This July, Katie Addada Shlon joined the Fiore Art Center’s artist residency program as the performance artist-in-virtual-residence. Katie is a conceptual performance artist based in Baltimore, who uses handmade instruments as meditative tools for exploring the complex relationships we have with the land. Katie uses the natural environment as a collaborator in their work. Their current body of work focuses on creating new instruments for sound, departing from traditional forms and structures to re-frame our experience of music as bodied participants.
“Viewing the land as a living system which requires love and care, I turn my focus to restorative and regenerative agriculture practices which serve that need,” says Katie. “When we re-frame our experience of food to include an intimate understanding of the living system which allows plants to grow, we can restructure the system our food is grown in. The issues of public health, land health, individual health, growth, and nourishment are all connected but can be made invisible in everyday life.” Katie adds that, “as popular industrial agricultural practices have decreased soil health, public health, and food sovereignty, there is a lot of repair work to be done.”
Over the past couple weeks, Katie has been testing the sounds of reclaimed materials they will be using for their instrument-making process. Katie believes that “to engage in any kind of work that comments on our relationships to the land demands a conscious decision to re-use already existing materials instead of manufacturing new objects.” At the moment, Katie lives with a ceramicist and has been utilizing left over materials to create percussion instruments, “using [the] precious and disposable pieces of fired Earth as tools for this performance has a particular power and varied sound.” Katie is also using scrap wood they have collected from communal woodshop spaces, as well as objects that have been circulating around their own studio for years. Check out the video of Katie’s studio below!
Stay up to date on Katie’s projects throughout the month by following the MFT Gallery on Instagram (@mft_gallery) and join us for a virtual open studio session on July 29th from 5-6PM, where Katie will share their work through a film. The screening will be followed by a panel conversation and Q & A with Katie, Heather Lyon (past performance artist and resident) and Sarah Simon (MFT’s Farm Access & Farm Viability Director). Opening and closing remarks will be given by Karen Giles (MFT’s Gallery Coordinator). Please RSVP — the Zoom link will be sent upon registration.