The London Lab
SYNOPSIS AND POSITION
The mobile virtual London Lab is a collaboration between CSM, with colleagues Mick Finch, Louisa Minkin and Elizabeth Wright, and the Endangered Material Knowledge Programme at the British Museum, led by Ceri Ashley (also of the University of Pretoria, S. Africa). It pools expertise and a network of knowledge, supporting the 4 context- Labs and the commissioning stage. It will focus on provision of digital toolkits and skill-sharing through non-hierarchical forms, grassroots production, using free/libre open-source software (FLOSS), with the intention of developing new contexts and associations and strategies for egalitarian archiving practice, enabling new self-representations and re-reading or counter-mapping of existing archival material. It will include such digital practices as: Mazi Raspberry Pi technology (low cost hyper local networking for community self-representation), film auto-documentation and ELAN software for annotations, and a suite of open source solutions for photogrammetric capture and post-processing. The emphasis will be on digital recording/capture of sites, places, landscape and 3D objects and surfaces, and the intersection of these with lived and re-lived memories and futurities – tools of both production and dissemination. It aims to enable events that will experiment with a set of media familiar in art schools: video, sound, animation, 3D structure from motion photogrammetry and geo-spatial applications but also in terms of the use of analogue media; and interfaces with EMKP’s proven record of supporting research in digital/visual ethnography, audio-visual creation, innovative and reflexive metadata organisation, multi-layered annotation, safeguarding, situational ethics and intellectual property rights, the practicalities of digital holding and access curation. Prior work project partners’ work includes re-tooling colonial and historic photographic and object archives held in museums through repatriation to source communities and working with knowledge holders of the Blackfoot Confederacy concerning their objects in UK collections. Through such interventions, older hieratic understandings and appropriation of knowledge becomes re-purposed for new engagements and archival creation. Existing knowledge structures, whether local to ODA- countries or existing skills of London team-members, are starting points for collective sharing and knowledge development.
OBJECTIVES AND METHODS
We have met with several of the Labs and are hoping to have met them all by the end of 2020. The Lab is establishing dialogue to explore the specificities of each Lab, their methods, technologies and the challenges they are encountering during COVID 19. The Lab is working on a case study with the community of an adventure playground in London in the production of a mural. An older mural will be archived and the production of the new mural documented toward the production of toolkits that relate to both digital and analogue processes. The aim here is develop strategies that respond to the contexts of the Labs in terms of pragmatic encounters, as examples to work with the Labs as their projects unfold.
WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS
As soon as we have the material from our case study we will lead an event on its material, insights and outcomes that we will present to our colleagues in Imagining Futures. We are aiming for December 2020 for this event.
- On-going dialogue with the labs
- Development of case studies in response to the Lab’s specificities.
- Development of analogue and digital toolkits of developing new contexts and associations and strategies for egalitarian archiving practice
OTHER PROJECTS THAT CONNECT TO YOU
We have links to the Adventure Play Hub in terms of our case study and we are also hoping to work with Tawny Paul’s Start UP funded Los Angeles Neighborhood Archives Project