Working Artists Lab with Dara Friedman and River Hill

Dara Friedman working in dirt outside, with other people and equipment.

In collaboration with Associate Professor Maria S. Horne’s TH423/TH540 classes, UB Departments of Art, Indigenous Studies, Theatre and Dance, Silo City

Lab intensive: September 2-October 22, 2022

at Katharine Cornell Theatre at University at Buffalo and Silo City, Buffalo

Specifically, this course aims to bring together a “company” of students. Company here is understood as a group of students who come together, united with a shared purpose to work, learn, provide friendship and enjoyment in sight of fulfilling a shared purpose. The shared purpose of this course is to deepen our understanding and commitment to conflict resolution. We will be using the below noted modalities to collectively learn how to navigate blockages, perceived or otherwise, to heal and gain wisdom in our relationships: personal, interpersonal, and with the world at large. At the same time, the course itself is an artwork, a Gesamtkustwerk, created from our collective parts.

The focus and second classroom of this course will be centered around the creation of a labyrinth, River Hill, at Silo City under the care and guidance of ecologist Josh Smith. The hill will become a highly attractive, hardy and fine smelling pollinator garden transforming the post-industrial site at Silo City, consisting of a 1,450 ft long path mowed through introduced yarrow. The intention of River Hill is to be an active monument used for positive transformation and growth. The design of this labyrinth is a confluence of the striking meander of the Buffalo Creek, Silo City’s location, and ancient, sacred Ariadne style labyrinth design. As a filmmaker Dara understands the physical movement through the labyrinth as a movie of sorts with the potential for an emotional development or shift. The saying goes, “It’s a movie. Make it move.”