Essex and London
Artist: Erica Scourti
Curator: Marc Garrett, Furtherfield
Commission date: (Sept-Oct) to be confirmed (Open air forum, Bradwell-on-Sea 19 July tbc)
The London & Essex ‘knot’ of the spiral draws on the history of St. Cedd, who with his brother St. Chad, left Lindisfarne (Holy Island – site of the preceding Colm Cille’s Spiral knot) to establish new sites of culture and scholarship at a remove from the limitations of political territories. Cedd founded the Chapel of St. Peter-on-the-Wall at Bradwell-on-Sea in 654AD. For the Essex and London knot, a cross-disciplinary research seminar will consider contemporary conditions for the distribution of knowledge and culture, and speculate on parallel infrastructures that could support modern-day spirals of learning.
Working with Marc Garrett of digital-arts organisation Furtherfield, a group of post-graduate researchers from King’s College London consider what could be termed the ‘Netopticon’ (contemporary systems of networked surveillance, named in reference to Jeremy Bentham’s high-surveillance prison structure, the Panopticon). The group then explores how it might be possible to share knowledge outside of the Netopticon in a post-internet, post-mobile technology world. In July, they will showcase their findings at a live public event at the historic Bradwell-on-Sea church.
A subsequent artist’s commission will extend these explorations of knowledge, ethics and site, considering Bradwell-on-Sea, and other relevant Essex sites. Work will be presented with accompanying talks in London, then transported to Derry-Londonderry for the final event of Colm Cille’s Spiral in December.
Erica Scourti’s work addresses the mediation of personal and collective experience through language and technology in the net-worked regime of contemporary culture. Using autobiographical source material, as well as found text collected from the internet displaced into social space, her work explores communication, and particularly the mediated intimacy engendered by a digital paradigm.
The variable status and job of the artist is humorously fore-grounded in her work, assuming alternating between the role activist, ‘always-on’ freelancer, healer of social bonds and a self-obsessed documenter of quotidian experience.