Inspired by the exhibitions at the Serpentine Galleries, this study evening invited artists, writers, researchers and filmmakers to explore global infrastructure and the movement of people, things and information. Participants included architect and writer Keller Easterling, author of Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2015), anthropologist Alice Elliot, international law researcher Oreva Olakpe and artist Rachel Pimm. An Evening on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch featured the screening of artist Lance Wakeling's 2011 film, A Tour of the AC-1 Transatlantic Submarine Cable (HD video, 33min).
Introductions: Lucia Pietroiusti, Public Programmes Curator / Rebecca Lewin, Exhibitions Curator
Talk: Oreva Olakpe, Emerging Narratives in International Migrations: Case Studies on non-Western Approaches to International Law
Talk: Alice Elliot, Reckoning with the Outside: Migration and the Imagination of Life
Lecture/Performance: Rachel Pimm, Polymethyl Methacrylake
Talk: Keller Easterling, Knowing How
Conversation: Keller Easterling and Ben Vickers
Screening: Lance Wakeling, A Tour of the AC-1 Transatlantic Submarine Cable
Assistant Curator: Claude Adjil
Above: Rachel Pimm, Polymethyl Methacrylake, 2015. CGI: Jasmine Johnson. Courtesy of the artist
Keller Easterling is an architect, urbanist and writer. She is Professor of Architecture at Yale University. Her latest book is Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014). Previous publications include Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and Its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005) and Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America (MIT, 1999). She has exhibited at Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Rotterdam Biennale and the Queens Museum among others.
Alice Elliot is a Leverhulme Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology of University College London (UCL), UK. A social anthropologist, she specialises in the study of transnational movement, and has been conducting ethnographic research since 2006 between North Africa and Europe on the social and intimate dimensions of migration. She is at present preparing a book titled provisionallyReckoning with the Outside: Emigration and the Imagination of Life in Morocco, which explores how migration has come to penetrate towns, neighbourhoods, households and people in an area of the world marked by decades of transnational movement.
Oreva Olakpe has worked for UNICEF on Child rights advocacy. She has also worked for the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in Nigeria and carried out a series of community development projects in northern Nigeria. She has a Masters degree in International Law and International Studies. Oreva is currently pursuing PhD in Law on non-Western narratives in international migration law, with a focus on Sino and African experiences at SOAS, University of London.
Rachel Pimm, born 1984 Harare, Zimbabwe, lives and works in New Delhi and London. Pimm graduated with an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths in 2013. In 2007, Pimm was a co-founder of artist-run project space Auto Italia South East (with Kate Cooper and Amanda Dennis). Solo presentations include Zabludowicz Collection, Enclave Gallery, The Architecture Foundation, Martin Creed's House and Auto Italia, London; as well as group projects including Can Felipa, Barcelona, ICA, South London Gallery, SPACE Gallery, Milton Keynes Gallery, Ibid Projects, Paradise Row, Ceri Hand Gallery and David Roberts Art Foundation amongst others.
Ben Vickers is a curator, writer, explorer, technologist and luddite. Currently Curator of Digital at the Serpentine Galleries, is Co-Director of LIMAZULU Project Space, a Near Now Fellow and facilitator for the open-source development of unMonastery, a new civically minded social space prototyped in Matera, Southern Italy during 2014 and now set to replicate throughout Europe in 2015/16.
Lance Wakeling lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His recent films include Field Visits for Chelsea Manning (2014), Subida al cielo (2013), Views of a Former Verizon Building (2012) and A Tour of the AC-1 Transatlantic Submarine Cable (2011). He is the recipient of a 2014 Rhizome Commission. His artworks and videos have shown at BAM, New York; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Supplement Gallery, London; NiMK, Amsterdam; The Woodmill, London; Import Projects, Berlin; Capricious Gallery, Brooklyn; and Future Gallery, Berlin. His work has appeared in Flash Art, The New York Times, ubu.com and Artforum.com, among other publications and websites.