FSM x LA cephalopPOD 19
In May 2019 Forum of Sensory Motion in partnership with Liquid Architecture will hold a second trip to witness the mating displays of the Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia Apama) in Whyalla, South Australia.
We will convene early in Adelaide on May 31st for a road trip, staying in the lighthouse cottages in Whyalla for four nights.
This iteration of the interstate, interspecies and investigative field trip has been funded by Australia Council.
Our days will be spent snorkelling with the psychedelic cuttlefish and exploring the region.
Our nights will be spent having candlelit dinners, dreaming up further adventures and collaborations around the campfire or basking under the glowing of the soft orange rotating beam of the lighthouse beacon.
Brodie Ellis with Cameron Robbins, about to enter another realm, Point Lowly 2018.
Joyce Hinterding in action 2018. The conditions were grey and rainy above water and calm and psychedelic beneath. The overcast day provided the perfect conditions for snorkelling as it helped to enhance the colours below.
Jason Hood during a Kelp D/J performance for The Yurting XV: The Night of the Cuttlefish, a night of performative outcomes from the 2018 trip also featuring Jannah Quill, David Haines, Joyce Hinterding and James Grant.
Joyce Hinterding Aeriology
Justin Shoulder/ AKA Phasmahammer
Michael Candy, Synthetic Pollinizer
Selena De Carvalho, Lake Pedder Earthworm- The Evolutionary Straitjacket
Libby Harward, image via Liquid Architecture
Cameron Robbins, Field Lines, MONA Tasmania.
Lichen Kelp, pictured with Benjamin Hancock from a Kelp D performance for FSM Greece 17 outcomes, at Testing Grounds.
Lichen is one half of Forum of Sensory Motion with Dylan Martorell and devised and curated the Cuttlefish trip in 2018 with 11 artists. Kelp is partnering with Liquid Architecture to hold the 2019 edition and performative outcomes at Mission to Seafarers this September.
David Haines, Kirlian Plant Photography
Mission Statement: Cuttlefish
For FSM/LA cephaloPOD19 we aim to enter the water gently, interacting with the cuttlefish in a minimal way with little to no contact. We are there as artists (with marine biologist leanings) to offer up a new reading of the mating signals and patterning language that these creatures generously allow us to witness in close proximity. We are not there to commodify them or extract scientific data but rather to act as creative collaborative conduits to receive their messages, which we will then interpret and transmit through our practises back on land.
To avoid exploitation or potential for harm, outcomes form this trip will be land based (ie no art outcomes will take place in the water) any documentation - filming/sound recording etc must be respectfully controlled and people and their tech gear are asked to remain at a distance from the cuttlefish so as not to alter their behaviours.
Imagery above gleaned off the internet through Lichen Kelp’s investigations into Cuttlefish perception.
Mission statement: Humans
Our mission is well summed up by this letter David wrote which assisted in us getting funding for this years trip.
We are viewing this primarily as an observational road trip.
Like the gentle approach we wish to take with the cuttlefish, we also wish to extend to our humanoid interactions, with respect paid to the diversity and range of expertise and experience and background of the different artists. We are also there not to profit or extract from each other but to learn and attempt to see the world not just through the eyes of cuttlefish but also each other.
Collaborative outcomes in the future may arise through mutual agreement, but are not insisted upon. And outcomes at the site, ambient music and perhaps a performance or two will be minimal and non intrusive and non demanding on the performer so as not to distract from being immersed in the experience of people and place. These will be arranged prior to leaving (and as stated earlier will take place out of the water). If you are interested please let us know, but this is not an expectation so please don’t if it requires too much thought or gear as I would rather you soak up the atmosphere - there is plenty to be had!
So far we have Dylan Martorell and James Grant doing ambient music at the dive site for people entering and exiting the water.
The lighthouse beacon is also a fantastic backdrop for a short improv performance if you are interested Phasmahammer let me know! Jannah is open to doing music at this site too.
Michael Candy is doing an extended roadtrip from the Goldcoast and bringing a selection of new robots characters to introduce to us and to document against the semi industrial Whyalla backdrop.
Last year Cameron and Brodie created wind pipes that they forged out of scrap metal on the fire and people played them around the campfire. These are the kind of impromptu ambience creating gestures that make a beautiful experience if anyone would like to contribute to the vibe.
We will also be group cooking and group living as well as travelling across some distances. Last year was a casual adventure with no funding and all these elements came together organically and harmoniously.
This year as a return trip with funding there are more expectations, but also more artists and therefore more fun to be had. I would like to take those expectations back a bit, though, for those who havent been.. and let you know that it is still a casual, fun roadtrip with friends (and friends of friends) atmosphere that we are aiming for. I will aim to organise the trip carefully before we go but once we are on the road there is some hive mind thinking that occurs so I am not relied on for all decisions, especially cooking for groups which is not my forte; if people want to help with planning food. I have Danni on board this year as well who has a lot of on the road producer experience so she will assist in the scheduling etc.
The lighthouse accommodation is basic but comfortable enough (think scout camp vibes) with multiple bunks in each room. If you want sleeping privacy, bring a small tent and there is camping just next to the lighthouse. Also the hours in the bus can get long and loud. No one minds if you need to tune out, sleep or put on some noise cancelling headphones. The snorkelling is very easy. We enter from the shore and within a depth of about 3 metres they are everywhere (we hope! this being nature we are never guaranteed but they have been returning in greater and greater numbers so unless something drastic changes we are expecting to see a lot in a small area again). The wetsuits that we hire are thick (7mm drysuits with liners) for cold water (approx 15 degrees) and are tricky to get on and off but there will be help at the dive centre. For people who are shy please dont make comments on if people look good or not in their wetties :)
I am also seeking seperate funding for outcomes in Melbourne later in 2019 and am currently investigating venues. I would love it if everyone participated in that. We can confirm details and participation after the trip.
Please keep in mind while cuttlefish art dreaming that the concept behind Forum of Sensory Motion is a focus on kinetic, performative or interactive works so we are encouraging dynamic works rather than static pieces.
I will set up a peer to peer networky group chat thing closer to departure. I have used Riot before for a similar group trip which worked well, we can use that again unless anyone has preferences.
I also encourage you to read up on cuttlefish before you go. There is a lot of reading material out there. Some of the articles get repetetive but I find each one has at least one new fact in it, so the puzzle of their existence and communication techniques becomes simultaneously clearer and more complex as you read on. We all found last time though that having knowledge of what we were seeing really enhanced the experience. They are beautiful, colourful, polymorphic, sensationalist creatures with some incredibly powerful pulling power to draw this phenomenal group of artists to their show! Cant wait to share it with you xx
Debris Facility, Polyphonic Thinking
Jannah Quill, solar generated techno.
Meagan Streader, Response VII (Partition III)
The unique and atmospheric Norla Dome room at Mission to Seafarers, Docklands Melbourne will be the venue for performative and exhibition outcomes for FSM/ LA cephaloPOD in September 2019.
We are seeking Creative Victoria funding for this event.
The national and international as well as local marine history of this building connects the event in Melbournes port to the earlier roadtrip to the shores of Whyalla in an enticing oceanic sense.
Cuttlefish vision/perception/modes of seeing
Extensive cephalopod catalogue by Museums Victoria: