MK Gallery

New Town Films

Stuart Whipps Recorded Amendments
New Town Films Tuesday 27 June / 8:30pm

Curator and researcher Claire Louise Staunton introduces a selection of artists’ films which explore international New Towns.
Presented in partnership with MK Gallery. 


Pia Rönicke
2005, 16mm film transferred to DVD, 23 mins
Courtesy of the artist and GB Agency

Zonen originated from Rönicke’s interest in a competition for architects to develop an urban plan for a New Town development. Recording the movements of three architects as they explore the potential site, Zonen engages with the virtual project of conceiving a place out of nowhere and draws on the artists’ continued interest in the utopian ideals underpinning societal development contrasted with something she has termed the ‘future of being together’. The film is a projection, suspended between fiction and reality, foregrounding a disparity between the ideas of place making and the day-to-day experience of living in a place.

Stuart Whipps
Recorded Amendments: The Carboniferous Epoch 
2013, HD video, 17 mins
Courtesy of the artist

Recorded Amendments: The Carboniferous Epoch examines how Britain’s new towns – built during the optimism of post-war Britain – have become landscapes of either mass consumption or high unemployment in a single generation.

Cao Fei (SL avatar: China Tracy)
RMB City: A Second Life City Planning
2007-2011, Video, 6 mins
Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space

After much anticipation, RMB City opened to full public access in January, following construction since the summer of 2008. RMB City is an art community in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life and was realised by Beijing-based artist Cao Fei as a public platform for creativity. Second Life is as an online platform that has amassed 14 million registered users. Participants create a parallel reality in which to live out their dreams. Each user is represented by an avatar, a digital figure that they can customise and control. Cao Fei has constructed a virtual city that grew and changed over its two-year run with the participation and support of leading international art institutions and creative practitioners.

Carry Gorney
Things that Mother Never Told Us 
1977-79, Video, 19 mins 44 secs
Part of The London Community Video Archive

In the 1970s Carry Gorney was a community artist/ activist, engaging communities through theatre and video, using local venues, often filming on street corners and editing in kitchens. Milton Keynes' experimental cable TV project, Channel 40, which ran from 1977 until 1979. With InterAction (London) Gorney developed two community video programmes, Sweet Sixteen and Things That Mother Never Told Us, both projects for women to collaborate in making their own video programmes. 

James Price
Chandigarh Corrections Omissions 
2013, HD video, 13 mins 23 secs
Courtesy of the artist 

Chandigarh Corrections Omissions is the result of a research trip the artist took with Inheritance Projects, a research led curatorial collective, in December 2012. Inheritance have an ongoing engagement with the visual culture of new towns. In Chandigarh Price and Inheritance Projects were exploring the tensions between the democratic and utopian impulses of the international modernism under whose principles Courbusier, Jenneret, Fry & Drew designed the new city, the realities of those people who now live in these structures, and the desire to preserve or restore these buildings back to their original form.