Photo courtesy Vitor Garcia.

Telephone Without A Wire

A project by Bruce Gilchrist & Jo Joelson (London Fieldworks) as part of a British Council Artist Links Residency, hosted by Guapiaçu Ecologic Reserve (REGUA). Several video works were shot in the Atlantic Rainforest (Mata Atlântica) and the rural villages of the Guapiacu River Basin, Brazil, 2009 and presented at Galeria do Colégio das Artes, Coimbra, Portugal June 03–September 21, 2016.

Artworks made from this residency have also been exhibited at Sypestyn, Loosdrecht, Netherlands;, Bucharest, Romania; Trafo Gallery, Budapest, Hungary; TROPIXEL FESTIVAL, Ubatuba, Brazil; The Highland Institute of Contemporary Art (HICA), Inverness, Scotland.

Video animation loop courtesy London Fieldworks.

“Our daily encounters with wild birds in Brazil and their symbolism within the local culture led us to make a connection between the scientific idea of birds as bio-indicators with the ancient, pre-scientific practice of augury (a ritual that involved the interpretation of birds’ flight movements to make predictions). A narrative that runs through all the works is the ethno-zoological connections that exist between humans and animals that, in the case of birds, refer to omens culturally associated with them. We realised that human perception of the symbolic value of an animal is important because it can lead to its protection or destruction.....Black vultures were always present. Without a syrinx–or vocal organ–there are few vocalisation possibilities; the video uses a simple device [an augery-like-framing of the sky and thumb piano made in a local village] to translate flight movements of the black vulture into sound.”

Telephone Without A Wire exhibition catalogue published by Colégio das Artes, Coimbra, Portugal, pp.60-61.

Selected projects & collaborations by Bruce Gilchrist © 2024