SUPERLUX Summer School with Hannah Rickards

17–19 August 2018

A SUPERLUX Summer School led by artist Hannah Rickards: less like an object and more like the weather. Over this weekend-long residential summer school, a small group of participants spent time together at Hospitalfield exploring some key questions in Rickards’ practice through a programme of discussions, readings, film screenings and walks as well as group meals. The summer school was open to artists, curators, writers and arts professionals based in the UK and internationally.

The programme focused on thinking about landscape as a holder of thought.

In particular, the possibility of thinking oneself into a landscape, finding equivalences, echoes, reflections and inversions of thought in the passage of weather across formations of land – each an expression of forms of time in which we find ourselves, and each a form of score or notation.

Other questions that formed starting points for the summer school:

How can geological time be thought together with the transitory passage of weather? How do we understand the duration of our experience in relation to either the very fleeting changes in atmosphere, or the imperceptible change and impossible timescales of the rocks around and beneath us, and how do we locate ourselves in it? How can we visualise or extend into a landscape remotely?

Borrowing a phrase of John Cage’s – ‘less like an object and more like the weather’ – the group considered what Rickards described as ‘an interdependent dynamic set of conditions that inform and influence each other edgelessly, attempting to look as we might listen.’ What happens when we interchange looking and listening?

Rickards presented two of her own works over the weekend. Her latest work One can make out the surface only by placing any dark-coloured object on the ground (2017) was screened alongside an experimental sharing of contextual texts and images. Rickards also showed her work Grey light. Left and right back, high up, two small windows (2014). The weekend concluded with a group walk to link some of the group’s thinking to movement.

Rickards’ work deals with perception and its description; with how one can translate an encounter, be that with a sound, an object, a space or an image. It is centred on the framing of description in language, gesture and sound. Key to her practice is the relationship between either temporary or permanent elements in a landscape and the perception of groups or individuals to a landscape as a whole, with the sites concerned being used as both a vantage point and a stage for examining our verbal, spatial and gestural relationship with our surroundings. The outcomes, be they video/audio installations or text-based works, are often edited or composed with musical structures in mind, examining how a landscape might be read as a score, how it might affect one’s utterances, movements, and perceptions of scale, distance and material, particularly in instances where those measures by which we locate ourselves in space become uncertain.

Activities began on the evening of Friday 17 August and concluded after lunch on Sunday 19 August.

Cost: £120 (included two nights shared accommodation and all meals over the weekend).

One SUPERLUX bursary place was offered.

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