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Place Exploration:

October 24, 2011

The Mobile Institute

Place Exploration

Cylinders Estate September 2011

Natasha, Olga and Fiona on a workshop lead by Bram Thomas Arnold. Just north of the Cylinders Estate.


 Claiming the space.

Upon arrival The Mobile Institute spent time at Toc-H setting the scene for four intensive days of place-based workshops with artists from the London based network POST.

Object Introductions.

The group were asked to introduce themselves and something of their practice through an object they had brought with them. Above Bram introduces himself through 3 postcards he wrote but failed to send on a recent trip to Venice.

Discussing the week in the Shippon Gallery.

After a walking tour of the estate the group discuss ideas for the week, expectations and possibilities.

Above Olga and Fiona explore notions of trust in collaborative activity through an exercise based on touch lead by Penny Skerrett.

 Fiona, contemplative during a workshop led by Penny.


The group discusses a recent intervention in the landscape.

Tea, laptop and projector; vital preparations for an evening of presentations on Monday 25th September.

Jenny discusses some recent work of hers and her ongoing search for the truth of things through arts practice.

High on the Langdale Pikes amidst breaking cloud, the group try not to get lost on a walk lead by Bram.

Back at Toc-H the group explore relationships amongst themselves through a process called Object Relations, this image is taken early on during an hour long session.

The scene evolves as time goes by, individuals take the stage one at a time to affect a change on the scene before them, here Penny navigates her way through walking boots placed by Eleanor Wynne Davis.


The following day El leads a workshop on listening, This photograph above was taken via just listening to a sound and trying to locate it as was the following shot of Olga playing a mangle. The group were performing an orchestrated response to the pool on the estate.

Olga plays the mangle.

Below are two images taken from Reading a place. Each was asked to find a place they thought suitable for reading and then, at random pick a page from their chosen book and attempt to divine any unexpected confluence between the two.

Collage. 6 copies of The Westmoreland Gazette, 6 pieces of paper, 6 knives, 6 cans of spray mount.

One outcome:

All photographs © 2011 Bram Thomas Arnold.

On the final afternoon, in the wake of their collage making, that was also an introduction to the local news and issues – an alternative take on place –  POST artists give feedback on the week as they attempt to collectively piece together what just happened in a game of “And then we….”

The weather was amazing this time, the accommodation and facilites available at Toc-H brilliantly suited our needs. And though we were this time unable to produce any Damson Jam, the 2011 vintage Sloe Gin should be in a consumable state come the turning of the years.

Bram Thomas Arnold.

The Mobile Institute.


Place Explorations.

August 16, 2011

The Mobile Institute are currently preparing to embark on their second residency trip to the Lake District. We will be spending 5 days on site developing new site-specific and collaborative research through a series of worksops and experiments with artists from London’s POST artists network. More about them and how to join in future projects is available at

The Mobile Institute

October 29, 2009

This Is Not A Gateway 2009.

On Lamb Street and Hanbury Street, the afternoon of the 24th October The Mobile Institute, along with a clutch of new members performed a version of The Park Bench Reader and a new work composed by El and Bram entitled Scoring The City.

The Institute gathering on Lamb Street. 1.40pm.Kostas Chondras & Helen Brushett.Imogen Smith reading Virginia Wolf to the rain. Scoring The City in Hanbury Hall

The Park Bench Reader suffered somewhat due to the flayling weather in an otherwise perfect weekend but it is in the nature of outdoor performance to subject oneself to the wind occasionally.

More information to follow and a really big thank you to everyone who volunteered to make both performances possible.



The Mobile Institute

September 9, 2009

Residency – Cylinders Estate 2009.

In collaboration with Littoral Arts Trust.

Cylinders Estate

The Mobile Institute were invited to a residency on the Cylinders Estate on the 10th Anniversary of Littoral’s discovery of the site. The site is home to the Merz Barn, Kurt Schwitter’s final Merzbau structure that he built towards the end of the second world war. For more information about this please visit

We spent a week on site exploring the place and our collective ideaologies through a diverse series of methods derived from our various individual practices.

The Mobile Institute

September 9, 2009

Projects – The Park Bench Reader. 2008.

A public realm performance for the inaugural This Is Not A Gateway festival 2008. The Institute will be doing a new version of this performance for this years festival in Spitalfields in October 2009. To participate or for more information please email

Gillet Square. Dalston.

In the year of Thomas Hardy’s birth on Wednesday September 16th, 1840 Joseph Strutt opened the first municipal park to the public. And with it came the park bench. On Sunday 23rd March 2006 I enlisted the help of six volunteers to commemorate this collision by reading out loud from six of his works on six park benches that were situated near to each other in the grounds of Dartington Hall, South Devon. The piece interacted with the environment, with the students of the college and with members of the public strolling past first one bench, then another and another, each alive with a different Thomas Hardy tale.

In September 2008 I, as part of The Mobile Institute along with several other individuals took to Gillet Square in the heart of Dalston and read aloud from a variety of works on London. From George Orwells’ 1936 novel ‘Keep The Aspidistra Flying’ to Monica Alis’ ‘Brick Lane’ and Iain Sinclairs’ ‘Lights Out For The Territory’. This 40minute intervention into the public realm sought to mingle these layers of history and fiction live, over the palimpsest of East London, exploring ideas of interpretation, public space, and the levels of interaction to which Londoners are willing to expose themselves.

A secondary performance was delivered in the Vortex Jazz bar the next afternoon. A segment of text from each of the works read aloud had been taken and woven together by myself for a public oration performed by the Institute and its honorary members.

Keep The Aspidistra Flying

The Mobile Institute.

September 6, 2009

The Mobile Institute is a collaborative artists network for the exploration of practices within the Public Realm. Founded by Bram Thomas Arnold, Eleanor Wynne Davis and Penny Skerrett the project grew out of the MA in Arts & Ecology at Dartington College of Arts in 2008.

On the Cylinders Estate in the Lake District.