The S Project is a long distance walking project between Gudrun Filipska and Carly Butler which has been active since 2016. During lockdown we received a grant from Canada Council for the Arts to develop the virtual side of the work including an app and live streaming elements.
Tracked by pedometers, our steps, taken around our respective domestic locations are translated to a digital map where our ‘avatars’ walk carefully designed routes between UK and Canada. The title of our project references the first transatlantic wireless signal sent from Cornwall to Newfoundland in 1901. The message was simply the morse code signal for the letter ‘S’.
We have mapped trajectories to find a variety of half way points between our respective homes using combinations of celestial, nautical and gnomonic mapping techniques, embracing alternative cartographical practices and Google maps alternatives. These maps and charts form part of the ‘S’ archive along with a catalogue of objects, artefacts, letters sent between us, live stream experiments and trailcam footage.
Carly Butler is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works on Vancouver Island in Ucluelet on the traditional territory of the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation. Her practice reinterprets nautical knowledge around navigation and survival to reflect on longing, regret and nostalgia.
Gudrun Filipska is an artist and researcher of Welsh and Polish descent. Her work considers the cultural and literary associations of journeying often aiming to re-configure these narratives to include, feminist and ‘other’ itinerant practices, offering counter positions to colonial and male-centric travel cultures.