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"Mater Matrix Mother and Medium" -- the performance

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”Mater Matrix Mother and Medium” is process-based temporary public art project created by installation artist Mandy Greer. It combines community action, site-embedded installation and a performance produced in collaboration between myself, dancer Zoe Scofield and composer Morgan Henderson, Summer 2009 at Camp Long in Seattle, Wa.


On July 16, 2009, the culmination of the "Mater Matrix Mother and Medium " project was a hushed reflection on the subtle dynamics of a forest embedded in the urban environment, as organic as it is artificial. All three artists -- myself, Zoe and Morgan -- responded in our own way to the quirky overgrown tranquility of Camp Long's little pond. Our intent was to invite the audience to sit for a short time in quiet observation of the rhythms of this unusual site, heightening their focus through sound, movement, breath and site-responsive installation.


Commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs using the Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art Funds, as a way to celebrate and interpret the splendor of Seattle’s urban creeks and encourage community involvement in the stewardship of our essential watersheds.


This project began with the creation of a 200+ foot fiber river, created in part through a series of over 30 community events all over Seattle during the spring of 2009. I taught anyone willing to learn how to crochet, with some contributing a few minutes of chain stitch and others sticking with me for a few hours.

I then took the fiber "pools" into the forest of Camp Long, and urban park in Seattle, and spent the next six weeks on a ladder crocheting and integrating the river into the trees.


The River is made up of thousands upon thousands of tiny moments and movements of individual citizens, integrated and interwoven into the natural environment. With the performance, held on July 16, 2009, the River enveloped Zoe Scofield in an exploration of how we ourselves are both literal and metaphoric manifestations of the living essence of water. Our experience of water is both one of intimacy and also of civic structure.


This artwork is a unique blend of community engagement and personal inquiry, of site-embedded installation and performance. It embodies the ancient human practice of acknowledging our own physicality rooted in the cycles of water and how this forms the very foundation of human community. Water, both mundane and miraculous, mirrors the everyday meeting of strangers and the tiny moments that begin to bond us together.


The "Mater Matrix Mother and Medium" installation will be traveling to the Agnes Scott College campus on Oct. 1, 2009


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photo by Juniper Shuey


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Taken on July 15, 2009