residency at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2009.

Husserl speaks of a protogeometry that addresses vague, in other words vagabond or nomadic, morphological …Protogeometry, the science dealing with them is itself vague, in the etymological sense of ‘vagabond’; it is neither inexact like sensible things, nor exact like sensible things, nor exact like ideal essences, but an exact, yet rigorous. A theorematic figure is a fixed essence, but transformations, distortions, ablations, and argumentations all of its variations form problematic figures, that are vague yet rigorous ‘lens shaped’, ‘umbelliform’, or ‘ideated’ … nomad science is made out to be a ‘prescientific’ or ‘parascientific’ or ‘subscientific’ agency…”

(Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guittary, ‘Nomadology: The War Machine’, transl. B. Massumi, Foreign Agents Series, p.27)

The outcomes included a series of dialogic encounters on a rickshaw around the lower lake, the resulting material was shown on  12-13 September , Heritage Open Days

The activity

A  participatory project including: one-to-one performance  with members of general public, local people and staff from Yorkshire Sculpture Park to gather their memories on the landscape;  display of findings and drawings;  publication  and sound recording for the  heritage archive at YSP.

The ideas

> Oral/social history, memory and heritage experienced in the present of interaction through dialogues, while cycling around the lower lake. > Relationship between personal memories and social ones, in the engagement with members of the public. The performative piece is designed to allow them to contribute to the narrative. This is also provided by staff of the hosting istitution through negotiation, and in the form of archive material

> The ‘reality’ dimension  of this place. The uncanny sensation generated by this beautiful and timeless landscape is the focus of the artist’s recollection of ‘moving through’ it, of its history and of people’s personal stories about it. Apparently what is now known as the Yorkshire Sculpture Park was dramatically altered by the families that lived there in the past to create something they thought looked ‘natural’.

The performance dialogues and drawings

The artist and one person at a time have a dialogue while riding a rickshaw which traces a physical path. The content of the conversation follows a conceptual path, according to the conducted research and the artist’s personal view, including six elements. Such are the areas banned to the general public around the lake, as it appears on the current visitor’s map.

> The drawings and related sculptures are based on various maps of the place, and mark the process to devise a route for the performance journey and those elements brought into the conversation, to generate an overlapping of physical and conceptual contexts. The one to one performances can therefore also be seen as the act of drawing in the landscape as artist and audience move through it.

extracts from the dialogues  

 1 _ Water

“The water is a moving object, does its own thing…”

“you could not hear yourself talk from the noise of the water… and the spray … was like being on the seafront”

I can see ducks on the lake and I can see water gushing heavily because it’s raining, I can see a lot of green, is beautiful, everything getting a good washing, a lot of puddles on this path…”

2 _ Land

“in the countryside is that head space, the physical moving through space; that kenaesthetic kind of releases the hear… is great!”

“He has being kayaking on the river I run along a river path, that evening with my son they were in the water I was on the land…”

3 _ Public

“Poetry in the park, we walked down to the lower lake to the boat house… we chose verses of poems we liked and recited them …”

4 _ Private

“ …no entry, private property… it says private and I don’t go…”

“people have been conceived here and people have had their ashes scattered here…”

5 _ Real/True

“I don’t know about truth…. Respectful yes,… empathy with the landscape…”

“ what makes it real for me is nature… I this that people make it real…”

“ often reality might be hidden by levels of interpretations…”

6 _ Fake

“ of course our society is based on the fake….this landscape is manicured and in that sense is fake. It was used to block the views of the undesirables, the workers… all these issues are embedded in almost all landscape in this country. It comes from that history and tradition. These lakes were created by damming the river, so they are artificial in that sense, but they are so effective, you forget where they have come from, which is so interesting it becomes part of their value and meaning…”

A publication with dvd on the project is in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Heritage Archive.


Acknowledgements. Many Thanks to Oliver Brown for liaising with the participants and supporting the project throughout; to the participants: Anna, Angie, Alan, Jo, John, Jeremy, Lesley, Lewis, Libby, Sally; rickshaw: Francis.

Geomemos was awarded the Grants for the Arts and  supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, York Saint John University and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.