2010 iLAB Residents

About iLAB



Juxtaposing the Remote and the Immediate

Collaborators: Diana Crum and Chris Small

Project website: http://theremotetheimmediate.wordpress.com/

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.

The primary purpose of this residency is for the collaborators to share geoscience and dance research methods with one another. The project will foster a dialogue between the two fields. The collaboration also aims to collect information about the park and the greenway, specifically in regards to changes over time and urban development.

Project Collaborators
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 inRidgewood 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. Crum read about Chris Small’s work on the Earth Institute’s website. She contacted him to discuss a possible collaboration.

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.

Notes from the REMOTE TO IMMEDIATE Collaborators:

Diana Crum – Focusing on the process gave me the freedom to participate without the anxiety or distraction of producing anything. I felt free to play and experiment. As an artist, I am familiar with play and experimentation as very productive acts. Nevertheless, opportunities for such open play, without the pressure of an upcoming performance or culminating event, are rare. I am so glad that we did not do the installation, a performance or a workshop. Having the open meetings in the park and the blog satisfy the public requirement of the residency allowed us to work without having to worry about an audience. It would have been really different if we had to curtail our process to result in a public, culminating event.

On the other hand, the residency did not provide me with any closure. I am writing this report with a residue of confusion. I feel that I can’t name and label all the things that our team did or learned, either as individuals or a group. I keep hearing my friend Miguel Gutierrez talk about confusion as a place of knowledge – not a step on the way to knowing but a place of actually knowing. If he’s right, then I guess I am in a state a knowing – just an unusual, unfamiliar one.