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Collaboratories, Exploratories, and Earthworks


La Cicatrice 

Debera Johnson and Swimming Hole guests

The first collaborative earthwork at the Swimming Hole, La Cicatrice (The Scar), was carved into a slope during a torrential storm by mother nature and filled in with brick rubble to both honor and memorialize the power and beauty of nature over man. The piece continues to be an important feature of the Swimming Hole landscape and inspire new works both temporary and permanent. See more...

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Signposts in the SiteScape 

Maria Baker , Megan Suttles, Luke Degnan,

Alex Goldberg, Xerx I

Signposts help us navigate the landscape, fashioning connections and weaving tales, both physically and figuratively. They can be used to mark trails, boundaries, or danger, to convey messages or stories. Signposts can also be used to critique the status quo, dig deep into vertical histories and networked systems, and propose alternate ways of understanding and interacting with the world.


This collaboratory experimented with using the site for performance, creating artifacts and improvisation to create a new creative process that ritualizes generative, cross-disciplinary work. The group used drawing, sewing, photography, videography, music, construction, written word, and dance. They also developed a treatise on collaboration dubbed SITAGE. All viewable here.



Michael Dila, Allan Chochinov, Marquise Stillman, Hrukti Stroud-Kokayi, Regena Reyes, Jonathan Korman, Meghan Day, Morgan Plummer

This group explored the potential of designing a community action force to defend citizen's rights, public activities and interactions without guns? For example street artists and buskers who are often hassled by the police. The group envisioned a systems based APP that inter-connected street maps, usable public spaces, permitting protocol and a “Limecoat” who acts as a community advocate and liaison with the police.


Attending Practice

Jonathan VanDyke, Ellie Krakow, Gina Siebel, Manila Sziladi

A series of ten experiments where artists shared individual processes and jointly created artifacts related to their personal medical histories. Notable work included “actions on a broken chair” that represented “the patient,” branch harvesting and charcoal making leading to a group drawing entitled “The Honorable Harvest,” and “Life Stories,” a series of artist’s talks that delved deeply into medical histories, diagnostics, treatments and explored the impact on their individual work through physical and material memories. 


Animal Welfare

Rebecca Welz, Sky Pape, David Provan, Rick Klauber, Nancy Davidson, Lyn Godley

A collaborative installation that showcased the individual artists working within the cross-over theme that focused on birds, patterns of migration, and behavior. An animated light projection integrated physical artifacts and the communal processes, reflecting a compilation of “visions,” and underscored the expansiveness of the artists’ singular and collaborative voices. The week long residency culminated in a featured exhibition at the Upstate Arts Weekend was covered in Art Schpeil and Inside + Out


Collaboration on Collaboration

Leah Caplan, Ayse Birsel, Daryl Bowman, Julia Randall, Deb Johnson, Meltem Parlak, Lisa Konstadt

Working together and on behalf of the advancement of collaboration at the Swimming Hole this cohort explored the optimal conditions for collaboration. It was a living experiment that provided the starting point for ongoing explorations and discussions. The hope was to create at least one new idea about collaboration that the group would incorporate into their life or work and build one new connection for collaboration. It also served as a guidebook for future collaborations at the Swimming Hole. It all worked and then some. The document is available here.

Make room for joy.

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