The first project in the series Prosthetic Mythologies ‘ is an automated performance piece for Kielder Forest in which the forest becomes the stage for a ceremony. It explores the notion of the supernatural through technological implants in the landscape. Twilight in the forest is a traditional setting for mythology and folklore. The French describe twilight as ‘Entre Chien et le Loup’ [between dog and wolf] which captures the unsettling transformation that occurs at dusk. As shadows seep into the forest it becomes a threatening place. The project draws on the psychological power of the forest and we seek to inhabit the dark evocative interior of Kielder forest with a prosthetic mythology.
A colony of sculptural and sonic automata reside within an unspecified plot deep in the forest. They are crepuscular – activated only at low light levels. Their combined response to the specific light conditions of their individual site forms a rhythmic composition in two parts – The Vespertine [dusk] and The Matinal [dawn].
The colony expands its territory dynamically through sound. During dusk, at a low light threshold each piece begins to hammer out its private rhythm, each activating sequentially depending on its location – those deeper in the forest activating first. The tempo of each rhythm increases as the light falls and it builds to a crescendo of rhythmic layers falling in and out of phase with each other, evoking a feverish ritual. Then one by one they fall silent, awaiting dawn.
This Project was undertaken as part of a residency awarded by the Kielder Art and Architecture Program in Northumberland.