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.

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.

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.

With Chris Clarke, Marissa Draper, Ultimate Holding Company, Livewire, Cornerhouse
Commissioned by Cornerhouse and Asian Triennial Manchester 08 curated by Kathy Rae Huffman
Post-production commissioned by Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Norway for Reality Effects curated by Tone Hansen.

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.



You Are Now

as part of
Proposals for a Memorial to Partition
Curated by Murtaza Vali

CAMP draws a series of lines between this and that exhibition. Not only between country A and country B, or horizontally between peoples or on the plane of "cultural exchanges" or "extra-national space", but vertically, or diagonally, reaching out to an actual place, to its actual power and presence.

GHAR MEIN SHEHAR HONA - Part III

at de(Coding) Mumbai
With Shaina, Ashok, Simpreet
and Adarsh, Alyque, Naezy, Nayak, Medha, Sandeep, Rajjo, Tiger...

When the Cold Blows

A performance by our collaborators on cctv.camp, Seoul Express. More details: https://njpart.ggcf.kr/when-the-cold-blows/.

The Neighbour before the House الجار قبل الدار

EYEWITNESS
New Media Gallery

From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf

Watch and Chill
M+
West Kowloon Cultural District

From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf

Watch and Chill
MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum

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