Kelly Large and Flora Parrott
V22, Forest Hill
Friday 25 – Sunday 27 August, 2017
The project is a Basecamp: it is a place of anticipation and sense of something yet to happen. Taking the literal, geographical encampment as a format, the research undertaken in Basecamp explores ideas and experiences of expectancy, tension, team dynamics, boredom, excitement, waiting and possibility.
It draws parallels between the process of research and encounter between people and things, that takes place on an actual physical expedition, and the searching and investigation that takes place in other types of holding space, such as archives, collections and libraries.
If you enter an archive with no real sense of purpose, more just an instinct that there is something you need in there, how do you begin to search? How do items buried deep in storage call to you and make themselves legible to your search? Which keywords do you use? How do you decipher the list of finds? How do you maintain a sense of purpose?
Whether objects, papers, code, ideas or sounds the items held in physical and online archives, collections and libraries emerge as significant through user interaction. In time spent studying, handling and simply being with an item it takes on presence, revealing itself intimately to the user. This process of inter-relational transmission both alters the thing that is engaged with and transforms the user too.
In the intimate moment of beholding an object, it is possible to feel its significance as a physical energy, an aura or charismatic force. There is an imperceptible tingling in the air. It’s this ineffable magnetism that we are interested in pursuing in Basecamp.
We are starting with a constellation of thoughts and references drawn from various collections and archives that might include: charisma – as the amplification of the ‘self’ to a public, as institutional power, as material or human magnetism; cultish behaviour; the invisible, the overlooked and the unknown; subject-object relations; feedback loops, repetition and amplification; and team dynamics.
Specialists and drop-in visitors will be invited as part of the expedition team to contribute to the research at ‘work stations’ in the basecamp. Over the course of three days we will work together to physically manifest the research and discussion in the space, using diagrams, maps, tasks and props to make sense of the ideas and produce interlinking of loops of thought and action.