Subterranean Futures

Opening: Friday, 9th January 2015, 7.00 pm
Exhibition runs: 10th January 2015 – 31st January 2015

Exhibition at Scotty Enterprises, Berlin

As part of a collaboration entitled Subterranean Futures, between Berlin-based gallery/artist collective Scotty Enterprises and Campbell Works, Scotty Enterprises presents Hoops Heaps & Hangovers, an ambitious new installation by artists Neil Taylor and Harriet Murray.

Between the 22nd of January and 8th February 2015, Campbell Works will present the second chapter of Subterranean Futures in London, World Without End by Scotty Enterprises

More info:

Project text:

Subterranean Futures – Living between dystopia and utopia

Berlin and London, two capitals caught up in an endless process of gentrification. As the prosperity of a city rises and falls over the decades so too does the daily experience of those who inhabit it. These two cities are at very different stages in this perpetual cycle with Berliners “only” facing rising rents while London is being turned into a kind of Disneyland for investors who have no intention of ever living there. Could this be the future for other European cities, or indeed other global cities? or is the economic growth of one capital at the cost of others?

Subterranean Futures explores a possible alternative metropolis, questioning what city life might be like in a few decades as more and more people cram into less and less space. Is the future a Blade Runner style cramped and wet mega sprawls or well designed affordable spacious living space? Is there a will or desire for radically new concepts of alternative urban spaces to co-inhabit? And what consequences for the social order might that have? Will there still be room for nature, parks and privacy? Can we still find free space there? Free space to live and be our self, and free space to think?  Will it ever be it possible that the only remaining space available for development is underground?

City life for many has now reached a level of absurdity that can perhaps be seen as potentially liberating. As the existing political and economic systems, which seem to be one and the same these days, appear to be abstract and separate from actual life of the urban population, we wonder if now is the time to invent a new strategic operating system that is more considerate to all who inhabit the urban landscape, providing beneficial places to thrive for all living organisms / systems; humans, plants and planet alike?

These two concurrent exhibitions questions the possibility of alternative city life with the subterranean being both literal or metaphorical, imagining a future below and above ground, both dystopian and utopian: new architecture, a new sign system, research into alternative lifestyles, new machines, exploring the possible and pointless,  the controlled and uncontrolled, questioning the doctrine of profitability and economic growth. Exploring ideas that could equate to capitulation to the pressures of the profit line, or fly in the face of the power systems.

We question what structures – including physical infrastructure, architecture and political systems – make a happy society? What works for the individual and what is considered as working by the controlling power structures? Planning for future city life is an essential necessity with large-scale infrastructural change tacking decades to implement. Predictions are made, but who can tell if they are correct? Time being the only real reckoner, and if these predictions are off the mark the consequences could include both positive and negative possibilities, utopias and dystopias for future generations….

For centuries philosophers, thinkers, idealists, dreamers and artists have been fascinated with the unlikely event of ever being able to imagine, design or build a new utopia: exploring ideas from all angles, often irrespective of the practicality of any suggested solutions. Who else is best placed to safeguard or be playful and perhaps truly inspirational with such a subject than those who care and inhabit these strange landscapes?

[German Text:]

In der ersten Ausstellung 2015 präsentiert Scotty Enterprises „Hoops Heaps & Hangovers“ (Reifen, Haufen und Katerstimmung), eine neue Installation der Künstler Neil Taylor und Harriet Murray.

Als Antwort auf ihre Faszination für die sich ständig verändernden und entwickelnden Infrastrukturen der gebauten Umgebung und ihrer zunehmenden Verdrahtung zu unserer neuronalen Existenz, haben Taylor und Murray den Galerieraum in ein mikrointerdisziplinäres Labor verwandelt. Ihre faszinierende Installation versetzt den Betrachter ins Orbit, während gleichzeitig die Teilstrukturen der Stadtentwicklung zu einem vorgefertigten tentakelnden Ultra-Bienenstock geschrumpft sind.

