Texts, Talks, Research and Publishing
(updated November 2015)
Centre of Centres (CoC)- Launch 2015
The exhibition at Objectif (see over) marks the launch of the Centre of Centres (CoC), which will be dedicated to the excavation of artist-led collectives, organisations and institutions. Over an exploratory period of a year (November 2015–November 2016), CoC will undertake research into various collective artistic manifestations in Antwerp, Belgium and beyond. CoC will be emblematised by an industrial kiosk, customised by White, which will travel to various locations in and around the city. From November 2015–January 2016, the bright orange CoC kiosk will be sited in the courtyard of Objectif, before it launches on its peripatetic journey. Come and take a look...
Geo-aesthetics in an Anthropocenic World
Cultures of the Anthropocene. 4.9.2015
In this discussion of artistic research practices, Neal White will first discuss his ongoing fascination with large scale sensing networks. Examining existing and new sensor networks, White examines what Ryan Bishop has referred to as a 'long cold war’ in which sensing seismic activity and molecular detection are leading cultural practitioners into a re-imagining a collective experience of global scale scientific and military systems. Driven in part by ongoing research into deep time and the concept of contingency, the discussion examines the critical importance of the ‘anthropocene’ in framing new cultural practices.
HyperSensor, Wysing, Cambridge. 2015
A new project with Office of Experiments, including Rob Smith and Anna Troisi. For more information see the video on Vimeo.
NEUSCHLOSS/ Das Träuman
Tuesday 21 April 2015 / 19.00 - 21.00
BALTIC, Gateshead, Level 3
FREE / Booking Essential
A group of artists, writers and curators working with or at Northumbria University, will present Das Träumen within the Rhoades’ installation The Creation Myth; a work described by Ingrid Schaffner in the exhibition publication as a “model of the artist’s brain at work”.
Politics and Practices of Secrecy.
Institute of Noth American Studies,
Kings Colllege, London.
Roundtable 2: Aesthetics of the Secret
• John Beck: 'Photography’s Open Secret'
• Neal White: 'Secrecy and Art in Practice'
• Clare Birchall: 'Art "After" Snowden'
The Experiment. Royal College of Art.
Critical and Historical Studies. March 6th 2015
Guest Lecture with Maya Oppenheimer, Ben Cook, Frances Morgan and Jenny Hodgson.
The Imaginary Archive, Whitechapel Gallery.
29th January 2015
Neal White, whose work from 2004 The Third Campaignis included in the show, artist Paul Becker, whose research interests include fictional histories and Sue Breakell, Archivist and Research Fellow at the University of Brighton Design Archives, who has a particular interest in the theory and practice of archives in visual arts contexts. The panel will be chaired by Nayia Yiakoumaki.
NOIT 2 Launch 20th June 2014
Ongoing research testing the ideas of Latham in contemporary context have recently included a number of skoob performances undertaken in and around Portikus. NOIT 2 features a DVD record of these works.
Order NOIT 2.
Lecture 6th May 2014.
Art as Event: John Latham and Flat Time Theory.
Introduction by Neal White to Lathams' key concerns in terms of time and its relation to art. Followed by a Skoob Performance.
A Report from the Field.
Data Flows and the open field
Eleonore, Linz, Austria
Lisa Haskell and Neal White spent a week for Office of Experiments aboard the Eleonore, on the Danube with new found friends, Donautics. A curated residency programmed by Armin Medosch and Stadtwerkstadt, Linz.
Or listen to a new audio experiment for Austrian Art Radio. Listen
Recent Talks & Tours
The Portland Experiments
Friday 11th October
As part of an event organised by b-side, Office of Experiments led a tour around Portland in Dorset. A mini version of the Secrets of Portland Tour we had already done with Big Picture, we started inside the Verne, a high security prison inside a citadel where the Sympoosium was based. We then visited a number of locations, taking in a lecture from the staff of the MOD QinetiQ magentic resonance site at Portland Bill and a site visit to the former Underwater Defence Research Establishment.
On Not Knowing/ How Artists Think
Whitechapel Gallery, London
Panelists Sarah Cole, Lizzie Fisher, Rebecca Fortnum, Ian Kiaer and Neal White explore how artists use strategies of ‘not knowing’ and discuss whether engaging with the unknown is a critical component of the creative process
Intoart Live Archive event
Friday 2nd August 2013
Presentations of current research and workshops led by Intoart, alongside contributors Allison Foster (Tate Archives), Neal White (Office of Experiments) and Ntiense Eno Amooquaye (Intoart)
Chapters in three recent publications and an entry in a new Journal have kept me busy exploring issues that I have encountered on my projects and in relation to research, knowledge and the expanded archive. If you want to read the texts, do order a copy from your local bookseller or ask your local librarian.
FTHo and Camberwell Press are launching the new creative journal, NOIT. Comprised of new writing, artists’ contributions and original research, NOIT will explore the theoretical concerns and artwork of John Latham and their continued relevance. The first issue, NOIT–1 JL: Time-based Portraits is guest edited by curator and researcher Antony Hudek. For the introductory issue, Hudek invited 43 contributors who knew John Latham or are familiar with his work to remember an episode or incident involving the artist, his art or ideas.
