We The Ecosystem
River mouths change, land masses move, our bodies live within complex, alive, systems of patterns.
There are living sentient organisms deep within the ground, high in the atmosphere, ubiquitous within the waters, communicating over kilometres, spreading messages our intellects mostly struggle to comprehend, but our sensory bodies know – and if we trust ourselves and listen, we can be intuitively led, to be taken to the river, to be not only within, but with, our environment.
Indigenous cultures speak of this wisdom in continuum. Uprooted cultures struggle against the current, and the ideology.
Humans, like small planets, filled with microfauna and flora, moving patterns of human-ness, within greater currents of the universe. We are a collation of interchanging matter, yet we flow within matter. Our microbial selves immigrate and migrate, inhabitants of Earth, we are not stationary or solid. We are a convergence of patterns.
I draw dual handed every day, using all my senses to listen to my environment and learn. I use both hands, fingers, and sometimes body to draw with plant and bacterial inks, pigments and charcoals I gather from the sites I’m learning from.
At some point I realise I understand something new and collate the work intuitively digitally, until it gives a non verbal sense of this knowledge.
This work has been about understanding the convergence of patterns and time, and our place within this system.
We the ecosystem. 2020, Sensorimotor dual handed and dual finger drawing, on Kabi Kabi Country with local plant, and bacterial inks, pigments and charcoals, intuitively collated and digitally and printed on a silk banner. Hung from naturally stained Eudlo*. *Kabi Kabi word for Silky Oak, (tree with eel skin pattern) also place name. I am told when the Silky Oak flowers, it’s time to eat eels!
(‘We the Ecosystem’ We are a convergence of life, a convergence of time, a sheaf of planes. WE. Dual handed finger painting and drawing, dual handed sensorimotor/somatic drawing, plant inks and pigments, petrified wood. Digitally collated like a tea leaf divination. )
Living works/micro forests:
A correspondence of bacterial and sensory intelligence
It’s isolation time and we are all locked away protecting ourselves from the latest virus to be pulled from the edges of deforestation, COVID-19. For some time I’ve been concocting biological inks and potions in collaboration with plants, fungi and minerals. I think maybe this started as a means of making friends with my bacterial and possibly viral community. But then felt like a small rebellion against the ultra hygienic, disinfectant lavished life that is forced upon us by the threat of dying from an as yet, not fully understood virus. My studio is a potion lab of secreting micro beings.
See jars of little micro parties! ^ If anyone knows what’s going on in the bacteria/viral/micro world, it’s micro flora and fauna- these jars of fungus, minerals, and plants, know things- they are a part of a wider community. So I’m using them as my intelligence on the goings-on-of-the-world. I work intuitively adding materials my body responds to as a means of trusting and strengthening the relationship with my bacterial biome and connecting my senses and my actions with the information from my surrounding micro world.
Humans contain less than 50% human cells, we contain mostly micro organisms and there’s some research to suggest that when we reach a particular level of certain types of bacteria in our bodies it produces a critical mass, and those bacterial groups can band together to influence our behaviour and actions in many ways.
My sensory body is constantly collecting information regarding my environment. I may or may not process this information in an effective way intellectually, so I use multi-sensory and proprioceptive acts to make marks as a means of expressing this information. I try to open a conversation between my body, it’s biome, my environment and it’s micro fauna. The images create a codex* of living information that’s open to intuitive or collective sensory translation. Together my body and the bacterial surrounds create collaborative documents exploring narratives and relationships that can take place between humans and their environments. The inky images pressed onto mulberry bark paper become communities of living, migrational intelligences, each with their own presence, and they continue to grow.
*When checking on the term codex I was happy to learn –‘The word codex comes from the Latin word caudex, meaning “trunk of a tree”, “block of wood” or “book”’. This warmed my heart as obviously the trees having be conversing with me very fluently! 🙂
Lock down dreams in the time of Covid-19, Neptune dream Archive
I am in a hospital with my dying mother, she is about to give birth (she hated hospitals and avoided them at all costs, even in her real death). She and I were surprised, because we had not expected this birth at her death.
Her room was filled with old women and medical equipment, hung with macraméd placentas.
The old women were whispering, and the macramés rattled the steely medical equipment in tune with the old womens’ whispering… something happened while I listened to these sounds, and my mother gave birth to her dying self in a haze.
