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Erin Fussell

Posted on: February 28, 2017

Erin Fussell is an interdisciplinary artist investigating internal and external landscapes through video, performance, and installation art.

I make interdisciplinary work using video, performance, and installation exploring landscape as a body and as conceptual architectural spaces. I investigate my internal and external landscapes to bring the experiential undertow into the seen, heard, and felt. I find meaningful connections in day-to-day experiences that feed my practice. Intuition and circumstance drive my decisions in the process of creating the work. I often include partners in the making, both human and non-human, like the wind or insects.

Through research, writing, engaging in the environment, and active listening, I cultivate self-awareness and a sense of place in a way that transforms perspective. I observe how my perspective shifts over time. The resulting work communicates what I discover.
For March 2017, I am creating an installation at the Sanitary Tortilla Factory in Albuquerque called, “Deep Waters, Thin Places.” In the immersive installation of video, performance, sound, lithography, and sculpture, I will share how I transformed an urban desert flood control dam into a creative site. “In deep water” is an idiom that means “to be in trouble,” and “thin places” is from a Celtic Proverb that describes how the distance between Heaven and Earth is only three feet and a “thin place”, or a place where one can see both sides, or catches a glimpse of the divine. To me, it suggests experiencing a new perspective.

I look at Embudo Dam and desert flood control conceptually as a reflection of a possible internal state of being. We build “flood control systems” within ourselves as well to live in the world. With this work I ask, “When should we control it and when should we let it flood?” In one video, performers interpret visual scores that I am making inspired by engineering plans of Embudo Dam on the dam in the Sandia Foothills. These visual scores are lithographs printed by a master-printer-in-training at Tamarind Institute and will hang on the wall in the installation. Water rushes uncontrolled in another video. Wooden sculptures that mimic elements of the concrete dam structure will cast shadows on the walls, and recall the materiality of the site versus the gallery, pointing to the relationship between the natural and built environment. I am creating a sound score with water in glass jars that echo off the dam. The work affords viewers the opportunity to reinterpret everyday landscape and experience in order to reclaim space, internally and externally.

Next, I want to build off of this work and stage a live performance on the Embudo Dam in the Sandia Foothills for an audience as part of this project. I would use SPREAD funding to make this live experience happen, please see the budget proposal. The space is accessible from Indian School Road, including parking, and is a short walk on a path to the dam. Choreography would be created for 5 performers and for live musicians. I will create visual scores for performers and sound artists. I will also make programs for audience members. The show would be professionally filmed and documented during the event. I envision the show to include the sunset. All legal requirements would be met with the City of Albuquerque. The light out there on site is incredible and the sound echoes around the canyon. It would be such a rich experience live that cannot be captured accurately on video and in documentation.

To learn more about Erin Fussell click here.

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