Experimental Systems in Artistic Research
The experimental approach of science applied to artistic research.
We don’t know what we don’t know. This makes it difficult to imagine research that will produce truly new knowledge. In the sciences, the experimental approach has proved its worth in generating what subsequently requires understanding. Can the emergent field of artistic research be inspired by recent thinking about the history and workings of science? How can artists engage with experimentation to extend artistic values and deliver future knowledge?
In this book fourteen contemporary artists, musicians, and theorists engage with Hans-Jörg Rheinberger’s widely studied theory of experimental systems in an effort to determine how experimentation can productively be put to work in the arts. An interview with Rheinberger himself probes research as a potentially shared space between the otherwise different activities of art and science. Read More
On Not Knowing
On Not Knowing brings together contemporary artists and thinkers from a range of disciplines to explore the role of ‘not knowing’ within the creative process. The state of ‘not knowing’ or engaging with the unknown is an important aspect in the making process, with artists often balancing a strong sense of direction with a more playful or meditative state of exploration and experimentation. Read More
All This Stuff
All This Stuff: Archiving the Artist explores the documentation of the creative process. From their different viewpoints, fifteen leading artists, archivists and art historians, reflect on ways that artists and archivists deal with ‘all this stuff’, and how artists manage and relate to their own archives.
Introduced by Clive Phillpot, All This Stuff includes artists and writers such as Gustav Metzger, Bruce McLean, Barbara Steveni, John Latham, Barry Flanagan, Edward Burra, Penelope Curtis and Neal White. Read More
Experimental Ruins updates;
Office of Experiments worked with participants on a map of our critical excursion project. The limited edition map, designed by Luce Choules is now available from The Arts Catalyst here. A one page report by Michael Hampton; "Letter from the M4" - a report on the critical excursion is available in Art Monthly's March 2013 Edition.
New Exhibitions and Research Residencies are forthcoming in 2013-14 in Austria and Latvia. More News to follow.
A new Chapter: Experiments in the Expanded Field of the Archive will be published as part of All this Stuff; Archiving the Artist. Published by Libri March 2013. A launch party with screenings will take place at White Cube Gallery, Bermondsey 23rd May 2013. Pre-order here
The Individual and the Organisation: Artist Placement Group 1966-79 took place at Raven Row Gallery between 27 September to 16 December 2012. As former Director of O+I and researcher in the APG Archive, this meant taking part in three interrelated events; Education: Not Knowing; Planning the Future of the Art School with UAL Chelsea, an evening exploring The Politics of the Archive, a planning day with curator Antony Hudek and former members of O+I to plan the next move.
Office of Experiments is pleased to announce its cooperation and support for a new long term project: The Temporal School of Experimental Geography. TSOEG is being coordinated by peripatetic collaborator Luce Choules. More news to follow.
Coming out of the shadows of Experimental Geography is not easy, but there is an interview about this work here: we-make-money-not-art. An interview with Regine Debatty about Experimental Ruins - see over, will also be available on resonance.fm soon
Further UK and US research into Deep Time Contingency is part of ongoing work of the planned auto-destructive Department of Catastrophe. More news to follow
Congratulatons to Office of Experiments collaborator and CLUI program manager Steve Rowell who has landed the Creative Capital award. Uncanny Sensing, Remote Valleys will unfold in sites across the US over the next two years.
AAG - Association of American Geographers, New York, New York - Feb 2012. Speaking on the International panel; Ruinations; Violence, snafu and porn, developed with Detroit Unreal Estate Agency and Dr Angela Last (UCL). With Steve Rowell, Office of Experiments is also planning a tour of Governers Island. Further work is being developed with a critical art space in NY for 2012-3. More news to follow.
Critical Dictionary - David Evans. Black Dog Publishing. Office of Experiments features in this new publication edited by David Evans. "Inspired by Georges Bataille's critical dictionary, the project strives to declassify terms in a playful manner emphasizing the open-ended, the provisional and the unfinished nature of language."
Black Dog Publishing, 2011 Softcover 192 pages Fully Illustrated, colour ISBN: 9781907317491
Studies for a Catalogue: a Study for an Exhibition of Violence in Contemporary Art(Reprise 1964/2011). New work taken from the residency at CLUI featured in the exhibition and publication project by Mathieu Copeland at Flat Time House. July 2011 - with the longest list of International Artists... in facsimile... To download the publication - go to repriseme.com
Again A Time Machine. Spike Island 16th Spetember- (9th october). This exhibition featued excerpts from the Bookworks commissioned 'Ott's Sneeze' as part of Bookworks own self-archived exhibition project.
Secrets of Portland - Field Experiments in Nature, May 2011 - took place in May. A spatially mediated one day field guide led a group of 36 in an exploration of sites and spaces that revealed a darker side of Portland's (Dorset, UK) experimental history. More information will be available soon through the Office of Experiments. See over.
