Itinerant Assembly was a six-month programme of events which investigates the productive potential of temporary togetherness, through initiating collaborations of people in real and virtual space. This project was informed by an understanding that today nomadic modes of living and working, whether forced or desired, are ubiquitous within global cities like London. This includes both the displacement of people due to rapid urban redevelopment; and hyper-mobile lifestyles, whereby digital technology allows some people to live and work on the move, forming networked and mobile communities of people across different countries and time zones.
Itinerant Assembly comprised five 'assemblies', describing participatory events which grew in scale over the course of the project and investigated four central questions:
What does it mean to inhabit the temporary?
Where do we find the local, when we are constantly on-the-move?
Who forms our community, when we exist inside a global network?
And what does it mean to be an artist in today’s digitalised and nomadic world?
The first assembly was a series of projective interviews between the curators and Gasworks artists in residence, intended to develop a shared understanding of the affect of itinerancy on artist practice; the second a Reading Troupe with Berlin-based artist Emma Haugh, exploring Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zone; and the third, a movement workshop with artist duo They Are Here and dancer Thiru Seelan to study how movement affects thinking and vice versa.
The fourth assembly was titled 'hollow tongues', and comprised a virtual reality (VR) installation housed inside a real-reality (RR) immersive installation in the Gasworks Participation Room, by artist group (play)ground-less, whose four internationally-located members work together online. Developed with virtual reality designers, Werkflow, and using software which allowed them to upload new artworks to the VR environment in real time, (play)ground-less were able to virtually and collectively 'install' the work together over the course of one week with the VR as a live, publicly accessible, space of making. The artists simultaneously performed live into the RR space, speaking through a live audio stream, so that every visitor's experience was entirely different from the previous.
Throughout the project, the research produced by each assembly was documented and distilled in the form of a graphic manual: this describes the process of the assembly, and enables the user to reactivate the assembly at a later date, therefore enabling the project to have an ongoing life. This research was explored by the fifth and final assembly, the Hackpad event, which took place not only at Gasworks but also Green Rooms artist hotel and Second Home co-working space, over the course of one evening. The nucleus of the Hackpad event was a live text-based panel discussion between invited internationally-based architects, artists, scholars and creative practitioners including Lina Hermsdorf, Nora Khan, Bo Zheng, Ben Vickers, Anne de Boer & Eloïse Bonneviot, Shumi Bose, Alice Bucknell, Giselle Beiguelman and Salvatore Iaconesi. This conversation took place online, and was physically streamed and projected into each of the three venues where artists (play)ground-less (Gasworks), Jane Frances Dunlop & Mira Loew (Green Rooms) and Luli Perez (Second Home) responded to the conversation through live performance.
School of Humanities
MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2017
+44 (0)7792 334796
Curating Contemporary Art
My research focuses upon the responsibility of curatorial practice to invoke a grounding of the human within the new subject position that has emerged as a result of the current environmental era, defined as the ‘Anthropocene’. Through its etymology, the Anthropocene incorporates all humanity across the entire globe, whose ecological crises are so vast that we now experience a sense of paralysing dislocation: groundlessness. Meanwhile, the division between the sphere of humanity and that of nature persists, enabling perpetual movement toward an ever more technologically advanced society, in spite of its damaging influences. To traverse this gulf between the natural world and human experience, it is necessary for the traditionally opposed fields of the sciences and the arts to collaborate, with the latter able to sensorially communicate the complex relationships between the human and the Anthropocene. This thesis has been developed through my RCA MA dissertation, ‘Interrogating Groundlessness: Curatorial Response and Responsibility in the Anthropocene’, which acts as a written prologue to an ongoing practice: working in an interdisciplinary mode and narrowing perspective to consider local contexts, in order to enable a re-grounding.
This interest in the ethical standpoint of curatorial practice derives from my artist background, as I identify the key contrast between my artistic and curatorial practices as less related to form than mediatory responsibility to the audience. With this, comes a rejection of the figure of the star curator, dis-located practices and mega-exhibition-making. Due to this assertion, my current curatorial practice involves close collaboration with artists by which to develop performance-based, immersive and participatory works which contest the division between artwork and audience, re-focus upon the experience of the body in space and therefore act to communicate the position of humans in relation to the Anthropocene.
- 1:1 BA Fine Art, Birmingham City University, 2012
- Co-Curator Diep~Haven 2018 Arts Festival, East Sussex & Dieppe, Dec 2016 - Present; Judging Panel , International Design and Communication Awards at Communicating the Museum, Montreal, Nov 2016; Freelance Arts Journalist, Clients include Aesthetica, Apollo & Artsy, London & International, July 2012 - Present; Exhibitions Coordinator, Annie Leibovitz ‘WOMEN: New Portraits’ World Tour, UBS, London, Dec 2015 - May 2016; BBC Liaison Assistant, Royal Academy of Arts, London, March 2014 - June 2015; Press Officer, Royal Academy of Arts, London, July - Dec 2014; Gallery Representative, All Visual Arts at Frieze Art Fair, London July - Oct 2012; Gallery Assistant, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Oct 2009 - May 2012
- (play)ground-less: hollow tongues by Itinerant Assembly, Gasworks, London, 2017; Uni~Verse by Anouska Beckwith, Palm Tree Gallery, London, 2016; Ritual by World Wide Women, The Cob Gallery, London, 2014
- Louisa Anne Ryland Travel Scholarship, 2012; New Art West Midlands Award 2012; Converse x Dazed & Confused Emerging Artist 2012