Braiding Time, Memory and Water is a site-specific, environmental (earth) artistic creation by Sue Schroeder alongside and in collaboration with Jonathon Keats’ installation The Erosion of Time. The performance is envisioned to include dance/movement artists and an original live sound score by Mexican composer Felipe Perez Santiago, responding to the geography and history of the performance sites. The work follows the braiding paths of water in rivers and creeks where the performances will take place. Designed within the structure of a community-based residency, the project aims to build community across seemingly disparate groups, specifically employing art to create a sense of shared stakes in critical issues related to the earth, its waters and its people/us. The project will accomplish this through the cross-fertilization of diverse artists, activists, experts, students, and the public.
With the braid as central to the creative action of the performance, the work follows the naturally occurring form that is composed and performed by water as it flows. The composition is inscribed in the land through ongoing passage, which varies with fluctuations in flow rate. The rivers and seas, therefore, act as natural timekeepers and are collaborators in the performance(s). Field recordings integrated into a larger sound installation further nature’s collaboration in the work.
Built around a community-based residency, Braiding Time, Memory and Water will serve as a creative catalyst and meeting place for artists with the interest of cultivating more engaging uses of contemporary art-making and intentional community experience for inclusive audiences—directed to individuals who do not have access to nature due to disability, finances, geographic location, or time—aiming to induce future creation, curation and installation of artwork for these oft overlooked audiences AND to deepen the practice of creators of art that advocate for nature, for biological and cultural diversity, for environmental justice, and for planetary salvation.
The vision for Braiding Time, Memory and Water is intended as a performance experience in which people feel represented and reassured that nature is a place for them to experience. In doing so, the project speaks to Schroeder’s goal of raising awareness for environmental justice issues in order for people and the planet to thrive.
Working alongside and in collaboration with Jonathan Keats’ stone erosion calendars, Braiding Time, Memory and Waters encourages us to establish a rhythm, individually and collectively, of coming back to the water, of reconnecting to rivers and seas as natural time-keepers. Simultaneously, the work offers experiences of long-term changes in the dynamics of rivers and seas, with the hope that a deeper understanding of the natural cycles of rivers and seas will encourage us to nurture our environment.
Braiding Time, Memory and Water is part of FLOW, a multi-year series designed to explore Atlanta’s history with water, how it has shaped our city and the potential it holds for our future. FLOW engages issues of conservation, equity, and urban design through installations and performances around the city.
About the Artist
In over 40 years of work in the arts, Sue Schroeder has created more than 110 original dance
works for theaters, museums, green spaces, architectural works, and water environments. Her
work has appeared throughout the United States, as well as Mexico, Israel, France, Germany,
Poland, Georgia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Iceland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada,
Guatemala, and Hungary. Schroeder’s multidisciplinary vision has led to collaborations with
major voices in dance, music, spoken word, visual arts and design.
Additionally, Schroeder is recognized as a leading arts activist and mentor and the founding
artistic director of Core Dance. As a contemporary artist and dance maker, Schroeder focuses
on the creative process, movement research, exploration, and dance-making as a catalyst for social change.
Under the umbrella of Core Dance, Schroeder facilitated the creation of DanceATL, a dance
service organization that nurtures and promotes dance as a vibrant part of Atlanta’s arts
ecosystem. DanceATL connects artists to resources, grows and engages audiences in the city,
and supports the full range of the industry by cultivating an awareness and appreciation of
dance that is sustainable and expansive.
Schroeder holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston and earned her Master of
Fine Arts in Theater Arts with a dance and anthropology concentration from the University of
Arizona at Tucson. Educated under dance greats Bill Evans, Hanya Holm, Oliver Kostock, Anna
Halprin, Isa Bergsohn and John M. Wilson, she holds certifications throughout the U.S. as a
Teaching Artist and is a founding member of the Teacher Training Institute (TTI), a training
program established to develop best practices to teach dance and kinetic learning in
Photo by Simon Gentry