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Other Possible Worlds: What do we have to build to get out of this one?, Installation view, NGBK 2011

Cedric Bomford

Bamberton: Contested Landscape

The work constructed for ‘Bamberton: Contested Landscape’ emerged through a half-year collaborative building process with my brother Nathan. The full-room installation takes its name from a failed development proposal from the early nineties on Vancouver Island, Canada. The Bamberton development was one of the first in Canada to be directly marketed with the language of sustainable development.

We used a process we have called “thinking through building,” in which a full-scale structure is built, without plans, as a form of improvisational construction that remains open to change and development until the project is completed. The installation was constructed at the same moment that we were researching the history of the site, the conflict in the local community (that had affected our family when we were teenagers), and the political fallout of the failure of the proposal.

Other Possible Worlds: What do we have to build to get out of this one?

The work I am constructing for the ‘Other Possible Worlds’ project is made of salvaged waste from past exhibitions, used construction products and other reclaimed materials. The project employs a similar conceptual building approach to the Bamberton work though it is shifted in order to interrogate the power relations inherent to constructed spaces. Beginning with the question: “what do we have to build to get out of this one?” the project works through the assumption that technological and economic progress can provide the solutions to the cataclysmic problems facing our globe. It investigates the ideological permeation of aspects of the conception, planning, design, and building process by attempting to collapse them onto each other, physically and temporally. Rather than promising to answer this question or to set up a “platform” to investigate it, the project actively inhabits the question and merely provides its physical form for public scrutiny.

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