I was transported into another room, next door? But it was the 1980’s and it was my Mother’s office and her secretary was there waiting for me to arrive. She was packing up my mother’s office, because it would no longer operate.
The secretary was Blanche from the television show ‘The Golden Girls’, she was wearing a power-suit. She told me to take down the clock that hung from the wall, as it was where my mother had put my inheritance.
Blanche said, she hid money in all the clocks. I said it was ok and that she could have the money, so she pulled it down and took out a bunch of ten dollar notes kept them and gave me what remained — photographs of the universe, I remember thinking these were a strange currency.
She said then she had to go as she was off to her birthday. I asked her how old she was and she said 40, I was perplexed by this as I am 47 now, and she was older than me in the dream. I then thought that this room was in two times.
And I woke.
The Newtown Women’s Library’s second Herland exhibition opened on International Women’s Day 2020. This exhibition, herland II – our land, curated by Freÿa Black shows work by Australian women artists who responded to the question “How will Women instigate positive change for our land?”. The exhibition runs until 4 April 2020.
We were paradise
I grew up in paradise. A small subtropical coastal region of south east Qld, marketed heavily from the 1950’s as ‘paradise’ and many other superlatives. I recently returned. It’s been three decades, but some things haven’t changed. Billboards and brochures still bombard advertising asking, Are you sexy enough for this place?
When I left thirty years ago, I had anorexia, c-ptsd and a drug habit. I’d tried so hard to be sexy enough for this place.
I’d conjured lightning bolts heating oceans with my sultry soft body.
My dewy mouth had gushed waterfalls in forests made of virgins.
I’d set cane fields on fire with black satin and red heels.
I was capitalism’s insatiable appetite, I was a ghost haunting the promised land.
These montages use outlines of hyper-sexualised internet pornography as a way of re-embodying landscapes I’ve lived in and loved. I want to give these women a place, not just as anonymous tracings, not as facades or decoration to entice consumption, but rather as embodied, complex beings: connected ‘in place’ through their own desire, embodying internal wildness and sensual selves. These women are not modified or for sale, rather they are an attempt to return power to the objectified, disembodied, and ghostly outlines of women constructed to be consumed. In celebrating their corporeal inhabitation of their senses, and their sensuality, I hope to set them, and myself, free.
Karla Pringle investigates and documents her body’s complex history and relationship with her environment. Her practice is heavily influenced by, and often refers to, the history of women’s body politics; mental health, domestic crafts, home-remedies and spiritualism, functioning as sites of slippage, subversion and rebellion.
When I Was the Forest There Was Nothing I Could Not Love @ Rubicon ARI 6- 23 November 2019
Bodies, trauma, instinct, nature, affect, cycles, patterns, bacterial intelligence, love and symbiosis. I work to reconcile my complex history with my environment. These banners are love poems between body and Country. Some are intimate poems of bodies reclaiming their animism via symbiosis with nature, and larger body/land sized works using sensorimotor mark making while deeply listening to Country. I try to be receptive to my carnal relationship with my environment, our mutualism, our history, and the slow process of reconciling our union.
Karla Pringle lives and works on Kabi Kabi/ Gubbi Gubbi County and acknowledges and pays love and respect to elders past, present and emerging.
Floating Land 2019
Analogue Environmental Sound Synthesiser, synthesising the sounds of the Human vascular system (heart) with the sounds of the environment. ❤️
A ceremonial platform providing an analogue prosthetic for listening at the lake – a kind of environmental sound synthesiser. Participants are invited to enter a collaborative and immersive bodily synthesis with the environment.
The Analogue Environmental Sound Synthesiser sculpture acts as mediator between environmental spatial sounds and the individual human biome. It amplifies and brings into consciousness the biophony (which includes human and more than human sounds) connecting spaces in between points of the body and the landscape.
This sculpture was commissioned by Noosa Regional Gallery as a part of Floating Land,
Floating Land: point to point marks the 10th iteration of one of Noosa’s most significant and iconic cultural events. Conceived in 2001 as a biennial outdoor sculptural program, Floating Land: point to point will have a presence across two key anchor sites in 2019 – Boreen Point and Noosa National Park.