Gordon Matta Clark, Trisha Browne and Laurie Anderson. Exploring the Downtown Scene. Ideal Spaces with Recreational Rec at Barbican Gallery, 24th March 2011. A talk on Sites and Scenes. I took part this in event to explore the notion of a 'scene' as an event structure. Drawing on between spaces the talk started by drawing links between Matta-Clark's 'fake estates' project and the 'betweens' a format exploited by APG and , developed Jurgen Harten at Dusseldorf Kunstkalle in the 1960/70's.
Where is Heidenheim Continues...
This project focusing on the anomaly which resides around the globalisation of local news, continues with newspapers taking part from all over the world including Utah - USA, Limerick, - Ireland, Imphal - Manipur India, Beirut - Lebano and Namibia. As both public art inside and outside lcoal papers, our sign has been moved around Heidenheim and now resides on the facade of our partner, the local newspaper Heidehenheim Zietung, and 217 locals have complained it is crooked (it's because of the pigeons - see pic right)!
Art and the Secret State - CRASSH, Cambridge University. 4th-5th February 2011
As part of a panel entitled 'Exhibiting Ideology', my paper 'Exploring Dark Places' examined the relationship between experimental sites and work undertaken in the Overt Research Project. Specifically, the paper examines the role of experimentation in the work I have made, and moves onto explore how cultures of secrecy give rise to rumour and speculation to inform an imaginary that extends the logic of that which is concealed, classified or undisclosed. In terms of speaking truth to power, Trevor Paglens engrossing presentation alongside my own contrasted interstingly with the anecdotal observations of keynote speaker Sir Richard Dearlove - former head of MI6. See I am NOT a WAR Artist below.
Modern British Sculpture, Royal Academy , Catalogue 22 January – 7 April 2011
Two of my drawings taken from a parasite archive from 2004 appear in the catalogue of the new Royal Academy exhibition. Taken from 'The Third Campaign' with Henry Moore Institute in 2004-5, the project highlighted the infamous series of Jacob Epstein's destroyed public sculptures on the BMA Building on the Strand, London, re-igniting a debate around ruination as the impulse of heritage.Royal Academy of Arts, London (31 Jan 2011) ISBN-10: 1905711727 ISBN-13: 978-1905711727
Art as Research - Interview with Armin Medosch for Austrian Radio 13 December 2010
"Hören Sie einen Auszug aus der Ö1 Sendung "Radiokolleg – Kunst als Forschung" zum
Thema"Werkstätten neuen Wissens (Teil 1)" von Armin Medosch vom Montag, 13. Dezember 2010 um 09:30 Uhr in oe1.ORF.at".
Dark Places - ORD Launch, Arts Catalyst, London - 9th December 2010
Overt Research Database was launched at the new Arts Catalyst project space. The website is a resource of Office of Experiments, and currently focuses upon the UK Dark Places Field Guide to the South, but will also include the next stage of the Overt Research Project - Experimental Ruins being developed in and around the London Orbital. Tours will start later in the year with support from Arts Catalyst. Register, participate, research!
INK at UCL , London - The Redactor - 16th December 2010
I spent a pleasant day as live respondent working with Simon Gould at the INK show at UCL in London. I invited visitors to 'redact' an intimate and consequential personal secret, for further public display. In addition, the Mike Kenner Archive was available for reference, and a discussion about the Redactor, Office of Experiments paper for Apexart - New York, ensued.
Experiment at Whitechapel Gallery for Sally O'Reilly - Nov - December 2010
Following an invitation from Sally O'Reilly (critic, founder of Brown Mountain College, and writer in residence at Whitechapel Gallery) I took a chance to re-stage part of an earlier experiment from 2003-6, in her series of workshops at Whitechapel exploring issues in her publication 'The Body in Contemporary Art'. Based on an incident which was part of an infamous Yves Klein event in 1958, this consensual form of self-experimentation was conducted over two separate events. Fun and games, and blue pee!
Experimental Fieldwork, RCA & Wysing- 16th December 2010
Project Leader running an Experimental Fieldwork session for Royal College of Art MA in Curating Contemporary Art as part of Ways and Means, an Arts Council funded Retreat event. Wysing Arts Centre. 6-10th December 2010.
Militant Tendancy? Firstsite / Imperial War Museum I am NOT a War Artist (Part 2) Nov 2010
For the second time, I was shortlisted to act as an Imperial War Museum artist. Whilst being shortlisted to the last two a few years back, when I was not appointed (I am under the impression dropping portable artist studios for local war artists in conflict zones was politically just too difficult!), this time, I travelled to meet the 16th Air Assault Battalion, in Essex and along with other UK artists, facilitated by the rigorous staff at firstsite in Colchester, was able to make enquiries around the posting in Sangin, Afghanistan. Given the embedded nature of this position, my work around military and secret spaces and that I would have to sign the UK's Official Secrets Act, I declined the final interview for the position.
Experimental Proving Grounds of Coast and Sea,
Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset, UK.
A micro-exhibition was curated from the Office of Experiments Archives and online resources as part of the exibition 'ExLab' at Bridport Arts Centre. This micro-exhibition drew on the Mike Kenner Archive and a focus on experiments conducted in and around Lyme Bay, Weymouth. The Critical Excursion 'Secrets of Portland - Field Experiments in Nature' will further extend this project. May 2011.
