"Art, science and nature? As categories we seem to know what they mean, but nothing is that resolved when we consider the work of artists who mess with the underside of these categories to the extent that they collapse in a field of their own imagining. Work which functions like a divining rod, never locating the source of that which passes through it but seeking it nevertheless."
Denise Robinson, foreward to LondonFieldworks Syzygy/Polaria
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, and video, situating works both in the gallery and in the landscape.
Gastarbyter (1997), Syzygy (1999) and Polaria (2001) interrogated ideas around the authenticity of mediated experience, especially experience of place, while exploring poetic applications 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) shot on Haldde Mountain in the Norwegian Arctic, Ben Nevis in Scotland, and on the island of Svalbard, involved a collaboration with the Leicester Radio & Space Plasma Physics Group. As a prelude to the gallery installation, London Fieldworks formally twinned the mountain-top observatories on Haldde Mountain and Ben Nevis. 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) creates a metaphor for the enfolding of human and animal habitat and reflects both human and animal hierarchy as territorial relationship to landscape, set within an architectural intervention in the ancient forest of King’s Wood in Kent.
Recent London Fieldworks projects have been motivated by ideas around performative architecture, that the actuality of a building consists largely in its acts, its performances: Super Kingdom, Kings Wood, Kent (2008-ongoing); Outlandia, Glen Nevis, Scotland (2010-ongoing).
London Fieldworks worked in the Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil as recipients of a British Council Artist Links residency (2009). An initial outcome, Between Premonition and Knowledge featured in Arts Catalyst’s Artist Airshow at the Highland Institute for Contemprary Arts (HICA) in 2010. Another output from this residency, Rain Prophets, a ten channel video and animation installation was curated as part of V I S U A L I S E at the Anglia Ruskin Gallery, January 2012. London Fieldworks are lead artists for FUTURE CITY, instigating a five year public art programme for Glebe Farm in South Cambridge. They exhibited their new project, Null Object: Gustav Metzger thinks about nothing at WORK gallery, London, 2012-2013.
Their work has been featured in a number of publications including: Far Field: digital culture climate change and the poles (Intellect Books, 2011) My Green City: Back to Nature with Attitude and Style (Gestalten, 2011); Searching for Arts New Publics (Intellect Books, 2010); ART+SCIENCE NOW, a visual survey of artists working at the frontiers of science and technology, (Thames and Hudson, 2010); Beyond Architecture Imaginative Buildings and Fictional Cities (Gestalten, 2009), Installation Art in the New Millenium: the empire of the senses (Thames and Hudson, 2003).
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.
London Fieldworks in residence at Headlands Center For Contemporary Arts, Sausalito, California, as part of Arts Council
England's International Fellowship Programme 2002.