Tracey M Benson
Treecreate + University of Canberra
featuring DNA Music by Josiah Jordan
Losing sight of the familiar
“Losing sight of the familiar” is a 12 minute audio work. It describes a suburban walk among the trees and along the local creek which is located in the Belconnen region of Canberra. The focus on the audio is to concentrate on the non-visual elements of the walk as well as memory of places of significance. It is
intended to draw attention to the sensory nature of walking and understanding movement to space as a fully integrated experience. It is complemented by a video work “Revealing the familiar.” The two works are intended to stand alone as individual works but when considered together there is a dialog between
visual and non-visual elements. The walk itself is an ongoing conversation between the familiar and unfamiliar as it is my regular daily walk. Every day when I explore these familiar paths I search for something new and different. What plants are flowering, what birds are around, how is the creek
running? What secrets does this land hold? The path has become busier with COVID-19 restrictions and with human activity the non-human goes into retreat. On the days the path is quiet, the birds and frogs sing their songs. This work is a playful study of Freud’s exploration of heimlich vs unheimlich in his essay
“The Uncanny” – addressing the familiar and unfamiliar as different ways of experiencing the path.
Tracey M Benson is an artist and researcher based in Canberra, Australia. With an interest in ubiquitoustechnologies, user research and active audience participation, her work is focused on ecological balance, awareness and wellbeing. She explores a range of media including walking, video, online,
open data, photography and augmented reality, often collaborating with Indigenous communities, historians and scientists. Her work has featured in many international and national media festivals since 1996. The founder of social enterprise Treecreate, Tracey is also an adjunct postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Applied Ecology and the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research at University of Canberra and a visiting researcher at the More than Human Lab at Victoria University, Wellington, NZ.
Her most recent work was featured as part of the UK based Urban Tree Festival.