Following our recent As You Go… Symposium, we present a series of documentation by Beatrice Rubio-Gabriel, tracking 6 days of research presentations and discussions. Unlike previous contributions presented in this journal, they have developed a set of experimental transcriptions of marks composed of voice notes, key words and statements, and visual cues.

Towards Interdependence (2021) was created utilising varying forms of charcoal, beginning the symposium with a medium that returns the artist to their own beginnings in their art practice. The act of returning to the fundamentals of mark-making, reflecting the symposium’s very own gesture to implore us to rethink back to our own fundamentals of being human and what it means to work together.

Building on their previous piece done in charcoal, Distorted Images and Fragmented Stories (2021) employs the use of pastels, calling back to the artist’s remembering of their own personal past, and serves as an invitation towards the imagining of a future built on that very same optimism.

For the third day’s transcription in Archiving, Reacting, Creating (2021), copic markers (a quintessential medium of architects and designers, and often only used by the artist in their previous design experience), are used to trace the lines connecting the three case studies of the Zijin Bor Mining, Lake Balkhash, and the Addis Ababa Riverbank project. Incisively exploring the infrastructural developments in these research contexts and localities, the day revelled in revealing the complexities that each are facing around the world.

The fourth day of the symposium explored the situatedness within the local contexts of convening researchers Robert Bobnic and Kaya Kraner, Yabebal Fantaye from Astrobus-Ethiopia and artist, Jasphy Zheng. Exploring these localities (and newfound global positions), and the practices embedded within them, this day explored what it means to be connected to a place and ultimately, to one another. Inspired by the innovation and community-core of Astrobus, Situated (Research || Practices) (2021) was created in pencil – an attempt to create marks with renewed and hopeful eyes to draw threads of connection from the artist’s location to where the presenters are situated. To ask and embody that very same ideal that if children are the future, then hope is our way forward.

And to ask of hope is to speak back to the past. Through an exploration of the geopolitical importance of different ports within China’s coastal cities to the ports of Piraeus, Kolkata and Valparaiso, ink was used for the transcription of On the Seas and on the Land (2021). The medium becomes a reflection of the significance of these ports, and their ebb and flow across time. Also often involving the ocean in their own artistic practice, here the ink also becomes an extension of that connection as ideas and thoughts overlap like waves.

The final day of the symposium concluded with a roundtable of the partner cells involved within As You Go…roads beneath your feet towards a new future. Exploring horizontality, the politics of visibility, economic responsibility, and the valuation of labour, for this final transcription, polymer paint was employed with the colours most present on the screen of the speakers. In an inverse act of placing marks onto a page, the marks have been etched away from the wet paint, as a gesture towards uncovering new possibilities. To ask where has this all lead us and with it all, together, where can we go?

List of works:

Day 1: Modes of Working as a Proposition towards Interdependence
‘Towards Interdependence’ (2021), charcoal on cartridge paper (digitised) 59.4cm x 42.0cm

Day 2: Disjointed Images from Afar and Fragmented Stories
‘Disjointed Images and Fragmented Stories’ (2021), pastel on cartridge paper (digitised) 59.4cm x 42.0cm

Day 3: Alternatives to New Forms of Geo-political and Economic Administrations of Localities and People: Archiving, Reacting, Creating.
‘Archiving, Reacting, Creating’ (2021), copic marker on cartridge paper (digitised) 59.4cm x 42.0cm

Day 4: Situated Research, Situated Practices
‘Situated(Research || Practices)’ (2021), coloured pencil on cartridge paper (digitised) 59.4cm x 42.0cm

Day 5: Ports and their Importance
‘On the Seas and on the Land’ (2021), ink on cartridge paper and watercolour paper (digitised) 59.4cm x 42.0cm

Day 6: A Roundtable Discussion of Partner Cells
‘Co-immunity’ (2021), polymer paint on canvas, 64.5cm x 51.4cm

Beatrice Rubio-Gabriel is an artist, curator, and writer living and working in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia.


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