You And I Are Water Earth Fire Air Of Life And Death
(2020 – 2032)

by Christof Migone

After learning about all the steps involved in making whisky during a three-month artist residency with Marla Hlady at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland in the summer of 2019 it struck me how inadequate the word ‘whisky’ (meaning ‘water of life’) is because it captures only such a small part of the process. The title of this work is a 12-word sentence that attempts to convey all the steps involved more completely.

The project will take 12 years to complete. The project ends on 01-01-2032 (12 years plus a day).

Every year, on December 12th from noon to midnight, a 12 hour event takes place:

1. You 2020
2. And 2021
3. I 2022
4. Are 2023
5. Water 2024
6. Earth 2025
7. Fire 2026
8. Air 2027
9. Of 2028
10. Life 2029
11. And 2030
12. Death 2031

Every year, the December 12th event is accompanied by a different series:

Different From The Place Time Mood Mindset You Are In Now
(2020 – 2032)

1. Different 2020
2. From 2021
3. The 2022
4. One 2023
5. Place 2024
6. Time 2025
7. Mood 2026
8. Mindset 2027
9. You 2028
10. Are 2029
11. In 2030
12. Now 2031

Combined, both series offset and complement each other. One is additive, the other subtractive. One embraces disquiet, the other aspires to quietness. Starting with year 2 an hour out of the 12 hours of the event is dedicated to the Different series, so that in the final year, year 12, there will only be one hour of proper programming left. The Different series is not quite non-programming, it's just that it presents itself as an absence, an idleness.

The word of the year for each series serves as a thematic starting point. The curatorial slant leans towards the expansive. The project hinges on collaborations with artists and institutional partners. These function best when freedom and play underpin the engagement.

1. You 2020 Different
2. And 2021 From
3. I 2022 The
4. Are 2023 One
5. Water 2024 Place
6. Earth 2025 Time
7. Fire 2026 Mood
8. Air 2027 Mindset
9. Of 2028 You
10. Life 2029 Are
11. And 2030 In
12. Death 2031 Now

You Different
Different You

And From
From And

I The
The I

Are One
One Are

Water Place
Place Water

Earth Time
Time Earth

Fire Mood
Mood Fire

Air Mindset
Mindset Air

Of You
You Of

Life Are
Are Life

And In
In And

Death Now

Now Death

Thanks to Andy Fairgrieve at the Glenfiddich Distillery Artist-in-Residence Program for supporting the project's inception. Thanks to the Graham and Gale Wright Faculty of Arts Distinguished Scholar Fund for support in 2022-2023. Thanks to the Department of Visual Arts at Western University for continued support.

Artists, curators, institutions interested in participating are welcome to get in touch.

Contact: cm at [myfullname] dot com, alternate is [myfullname] at gmail dot com.

In Memoriam Christine Migone (1939-2019).