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September 30 , 2007

Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture


Outlandia is an off-grid artists’ fieldstation, a treehouse imagined by artists London Fieldworks (Bruce Gilchrist & Jo Joelson) and designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects, situated in Glen Nevis, opposite Ben Nevis. It is performative architecture that immerses its occupants in a particular environment, provoking creative interaction between artists and the land. This book explores the relationship between place and forms of thought and creative activity, relating Outlandia and the artists there to the tradition of generative thinking and making structures that have included Goethe’s Gartenhaus in Weimar, Henry Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond and Dylan Thomas’s writing shack in Laugharne.

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Based on a series of residencies and radio broadcasts produced by London Fieldworks in collaboration with Resonance 104.4fm, the Remote Performances project enabled twenty invited artists to consider and engage in transmissions, sound performances and dialogues on their artmaking strategies immersed in this specific rural environment of mountain, forest and river; flora and fauna. Some artists engaged in dialogue with people living and working in the area with a range of specialisms and experience in, for examples, forestry, mountain culture, wildlife, tourism, and local history. This book explores the ways in which being in the field impacts on artists and permeates through to the artworks they create. It considers the relationship between geography and contemporary art and artists’ use of maps and fieldwork. It charts these artists’ explorations of the ecological and cultural value of the natural environment, questioning our perceptions and relationships to landscape, climate and their changes. The book is an inspiring collection of ways to think differently about our relationship with the changing natural environment.

The book includes essays by Jo Joelson, Francis McKee, Tracey Warr and Bruce Gilchrist, and texts, images and drawings by the artists: Bram Thomas Arnold, Ruth Barker, Ed Baxter, Johny Brown, Clair Chinnery, Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, Ben Drew, Alec Finlay & Ken Cockburn, Goodiepal, Sarah Kenchington, London Fieldworks & Mark Vernon, Lisa O’Brien, Lee Patterson, Michael Pedersen, Geoff Sample, Tracey Warr and Tony White, reflecting on the notion of contemporary remoteness and creative responses to Outlandia and its wider context.

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