Diese Arbeit hinterfragt unsere Existenz als unabhängige Kreaturen mit einzigartigen Soziolekt und Betriebssystem. Ist unser digitales Profil oder unsere Kindheit die Ursache bei der Wahl des Dufts und der Farbe unseres Toilettenpapiers, oder sind wir Spielfiguren der Internetanzeigen auf unseren E-Mail-Seiten, die Anlagemöglichkeiten in Fracking Unternehmen empfehlen, weil wir vor kurzem eine Gasrechnung gezahlt haben?

So wie Mieten steigen, Grundrisse schrumpfen und sich geschlossene Wohnanlagen multiplizieren, stellen wir fest, dass unsere Schinken anfangen wie Käse zu schmecken und wir fragen uns, wann das geschah.
Auch wenn wir durch unsere „Erste-Welt“-Bildung reisen, verschiedene Versionen unserer kollektiven Geschichte studierend, scheinen wir wenig gelernt zu haben über die Gefahren einer Zivilisation, die auf unbegrenztem Wachstum aufgebaut ist.
Selbst die ausgezeichnet zusammengestellten Geschichtsbücher lassen soviel zurück, wie sie vorantreiben. Während der allgegenwärtige Gott in seinem Gefolge eine klebrige Spur verlorenen Wissens, vergessener Generosität, Ungleichheit, Verschwendung und Chaos hinterlässt.

Für diejenigen, die das Glück haben, an diesem digi-faustischen Ereignishorizont beteiligt zu sein, es ist wie in ein Mikroskop zu starren und zu beobachten, wie sich Jahrtausende vermehren.
Es scheint ein Vertrag zu sein, den es lohnt zu unterschreiben, wenn wir zu Tausenden in der Schlange stehen und auf der Strasse schlafen, um die neusten Technik-Ikonen zu kaufen. Und dabei vergessen wir die Behinderung durch diese Verbindung – die Technologie hat schon unsere Glieder gefressen, unsere neurologische Energie absorbiert und unsere freien Gedanken aus den Gehirnen gesaugt.
So wie die Sonne ihre Umlaufbahn beendet und unser Verständnis von Wünschen zu einem Abflussrohr in der Wüste wird, werden wir zurückblicken und uns fragen, warum die individuelle Entscheidung jemals als notwendig erachtet wurde.

Neil Taylor und Harriet Murray betreiben in London einen unabhängigen Projektraum „Campbell Works“, der mit Scotty Enterprises Berlin kooperiert.

Hoops Heaps & Hangovers

 9 January 2015 – 31 January 2015

In response to their fascination with the ever-shifting and evolving infrastructures of the built environment and its steadily increasing hard-wired relationship to our neural existence, Taylor and Murray will transform Scotty Enterprises into a microcosmic interdisciplinary laboratory. Their intriguing installation suspending the viewer in orbit while simultaneously shrinking the substructures of urban development into a prefabricated tentacalised ultra-hive.

This work will question our very existence as independent creatures with unique sociolect operating systems. Is it our digital profiles or our childhood reasoning choosing the fragrance and colour of our toilet paper, or are we pawns to the smart ads in the margins of our email clients that recommend investment opportunities in Fracking Corporations because we recently paid a gas bill?

As rents rise, floor plans shrink and gated communities multiply we notice that our ham is beginning to taste like cheese and we wonder when that happened. Even as we journey through our ‘first world’ education systems studying versions of our collective histories we seem to learn little of the perils of civilisations built on perpetual high-risk growth. Invariably the most refined and exquisitely composed history books leave behind as much as they carry forward, while the omnipresent god particle leaves in its wake a sticky trail of lost knowledge, forgotten generosities, inequalities, waste and chaos.

For those fortunate enough to be involved in this digifaustian event horizon, it’s like staring down a microscope and watching millennia multiply. On face value it would appear to be a contract worth signing, as we queue up in the thousands, and sleep overnight in high streets, in order to lay our hands on the latest technological icon, forgetting the impediment to this marriage is that the technology has already eaten our limbs, and absorbed our neurological energy field, depriving the brain of free thought. So as the sun completes its orbit and our understanding of desire feels like a drain hole in a desert, will we look back and wonder why individual choice was ever even thought necessary.

Related Artists: Harriet Murray, Neil Taylor
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