When I saw a public call for stallholders at #TransActing: A Market of Values by Critical Practice, I thought it looked like a very unusual event. It wasn’t an art fair, nor an exhibition, it wasn’t a normal market either. A new concept of re-evaluating, transacting, exchanging, and giving sounded like something I’d love to engage with.
You can read about the thrill of being chosen to participate at TransActing in my previous blog here.
I’d like to say a big thank you to Joey O’Gorman, Research Affiliate, MA Art and Science at CSM, UAL. Joey introduced me to a social scientist, geographer Richard Bater with whom I collaborated during the #TransActing: A Market of Values event. Richard’s work focuses on (as he described it) “research and the intersection of scientific (watery) knowledge and artistic interventions, so he very much approaches water less from a natural scientific perspective than from a shape-shifting transdisciplinarian one (undergirded by anthropology)”. Compared to Richard’s, my interest lies in rivers and water more from an angle of sculpting, art, and physical geography. I find movements of sediments, fluvial forms and processes inspiring and fascinating. I look at them as a metaphor to artist sculpting, building objects. (Question of conscious sculpting and process comes up at this point).
Our stall named The Rivers Project was painted white and The Flowing Roots sculpture grew right through it. The aim for this one-day collaboration between Richard and I was to create discussions about rivers, water, and ecology. We traded water for words into our Water Word Harvest. We asked two questions. What does water mean to you? Do you have your own nature, a place where you go to relax outdoors? Thank you to all people who engaged with our stall! Thank you for the debates and chats. They were indeed very inspiring, interesting, and useful.
What’s next for The Rivers Projects? Richard and I will work together again and I’m beginning to write a dissertation, which will be drip-fed by the Water Word Harvest, critical thinking, evaluation, and partly by amazing River Thames cartoons by John Leech (1817–1864), who was an English caricaturist and illustrator. Check out this amazing piece on Wikipedia.
I have one regret looking back at the event. 60+ amazing stallholders had lots to offer and engage with. We were in our water-bubble all day and didn’t have enough time to speak to all the others. Just look at the variety of projects on the day here.
TransActing happened on Saturday July 11, 2015, 12 – 5 pm, at Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground, located between Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts. Thank you to Critical Practice, who organized it! Check out this photo to see the stalls on the day from high above.