| work by Dylan McLaughlin

And So We Sing the Land

Coherence/Interference was an audience-generated sound performance comprised of a large video projection, two regalia-draped figures -- one containing a smaller tablet-sized video and the other operating as an interactive sound device.  This piece was an active response to the nearby Chevron Questa Mine Superfund site, featured in both videos. The smaller video shared facts about the mines legacy interspersed with the phrase "and so we sing the land." The larger projection featured drone-shot video of the mined landscape. This image was manipulated by a computer program that synced to a microphone-like instrument embedded in the second figure.

The sonic dimension of the piece was based on the ancestral musical scoring practice of Northern Plains people, which was defined by the study of horizon lines and the response of "singing the land’s song-lines." Coherence/Interference invited individual audience members to participate in this singing practice by placing one's face inside of a miked mask and creating a vocalization. The singing voice cleared the video projection's distortion, revealing the landscape. The singer, however, was masked from seeing the impact of their voice, sacrificing their own vision so that others can see clearly. Coherence/Interference effectively bound geography to culture, creating an opportunity for audiences to resonate with the landscape and participate in its healing. The piece is part of a larger body of work called CauseLines that investigates sites affected by extraction with aims to share Indigenous practices in the healing of sacred land. 

Winter Count collaborated with artists Jesse Hazelip and Ann Lewis .

Written by curator Erin Elder


Dylan McLaughlinTaos Paseo