About the Programme

So remember the liquid ground is conceived as a programme of meditative and sensorial experiences across the digital, physical and spiritual realms. The immersive programme features newly commissioned live sound streaming, moving images and performances, by Soundcamp collective, Myriam Lefkowitz and Julie Laporte, Zoë Marden, Eduardo Navarro, Anna Nazo, Himali Singh Soin and Linda Stupart.

Responding to and expanding from the forgotten social histories and ecologies of Vauxhall in London, the programme has been inspired by the secret and suppressed River Effra, which flows underneath the area. The river acts as a way to re-imagine, navigate, feel and find ways in which we connect and synchronise with our surroundings.

A plan showing the probable original course of the River Effra prior to the digging of the cut to the Thames at Vauxhall in the thirteenth century from River Effra: South London’s Secret Spine by Jon Newman (2016)

The title so remember the liquid ground derives from the writings of feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray, who considers water as a site of possibilities and a force of differentiation.

The immersive programme features @Effra Streams, a live sound feed developed by the Soundcamp collective that explores the sounds, tensions, histories and mobilities of the hidden aqueous ecosystems of South London.

Connecting the Effra to its wider ecology, Linda Stupart’s film Watershed begins a mapping of the River Cole in Birmingham. With fictionalised, scientific and historical narratives of water, pollution and contagion, Linda creates an intimate non-division between their body and the river.

The notions of fluidity and interspecies entanglements are further explored in Zoë Marden’s live lecture-performance Mermainia: Tales of Tentacularity (the tentacles of COVID Capitalism) a work in progress…. The myths and stories of the mermaid, a hybrid creature that is both animal and human, is central to Zoë’s performance, in which she unfolds symbiotic thinking and ways of togetherness across species.

Anna Nazo’s brainwave performance Undulation explores the ethics of the technological, together with sympoietic relations through AI poetry and drone performance. The work reflects on themes of otherness, sensuousness and the relationship with the digital in an age of isolation.

40 Quarantine Dreams (40 sueños en cuarentena) is a short video work that reveals drawings made by artist Eduardo Navarro during the recent lockdown. The gesture of a hand in a moment when touch is precarious and precious lends intimacy and pertinence to the moving image work.

To Tehran in My Dreams by Himali Singh Soin traces the historical development of long-distance communication. Her emotive narrative addresses the idea that language works like electricity, circuiting from sender to receiver, and that love is a glitch that can disrupt the linear logics of time and capital.

Myriam Lefkowitz’s Remote Dances is an experiment of meditative dance and a one-to-one session, as a means to connect, visualise and come together through physical distance.

The programme also includes a Reading Room that acts as a circadian space for collective imagining and reflection on the body, with contributions from Clay AD, Chus Martínez, Helga Schmid, Ignota, PaperWork Magazine and NXS.

The new decade has brought with it a pandemic and a global crisis that has shattered what we thought we knew about our realities locally and globally. Belonging to a new generation of curators, we feel a responsibility to contribute to a collective consciousness, one which reconsiders human relations to nature, communities and our surroundings. A collectivity that actively aids in dissolving the schisms between nature and culture, ourselves and others, requires searching for new tools in order to navigate and connect across species, non-visible worlds and technological ontologies. The programme presents artists who are exploring some of these ideas through imagining speculative futures, fluid landscapes and interdependent bodies.

So remember the liquid ground is curated by Benjamin Darby, Yoojin Kang, Akis Kokkinos, Angelina Li, Lenette Lua and Louise Nason as part of the MA Curating Contemporary Art Programme Graduate Projects 2020, Royal College of Art in partnership with Gasworks.

It is also generously supported by Vauxhall One.

A physical iteration of the project will be presented in Autumn 2020 in the wider area of Vauxhall.




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