From the serene shores of Lake Cootharaba at Boreen Point to the rocky outcrops of Noosa National Park – and several spaces in between – visitors will be invited to experience thoughtful, challenging and environmentally aware works that engage sensitively with these special and spectacular spaces. www.floatingland.org.au
Where the Waves Begin
Nessun Posto @ Trocadero Art Space
Tamara Baillie, Camila Galaz, Karla Pringle, Siying Zhou
Curated by Andrée Ruggeri
Project Space: August 7 – August 24
Artist Talk: Saturday August 17, 2pm
An undefined position of inquiry, inhabited by some, from which investigations of identity, intergenerational memory, language and place emerge.
These artists navigate from complex personal, geographical, and cultural vantage points, sitting somewhere along a liminal-liminoid continuum. Connecting with inherited experiences, or challenging what these might look like, the works in this exhibition explore associated traumas, gaps, and languages. Forgotten, welcomed, uninvited, translated.
Karla Pringe, Where the waves begin, 2019, Eco print on silk satin, carved, burnt and stained tenugui
With a nod to tasseography, ritualistic marks are collated and printed on silk, hung from a carved, burnt tenugui stained with blood, holy water, weed pigment, and ink. I draw with both hands, simultaneously focusing on my pelvic area as an exercise in integration and body awareness. I’ve had to learn to walk again and my pelvis, like the land it stands on is a contested site holding trauma. As I work, untold histories unfold, silences end, alternative records emerge, and I see why I was made to believe I come from ‘no place’.
Karla Pringle is an artist living and working on Kabi Kabi land. Her practice is heavily influenced by, and often refers to, the history of women’s body politics; mental health, domestic crafts, home-remedies and spiritualism, functioning as sites of slippage, subversion and rebellion. https://karlapringle.com/
Be/coming Home 2019
@ MailBox Gallery
*Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi Country is the land of my childhood. It’s rainforest Country bordered by mountains, rivers and ocean. In the 1880’s most of the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi people were violently removed from the land where I now live. My ancestors also arrived here at this time. I was never made aware of my family’s involvement in this war. I never heard stories about it. It was not spoken of. There was a lot that was not spoken of. And I cannot speak for ghosts, but I can see patterns – patterns of intergenerational culture.
I grew up with violence in every form, and suppression, repression, and denial. The conquerors conquer their own. The land was powered over, owned, diminished, pillaged and controlled. My body was powered over, owned, diminished, pillaged and controlled. Frightened men fight until they die. I left, so I wouldn’t die fighting back.
Now I’ve returned. I am trying to reconcile the violence and disconnect of the past. I am trying to come to terms with the violence against the Kabi Kabi / Gubbi Gubbi, the land, and my own body. I try to understand and disable the violence and to be a witness to what has occurred, to my self and to others. So I listen. I listen to the Traditional Owners and their deep wisdom of and connection to Country, I listen to Country and its deep wisdom of and connection to people, and I listen to my body, its deep desire to be at peace within this place – to end the violence.
These drawings are made with a method of sensorimotor mark making. I use this method to connect with Country in a deeply immersive manner – to listen fully with my body. To let a conversation between my body’s sensory receptors and Country take place.
These are records of the deep reverence that can exist between bodies of land and flesh – petitions against the destruction of their unity. Love poems to Country, teaching me to come home, teaching me to become home.
*I would like to acknowledge that this work was made on Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi Country, and to pay my deep love and respect to its Elders past, present and future.
Home Spectres, Phantasmagoria, 2015-2017
Domestic detritus reformed as shimmering ghostly grotesqueries.
Otherworldly pursuits and spectres were a common form of entertainment and interest for the women of the spiritualist movement in the late 20th century. It’s quite possible these women were seeking freedom, excitement and power within unchartered interdimensional territories, as a response to living in a culture that gave them limited autonomy. An ingenious act of rebellion and liberation- when faced with a society that responds to you as an invisible being- embody the monster- and it’s powers – Shazam!
From just before the birth of my son I’d been living with a complex disability which seemed to leave me as imperceivable as a phantom within many cultural situations. These spectral beauties became a great source of romp and pizazz and a means of escaping my bodily and cultural limitations. Similarly to the inter-world expeditions of the spiritualists at the turn of the century I was also given the opportunity to imagine and conjure another world.
