Biospheric Art Practice

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Photos by Kirk Schwartz

Biospheric Art Practice is a periodic gathering of artists in changing locations in the greater Victoria area. The focus is listening, seeing and sensing elements of the non-human biosphere in specific locations.

Musicians, dancers, photographers, videographers, poets, performance artists, writers … any one is welcome to witness or participate.

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The practice begins with a simple listening, sensing or movement exercise. The intention is not to impose cultural or artistic content into the biosphere, but to listen, meld and merge.

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Biospheric Art Practice was initiated by composer / soundartist / facilitator Tina Pearson in 2015. It grew out of the regular improvisation practice of LaSaM Music and Experimental Music Unit, and discussions with personnel at Media Net (Kirk Schwartz, Catlin Lewis and Peter Sandmark) and choreographer / dancer Lori Hamar about opening a dialogue between visual, movement and sonic media through regular exploratory art practice. Exploratory art practice is not necessarily a rehearsal for a specific production or goal, but more an ongoing conversation, in materials, tools and motivations, with art practitioners.

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This kind of regular practice incorporates elements that might find resonance in soundwalking and Deep Listening®, and is similar to the culture of Contact Improvisation, a form that Pearson took part in in Toronto. In CI, anyone interested comes together weekly to explore, with no agenda, a form of movement based on momentum, balance, weight, flow, trust and the dynamic of two people moving together.

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As artists and humans, we are each compelled to practice our art considering a heightened awareness of rapid loss of habitat for wildlife and the impact of humans (including ourselves) on the non-human elements of the planet. And to consider the lifeforms, including human, who have resided in the spaces we visit. In Biospheric Art Practice, we come together regularly to listen, sense, play, dance and make images within a biospheric sphere – absorbing into wind, branch, wave, rock, tree, crow, spider, moss.

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Biospheric Art practice has been occurring in various locations in the traditional lands of the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) and Lkwungen speaking peoples, in an area surrounded by the Salish Sea. Regular participants include George Tzanetakis (clarinets and saxophone), Lori Hamar (movement), Kirk Schwartz (video and photography), Tina Pearson (flutes, voice, accordion), Betsy Nuse (listening, percussion), Lyssa Pearson (photography) with periodic guests and listeners.

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For information, email lasammusic<at>gmail<dot>com, or biosphericartpractice<at>gmail<dot>com