Ongoing exchange- Research between July 2022 - 2024
Vivre le Rhone
Commissioned and produced by least [laboratory of ecology and art for a society in transition]
Research Residency - Geneve December 2022
Quite far away from us in Australia, a man called Eddie Mabo, presented in court the idea of invisible pathways, known as marks on the landscape or “Songlines”. A few years later, the Land Rights Act was approved and the Mabo case became history.
How do we weave the memories of harm, loss and the politics of the feel for a river? How do we sense the history of a river passing through our hands? And how does weaving become a proof of evidence?
Merging the past, present and future together with local communities, activists, lawyers, schools and many others.
During this period Lode Vranken and Maud Abbe de Carroux have been in the atelier designing a mobile “River loom”, to weave a piece of evidence that unfolds the emotional body into a common concern. This become our artistic strategy to connect the scientific and legal vocabulary to a personal/ emotional/ coming from the heart/ ethical active relationship with the river.
Research Residency - Geneve September 2022
Since July we’ve been mapping the stories of the people, harm, grief, loss, ancestry myths, matters of concern, water materiality and voices of resilience from both human and more-than-human, but how do we map, translate and share this practices? Together with the local team, we spend time on entangling our practices, getting know better the river, immersing, walking and trying to understand the language of water.
We observe water materiality speed, rhythm, flow, we feel the sensory qualities stony, aandy, light, smell, sound, taste. We try to to relate start a relationship with entities / species like fish, plants - resilient plants that survived harm and native fish.
Research Residency - Geneve, Valley, July 2022
The first encounter with Rhone river was a dive into its cristal clear waters and the feeling of its currents, movement, materiality, smell. With a gaze and a moment of reflection first words were “Who are you?”, “What can we learn from you?, and “What can we offer to a river which has everything?”
When we activate NCL is almost like a ceremony, a vehicle of belonging that reminds us of our responsibility towards bodies of water as our kin. As activators, we ensure that these principles are felt by others, installing a sense of urgency, responsibility and accountability and most of all we try to map the existent political bodies that are already on the ground working with the river.
During this residency, we've met river voices that told us about the wounded source of this river and the urgency of the glacier melting. Somehow the relationship seems distant from its source, yet its untamed life force tell as stories of grief, suicide and dead. It's injuries seem to be invisible and we try to learn more about its history through the correction, water ownership, land use, laws.