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Collaborative Video: COVID-19 Anxiety: Location, Refuge, Loss

Covid anxiety video
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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, three distinctive artist/collaborators, Pam Patterson, Joanna Black and Daniel Payne, have been experiencing in varying degrees, as have others, an “anxiety of dissolution”. This anxiety has generated for many creatives an accompanying “state of indecisive agitation”. What will happen to creative practice? How can we produce and disseminate our work? What responsibilities do we possess as cultural producers?

To counteract this irresolution, we have been developing and producing a collaborative video as a “body of evidence” to address issues around “location,” “loss,” and “refuge” and have been enacting this with an awareness of our individual and collective socially mediated and subjectively variable responses. These responses were initially conceived as “shudders” intended to support modes reflective of urgent collective embodied knowing, thinking and feeling.

Feminist cultural theorist, Donna Haraway (2015) speaks to this condition – in relation to the (provisionally) emerging Anthropocene - as occurring at a time when us earth critters are beginning to experience a “loss of refuge”, of stability, of clarity in regards to place, role and identity (160). She suggests a need to explore multi-species eco-relations. This spurred us to ask: How can we redefine our process through a concerted effort that would animate a form of mutual “kinship”?

Each of us, as artists, brought individualized skills and perceptions, and profoundly dedicated practices to maintain the presence of, and social practice inherent in, this collaboration making.

We were well advised and supported by professional artists/technicians. The COVID-19 protocol-safe broadcast-quality taping of the performance by Pam Patterson was facilitated by Hri Neil in Prince Edward County. The editing by Sarah Paradis in Winnipeg expertly integrated Joanna Black’s still COVID-19 imagery into the raw performative video. The recording support by Ashton Price and Morph Studios in Toronto set Daniel Payne’s music, “Variation in Theme”, to tape. The careful and innovative work by Artur Kivilaht clarified and layered the sound for the video creating a counterpoint of breeze and breath to the violoncello.  The post-production completion by Hri Neil integrated these key aspects of performance, visuals and sound for the final video.

Work Cited

Haraway, Donna. “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin.”
Environmental Humanities, vol. 6, no. 1, 2015, pp. 159–165., doi:10.1215/22011919-3615934. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.