Alana Bartol is an interdisciplinary artist from Canada and comes from a long line of water witches. Investigating alternate epistemologies within and beyond the human body, her site-responsive works propose dreaming, walking, and divination as ways of understanding across place, species and bodies. Through performance, video, drawing, and socially-engaged art, her work aims to make visible the unseen forces and histories in our everyday environments. Bartol’s work has been presented and screened at galleries and festivals in Canada, USA, Romania, and Mexico. Recent projects and residencies include Water-witching for Wonderers (and Wanderers) a public art commission with The City of Calgary, A Woman Walking (the City Limits) created for the M:ST 8 Festival, and In Blood and Bone, a series of site-responsive performances at abandoned oil well sites in Alberta supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. She currently lives in Calgary where she teaches at Alberta College of Art+Design.
New York sound artist and composer, Andrea Williams, utilizes site-specific elements and perceptual cues to reveal the unseen connections between people and their environment. Her compositions make use of field recordings, instruments, computer technologies and the sound of the performance space itself. She has led soundwalks in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and has shown and performed both solo and with various musicians and artists at galleries and alternative spaces internationally, such as the Whitney Museum, Eyebeam Art+Technology Center, Observatori Festival, Children’s Creativity Museum, NPR, Miami Art Fair, and the Mamori sound artist residency in the Amazon rainforest. She is a board member of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology, and she is currently studying our connection to water via soundwalks at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in NY for her Ph.D. in Electronic Arts.
Brooks Dierdorff is an artist working in photography, video, sculpture and installation. He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally at galleries that include Amos Eno in Brooklyn, New York; Punch Gallery in Seattle; the Disjecta in Portland; High Desert Test Sites in Joshua Tree, California; Johalla Projects in Chicago; the Ulrike Hamm Gallery in Bissendorf, Germany; and The New Gallery in Calgary, Canada. His work has been written about in publications including Daily Serving, Visual Arts Source, Oregon Arts Watch, and Daily Mail. For 3 years Dierdorff was co-director of Ditch Projects, an artist-run exhibition space in Springfield, Oregon. He also founded and co-directed a not-for-profit art space, Grammar Center, in Medford, OR from 2014 to 2015 and is currently co-director of Grammar Center Press, a small-run artist book press. He received his BA from the University of California, San Diego in 2007 and his MFA from the University of Oregon in 2012. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.
David Groenfeldt is Founder and Director of the Water-Culture Institute (in Santa Fe, NM) and Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of New Mexico. Starting with his PhD research on irrigation development in India, David has focused on the cultural values underlying water policies in both developing countries and so-called developed ones. He coordinates the Water Ethics Network (waterethics.org) and is involved in developing a global charter on water ethics, as well as local water ethics charters at the level of cities and watersheds. His ideas are outlined in the recent book, Water Ethics: A Values Approach to Solving the Water Crisis.
David Janesko’s work concerns how humans make sense of the world. One specific interest is the ways in which we physically change the Earth and how we define ourselves in terms of those changes. Janesko received a BS in Geosciences from Penn State University and a MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
“I’m an independent dance artist who seeks to investigate movement design by limiting the body with the body. The human experience has always remained a mystery to me, and through movement design, I feel most understood and I see others more clearly. When I perform my work, I sense how I am a tiny speck within the our universe yet related to audience members in a way that reminds me how connected we all are. Life is complex, movement reveals truth, and change is ongoing.”
Issa Nyaphaga is a cartoonist, and a multi-media artist based in the U.S., who is globally known as a human rights activist from Cameroon West/central Africa)8. His work has inspired the human spirit of thousands of people in dozens of countries. Issa Nyaphaga is convinced that the power of art can save lives.
Showing the potential for both rational and intuitive thought, Julia Paull photographs and works on paper trace an arc between gestures of abstraction to documentation of tenuous and contrived relationships with animals in the natural world. Her work reflects an interest in the physical manifestations of the human condition as experienced bodily and psychologically. A Los Angeles based artist and Associate Professor of Practice at the USC Roski School of Art and Design; Paull received her MFA in photography from the California Institute of the Arts.
“Thought is an endless game. External sources fuel it’s endless hallways of language, image and connotation – feeding my desire to dig into the unconventional sublime; a personal experience, a something, so subtle, that can amaze. It is the beautiful in the ugly and the universal in the personal. It is the way I choose to see the world. A romantic state of mind. Representing not the overwhelming ocean view or the erupting volcano, but rather the self, the other and the surrounding.”
Lauren Elder is an artist, an arts educator and an activist, each role informing and complementing the others. She came of age in the late 1960’s during the beginning movements for social and environmental justice and those ideals continue to inform her practice. Lauren’s earlier body of work focused on environmentally-situated performances. More recently she has shifted towards creating permanent environments to frame the dramas and comedies of everyday life. Projects are supported by public funds, local businesses and the “sweat equity” of participants. Lauren was trained in Sculpture at UCLA and Landscape Architecture at UCBerkeley. Most of her work has been in the San Francisco Bay Area, but she has also developed and presented performance projects in major cities across the US and in Russia.
Rachel Lin Weaver and Lesley Duffield are a team of new media artists and educators, and have been working together since 2009 to explore their shared interests in narrative, memory, land, and history. They also collaborate with indigenous communities around the world to facilitate new media projects that support oral history, cultural survival, and land rights.
Rulan Tangen’s dance journey centers around the founding of DANCING EARTH CREATIONS (DE) in 2004. After years of teaching dance workshops to reservation youth, she strove to create hope and opportunity for aspiring performers, theater artists and technicians, who also serve as culture carriers, art educators, and leaders. Dancing Earth has thus inspired a new generation of Indigenous performers to express their culture in vital contemporary and experimental forms. Her professional experience spans international ballet, modern dance, opera, circus, film and television production. Surviving cancer to discover her leadership purpose, Tangen continues to teach extensively in Native communities across the Americas, as well as institutes of higher learning. With a vision for inclusion, she cultivates a new generation of Native dancers, through creative practice that explores intertribal diversity. Many of her students have danced with the company, crediting the work to have empowered their identity as well as their scope of artistic aspiration. Her work values movement as an expression of indigenous worldview, honoring matriarchal leadership, dance as functional ritual for transformation and healing, the process of decolonizing the body, and the animistic energetic connection with all forms of life on earth. She has recruited and nurtured a new generation of Indigenous contemporary dancers and holds the belief that “to dance is to live, to live is to dance.”
Sarolta Jane Cump is a San Francisco Bay Area artist and filmmaker whose work exemplifies a commitment to social justice and to radical forms of cultural intervention and representation. She brings to her projects a keen eye for stunning aesthetics, a sharp political sensibility, and a healthy dose of humor and satire. Cump’s work has screened internationally at museums, film festivals, galleries, community centers, squats, and everywhere in between. In an article that traces the genealogy of a distinctive Bay Area queer DIY filmmaking sensibility and history, Greg Youmans (e-flux 2013) discusses Cump’s work in relation to such groundbreaking filmmakers as Lizzie Borden and Barbara Hammer. Cump has spent the last two decades in the Bay Area teaching, producing, and preserving early format video. Sarolta can usually be found swimming or collaborating on projects with a myriad of talented creatures.