Upstream Consciousness: re-visualising and re-thinking our engagement with distant and uncelebrated landscapes.
This practice-based research investigates complex human relationships to landscape, other forms of life and ‘distant’ geographies. by focusing on aesthetically difficult, ‘in-between’ landscapes such as ‘up’, ‘peat’, ‘moor’, arid and ‘wet’ lands. ‘in between’ refers to an intermediate point between a lowland or a mountain, a solid or a liquid and/or states of awareness. These ‘distant’, less-favoured areas (LFA’s) are often perceived as mundane, ugly or of little concern. I argue that these perceptions are misleading and these places are useful provocations for greater thinking and manifestations of the complex relationships and interdependencies between human and non-humans at play in our experience of of nature; an essential point in my research of what I describe as upstream consciousness, a way of thinking which directs attention to what in the long terms sustains us.
Laura Harrington is an artist and doctoral trainee at Northumbria University, working across different media often in multi disciplinary research and collaborative environments. She has a specific interest in geomorphology and the field of physical geography within northern climates/landscapes to test out the inhuman/human positions at play in our experience of nature. Recent work funded by Leverhulme Trust, Arts Council England and Durham University explored eroded peat as a subject to consider our relationship to mundane and viscous matter. Her PhD project 'Upstream Consciousness - how can we visualise and orientate ourselves within ‘distant’ landscapes? draws on geomorphology to consider the interconnectedness between human and a 'lively earth'.http://lauraharrington.co.uk