Topographies of the Obsolete is an artistic research project that focuses on the closed Spode Works in Stoke-on-Trent, UK.

The first workshop Resurrecting the Obsolete took place in September 2012 in the Spode Factory, Stoke on Trent, UK organized by Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway (KHiB).

KHiB was invited as a Research Fellow Partner Institution by the British Ceramics Biennial 2013 and the first workshop included 33 staff and students from KHiB, The Royal Academy of Art Copenhagen, Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, Sheffield Hallam Univerisity, University of Nottingham Trent and invited alumni/artists from KHiB. Together we explored the Spode site’s histories, industrial space and infrastructure.

The workshops have uncovered a variety of methods and strategies exploring the complexity of the site from different perspectives and practices particular to each of the artists/students involved. We had a great variation of expressions ranging from the performative intervention based to installation and object based work.

The second of the research residency took place in March 2013 as the artistic research project Topographies of the Obsolete. The third workshop takes place in August 2013.

In September a number of participants from the research project will present their works during the British Ceramics Biennial 2013.

This site will act as a meeting point for participants and others interested in our progress.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Øyvind Suul

Resurrecting the Obsolete - Topographies of the Obsolete

In the start of the "Resurrecting the Obsolete" project I arrived at the site with great expectations and curiosity, but without knowing what I could expect. This was in one sense frustrating because I had visited the site briefly earlier, and I felt that this should have rewarded me with some basic ideas. 
No name (2012) H/D/W 78 x 93 x 77 cm. Found objects

Luckily I had an epiphany when I, on an impulse, started collecting objects and materials from the site. Soon I started to paraphrase and rephrase this material into new sculptural structures and concepts. The work on assembling the sculptures was intuitive and playful. What could work together from an aesthetic or formalistic perspective?

By putting together stuff that don´t belong together you realize that the sum of the parts sometimes are greater than each individual part. I found it interesting to observe this, and how different constellations sometimes made an absurd connection or comment to this site and its history.

Meadow (2012) H/D/W 182 x 200 x 100 cm. Found objects

The work I produced during September 2012 don´t appear to be site-specific at first sight. It is presented like autonomous sculpture, but all of the material has some kind of relationship to the closed down production at Spode Works. So when it´s presented in these particular surroundings it might link up with the past and the future of the site in various ways.

Omega (2012) H/D/W 65 x 170 x 170 cm. Found objects
The second part of this project, which happens this spring, is titled:
"Topographies of the Obsolete" and focuses on "The site" as a platform and motif for artistic research. My approach to the project will be hands-on this time around also. I want to experiment with spacial interventions and actions that infiltrate the architecture.

Words like "plug-ins", "site-limited sculpture" and "Add-ons" helps create some kind of framework for my attitude towards "The site" as an artistic medium.
No name (2012) H/D/W 78 x 93 x 77 cm. Found objects

Untitled (2012) Found objects

Untitled (2012) H/D/W 80 x 125 x 100 cm. Found objects
Untitled (2012) H/D/W 80 x 125 x 100 cm. Found objects

Untitled (2012) H/D/W 108 x 142 x 70 cm. Found objects

Meadow (2012) H/D/W 182 x 200 x 100 cm. Found objects.

WOW! (2012) H/D/W 25 x 216 x 60 cm. Found objects

Untitled (2012) H/D/W 108 x 142 x 70 cm. Found objects

Untitled(2012) H/D/W 190 x 58 x 300 cm. Found objects

Untitled (2012) H/D/W 240 x 110 x 110 cm. Found objects

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