“Thinking photography under the horizon of extinction will allow me to draw two temporal lines in the history of this particular medium: one extended towards the past, the other – toward the future. If we consider the history of photography as part of the broader natural-cultural history of our planet, as I propose to do here, we will be able to trace parallels between photographs and fossils, and read photography as a light-induced process of fossilization occurring across different media. Seen from this perspective, photography will be presented as containing an actual material record of life rather than just its memory trace.” (p. 104) — Joanna Zylinska, Nonhuman Photography (2017), MIT Press
This week our North AiR: Expanding Entanglements residency artist, Maija Annikki Savolainen, leaves SSW to travel to our next partner in the North AiR residency and research cooperation, Taigh Chearsabhagh on North Uist.
Throughout her time at SSW, Maija has been exploring the proximities and entanglements between her photography practice, vision/perception, technofossils/ technology detritus, Aberdeenshire stone circles and light. Bringing together material explorations in latex, clay, plaster, crushed mobile devices and gathered stones from walks in the area, she became interested in the tensions between crushed screens, the minerals contained within technological devices, stones, silicone, glass and amorphous shapes of sand and slag.
Drawing from the book, Vision (2010), by David Marr, Maija explored the images and patterns that inform our perception of the world and found parallels in ideas relating to the origins of stone circles. Considering these spaces as ‘receptive fields’ and a frame for viewing the night sky.
As a framework, North AiR: Expanding Entanglements does not expect final outcomes, rather makes a space for the selected artists to research and develop methodologies for re-establishing our relationships with environs, explore the enduring colonial and corporate legacies of extraction and exploitation of our environments and seek to find how our site’s proximity to nature/culture entanglements can teach us to expand our capacities for holistic relationship building.
Below, Maija shares some reflections from her residency so far, in the form of photographs from her time at SSW.