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The Living is an interdisciplinary research project examining the tension between “living” and “surviving” in the twenty-first century. In collaboration with Survivalists in and around New York City, we look to embody the burden of threat as a means of opening up and revealing fragilities within our society and ecosystem.

The Living utilizes tools of filmmaking and the documentary genre: voice recording, video recording, interview and storytelling – collapsed with other methodologies, such as those of Survivalist practices including tracking, hunting, movement and awareness. Overlaying these frameworks, we create a body of works that investigate the boundaries between living and surviving; fear and control; action and paralysis; life and death – the myriad of opposing forces that we navigate in our increasingly abstract perception of “urgency.”

In the age of the Anthropocene, we find that the Survivalist is uniquely attuned to tracking environmental and technological changes, constantly tracking the rapid progressions in the landscape and the accompanying potential crises. In “Landscapes of Emergency,” Rebecca Solnit writes that contemporary crises “tend to resemble cancers or viruses more than heart attacks. They have no definitive point of emergence and are often crises of disappearance or disintegration, systemic erosions, rhythmic lapses, nonstates. Having no clear point of emergence, they have no distinct point for intervention, only eventually a point of no return.” By visualizing, documenting, tearing open and fabricating this “point of emergence,” The Living invites viewers to re-examine the world around them through several registers of perception at once.

In Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, Roy Scranton writes, “the reality of global climate change is going to keep intruding on our fantasies of perpetual growth, permanent innovation and endless energy, just as the reality of mortality shocks our casual faith in permanence.” We see New York as the prime site for this ideological collision to unfold: that of the “fantasy of perpetual growth” with the death-driven fantasy of catastrophe. Throughout this project, the city provides the backdrop for our constructed interventions and unfolding alter-narratives as we capture, track, test and experiment with different modes of Survival.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS: Annika Berry and Eliza Doyle are fascinated by the narratives of those who self-nominate to save the world. In their individual work, they both tend to fixate on narratives of self-made or self-reliant men, most notably through Berry’s extended investigation of the mythology of the American cowboy and Doyle’s series of reflexive portraits of bodybuilders and pro wrestlers. Berry and Doyle are continually drawn to the narratives of those who fiercely self-identify as autonomous beings.



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For more information, please contact Sean Lowry

Project Anywhere (2012-23) was proudly supported as part of a partnership between the Centre of Visual Art (University of Melbourne) and Parsons School of Art, Media and Technology (Parsons School of Design, The New School).

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