This project arose from work I had done previously as part of the Salford Samples series, exploring how my intermedial practice can intersect with place-attachment in an urban area. It was also informed by the Mixing the Irwell workshops carried out at the Broughton Trust and the Broughton Oratory installation.
This new project aims to explore how creative intermedial practices in a number of forms can be employed to activate three ‘urban wildscapes’ (Jorgensen and Keenan 2012) in the East Salford area of Greater Manchester. The practices will comprise self guided intermedial and audio walks, physical and online exhibits, workshops and intermedial performances – all intersecting to prompt engagement with and use of these three green spaces.
Kersal Dale: Testing Practice at the University of Warwick
The first iterations of practice as part of this new project were exhibited and trialled as part of the Mask and Avatar Engagement Day at the University of Warwick. Here, I user-tested three works-in-progress, Snowdown (a mobile video experience), Landslide (an audio walk) and Sycamore (a projected video installation). Each of these intermedial works arose from my walking through, documenting, researching and then responding to Kersal Dale, a verdant and remote feeling wooded area right next to the River Irwell. It used to contain the grand houses of rich industrialists in the 19thcentury, but since a major landslip in 1927 has been taken over by pioneer plants and nature in ‘natural succession’ to become a place where the old stones of the ruined houses mix with and are invaded by voracious greenery. It is a rare, magical space to find in an urban environment and in these works, I am responding to its present feel, as well as imaginative musings about its past, so that the two interweave through the mixes of video footage, field recordings, text and original song/composition.
The works themselves, in their online versions, are included below, with information as to how they were activated as part of this event:
Positioned under a table, with the cloth hanging over and surrounding you, this intermedial work plays out as an intimate experience for one, with the images played through a pico-projector onto a torn white card screen.
This audio work is designed to be walked with. Participants were encouraged to walk around spaces close to the symposium venue, while engaging, through the audio, with a very different space and experience.
The movement of the land, whispers of past lives and present hauntings pervade the mix of song, text and video. Designed to be experienced on a tablet or smartphone in an external environment, Landslide asks you to mix what you see on the screen and hear through the headphones with what is around you.
Next steps: Adelphi
The next creative output, ‘Adelphi’, focuses on the meadow, a teardrop green space, caught in the bends of the Irwell, in Salford, which is currently experiencing ferocious regeneration activity all around it, as huge housing developments are built on the banks of the river. The meadow sits in between these developments, echoing with their construction, but still also maintaining a sense of natural wildness. The intersection of rampant human development and the nonhuman processes at play in the central ‘wildscape’ is particularly stark here and infused my visit with a pathos that is represented in the mix below: