And that's as far as the story goes
Soundscape and multimedia public art installation
May 3 and 4 from dusk to 10:30pm
Between the Bonham House (The Myaamia Center), Alumni Hall, and Irvin Hall. Video on the back of Alumni Hall , facing Spring St.
“And that's as far as the story goes,” a refrain by Myaamia storyteller Elizabeth Kiisikohkwa Valley (1813 -1899), is also the title of this original public artwork heard through the landscape spaces of Miami University’s Oxford campus. This space of discovery is framed by Spring and Oak Streets, The Bonham House (The Myaamia Center), Alumni Hall, and Irvin Hall. Sonic landscapes within the every-day engage the spoken words of Myaamia cultural narratives that are interchangeably emphatically performed or quietly present through the environment. These stories are integral to community, gathering, and shape personal reflections of belonging. The work is not a literal interpretation of the Myaamia presence but understood through inference.
Thank you to the members and staff of the Myaamia Center, Miami University
A special thank you to:
All the class participants of iiši kiihkeelintamankwi ašiihkiwi neehi iiši mihtohseeniwiyankwi aatotamankwi
(EDL 216 Myaamia Ecological Perspectives and History, Fall 2018)
Daryl Baldwin, Director of the Myaamia Center, who generously listened and offered support early on; George Ironstrack for his invaluable feedback, translations and readings; Kara Strass for her readings and support; and Joshua McCoy, Megan Sekulich, and Lilia Theobald, who offered their time, their voices, and told their stories.
Soundscape assemblage: Diane Fellows
The process for And that's as far as the story goes began about ten years ago as an idea discussed with Daryl Baldwin, Director of the Myaamia Center. At the time, the Myaamia language revitalization work was still in its early stages, and certainly my own understanding of the meaning of cultural stories to those cultures that have been historically displaced, and whose language was so cruelly and violently silenced, was very rudimentary. My response to what I learned was a visceral one, a righteous anger one could say, but not one of really understanding how to engage with such a story or how one could engage in a culture that one is ‘visiting’. The Artecha festival became an occasion to revisit that almost decade long conversation. My work is about familial stories in the diasporic condition of the mid-twentieth century that are ever-present, and reconfigured in our current collective global experience. And it is through exploring contemporary issues of diaspora, through the living voice, that one experiences the possibilities of future narratives by acknowledging that one is part of a continuum, one is part of a community working as a catalyst for change and growth. Joining the members of the Myaamia community during the Winter Gathering in Miami, Oklahoma, and through conversations over time, I began to understand how the Myaamia language is a living one, an ever-evolving one. It is through the next generation, the millennial generation of Myaamia members, and those that follow, that the future of a people’s stories, and how they voice those stories will resonate to shape a future deeply rooted in a living story of landscape and spaces through which we all travel in our Miami context.
Diane Fellows is an Associate Professor of Architecture and teaches architectural design and theory in the department of Architecture and Interior Design, Miami University. Prior to joining Miami University, she was an architectural project designer for Ellerbe Becket Ltd (AECOM) working on national and international projects primarily in sports architecture. At Miami, Diane’s recent architecture design studios collaborate with non-governmental organizations such as Oxfam International, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and residents of the Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan, who fled the Syrian war. Collaboratively, they design needed habitat structures. Diane’s scholarly and creative work focuses on contemporary issues of diaspora often rooted in historical narratives of displacement that unfold in contemporary global contexts.
Diane's work in film and photography has been exhibited in national venues such as the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art; The VETS Gallery, RI; Barrett Art Center, NY; Irvine Arts Center, TX, and international venues in Brazil, Germany, and South Africa. Her short film, At Sea was nominated best in the experimental genre in the Directors Circle Festival of Shorts, 2016; The Alley was a finalist award winner in the New York Festivals Awards 2008. An upcoming book chapter in Shelters for Protection, Mark E. Breeze and Tom Scott-Smith eds., Berghahn Press, New York: Oxford, is due to be published in 2019. She is currently working on two photographic and film series with text titled HWY 15 and The Preoccupations of Lee H.