You And I Are Water Earth Fire Air Of Life And Death - PART 5

Water (2024)


In-person and streaming from the artLAB at the Department of Visual Arts, Western University, London, Ontario.

"Water (Deshkan Ziibi)” is curated by Christof Migone, Sheri Osden Nault, and Ruth Skinner.

Out of the blue, blue planet, into the molecular, cellular. Time’s involved. Time runs through it. Hydrophonics, hydrojams. Glistening gestures. Swimsink. Cloud seeding, drought, contamination, advisories. Nautical sea, nausea. Leagues under. Deep diver. Pearl mother. Mariana. We quickly see this could go on forever, for, as Yve Lomax put it in Sounding the Event: “Yes, this noisy restless sea is pure multiplicity: it is mixture, it is contingency and it is turbulent.” Or, put even more succinctly, as Italo Calvino’s Mr. Palomar realizes: “isolating a wave is not easy.”

This year’s event, the 5th edition in the 12-part annual series, will willingly wade the time away, in eddies, in sinks, in drains, in backwaters, through root systems, capillaries, infiltrating, inundating our "humid brains" (Isabelle Stengers).

The last 20 minutes of every hour will feature 12 bodies of water as part of the Place (Dis) series. A body of water may be an ocean, a sea, a glacier, a lake, a river, a stream, a steam, a swamp, a well, a swell, a pond, a puddle, a spittle, a sniffle, a rill, a creek, a tear, a molecule. It may be part of a flood or spill, a drip or drop. It may be dammed, bottled, glassed. It can flow, freeze, steam, or boil. It can help grow or drown. It can wave or stagnate. It can be part of juice, tea, coffee, sauce. It can cause mould or just be moist. It can seep, leak, ooze. A body of water is a place that displaces.

"The Anishinaabek People refer to the Thames River as Deshkan Ziibi (which means Antler River in Ojibwe / Anishnaabemowin language). The river has also been called Askunessippi (Antlered River) by the Neutrals and La Tranchée (later La Tranche, which means the Trench) by early French explorers, settlers and fur traders. In 1793, Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe named the river the Thames River after the River Thames in England." (Source: Upper Thames River Conservation Authority).

Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Neutral (Chonnonton) peoples, on lands connected to several Treaties including Treaty 6 London Township, Treaty 7 Sombra Township, Treaty 21 Longwoods and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This place continues to be home to diverse Indigenous peoples who are recognized as contemporary stewards of the land and vital contributors to society.


- Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
- Oneida Nation of the Thames
- Delaware Nation











Christof Migone‘s research delves into language & voice, bodies & performance, intimacy & complicity, sound & silence, rhythmics & kinetics, translation & referentiality, stillness & imperceptibility, structure & improvisation, play & pathos, pedagogy & unlearning, failure & endurance. Current and ongoing investigations: microphone hitting, book flipping, tongue extruding, record releasing, word hyphenating, para-pedagogical positioning, careless curating, noise making, sequitur following, paper passing, interval counting, rhythm repeating, phone licking, machine fingering, playlist compiling, silence listening, and dozens of dozens.

Sheri Osden Nault is an artist, community worker, and Assistant Professor in Studio Art at the University of Western Ontario. Their work spans mediums including sculpture, performance, installation, and more; integrating cultural, social, and experimental creative processes. Through this, they consider embodied connections between human and non-human beings, land-based relationships, and kinship sensibilities as an Indigenous futurist framework. Methodologically, they prioritize tactile ways of knowing and learning from more than human kin. Their research engages anti-colonial, queer, Indigenous feminist, and ecological theory and praxis. They are also a tattooer the Indigenous tattoo revival movement in so-called Canada, and run the annual community project, Gifts for Two-Spirit Youth.

Ruth Skinner works as an arts organizer, researcher, curator, publisher and educator in London, Ontario. Her research encompasses experimental publishing practices and artists' books; forensics and clairvoyance; histories, theories of representation & spectatorship; digital & media literacy, archival practices & access; artist-run culture in Canada.  She has operated as the art imprint Edna Press since 2017, and is a co-organizer of Support project space alongside Tegan Moore and Liza Eurich. She is the current Director of Forest City Gallery, is part of the Advisory Circle for the newly revitalized Embassy Cultural House, and was a cofounder of Good Sport Gallery.