The Origin considers the importance of community within a large city and facilitates meaningful exchanges between strangers, aiming to reconnect people both to each other and to their environment. Britain’s island status, both literal and metaphorical, has always been at the heart of its identity; The Origin will mirror those concerns by creating a miniature floating community that will act as a microcosm for the ways in which we co-habit, communicate and solve problems. A temporary community, an experiment in living, is exciting and relevant because it embraces the propositional; the ‘what if’ – it can be seen as a rehearsal for an alternative future. The idea of a classless, stateless, humane society based on common ownership feels particularly poignant within the current climate. The Origin aims to reconsider ideas of hope, love, solidarity, care and support – values that will shape this community’s identity.
In Summer 2020, Stanley Picker Fellow Ben Judd collaborated with local residents, community groups, students and academics to develop ideas for an adaptable floating structure The Origin which will travel along the River Thames. Due to COVID-19, this project took place online. Participants were invited to contribute to aspects of the community such as costume, narrative, movement, music, engagement with the local environment, and use of the boat.
The online version of the floating resource ran for six weeks throughout June and July on these pages.
Each week is dedicated to a specific subject area at Kingston University and a local community group. Both groups use the online space to develop a particular aspect of the project’s community, identity and legacy by uploading content onto these pages, developing a dialogue and collaboration between the two groups. You can also follow the activities at #TheOriginKingston on Instagram & Twitter.
Week 1 (1 – 7 June) Fashion & The Gate
Week 2 (8 – 14 June) Creative Writing & The Bradbury
Week 3 (15 – 21 June) Dance & The Grange
Week 4 (22 – 28 June) Music & Refugee Action Kingston
Week 5 (29 – 5 July) Sustainable Design & Mill St Residents’ Association
Week 6 (6 – 11 July) Interior Design & Canbury and Riverside Association (CARA)
Ben Judd is based in London. His work examines collectivity and participation through performance, moving image and installation, enabling different forms of communities to be explored in relation to site and context. He often works with collaborators as a method to develop self-reflexive folk histories and construct temporary communities. Judd has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, recently including ICA, Art Night London, Whitstable Biennale and Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool.
MSc Project Management for Creative Practitioners
Collaborating with Ben Judd is a team of four students from the postgraduate course MSc Project Management for Creative Practitioners at Kingston School of Art. They are project managing the initial online phase of The Origin; each student using their strengths to manage unique elements of the project: Sofia Torres – Social Media, Ching-Fang Wu – Online Content, Oshan Fenlon-Wilson – Events and Charlotte Addy – Project Integration.