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Paul Chaney: Critical Camping series

Six weekend events 2016
21 – 22 May
4 – 5 June
2 -3 July
23 – 24 July
3 – 4 September – Cancelled 
24 – 25 September

During summer 2016 Paul Chaney will lead Critical Camps: a season of workshops and talks by invited artists, thinkers and scientists.

Critical Camps will explore topics raised by Chaney’s ongoing research project Lizard Exit Plan – a speculative scenario in which an unspecified hypothetical apocalyptic event cuts off Cornwall’s Lizard peninsula from the global economy. The camps will be hosted in the Encampment Supreme pavilion – a 775 sq.ft architectural fusion of post-consumer waste products and locally found natural elements, constructed by the artist and volunteers during public workshops in 2015.

During Critical Camps events visitors will be invited to meet in the pavilion to attend workshops, short presentations and readings, before enjoying an evening meal made from locally grown and scavenged ingredients prepared over the campfire by professional chef Dominic Bailey. Fireside discussions will continue into the evening in an informal fashion, and most events will culminate in either live music from local musicians, or a car battery powered ‘off-grid disco’. Visitors will be invited to camp overnight either in the pavilion itself or in their own tents, sharing a breakfast cooked over the fire the following morning.

About Lizard Exit Plan: Chaney has been conferring with local landowners, farmers, and other experts since 2013 to compile a strategic plan for the survival of the peninsula’s population based on topographical and agricultural data, an inventory of local resources, and analysis of defence requirements. Lizard Exit Plan uses the notion of an unspecified hypothetical apocalyptic event to provide the ground for discussing alternative futures. The research has produced experimental architectural interventions, gastronomic experiences, a series of blueprinted maps and graphical works, a seventy-two page instructional document, and a portfolio of silkscreen prints illustrating elements of the plan exhibited at Kestle Barton during two solo shows.

See below for information about each Critical Camp event.
Please note that these events are aimed at an adult audience and there is an age stipulation of 12+ upwards
Phone 01326 21811 to book a place.

See also Paul Chaney’s 2016 related exhibition from 19 March – 8 May 2016, Lizard Exit Plan: Kestle Barton Sector.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

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Critical Camping Event 1

May 21st / 22nd – The Possibility of an Island
£15 per head for Dom Allen afternoon workshop
£15 per head for evening event (including dinner)
£5 per head for additional overnight option (including breakfast)

Contemporary apocalyptic fictions continue a long tradition in which a complete break with the past, and the prospect of an uncertain future, are used as a laboratory to think about the present.

From the flood to the desert island to the abandoned space station or depleted Earth, these controlled scenarios allow us to imagine starting again from nothing—or to imagine how the remnants of a destroyed civilization might be reinterpreted, rebuilt, and repurposed. They yield new perspectives on the apparently solid foundations of life and the possibility of change.

Starting from zero, making the best of what’s left…in this Critical Camp we explore the mythical, philosophical, literary, and political dimensions of these narratives, and do some salvaging of our own.

Speaker:

Robin Mackay – Philosopher, Director of UK publisher and arts organization Urbanomic and editor of the transdisciplinary journal Collapse.

Workshop:
Saturday afternoon 14:00 -17:00 with Dom Allen
Making potato based electrical power sources and circuit bent synthesisers for a post-apocalyptic electronic music performance with artist Dom Allen (Please note this workshop costs £15 and is limited to 10 participants).

Audio:

Bram Thomas Arnold presents Trail Mix[ED], a series of six shows documenting and veering off from Paul Chaney’s Critical Camps at Kestle Barton Gallery on the Lizard in Cornwall. In this first episode philosopher Robin Mackey explores the philosophical notion of the island, Dom Allen performs some salvage techno and Dominic Bailey cooks lamb and sea spinach curry fresh in the gallery orchard.

Visit www.kestlebarton.co.uk www.paulchaney.co.uk and www.bramthomasarnold.com for more information.

Essays (Downloads)

Critical Camping Event 2

June 4th/5th – AND once m

ore with feeling

£15 per head for evening event (including dinner)
£5 per head for additional overnight option (including breakfast)

We are atomised and increasingly isolated beings, making contact only through technology and media. One effect of imagining a post-apocalyptic world is to make us realise us how unpractised we are at direct cooperation, unassisted by complex social, legal, and technological systems.

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.

Speakers:
Fernanda Eugenio – Anthropologist and founder/director of AND Lab Research, Lisbon, Portugal.
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.

Workshop:
AND Lab – collaborative object relations experiment with Fernanda Eugenio.

Audio:

Bram Thomas Arnold presents Trail Mix[ED], a series of six shows documenting and veering off from Paul Chaney’s Critical Camps at Kestle Barton Gallery on the Lizard in Cornwall. The second episode introduces the work of Fernanda Eugenio, an anthropologist from Portugal and Magda Tyżlik-Carver, a researcher and curator, live music comes to the Exit Plan pavilion and dinner is once more served up under a glorious blue sky.

See http://www.and-lab.net/ and http://thecommonpractice.org/ for future explorations.

