YUL – BLQ – KLU – YVR – ATH – YYZ – LIS
Migration and mobility – the ways people move towards new dwellings and the ways people dwell in the spaces through which they move – are phenomena embedded in multiple (physical, cultural, digital) environments. These environments are complex, stratified and shot through with dynamic and swirling trajectories, which periodically appear and disappear from public perception depending on the news and the dominant politics of the day. They can be approached either from above or from below: From above they can be seen as abstracted spaces of governance, maps of statistical data detailing flows of people across borders which constitute a problem of management, regulation and ultimately exploitation; From below they appear as messy, embodied and lived spaces of resilience and resourcefulness in conditions of displacement and alienation.
The art interventions presented by Performigrations artists, at times acting in synergy with academics and professional, offer a varied itinerary through the different environments that shape our perceptions and understandings of migration, inviting us to immersively experience displacement (A/Vgration; On Ice; Perform Your Migration), critically reflect upon how it is regulated by dominant economic and state interests (Perform Your Migration; Protocol), and potentially contribute useful information towards forming bridges of social and political solidarity among migrant communities (Secret School).
As a whole the work of Performigrations artists seeks to provoke in the viewer both a strong affective response and an alteration/expansion of consciousness with regards to given assumptions about past and contemporary histories of migration – specifically in the context(s) of settler colonialism, flows of global capital and the regulation of human movement across national and supra-national borders governed by capital’s priorities. The work also attempts to make visible how people work against the grain of these dominant forces by means of building informal networks of memory and solidarity that foster resilience, resistance and mutual empowerment.
At each location, Mobile Interventions will be composed of those pieces of an installation in process that can change over time, evolve, interact with local artists and conditions, and be shipped to other locations. Rather than operating just in formal gallery spaces, Mobile Interventions will operate in the interstices of events; the exhibition is therefore conceived of as a mutable, malleable, mobile assemblage because it will adapt to different spaces, territories and communities.
Look for the baggage, find Mobile Interventions. You can find baggage in formal gallery spaces, or in the interstices of events, positioned in different urban places, or forgotten in silent corners of a room. They will mark the PERFORMIGRATIONS territories, at the same time they create a territory; they can tell you that you have arrived where a Mobile Intervention is located, or they can contain something for you to engage with. We have chosen baggage for a series of reason:
- Baggage speak to everybody, no matter their nationalities, education or status
- Baggage embed mobility, but a heavy luggage hurdles movement.
- Baggage have personalities, vary in size, price and form.
- Baggage can be full of surprises, or they can carry all sorts of burdens.
- Baggage can be open, they can be closed.
- Baggage can be battered and broken or shining, they speak about their holders.
- What’s in a baggage? Nothing and all, including….you.
We have chosen baggage also to comment on our current state of surveillance and climate of fear:
- Baggage can be suspicious and carry danger (do not leave them unattended or they will be destroyed).
PERFORMIGRATIONS baggage will have no carers/carriers. They will mark the mutable, malleable, mobile assemblage of evolving Mobile Interventions, acting as fils rouges inviting people to connect spots and navigate a changing territory.
THE SECRET SCHOOL
Concept: The Secret School is a local WiFi network where visitors of the installation can share information about immigration confidentially and anonymously. Visitors can exchange messages through a chat room and upload texts, various types of documents or media files. The network is local, fully separated from the Internet, and can be transported between different locations in a small suitcase, or even on a bicycle or suspended from a balloon. As such it can collect and share information contributed by the visitors, while providing complete safety from snooping. The Secret School is implemented on the [[piratebox|http://piratebox.cc/]], “a DIY anonymous offline file-sharing and communications system”. In the 1990s one of the first Cyber-communities served as a kind of Underground Railroad, helping refugees from the Balkan wars to escape into the West. Twenty years later, the Internet is being increasingly policed. Protecting personal information has become a central issue in the mainstream. For the majority of immigrants, confidentiality is not merely a matter of protection of the personal sphere, but of downright vital importance. By encouraging the use of DIY tools that are out of the reach of Internet information tracking, this installation not only promotes awareness and discussion of the clandestine aspects of immigration, but also seeks to put these tools in the hands of migrants themselves.
