UNFIX 2021 at the Barn residency
The Barn is pleased to be partnering with UNFIX festival to offer a residency, to Scotland based artists between 7 and 13 June 2021 at the Barn, Banchory, Aberdeenshire.
The Barn has a rich history of exploratory work in art and environmental awareness. Our activities include live performance, projects and presentations across all art forms. For 2021, we have partnered with UNFIX a festival of performance and ecology, uniting issues of climate destruction, sustainability and political independence/ inter-dependence, culture, imagination and wellbeing to deliver a residency at the Barn.
Artist Carrie Fertig has been selected as the first recipient of the UNFIX residency at the Barn in its inaugural year, 2021. She will be developing a new work which will be filmed at the Barn with the final video being broadcast as part of the UNFIX Festival on Saturday June 26th at 15:00-15:30.
Carrie Fertig is a socially engaged interdisciplinary artist working in performance, video, sound, sculpture and installation. Fertig’s aim is to make compelling and safe environments inviting deep reflection and participation in self-discovery and well-being. Much of her work explores difficult and uncomfortable aspects of being human such as dying and forgiveness.
During the residency, Fertig will be developing a performance work for video titled Plummet, (another word for plumb bob) and states:
“We are plummeting toward self-annihilation climate crisis but lockdown has provided glimpses of less impactful action: quietude, regeneration, and mental and physical health benefits of the natural world.”
We have asked Carrie a few questions about her residency to unpack some of the themes and ideas developing in the work.
Where did the Idea for Plummet come from?
“The idea for Plummet sprang from my own experience of shielding and isolation from other people in the Highlands of Scotland over the past year and a half. This has mostly been spent in total sensory immersion in nature. Incremental changes in water, plants, animals, atmosphere, and most especially sound, highlighted gains made when humans drastically changed their behaviour, forced by Covid-19. I was without a usable studio for that time and was so fortunate to spend the first lockdown on a 13,000-acre, nearly human-less remote landscape. This wonderland of nature became my studio. This experience has formatively changed my practice and life. I have since relocated to rural Aberdeenshire and am surrounded by animals, birds, trees in a pastoral idyll. A far cry from the view and sounds of Hibernium Stadium my previous studio looked out upon. Although thousands of people singing Sunshine on Leith, upon a team win, is a beautiful heart-rending sound.”
We know that every action has an impact and it is vital for artists to make considered decisions when creating work. What have the material considerations of Plummet been so far?
“To ensure the work inspired by my experience is less impactful upon the planet, most of the components will be recycled. Thousands of hollow glass musical icicles I made for a previous project Ausklingen (Fade Away) will be transformed into a massive plumb bob or plummet of symbolic melting of ice. Tethered to the plummet, my movement will cause the icicles to crash into each other, chiming a mighty roar tolling end times. Thousands of these glass icicles will swing on a threatening trajectory, as inescapable as the consequences of our behaviour. The harder I try to escape, the louder the repercussions.”
“I’m wearing another recycled component, the glass spherical helmet covered in black glass shards, Outlook, from my video my sister’s bones, the central work of my touring solo exhibition Forgiveness, initiated, commissioned, and supported by National Glass Centre, Sunderland. Some of the steel used in the construction of the plummet is recycled from one of my passing places films, the triptych drift, part of a larger long term project on making compelling environments in which to die.”
How are audiences involved in the development of the work?
“The latter part of the video I am developing at the Barn features a soundscape of crowd-sourced sounds from nature from all over the world. Sound is critical to my practice and collaborative projects such as the all-glass instrument Le Sirenuse exploit the sonic potential of glass, with me blowing new glass instruments in the fire during performances, with live electronics, percussion, sound design, and auto wind instruments.”
Learn more about Carrie Fertig here: www.carriefertig.com
UNFIX is an arts festival based in Scotland, with partners in New York City, Tokyo and Bologna. We programme work concerned with ecological crisis, climate change, hyper-capitalism and all the things that might help to address them: love, care, imagination, joy and dissent.
Though everything has changed for humans in the last year, our desires and approach are still the same: to find out through art who the Anthropocene is asking us to be, and to seek ways of connecting as if audiences and artists deserve more than distraction and entertainment.
Pulling on the thread of climate change, we find the fabric of everything spooling out in front of us: How we treat each other, who gets included, where the waste goes, how the money gets divided, what about the animals, what about the weather, what about our souls. Are we happy yet? Do we even want to get there?