Submerged - Transgression (The Rising Waters)
[The Almanac of the Submerged]
Following one strand of the Submerged (Drowned Lands) project, I have embarked on a film-making adventure with Iain Biggs. Our title and theme for this exploratory component of the larger work is Transgression (The Rising Waters), and it is being produced - initially - for a conference in Bristol in November this year - the international conference of the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA).
"How can the term transgression stimulate invention and generate new insight into modes of design practice and concepts of power, politics and space?... How can the notion of transgression offer new readings of buildings and space?"
We are taking as our starting point for this work a definition of ‘Transgression’ as a geological term describing an advance of the sea over land areas:
‘‘a relative rise in sea level resulting in deposition of marine strata over terrestrial strata. The sequence of sedimentary strata formed by transgressions and regressions provides information about the changes in sea level during a particular geologic time’’
Production of the time-based visual essay features an approach based on a combination of fieldwork, archival research, creative conversation and inter-media collage. Drawing on our shared interest in place, environmental change, and water landscapes, we are exploring questions rooted in physical, social and cultural relationships between land and sea. In an era that many now term the Anthropocene, it can be argued that we face the prospect of human-influenced marine transgressions. Using strategies of poetic juxtaposition and contrast, we engage with subject matter that includes deep time, ice-ages/sea-levels, tidal cycles, the proposed Severn and Avon barrages, recent investigations of prehistoric ‘Doggerland’ under the North Sea, and strategic issues of coastal erosion/defence/managed realignment. Our hybrid composition will incorporate photographic and other visual content, accompanied by voice, song and soundscape - weaving together original and archival material to create an imaginative bridging and transgressing of both disciplinary thinking and the culture of possessive individualism that underpins it.
The method is influenced by Lyons’ work as a geoscientist and landscape-based artist; and by Biggs’ academic and artistic work embracing ‘deep-mapping’ as a creative paradigm. Our many antecedents include films such as Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil and the socio-ecological thinking of Deleuze and Guattari, coupled with Pearson and Shanks’ re-visioning of ‘deep mapping’ as a regionalist performative creative strategy. It is planned to re-show Transgression (Rising Waters) in the context of a performative event on the Severn Estuary coast in Spring 2014.
Transgression (The Rising Waters) is closely linked to Lyons' longer-term Arts Council England supported project, Submerged - Drowned Lands, which, in a similar vein, explores geopoetic and durational aspects of place-specific creative practice.