SEEDS: Somatic Experiments in Earth, Dance and Science
Photo: Karen Schaffman
SEEDS Festival (Somatic Experiments in Earth, Dance, + Science) is an interdisciplinary arts and ecology festival initiated at Earthdance Workshop and Retreat Center, in Plainfield, MA. SEEDS Festival gathers artists, scientists, community activists, spiritual leaders, permaculture practitioners, and more, for a several weeks of workshops, films, lectures, residencies, and performances. Through this gathering, widely varied styles and approaches of interdisciplinary practice were presented, and new forms emerged, embodying the biodiversity we sought to create. It is the interaction and communication amongst a wide variety of life that strengthens the networks of our planet, of artistic practice, and of social interaction and community engagement.
SEEDS 2009 focused on potentiality. Potential for new growth is generated in places where diverse organisms meet. In this year of potential political change, we invited this phenomenon into our interdisciplinary investigations, setting up social experiments:
In the second week, we invited a group of independent resident artists and scientists to work in the retreat space, inviting them to collaborate with the land and with one another as was their interest. Rather than a typical format of expecting production, we invited artists to see what emerged from the uniqueness of the event. The artists participating were: Camille Renarhd, Chris Peck, Emily Moore, Gabriel Forestieri, Kayoko Nakajima, Kythe Heller, Lailye Weidman, Marissa Perel, Mark “Moti” Zemelman, Sakura Shimada. As part of this event, we invited artist mentors Daria Fain, Robert Kocik, and Beverly Naidus to present their work and be available as guides for the artistic research. Artist and 2008 SEEDS co-curator Jen Harmon facilitated the week's residency.
Our Public Programming included films, lectures, workshops and performances, culminating in a final Community Day where participating artist residents shared their research findings in the form of performance, film, installations, and participatory projects. Additional events featured as Public Events included Lee Fogel's Wishing Garden, Tish Petrushka's Earth Magic, a film on Wangari Maathai by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater, a 350.org gathering connected internationally, a panel facilitated by Marissa Perel, a fieldtrip lecture demonstration at Tsegyalgar East, a Global Underscore, and films selected by Olive Bieringa.
The SEEDS Festival investigates arts and ecological research from a variety of fields of inquiry. It proposes several notions: that the intelligence of embodiment has specific offerings for our understanding of ecology, that artistic practice is a valuable tool and vehicle for this research, that when experiential research is shared, discussed, and archived, it indeed can benefit from and for this interaction, and that socially engaged research can mutually support the arts and the regenerative practices for the earth.
Margit Galanter and Olive Bieringa of the BodyCartography Project
SEEDS 2009 Producer & Earthdance Site Lead
Margit Galanter, Melinda Buckwalter, and Olive Bieringa.
SEEDS 2009 Team
The focus of SEEDS 2008 was ecology. In basic terms, ecology studies the interactions of organisms with their environment and with one other. It is a rich term because it highlights feedback and interdependence. A broad use of ecology invokes the connections between realms as diverse as the natural world, social landscapes, human behavior, and imagination. Through the theme, the Festival explored ecology both as a subject of inquiry, an approach, and a metaphor, thereby inviting new applications and research.
The SEEDS Festival was comprised of workshops, performances, panel discussions, land projects, and generated artistic investigations, forming a unique and vital organism.
You can taste some of these findings by visiting our living SEEDS blog- http://seedsfestival.ning.com/ or check out Margit Galanter on SEEDS 2008, interviewed by Marlon Barrios Solano on www.dance-tech.net at http://www.dance-tech.net/video/1462368:Video:21165
2008 Teachers, Facilitators & Panelists
Andrew de L. Harwood, Andrew Faust, Arawana Hayashi, Aaron Jessup, The BodyCartography Project, Bruce Hooke, Bryce Beverlin, Chris Aiken, Christopher Weidman, Claudia Wittman, Dana Salisbury, Daniel Lepkoff, Daniel Roth, Elaine Colandrea, Emmanuelle Pepin, Dr. Enoch Page, Jane Vorburger, Jen Harmon, Jennifer Monson, John Jasperse, Jonah Bokaer, Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, Karen Nelson, Kate Bailey, Lailye Weidman, Liana Foxvog, Mark Lakeman, Martha Eddy, Marlon Barrios-Solano, Melle Dragon, Melinda Buckwalter, Ku and Dancers, Nala Walla, Olive Bieringa, Olivier Besson, Susan Schell, Suprapto Suryodarmo, Susan Sgorbati, Tamara Ashley, Terre Unité Parker, Tony Vacca
2008 Festival Curators
Jen Harmon, Olive Bieringa, Margit Galanter, Mark “Moti” Zemelman, and Shira Lynn W*
2008 Festival Support and Artistry
Earthdance Staff : Christine Yee, Eryn Rosenthal, Hannah McCarger* , Jason Comcomwich*, Margit Galanter, Mark Messer, Rek Kwawer, Shira Lynn W*, and Spirit Joseph
Administrative Support : Anneliese Moordhorst. Archivists: Melinda Buckwalter, Sandra Yee + Tamara Ashley; Graphic Designer : Alicia Marvan; International Research and Support : Diane Butler, Rachel Cooper (Asia Society), and the Waka Foundation. Production Assistant : Sarah Worden; Project Director : Margit Galanter; + Publicity Designer: Melle Drago