Essays (Downloads)

Critical Camping Event 3

July 2nd/3rd – Reclaiming Labour

£15 per head for evening event (including dinner)
£5 per head for additional overnight option (including breakfast)

Autonomy is often regarded as an ideal, although self-sufficiency can also be seen as a kind of rehearsal for post- apocalyptic life. Above all, though, it involves a lot of hard work. But how do we understand ‘work’ outside of the system of money and wage labour? Can humans ever extract themselves from the technological matrix? Is the idyll of self- sufficiency merely the mirror image of capitalist individualism?

In an attempt to understand what we would really be letting ourselves in for if we went ‘back to the land’, this Critical Camp will explore the relation between labour and freedom, and will involve discussion and participative activities revolving around manual labour and technology, and the difficulty of deciding where one ends and the other begins.

Speakers:
Kevin Austin – Director of Skyegrove Organics: an off-grid 9.5acre holding near Plymouth where vegetables are raised commercially using hand and horse-drawn equipment alone.

Workshop:
Use and maintenance of an Austrian hand scythe with Kevin Austen (includes scythe versus strimmer race).

Audio:

Bram Thomas Arnold presents Trail Mix[ED], a series of six shows documenting and veering off from Paul Chaney’s Critical Camps at Kestle Barton Gallery on the Lizard in Cornwall. The third part brings the project round to labour in the form of scything VS the modern day strimmer with Kevin Austin of www.skyegroveorganics.co.uk Includes a series of obscure folk songs from Robin Mackay’s Urbanomic archive. Field recording by artist Zoe Young www.zoeyoung.net

Essays (Downloads)

Critical Camping Event 4

July 23rd/24th – A Hunter’s Gathering

£15 per head for evening event (including dinner)
£5 per head for additional overnight option (including breakfast)

Ecological thinking increasingly denounces the expansion of human agriculture on an industrial scale, and its effects on our fellow creatures. Many cultures have found it possible to live off the land in a way that leaves space for the non- human, but is this a possibility today considering the exponential growth of human populations? How do our methods of food production reflect our relationship to the rest of the animal kingdom, and how does the recently emerged field of Dark Ecology help us negotiate the population problematic?

Investigating food production, re-wilding, and the relation between agriculture and ecology, in practices from foraging to hunting and trapping, this Critical Camp takes an empathetic but unsentimental look at the relation between the human and its prey.

Speakers:
Dominic Bailey – Performance chef specialising in wild cooking and former manager of the Duke of Cambridge Organic Pub, London, and the Gurnards Head, Cornwall.
Paul Chaney – Artist and horticulturalist.
John Nixon – Professional hunter

Workshops:
Rabbit butchery with Dominic Bailey and John Nixon Forage walk around Kestle

Audio:

Bram Thomas Arnold presents Trail Mix[ED], a series of six shows documenting and veering off from Paul Chaney’s Critical Camps at Kestle Barton Gallery on the Lizard in Cornwall.

Essays (Downloads)

Critical Camping Event 5 CANCELLED

Sept 3rd/4th – Plotting a path: The utility of the romantic 

CANCELLED
£15 per head for evening event (including dinner)
£5 per head for additional overnight option (including breakfast)

Artists have always celebrated the landscape as a source of inspiration, aesthetic pleasure, purpose and meaning. The land is however, also a resource for production, extraction, and utilization by human industry on both a personal and global scale. How are these two related? Can art itself help to reconcile the aesthetic experience of the land and its productive reality?

This Critical Camp explores the meaning of the site-specific in art, what being in a landscape might mean, and how the different practices including contemplation, walking, digging and utilising, change our relationship to the ground that we stand on and the views that we take in.

Speaker:
Bram Thomas Arnold – Artist, pedestrian and writer based in Cornwall. Bram is currently finishing a PhD at Falmouth University concerned with autoethnographic and ecological approaches to place, memory, landscape and language.

Audio:

Bram Thomas Arnold presents Trail Mix[ED], a series of six shows documenting and veering off from Paul Chaney’s Critical Camps at Kestle Barton Gallery on the Lizard in Cornwall.

Essays (Downloads)

Critical Camping Event 6

Sept 24th/25th – The Limits of Anarchy 

£15 per head for evening event (including dinner)
£5 per head for additional overnight option (including breakfast)

Is a society without rulers possible? While anarchy seems like the simplest of political ideas, it soon gives rise to difficult questions about human nature, our ability to self-organise, and the necessity of governance and social rule. Following a dramatic event such as that envisaged in Lizard Exit Plan, would something like a state inevitably emerge? Does a society in recovery from apocalypse need strong rulers, or communal solidarity?

In the final Critical Camp we investigate the balance between social organisation and freedom, and work towards designing a system of governance for the Realm of New Lizard.

Speakers:
Matthew Wilson – Political activist, researcher, and author of
Rules Without Rulers
(Zero Books 2014): a brave and constructive analysis highlighting the limits of contemporary horizontalist and anti-capitalist ‘folk politics’.
As well as Brendan Byrne and  Marcy Saude.

Audio:

Bram Thomas Arnold presents Trail Mix[ED], a series of six shows documenting and veering off from Paul Chaney’s Critical Camps at Kestle Barton Gallery on the Lizard in Cornwall.

Essays (Downloads)

Open 8 April - 4 November 2017, Tuesday - Sunday 10:30am - 5pm