Baltic Arts Centre Residency, Gotland – 06/2015

The focus of this residency was to carry out inter-disciplinary research centred around fieldwork and the discovery by Carl Linnaeus of the snail Radix balthica (the Wandering Snail) at a site in Gotland in 1758. Since, its discovery Radix balthica has been found to be widespread throughout North Western Europe where it inhabits a wide diversity of ecosystems, including temporary ponds and ditches, streams and rivers and brackish waters such as the Baltic Sea. Because of its widespread nature it has become a key species for scientific investigations aiming to understand what makes species resistant to environmental change.

During the residency the group’s field work retraced Linnaeus’ steps, visiting the original site, Hoburgen, at the southern tip of Gotland , where he discovered and named Radix balthica in 1758. They also searched for the species in other localities, including Tingstädeträsk, Fårö, the clear lake Bästerträsk and two rivers, Idå and Loså. For the days of the residency the BAC workspace/studio became a hybrid art/science space; used by Simon as an improvised laboratory for keeping an examining snails from the fieldwork, and as a studio for Debbie and David to view and consider the film and sound footage they were able to collect at each site. Outcomes from the residency for further exploration will include a collective, experimental mapping process using immersive audio visual material. This will focus on the wanderings of the collaborators and their attempt to destabilise human perspectives/agency in relation to the snail Radix balthica and its habitat.

This residency was undertaken by RADIX collaborators Dr. Simon Rundle (Associate Professor in Freshwater Ecology), Dr. Debbie Robinson (Associate Professor in Contemporary Art) and David Strang (Sound Artist and Lecturer in Music: Technology) from Plymouth University, UK.

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