Experimental Society, Peter Stott Gallery, Lancaster University
The Mike Kenner Archive (ARC) of Office of Experiments appears in the exhibition that accompanies Experimental Society, the final part of the Experimentality conferences at Lancaster University. More
Experimental Ruins , UCL / EPSRC Workshop, London
Office of Experiments run a workshop on 'Experimental Ruins' with Dr. Gail Davis at UCL Department of Geography. More
Neal White presents ongoing work and theory on the body and place as 'sites of experimentation' at the Experimentality Conference, Lancaster University. More
Apexart, New York 6/1/2010
Neal White working with Office of Experiments launches this intermitent periodical. The Redactor is an explores erased organisms, land and ongoing struggles with state censorship. Featuring work from
Rich Pell, Jenny Holzer, Steve Rowell, and an extensive interview with Mike Kenner on staying under the radar. More
Residency - Centre for Land Use Interpretation continues. April 2010
Neal Whites ongoing resiency at CLUI's Wendover site in Utah continues with research into Smithon Spiral Jetty, and an investigation of Land as Laboratory - with a new film being based around the Millard County Cosmic Ray Facility in the Great Basin.
Supported by Henry Moore Foundation.
BLUEPRINT magazine ran a six page full colour article on the Overt Research Project.
The Body in Contemporary Art
Thames and Hudson
Neal Whites work with Office of Experiments in relation to the site of experimentation, from body to spatial entity, is highlighted in this new Thames and Hudson publication by Sally O'Reilly
Cloisters Sept 09-Jan 2010
A classified map of a secret underground bunker obtained by Mike Kenner was visible through the code words used to name it. This was displayed alongside a Cabinet Office letter declaring the dates beyond which the names could not be used for display.
Contact me via email
'Sites of Excavation and Construction'
Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp.
13th November 2015 - January 16th 2016.
Above. A new entrance through the Kiosk outside Objectif allows visitors to see new works in the basement and leave through an upper space with text by Robert Smithson, without entering the main gallery space.
Basement installation elements: 'Deep Freezer'(2015) a work made by Neal White and Tina O'Connell collapses inside itself, with sonic soundscape created from seismic data by Anna Troisi (Office of Experiments 2015). 'And darkness was on the face of the deep' - installed video (2015).
Above. Artist documentation of the gallery exhibition including film 'Ott's Sneeze (2001), a programme of 4 experimental films made at the Center for Land Use Interpretation, Utah (Going Nowhere, Beyond the Divisible, Minimax and Entropic Popsicle 2008-10). Two GPS drawings ' Going Nowhere'(2010) and a preparatory sketch on the wall for a new monument in Antwerp. The Speedie Telstar - made by Neal White and Tina O'Connell (2013 - on loan from Museum of Computing and COmmunications, Galway)). Other works include a 'One Second Drawing' given by John Latham to the artist (2005).
In Neal White’s work, the archive enables him to inventory, map, register and record often covert or hidden sites – not as a historical pursuit but
as a means of constructing encounters between science, fiction and art history.
A lapsed technologist, White channels science through the social realm – for example, by producing a replica satellite for an amateur science
museum, in collaboration with artist Tina O’Connell. Scientific progress is doomed, faster than most artefacts, to become obsolescent, museumified.
On the contrary, certain artworks, like John Latham’s One-Second Drawings and
Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, seem almost immune to time, precisely because they take it as their subject.
By bringing these artists’ reflections on time to bear on questions of contemporary
technology, White produces non-teleological yet eventful art histories and archives: circular ones, going nowhere.
Introductory text from Exhibition publication.
Director of Objectif Exhibitions
Extracts from 'The Third Campaign'
'Sculptors’ Papers from the Henry Moore Institute.
Whitechapel Gallery, London.
22 September 2014 to 22 February 2015.
Featured still from video by Neal White, 2004.
The Henry Moore Institute Collection.
Why do public art commissions spark such controversy? The stories behind radical proposals for public sculptures in London – some realised, others thwarted – are drawn from the Henry Moore Institute’s rich collection of sculptors’ papers.
Laurence Bradshaw’s (1899–1978) iconic Karl Marx memorial (1956) became an ideological site prompting both pilgrimage and attack. Jacob Epstein’s (1880–1959) explicit nudes for the British Medical Association became a battleground for Modernism and are the subject of The Third Campaign a work by Neal White, from 2004. Other featured artists include Rose Finn-Kelcey, Alfred Frank Hardima, Paul Neagu and Oscar Nemon whose drawings and documents reveal sculpture’s passage into public life.
The display has been co-curated by Nayia Yiakoumaki, Curator Archive Gallery at the Whitechapel Gallery; Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies at the Henry Moore Institute and Jon Wood, Research Curator at the Henry Moore Institute with Bryony Harris, Assistant Curator; Special Projects at the Whitechapel Gallery.
The Influence of Furniture on Love.
