BLÓM + BLÓÐ (flowers + blood)

blóm + blóð (Icelandic for "flowers + blood") presents performance as embodied research, in the landscape as laboratory/ studio. [8:00, digital video]

The artist navigates the autumnal terrain of Norðdurland vestra (Northwestern Iceland), collecting natural dye and fibre stuffs, using landscape elements as tools for making and experimenting with flora and fauna in the creation of a textile work. The end (textile) result is never shown, the emphasis being on process as the creative work in focus, and the acquisition of new knowledge as one of the results. Utilizing the landscape as a laboratory means more than simply the outdoor acquisition of art/craft materials – it mobilizes human empathy through experiential learning, in gaining an ecological awareness of the source of materials one works with, fostering a working relationship with the environment and its agents. The video plays with notions of temporality and labour, but also with ideas of material agency, in terms of Jane Bennett’s, Vibrant Matter, where “efficacy or agency depends on the collaboration, cooperation, or interactive interference of many bodies and forces.” (p20)

A deliberate romanticization of landscape is disrupted by the practical necessities of Icelandic life, such as the sheep slaughter and the use of horse blood harvested for the pharmaceutical industry. Likewise, engagement with the messiness of the body is embraced as necessary on the path towards aesthetic outcome. The hegemonic notion of studio space, as isolated and hidden rooms where masterpieces are hatched, is subverted as the creative process is literally exposed.

blóm + blóð had its world premiere in Blönduós, Northern Iceland at the Bilskúrs Gallerí on September 29, 2016. blóm + blóð has also been screened as part of Subtle Technologies Festival v.20's banner exhibition, Cultivars (Zach Pearl, curator) at InterAcess Gallery, Toronto; Fermenting Feminism (Lauren Fournier, curator) at Büro BDP, Berlin; Front/Space Gallery, Kansas City; McGill University Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, Montreal as part of the Leavening the Conversation: Food, Fermentation and Feminism conference; The Body Electric (Dr Allison Crawford, Dr Lisa Richardson and Bryn Ludlow, curators) as part of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada International Conference on Resident Education (ICRE), Quebec City and Associated Medical Services (AMS) Phoenix Invitational Conference, Toronto. Forthcoming screenings include at the Textile Society of America’s 16th Biennial Symposium, The Social Fabric: Deep Local to Pan Global, in Vancouver, BC. Additionally, video stills and a transcript of subtitles are published in Fermenting Feminism (Lauren Fournier, curator) in collaboration with the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology (LAE), Berlin/Copenhagen and Broken Dimanche Press, Berlin, available online through e-ARTEXTE. The video is permanently hosted as a Spotlight feature, entitled Material/Immaterial on Labocine, home of films from the science new wave, as well as forthcoming publication (embedded) within In/Tensions ejournal (York University). blóm + blóð's most recent screening installation is at ODD Gallery, at the Klondike Institute for Arts and Culture as part of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival.

Funding for the project was generously provided by Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec and by the Textiles and Materiality Research Cluster at the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia University.

  • WhiteFeather Hunter
  • WhiteFeather Hunter
  • WhiteFeather Hunter
  • WhiteFeather Hunter
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    video performance, art film
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 1, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Icelandic
  • Shooting Format:
    iPhone SE
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Sýning exhibition, Bilskúrs Gallerí
    September 29, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Subtle Technologies Festival v.20 banner exhibition, Cultivars (Zach Pearl, curator)
    May 10, 2017
    Canadian Premiere
  • Fermenting Feminism (Lauren Fournier, curator) screening and publication launch
    August 5, 2017
    European Premiere
  • Fermenting Feminism (Lauren Fournier, curator) exhibition and publication launch
    Kansas City
    United States
    September 1, 2017
    American (US) Premiere
  • Leavening the Conversation: Food, Fermentation and Feminism inaugural conference
    September 30, 2017
  • The Body Electric exhibition (curated), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada International Conference on Resident Education (ICRE)
    Quebec City
    October 19, 2017
  • The Body Electric exhibition (curated), Associate Medical Services Phoenix Invitational Conference
    November 16, 2017
Distribution Information
  • Labocine
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand
Director Biography - WhiteFeather Hunter

WhiteFeather Hunter is a multiple award-winning Canadian artist/researcher, as well as educator, arts administrator, consultant, curator and writer based in Montreal. She holds an MFA in Fibres and Material Practices from Concordia University and presents her work internationally, recently in Iceland, Germany and the US, with forthcoming presentations in Finland and the US. WhiteFeather positions her BioArt practice within the context of craft and feminist witchcraft, via material investigations of the aesthetic and technological potential of bodily and vital materials. She hacks/builds electronics, uses web-based platforms to generate new mythologies, works in narrative video, and performance as embodied research. WhiteFeather is Principal Investigator and Technician for the Speculative Life BioLab within the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia University and artist-in-residence at Sporobole centre en art actuel in collaboration with Dr Denis Groleau, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Microorganisms and Industrial Processes at Université de Sherbrooke.

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