Sunday, 5 June 2016

Critical Camping

Critical Camping at Kestle Barton
Paul Chaney – (Critical Camp 2 – AND once more with feeling)

(We also visited Paul’s Encampment Supreme and Lizard Exit Plan exhibition at previously, see below).

“..What tools and methods can be used to revitalise co-operative thinking? This Critical Camp asks whether the growth of individualism is correlated with political disempowerment, and sets up a laboratory for investigating potentials for, and obstacles to, cooperation.”

Paul’s decision to include a workshop which seemed to demonstrate the infinite possibilities of a future society, answered some wonderings I had after seeing Paul’s work and reading some of the Lizard Exit Plan.

The collaborative workshop session led by Fernanda Eugenio (Anthropologist and founder/director of AND Lab Research, Lisbon, Portugal), elegantly demonstrated the infinite possibilities of society through a fun light-hearted group activity with a powerful subtext. We used various materials to construct a ‘world’ where relationships between elements were constantly altering and evolving as the landscape and values are re-imagined by the players. The activity seemed to describe the potential of society and the idea that we-don’t-know-what-we-are-aiming-at-exactly-until-we-arive-there, we can only build on what is already there and what others have contributed (Chomsky says it better..). And the exercise itself reminded me of Foucault’s demonstrations of the fickle categorisations which we use to understand the world, and how subjective they can be (The Order of Things).

“Modus Operandi AND explores theoretic-practical and ethical-aesthetical approaches to collaboration by using the everyday objects around us, and has transversal applications both in art and everyday life.”

There was a short talk by Magda Tyżlik-Carver – “independent researcher and curator investigating relational arrangements of humans and nonhumans and their biopolitical creations through curating in/as commons, future thinking, affective data and data fictions.”

It was great to have a chance to chat to Paul and others about these themes in an camping context.  The food, which was locally sourced and cooked on an open fire was brilliant too.

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