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The PASEO Festival, Taos, NM

We Are All Space in Time was a collection of four site-responsive interactions, installations, and experiments that acknowledged the complexities of coexistence. Using technology to remix, surveille, map, and unearth, these projects investigated the contested spaces of extraction, ownership, history and the gaze.  Each newly commissioned artwork confronted or subverted the spectacle of a nighttime arts festival through creative strategies that asserted the physical body and referenced the surrounding landscape. Merging poetry, film, performance, and surveillance, this group of artworks explored the human experience of living together in space and time.


Guest curated by Erin Elder We Are All Space in Time was presented as part of The 2018 PASEO Festival, an international participatory arts festival in northern New Mexico. The exhibition acknowledged the festival's occurrence on the unceded and occupied lands of indigenous Ute, Pueblos, Diné and North Tiwa. 

Artists included: Sarah Ashkin, Anäis Duplan, Christine Howard Sandoval, and Winter Count (Ginger Dunnill, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Dylan McLaughlin)

The group of artists shared in a mini-retreat during the festival to share ideas and support each other's work.


Live Stream was a multi-media investigation of Taos' historic acequias.  In this live streamed performance, Christine Howard Sandoval used surveillance technology as a tool to channel disappeared migratory paths and waterways in and around the site of The PASEO. Through physical exploration she used her own body to physically trace these buried paths that have been disrupted by ongoing notions of land ownership, boundary systems, and the built environment.


During the nighttime festival, Christine, navigated the contested spaces of the Acequia Madre with a wireless camera attached to her own body. The video was transmitted from her remote exploration to an installation within the festival where a pre-recorded soundscape and printed broadsheet contextualize her walk. Through the use of video and performance, Live Stream attempted to perceive beyond the surface of the built environment through the act of walking in space, to uncover and reclaim the vitality of ecological resources that continue to exist. 

Christine collaborated with Fritz Hahn, Town of Taos Council Member; and Bobbie Jaramillo, Mayordomo of la Acequia Madre.


Coherence/Interference was an audience-generated sound performance comprised of a large video projection, two regalia-draped figures -- one containing a smaller tablet-sized video and the other operating as an interactive sound device.  This piece was an active response to the nearby Chevron Questa Mine Superfund site, featured in both videos. The smaller video shared facts about the mines legacy interspersed with the phrase "and so we sing the land." The larger projection featured drone-shot video of the mined landscape. This image was manipulated by a computer program that synced to a microphone-like instrument embedded in the second figure.


The sonic dimension of the piece was based on the ancestral musical scoring practice of Northern Plains people, which was defined by the study of horizon lines and the response of "singing the land’s song-lines." Coherence/Interference invited individual audience members to participate in this singing practice by placing one's face inside of a miked mask and creating a vocalization. The singing voice cleared the video projection's distortion, revealing the landscape. The singer, however, was masked from seeing the impact of their voice, sacrificing their own vision so that others can see clearly. Coherence/Interference effectively bound geography to culture, creating an opportunity for audiences to resonate with the landscape and participate in its healing. The piece is part of a larger body of work called CauseLines that investigates sites affected by extraction with aims to share Indigenous practices in the healing of sacred land. 

Winter Count collaborated with artists Jesse Hazelip and Ann Lewis .


Private Party was a live film about a photoshoot. Conceived as a performance piece for a photographer, two models, and a director, Private Party was an opportunity to deal with the experience of seeing others and being seen by others. Live video footage and sound, sourced from YouTube and Taos radio, formed the backdrop against which performers of color worked through a series of meditations intended to explore personality, ambition, the experience of being seen as a brown body, and love. In front of a live audience, the performers worked through a series of mental oppressions and insecurities in order to experience greater empathy for others. They are prompted to look at someone in a loving way, state their greatest ambitions, read about racial empathy on the internet, and show loving kindness to themselves.The audience was invited to participate in these empathy-building prompts either privately or in public As a durational, live experiment, Private Party explored the friction between technology and intimacy, framing and knowing, seeing and being.


The performers were Simone Williams, Krystle McCabe and Marti Segura of Las Pistoleras Instituto Cultural de Arte


How has white supremacy served as a method and a motivation for land appropriation in the United States? no grounds was an evening-length series of choreographed movements that aimed to unpack this dynamic through a reinterpretation of the transactions during which the Federal Government stole the sacred Blue Lake from the local Tewa people. 


Playing a role that merged a real estate lady with her own self, Sarah Ashkin claimed parcels of desirable land throughout the festival grounds.  Audience members were asked to help mark, measure, and fence off areas of land from which they were eventually excluded. Once inside the claimed property, Sarah performed a nightmare dance that fluctuated between intoxication, shame, exhaustion, gluttony and persistent greed. When a proclamation HR 471 eventually announced that the land must be returned, she begrudgingly packed up her materials and moved west to a new parcel.

As more than a reenactment, the performance was an attempt to connect historic moment to a continued cultural behavior comprised by the marking of territory and the negotiation of land rights. Acknowledging the complexities around safety, security, and ownership, no grounds was a scored performance that held space for productive tension in its address of people’s relationship to property.  

Sarah collaborated with Daniel Obzejta and Gary Ashkin with music by Harold Budd. She encouraged audiences to support the Taos Pueblo Foundation in the buy-back of their land. 

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