Cecilia Dougherty, Shanidar, Safe Return


April 14 – May 26, 2024
on participantafterdark.art


PARTICIPANT INC is pleased to present the AFTER DARK launch of Cecilia Dougherty, Shanidar, Safe Return, an interactive web-based work of speculative fiction on participantafterdark.art.
 
Timeline: 40,000 years BCE. In Shanidar, Safe Return, a band of Neanderthals and their Cro-Magnon companions, Haizea, Esti, Oihana, Eneko and Uda, make an epic journey from what is now southern France to a place called Shanidar, a large cave in Iraqi Kurdistan, situated along tributaries of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Along the way they learn that humanity is blessed by its heritage of mixing and sharing everything, including genes. Like everything – like food, shelter, and love – it’s a matter of survival. Their lion guide keeps them on the right path.
 
While writing Shanidar, Cecilia Dougherty did extensive research into Paleolithic Eurasia, the human species that lived there, their probable habits, foods, and methods of travel, as well as their music and art. Many of the graphics are Dougherty’s versions of specific Paleolithic artworks, some of which the artist has seen in person, but many of which were based on the drawings of André Leroi-Gourhan’s book Gesture and Speech, and other sources including photos and drawings in works by Jean Clottes, Marjia Gimbutas, and Max Rafael. Dougherty composed the music and recorded effects for the soundtrack, as well as borrowing, with credits, sound effects and music from other sources. 
 
There are 138 passages to this story – you can follow it linearly, but the best way to read it is to wander through it, criss-crossing backwards and forwards until you’ve read the whole story.
 
Shanidar, Safe Return is speculative fiction. The artist has taken many liberties with the science in imagining the temperaments, relationships, joys, sorrows, fears, spirituality, and essential humanity of people living in the deep past.

Curated by Itziar Barrio

A white outline of a hand with white shading around it is centered in the foreground of a distant, black starry sky. Drawing by Cecilia Dougherty for Shanidar, Safe Return, based on 40,000 year old hand stencil at the El Castillo cave complex in Puente Viesgo, Spain.
Drawing by Cecilia Dougherty for Shanidar, Safe Return, based on 40,000 year old hand stencil at the El Castillo cave complex in Puente Viesgo, Spain.


Full announcement here

Cyland Media Art Laboratory Picks up my Cyber Art for Distribution and Archiving

Drawing from interactive fiction by Cecilia Dougherty based on drawing of a mammoth from El Castillo paleolithic site in Spain.

Three web-based pieces: Time Before Memory (Interactive Fiction 2019), Drift (interactive photo essay, 2020), and my newest piece, Shanidar, Safe Return (Interactive Fiction, 2023). These works are viewable on my website and are now a part of an international collection of web-based works.

From their website: https://videoarchive.cyland.org/

CYLAND VIDEO ARCHIVE
International Digital Online Archive

The CYLAND Video Archive (since 2008) is one of the first systematized online video art platform of its kind: most of the works gathered here are accessible for view on the internet at the archive website. 

The idea to make video art works and films open for the public viewing online comes from the beginning. It was a very progressive thing to demonstrate and promote video art online and to have this exchange between classic and young artists and to make an international networking platform. CYLAND Video Archive is a great information and educational resource. Each year the Cyland Video Archive produces an international competition video art program for the CYFEST media art festival.

One of the tasks of the archive is to build an open and accessible collection, to protect works of art from being locked in private collections, and to prevent their technical basis from becoming outdated. The archive is structured in two parts: videos on the website with open access (artists personal pages), and the offline collection for professionals accessible at the archive office. Currently, the collection comprises over 600 videos from different countries. The collection includes video art, experimental films, computer graphics, 3D animation, stop-motion animation, poetic video, video documentation of art and education projects on cutting-edge technologies.