It sounds like the premise for an artsy version of The Real World: the true story of eight artists from around the country—and the world—chosen to live together on a remote island and have their work documented to see what happens when people stop being polite and start producing real, nature-inspired art.

Or, as Nacogdoches, Texas-based photographer Robbie Lacomb puts it: "It's a big multimedia presentation."

That presentation is The Tides Project, a venture that incorporates music, film, art and poetry into a live, cross-platform event held this Sunday at the Institute of American Indian Arts' LTC Auditorium. 

Lacomb calls the collective work developed over a sequestered period of five weeks last summer "pretty remarkable."

"It's the place in all of the world that has both the highest and the lowest tides," the photog says of the location, Great Cranberry Island in Maine. "We were living on location and responding to nature as it was dictated by those tides," she says.

The result is images like "Lightscape" (At Top).

"The water is relatively still—no crashing waves or anything like that," the imagemaker says. "There wouldn't be a lot of shadows, but yes, reflections of other things in the water."

Captivated by the "arresting" beauty of the setting, Lacomb, a self-professed non-morning person, would get up at 4:30 am to snap shots of the tide at dawn.

"It's like a continually changing abstract painting," she says of the fluid subject.

In keeping with the theme, some of the works, Lacomb says, will be presented inside a clamshell-shaped box.

Ann Filemyr, one of the three Santa Fe artists in the project—and also an academic dean at IAIA—warns audiences to prepare for a multisensory experience.

"Expect to see an interesting experiment of image, text and music; the three elements are equally present," she says.

The natural setting, the poet explains, fueled participants' creative process, resulting in an ad hoc, artistic grab bag.

"We're bringing the North Atlantic to our high mesa," Filemyr adds.

The Tides Project
2-4 pm, Sunday, March 17. Free.
IAIA campus. 83 Avan Nu Po Road, 424-2300