The witch Trails Project will develop a series of workshops, walks, and ritual performances between May 19th and 23rd 2021 in Tromsø, Norway. The events are organized by Invisibledrum, in collaboration with Kurant and POLAR FILM LAB and UiT Norges Arktiske Universitet.
The Witch Trails project proposes an artistic discourse about our reciprocal relationship to nature and medical praxis. It explores people’s relationship with ecology, ethnobotany, popular storytelling, history, and magic. The project is rooted in the historical archives of The Witch Trials and other manuscripts from Finnmark and Trøndelag in Norway; it seeks to re-imagine history, embody knowledge through neo-pharmacopoeias, herbcraft and practical magic. The project seeks to develop diverse views on the past and present, as if through a bee´s eye,- to perceive multiple narratives, towards the production of new imaginaries and approaches to new popular ecologies.
The project was first presented as part of the 2nd Symposium of Spiritual Technologies at Kunsthall Trondheim last April. This month of May will be the second stage of the project as it unfolds during one week in Tromsø:
Nature Walk / Seaweed Harvesting by Marita Isobel Solberg and Trond Ansten: On Thursday, May 20th there will be a nature walk led by Marita Isobel Solberg and Trond Ansten where participants will partake in harvesting seaweeds and other material for a paper-making workshop (see below). The participants will join in ritualistic & offering, guided by the artists affiliated within the Witch Trails Project, as they learn about seaweed and are guided through the landscape. The seaweeds are harvested alternatively for the following workshops, where participants can join; ancestral paper making workshop by Valentina Romero – Maleza on Saturday may 22nd & Phytography workshop by Karel Doing on Friday, May 21st.
Maximum 10 participants
Meeting point : 14h at HAVFRUA KRO at sommarøya
Phytography Workshop by Karel Doing: On Friday, May 21st Karel Doing hosts an online workshop in phytography at Troms Fylkeskultursenter. Phytography is a technique that makes it possible to render detailed chemical traces of plants directly on photographic emulsion. The event is co-hosted with Polar Film Lab.
Artist and filmmaker Karel Doing will give a workshop about phytography, a technique that makes it possible to render detailed chemical traces of plants directly on photographic emulsion. The process takes place in full daylight and makes use of biodegradable chemistry. During the workshop the artist will explain his technique, placing it in a historical lineage of experimental photography and film while also connecting it to ecological awareness. After this introduction, a hands-on demonstration is provided. For setting up your own experiments you will need (expired) photographic paper, soda crystals, vitamin-C powder, normal fix, and two darkroom trays. The workshop will take place in two sessions, the first one being both a tutorial and a lecture. The second session takes place later during the day, giving participants time to experiment with the technique. During the second session, participants will share their results and have the opportunity to discuss these in detail both from a technical and an artistic perspective. Finally, Karel will talk about the intelligence of plants and the wisdom of indigenous people. Karel Doing is an independent artist, filmmaker, and researcher based in the UK. His interest in experimental film and expanded cinema is reframed within a critical approach toward modernity and post-modernity, in search of new meanings of the real and the material. Through the study of (Phyto)chemical process, the recording of oral history, and the (re)use of cinematic heritage he explores alternative knowledge systems. In many of his works, the rhythmical, painterly, and performative qualities of the analog film medium are foregrounded. In 2017, he received his Ph.D. from the University of the Arts London in Animation, Interactive, Film & Sound. In his thesis, he proposes new forms of humility, doubt, and listening to be advanced in today’s over-confident and exploitative human culture. www.kareldoing.net
Maximum 10 participants
Price: 300 kr / Student 150 kr (material costs)
Sign in and registration via: email@example.com
Address: Troms Fylkeskultursenter, Strandveien 95, 9006 Tromsø 21st May
10- 11.30 h Introduction
11.30-12.30 h break
12.30-15.30 h Practice
15.30-17 h conclusion.
Craft Paper WORKSHOP by Valentina Maleza: On Saturday, May 22nd: visual artist Valentina Maleza will present an online workshop and artist talk. In this talk, she will provide her knowledge and research about hand-made paper techniques from the ancestral and ritual traditions of Iberoamerica. The event is co-hosted with Kurant.
In this theoretical-practical workshop, Valentina Maleza will make a short introduction on the ancestral uses that have been given to craft paper and how in the global south its use was not only functional but conceptual as it has a link to the ritual tradition and the plants of power of the different indigenous communities, Valentina will also talk about the importance of women in the origins of the creation of paper and throughout the course of its history. We will introduce ourselves to the ritual, alchemical and meditative effect that this wonderful and almost forgotten technique has, little by little. First, we will select the organic matter by recognizing the plants in our environment and their material possibilities, then we will cook the fibers with which we will make our paper, and finally, putting our hands in the pulp, we will enjoy the sensory experience that this ancestral technique offers us. There will be an online artist talk and Ancestral Craft paper introduction premiered online through Invisibledrum Channels on the 19th of May that will be provided to all participants. Valentina Maleza is a Colombian-Chilean visual artist living in Spain. Her projects move between graphic arts, craft paper making , and non-academic learning (art and counter-pedagogies being an axis in her work) There is a common thread that interweaves and reinforces thanks to a decolonial worldview reflected in her processes in a very intimate way where female protagonists (mostly migrants, rebellious mothers, and resilient grandmothers) merge with ethnobotany and ecofeminism, two fronts in her work in addition to nurturing and creating networks. Wednesday 19th of May there will be premiered an Artist Talk & Ancestral Craft Paper Introduction by Valentina Maleza.
Maximum 10 participants
Price 300,- for materials / 150 Nok for students
Sign in and registration via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Kunstskolen, Strandvegen 95, 9006 Tromsø22nd May
10.30h -12h Introduction + Practice
14h-16.30h Break screening of Dear Snow by Marita Isobel Solberg at Verdensteatret Cinematek i Tromsø
16.30 – 17.30 Conclusion
The procedural week will close on Sunday 23rd of May with a ritual performance by the Invisibledrum collective at the Natural History Museum of Tromso, UiT Norges Arktiske Universitet. ( More information soon ) The Witch Trails research will continue in the Varanger Peninsula in the month of June, with a solstice ceremony by the Steilneset Memorial, on 21st-22rd of June, and in collaboration with Varanger museum, Finnmark. Artists involved in the Witch Trails Project are Marita Isobel Solberg, Amalia Fonfara, Nazare Soares, Jessie Jack Ullevålseter
Founders for the events are : Kulturadet, NBK, Fritt Ord and Tromsø Kommune,
Invisibledrum Art Platform, an artistic research collective investigating animistic practices and spiritual technologies within the field of arts and new ecologies. The platform consists of artists and researchers within transdisciplinary fields of knowledge, encompassing amongst other the arts, creative ecologies, technology, embodied cognition, healing practices, phycology, anthropology, speculative design, herbology, and ethnobotany.
Kurant Visningsrom is an artist-led space based in Tromsø, which has been running since 2009. We’re currently running a nomadic program in and around Tromsø. Kurant’s objectives are to assist in the development and strengthening of Tromsø’s growing art scene and environment. The program is shaped fully by the artists who organise and run the space and focus particularly on contemporary, emerging and early-career artists!
Polar Film Lab is a collective providing a place for analogue film in Trosmø. They supply working facilities, film screenings, master classes, and workshops to improve the opportunities for artists working with film and create a place for exchange and engagement of ideas and experiences around filmic creation and expand the knowledge around analog and experimental film.
Special thanks to kunstskolen Tromsø.