Wysing Arts Centre
14 September - 2 November 2014
Above: Cuckoo Intelligence; Secret Research Deposits, 2014
The Influence of Furniture on Love with An Endless Supply, Ruth Beale, Juliette Blightman, Ben Brierley, Céline Condorelli, Jess Flood-Paddock, Luca Frei, Gil Leung, Seb Patane, Florian Roithmayr, Phil Root, Laure Prouvost, Cally Spooner, The Grantchester Pottery, Philomene Pirecki , Elizabeth Price, Mark Aerial Waller, Neal White and Lisa Wilkens.
Wood and Archival Inkjet Print, Pine Cones and concealed collection of early edition books authored by Maxwell Knight.
Below; The Cuckoos Shell. Radome Panel
A secret library of the work of Maxwell Knight, former M16 spymaster, naturalist and alleged fascist. Books deposited include: A Cuckoo called Goo, that focuses on Knights attempts to tame a cuckoo, and Fighting Birds, a book about foreign species in alien territories. Outside, part of the shell of a radome, first exhibited in Dark Places by Steve Rowell (see below) hangs on the wall. The work tests the idea of the affects of love and of hate and acts of observation in terms of visual intelligence.
Cuckoo Intelligence currently resides in the Wysing Collection.
For more information, see website
GOD IS GREAT (10-19)
John Latham | Neal White
Portikus, Frankfurt. 10th May - 29th June 2014
May 10th - June 29th 2014
'Portikus presents the work of late British conceptual artist John Latham (1921-2006) and a new work by artist and researcher Neal White. By facilitating a dialogue between these two practices, the show decodes Latham’s expansive and hugely complex oeuvre and the conceptual legacy of art in relation to the ‘event’ as a structural entity'
Above; On the floor and then as a wall panel following vandalism: God is Great (2004) by Latham and below, part of Dislocated Data Palm (2014) by Neal White.
Dislocated Data Palm (2014) consisted of a 14 metre high data or cell tower, a structure used for camouflaging mobile network infrastructures, mainly used in urban settings in the USA to disguise unsighlty and potentially unwelcome interventions from mobile / cell telecommunications companies. The installation of the object was in two parts; 5.5 metres suspended inside and 8.5 metres placed outside, within view from the rear window of the gallery and set against the backdrop of the islands woodland flora and fauna.
During this project, further research was conducted locally into Frankfurts advanced data landscape. Fieldwork and live video streams connected sites ranging from the NSA's European Cryptology Dagger Complex just outide Frankfurt, to the Quantum Trading facilities of the Frankfurst stock exchange and Europes largest financial trading data hubs. Broadcast back though the network, viewers were able to connect to these sites from home, by-passing the gallery, or formal video presentation.
A project developed with Office of Experiments and Field Broadcast.
As part of the supporting programme developed with Sophie von Olfers and Stadehlschule, White gave a lecture on his personal encounters with Lathams ideas, that launched a series of 'skoob' performances (book burnings). Originally undertaken by Latham, but remade with students with guidance from Barbara Steveni and JP Latham, these events explored the often self-imposed limits of contemporary arts production. These limits were further highlighted by the closure of the exhibition for a short period following vandalism of Lathams' God is Great, that ultimately led to its removal.
Undertaken with Portikus in conjunction with Stadehlschule, Latham Foundation and Flattimehouse, London. For more information and DVD see NOIT 2, edited by Lisa le Feuvre.
Curated by Sophie Von Olfers for Portikus.
With thanks to Claudia Famulok, Jose Segebre, Nick, Reece, Amy, Andrew, Stewart, Dana and Christian.
The Speedie Telstar
TULCA Festival of Contemporary Art, Galway, Ireland, 2013.
A project with Tina O'Connell.
The Telstar satellites were the products of a multinational agreement to develop space communications and television capabilities globally. It was Telstar that was used for the First Global Press Conference by John F Kennedy in 1962. The Speedie Telstar is in fact also a twin of sorts, as a replica of the original Telstar is housed at Bell Laboratories, now Alcatel-Lucent, in Blanchardstown, Dublin.
Fabricated using 3d printing and watercolours, the Sculpture not only acted as a jump off point for a local bus tour, but was a form of gift exchange between the work of the artists and the work of Brendan 'Speedie' Smith, co-founder and curator of the Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland, NUI Galway. His gift to Galway, along with other volunteers is an outstanding museum that sets out Brendans own vision to create a national communications science and technology museum in Ireland. To respond to this vision and gift, we created a sculpture that would be donated as a new display to this and a future Museum.
We organised tours that ran every week from TULCA to the Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland, nestled away discretely in an industrial science park. At the gallery, our guide, Maeve O’Neill introduced archival material and orientation. On arrival at the Museum, Brendan Smith delivered the tour of Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland, at the Insight (formerly DERI) building at NUI Galway.
The project explores the historical and contemporary developments of information and communications technology in Ireland and globally whilst celebrating the role of the enthusiasts who collect, maintain and educate this community about this critical history and its implications for the future and Irelands economy so beautifully, critically and generously communicated in the Museum.
As an intended, at the end of the show the Speedie Telstar was donated to the Museum where it will soon be on display.
Commissioned by Val Connor, curator of Golden Mountain, TULCA 2013.
