2010 iLAB Residents


iLAND – interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art Nature and Dance is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2010 iLAB collaborative residencies:


Marine scientist/dancer Carolyn Hall, ecologist/visual artist Kathleen McCarthy and Clarinda Mac Low andPaul Benney, members of TRYST

STREET-TREE STEWARDANCE: Urban Forest Stewardship as Movement Practice

Choreographer Jaqueline Dodd with Philip Silva, Urban Environmental Steward


Dance artist Diana Crum and geophysicist Chris Small

iLAB, now in its fifth year, is a residency program supporting collaborations between movement-based artists and scientists, environmentalists, urban designers/landscape architects, architects and others that integrate creative practice within different fields/disciplines. The goals of iLAB are 1) to invigorate and re-imagine relationships between the public and the urban environment through kinetic experience, 2) to engage artists and practitioners across the disciplines of dance, art, and the ecology of physical interrelationships such that we create and investigate innovative approaches to science, infrastructure, urbanisms, and architecture within a performative context, and 3) to support the development of process in engagement over product such that process is itself a product for artistic and public action.

Each year iLAB provides two collaborator teams with support including a $5,000 stipend, resources to document the residency, mechanisms for disseminating their research in the science and art communities, and mentoring throughout the process.  In addition we are offering a second tier of support for collaborations that show exciting promise for development. This tier is funded at a lower financial level but receives the same mentoring and development support. This year’s second tier residency was awarded to Choreographer, Diana Crum and Geophysicist, Christopher Small. This additional level of support will allow iLAND to engage a broader spectrum of artists and scientists in the iLAB experience, and expand the reach of iLAND’s mission.

iLAND is a not for profit organization conceived and formed by choreographer Jennifer Monson in 2004.  The organization’s mission is to investigate the power of dance, in collaboration with other fields, to illuminate our kinetic understanding of the world.  iLAND, a dance research organization with a fundamental commitment to environmental sustainability as it relates to art and the urban context, cultivates cross-disciplinary research among artists, environmentalists, scientists, urban designers and other fields.

iLAB 2010 is supported in part by the 2010 New York State Council on the Arts Regrant Program and the 2010 Department of Cultural Affairs Regrant Program, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC).

Project Descriptions:

RIVER TO CREEK: A ROVING NATURAL HISTORY is a participatory research project and art action that will draw attention to the geographic and ecological connections across the industrial landscape of North Brooklyn, from the wild empty lots at the end of Newtown Creek in Bushwick to the East River at the edge of Greenpoint. It is a collaboration between marine scientist/dancer Carolyn Hall, ecologist/visual artist Kathleen McCarthy and Clarinda Mac Low and Paul Benney, members of TRYST, a New York-based performance and art group.

The collaborators research will bring in the public as partners, asking citizens to become scientists and artists as they research their environment using scientific, somatic and sensory methods— combining science research and movement research.  There will be several public events during the research process:

  • July 17: Walk through the wilds of North Brooklyn, with an informal talk by a specialist in plants and botany.
  • August 21: Paddle and boat ride up the Newtown Creek and around the East River and informal talk by a specialist in marine life.
  • September 11: Bike ride through the environment with informal talk by a specialist TBA

For the presentation of data, professional performers and scientists and general public will create events that will reflect what is learned over the months of research—a dance on site, both performed and participatory; a kayak convoy that is both experiential (for the kayakers) and performative (for the invited audience on shore); a sound collage transmitted by radio along the route, a film of movement research in secret sites.  Events will take place on the weekend of October 2 & 3.

STREET-TREE STEWARDANCE: Urban Forest Stewardship as Movement Practice is a collaboration between Philip Silva, co-founder of StEM (Stewardship and Environmental Mapping), and choreographer Jackie Dodd. The STEWARDANCE team will engage the heightened inner awareness and emotional vigor of dance with the material groundedness of ecological stewardship as an embodied sustainability strategy. They will pursue this strategy of embodied awareness as  their mode of operation as they undertake each stewardship task: learning the ecological systems of the urban forest, gathering scientific data, physically laboring at stewardship, dialoguing with passerby, and coordinating team members. These experiments will occur wherever the task does- on the street, in the classroom, and in each of our own sensate bodies.

The STEWARDANCE process will culminate in a public performance on September 25, 2010.  Location and time to be announced.


Dance artist Diana Crum and geophysicist Chris Small will be studying in the East River State Park and along the neighboring stretch of the Brooklyn Greenway, where vegetation and urban development grow side-by-side. Together, they will collect information about the site and look at the different changes that happen over various time frames, such as an hour, a day, a year, and a quarter-century. Dancer Deborah Black will be present as a third voice in the collaboration. The collaborators will work to integrate their processes and develop a method of site-specific research through which time, as it applies to urban growth and environmental change, will be juxtaposed with time, as it is experienced by an individual person.

All iLAB events are FREE and open to the public.

Collaborator Biographies:


Carolyn Hall is a marine scientist who just received her MS in Marine Science from the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, New York in December 2009. Her thesis dealt with marine historical ecology. Hall is also an accomplished dancer who has been recognized internationally for her work with several cutting-edge choreographers.

Kathleen McCarthy is an ecologist who recently received her MS in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, with a focus on freshwater ecosystems and the urban environment. Her thesis looked at amphibian life in storm water basins. She is also an award-winning visual artist who created work in public spaces for many years.

TRYST is a collaborative group of artists who specialize in creating public interactions to create an unexpected set of circumstances. The two main TRYST collaborators on this project are Clarinda Mac

Low and Paul Benney. In addition to her art practice Mac Low has been a researcher and science writer, mostly in HIV and medicine, for many years.

STREET-TREE STEWARDANCE: Urban Forest Stewardship as Movement Practice

Philip Silva is a co-founder of StEM (Stewardship and Environmental Mapping) with wide ranging experience working on urban environmental policy and stewardship initiatives. He has managed street tree projects in Hunts Point for Sustainable South Bronx, created standards for community gardening governance in Prospect Heights, and developed advocacy-based curricula for environmental stewards throughout the city.

Jackie Dodd is a Brooklyn-based emerging choreographer and dancer whose work ranges from concert dance, musical theatre, site-specific performance, physical therapy research (on contact improvisation with Parkinson’s Disease patients), to community work with ex-convicts, senior citizens, and disadvantaged youth.


Diana Crum has been a working dance artist in New York since 2005. She received her BA in Dance from Columbia University, where she first learned about and became interested in the work of the Earth Institute. Crum worked with Jennifer Monson in 2007 as a performer in Ridgewood Reservoir / iMap. Through this project, she began to make connections between her practice of dance improvisation and site-specific performance art. As a graduate student at Hollins University in 2008-2009, she was able to pursue her interests in making site-specific work that hi-lighted the social and cultural uses of a space. Building off of and rebelling against traditional architecture, she created a body of work for her Master’s thesis that presented alternative uses of public spaces.

Christopher Small is a geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.  Prior to receiving a Ph.D. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1993, his formative experiences ranged from shipboard studies of the circulation of the Chesapeake Bay with the University of Maryland to sonar mapping of undersea volcanoes on the Antarctic Peninsula with the University of Texas to satellite mapping of the marine gravity field for frontier petroleum exploration in the Gulf of Mexico with the Exxon Production Research Company.  Current research interests focus on measuring changes of Earth’s surface and understanding the causes and consequences of these changes.



  1. jeniland says:

    There is some wonderful cross overs in this year’s different residencies. The connection between plants and bodies takes many forms. Each collaborator brings a sophisticated approach to research and observation. It seems there is a lot of opportunity for public engagement.

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