Johanna Billing

2 June – 14 July 2007

Exhibitions One Mile

Johanna Billing spent October 2006 living in Edinburgh and developing networks to make a new work. While in Edinburgh she became involved with members of Fence music collective and decided to collaborate with them to make the film This is How we Walk on the Moon. The film centres on the ocean and the experience of sailing. Struck by the contradiction of Edinburgh’s proximity to the North Sea and the lack of awareness of the majority of the population to it, Johanna developed a film with the musicians, who had no previous experience of sailing.

The musicians were invited to take part in a two-day sailing course on the Firth of Forth which was documented. During the film events unroll from the preparations on land through to the journey under the iconic Forth bridges to taking down the sails, the instructor’s calm directions, the students’ first awkward steps in unknown territory. She then carried this collaboration on into a music score, which was a collaborative interpretation of 'This is How we Walk on the Moon’, a song from the 1980s experimental New York-based musician Arthur Russell.

This work was made in collaboration with Johnny Lynch, Emily Roff, Joe Colliers, Jenny Gordon and Guthrie Stewart.


Music Performances, 6, 13, 20, 27 June & 4 July 2007, 8—10pm
Throughout the exhibition Billing invited Emily Roff aka Tracer Trails, a musician/sailor, to curate a series of music events that were free and open to the public. These events included Rain Cloud and Groaner, Doogie Paul and Michael Vass, Dr Gary West and Wounded Knee, and Randan Discotheque and The Wee Rogue.

Download the exhibition information here

One Mile was a three-year programme of nine projects that facilitated groups and individuals who live or work within a one mile radius of Collective, but are disadvantaged or feel excluded from the cultural life of the city centre, to collaborate with contemporary artists. The program will support the development of artworks that address the concerns, interests and needs of the groups including: Muslim women (DOSTI women’s groups and women’s circle at Edinburgh’s Central Mosque); school refusers (Working Together); young offenders (Sacro); young homeless (The Ark Trust and Moving On); and autistic students (Stevenson College).

This is an archived programme entry.

Thomas Abercromby, John, video still, 2023. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Daniel Hughes. Featured: Julia Lau and Nevil Jose.

Thomas Abercromby


21 Oct 2023 — 23 Dec 2023

Liza Sylvestre, asweetsea, video still, 2022. Courtesy of the artist.

Liza Sylvestre


21 Oct 2023 — 23 Dec 2023