Notes on Site Specificity and the Triple Island series:
Triple Island was the second in a series of works about living in public space, theater (real time and live) about economic, political, and climactic migration. Like a musical composition there are three movements. From the Flock House Project, we migrated one of the Flock Houses to Triple Island. Triple Island will then move to WetLand with a boat made from the remnants and carrying the useable supplies.
What does a nomadic site mean? The land a nomadic site in itself, the pier’s use changed from a working pier where trade and exchange took place, to a dumping ground, to a city owned park and experiment in co-ownership. In this case, it brings up the watery supply chain that references “flags of convenience” and the mobility of goods vs. people (back to Deleuze and Guattari’s Nomadology, and access to mobility versus forced mobility).
Site is composed of not only a distinct geographic location but also a networkof social relations, of political and ethical dimensions. It represents an accumulated and continually interpreted past, present, and future. Spatially, shifting entities interact with a site both through integrating and standing apart. Site is active with energy, agency, and political undertone.
Site as geography: As a location, site comprises a combination of physical, experiential, and social elements. Geographically, it’s a myth to draw distinction between a natural and human-made site, as visible and invisible networks that influence a place need to be accounted for to comprehensively understand a location. From landowners to corporate resource extraction and zoning decisions, a site is determined through multiple stakeholders and histories. Complex institutional, political, and social frameworks constitute it.
Site as virtual: Site is configured through patterns of information, data collection, human and nonhuman contributors, and server space. A virtual site requires physical hardware to access it. This hardware is mined, produced, and stored in various locations that become its equivalent physical network to a virtual location.
Site as proposal: A site is mythologized, theoretical, and circumscribed. With embedded histories, it can propose a number of things. For instance, it can re-propose a commons, and then a more horizontal power structure through cooperation, communing, care, and mutual consideration. Simultaneously, it can propose a space where displacement and alienation create potential for being in between. Alterity and multiplicity can continually propose revised frameworks. Site as a place is both learned through resistance and acted upon.
Center versus periphery: If the colonizing engine that seeks to subjugate, conquer, and collect everything of speculated value has caused center and periphery to coalesce into the condition of site as described here, it is near impossible to draw distinction between “center” or “periphery” (or Nonsite/Site) in physical space. Perhaps today periphery is only information-based. This periphery consists of repressed or hidden facts about what happens in or on a site, insulated from peoples’ fields of knowledge and aided by fragmentation.
Artwork as actor: An artwork contains both its site of annunciation and its site of dissemination. Art commonly carries the burden of a museum or exhibition space (an expected site for artwork), and can impose an austere zone on a site that in some cases can reframe it. While an artist or group of artists may or may not have firsthand knowledge of a site they interact with or act upon, what might the benefits be of importing new perspective to a site, and how may brief encounters become residual?