The Haunted Pond (A Secretome Score) is an experimental score set in a video that gathers from a two-year, multi-seasonal performance and intergenerational collaboration located in a small pasture at the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.) in Philomath, Oregon. In the midst of uncertain times and terrains, these playful encounters become the structure for graphic scores and durational performances, grounded in lived experiences of time and change within places we care for.
To further expand this ongoing collaboration, which began in May 2020, artists Jill R. Baker and R.A.W./Karin Bolender invite sonic responses and/or interdisciplinary proposals for time-based performances responding any elements of written and graphic scores contained in the video The Haunted Pond (A Secretome Score), created by Jill R. Baker. See full call for proposals below for more details.
The making of the Haunted Pond score began on May 5, 2020, when the team of artist Jill R. Baker and Fox (then age 6) performed a first creative encounter within the wildly green R.A.W. pasture. The Haunted Pond score draws on a Secretome “mapping” technique developed by the R.A.W. as an experimental method for co-composing stories with/in hidden ecological energies. The basic choreography invites participants to explore ecologies of specific places in new ways, through images of microscopic microbial cultures gathered within them. These images become both portals and “maps” that lead into deeper connection with places’ hidden layers. On this first May encounter, the R.A.W. PostLibrary at the edge of the pasture presented Jill and Fox with basic Secretome culturing tools (petri dishes, swab sticks, and an older Secretome pasture “map” made from the muzzle microbiome of one of its grazers). With these tools in hand, they entered the pasture and wandered amidst its more visible landmarks and hidden flows and presences. Allowing Fox’s playful exploration to generate instructions for a sequence of actions, Jill created a written score. The R.A.W. crew processed the cultures of the day into Secretome maps, which the kids were then invited to use as they might in the dry pasture and empty pond in the fall 2020 and beyond.
Created through playful encounters and sustained attention in the midst of uncertain times, The Haunted Pond (A Secretome Score) grounds in lived experiences of time and change in specific places. Over two years of changing seasons, we’ve continued to engage the written score, Secretome maps, and various modes of improvisation together in the R.A.W. pasture in different ways. The small manmade pond, which swells and then evaporates seasonally, is a source of special attention and attraction. Around the pond’s ever-changing edges and reflective surfaces, the work has continued to grow and evolve through unpredictable events and time-flows—smoke and fog, mud and cracked earth and ashes. The video made by Jill gathers from different occasions over springs, summers, falls, and winters, drawing on lines and flows made by local microbial cultures and the traces of children playing across rising and falling waters and moving shadows.
Within the reflections of time and shifting horizons of place at play in this project, we would like to invite others to take part in engaging this multi-year score. We invite proposals for experimental time-based performances (including but not limited to music, sound, dance, writing, visual art . . .), drawing on, responding to, or expanding any element of the written and/or graphic score–into other significant ecologies, durations, and sustained encounters. Intergenerational teams are encouraged. Please send questions and proposals in .pdf form to firstname.lastname@example.org