‘PATA-perception - a creative approach to landscape. Including examples from The Cove

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‘PATA-perception - a creative approach to landscape. Including examples from the Cove.

Dan ShipsidesCreative Landscape understood through the engagement of ‘pata-perception in relation to a landscape orientated practice, with examples from transdisciplinary, durational, immersive process of contemporary art, rock-climbing, dance and camping.Based on the process, outcomes and analysis of a three week immersive landscape project within a remote cliff-bound, sea cove in Donegal (involving climber-artist Dan Shipsides, the Echo Echo Dance ensemble and choreographer Steve Batts) and its following touring stage production The Cove, this paper will explore a process of landscape embodiment through the development of and insights into a process of ‘pata-perception. ‘pata-perception is a concept that Shipsides is developing that explores the role of wilfully and witfully disturbing normal modes and habits of perception. It expands concepts from ‘pataphysics into modes of landscape art-practice, most primarily as a way to avoid or subvert the cultural defaults of the landscape image, but also in terms of re-fueling creative spatial practice and in facilitating lateral techniques which draw the ‘pata into perception. In this paper the process of landscape embodiment is thought through in terms of time, activity and spatial boundaries. The time and spent in the cove involved in embodied practices, such as climbing, camping, swimming, dancing, eating, talking, singing which brought a close proximity and intimacy with the landscape, allows a different form of perception to develop. This process is frequently referred to as embodiment and is a process where the landscape might be understood to seeps into ones experience through the body as much as the eyes and mind – a process which expands beyond visual perception. The paper will identify this within the concept of ‘pata-perception, aligned with a reading Jarry’s water tension encounter, as a way to visualize or cross reference the notion of durational or practice orientated embodiment as a process of observing and making the boundaries between states and forms, human and non-human, tensile, flexible, porous and multifaceted. An aspect of the time spent in the cove was that Shipsides built an in-situ reflective platform installation which offered the opportunity to frame and isolate and merge the landscape and body in ways which allowed the doubling and splicing of space and matter. Where does the land start? Where does the body end? Where does the mind end? The time spent in the cove was part of a project called Vertical Nature Base (2011). During a period of time living in the cove, several artworks and processes came out of the experience and the processes led to the development of the touring stage production; ‘The Cove’ (2012-16) which further transforms and synthesizes those ‘pata-perceptions into a complex work of contemporary dance and stage art installation. In this development it is possible to identify the notion of ‘pata-perception within the root of the creative process where phenomenological experience transforms into new states. This in turn allows us to acknowledge the ranging proximities and agencies within the relationship between our landscape experience and the creative artworks or outcomes that may directly or eventually manifest from that experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, U.K. and Ireland in association with LAND2, a landscape, place and visual arts research network
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 8 Sept 2017


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