SEEP: Fluidity in body and landscape @ Media Education
Cachín Cachán Cachunga celebrates its fifth birthday with the experiment that is SEEP: Fluidity in body and landscape in Media Education on Dalry Road.
In true scientific fashion, Sandra Alland – curator of the event – and Chris Red present SEEP in labcoats and safety glasses. The rich buffet of art and sense of community the experience provides is difficult to match elsewhere. For the humble price of three pounds, SEEP involves a guided tour of a visual art exhibition including works by twelve queer/trans* artists, two films by Sandra Alland from the series I'm Not Your Inspiration, an animation by Elenor Einhorn, two live performances in British Sign Language (BSL) by performance poet Alison Smith, and My Baby Just Cares for Me performed by diva Ebony Rose Dark created by Mickel Smithen. The evening ends with a multidisciplinary performance fusing Ania Urbanowska's live visuals with performance poetry by Alland, and music by the They They Theys (Chris Red on percussion, Nathan Gale on oboe, Lawrence on guitar/mandolin/harmonica).
Part of the experiment involves making the evening as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, in spite of the limited capacity of the venue. This includes: ensuring there is wheelchair access; including subtitles in every film; allowing time for audio description; live interpreting to and from BSL by Gordon Newton Wylie-Black; and supplying Braille and large-print programmes for partially sighted or blind visitors.
As a non-disabled, sighted, hearing individual at this event, the audio description and BSL don't feel at all laboured; both provoke a questioning of language and add to the experience, as do the alternative interpretations each artist was invited to provide – these were either edible, tactile or audible. For example, Maki Yamazaki's self-portrait featuring Jay is accompanied by an audio track put together by the artist, while Steadfast's Mouthful invited spectators to stroke it.
While sustaining the live element of Cachín Cachán Cachunga, the alternative format and the content make it exciting, funny, sad, and quite educational. The amount of detail applied to each aspect of the experience is exhilarating, and commendable. Experiments tend to be treated with caution, but, as a whole, SEEP: Fluidity in body and landscape seems to have paid off and provides a platform and community for emerging and established queer/trans* artists in Scotland.