1. Flags for Place
Flags for Place, 2020
Arteles Creative Centre, Finland
Flags speak to complicated, problematic and largely colonial relationships to place. While spending a month at Arteles Creative Centre in Finland, we asked whether we could create a flag that didn’t denote the ever-problematic ‘discovery’ (read: conquest) of land and place, but one that marked an attentive appreciation of the sites we were guest upon. Is it possible to create a flag in collaboration with landscape and place?
Flags for Place is a set of three flags that explores expanded relational possibilities between us as human flag-makers and the landscape we occupy. Each flag is the material outcome of our collaborations with a vegetal entity on Arteles site: birch trees, lichen, grasses. We conducted a ‘flag raising’ ceremony at the conclusion of our resdiency as a form of thanks giving – an acknowledgement of the vegetal entities that create and sustain place, and had hosted us so generously on their site.
We are interested in the idea of ‘planting’ flags with vegetal life. As opposed to the colonising ‘planting’ of a flag to denote ‘discovery’, ‘ownership’, power over and ultimately, domination; this kind of flag making stands in opposition. Our aim was to create flags that spoke with place, through place.