Updates

This website is currently under construction as we update and do a little housekeeping.

Since 2016, Office of Experiments has been in near hibernation, operating only occasionally whilst testing out a new artistic research project inside UK Higher Education. In the last year, we have started to bring together a new series of investigations and experiments that involve botanists, curators, artists and writers, amongst others, in order to address a complex network of threats, real and imagined, as they manifest themselves in two distinct yet related spaces that are at once enclosed and controlled – Heathrow Airport and its environs and England’s Southeastern coast.

We are in the process of developed an ‘Unbound Herbarium’. This project is based on Heathrow Airport’s role in the regulation and control of rare and endangered plants across UK borders. Endangered plant mobilities become markers of unwitting violence as suburban gardeners, cactus collectors and orchid enthusiasts unwittingly threaten remote and delicate habitats and ecologies. Drawing on knowledge of this area at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, we are joined by a botanist to explore the spatiotemporal control of nature from the perspectives of a range of endangered plants and our own role in attempts to stem the tide of environmental collapse.

Meanwhile, we are continuing the fieldwork we started with the Overt Research Project on contested landscapes in a new iteration that maps what we are calling ‘Sites of Escape’ (Under Contruction) across the southeastern coast of England.

On a separate front, the International aims of the Deep Field Project is entering a new phase. Coalescing outside of the University of Westminster, we are drawing together the founders’ work at the intersections of critical arts practice whilst focusing on the shared ideas and theoretical work concerning the philosophical dimensions of spatial and temporal inquiry that might lead to new actions and activism.

IMAGE. A woodpecker’s head inside a Bound Herbarium. These books are the forerunner to contemporary scientific herbarium sheets, where individual plants are catalogued. This is an artifact included in just one of the 263 volumes that make up Hans Sloane’s Herbarium. Image from a visit to Natural History Museum Special Collection – 4th May 2023