« A tale a a tool » at Indeterminacy Festival

Buffalo (NY), May 14 – 20, 2018

In the context of the Indeterminacy Festival, independent curator Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro invited Aurélien Gamboni and Sandrine Teixido to investigate with him on environmental changes in Buffalo and the Great Lakes. This collaboration will translate into an archive and several events, such as a writing workshop, a public presentation and a boat tour, with the precious support of NA!Fund


Do you hear anything? Do you see any change in the water?
Boat tour – Departure from Central Wharf at Canalside
16 May
Registration required – ataleasatool@yahoo.com

“Never shall I forget the sensations of awe, horror, and admiration with which I gazed about me. The boat appeared to be hanging, as if by magic, midway down, upon the interior surface of a funnel vast in circumference, prodigious in depth, and whose perfectly smooth sides might have been mistaken for ebony

In Poe’s short story ‘A Descent into the Maelström’, a fisherman leads the narrator onto a cliff to behold the whirlpool. From this point of view, he tells a story that no one ever believed: how he went down and escaped the great whirl, by observing and analyzing the trajectories of objects caught in the vortex …

This collective research experiment takes the form of a 2-hour journey across Lake Erie and Buffalo waterways, on board the beautiful sailboat Spirit of Buffalo. We invite witnesses from all backgrounds – inhabitants, researchers, campaigners, community members – to share their experiences and knowledge, whether specialized or based on daily life observations. As climate disruption and ecological damage tend to intensify, the vastness and diversity of their effects implies that everybody, in their own place, can become a witness. For instance, highway drivers noticing fewer insects caught on their windshield are echoed by entomologists’ extinction studies.

All are invited to come and share in the context of this mobile assembly. Gathered around the powerful image of the maelström, we will rely on Poe’s story as a tool to guide our discussions. How do we relate to transformations in the landscape? How are we emotionally affected by these changes? What does it mean to observe a phenomenon and to be part of it at the same time?

The vortex rescripted
Cass Project
18 May
Registration required – ataleasatool@yahoo.com

In this writing workshop, Nikolaus Wasmoen, visiting assistant professor in Digital Scholarship and English at Buffalo University, will propose a new plot to rewrite Poe’s ‘A Descent into the Maelström’ together with the public. Conjuring references to vortices and maelstroms from writers Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, Hugh Kenner, Toni Morrison, we will discuss how, in addition to environmental issues such as the climate crisis, the story provides tools to model social media as a structured flow. The workshop will result in a new script, written collectively and in real time.

The Maelström investigation office
Duende Building
19 May

The Maelström investigation office will gather drawings, notes, prints, cartographies, transcripts and materials collected by the artistic trio during their inquiry into environmental perturbations and adaptations in Buffalo. This afternoon will be the chance to gather the persons interviewed during the research residency and invite the public to exchange and further contribute to the research process.

More soon on:

With the support of NA!Project