Rebecca Birch | Artist in Residence
Lichen Hunting in Lillomarka (2019) five-channel video installation with audio narration.
Commissioned and curated by Gina Buenfeld/ Jonni Saloluma for the WAMX programme.
This residency is part
of SEA Foundation’s longer-term
research on art and sustainability
in fold #04 on No hurry
Artist Rebecca Birch works with video, live broadcast/digital art and narrative performance. Specifically, her practice is socially engaged, across solo and collaborative projects. She employs these approaches to tell the stories of place-based encounters between people and ecosystems. And furthermore, to look at the corresponding entanglements of human and environmental timescales.
The artist’s attention is on the lived experiences of climate change, including both those suffering the impacts of environmental change and those campaigning to prevent it. For example, her current project, Undermine, focuses on a community of women protesting against fracking in Lancashire, UK. This project developed with the cooperation of the local protectors, many of them middle-aged women, who are engaging in political action for the first time in their lives. Following the women over three years, Undermine investigates the psychological implications of being undermined, environmentally, socially and emotionally. The project includes a feature-length documentary, and associated installations and performances. Including solo exhibitions at Waino Aaltonen Museum, Finland (2019), and The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, UK (2018).
Rebecca Birch also curates and produces work by other artists. Most significantly, as the co-founder and co-director (with Rob Smith) of the live broadcast art platform, Field Broadcast (2010-2017). Field Broadcast connected artists, audiences and specific locations through the portal of the computer desktop. They were ground-breaking in their use of live digital broadcast as an artistic medium, commissioning artists to make work specifically for our custom-built app. This delivered artworks direct to computer desktops as digital ‘interruptions’,
Rebecca Birch (1978) works and lives in the UK. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths (2001) and The Slade (2007) and a practice-based PhD from Loughborough University (2019). The artist carried out residencies, research and created performances at locations. Including The Banff Centre, Canada, in the town of Inuvik in the Arctic Circle and whilst driving north in her Hyundai Getz. Birch frequently creates situations for other artists to respond to, including the performance framework MicroPerformance (presented at various locations, including Milton Keynes Gallery and The Whitechapel) and LEDGE, a project space on her bedroom windowsill.
Furthermore, she had solo exhibitions at venues including ICA London (20o5), Municipal Gallery Arsenal, Poznan (2007) and HotelMariaKapel, Holland (2009). Also, international residencies, for example at CCA Glasgow (2015), Banff Centre, Canada (2007) and AZ West, California (2017). Her work has been supported by Arts Council England, Kulturrådet (Arts Council of Norway), Film London Artists Moving Image, OCA, Norway, Outset, The Art Fund and The Elephant Trust. Currently, Rebecca Birch teaches at Oslo School of Environmental Humanities, University of Oslo. And from 2014 to 2018, Birch was Lecturer in Fine Art at Lancaster University, UK.
This residency is part of SEA Foundation’s longer-term research on art and sustainability in fold #04 on No hurry