In Situ3 - workshop September 2016

In Situ3 - workshop   September 2016

BROKEN BY TIME – engaging with ‘the lie of the land’

(Tijdens deze workshop heb ik een werk gemaakt, het resutaat kunt u vinden via deze link: )

In Ponte da Mucela you will have the chance to develop your ideas through observing the cyclical temporal character of the land and the exchange between nature and time:

The Collins English Dictionary explains the lie of the land in 2 ways:

The topography of the land

the way in which a situation is developing or people are behaving.

These are essentially the 2 main concepts we will be considering during this In Situ3 - workshop.


Nature and land in this context includes the physical world and everything in it - such as plants, animals, mountains, fossils, rocks, oceans and even stars in the universe. 

This also incorporates features, forces, and processes that formerly happened or existed independently of people, such as the weather patterns, the production of young animals or plants, and growth; therefore the natural forces that controlled what happened in the living world, environment, countryside, landscape, scenery.

This In Situ3 -workshop is essentially orientated towards contemplation about the manner in which elements in the environment are gradually remodelled or transformed over time - either by natural forces or by processes due to human intervention. 


The contemporary relevance of this topic is that for the first time in the history of the earth the current geological age is viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence in environmental changes.  After extensive research in 2000, the Dutch Nobel laureate, Paul Crutzen and his colleague Eugene Stoermer, from Michigan University, presented their findings about the geographical complexity of the earth over time.  They came to emphasise the central role of humankind’s harmful cause and effect relation to the earth’s geological, planetary and atmospheric forces over the past two to three hundred years. 

They proposed using the term the Anthropocene era to refer to this current stressful global transformation triggered by humans – for example; climate change, industrialisation, urbanisation, soil erosion, change in soil nitrogen levels and the extinction of species.


The experiments, research and artworks resulting from this workshop may refer to:

Slow innate eco systems, or violent and sudden organic events; be it geographical, geological, biological OR by visible and invisible human intervention.  You may refer to climatic exposure, geographic consequences, the relationship between people & earth and/or ecological destruction.

This site specific class is about the relationship of art to geoscience - observing and responding to activities of rupture and fragmentation in the land(scape).


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Consider the following concepts and ideas to trigger your creativity:


Measures of erosion and decay (Weathering, Corrosion, Decomposition, Oxidation, Destruction, Artificial deposits in soil and water, Decay and Rust).

Sculpted by nature (Shaped, Formed, Moulded, Constructed, Impaired, Wounded, Damaged, Ruined, Mutilated, Tugged, Shifted, Repositioned, Rearranged, Transferred, Redistributed, Extracted, Twisted, Coiled, Warped, Whittled, Rotated and Wrung).

Sketched by nature (Wet/Dry states, River, Upstream, Downstream, Pressure, Ruined, Destroyed, Collapsed, Crumbled, Loosened, Untangled, Undone, Torn, Tattered, Scuffed, Erased, Diminished, Unravelled, Unknotted, Unfinished, Unwrapped, Pry open, Nullified, Delineated, and Degenerated).

Artefacts created by natural interventions. (Bent, Reversed, Retreated, Overturned, Meandering, Entwined, Coiled, Squashed, Re-ordered, To lose ground, Transposed, Reshuffled, Coerced and Repositioned).

Spawned by nature (Temperature, Oxidation, Carbon dioxide, Gravitational, Shifts, Electromagnetism, Gas, Vapour, Minerals, Floods, Droughts, Disasters, Driven, Imposed, Sensations, Migrations and Textures).

Strata and Levels of intervention (Sediment deposits, Residue, Dregs, Territories, Obliteration, Remains, Demolition, Constraints, Imposed, Mobius loop, Shifts, Ambling, Snaking, Turning, Separations, Layers and Rays).

Natural exposure (Wind, Water, Thunder, Fire Solar energy, Microbes, Bacteria, Synapse, Cracks, Separation, Meanders, Particles and Grains).

 Elements of Time (Tempo, Pace, Cycles, Segments, Seasons, Minutes, Hours, Moments, Tides, Generations, Periods, Phases, Intervals, Interludes, Ages, Era, Epochs, Rhythms, Measures, Dots, Degrees, Effects, Causes, Quantities, Rations, Rates, Assess, Quantify, Calculate and Record).


Ponte da Mucela is an ideal venue for artists to experience the synchronic relationship between time and place. This small riverside village in central Portugal, just 30 km from Coimbra, was named after the monumental stone bridge dating from 1295.  The street in front of the residency was once a busy truck route between Portugal and Central Spain.  In 2000, a new, faster route bypassed the village, leading to it being abandoned and forgotten by many.  

In an overgrown parkland adjacent to the river Alva, Prof Kris van 't Hof and his South African colleague, Celia de Villiers, own a 1930s neoclassical villa, a stone-built farmhouse (1888), and a former automobile repair hall.  This is the location of Garagem de Artes (The Art Garage).

Garagem de Artes aims to host expert knowledge exchanges of all kinds. It offers accommodation and meeting facilities for students, lecturers, artists and other creative spirits.  It is a place where both conceptual development and technical skills in different media share equal importance.