Gail Swanlund

The rewrite that I’ll be contributing a small part to is part of an ongoing ghost collaboration that was initiated at the Poor Farm on Vinalhaven and has been in rewrite and in an array of collaborative configurations. Of note, Devon Rewrite inquirers Arzu (who collaborated with ghosts at the Gamble House in Pasadena) and Margo have participated in this project. The Gamble House collaboration brought up questions of a former body’s access to not only the physical craft of drawing, but issues of class, work, and education.

We are experienced, committed, polite, and gentle ghost collaborators, and while there is some element of the ridiculous in this project, we are sincere and serious in our embrace of the unknown and comfortable with the uncanny.

At Devon, I am representing only one tiny component/participant/collaborator of this project. Moisture makes the cortex become more transparent; drought reveals what was once tangible, then extinct, visible.

This episode of the GHOSTWRITING project will rewrite the rewrite of this summer’s Vinalhaven collaboration with ghosts of the Poor Farm and animals/vegetables/minerals of DesignInquiry at Devon, with DIers Emily Luce and Anita Cooney (who initiated the project and performed this summer’s rewrite). Anita and Emily will be collaborating ethereally and at a distance for the Devon installment. The intention of the project is to scale up, pattern and embellish through printing and drawing a previous architectural drawing of the ghost room at the Poor Farm to “life” sized, to rewrite the form of the ghost room, simultaneous reads of activities of its former and transient contemporary inhabitants, previous configurations of the room, confirmed and unconfirmed sightings, in order to research and press the visual shape. If, by thinking or remembering something, we rewrite that thought. What might the rewrite look like in tangible—and not quite sensible—form? What kind of form can simultaneous and/or passive collaboration through time take? Or not. Maybe this rewrite is more about disappearance and extinction.