Remote studio dates is a series of conversations with artists, curators and researchers to document and explore coping mechanisms for isolation in the current health crisis. Each date focuses on one work, project, concept or dream, with digressions and slippages, without the need of ending somewhere but with the desire of opening something up.

This iteration is a guest feature of Episode 7 of The Silver Stream, a monthly radio show created and hosted by visual artist and writer Byzantia Harlow on Soho Radio’s Culture Channel. The Silver Stream is a journey through ideas in collaboration with invited guests, using artworks, writing and music as navigation points within a stream of consciousness. It also features a regular segment from writer and curator Charlie Mills who responds to the episode theme each month plus art recommendations for the month from writer and curator Hector Campbell. 

Byzantia Harlow, Lunar Water Tarot – still from performance (2020)

Byzantia Harlow’s practice (which spans sculpture, installation, performance, video and her radio show) draws on her interest in faith, belief, trust, ritual, replication and the gap between real experience and artificial effect/affect.

Episode 7 of The Silver Stream, entitled A Voyage, is a montage of Skype chats & Voice Notes compiled by Harlow from her time in quarantine, wondering how we can begin to process our new reality. It features a variety of voices united by some common themes. 

Jungian Psychoanalyst Paolo Guidi discusses Group Trauma. Psychotherapist Alejandra Sarmiento advises on navigating anxiety. Intuitive Empath Eileen McGowan gives perspectives on Ascension. Psychics Hope Tarot Daily & New Path Tarot suggest using this time to make positive change. Greek Orthodox Monk & Priest Father Neilos discusses isolation from his Monastery. School Teacher Annabel Levin addresses Self Care. The extracts are interlaced with chats with friends, family & other artists. 

Two sound works were created for the episode, a crystal bowl session from Holistic Healer Sonia Anderson & an exclusive piece from Artist Laima Leyton.

We hear Harlow attempting to reach out to a love interest live on air on his radio show, receiving a frosty response, as well as a conversation with her 90 year old Italian Grandmother. Conversations with her father, a retired Jungian Psychoanalyst and Psychiatrist underpin the episode and Harlow’s ex-therapist is even included, offering her advice on anxiety. This audio is presented between Skype chats with YouTube Tarot Readers and other members of the spiritual community who Harlow came into contact with through her artistic research, in particular her online research that informs her performance project Lunar Water Tarot

Lunar Water Tarot investigates intersections between true experience, constructed encounter and embellished recollection, through the practice of online fortune telling. For Harlow the Internet can be seen as the new sublime, limitless and awe inspiring, connecting us through space and time – a growing brain that feeds itself, a giant crystal ball predicting our next moves, as well as reflecting back the collective unconscious.  

Throughout the time of lockdown, she has been working on a new set of Self Care Oracle Card paintings using advice that has come through from her Skype readings for people. Her latest Lunar Water Tarot performance titled The Stars and Melusina: What needs to be HEALED? uses these painted cards to deliver self care messages from the artist’s bathtub. Lunar water Tarot always includes re-staged elements taken from Harlow’s research as well as personal readings she has received from psychics and fellow tarot readers. The performance is humorous in tone and designed to uplift as well as highlight the staged aspect of online pick-a-card fortune telling. However, for Harlow, truth can always be found within fiction and she states ‘if the message resonates it was meant for you’. Harlow’s alter ego ‘Aleris’, who she plays in the performances, states  ‘the best way to create the future is to predict the future … oh no that’s the wrong way round, … the best way to PREDICT the future is to is to CREATE the future’.

Byzantia Harlow, Lunar Water Tarot (2020)

You can find all past radio episodes, and the latest episode entitled A Burden of Dreams, on Harlow’s website as well as on Soho Radio. Lunar Water Tarot performances can be found on her Youtube Channel or her website. Contact Harlow on Instagram for a free personal tarot reading during lockdown @byzantiaharlow

Link to all past radio episodes: http://www.byzantiaharlow.com/radio/

Byzantia Harlow

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