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Sarah Berkeley: Residency in Western Nebraska

Berkeley ws self prairie

Sarah Berkeley (MFA 11) will has been awarded a residency at Cedar Point Biological Station, from Jul. 6 – 18. This is the inaugural year of the residency, which was founded by Karen Kunc.

There are two projects I will work on while in residency at Cedar Point:

1. Walking historical trails at and near Cedar Point to generate 2‑dimensional artworks from my GPS tracks. This is a continuation of my Walking Still series. So far, the longest walk I have completed was 21 miles. This chapter of the series expands my practice as the artworks will preserve what remains of the trails and document the contemporary experience of navigating them on foot. The artworks are a literal and figurative trace of the past.

Process: I record my walks with GPS (on a cell phone if there is a signal, using another device if not). I then convert the recorded GPS track into a single line that can be read by Adobe Illustrator. From there I create a vector line, which engrave into wood using at laser cutter. Once the plates are engraved I hand emboss the track onto paper. The works I have made so far range from 10ft x14ft to 5in x 5in depending on the length of the walks and the scale of the laser cut track. I am currently looking into streamlining this process for the smaller drawings by using a printing press. The larger works will always be hand embossed due to the large scale. (See my Walking Still series for examples of this kind of work.)

2. I will do short, site-specific performances for the camera that a direct responses to the landscape I am in and my emotional response to it. These works will provide a welcome interlude while my body is resting between walks. (See my Intimate Frustrations Series for examples of this kind of work.)