In this blog, Richard MacNeill set out to understand the relationship between water catchment and community in Kythera, but ended up shifting to the goldfields of Victoria, Australia. The two are oddly complementary…
This piece is all about you and by you, collectively!
‘The journey to CHAT’ – people documenting their journey to the annual CHAT conference – has become an informal tradition over the years. In absence of physical journeys this year we’d like to recreate your journeys in sound through sound postcards, recorded from your window on your way to festivalCHAT.
Over the week we’ll arrange the sounds, sequentially in the order that they arrive and binaurally according to their position geographically. This will create a continuous soundscape hosted on our own Soundcloud and will be the final piece posted on SoundStage on the last day of festivalCHAT. Please send a recording up to 20 seconds long, ideally MP3 or .wav. Phone recordings are fine and we can also rip sound from films made on your phone if necessary. Email your postcard to email@example.com with your approximate location, if you’re a happy to share that with us. Let us know if you’re happy for us to credit you by name in our summary of the piece too.
You can send your postcard anytime from the first day of festivalCHAT on Friday 23 October until midnight (your time zone) on Monday 26 October to give us time to put it together.
Live event Thursday 29 October 14:00-16:00 EDT(New York) 18:00-20:00 GMT (London)
With every passing moment we see clear examples of how the world around us shapes and is shaped by history. In this festival session we challenge the archaeological community to use location as a bridge between the contemporary and historical and to find new ways to narrate the clash of pasts and presents and the accumulation of new meanings and associations with place.
We ask for flash fictions or nano-histories that reflect on time’s interconnectivities. Consider Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the British Museum in London; the Jelling Stones in Denmark; any number of political borders and walls. How do past and present merge and clash particularly in the context of our pandemic world and the protests of Black Lives Matter?
Participants should submit a 150-word or less story, together with an image showing the site attached to their story. Each presenter will have 10 minutes to read their piece and respond to questions. Accepted submission will be posted to Instagram and the session will be held on Zoom and streamed live on Facebook. Please make sure your images are yours, or that their source is cited.
How can people come together at a time of enforced separation? Inspired by Client Culture’s postal zine project Cross Pollination for Antiuniversity 2020, CHAT-CHAIN-MAIL is a Mail Art project for festivalCHAT building a chain of thoughts, ideas and art as the piece moves through the physical world.
This event is open now so get involved!
Mail Art developed in contemporary art movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Also known as postal art, Mail Art is a populist art movement that involves making small pieces to be sent in the post. These artworks are commonly postcards, small zines, little collages or textual pieces, they make use of everyday materials, found materials, rubber stamps, and home printing, but ultimately includes anything that can be put in an envelope and sent by post.
Mail Art is thus an egalitarian art-form. It is cheap and it circumvents the conventional art market. It is global, putting people in touch with one another around the world via international postal services. Mail Art often chimes with the ethos of ‘Reuse, Repair, Recycle’ in the materials found, selected, adapted, and collated to make the pieces.
It is not only the image that matters. The material properties and networked nature of Mail Art are things that archaeology has the means to attend to. And the connectedness of Mail Art, tangible items whose properties are not mediated by a screen, affords the possibility of real-life, physical inter-connection between people otherwise kept apart from one-another in a time of pandemic. The journey that our Mail Art will take and its transformation through each pair of creative hands are as, if not more, important, than the final completed piece that we can share.
How this will work:
If you’d like to take part sign up between now and the last day of festivalCHAT, Friday 30 October 2020 by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We’ll send you guidelines for how the project will work, read and agree to these (ask if you’ve any questions) and we’ll add you to the list!
On the first day of festivalCHAT, Friday 23 October we’ll start CHAT-CHAIN-MAIL by posting an opening piece to the first person on the list. The recipient will have three days to add their contribution before posting it on to the next participant. We’ll only share your address with the previous contributor in the chain and we won’t keep your contact details after.
Each person will have three days to add their piece, it can be a response to the previous piece or something new: size guide is a maximum of two sides of A4 paper with thoughts, art and ideas using whatever materials you like. Email us when you’ve completed your piece and we’ll send you the address of the next person to send it to.
CHAT-CHAIN-MAIL will inevitably continue its travels after festivalCHAT so to document the package as it travels through festivalCHAT-time and beyond we’d like contributors to take a picture of their work, in whole or part, to share on social media with #FestivalCHAT2020 #ChatChainMail. The final piece will be scanned for documenting on the festivalCHAT and/or CHAT website and the piece itself will travel to the next live CHAT accompanied by an approximate map of its journey, for perusal in person.