The MLS Curatorial Collective is a group of artists and researchers who’ve come together around questions concerning the creation of educational spaces outside of the traditional academic institutions which govern creative inquiry. The idea is to find ways to unplug from or rewire the abstractions of contemporary society to once again ground ourselves on land, water, in our bodies, in our language.
And in doing so, to explore with unusual intensity topics and trajectories of thought concerning the post-anthropocene that may perhaps perform looping returns to the other topologies of network culture.
Our gesture is the murmur, at once a low rumbling noise beginning to swell, a hum of human voices troubling the silence, a turbulent rushing of blood through the heart, or a gentle doubling slowly becoming more insistent as it echoes: mur, mur, mur . . .
The murmur as the incipience of the murmuration, that beautiful swarm-like co-compositional assemblage in flight . . .
April is a non-disciplinary researcher and artist living on Gabriola Island, BC. She earned her research degrees in Anthropology (M.A., University of Wales-Lampeter) and Media Philosophy (Ph.D., European Graduate School). She has written, published and collaborated on projects as diverse as exploring the impact of B.C. Ferries on small Island communities, movement and mobility, and genetic testing of the female sporting body. April recently co-authored a book with Phillip Vannini titled Wilderness (2016). The book provides a multidisciplinary introduction into the diverse ways in which we make sense of wilderness and how wilderness becomes enacted through various practices. The book is part of an ongoing five-year research project that has taken her to Unesco World Heritage sites to conduct fieldwork in the Galapagos Islands, Tasmania, New Zealand, Italy and Canada.
Barbara Fornssler is a Research Manager and Sessional Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan. Barbara has worked in the office of the provincial Research Chair in Substance Abuse since 2011, and most recently has been appointed as the Knowledge Exchange Coordinator for the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairie Node. Barbara has a background in Women’s and Gender Studies and completed her doctoral work in the field of Media and Communications Philosophy at the European Graduate School in 2012. She holds a minor in dramatic arts and is also one half of the experimental research-creation entity Department of Biological Flow based in Toronto. Barbara’s most recent creative works address motioning as a generative intervention to explore the emergence of identity, as an affective embodied practice. Barbara’s research interests focus on intercultural communications, problematic substance use, participatory research-creation methods, gender, embodiment, and philosophies of technology.
Gad is a land artist and ecophilosopher from Guelph, ON. His work seeks to trouble the plasticity of identity by unsettling the metastable relations between nature and the organic, artificiality, movements between the urban and the feral, and life in the control society. He has worked with April Vannini on ‘tunnel residencies’ that synchronously connect land art practices across varied geographies by way of a connecting thematic. Gad presents his work at Enthalpic Gesture, and has created across Canada, the United States, Greece and Turkey.
Jaqui Barn is a digital and video artist whose land art practices engage a sense-making for what she calls the ‘proprioceptive imaginary’. Her work explores the sensation of misrecognition and asks how trickery is mobilized in our political apparatus of the everyday. Questions of positioning are central to Jaqui’s continuing project F®ame Lines (2011-ongoing), a poetic assemblage for embodied praxis that embraces notions of joining, encounter, and transduction.
Sean is an artist and writer living in Toronto. He holds a PhD in Media Philosophy from the European Graduate School in Switzerland and has exhibited and performed internationally as part of the Department of Biological Flow, an experimental collaboration in arts-based research inquiry with Barbara Fornssler. He was the inaugural Artist/Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Western Ontario in 2011-12, a participant at the Wood Land School – The Exiles residency in 2013, and is a frequent collaborator with the SenseLab research-creation network in Montréal. He is currently adjunct faculty in wearable sculpture at OCAD University and in media arts at University of Toronto Scarborough.
Suzy is an artist and researcher from Nanaimo, BC. Much of her research has integrated artistic practice as a means to share and explore everyday life, space/place, culture, ecology and theoretical ideas. It’s in the creative process of doing research where she incorporates both art and social science: whether it’s photography and video documentation, using poetry to present ‘data’, or developing concepts and theory through artistic play and discovery, she does not see the two worlds as separate endeavours. As both an artist and researcher Suzy is interested in the inter-related layers and relational dimensions of any given space/place: rural/urban, ecological environment, labour/economy, social, political, personal, community, and ethical.