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Memories of a Journey at Night, 2018


A chapter by Sophie Warren & Jonathan Mosley in Ben Stringer (ed.) (2018) Rurality Re-imagined: Villagers, Farmers, Wanderers and Wild Things (ORO Editions, California). In 2000 we completed a project exploring motorway travel and motorway environments in the UK. The project resulted in a body of work including moving and still imagery and installations exhibited at Prema, Gloucestershire; Gasworks, London; Fredereike Taylor Gallery and The Armory Show, New York. This short essay is a recollection and reflection on the experience of researching for the project and of selected completed works. An extract:

‘We are driving every day. Acceleration, speed, passing landscape, de-acceleration, motorway services, acceleration, speed, passing landscape … Motorway services are serial repetitions of architecture that create intervals of time on the journey. They break the smooth, engineered space of the motorway and the internal car environment. They are markers in the act of travelling but not of place. Their location is not related to a landscape but to a network. Our experience of them is not positioned within the network but within our journey. They oscillate around our needs, either too close or too far, until they are “the next one.”’

To read chapter.

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Brutal Object, 2015


Materials: Sound, cement fibre board, tape, Letraset, printed ABS, light.

Dimensions: 760mm x 760mm x 1170 mm.

Sound duration: 16 minutes. Click for extract.

 

Digital modelling by Matt Hynam.

Brutal Object constructs a narrative of multiple protagonists, consisting of buildings, characters and objects. The work engages with three different architectural settings: A Brutalist tower (in the process of being stripped); a conserved Tudor museum; a contemporary dwelling.

The recorded voice within the narrative navigates the physicality of each setting through the dismantlement, relocation and repurposing of objects and matter that occurs as a result of demolition, salvage and conservation of the city fabric. The value system of each setting is revealed as the construction and deconstruction of their histories is staged and performed within a fourth setting. The fourth setting, a space apart, is characterised by sound, light, text and a three dimensional element. A geometric structure and its shadow-lines stage the protagonists from the narrative. Scaleless and cut loose in time and space, the form and its shadow are both devised from the inter-relations of the protagonists and offer up a spatial narrative structure through which the protagonists move.


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Navigating the Game, 2012


Scenes: The Architect; Playing Dead; The Heist.

Dimensions: Each panel 150 x 95cm.

Materials: Vinyl on wall.

Graphic Design: Warren & Mosley with City Edition Studio.

Exhibited: Rogue Game at Spike Island, Bristol, 2012.

Navigating the Game uses the system of gallery text applied as vinyl on the wall to present the solo exhibition Rogue Game at Spike Island structured as three ‘scenes’. Each scene comprises of a short text and a gallery layout presented as a game plan with titles of the works comprising the ‘scene’ annotated. The three scenes introduce the main concepts of the show through a set of imaginary protagonists and events to propose the exhibition space as a walk-through narrative devised as a game. The fiction enlists the architecture of the gallery, the game court and its mediation to set up game time vs. real time vs. imaginary time, to destabilise familiar relations of spectatorship and participation. Within this immersive environment the frivolous illogics of play throws players and spectators into new territories where roles and identities are questioned and exchanged. Architecture and narrative articulates the boundaries between different senses of space and time, between the real and the fictional, the live and the mediated and the event and its image.

The fiction is inspired by Gummo, Harmony Korine, Collected Screenplays 1 (London: Faber and Faber, 2002).

 

 

 


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Navigating the Game – Scene: The Architect, 2012


Exhibited: Rogue Game at Spike Island, Bristol, 2012.

The scene The Architect introduces the arena of the gallery as the architecture of a game, for navigation by the spectator. These spaces are populated by imaginary characters and protagonists who enact different notions of play that worry at the borders of the sensible. The spectator is invited to inhabit these imaginary roles and consider the terms of the game.

The fiction is inspired by extracts from Gummo in Harmony Korine, Collected Screenplays 1 (London: Faber and Faber, 2002).

 

 


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Navigating the Game – Scene: Playing Dead, 2012


Exhibited: Rogue Game at Spike Island, Bristol, 2012.

The scene Playing Dead stages a 93-meter open circuit as the street and calls for a different level of engagement and gaming instinct. Frivolous play spills over into deadly play redefining the circuit as a territory for contestation. Central to this scene is the proposition BROKEN CIRCUIT / Playing dead which invites the viewer to stand in for the main protagonist Bunny Boy who wilfully breaks the logic of the circuit. Goal oriented, rule defined action moves into something more abstract and absurd. Known rules are exchanged for new rules where playing dead becomes a measure of the game and winning.

