds, reverberations. One grower said that bugs, birds, bees, worms are heartbeats of the soil. Orchestrating the movement of animals to see different pastures everyday, planting agroforests, slowing down and listening to the needs of the land... It's all a part of a bigger picture; everything is connected.
This system of instruments were created by me out of copper pipes, discarded wood, studio scraps, beautiful but cracked or broken ceramic pots created by Claire di Salvo, and some ceramic beads made by me. My collaborators in sound were the bees, birds, and bugs buzzing around Hydes Hill Herbs in Baltimore, County Maryland. Video by Corey Hughes.