CAMP: Beginnings

Beginnings is an exhibition tracing some of the conceptual and artistic origins of CAMP. At ARGOS, Brussels as part of new beginnings at ARGOS itself.

Since 2008, CAMP has built a steady reputation for exploring the emancipatory possibilities of image-making, archival practices, distribution, and viewership through artistic projects and interventions. They aim to challenge our understanding of technology and infrastructure, while bringing knowledge and the reversal of power dynamics to the fore.

Beginnings, however, goes back in time. Revisiting a number of formative artworks from 2001-2008, a period of their output that predates the establishment of CAMP, the exhibition addresses some of the fundamental elements that would subsequently come to define the studio’s main artistic concerns.

Beginnings destabilizes traditional notions of image-making. It speculates on fundamental questions of the nature of film and video through site-specific spatial and technical interventions. It invites us to look behind digital images as they materialize, to position ourselves inside a video camera apparatus, to explore the lowest-bandwidth phenomenon we could call “a film”, to think about energetic distributions and subject awareness, or to simply look outside a window and think about a neighbourhood of images. Displaying these primary, precise interventions and actions, the exhibition asks which new rules, materials, and sensibilities are needed to construct images of the world, almost from scratch.

Additionally, Beginnings connects these questions to two later works by CAMP that most directly translate these initial experiments into fully realised film projects. The exhibition as a whole thus points towards fundamental shifts in image-making ground and agency: away from its producer towards its subjects and environments, while heightening our sensory awareness of this shift.

Gallery: Beginnings
Windscreen, 2002

A sculptural allegory about the difference between video and film.

Gateway paper, coffee stirrers, fishing wire, wooden / steel frame, electric fan.

An Evening with CAMP

This artist talk accompanies Signals: How Video Transformed the World.
Organised by Stuart Comer, Michelle Kuo and Rattanamol SIngh Johal.

We Begin by Measuring Distance

Works in Palestine by Basma Al Sharif and CAMP
at Cinema Project, Portland
November 8th, 2013
Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar (The Neighbour before the House)
CCTV video, 60 mins

Vikalp @ Prithvi + Q & A with CAMP

Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar
The Neighbour before the House
(60 mins)
2009
Arabic and English with English Subtitles.

CAMP After Media Promises

Nam June Paik Art Center Prize

An exhibition of the "contextually rich, environment-shifting media works of CAMP".

Passages through Passages الرفيق قبل الطريق

A survey exhibition of the spatial, technical and cultural imaginations cultivated by CAMP.
Curated by Hoor Al Qasimi

Khirkeeyaan, 2006

Neighbourhood TV repurposed as conversation systems in a mashup of cable TV and early CCTV systems, in an "urban village" in Delhi.

TV sets, CCTV cameras, microphones, video splitter, Rf modulator, XLR and COAX Cables. 7 episodes, Runtime various.

Four letter Film, 2004-2016

A conversation between two people, at the smallest possible bandwidth, that one could call "film", or narrative. Made of four alphanumeric characters, each having 14 segments. First made using Christmas lights in 2004. Remade in 2015.

LED structure, DMX controller, computer.

As If - I Rock, Paper, Scissors

EXPERIMENTER, Kolkata
January 7 - February 10 2015

An old game of hand-commanded powers:

Jan, Ken, Pon
Mushti, Pataka, Kartarimukha

An interplay of forces in which the roles of Subject, Medium and Author can be exchanged, and also changed.

Three Early Works

As If - II Flight of the Black Boxes

24 JORBAGH, New Delhi
January 27 - February 24 2015

Born in experimentation and uncertainty, black boxes of machines and institutions surround us with seemingly smooth and impenetrable functions. But reintroduce the uncertainty, reopen the conflicts, and the box appears stable in neither form nor function.

Twelve works by CAMP look out through the interior worlds of cameras, memory devices, surveillance systems and more, developing feelings and strategies along with them.

Could Have Beens

Tate Modern
Transformer Galleries and Tanks
Ten Days Six Nights
March 24 to April 2, 2017

CAMP presents a series of works including Windscreen, Capital Circus, One Agreement and Four-letter Film.

We also host Camera Obscura, an evening with video and talking, on the 29th of March.

Capital Circus, 2008

Filmed at the then largest mall in Europe, the Arndale Center, which had been built over the centre of Manchester town after an IRA bombing in 1992. Filmed using the 208 cameras of the mall, from the control room. Over a hundred subjects were followed after they signed a "release form" combining CCTV and documentary image release protocols.
Part of the project CCTV Social.

27 mins, CCTV video.

Al jaar qabla al daar (The neighbour before the house), 2009-2011

الجار قبل الدار

“The Neighbour before the House” is a series of video probes into the landscape of East Jerusalem. Shot with a CCTV security camera, these images show that before and after instrumental "surveillance", there is inquisitiveness, jest, memory, desire and doubt that pervades the project of watching. In these specific times and places, camera movements and live commentary become ways in which Palestinian residents evaluate what can be seen, and speak about the nature of their distance from others.

60 mins, SD CCTV video and sync audio.



What the Cameras Saw and Remembered

Two films by CAMP
Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar (The Neighbour before the House)
From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf

To See is To Change

with Bombay Tilts Down (2022) and A Photogenic Line, (2019) as part of Photo 24, Melbourne.
In this pair of large-scale works, CAMP explore two sides of their practice; one that produces experimental film and video, often with unusual equipment and angles of participation, and another that creates and animates archives of moving images, documents and photography.

Closing Party! BOMBAY TILTS DOWN

Low-End Therapy
By Swadesi crew Kaali Duniya (Bamboy/Tushar Adhav) with guest MC's Kranti Naari, Pratika, MC Mawali, Khabardar Revolt.
BassBrahma and RaakShas Sound
Equality on the dance floor.

Bombay Tilts Down in Mumbai!

7-channel environment. 13 mins, on loop with two alternating soundtracks

A vertical landscape movie in facets. Filmed remotely by one CCTV camera from a single-point location atop a 35-floor building on E. Moses Road during the pandemic.

READING LISTENING SEEING Bombay Tilts Down

A tour of the work with CAMP in three acts.
12 January 7 pm, ft. Bamboy
13 January 6 pm
14 January 7:30 pm
20 January 7 pm

DEEPFACTS

with Khorshed and Kekoo Gandhy

in CheMoulding Part II - FUTURING.
60 years of Chemould Gallery

Concave Room

CheMoulding Part II - FUTURING
60 years of Chemould Gallery
+ CAMP invites:
Mohit Shelare, Curve in the Desire.
++
himanshu S and aqui T, Parallel Universe.

Capital Circus, 2008

as part of
The Unfaithful Octopus
Nanyang Technological University

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