Camden Alive and Unlimited are delighted to announce that Raquel Meseguer’s A Crash Course in Cloudspotting (the subversive act of horizontality) will be coming to Camden. Raquel will develop her work over the coming months, collaborating with residents across Camden to produce a new installation at Swiss Cottage Gallery in the new year…
Raquel has been collecting stories about people’s attempts to rest in public. She thought she was part of a small crew of neurodiverse people who need to lie down and rest throughout the day. Turns out it’s a pretty big crew.
Part installation, part verbatim theatre, A Crash Course in Cloudspotting (the subversive act of horizontality) tells stories of people who need to rest throughout the day.
“It’s a 24 minute play with words and light. I really like that neurodiverse people, often isolated and absented from cultural spaces, get to broadcast their rest in a public space, and in a public work of art” Raquel Meseguer, Unchartered Collective
The first iteration of the work, supported by an R&D award from Unlimited, was in partnership with Oval House and led to the prototype being shared at Southbank Centre and even in Mexico.
This new iteration, focusing on Camden residents, will add to the archive of stories and will be presented in a new installation at Swiss Cottage Gallery, sits within an architectural landmark building designed by Sir Basil Spence, the Swiss Cottage Library, from 17 Jan – 27 Feb 2020. Residents will use an app when resting that triggers individual bulbs in the gallery space, creating a collective light show and illuminating the often hidden needs of many Camden residents.
It’s part of a number of commissions within the Camden Alive programme, celebrating the people of Camden and linked within a new and ambitious virtual Camden People’s Museum which aims to preserve elements of each commission through web-based augmented reality. Camden Alive is part of the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture and is a Mayor’s Cultural Impact Award winner.
Raquel has been considering the needs of those who rest in public since experiencing hostility from cultural venues when she needed to lie down in public. Her ultimate goal is a network of resting places across the country, enabling this access requirement to not just be met, but met with beauty and grace. Listen to her Four Thought piece on Radio Four here.
It draws on the growing number of people naming fatigue or limited energy as an access issue, and the groups growing to support people in this situation, such as the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project. Often self-named ‘spoonies’ (linked to the spoon theory), a growing number of people are looking to make that rest visible and still maintain a cultural life.
“This piece is one of the most significant Unlimited have supported, as it redefines not just who can become involved but how. For too long access has ignored the needs of a significant proportion of disabled people – those with energy related impairments. This work makes the invisible visible, and gives agency over to those who are usually ‘unseen’. And it does so beautifully, showing us that we are truly equal after all.” Jo Verrent, Senior Producer, Unlimited.
The team for this new work are looking for 50 Camden residents who experience energy limitations to take part in the work which is being conceived and directed by Raquel Meseguer, in collaboration with Artist & Designer Sophia Clist and Composer & Sound Artist Jamie McCarthy and supported by Creative Producer Jo Kimber. To get involved, contact Raquel Meseguer (Artistic Director): firstname.lastname@example.org or
Ralph Thompson (Engagement Producer): email@example.com.