8-24th November 2013
TULCA - Facebook link
West London Edition. Sept-Oct 2012
In Sept-Oct, I led a two part event developed as pilot for a future series of Critical Excursions in London. Leading the tour for Office of Experiments, along with Lala Thorpe, Luce, Choules and Lisa Haskell we were delighted to welcome over 20 volunteers to train as Overt Researchers. We ran a preliminary experimental fieldwork session mapping and documenting a single site - both as a known and unknown entity. Above you can see Roy Stephenson leading volunteers through this site, an archive of 17000 corpses closed to the public and held in the Ossiary in a roundabout at Museum of London in the heart of the City of London.
A few weeks later this group were joined by a further 30 people for a critical excursion that took in numerous sites of interest across West London. Our format for critical excursions is always temporal in construction, with its basis in the media that is carefully researched and played on the bus between sites of interest. Working with these representations, including key contemporary artworks, archive footage, de-classified materials, we set media against the movement through real space an entangled experimental engagement. As each excursion unravels through an entire day, a connection between sites, media and political, social and cultural frames of understanding is explored.
Starting at a second world ward underground bunker housing altenative Cabinet War rooms on a suburban housing estate in North London, we were led around Paddock by Nick Catford and volunteers from the enthusiasts of subterranean UK history - subbrit. After viewing cold war archive footage, an extract of Bruce Connors incredible 'Operation Crossroads' and nukewatch protest films we arrived at Atomic Weapons Establishments at Burghfield and Aldemaston. Here we met our anonymous guide to sites used by the UK Nuclear peace protestors, taking in sites of their camps at both venues. After I had been stopped for a brief chat with the MOD Police (Overt Research training in the field), we set off to a site of victory for the protestors, Greenham Common, where we noted the longitudinal approach to occupation and took time to ponder the low level industrial park as a potential site of ruin and heritage. Further footage included representation by psychogeographers, informational and promotional films from the sites we visited.
Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund in association with Arts Catalyst and with help from Roy Stevenson and the Museum of London. Based on an ESRC workshop with Dr Gail Davis of UCL in 2010. With many thanks to, all guides, volunteers and interlopers. A collaborative publication of our experiences is being collated with Luce Choules of 'folded sheet' and will be available soon.
AWE Burghfield - Image by Bradley L. Garret
Washington DC Arts & Humanities Commission, USA - March 2012
Commissioned to take part in the5x5project, the Centenary Celebrations of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC, this project with artist Tina O'Connell extended our shared interest in the possibilities and temporal nature of public forms of art. Connecting the site of 1000 Cherry Trees in the Monumental core of WashingtonDC with the devastated Japanese mainlaind following the earthquake and Fukushimi Diaichi disaster one year before, we imported water from the Japanese mainland in order to create 1000 vials. Each vial, containing no more liquid than a tear, was poured onto trees at different sites in Washington DC. Responding to the curatorial brief of Steve Rowell 'Suspension of Diselief" we further mapped the sites of lobbying bodies, news organisations, nuclear watchdogs and others in Washington DC political center. We marked these sites using an iconic image captured from one of the sites of devastation, a Reuters news document to be distributed and sold worldwide.
Curated by Steve Rowell.
With thanks to many friends in DC, including Casey Smith of Corcoran, Akemi Magawa, Victoria and her team at Transformer Gallery who wholeheartedly supported the project.
Information on the project is availale here: the1xproject.com
Site developed by Lisa Haskell and 8Bit Lemon
Fieldworks from the Museum of the Void
Chelsea Space June -July 2010
This exhibition featured some of a larger number of works made in Utah, USA between 2008-10. In particular, the exhibition drew attention to the fate of Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson, a canonical piece of Land Art, which is under threat from the 'green' revolution. Stripping valued organic fertilisers from natural resources, the Great Salt Lake Minerla Corporation is seeking to expand its evaporation ponds and is threatening to turn this site into desert. With Smithson ideas of entropy yeilding to the passage of time, and drawing on surplus archival objects of British artist John Latham, who held similar views of event structures, the works ask how and when does preservation take place, and what role does society and socially engaged practice have to play in this? In this extremely remote place, documented in a central film, Spiral Jetty itself was full of day trippers and preservation teams from Getty and Dia Foundation, highlighting issues of the social within the framing of the Museum of the Void, as the region was named by Smithson himself.
A catalgoue is available from Chelsea Space.
Chelsea Space - More images
Chelsea Space - Press Release
Where is Heidenheim?
Heidenheim, Germany. July 2010 - May 2011
Public Art Commission. WERK 10 - Bildhauser Symposium Germany
Exhibition - Heidenheim Gallery - 16/07/2010
With artists Michael Beutler, Vanessa Henn, Tina O'Connell /Neal White,
Stefan Sous. Nomination by Penelope Curtis.
Working with artist Tina O'Connellwe made a proposal for working in both physical of the town and media space of the local newspaper - Heidenheim Zietung.
"As artists working from within a situational perspective, we have learned much from working alongside artists such as John Latham (see Artist Placement Group), Danish Architects N55, and with innumerate factories and production teams. We see sculpture more as a malleable process informed by the broader social contexts, and now bound in form by physical materiality, but through the flux and dynamics of events, which in turn become the substance and context of our own practice.