Starting from: MOBILE INTERVENTIONS YUL
A/Vgration (Hannes Andersson and Valentina Sutti)
Concept: An open ended sensorial journey through layered audio-visual landscapes and spaces.
The project is a container for interconnected sequences of sound and video existing within and in relation to each other. The user is invited to freely navigate these landscapes (sequences) and create their own journey and sensorial experience through sound and image.
The navigation of the piece is non-linear, based on the concept that migration is not a linear journey with a set end point.
Experiencing new places doesn’t mean simply changing location. It also exposes you to new smells, soundscapes, views — and most of all, people. This idea is the core of our audio-visual installation, which aims to generate emotions by hurling the users into constructed environments rich in stimuli. The installation is conceived as a fully immersive experience, with the user located at the centre of a surrounding A/V environment, with which s/he can interact.
Starting from: MOBILE INTERVENTIONS YUL
ON ICE (Dominic Mancuso, Kim Sawchuk, Giuliana Cucinelli, Elena Lamberti)
Concept: Ice is a very cold medium. For at least six months of the year the majority of Canadians participate in the seasonal arrival of cold, snow, and long nights. While some eagerly await its arrival, for others the winter is a time of endurance. On Ice explores the sensorial complexities of Canadian cultural identity, belonging and disaffection through a contemplation of cold. Using the non-linear video editing software, Korsakow, we propose to create a dreamscape of images texts and sounds that thematically render our relationship to ‘cold’ with a special focus on the myriad of mixed emotions that “we” have to that most iconic of Canadian sports- hockey- and one of our most beloved of outdoor activities, skating. We are also interested in the metaphoric potential of the idea of “on ice” as it is related to the idea of mobility and stasis- to be on ice can also signify waiting or being on hold, a feeling familiar to many who immigrate to Canada whose are often on hold waiting for the processing of their citizenship papers. Being on thin ice connotes precarity of position.
Canadians love to talk about the weather. On Ice is collaborative exercise in public discussion of one of the most banal of topics to creatively explore what it may reveal about other states of being in the world.
Starting from: MOBILE INTERVENTIONS YUL
ADDRESS KNOWN (Giuliana Cucinelli and Kim Sawchuk )
Concept: AddressKnown is an interactive documentary that weaves together several stories of residents living in Parc Extension. These stories bring forth a multiplicity of perspectives which, together, provide a glimpse into a diverse neighbourhood that has undergone significant transformations in the past several years.
Residents’ stories come together to form a narrative that works against traditional assumptions about “old people living in old neighbourhoods.” It showcases the active involvement of seniors, youth, and adults in an effort to better understand how intergenerational conversations and efforts keep a community strong and active.
Starting from: MOBILE INTERVENTIONS KLU
PERFORM YOUR MIGRATION (Roberta Buiani, Natalie Doonan, Juli Saragosa)
Concept: Perform Your Migration is a game for mobile devices. Through a series of choices, the player is led through scenarios taken from real migration stories.
The game is a thought experiment based on a sci-fi narrative structure. When the player opens the game, the first screen they see reads: “It is the year 2015. You are an alien who has just landed on earth. You need the right credentials to enter a country.” The player then chooses from a list of Canadian and UK immigration programs, such as “diplomatic visa” or “family sponsorship”.
The choice of immigration program determines the object of the game. Each program leads the player to a different migration narrative that begins in a specific place and whose goal is to arrive in another specific place.
Why a game?
Because we would like players to become aware of the complexities of the processes of migration. The game format enables audiences to learn about the choices or the lack of choices that an immigrant has, depending on their nationality, economic standing, age, health, ability, education, profession, religion, race and sexual orientation.
Perform Your Migration has two goals:
1. To bring awareness to complex stories of migration
2. To provide nuanced descriptions of the figure of the “migrant”
Starting from: MOBILE INTERVENTIONS ??