Booking Fast: The Ship of Empty Boxes

Still from The Forgotten Space, Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2010

Still from The Forgotten Space, Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2010

THE SHIP OF EMPTY BOXES: Responses to Containerised Global Trade 
(including 6pm screening of The Forgotten Space by Allan Sekula & Noël Burch)

Saturday, 18 January 2014, 10:30am-8pm, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon

Square, WC1H 0PD London

Free event

UPDATE: Birkbeck tell us our symposium is now fully-booked on Eventbrite, but it is worth getting on the waiting list as places may well become available. Details on their website: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/events-calendar/the-ship-of-empty-boxes-responses-to-containerised-global-trade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ship of Empty Boxes: Symposium & Screening

Still from The Forgotten Space, Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2010

Still from The Forgotten Space, Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2010

THE SHIP OF EMPTY BOXES: Responses to Containerised Global Trade 
(including 6pm screening of The Forgotten Space by Allan Sekula & Noël Burch)

Saturday, 18 January 2014, 10:30am-8pm, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD London

Free event. Please book via Eventbrite

Delta Arts is co-organising this event with Dr Sophie Hope (Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck and Delta Arts Advisory Panel member), and Dr Alex Colas (Department of Politics, Birkbeck).

The complex maritime routes of containerised trade are perhaps the hidden plumbing of globalisation. Common estimates suggest about 90% of the non-bulk cargo being transported worldwide is moved via container shipping. The economic, social and environmental consequences affect many lives around the world. This one-day symposium brings together the disciplines of art, anthropology, international relations, law and geography to explore the significance of the shipping container, maritime trade and labour conditions in the context of globalisation.

The symposium aims to identify different approaches and understandings of containerised global trade in order to allow overlaps between legal, social, cultural and environmental narratives to occur. The materiality of the container, the labour conditions of those who service the industry, and corporations’ diligent use of multiple legal jurisdictions will be considered. Through presentations, screenings and discussion we will investigate further the impact that the global standardisation of the twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) has had on human and non-human existence and how in turn it might be re-imagined and re-shaped.

The one day symposium includes contributions from artist Simon Faithfull, Dr Douglas Guilfoyle (Reader in Law, University College London), Professor Philip Steinberg (Professor of Political Geography, Durham University), Dr Olivia Swift (economic anthropologist who specialises in seafarer welfare) and will include a screening of The Forgotten Space, by Allan Sekula & Noël Burch.

 The symposium draws on and aims to develop current research into the sea, containerisation and globalisation being carried out by the organisers of the event: Dr Sophie Hope (Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck), Dr Alex Colas (Department of Politics, Birkbeck) and not-for-profit arts collective Delta Arts (Amy Lloyd, Curator, Educator, Emma Smith, Artist, and Oliver Sumner, Curator & Learning Specialist).

The Ship of Empty Boxes is supported by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and Delta Arts.

Container Ships

Ship in the Solent (Image: Oliver Sumner)

Ship in the Solent (Image: Oliver Sumner)

We have started a new blog, as an offshoot of this main Delta Arts blog, to collect references on the subject of containerised maritime trade. Have a look at http://intermodalflow.wordpress.com/

Delta Arts members have been researching material on this subject from interdisciplinary perspectives, including geography, law, international relations, economics, politics, and anthropology, as well as cultural references in art, film, and literature. For some time we have been exploring the idea of placing artists on a container ship passage between the UK and China, a project we have called Intermodal Flow.

Our idea is to develop Intermodal Flow as a mobile platform for artist exchange using passenger places available on container ships. Our vision is a combination of a site-specific residency, a collective-workshop, and an international artists’ think tank. It follows on from our experience of international artist fellowships in our 2010 project Golden Threads. Further updates on Intermodal Flow will be posted here.

PLAYAWAY Video

Somerville Adventure Playground visit to Somerstown Adventure Playground as part of PLAYAWAY, August 2013 (Image: Abigail Gilchrist)

Somerville Adventure Playground visit to Somerstown Adventure Playground as part of PLAYAWAY, August 2013 (Image: Abigail Gilchrist)

PLAYAWAY can now be viewed HERE.

