News from the Document and Location Research Group
Dr Mike Ricketts has contributed a new essay to the recently published journal, Iteration: Episodes in the mediation of art and architecture, edited by Robin Schuldenfrei and published by Routledge.
In Ricketts’ essay, ‘In and out of view: Reflections on The Vessel‘, he focuses on the shifting identity of a large grey accommodation barge that has been reconfigured numerous times to enable it to fulfil different functions. In spite of these reconfigurations, Ricketts suggests that the barge unwittingly represents ‘a bleak parody of, even affront to, any notion of ‘design’.
Document and Location member, Dr Mike Ricketts and Dr Dan Keech (Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire) were invited to contribute to the workshop "Transdisciplinary research on sustainability transition, climate adaptation and risk reduction" at Karstad University (Sweden) in March 2020.
Ricketts and Keech have been working together to explore the transgression of physical and social boundaries during severe floods experienced on the Somerset Levels and Moors in the consecutive winters of 2013 and 2014. Following a presentation of their work at last year’s Nordic Geographers’ Meeting in Trondheim (Norway), the pair were invited to the workshop hosted by Professor Magareta Dalhström, Director of the Centre for Research on Region Building (CRS) at Karlstad University.
The workshop shared research in relation to sustainability transition and/or climate adaptation and risk reduction, and how this is carried out in a collaborative manner; for example, in relation to research and ‘practice’, and collaboration between different partners in society. Ricketts and Keech were joined by regional and environmental geographers, risk management modellers (who demonstrated interactive flood modelling tools), IT and communication specialists, policy and governance experts and educationalists from Karlstad and Linköping Universities.
Aaron Schuman gave a talk about the inspiration behind his innovative publication, SLANT, at Pakhuis de Zwijger (Amsterdam, Netherlands). This event was organised in cooperation with PhotoQ Bookshop.
Aaron Schuman's SLANT was placed seventh in The Guardian's "Best Culture 2019 - Photography: Top 15 Photography Books of 2019". This runs alongside similar nominations made by important figures within photography (highly acclaimed artists, publishers, curators, critics, etc), in several other end-of-year/"best-of-2019" features that have been recently published highly-respected and important contexts within contemporary photographic industry/culture such as Internazionale, American Suburb X and Photobookstore Magazine.
Document and Location Research Group are delighted to announce our new member, Lee Elkins, founder and Creative Director of The Lost Light Recordings. Established in 2018, Lost Light Recordings is an independent publisher that works with photographers to realise projects through the medium of the photobook. The critically acclaimed books Elkins has created under the imprint since 2018 - including Cian Oba-Smith’s Andover & Six Acres, Sadie Catt’s Woodstock and the forthcoming Harrowdown Hill by John Spinks - explore landscape as a politicised territory and its effect on people and place.
Elkins was recently appointed as Senior Lecturer in Photography at UWE Bristol. He will subsequently draw on his editorial rigour and expertise in publishing to expand Document and Location's public output through initiating the Group's first original photobook.
Re-Make/Re-Model, a newly commissioned text by Chris Fite-Wassilak on Dr Mike Ricketts’ The Vessel. Re-Make/Re-Model, has its inaugural release in Foreground’s File Notes series, an occasional series of commissioned writing that will critically engage with different areas of Foreground’s programme. The first texts released will present new writing on Document and Location members’ work and be published on the Document and Location website and Foreground websites and available for free download.
Engaging with notions of architectural temporality and spatial politics, Re-Make/Re-Model traces the core ideas behind Dr Ricketts’ 2013 work The Vessel and analyses it in comparison to diverse sources such as with The Fun Palace, a proposed centre for London’s Lea Valley by Cedric Price and Joan Littlewood that would have been composed of a hollow building structure and hold moveable building units.
Document and Location member, Aaron Schuman, launched the group’s 2019 programme of discursive events with a lecture on his latest project SLANT in the context of his wider practice on 22 May 2019 as part of the Arnolfini and UWE Bristol’s Art in the City lecture series.
In SLANT, which has recently been published by Mack Books, Schuman interweaves a selection of bizarre newspaper clippings detailing succinct and extraordinarily anticlimactic accounts of crimes, suspicious activities, events and non-events reported in Amherst, Massachusetts published between 2014-2018, with quietly wry photographs he made within a thirty-mile radius of Amherst from 2016-18, in response to their unintentionally deadpan descriptions. What began as a genuinely affectionate, tongue-in-cheek take on the small towns where Schuman spent his childhood steadily came to reflect the disquieting rise of “fake news”, “alternative facts”, “post-truth” politics and paranoia in America following the 2016 election. Find out more information about Aaron’s talk that was held at the Arnolfini.
Document and Location member, Dr Mike
Ricketts, will be presenting new research alongside
Dr Daniel Keech (University of Gloucestershire) at the eighth
Nordic Geographers’ Meeting (NGM), Trondheim, Norway. Titled this
year as Sustainable Geography – Geographies of
Sustainability, the eighth NGM will engage with ideas
of sustainability within geographical scholarship, the politics of
sustainability beyond the academy and the shifting discipline of
As part of the NGM’s, The anthropocene uncanny and sustainability imperative session, Ricketts and Keech will be discussing their current research into The Somerset Levels and Moors, a low-lying area of farmland in England, recently subjected to numerous hydrological and geographical studies following severe floods in 2013 and 2014. As collaborating artist and geographer, Ricketts and Keech will examine material tokens of physical and social relationships:
- How did these floods leave their mark?
- Which boundaries are changed or re-enforced after waters recede?
- How do groups perceive their experiences differently?
- And how can contrasting narrations and practices be understood and re-animated within a broad context of worsening flooding, claim, counter-claim, and denial?
Read further details of the 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting.
We are delighted to announce that MACK Books will be publishing Document and Location member Aaron Schuman’s latest project SLANT in April 2019. In SLANT, Schuman interweaves a selection of bizarre newspaper clippings detailing succinct and extraordinarily anticlimactic accounts of crimes, suspicious activities, events and non-events reported in Amherst, Massachusetts published between 2014-2018, with quietly wry photographs he made within a thirty-mile radius of Amherst from 2016-18, in response to their unintentionally deadpan descriptions.
We are happy to announce that the Document and Location
Research Group has been awarded research funding from the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries
and Education at UWE Bristol. Aimed at developing innovative
methods of research and generating cross-disciplinary academic and
practice-led collaboration, the Faculty’s Research Group funding
has funded the establishment of the new group, a dedicated website
and Document and Location’s 2019 programme of events.