I had been wondering if there were other ways of considering how we use land that made it easier for more people to be able to engage with ideas around Land Use and feel able to contribute to debates and consultations around these issues. The Scottish Borders along with Aberdeenshire was selected to develop regional pilot Land Use Strategies which will ultimately inform the revision of the national Land Use Strategy which is to be published in 2016. In the Scottish Border this regional framework was developed through mapping and a series of public consultations to seek the views of communities. I had been to a few of these and found it tricky to know how to engage with it as someone that isn’t a land manager or land owner.
I wondered what might be a choreographic response to thinking about habitat and Land Use?
Current ideas around place-making seemed like a good start and I wanted to think about it from more than just the human perspective as it is an ecological issue.
What emerged out of several days of improvisations beside the Ettrick and Yarrow Waters in the Scottish Borders and the East and West Allen Rivers in Northumberland was the idea of habitat as action places and being a score for improvisation.
Improvisation beside dry river bed, River Allen, May 2014 . Dancer Tim Rubidge.
What do I mean by score? A score suggests ways to proceed. It is a framework to assist imaginative engagement, a way into improvisation and playful encounters.
Here then are sixty ways that habitat might be considered by the diversity of species that use it –birds, fish, insects, mammals, plants and trees. They suggest potential zones of action – on the ground, under the ground and over ground; on the water, underwater and in the air.
Consider them as a way in to thinking about land use.
Resting Place Feeding Place Reflecting Place
Meeting Place Parting Place Growing Place
Fishing Place Nesting Place Gathering Place
Watering Place Flooding Place Grazing Place
Drowning Place Building Place Crossing Place
Flying Place Exploring Place Swimming Place
Washing Place Hunting Place Waiting Place
Stalking Place Dying Place Passing Place
Seeping Place Learning Place Singing Place
Teaching Place Dancing Place Mating Place
Calling Place Swinging Place Perching Place
Hovering Place Playing Place Sheltering Place
Disputing Place Flowing Place Healing Place
Fighting Place Dividing Place Joining Place
Listening Place Hiding Place Lingering Place
Trysting Place Climbing Place Overhanging Place
Killing Place Digging Place Birthing Place
Flowering Place Falling Place Catching Place
Leaping Place Sowing Place Harvesting Place
Storing Place Burying Place Drying Place
How to use the score.
Cut them up, share them out, read them out.
Explore them through drawing, dancing, mapping and conversation.
Use them as a starting point for writing, photography, music making, walking or quiet contemplation.
Add to the list by creating your own.
Pass them on.
Download the ‘score’ here Action Score for Place Making
Claire Pencak, March 2015
This work is being supported through a Creative Scotland Artist Bursary.