The year is 2125: only enough material resources for human survival remain, and all production deemed wasteful by the authorities is banned. Since 2055, the State has undergone a process of digitising artworks in order to reuse materials, artistic production has been outlawed, and even the memory of art is fading. Since 2080, data has been produced faster than cloud spaces could be made and the digital records of creativity are under threat. However, there is a small resistance movement, comprised of transient spaces for art to exist, whether in theory, in discourse, through proposal, or temporarily. These are Echo Chambers, places where ideas reverberate, but can never leak into the outside world.
Echo Chamber is set in a dystopian future where art no longer exists. This hostile context is communicated via a counterfeit archive, which includes personal and government correspondence, newspaper clippings and a dissident manifesto – as a way of bridging the gap between today’s world and that of Echo Chamber. Collaboratively assembled, this archive defines this curatorial project through glimpses.
Echo Chamber has been created through a process of collective imagination and communicated through fragments, to be played out in a constructed setting that treads the line between reality and fiction. The imagined world is inherently incomplete; the collaborative structure is permeable and allows for many voices to speak at once. Accommodating the imaginations of the four curators, the set designer Chloe Lamford and ten contemporary artists, the trajectory shifts through an accumulative process. Notions of collective imagination and narrative fragments have been fundamental to the underlying structure of the project.
The artists inhabiting Echo Chamber participate due to their willingness to imagine with us. They are invited into a fiction, an artificial premise that they are welcome to work with or against. In possession of a scattering of fictional texts and the freedom to produce the rest of the story in real time for the duration of the exhibition, artists produce new fragments of the ever-elusive whole.
Echo Chamber allows the practice of each artist to intersect with the premise of the exhibition, picking up on constituent elements that reverberate with their own particular concerns. As curators, the act of handing over the context facilitates an open-ended dramatic response. Having imagined this fiction and created an incomplete parameter, we now hand this over to the invited artists to use as they wish.
The stage is set, the actors are ready, and now we wait for the dramas to unfold.
Occupying Echo Chamber
Friday 6 March 2015
Bedwyr Williams’ film ECHT
Saturday 7 March 2015
11.00 – 17.00
Each hour, on the hour, the curators perform The Response by Louise Hervé and Chloé Maillet
Monday 9 March 2015
Living in the Future (LITF) present Marked for Bloom, a consignment of books, diverted for redistribution.
Saturday 14 March 2015
23.45 – 04.00
Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni host Nocturnal Committee: Session 24, 14/3/2125. Ora Serrata: recovered fragments of an unbearable body (booking essential)
Tuesday 17 March to Thursday 19 March 2015
The ARKA Group create new sculptural work On Between Again
Saturday 21 March 2015
Premier: Video Instruction for the Last Sculpture by Mark Aerial Waller
Screening event: The Sons of Temperance by Mark Aerial Waller
The ARKA Group is a collaboration between Ben Jeans Houghton & Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau, based in London and Newcastle, UK. Producing films, sculptures and sound works about the stranger fringes of landscapes, psychologies and philosophical thought, their work is an exploration of the cinematic as experienced through art. The ARKA group’s recent exhibitions include the solo display ‘On Between’, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2014) and Whitstable Biennale (2014).
Bedwyr Williams lives and works in Caemarfon, Wales. Williams won the Paul Hamlyn Award for the Visual Arts in 2005, was shortlisted for the Beck’s Futures prize in 2006 he has previously represented Wales at the Venice Biennale (2013). He has exhibited nationally and internationally with solo shows including, ‘ECHT’, Glasgow International Festival, UK (2014); ‘Hotel 70º’, Mostyn, Llandudno, Wales (2014); ‘My Bad’, IKON Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2012). Group shows include ‘Primal Architecture’, IMMA, Dublin (2014); ‘ERNSTE TIERE’, Bonner Kunstverein, Germany (2011), Performa 13, New York City (2013).
Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni live and work in Paris, France. They are filmmakers and artists whose work interrogates potential forms and fictions in the ruins of the moving image. Since 2005, their productions (and occasional resistance to production) have been emanating from Terminal Beach, sometimes in alliance with other artists. Their work has been presented at numerous international film festivals, museums and art spaces. Current and recent exhibitions include a solo show ‘it took forever getting ready to exist: UIQ (the unmaking-of)’ at the The Showroom London, and group shows ‘Angels with Dirty Faces’, Les Filles du Calvaire Gallery, Paris; ‘A Screaming Comes Across the Sky, LABoral, Gijon, ‘Schizo-culture: Cracks in the Street’; Space, London; and ‘Foveal Experiments’, KHOJ, New Delhi.
Living in the Future (LITF) is a new journal of science fiction and future-oriented art and writing. With issues themed on ‘The Next Phase of Human Evolution’, ‘Apocalypses’, and ‘New Lands’ (forthcoming, 2015). In December 2014 – January 2015, LITF also ran a series of talks and reading groups called Future Polities at AutoItalia South East. Founded because, in the words of William Gibson, ‘the future’s already here, it’s just unevenly distributed’, LITF’s co-editors are Rebecca Bligh and James Hedges.
Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet live and work in Paris, France. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Nadine, Michel & Michel’, Marcelle Alix, Paris (2014); ‘Un passage d’eau’, Passarelle, Centre d’art contemporain, Brest (2014); ‘Scholar’s Rock’, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2013). They have participated in numerous group exhibitions at leading international institutions including CAC Vilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania (2014); Liverpool Biennial, UK (2014); and Modern Art Oxford, UK (2014).
Mark Aerial Waller lives and works in London. Waller makes work that integrates drawing, objects, video and live events to explore the limitations of context for interpretation, for an experience of video defined in spatial and situational terms. His many films, installations and events address questions of the encryption, transmission and interpretation of culture across time. He explores the idea of data as in-between, as the interstitial register between times and locations. His work has been seen internationally at institutions such as Tate and Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Musee D’art Moderne de la Ville De Paris; and Madre, Naples. His work is in distribution at LUX and he is represented by RODEO.
Chloe Lamford lives and works in London, UK. Lamford is currently an Associate Artist at the Royal Court Theatre, London. She received the Arts Foundation Fellowship for Design for Performance in 2013. Previous productions include ‘Atmen’ (Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin); 1984 (West End/Headlong/Almeida); ‘God Bless The Child’, ‘How To Hold Your Breath’, ‘Circle Mirror Transformation’, ‘Teh Internet is Serious Business’, ‘2071’ and ‘Open Court’ for the Royal Court Theatre; #The World of Extreme Happiness’ (National Theatre); ‘My Shrinking Life’, ‘Appointment with the Wicker Man’, ‘Knives in Hens’ (National Theatre Scotland). Lamford has also designed for The Young Vic, Donmar Warehouse, National Theatre Wales, Manchester Royal Exchange, and Sky Arts Live Drama.