Documentary Photography: Art Instillation and Public Participation

Stitching Time, Sydney Biennale (2012); Documentation for Participatory Art Instillation for Erin Manning

Documenting Stitching Time occurred over the course of a month, while tending both the instillation space as a assistant, and activating the participatory elements of the installation with Biennale attendees. This involved creating invitation (through conversation) for Biennale attendees to activate the propositional garments scattered throughout the space. The photography work represents close attendance to both the conceptual interests of the Artist, and the emerging ecology of the space as participants began to spend time in the space and make garments.

Stitching Time is a textile installation that brings together a magnetic architecture; a proposition to design garments onsite; and a collective experience of taking-time. It is based on three conceptual trajectories: 1. The slow food movement – bringing together a focus on duration and a communal process; 2. A critique of prêt-à-porter fashion that predefines both the cut of the fabric and the shape of a body; 3. A proposition that the creation of a relational milieu activates an architecting of mobility that reshapes experiential spacetime.


Precarity-Making Events; Night-time skipping, documented for SenseLab

An experiment in inventing ‘rhythms for beginning’, and moving towards collective and collaborative actions. *no Photoshop was used in the creation of these images. 

Slow Colour Project, Encuentro 2014: Documentation for Participatory Art Instillation for Erin Manning

Documentation for Slow Colour Projectc involved daily attendance, over the course of a week, including the instillation and take-down. Photographing this piece required an attendance to how people would approach and activate the work through invitations to select spice dyes from a table. Once a colour was selected participants would then injected the dyes into transparent tubes distributed across the white silk fabric instillation. The slips and spillages of spice-dye, as they were released into the piece, resulted in an accumulation of colours and spice-smells across the fabric and drop-paper. Daily re-configurations of the fabric by the artist asks for photographic attendance to not only those accumulating dye patterns and warping paper, but the shifts in the texture and tone of the instillation itself.

The Slow Colour Project is a research-creation project that explores the relationship between colour, perception, movement and time in the context of a participatory installation event. Like my earlier project Slow Clothes (2007-2009), it is influenced by the Slow Food movement. I am interested in the Slow Food movement’s focus on the quality of time shared, in particular its emphasis on creating propitious conditions for the creating of collective environments. The Slow Colour Project’s aim is to create a participatory environment that revolves around a slow process of spice-dyeing through which the aesthetic environment is transformed through colour and smell. A second stage of the project involves using the technique of subtraction cutting to create a participatory garment-making proposition using the dyed fabric. As in Stitching Time (Sydney Biennale, 2012), the invitation to craft garments will be open to participants.

Weather Patterns: Smell of Red
, Glasshouse Projects June 2014: Documentation for Erin Manning and Nathaniel Stern, with Marcelino Barsi.

Documentation for Smell of Red occurred over the course of a week, including both the instillation and opening of the exhibition. Attending to the subtleties of shifting ‘weather’ within the instillation required a photographic approach that could foreground the subtleties of these shifts -of mist, of spice patterns, smell and humidity- and the affect of those emergent ecologies.

Weather Patterns: the Smell of Red proposes a counterpoint of movement, smell, taste and colour. The feedback loops between air currents and mist, spices and electronics, architectural and sculptural elements, stasis and interaction, amplify how movement and transformation are sensed. The work seeks to create the conditions for the exploration of those thresholds of experience where change is barely perceptible. It asks how the smell of red affects the event of time.


SenseLab, Mobile Garden:


Duck Soup: Collective Cooking and Fabulation Proposition (Aug 2015), facilitated by Melora Koepke, in collaboration with SenseLab

The Long Meal, for Time Forms: Procedural Dinner, choreographed and prepared by Elliott Rajnovic and Melora Koepke (Sept 2013).

“Time Forms: Temporalities of Aesthetic Experience” is a four-day major research-creation workshop that explores the ‘when’ of art today, held at McGill University and the Phi Centre in Montreal from September 18-21, 2013, curated by Eric Lewis(Philosophy), Stephen McAdams (Music Research) and Alanna Thain (English and World Cinemas) of McGill University.

This dinner explored different temporalities of time through using food as propositions. For example, a soup was served with ice-cubes full of herbs that through their melting, would slowly introduce new flavours to the soup. Massaged kale salad was introduced “pre-massage”, inviting dinner participants to massage their own food, folding them into an experience of not simply the ‘labor’ of producing their own dinner, but the particular sense of time that begins to fold and expand as you work the kale into a softer form. Rather then photographing the participants eating the food directly, I was asked to focus the camera on how the food was engaged.