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. 

CYFEST 13, St. Petersburg, 2021

The show was in November, 2021, before all hell broke loose. And the catalogue just came out, June 2022.

Image from the CYFEST 13 catalogue showing gallery installation of my web-based essay , “Drift”

Cecilia Dougherty (USA)
DRIFT
web-based art, 2020

“Drift” tells the story of a walk the artist took in March, 2020, along the North Shore of Staten Island, NY, just as it was beginning to dawn on people that
leisurely strolls might be a bad idea at the present moment. The project
was created using basic HTML/CSS coding, and the images were taken
with an iPhone. The artist takes a final stroll through favorite parts of her neighborhood before lockdown.

Descriptions of the surroundings and a chronicle of events of the pandemic are mixed with critical thoughts on virus capitalism, such as the experience of
resisting the virus in the USA and the inaction of the Trump administration.


I like the way my piece, Drift, is displayed – it’s a good size – not gigantic and not tiny, and it’s at a height and an angle that looks pretty accessible to me. Thank you, CYFEST!

Find Drift here: https://drift.ceciliadougherty.com/

Ride

The ferry, the bus, the subway. Walk, too. Walk around the neighborhood in the early morning hours, especially, when few people are up and about and you can occasionally take off your mask and enjoy the air, the colors of dawn, and the fragrance of the fall.

Announcing the launch of my new web-based essay, RIDE, about what it feels like being in public and being on public transit in New York. A complete environment for daydreaming, people-watching, and finding your place, your role, in the city.

Click the link below!

Ride is here.


“Excavating Humanity” a review of Time Before Memory, my interactive story!!! by Tony Huffman. Thank you, Tony.

Arcade Project reviews Time Before Memory

Review by Tony Huffman. Here’s an excerpt:

Interweaving archaeological evidence with speculative fiction, Cecilia Dougherty’s web-based drama Time Before Memory (2019) interrogates the origins of our species and prompts reflection on its present state. Set during the Paleolithic Age (29,900-40,000 years ago) the multimedia play unfolds in three acts, each containing an indefinite number of scenes. The multimedia work was created with Twine — an open-source, engaging story generation platform — and combines elements of video games, literature, photography, and video. The tension between individual autonomy versus collective action, alongside interrelated issues of land, migration, and competition, is a major theme throughout Time Before Memory. Given such motifs, Dougherty’s inventive work of electronic literature resonates in our immediate moment, one marked by toxic individualism, scarcity of resources, and widespread fear stoked by nativist rhetoric. 

Read the entire review HERE – it’s a really good read. Tony Huffman understands this piece.

Experience Time Before Memory HERE.

https://www.arcadeprojectzine.com/features/excavating-humanity

CYFEST-13, St. Petersburg, Russia 2021

Empire Outlets Mall, St. George, Staten Island

FESTIVAL of new digital art of all kinds, from web-based art, generative art, GIF to augmented reality, VR, AI, 3D modeling, neural network art.

My new web-narrative, Drift, is now part of CYFEST (CYBERFEST) – 13. CHECK IT OUT!

The above image is of the new Empire Outlets Mall on the North Shore in St. George, Staten Island. The North Shore is the setting for Drift.

image by artist Ellen K. Levy for Cyfest
Ellen K. Levy (USA), Crying Astronaut, 2019, CYFEST-13

CHAOS AND COSMOS, Cyfest-13 Theme

Today, fundamental changes are taking place on our planet, and our entire lifestyle is being re-examined. We’re seeing other forms of life existing in what feels like a parallel universe – which we used not pay such close attention to – now invade our lives. Such inalienable rights as freedom of movement, meeting friends, socializing, and saying our last farewells have suddenly become impossible. The pandemic caught us unaware. Like in Noah’s Ark, we are locked up with our families and pets, or on our own as we move towards a new technogenic life. Virtual reality has suddenly crept into our lives and is asserting its rights. Social networks are becoming the only form of contact with the outside world, with friends and family. If personal QR-codes contain all the information about a person, including biological data, then where will the boundary of state interference in our private lives be? Perhaps, this crucible of changes will change society and our everyday reality drastically, help us to shed the unnecessary and superficial things in life, and to gain a better understanding of ourselves and the people around us.
–theme description from the Cyfest/Cyland site

Long List:

  1. Francesca Fini (Italy), /S)CONFINAMENTO — first chapter, 2020
  2. Cecilia Dougherty (USA), Drift, 2020
  3. Aristarkh Chernyshev (Russia), Dystopia #02, 2018
  4. Ellen K. Levy (USA), Crying Astronaut, 2019
  5. Arina Slobodianik (Russia), Isolation / Urban / Zone, 2020
  6. Hayashi Yuki (Japan), Cells and Glass, 2020 
  7. Mikhail Zheleznikov (Russia), Souvenir from America, 2020
  8. Guilherme Bergamini (Brazil), Plenitude / Entirety, 2020 
  9. Olga Kisseleva (France), Conquistadors, 2018
  10. Jonathan Phanhsay-Chamson (France), 1000 dreams: Zenti the invincible, 2019
  11. Andréa Stanislav (USA), Zero Gravity — Nostalgia for Earth, 2020
  12. Fay Heady (Japan), Otaku Boi, 2019
  13. Phyllis Baldino (USA), Run the gamut, 2020
  14. Terry Trickett (UK), Passeggiata, 2019
  15. Prantik Basu (India), Palace of Colours, 2019 
  16. TONOPTIK (Yuriy Tolstoguzov, Alex Inkov) (Russia), Zen, 2019
  17. Boris Shershenkov (Russia), Etheroforming, 2020

MORE NEWS ON THIS COMING UP AS THE FESTIVAL SHAPES UP.