Constructed with household leftovers and dross, light and water, these spectral time travellers evoked a potential gaseous freedom that was unfathomable to me at the time.
Monuments to Being, 2015 @ Tacit Gallery
These tableaus of daily gatherings are scattered with light from half filled bottles, photographed, printed and painted into – repeated, again and again and again. The layers of domestic ephemera are woven through physical and digital platforms, seasonal and binary meantimes and knitted into experiential tapestries.
In a world where the mind is King, these are altars to the Queen, to the senses, emotions, affect and fleeting feelings. They are tender shrines of reception, impression and intuition, celebrations of impermanence and the darkness and lightness of being
Wish. Listen, 2014
While trying to map the edges of my consciousness, I created a means of mimicking the experience of spaciousness I experienced while listening intently for the hypothetical ‘stone to drop’ at the bottom of the well of my brain. 🙂 These hand held cavities act like seashells and project the sounds of my internals back to me in an ongoing spatial sound loop. Coupled with ritualistic items they were intended to be a type of portable ceremonial interface for the evocation of spaciousness.
Celestial Blobbies, 2014 @ Yarra Gallery, Federation Square
Empty heads waggle their dust tongues – or the ladies from my sensory system manifest their marvellousness.
These bedazzled metamorphic blobs are amalgamations of residual memory, experiential debris, sentimental sediments and collapsed saturated meaning. They were excavated from my sensory field through a series of liminal, kinaesthetic, proprioceptive and psychological processes. To celebrate their arrival from limbo, the extracted amalgamates were reverse embalmed, cleansed, embellished and re-wilded within a mimicry of their former cognised environment or umwelt.
Domestic rituals, psychopomps, and home magic studies, 2013 – 2014
You say pompous psycho, I say psychopompos.
I’ve been reconstructing my unconscious space. I’m giving form to the hectic desires and thoughts that crowd my subconscious. I’m hoping to free up some room by gluing down these memories and musings in matter.
Why does this matter matter? I seem to be bumping into my senses all the time, everything is overloaded with meaning and therefore, messages. My nerves are shot, they send information to my brain- when there is no information to relay. Only imagined info, a surplus of simulacra stuffing up my stratosphere (See alliteration! -so much of the same, suffocating in its own meta mimicry).
Freud explains that when desire encounters a prohibition it cannot otherwise circumvent, it retreats to the unconscious, where it remains active but escapes detection. The prohibition meanwhile remains “noisily conscious.” (Freud, Totem and Taboo, 30.) We are compelled to avoid certain acts and to repeat certain others, but we no longer understand why, until finally the burden of avoiding what we want to do dictates everything that we allow ourselves to do. Desire, however, is energy. As long as it’s held in “tension”, it seeks out every available means of discharge. So it takes the detour of the sign. Forbidden to satisfy itself directly, it turns its energies onto “substitute objects” and aims. 1
So I’m migrating, there is a war in my senses and I’m not only letting the boats of my unconscious in, I’m relocating them, giving them visas and building their churches. I could possibly build hundreds of cities with all these replications and parallel presents 2 I carry in my subliminal perceptions. But I’m not building it so they will come, I’m building it so I can see it, and hopefully not just bump into it, Like Mr Magoo.
Psychopomps, Psychopompos (from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός – psuchopompos, literally meaning the “guide of souls”) In Jungian psychology, the psychopomp is a mediator between the unconscious and conscious realms. 3A totem is a being, object, or symbol representing an animal or plant that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe, reminding them of their ancestry (or mythic past). 4
- Christopher Bracken, Magical Criticism, The recourse of Savage Philosophy
- Amelia Barikin’s Parrallel Presents http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/parallel-presents-0
Mountains and Ghosts, 2012-2013
I was born in Beerwah, Glasshouse mountains QLD, and my Aunty lived right below Mount Coonowrin, (aka Crook Neck). As a kid it seemed as though my Aunty had this enormous mountain right in her backyard, it felt personal, the large crooked neck fella looking right over us, his face changing with the weather, the sun and the moon. A timeless body watching our foolishness.
In times of chaos I still find the mountains very comforting. It’s something about scale and perspective. When I was a kid I’d mix up the scale and perspective, standing in my Aunties back yard covering the entire mountain with my hand. The giant bowl of space between us seemed to disappear if I concentrated on the rock’s highest peak. I’d try to bring the mountain to me so I could forage through it’s tree covered ridges with my fingertips, discovering secret animal castles built where humans couldn’t see, or enchanted plants and tunnels to other worlds.