Heidenheim over the course of the work will discover many places that it did not know of before. At the same, this will be true of the link papers and the places from which they come, as far flung as the wilds of Asia, the troubled regions of the Middle East, the burgeoning economies of Latin America and India, and the deep backwater of the midwest of the United States.
By uniting places through this project, a global dynamic will open up that is both a tribute to communications, as well as indicating other possibilities for exchange and co-operation against a background of future economic difficulties. The work occupies physical space globally and locally, as well as being conceived in the imaginary space that media sometimes makes. It is a sculptural work that is both material and immaterial, an event structure for a contemporary world."
Below -The Participating Papers that have taken part so far (project onging). The Wendover Times, Utah - USA, Limerick Leader- Ireland, Imphal Free Press, Maipur - India, Hibr, Bierut - Lebanon. Just printed - Namibia. To follow - Latin America.
John Hansard Gallery Nov 2009-Jan 2010
Working with Office of Experiments, I co-curated this exhibition for John Hansard Gallery. Commissioned by Arts Catalyst and SCAN. November 2009 - January 2010. Featured work from Office of Experiments, Steve Beard and Victoria Halfor, Beatriz da Costa and Steve Rowell.
Dark Places Catalogue is available from John Hansard Gallery. Essay by Sally O'Reilly
Atthe heart of the exhibition lies a field guide to Dark Places - South Edition, a database created by The Office of Experiments. The project uses experimental techniques, fieldworks and GPS technology to create a database that maps secret and intelligence space in the UK (Dark Places), and that that visually documents them on the ground (photographs), turning the technology and the gaze back on its developers. Working with Steve Rowell (CLUI) in the field, and supported by Lisa Haskell (technical developer), this is the first of a UK wide project actively documenting spaces through 'overt' techniques. To probe places in which knowledge as intelligence, research or experimentation / testing occurs entails extensive experimental fieldwork, means we are both open to and under scrutiny from the culture we are observing and examining. The database will be launched later this year. The Overt Research Project including the future 'Experimental Ruins' based in Greater London is supported by UCL Department of Geography, and Arts Catalyst.
As a result of my own research for the first phase of the Overt Research, the Office of Experiments has acquired a collection/archive of documents, that amongst other things, contains formerly classified documents of over 30 years of experiments undertaken on the public (and with US Military) at Porton Down - a secret chemical and bio-chemical warfare research facility in Wiltshire in the UK.
The archive, researched and donated to the Office by independent researcher and activist Mike Kenner was given in digital form and then printed out so that it can be accessed - in person only - at sites or by agreement. Documents were largely obtained by Mike through official lines with Cabinet Office and through FOIA requests. This Archive has been digitised at source by Mike, and was then painstakingly catalogued by Ross Robertson for OOE, before being 'facsimilied'. The Mike Kenner Archive can be loaned out for display in a physical space, or as part of a mobile library.
This is the founding archive of Office of Experiments 'ARC' - Autonoumous Researcher Collection, for archives and collections of researchers unlikely to enter into conventional institutions.
A key principle behind the Overt Research Projects aims is to get artists and others into the event- field. Supported by Arts Catalyst, Neal White and Steve Rowell of Office of Experiments lead the experimental field trip around sites of secrecy and cold war technology within the region of Southampton. Utilising footage on board the bus, from conspiracy video mixed to unreleased governement information films, a range of sites were visited including; Porton Down, Boscombe Down, Underground ROC Bunker, ISEE (International School of Explosives Education, Department of Homeland Security - who did us a nice little lunch) and ending up inside Royal Observation Corps Museum inside Blandford Camp Military Base. More tours for 'Experimental Ruins' that will be based in London will be announced on Office of Experiments site. For more see Arts Catalyst website, New Scientist or numerous blogs...
The Incidental Person, Apexart, New York. January 2010.
THE REDACTOR, was a special intermitent publication launched for 'The Incidental Person' exhibition at Apexart on January 6th 2010 in New York.
THE REDACTOR is a stamped limited edition publication that features an exclusive interview with leading UK secrecy activist, campaigner and journalistic source, Mike Kenner (whose archive is featured in Dark Places - see above) as well as incidental editorials, news and features from our correspondents in the field - Rich Pell (Nature Correspondent - Center for Post Natural History, US), Steve Rowell (US, Real Estate) and visual features on John Latham and Jenny Holzer.
The Launch issue was a stamped limited edition of 500 only, with free insert, and is produced by Neal White of the Office of Experiments. Design - Sara de Bondt.
If you would like to obtain an electronic copy (unlimited as a PDF from late Jan 2010) please contact me. Limited Editions are available for a donation cost of £5.
For more see . www.the-redactor.com
Casino Foundation for Contemporary Art, Luxembourg. September 2009.
As part of the exhibition 'sk-interfaces', the Truth Serum project was developed as a gallery installation, and off-site performance with The Office of Experiments. Devised and researched by Neal White / Dr. Nicolas Langlitz in 2007-8 and exhibited formerly at FACT, Liverpool January - April 2008. Workis featured in the publication on The Body and Contemporary Art by Sally O'Reilly for Thames and Hudson Twentieth Century Art Series. Commissioned by Arts Catalyst. Details
Flat Time House, Peckham July 2009, London
By-passing gallery, auction house and market, visitors partook in an evening of live speculation on the value of a theory, on the value of speculation, and a theory of value.
