Edgecomb Point, Lubec Maine
A twenty year old cabin is inherited in the woods of Lubec Maine on the Bay of Fundy. The cabin sits on cedar logs that time and termites have made soft. The Burl Concentrate proposes to lift the cabin and replace the foundation and in so doing prolong the life of the artist built retreat. The Cabin will then become a part of The Burl Concentrate's network of havens- a place to share with artists and thinkers beginning in the summer of 2019.
The work of care that the Concentrate proposes is also that of formalizing the rain catchment system that is currently partially in place, building a solar shower, an outdoor kitchen, thinning the forest and building greenhouses for food. The Concentrate deploys the Strategies of Care as we approach this land and honor its potential to teach, provide sanctuary, food, and energy to the artists and thinkers who will pass through.
WHAT ARE WE WILLING TO GIVE UP? The Edgecomb Point Proposal seeks to work with existing structures and refurbish corrupt foundations. In this way we give up authorial independence and ask what we can do to care for what we already have. When we consider the value of all that is already in existence it makes the obsession with production of the new seem foolish and deeply corrupt- we must first care for the structures that stand, or determine that they should be dismantled.
This is the work of care and it deepens our relationship to the material world and acknowledges the need for a renewed understanding of the foundation we build upon, how something is made, and what its needs are to ensure future existence.
Orr Springs Road, Comptche California
An illicit economy is made legal and the constructs of a community are called into question. How can the historically underground marijuana producing areas of Northern California enter into a new era in which greater accountability and changing farming and cultural practices can remain sustainable and even act as a model for ethical farming practices in a variety of contexts.
The Burl Concentrate has been asked to envision new uses for a historic marijuana farm in Mendocino County. Existing infrastructure has been primarily designed with the production of Marijuana as its focus. The desire to address other potential uses for the land in the new era of legal marijuana production has prompted the land owners to invite a reimagining of the buildings as artist studios and retreat space.
Winter of 2019 will see the Burl Concentrate spend time on the land and develop a plan enacting Strategies of Care as we consider how to bring new purpose and utility to what already exists.
The Burl Concentrate has been invited to bring artists, activists, scientists, philosophers, poets, writers and other configurations of thinkers together to activate land that is under-utilized and reflects the interrelations between the land usage and changing economies of the surrounding environments. We see the nomadic residency format as a means through which to gather diverse thinkers and makers in a space to use mourning, care, rehabilitation and co-imagining as radical strategies to generate theory and practice new modalities of living together in the age of the anthropocene.
The Concentrate will focus in this first year on the idea of grief as we begin to assess the losses and traumas we can now clearly connect to climate change. Participants in this initial phase will do the hard work of defining mission, conceiving of a calendar, and performing service to the land that hosts our first gathering. This balance of physical work, and intellectual, emotional labor is at the heart of the Concentrate’s thesis- We must work to strengthen our creative energy in times of crisis to prepare the way for new growth- as individuals and as communities. We can do this through strategic care. Enacting labor that is marginalized and undervalued as our creative medium to draw attention to the significance of this work for the livelihood of all.
As artists we are uniquely situated to address the affective responses humans experience as we move forward on this changed planet- but we need to gather our strength, share our findings, and support each other as we do this difficult work. Our desire to engage scientists, philosophers, theologians, and other thinkers in these issues is just beginning to take shape.
The projects undertaken during the intensive gathering time of the Concentrate are collaborative and are designed with the collaboration of the landowner/caretaker who hosts our gathering. Possible projects will range from designing and building grey water systems, hosting community dances, researching the plants and minerals found on the land, best dwelling practices for the site, creek restoration and food and medicine wild crafting- to more esoteric and aesthetic ceremonial investigations. The philosophical queries that arise from labor with the land are the responsibility of the group- who will be engaged in a nightly discussion- led in turn by the participants.
In this way the Concentrate acts as a temporary collaboration, a method to grow and diversify networks, as well as a study of place and its effects upon individual and group work. As an exchange with the host, the group will work to make something of use for the land.