These are the photos from the recent artist encampment on Bumpkin Island (a Flickr slide show).
The Berwick Research Institute joined with the Island Alliance and Studio Soto to present the 2nd Annual Artist Encampment, a "homesteading" experience on Bumpkin Island, Boston Harbor Islands, on Labor Day weekend, August 28-September 1, 2008.
Ten artists and artist collectives were each given one plot of prime, arable land on Bumpkin Island. As island "homesteaders" during the five days, they built temporary shelters on the land, lived on the land for four nights, and improved the land via site-specific project or performance. The various installations I managed to see (text borrowed from artist encampment project descriptions) while I were:
New England Expeditionary Alliance: Dedalus Wainwright, Bryan Long, Michael Andelman and Jeff Cleary – A scientific mission that mapped Bumpkin Island’s metaphorical, literal, and sensual parameters, Alliance members lead expeditions, generated hypotheses, established a classification system, created analysis, and gave lectures on their findings.
Astrodime Transit Authority: Bebe Beard, John Gayle, Ali Horeanopoulos, Mary Ann Kearns and Sam Smiley – C Celebrated the 150th year of the first attempt to lay the Transatlantic Cable by creating Bumpkin Island’s first "trans-gut" phone.
Spirits in the House: Then & Now: Sharon Haggins Dunn explored change and continuity of natural and human forces over time and the spirituality of place in an installation based mostly on materials from the ruins of the children’s hospital that was operated on the island.
The Camoufleurs: Hanna Rose Shell and Dan Hisel: Drawing on artisanal weaving techniques, military concealment strategies, and bird nesting practices, the camoufleurs transformed their land, and its particular human and natural ecology, into a camouflaged homestead environment.
Stone House, Urban City: Wenxiong Lin, Lynn Lee, Jens Stenger, Annie Wilker – Juxtaposing two themes of time (history and modernity; reality and romanticism), the artists created a model urban city in the stone farmhouse ruins, and framed windows of the naval mess hall ruins with brightly colored curtains.
Leave one for your ancestors, one for your children, and take one: Tiffany Dumont, Else Eaton, Raymond Garrett, Rory Jackson – Artists foraged island materials to create interactive, multimedia installations based on past, present and future. Artists encouraged visitors to add to the pieces, forage responsibly, and participate in performance.
Tactilist Theatre: Erik Conrad engaged in sensory deprivation for a week on the mainland, allowing him greater sensitivity as he identified island objects according to their tactile values. Arranged on the island in "theatre of touch," the artist, in the role of impressario, invited visitors to engage in a narrative performance based on a tactile values.
Survival Kit: Gabe Moylan & Rachel Roberts: Living off only the bare-bones survival kit provided by the Federal Emergency Management Association, the artists will use island-found objects to recreate family photos, common domestic objects and items of spiritual value often overlooked in disaster recovery.