Rosemary Holliday Hall
In my practice I am interested in time—deep time and an ecology of art. I explore the ecological principles of interdependence, emergence, and complexity to construct proposals for coalescence, to reveal embedded negentropic structures. Through research and process, I aim to recognize the shifting nature of things and the way we perceive and construct knowledge.
The Space Inside In-Between
The Space Inside In-Between is a video considering in-between-ness (shifting phases):
There is a hole of water, surrounded by a wall, surrounded by a fence, surrounded by a green canvas, surrounded by a vacant lot, surrounded by highways, surrounded by the city. Here, a figure moves through the space in between a chain-link and canvas, in between water and empty space. Here in between the asphalt cracks, plants grow, creating green tributaries from rigid structure.
This video was shot in the space in between a chain-link fence and the green canvas wall. The fence lined a circular foundation hole of what was supposed to be one of the tallest sky scrapers in the world, the Chicago Spire. Imagine, a tower 116 floors tall soaring floors above existing buildings. This building would have constructed the skyline in relation to itself, a clear hierarchy in the sky. The project failed financially, and what remains is the foundation hole; a direct opposition to what was imagined. The lot is “vacant,” but in this “emptiness” a system grows— like weeds through street cracks, an oasis in a foundation—is a foundation. These emergent systems construct a new structure from the disintegration of an idea.
A disintegration too occurs within a chrysalis. In the chrysalis the caterpillar releases enzymes in order to digest its own body. Tissues are broken down except for the imaginal discs. These discs use the liquid tissue to create a vastly different being from soup. The imaginal discs are the hidden key inside of what appears to be chaotic mush—imagining a structure into being.
Around us are metaphoric imaginal discs, hidden orders that arise from what seems like chaos. Much like the chrysalis, culture is constructed from the imagined. How can we realign our imagination and grow with the world instead of on top of it? How is our imagination a reflection of the heuristics we lean on while simultaneously the seemingly impossible or mysterious?
Imagination creates from this in-between space. Will we ever be able to sense the floating world in between to embrace the poetic gestures of an imaginal disc underneath it all?
Above is an excerpt from a score I wrote utilizing the black spore spot patterns on leaves as notation. I pulled directly from the random patterning on the leaves in order to listen to the patterns of the disease. The music developed following the growth habit of a leaf, from petiole to tip. I utilized sonata form, introducing five individual leaves as themes, subsequently recapitulating the patterns as the score progressed.
What do those patterns share about evolutionary-time, life-time, and about a desire to construct meaning?
Hill Transformations explores the physics of sound, place, and hybrid landscapes as well as concepts of reflection, resonance, and restoration. The performance took place at Midewin Tall Grass Prairie, a hybrid landscape that is one of the few large tall grass prairies left in the world. Now five years into restoration, this site carries a long history of human entanglement in its sediment.
On-site bunkers that once cured ammunition for WWII are now taken over by the prairie wilderness. Using materials found in the prairie, I composed resonant frequencies inside the bunker. In collaboration with a stone, some tall grass, and a seed pod, I attempt to sense time and space all entangled through vibration. In Bill Viola’s The Sound of One Line Scanning, he states,
“The most basic physical phenomena studied by the acousticians reads like a set of mystical visions of nature. Reflection: Multiple regular reflections produce the conditions of reverberation, where sound can be repeated over and over on top of itself, the past becoming indistinguishable from the present.”
I recorded the performance consisting of playing rocks in the space. One year later I returned to the bunker and played the initial recording back into the space. I recorded the sound of that recording in the space. I continued to play and record the recording in a loop. I did this until the sound of the recording disintegrated into resonate frequencies with the bunker. The video allows an audience to listen deeply to time, resonance, and the material sound of place. (listen with headphones or stereo speakers)