Carly Butler in Ucluelet Canada and Gudrun Filipska in East Anglia UK have been collaborating since 2016, mapping the space between them though postal correspondence and a series of digital performance works. As artists working with ideas of journeying and navigation they are interested in the thresholds and borderlines around their domestic spaces formed by parenthood and domestic responsibility, bringing these into dialogue with concepts of distance and proximity. They have developed a largescale digital and 'material' work entitled the ‘S’ Project which involves a combination of real and digital walking and various mapping techniques including celestial and circle route navigation.
Tracked by pedometers, steps, taken around the artists’ respective domestic locations are translated to a digital map where their 'avatars' walk carefully designed routes between UK and Canada. The title of the project references the first transatlantic wireless signal sent from Cornwall to Newfoundland in 1901. The message was simply the morse code signal for the letter ‘S’.
The duo have mapped trajectories to find a variety of half way points between their respective homes using combinations of celestial, nautical and gnomonic mapping techniques, embracing alternative cartographical practices and Google maps alternatives. These maps and charts form part of the 'S' Archive along with a catalogue of objects, artefacts and letters sent between them.
The 'S' project explores the radical potential present in the circular/fugal and domestic walk (set against male, colonial adventuring narratives), feeding into dialogue about feminist walking and journeying practices. The project also critiques the idea of the 'globe trotting artist’ as marker of success, and challenges the attendant requirements of money and mobility, reaching out to another part of the world and sending a'signal'to another artist with an isolated practice.
The ‘S’ Project Archive has been exhibited at Queens Museum, New York. 148 Mayall Road London, Flux Factory New York and is currently showing at The CUBE London as part of ‘Cognitive Sensations’.