The fiction is inspired by extracts from Gummo in Harmony Korine, Collected Screenplays 1 (London: Faber and Faber, 2002).

 

 

 


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Navigating the Game – Scene: The Heist, 2012


Exhibited: Rogue Game at Spike Island, Bristol, 2012.

The scene The Heist stages the mediated setting within the exhibition, where two editors in-play process and edit a live feed of footage from the playing arena in the adjacent gallery. As the editors negotiate the technology and stream of imagery that multiplies the event into infinity, so too, our main protagonist Bunny Boy negotiates at gun point the spectacle of the event which threatens to consume the event itself.

The fiction is inspired by extracts from Gummo in Harmony Korine, Collected Screenplays 1 (London: Faber and Faber, 2002).

 

 

 


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Beyond Utopia – the screenplay, 2012


Collaborators: Robin Wilson.

Dimensions / materials: 25 x 18cm; 41 pages, full colour printed screenplay within published book, Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley (eds), Beyond Utopia (Los Angeles/Berlin: Errant Bodies Press, 2012).

Supported by: Arts and Humanities Research Council and University of the West of England. 

Beyond Utopia takes the form of a screenplay for a film never intended to be made. The screenplay restages the process and exchanges of a project that queries the function of utopian thinking in urban development and spatial culture. The project aimed to establish a critical dialogue with institutions of city design and to find new sites of productive tension between the “real” and the “fictional”. Submitting a utopian architectural proposal for a real site in London to the scrutiny of the institutions that dominate the design and programming of city space, the project enacted a form of playful provocation, drifting in and though the procedures, systems and languages of planning, architecture and city development. As a fiction, the utopian work gained life as it was recounted and discussed, its narrative shared, activated and engaged through dialogue with and by officials and reviewers.

To read more and for further information from publisher.

 

 


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Beyond Utopia – the book, 2012


Dimensions: 25 x 18cm; 126 page, full colour book.

Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley (editors) Beyond Utopia, Surface Tension Supplement No. 5 published by Los Angeles/ Berlin: Errant Bodies Press, 2012. ISBN : 978-0-9827439-3-5. Distributed by DAP, New York.

Essays and works by: Maria Fusco [5,6], Brandon LaBelle, Marie-Anne McQuay, Paul O’Neill, Elizabeth Price [2,3], Jane Rendell [1], Lee Stickells [4], Robin Wilson, Warren & Mosley [4]. [Image order]

Beyond Utopia examines the space beyond utopia’s concern with the primacy of the single idea. Set at the intersection of the architectural imagination, the reality of urban development, critical writing and fiction, the publication creates a space of speculation on the architecture of utopia. The publication is centred on a screenplay by Warren and Mosley of a film never intended to be made. Writers and artists from various fields have been invited to fasten onto concepts raised in the screenplay and to develop their propositional nature. The essays and works contributed both contextualize and critique utopian thinking, ultimately locating utopia as a critical tool with which to speculate and reveal the limits of our present reality.

To read more and for further information from publisher.


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A Prospective Archaeology, 2011


Collaborators: Brandon LaBelle

Dimensions: Variable. Dimensions of model: 60cm x 52cm x 14cm.

Materials: Printed matter. Materials of model: Aluminium sheet, foil backed insulation board, mirror, pins, light, fragments of wooden chair.

Exhibited: General Public gallery, Berlin, 2011, STUK Centre for Art, Leuven, 2011.

Artist Brandon LaBelle invited us to participate in a project he was developing for an evolving and touring exhibition. He writes: ‘The project is developed as a conversation between sound and architecture. Working with architects, designers and artists from around the world, I sent them three audio recordings of my apartment in Berlin. Attempting to sound out the space, the recordings document the ambient, material and dimensional aspects of the apartment. The participants were then given the task of making a physical model of the apartment by using the sounds as their only source of information. In this way, a process of translation and interpretation developed, incorporating an understanding, however factual or fantastical, of the auditory into rendering a spatial form.’ Our response to Brandon’s sound recordings was to create a model and accompanying text, shown here as it is published in the catalogue.

 


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M5 Southbound: Welcome Break, 2000


We are interested in the moments and the places that we pass by and through on our way to somewhere else, our experience of stopping at a petrol station, driving on motorways and using service areas. These transient and introverted environments seem to be edited out of our consciousness. We are documenting, surveying and recording these moments and places. They have become our destinations.

