Fieldguides for a Preternaturalist

Suspended between the mundane and the miraculous.

The Fieldguides are an upcoming publication series of single-essay chapbooks. They are a deep histories fragile memories collaboration with the Berlin publisher K Verlag, kunsthal Netwerk Aalst, and LUCA. The fieldguides are funded in the first year as a start-up project by LUCAbreakout. The first three issues will appear in 2022.

Fieldguides for a Preternaturalist are word-of-mouth essays, published as small chapbooks, to be read at gatherings of collaborators and audiences brought together within the project of Wendy Morris Nothing of Importance Occurred: Recuperating a Herball for a 17th century enslaved Angolan Midwife at the Cape.

The Fieldguides have a dual purpose. They are generators of collaborations, which is to say that they are the means to invite in researchers and practitioners – the guides – to beam light onto the investigation from multiple angles – historical, anthropological, experiential, ethnobotanical, literary. They are also a place in which the investigation is worked into experimental writing / try-outs / works-in-progress by collaborators in the project.

Three fieldguides will be published each year and three related gatherings will be organised. The meetings will be shaped around the particular fieldguides being presented and will be decidedly transdisciplinary in composition. Locations will be as varied as art institutes and exhibitions, community halls, art school seminar rooms, domestic spaces, even a ruined fortress on a hill. Each fieldguide will be recorded as a reading that will become both archive and material for audio and radio works. It is intended that each reading leads to new collaborations, a thickening of the network, and material for further (audio) work. Gatherings will be organised in Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and France, in South Africa, Namibia and Angola, and in Brazil.

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Wendy Morris (1960) is a South African artist and researcher living in Belgium. Morris is professor in contemporary arts at the University of Leuven and LUCA School of Arts, Brussels, and senior researcher with the deep histories fragile memories research group.
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