The evening of events is based around ‘The Wager’ set in The Hand (former studio of John Latham), and is a performance and tribute by artist Neal White to John Latham. The ‘Wager’, was first conceived by John Latham with Neal White in 2005, and has been executed by legal advisor Sarah Andrews with further assistance from the Noah Latham in 2009. Although technically a wager based on the notion that Flat Time Theory has been reduced to a legal bet, and welcomes challengers to provide evidence for or against these ideas, it also places the intuitive position and the theoretical assertions of Latham and Flat Time against a contemporary backdrop of economic crisis, fiscal turmoil and uncertain futures based on economic projections.
In the ‘Mind’, Neal White of The Office of Experiments has worked with the artist Tina O’Connell to re-make a version of her series of works based on “In Dublin’, originally staged in 1999, during her residency at Irish Museum of Modern Art. In the new version, A Quantity of Easing (The Physics and Economics of Sculpture) the work is reduced in scale and set upon a block of Frieze magazines that chart the rise and rise of the market through the 90’s and early part of this century. Using Lathams own techniques of destruction of books (by oil) as an inherent critique of the art market's commidifaction processes, a further twist is added by a sweepstake that allows viewers to place their own wager on the speed of the works destruction.
‘Even The Odds’ continues the theme of game playing and gambling, with viewers able to take part in specifically designed dice game that is a gentle reminder of the event/no-event structure of Latham’s theory. With a soundtrack provided by the casinos of backwater Nevada casinos, and a film taken from Lathams own Fiona Shoe, the viewer can win a limited edition of the dice, a prize for a simple roll of the dice. DIce are still available for purchase.
The Wager was made following a period in which I was based at Flat Time House in Peckham. In addition to sharing and developing ideas with John Latham prior to his death, I also helped secure initial funding to establish the house and archive. In return the lAtham Estate and Barbara Steveni have become friends and supporters.
Catalogue for exhibition at Centre Pompidou, Paris and Kunsthalle, Bern.
"At once the support and an extension of the event, this publication outlines the concept of the void in art, aesthetics, philosophy, religion, science, popular culture, architecture, and music, and broaches the subject of nothing, of vacuity, of the invisible and the ineffable, of rejection and destruction."
I was invited to submitted an artist contribution for the catalogue, so filed a field report on behalf of The Office of Experiments from the F-Utility unit in Utah. Entitled: F-UTILITY at the Heart of the American Void.
Edited by John Armleder, Mathieu Copeland, Laurent Le Bon, Gustav Metzger, Mai-Thu Perret, Clive Phillpot, Philippe Pirotte
Peckham Space - June 2009.
The OOE Kiosk was on Peckham Square 21-28th June. Inside the Kiosk interpretive materials were provided by the Office of Experiments.; 'A Field Guide to Unpermitted Events' edited by Marsha Bradfield and Neal White provides the new observer with a step by step guide to public space fieldwork, enhanced by a distorting optical periscope made by John Hill. Meanwhile Manu Luksch and FLIX present a custom made 3D Video Viewmaster with 18 x 1 minute films outlining specific bye-laws communicated in sign language. Embedding the apparatus, codes and rules of behaviours back into the space itself, each element re-interprets restrictive local by-laws to embrace a positive engagement with a local community that frequents what is considered by some as one of the most contraversial public spaces in the UK. An Offsite Commission with Manu Luksch. Peckham Space. Peckham, London.
Wendover Artist Residence 2008-10.
I undertook an enormously rewarding, intense and demanding residency for The Office of Experiments at the Centre for Land Use Interpretation at their Wendover base in Utah, USA, in Spring and Summer 2008, and returned for a final leg in Easter 2010. This field research utilised the F-Utility Unit (Field Utility Unit - see above/left), but will also lead to a number of works that are still under development. These works include a solitary performance and filmwork by Randy (sometime cipher of OOE) connecting the work and ideas of John Latham and Robert Smithson. This was shot in 'the remote location', the first piece of land acquired by Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt in Utah, near to both spiral jetty and the sun tunnels.
The research and residency has been funded by The Henry Moore Foundation, Bournemouth University and Centre for Land Use Interpretation. CLUI
As a former member of O+I (formerly Artist Placement Group) I undertook research and submitted bids with Tate Archives to further explore and disseminate materials in the APG Archive. The APG Archive was acquired by Tate in 2004. Ongoing research suported by O+I, Bournemouth University, Critical Practice at Chelsea College of Art and Tate Archives. Images are taken from a 'between' (a format developed by APG) and developed as an output with Critical Practice that took over South London Gallery to discuss Art and Economics. 2007.
Above: Kunst als Sozlale Strategle (Art as Social Strategy) . 1977, Bonn Kunstverein. Podium discussion between German government ministers and APG artists. Uk artists make proposals to ministersw to adopt artists in their governemnt as done in the UK. Below. At SLG 2007.
Useful chronology of APG at Tate weblink
Critical Practice Chelsea weblink