PLAYAWAY is Delta Arts’ recent project with two adventure playgrounds in Portsmouth and South London. We invited filmmaker Hannah Blackmore and artist Abigail Gilchrist to work at Somerstown Adventure Playground on Portsmouth’s Somerstown estate and Somerville Adventure Playground in New Cross. They used a range of cameras, including miniature head-cams, to explore play with the children, and to find out how the two communities value their adventure playgrounds. We learnt about the issues they share and those specific to each context. We were particularly interested in the specific point of view of the children, using play and video to communicate.

The film was screened at both adventure playgrounds in late October and presented in a soapbox session at the 2013 engage International Conference in Birmingham on 7 November 2013. We are now looking for other venues to show the film, and are researching other ways to develop the project.

PLAYAWAY: Portsmouth & London Screenings

PLAYAWAY - Visit to Somerville Adventure Playground, July 2013 (Image: Abigail Gilchrist)

PLAYAWAY – Visit to Somerville Adventure Playground, July 2013 (Image: Abigail Gilchrist)

 

Tuesday 29 October, 3-5pm, at Somerstown Adventure Playground, Waterloo St, PORTSMOUTH PO5 4HS

Wednesday 30 October, 3-5pm, at Somerville Adventure Playground, Queens Rd, LONDON SE14

Join us for one of the premier screenings of PLAYAWAY: a film by Hannah Blackmore & Abigail Gilchrist, made with the help of children, staff, volunteers and families at two adventure playgrounds.

From June to September 2013 Delta Arts ran an exchange between two very different adventure playgrounds in Portsmouth and London. Hannah Blackmore and Abigail Gilchrist worked at Somerstown Adventure Playground on Portsmouth’s Somerstown estate, and Somerville Adventure Playground in New Cross.

Hannah and Abigail used a range of cameras, including miniature head-cams, to explore play with the children, and to find out how the communities value their adventure playgrounds. Delta Arts members Amy Lloyd and Oliver Sumner managed the project and supported the sessions, including coach visits between the two playgrounds.

A Delta Arts project supported by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

Play – from a child’s view

Using head-cams at Somerville Adventure Playground, Sep 2013 (Image: Hannah Blackmore)

Using head-cams at Somerville Adventure Playground, Sep 2013 (Image: Hannah Blackmore)

Abigail Gilchrist and Hannah Blackmore are back at the Adventure Playgrounds after a short break from our PLAYAWAY project.

The head-cams are in high demand, and the children are enjoying experimenting with their movement around the playground while they are recording. When they are playing with each other the children sometimes forget about the camera, but it can sometimes be the thing that brings them together. The cameras are clearly becoming part of the children’s play, as well as a way of sharing how they play.

With only a few sessions left we are talking about our ideas for the edit of the film and are looking forward to the screenings at Somerstown Adventure Playground in Portsmouth (29 October 2013), and Somerville Adventure Playground in London (30 October 2013).

An Architecture of Play – Nils Norman

'An architecture of play: a survey of London's adventure playgrounds', Nils Norman, Four Corners Books, 2003.

‘An architecture of play: a survey of London’s adventure playgrounds’, Nils Norman, Four Corners Books, 2003.

This small book by the artist Nils Norman greatly inspired our interest in adventure play.

‘An architecture of play’ records 59 adventure playgrounds in London with texts, photographs and drawings. Many of the playgrounds mentioned were first established in the early 1970′s, including Somerville Adventure Playground where we are currently working. Nils Norman’s introduction is followed by two short texts: ‘Towards a history of adventure playgrounds 1931-2000′ by Keith Cranwell, and ‘The vernacular of play’ by Paul Claydon. In the book Nils Norman describes London’s early adventure playgrounds as, ‘…embodying “the spirit of adventure play”, a phrase that evokes a creative, anarchic, children-led playscape’.