Artistic Research as Situated Practice – Performing with Lichen

Extracts from a text discussing the making of these works:

“While arriving at the north-western coast of Bornholm, an island situated in the southern part of the Baltic Sea, today officially part of Denmark, for a few days during Easter 2016, I noticed already the first evening the yellow lichen on the cliffs at the shore between the villages Sandkås and Allinge, where the path follows the shoreline. In the afternoon, the following day, when the sunlight was softer than at noon I took my camera and tripod and tried to place myself next to the lichen on the rocks. The only rules I decided to follow were to stand with my back to the cam  era, as I usually do, and to place the horizon at the centre in the image, to facilitate editing. The approaching dusk and the diminishing light surprised me; the camera needs quite a lot of light for video recording, so I decided to continue the following evening. Pressed for time I decided not to enter the images on the second evening, but to make short 50 second close ups of the rocks and let the yellow lichen come to the fore. I wasted time with the open views, however, fascinated by the combination of black, white and yellow rocks, and dusk was approaching again too soon. The last close ups are not really sharp due to lack of light. When I edited the material, I realized there were very few images of the lichen, after all…” (19-20)

“As an idea, performing with lichen is in many ways suitable as an example for “becoming with” although I was not aware of the notion at the time of making the work. The main reason is that lichen are themselves products of a sympoiesis of sorts, of a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi. Lichen include some of the toughest life forms on the planet that can survive in the harshest of circumstances.” (22)

“Artistic Research as Situated Practice – Performing with Lichen”. In José Quaresma (ed.) Investigação em Artes – A necessidade das ideias artísticas / Research in the Arts – The need for artistic ideas, Associação dos Arqueólogos Portugueses Lisboa 2018, pp. 15-30.