Beerwah, Janurary, 1973
a praying woman’s arms
stretched into the sky
her feet pleading with the dirt to swallow her
A weeping mountain of a man, concealing
bruised fruit flowers
within his morning glory
their dancing shoes,
shrunken in the daylight,
in the light of things
pushed under the patio,…uncertainly
long wooden legs covering
pegs pinching towelling on twisted wire,
and glacial green eaves – lying!
Oh that heat! … move slowly,
the sun is everywhere
molten bitumen ocean,
with morpheus steel waves,
against our driveway
two gentles, too bruised
love tried, love lost,
She walks to the highway and vanishes.
He digs a hole,
while mountains weep softly
and something grows quietly downstream…
Link Farmer 2011 @ Fitzroy Library Gallery
This work was to be a self portrait based on a google search of your own name for a group show at the Fitzroy Town Library.
My name at the time had been harvested by a Russian Link Farm and was listed amongst millions of subjects linking to indecipherable sites. The link farm included everything from Canadian pharmaceuticals, porn and mining sites to homes wares, medical conditions and Christian Blogs and much more. Somehow my name had been swept up in this information whirlpool.
I liked this appropriation of myself, the site had no images only basic text links, but the words included on the page were rich and duplicitous. There were so many text links crammed into the one page that the site just became a blur of everything and nothing, akin to a black hole.
I felt I had been pointlessly gleaned and transformed into an aimless chimera of our collective conscience.
I couldn’t help myself, so many good words, I had to put some of them together…
The Link Farmer’s smile
Diamond sandwich tree.
Tiger, liger, mud volcano
Out of sea electric
pearl floating snakes
Bizplace shaman in cuttle shells
Shackled seaweed Jesus keepsake
How long will I live?
home insurance halogen ghost
cerulean manilla apartheid raptor
how do magnets work?
moon pill quilted mountain
current torrent sweeping
sand through veneer
is there anybody out there?
crocodile crystal child
chain smoking virus
personalised rosary code
link farming empty solaris
sex moon cancer dust
Heaven’s best carpet
earth moves myths shades aside
Quiz me for telekinesis
Dawn of R.A.M. 2009 @ Bus Gallery
We are in the future, the Chimpanzees, through some fault of humanity, are now the dominant species. They have a culture that is remarkably similar to humans at the end of the middle ages. Museums and the exotic are particularly fashionable and the Chimpanzees have created museum-like environments to display discoveries from their recent geological endeavours. The dawn of R.A.M. is a window onto a time from long ago, possibly around the late 20th century. There are no reliable records from this time, but there is a plethora of found materials. The Chimpanzees have arranged these to the best of their knowledge in an attempt to reconstruct a long lost civilisation.
Monsters at the edge of the internet 2006- 2008
<MONSTERS LIE HERE; ROBOTS = “NOFOLLOW”>
ARE THERE INFORMATION MONSTERS AT THE EDGES OF THE INTERNET?
The Internet is a vast network, whose scale, like that of the universe, is incomprehensible, sublime. As users and net-colonisers, we use search engines to charter our way around a nebulous environment. Even so, these are inadequate tools to expose the Internet’s entirety.
Corresponding to the Age of Exploration, the Age of Information provides us with untold mysteries. Like the cartography of the 15th century – where unknown areas of maps were marked with phrases such as imago mundi (imagined world) – there are areas of the Internet that are also un-mappable. They often exist because their creators have incorrectly tagged them, or have tagged them(search engines crawling the site are asked to ignore these pages, not to display them, like a silent number). These regions are the new terra incognita of our culture.I wish to assume the roll of an Internet privateer and set out to document the curiosities, mythology and monsters I find in the corners of our information ocean. I hope to pull these monsters out of the depths of the electrical sea and watch them slap their salty grotesqueries on my living room carpet. In documenting these wonders I want to pay homage to exploration and experiment in a metamorphism between physical and imagined space, traditional and digital reproduction. The chronicle of my journey will be an amalgam of the digital and analog, of pixels and handmade marks, of code and compass roses, science fiction and sea shanties.