MEGHAN MOE BEITIKS, 2016
"Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience" is a creative exploration of observation and entanglement as means of overcoming pain. Research on ecology, restoration and psychology will lead to a series of videos, installations, and performances. How do personal networks of resilience overcome systems of pain, both in human perspectives, and in ecologies? How might the same systems that transmit pain serve as resources of strength?
The piece centers around observation as a method in scientific research, artistic process, and meditation. It was the experience of being able to surpass pain through meditation that inspired the project. In "Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience," I am looking at characteristics of trauma, and how observation can aid in restoration of mutually entangled ecologies and human bodies. Development of the piece involves research into personal, professional and ecological processes of recovery. I interviewed a naturalist, an animal behavior specialist, a researcher with the National Drought Mitigation Center, a physical trainer, and multiple individuals in recovery from war, abusive relationships, and other trauma. I spliced clips from these audio interviews into a score for a live performance in Nebraska.
At Residency 108, I continued to interview locals with a connection to the residency site, including Anne-Katrin Spiess, Jamie Morra, Jill Peltiet, Yvette Eagle Eyes, and native habitat restoration specialist Jessica M. Toro. I incorporated these interviews into a score for the video "Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (New York)." The work continued to evolve into multiple chapters in Illinois, New York and New Mexico, culminating in a comprehensive exhibition curated by Cecilia Vargas at the Dickson Center in Sugar Grove, Illinois in 2018. Parts of the project have also been published in the Journal for Artistic Research and featured in various exhibitions.