What kinds of tools can we incorporate into a situated more-than-human practice? The collaborative project River Oracle by Paloma Ayala, Melody Chua, Anne-Laure Franchette, Riikka Tauriainen und Kay Zhang is envisioned as an artistic-feminist research and tool to develop methods around practices for working with oracles and to speculate on what kind of meaning a shift in antropocentric thinking can have.
The River Oracle is intended as a situational tool for self-reflection as well as for raising awareness of ecological and political issues. Sounds were collected from different places connected to the Rhine: in the riverbed, in hydroelectric power plants, in the harbor and in boats. These sounds are transformed into a composition reflected in a sound installation representing the Oracle. In the space there are cyanotype textiles imbued with stories of the Rhine.
Riikka Tauriainen (*1979, Finland) is a visual artist and lecturer engaging in historical narratives, postcolonial theories and gender issues through installations, videos and performances. She navigates on the boundaries between art and science, between fact and fiction. Since 2018, she has been working on the series of works Hydrocommons which operates in a posthumanist world of ideas. It explores to what extent our kinship with other bodies can be understood as a deeply materialistic relationality.
Paloma Ayala (*1980, Mexico) is a visual artist interested in empowering the relationship between domestic and political contexts. Her work fictionalizes historical, ecological or social problematics as means of analysis and critique. Paloma Ayala’s projects nourish visions of connection between human and more-than-human spheres, they dream of emancipation from marginalizing dominant structures, and emphasize practices of care across different topographies and borders.
Anne-Laure Franchette (*1979, France) is a visual artist working with urban nature and the circulation of plants and industrial materials. She is interested in the intersections between botany and industry, between wilderness and civilized world, between authorized or sanctioned migration and spontaneous settlement. Her work focuses on labor, representations and hierarchies of dignity (related to beings, objects and practices), as well as strategies of self-organization and maintenance within artistic practices.
Kay Zhang (*1990, Australia) is a founding member of several collectives and works in the field between sound, curation and artistic research. Kay is concerned with intercultural identity, gender issues and ecology. Through improvisation, transdisciplinary forms of curation, and the integration of cultural studies, Kay aims to explore the boundaries of the performance experience and expand access to her instrument, the saxophone.
Melo (Melody) Chua (b. 1994, USA) is an interdisciplinary artist with a specialization in the application of interactive technologies in performance and installation settings. With a portfolio spanning works for 360° touchscreens, 360° videos, Ambisonics/3D audio, motion capture systems, live-coding, pressure-sensitive shoes, real-time projection visuals, and sensor-augmented instruments, she investigates such technologies as both vehicles of narrative expression and as opportunities to destabilize the norms present in one’s relationship with technology. Currently a PhD candidate at the Künstuniversität Graz and Zürich University of the Arts, Melody has performed and guest lectured internationally at various festivals and institutions, in addition to being awarded a Fulbright-Swiss Government Excellence grant for the development of a sensor-augmented flute.
Supported by the Ernst and Olga Gubler-Hablützel Foundation, Verein Kulturbrücke Kaiserstuhl, SVFF Kultur, Stadt Zürich