Cracks in Creeks: Live Streaming (formerly Salmon Sounds in Motion) was a site-specific movement performance, sonic installation, and visual eco-art presentation on the banks of Still Creek, created with Still Moon Arts mentors and youth performers. The inspiration came from the Still Creek Watershed and ecosystem where salmon spawn in urban Still Creek next to roads, train tracks, and big box stores.
Inspiration was also drawn from three other artworks about Still Creek and the salmon. These include “What Comes to Light; Stories of Still Creek Lost and Found” (2017), an independently published book about Still Creek; “Still Creek Salmon Sounds” (2018), youth-created soundscapes in partnership with VIVO Media Arts; and “Fruiting Bodies” (2019), a living mushroom sculpture of a human and a salmon in Renfrew Park by Carmen Rosen & Willoughby Arevalo. Participants co-created choreography while learning holistic ecological concepts and some Indigenous plant knowledge, and are exploring how this intersects with artistic practice.
Artistic Director: Carmen Rosen
General Manager: Bea Miller
Choreographic Facilitators: Starr Muranko & Isabelle Kirouac
Videographer: Jamarr Hepburn
Performers: Jenna Berlyn, Red Fawkes, Michelle Heyoka, Tasha Hillman, Devan Pawa-Larsen, Isabelle Russell, Roxanna Wang, Marie Whimbey
In 2018, SMAS and VIVO Media Arts co-produced a mentorship project, Still Creek Salmon Sounds, to create a sound-based installation artwork exploring the salmon spawning season in a Still Creek. Participating youth artists wove together environmental sound recordings with a series of photographs taken on location in the creek. They also learned to sonify data about the creek’s rehabilitation, as a way of listening for patterns otherwise hidden to the eye. They then used these to create an audio-visual installation artwork, exhibited at VIVO.
The artists involved in the mentorship gave ecstatic feedback about what they learned and experienced during this undertaking. Given this and the highly engaged response of the audience, we decided to create Salmon Sounds in Motion in 2019, a phase 2 that would develop movement and visual art elements inspired by the soundscapes. We took the work back outside next to Still Creek. Renamed by participating youth as Cracks in Creeks: Live Streaming, we developed visual and movement elements to compliment the sonic work, working with choreographers, movement artists, and visual eco-artists to create costumes and set design elements.
PERFORMANCES & SHOWCASES
Vines Art Festival – August 11th, 2019
The Cracks in Creeks youth troupe had their first public performance as part of the Vines Art Festival. Over 50 community members arrived at the Renfrew Ravine to witness the site-specific performance, which consisted of song, dance, music, poetry, eco-art, and the sounds of the creekside, both natural and performed.
Audience members followed the performers throughout the ravine as part of this moving display. They were delighted by the harmonious, calming nature of the performance, and many felt a deeper appreciation for their surroundings after this immersive experience.
Following the performance, tea and cake was served to audience members, and a Q&A session took place between performers, project mentors, and the audience. The event concluded with an Indigenous knowledge-sharing session with Lori Snyder, who spoke about Indigenous plants and their role in the ecosystem.
CNH Annex Performance – September 22nd, 2019
The youth performers put on their unique performance again in September, this time adapted for indoor viewing at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House Annex. Audience members arrived for another interactive experience, which incorporated elements from the site-specific performance in the Renfrew Ravine as well as new elements, such as bird stilts, costumes, and puppets.
The performance was followed by tea and cinnamon buns, a Q&A session, and a shadow puppet jam with artist Heather Dawn Sparks.
Cracks in Creeks: Live Screening – November 27th, 2019
In November, the first screening of the youth-produced documentary on Cracks in Creeks took place at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House Annex. Filmed and edited by youth videographer Jamarr Hepburn, the documentary follows the creation process and performances of the Cracks in Creeks youth troupe. Stay tuned to find out when you can view the complete version of the film!
Cracks in Creeks Performance Trailer