Nicole Schafenacker is a writer, performer and artist-researcher. Her most recent work is an interdisciplinary project entitled Ecologies of Intimacy that has been performed in different iterations in Alberta, BC and the Yukon. She often works with devised practices and in collaboration with dancers, musicians and visual artists to create interdisciplinary work. She is the author of 13 Encounters and Fish at the Bottom of the Sea, two ‘sister’ plays that have been performed multiple times in Edmonton. Most recently she has co-edited an anthology of climate fiction, Our Entangled Future. Nicole has performed in Canada, the US and Norway. She has strong roots in Edmonton and currently lives in outside of Whitehorse in the Yukon.  

Ash Weckesser is an Edmonton, AB-based composer and interdisciplinary artist working in the fields of music, visual art and theatre. An early-career artist, her instrumental and graphic score works have premiered at the University of Alberta’s Convocation Hall through the University’s Experimental Improvisation Ensemble (“XiMe”), Contemporary Music Ensemble and Edmonton’s Ultraviolet Ensemble. A recent graduate from the University of Alberta, she has studied composition with Dr. Mark Hannesson and Dr. Scott Smallwood. Her current interests involve producing animated graphic scores, working with advanced music software such as Max/MSP, creative photography and graphic design.

Artist Statement: 
Nicole’s work explores body memory, liminal spaces at the threshold of change, intimate geographies, and relationships to place. This project centers around the choreography of offering birds nesting material. Bird populations are an indication of the overall health of our environment. Their migratory and nesting patterns reveal much about changing climate conditions. Habitat loss, longer migration distances and the stress of unpredictable and fluctuating seasonal conditions creates adversity, especially for nesting birds. This project follows the patterns that emerged from gathering found materials such as wild grasses, moss and cattails on a daily walk along a lakeshore, preparing and processing the materials into bundles, and then offering them in areas of high bird activity. The rite of spring nesting is explored through practical and ritual driven acts of offering and stewardship. This project was developed in collaboration with sound artist, Ashley Weckesser.