• Fragile cartographies of border fictioning: a place of their own

      McCloskey, Paula; Vardy, Sam; University of Derby (2018-09)
      Our work operates between contemporary art and spatial practice and we explore the new forms of research and critical production that this space and overlap allows. The Eile Project is a visual art / research project that uses the subjective, spatial, political and imaginative concept of borders/bordering to respond to some immediate political/environmental challenges. The project is sited on the geo-political border between Ireland and the UK; we are a border family as Paula is from Ballyshannon, (Eire). She grew up between Ballyshannon and Enniskillen (NI), as well as living in England, and has traversed the Irish border her whole life. We now return to these places from Sheffield, UK with our own children, each year; the border thus remains at play across generations, time, and space. The context of the Irish/UK border condition is now given renewed prominence within the maligned ‘Brexit’ negotiations which threatens the peace process on the island of Ireland. We propose to show a screening of our audiovisual film, The Territories of Eile, which offers a speculative fictioning in which Eile makes and unmakes the borderlands; passing through them as they pass through her. Eile’s embodied performance gestures utilise organic and inorganic materials on the Irish/UK border territory to distort and create alternate ways of being. The Eile Project offers an interrogation that uses human-bodies and non-human bodies to create a world beyond the present, collapsing durational moments to create a fiction that might impact transformatively on the real. After the screening (4 mins) we would present a short paper discussing the ideas behind the film and their relation to the urban question. We are concerned with understanding how autonomous territories are made, undone, and remade anew - territories as spatial, sonic and social processes in which power, rather than being fixed and imposed as in sovereign borders (power as potestas), can emerge from the site, from the new border imaginaries, in a process of becoming - power as potentia.