Cult of Signs
Mark Angelo Harrison
Scroll down for some of my videos and news of some of the creative projects I've been involved in recently.
Above: The Invisible Forest Guerilla Theatre. Costumes, banner design and photo: Mark Angelo Harrison.
Envisioning Free Space Conference Berlin
In November 2021, I was very happy to be invited to participate in the incredible 'Envisioning Free Space Conference' in Berlin. I was booked to decorate the Space Pirate party-portal, give a 30 minute talk titled 'Forward the Revolution', and host a five hour screen printing workshop. There were many floors of fantastic speakers, workshops and panels representing organisations and collectives from all over the world – plus, on the closing night, three floors of banging techno. Our Space Pirate Party-Portal featured live sets from Ixindamix and Puçanga, and DJ sets from Mik Mik and Bagz. You can view the video of my talk below, my section starts around 13:00 to 40:52.
New Music Video for Ja Yl' Son
I recently finished making the above music video for the Santomense-Portuguese artist, Ja Yl' Son.
Ja Yl’ Son, is a poet, writer and toaster (formally of the Nomad Embassy Sound System). We shot this one night, under the stars, around the fire. The intensity of Ja Yl’ Son's performance is incredible – and works on a deep elemental level.
As the film-maker I wanted to capture this intensity and make a strong connection with the element of fire. The idea being that fire can be destructive, but also creative, give warmth, light and protection. Fire, and our relationship with it, is hardwired into what it is to be human. Sitting around the fire at night, playing music, singing – and contemplating our nature – takes us all beyond the flames.
I hope you like the video – and if you really want to show some love, click through and give him a like on youtube too!
The River Runs Deep
In December and January this year, I was very honoured to be asked to shoot Puçanga's video (above) for her new single 'Ou é suposto seres tu?' or in English, 'Is it supposed to be you?' released on Gruta Records.
Puçanga is a Portuguese vocalist and producer working in the Tagus Estuary around Lisbon. The video was shot there on location. It's an interesting area, with a landscape in transition. A tidal area where industrial ruins are being reclaimed by nature and the relentless forces of the Atlantic ocean, which creates the perfect backdrop to the unsettling atmosphere of Puçanga's music and haunting vocals.
If you enjoy the music, please consider supporting Puçanga on Bandcamp and on her platforms (all her links are available on youtube)
The Perimeters of Perception
Space of Urgency - Artist in Residency Q21 Vienna
In October and December 2020 I was an artist in residence in Vienna's beautiful museum quarter, on the invitation of the Space of Urgency curators, Bogomir Doringer and Liesa Kingma, hosted by Q21.
My work there was for the Space of Urgency exhibition (happening in
April 2021) is titled, 'The Perimeters of Perception'. It examines imposed culture and the inflexible architecture of our lives by questioning the boundaries that we often accept as the limits of our own perception.
My textile designs for this project, in the form of banners, are inspired by sound-wave harmonics. Resonating shapes that symbolise how a stimulated imagination can inspire us to have new attitudes which in turn can allow us to move into positions with wider view points and different perspectives. For me, imaginative insight is a crucial part of human development. I hope that by defining these 'other dimensions' my work can help materialise new ways of organising and planning society and our relationships with each other and the natural world.
The connection here with sound-wave energy is interesting. Just as music can help one's mind focus, stimulate deeper thinking and often help with problem-solving, so too can the resonances of a visual esthetic. This combined with the powerful statements that flags and banners provoke, my work invites you to open up new territories - beyond The Perimeters of Perception.
The video above is a short interview with me about the project.
The Invisible Forest Guerrilla Theatre - Portugal
In August and September 2020 I was working in Portugal with the A Bela Association as co-creator and artistic director of a new project titled: The Invisible Forest.
The Invisible Forest was a guerrilla theatre concept that opened up an autonomous space around some of Lisbon's ancient surviving trees. One Olive tree in Santa Iria de Azóia, stands alone in a built-up urban area and is an incredible 2,850 years old (see photo below).
The idea was to reclaim the area around each of the trees using performers dressed as faceless, hooded ninjas. These characters were both warrior-protectors and silent witnesses, who, by circling each tree, defined a new space in which various performances invited the audience (who were also asked to attend wearing a black hooded sweatshirt) to re-assess their perceptions and re-orientate themselves with the ancient tree as a new point of reference. And in this way, examine questions around the intrusion of dysfunctional hierarchies and extractive privatised economies into nature, into our communities and how these intervene in our personal relationships with each other and the world.
Originally designed as a democratically co-created project, the guerilla theatre events combined elements of performance, electronic music, song, video, costume and visual art as well as documentary statements (in the form of recorded interviews with members of local communities) and poetic rituals and abstractions.
The Invisible Forest project will continue across 2022, stay tuned for more updates.
Photos: Mark Angelo. Top of this page, shows my 'Silent Witness' costume and banner designs for The Invisible Forest. Below, the 2,850 year old Olive tree in Santa Iria de Azóia.