The Portal Will Open
The Slade RESEARCH CENTRE | UCL
Deborah Tchoudjinoff, Maya Hope Chaldecott, Raffaella Fryer-Moreira, Cemil Hamazaoglu, Axel drioli, Hermione Spriggs AND PAULA TURMINA
Curated Collectively BY THE MULTIMEDIA ANTHROPOLOGY LAB
The Portal Will Open is a week long residency at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, proposing an exploration of ideas around futurisms, thresholds, liminality and displacement. Our ambition is to transform the Slade Research Centre into a portal for exchange between cultural, cosmological and disciplinary points of view. This will take place through experimental workshops and presentations that focus on sound, VR, live collaboration and spaces of social intimacy. Additionally, The Portal Will Open will host an open session of our ongoing reading group ‘Anthropocene Futures’, and a public event built on MAL’s successful series of seminars (which have provided a platform for artists and academics to consider themes such as curating the digital, sonic ethnography, immersive alterity and sensory storytelling).
tHE pORTAL wILL oPEN fEATURES:
360 Cameras and VR technology as portals for perspective exchange: A day-long collaborative experiment using live VR capture and temporary architectures. This experiment builds upon MAL’s previous exhibition Translating Futures held at the Tate Exchange (Tate Modern), where artists and researchers considered power in relation to technology and the kind of futures that are encoded within and made possible through technologies of immersion. Collaborators including: Deborah Tchoudjinoff, Maya Hope Chaldecott and Raffaella Fryer Moreira (beaming in from Brazil through the VR portal).
Sonic Portals: a playful investigation into sound as a medium for ethnographic capture and live collaboration. Explorations in surround sound, cymatics and vital materialism, explored by collaborators musician Cemil Hamzaoğlu and Axel Drioli
AR and sound: locating objects as sounds in Augmented Reality space, building on MAL’s previous exhibition Translating Futures which featured ‘sonic objects’ at the Tate Exchange (Tate Modern). Collaborators including: Maya Hope Chaldecott (UCL, MSc Digital Anthropology, a consultant in immersive technology and VR practice).
The Anthropocene Futures reading group: A reading group stemming from the ongoing activities of MAL, dedicated to unearthing new ways of researching, understanding and practicing multimedia anthropology and, by extension, new ways to be human. How can radical anthropology can help us re-orient thought and practice beyond the trap of human exceptionalism, in the context of capitalist extractivism and anthropogenic climate change? And in turn, can engagements with ethno-fictions and futures inspire new approaches to narrative and style in anthropology?
Portal Installation: A collaborative installation combining sculpture and painting to create a space for discussion. MAL members invite Slade students and artists to join and think the space together. Inspired by the text “A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place to Be” by Ursula K. Le Guin, the installation proposes a different site for utopia where we rethink ways of living and thinking the world.
We hope that The Portal Will Open can provide a forum for creative dialogue, where artists, students, practitioners and researchers can engage with the questions surrounding the shifting ecologies of our times, while inviting a speculation on alternative futures. Our discussions will transform throughout the week through the reading group, workshops and practical investigations, and we will feedback our discoveries through and evolving presentation of works and screenings in the format of an Open Studio, accessible to the wider UCL Community. The Portal Will Open offers a unique opportunity for the Slade to host a truly interdepartmental and interdisciplinary series of events, bringing together artists, anthropologists and sound designers and employing exciting immersive technologies such as spatial audio, projection mapping, and VR.