London Fieldworks, based in east London, was formed in 2000 by artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson as a cross-disciplinary and collaborative arts practice working across social engagement, installation, video and animation, situating works both in the gallery and in the landscape.
Early works Gastarbyter (1997), Syzygy (1999) and Polaria (2001) asked questions about the authenticity of mediated experience, especially experience of place, while exploring poetic uses of technology. These projects were seminal to the artists’ notion of ecology as a complex inter-working of social, natural, and technological worlds. Ensuing projects created speculative works of fiction out of a mix of ecological, scientific and pop cultural narratives. The audio-visual installation Little Earth (2005) was shot on Haldde Mountain in the Norwegian Arctic, Ben Nevis in Scotland, and on the island of Svalbard, and involved a collaboration with the Leicester Radio & Space Plasma Physics Group. As a prelude to the gallery installation, the project formally twinned two mountain-top observatories. SpaceBaby: Guinea Pigs Don’t Dream (2006) and Hibernator: Prince of the Petrified Forest (2007) are part of a trilogy of works exploring themes of suspended animation, technology, fantasy and death. The third project in the trilogy, Super Kingdom: Monarchy (2008), investigates how human and animal habitats interact and overlap, and reflects how both human and animal hierarchy can be understood in terms of territorial ownership of the landscape. The work is set within an architectural installation in the ancient forest of King’s Wood in Kent.
Recent London Fieldworks projects have been motivated by ideas around performative architecture, that the meaning of a building consists largely in its acts, in its performances: these projects include Super Kingdom, Kings Wood, Kent (2008-ongoing), and Outlandia, Glen Nevis, Scotland (2010-ongoing).
Super Kingdom: Monarchy was awarded an Honorary Mention in the Hybrid Art category of Ars Electronica, Linz 2010; Hibernator: Prince of the Petrified Forest was awarded with a Special Mention by the jury of the International Competition VIDA 10.0, Madrid 2007.