In June, 2017 place-based performance installation, "A Steady & Irresistible Wind" was presented at the West Central Research & Outreach Center (WCROC) Horticultural Display Garden for the Rural Arts & Cultural Summit at U of M, Morris.
StIrWind is words, wind, song and sound turning over the layers of this land, known once as the Morris Indian School (1887), the West Central School of Agriculture (1910), the University of Minnesota, Morris (1960 - present). Bethany is joined by spoken word artist, Thomas LeBlanc Sr. Tatanka Ohitika (Strong Buffalo), poet and songwriter, Ben Weaver, members of the Twin Cities Sacred Harp Singers, The Prairie Fire Ladies Choir, local musicians, UMM students and special assistance from the MN Kite Society and Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
“I’ve read the integration recommendations and while I know its a rule we can't rewrite DNA strands I also believe all creatures attach to those strands generational instructions, urges, warnings and tendencies that are passed down to their children post birth. I was thinking about this and whether this time I should comb, curl or cut. I stepped outside, looking for a barber. The building faced north against a steady and irresistible wind approaching gale force. I held my hair out of my eyes and started walking.”
I am a Korean adoptee raised on Dakota land by 3rd generation Norwegian/Swedish immigrants. In this place I spend a lot of time surrounded by the wind, walking through swirling prairie grasses, flying kites and singing to the clouds.
UMM’s rural setting was appealing to me. Charmed by their omnipresent turbines and wildflower display garden I learned about their agricultural programs, sustainable farming research and experimental renewable energy studies in wind and solar power. What I found among those I interviewed was not just an educational mission but a passionate and personal vow of stewardship to the land.
In the same place I read documents from over 100 years ago outlining renaming policies, punitive measures for misbehavior, integration recommendations, the initiation process of admittance into the school. I reacted strongly, with recognition. This system of integration was evident in the remnants of my own adoption. Whatever methods of assimilation were carried out here, while it may not have been where those methods originated, and indeed not where they ceased, it was a place where they most certainly took hold.
A sound & performance installation
by Bethany Lacktorin
RAC Summit 2017
Preshow happenings on
Tue, June 6th on campus
Wed, June 7th on campus
Revolving performance on
Wednesday, June 7th at
WCROC Horticultural Display Garden