M5 Southbound: Welcome Break is a body of work including: Memories of a Journey at Night, Survey of a Diesel Canopy, A Welcome Break, She Couldn’t Remember the Details of the Journey #1 & #2 – all 2000. The work presents the viewer with a series of physical and spatial experiences, constructing narratives that question how these exterior and interior landscapes are perceived.


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Memories of a Journey at Night, 2000


Dimensions: Variable size, ideally 500cm width x 300cm height.

Moving image: 4 minute loop as video projection.

Exhibited:

CCA, Glasgow, 2003.

The Armory Show, New York, 2002.

Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York, 2001.

Gasworks, London, 2000.

Prema, Glos, 2000.

Memories of a journey at night shows an image of a diesel canopy at night from a fixed viewpoint and projected large scale. All the vehicles passing through the canopy have been edited out at the time of filming and the only movement visible is of the cars and lorries on the motorway. This movement has been slowed down to achieve a quality of suspension and stillness. The stillness and the silence of the imagery draws the viewer into the space and allows them to experience the diesel canopy as a destination.

 


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Survey of a Diesel Canopy, 2000


Dimensions: 280cm diameter x 72cm height, 150cm height of ground plane.

Materials: MDF, fluorescent light with daylight tube, emulsion paint, steel wire rope, rigid PVC.

Exhibited:

The Armory Show, New York, 2002.

Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York, 2001.

Gasworks, London, 2000.

Prema, Glos, 2000.

Survey of a diesel canopy presents a view of a diesel station placed within a cylindrical form which is suspended from the ceiling. The ground plane is at eye level. The diesel station is stripped to its naked form and becomes generic. It is enclosed in a silent landscape and is isolated from what lies beyond. The piece allows the viewer to travel around it but the motion that is experienced is frozen. Any anticipation of arrival is denied to the viewer. The familiar becomes estranged.

 


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A Welcome Break, 2000


Dimensions: 154cm width x 154cm length x 170cm height.

Materials: Fluorescent lights with daylight tubes, halogen light with yellow gel, synthetic oak, double glazed units, MDF, mirror, emulsion paint, powder coated steel, found chairs, headphones, sound, text.  Slide projection on floor near by.

Exhibited:

Gasworks, London, 2000.

Prema, Gloucestershire, 2000.

A Welcome Break presents a partially enclosed table-top model with a mirrored exterior and clear glass windows in two sides for viewing.  The model is fitted to a formed tubular steel frame with two fixed seats in relation to the windows, and sound on headphones.  The model describes a cafe at a motorway services as an interior that has been reduced to a floor, two walls, chairs and light.  The viewer is projected into this interior landscape through the sound of a person describing a visit there. An image of the floor pattern used in the model is projected to real scale close to the piece.  The projection and the mirrored exterior allow the model to shift in scale and take on the proportion of the space in which it is located.


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She Couldn’t Remember the Details of the Journey #1, 2000


Dimensions: 66cm width x 120cm depth x 30cm height.

Materials: Rigid PVC, neoprene, fluorescent lights with daylight tubes.

Exhibited: Prema, Gloucestershire, 2000.

This installation is in two parts and titled She said she couldn’t remember the details of the journey but could remember the impression that it left on her. The image is of a model of a cross section of a motorway [scale 1:8 ] extended back into space within a recess in a wall. The ground profile, walls and ceiling are lined with black neoprene. Drawing on a journey at night the piece suspends the viewer at the point between the known space lit by headlights and the unknown territory beyond. A moment and space in an ongoing journey is made physical and architectural, expanding it in time. The viewer is absorbed into the blackness of the motorway landscape and becomes aware of his or her presence in a space which is normally defined by absence of the figure.

 


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She Couldn’t Remember the Details of the Journey #2, 2000


Dimensions: 400cm width x 240cm height.

Materials: Emulsion paint, fluorescent lights with daylight tubes.

Exhibited:

Gasworks, London, 2000.

Prema, Gloucestershire, 2000.

The second part of the installation re-presents the cross section of the motorway, altered in physicality and in scale.  The cross section of the motorway and blue expanse are a plane painted on a wall which is eight metres in length.   The black abstracted motorway is simultaneously impenetrable and an extended three-dimensional space allowing the viewer to project into it.

The two motorway cross-sections relate to a sound piece of a person recounting their memories of a car journey, the memory of one is mapped onto the experience of another.

 


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