Location of artwork: QEH shoreline
Artwork dates: Two performances to occur, the first one takes place over three consecutive days, July 16th, July 17th, July 18th from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm each day. Second set of performance dates to be announced.
Shoreline Palimpsest is a photographic performance inspired by shoreline monitoring. For this project, I will build a makeshift artist studio at the shore, which will serve as the site of a five-day performance. This mobile studio will consist of a 6x6x6-feet wooden frame which will contain the essentials of a photographer’s studio: a table, camera, tripod, laptop, small backdrop, battery-powered printer, and lights. I will use photography and poetry to document the daily, hourly, or even minute-by-minute changes along one section of the coast.
During these five days, I will move my studio up and down the shore according to the tides and photograph the beach and the plants, sands, animals, flotsam, and other materials on it. After editing these images and then printing them in the mobile studio, I will note the changes I have observed and write original poems directly on the prints. I will have the opportunity to engage with the public, discuss living shorelines, and offer free prints to visitors. The project’s open-ended nature will allow for direct collaboration with the coastline as I respond to this continually changing environment.
Shoreline Palimpsest is about the value of careful and attentive observation of natural processes, as well as the difficulty of synthesizing and communicating these observations to the public. The result of this experiment will be a reflective narrative of five days in the life of the coast, which will serve as a record of the natural and artificial changes that took place. This micro-scale coastal inventory will evoke the vast, macro-scale erosion and transformation on shorelines over centuries or millennia: time frames that are incomprehensible on a human scale but are essential to consider in personal and political decisions.
This project is not a permanent public art installation. This performance is designed as a temporary intervention that ebbs, flows, retreats, and reacts as needed to the reality of coastal environments. In addition, the camera is an apparatus that creates images that mimic nature. The act of photography thus resembles living shorelines, which also mimic the natural world.
The goal of Shoreline Palimpsest is to temporarily intervene in the social landscape of the coastline without permanently adding or removing anything. Instead, what will be left behind is impressions upon visitors and a photographic and poetic archive that can be revisited or exhibited later.