Here are the recollections of the day two of the Labverde program in the Amazon, Brazil.
Distilling the rich experience of the very first day in the Amazon, on the second day, it felt so very special and dream like to be a part of the Labverde in the middle of the Amazonas, being integrated into the community of artists, researchers and organisers, and sharing with everyone the passion for natural environment.
I thought about my project for this residency and I have tried to imagine the outcomes. The body of work I imagined to produce needs to match the experiences, its polyphonic qualities, the immense fecundity of the richest and diverse ecosystem on this planet. I have also been focusing on the effects of that richness on imagination, and radical thinking, the approach to research based on ‘radical openness, an edgy protean differentiating multiplicity’ (Karen Barad), and relevance of it to the issues I am exploring.
There is more to that feeling of connections than an intuition, more than ‘the notion’ of the existence of the global movement towards change. My desire is to contribute to the emergence of the global consciousness that is sensible to the world. Following my initial proposal and the earthly and empathetic method of gathering art/experiences on a spot, I also thought about the type of intuitive and imaginative discoveries, collections that, ‘decolonised artist/naturalist’ can bring from such expedition.
I have been reading the records of the 18th century naturalists such as Wallace, Bates and Spruce. Undoubtedly they have contributed hugely towards the western knowledge and natural collections! I thought, rather than searching and collecting for new species or phenomena, I wanted to collect observations and insights that can be transformative and can help our future thinking.
That second morning, we woke up on the boat mourned somewhere on a little island on the Rio Negro. On the beautiful beach right in the middle of the paradise. Stunning place on the black river, called by some’ Caribbean of the Amazonas’. The plan for the second day of the program included three visits to the local/indigenous communities. I did have a mixed feeling about that, As much as I am very interested in indigenous worlds and communities, and as much as I would love to have a chance to sensitively engage with it, I couldn’t stop thinking that the visits were ‘touristy sort of atractions’ loaded with the colonial past, based on capitalistic exchange.
On that beach, we were welcomed by the mysterious crosses/cemetery veiled in the sad silence, the reminder of the past that is not forgotten.
We have been told to have a swim before breakfast. The ritual that can set the day, The communal submersion of the symbolic species. The warmth of that very first immersion in the river, was astonishingly pleasant and inviting.
That being with and becoming with, the part of organisms that always contains the same amount of water all over the planet.
Liquid thoughts that dissolve the boundaries reaching deep and deeper in the circular dis-continuity,
The vultures on the trees, cashew nuts trees with funny tasting fruits.
Warm sand, scattered with seeds of astonishing shapes and sizes, feeding the eyes and the souls, and continuing conversations,
brains of the land, seeds of change, ever ready for the right conditions to flourish, twigs that belong, the flux that is the landscape,
joyful conversations among the bodies immersed in water,
the bathing of the privileged expectations,
The flicking, floating substance of the landscape seen from the boat, continuity of it, the entanglement with and of the disappearing thoughts, its ebbs and flows, thoughts of belonging and care. All nature, all continuity, all from the place of consideration. Generated from the precious source of that most prolific encounters.
The biological cycle, with no regrets and no expectations, Tabula Rasa,
Clean mind, no baggage and no preconceptions, free range mind in the unfolding universe, with the eyes wide open, with the mind ready for unlimited thoughts,
that stretch right up across the horizons, arccos the mass of the forests and rivers and the moral obligation, the global obligation, the forces that shape the future.
Shaping the way of the wild imagination, wild visions of utopia in this wild place among the creatures of the entangled universe.
Passing through one of the largest river’s archipelagos.
The island is always right metaphor, in any circumstances,
the Amazonas type of adequate metaphor emerging among its beings and thinking matter.
Swimming with the pink dolphins, walking to the Amazonian alligator,
She said is her pet, she was cover in sadness, performing for the visitors eyes, fishes for dolphins,
in the shadows of the past-of the knowledge that has been lost, of the lost of cultures,
the mind of the sensitive obligation and the different type of future,
How does the wild dolphin interacts with the bodies from far away lands? It surely just appears domesticated,
What is really on the minds of these people? Do we share the same desires, do we dream the same dreams for better future? how do we communicate this type of communication?
We visited three different communities, I found these short visits moving and slightly upsetting,
we all breath the same air, we all need land and food and we all commodifying culture that is nature.
Being tourist is such a strange thing! Being an artist it is a completely different thing, it is an obligation!