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    Desert Sessions
  • 4 November to 5 November 2017
  • Big Screen Southend
Focal Point Gallery are pleased to present a weekend of broadcasts on Big Screen Southend from Trackingshot, a site responsive collaborative project by artists Rebecca Birch, Leah Capaldi, George Charman and Adam Knight, in partnership with Field Broadcast. Trackingshot investigates frontier spaces through art practice and cross-disciplinary research.

‘Trackingshot.1 Desert Sessions’ took place in the California Mojave Desert in April 2017. Participating artists were located at A-Z West (an art installation/encampment created by artist Andrea Zittel on thirty-five acres of the Californian high desert), for three weeks. From their location they projected out exploring the desert as a performative test site for the production of 14 broadcast artworks, investigating the relationship between frontier spaces and notions of personal freedom relative to the body, time and production.

Working in collaboration with Field Broadcast, artworks were broadcast daily from A-Z West and the wider environs of Joshua Tree and Wonder Valley to UK/international subscribers, directly to their desktop/tablet and mobile device as a transmitted interruption.

Trackingshot aims to produce a space for the development of thinking and making that relate to a wider discourse questioning how digital content facilitates real time experience of place in support of philosophical/political enquiry through site-responsive works. By encouraging social interaction, collaborative practice and experience-led making, channeled through digital platforms, Trackingshot aims to contribute to critical thinking concerning community, materiality, and the tactility of place in a post-digital reality.
This event marks the launch of the Trackingshot online archive where broadcasts from Desert Sessions will be freely available to stream. Over 24 hours across both days, all the broadcasts will be screened on Big Screen Southend, at the time they were originally broadcast back in April 2017. A publication of three specially commissioned essays, produced in response to the broadcast, by Jonathan Griffin, Ellen Mara De Wachter and Chris Fite-Wassilak, will accompany this event.

The Trackingshot website is a platform expanding critical discourse around the politics of frontier places. The website is to be understood as a living, evolving archive that will form the catalyst for future explorations of place disseminated through field work, live online broadcasting, public engagement and critical writing.

Project partners are: Jonathan Griffin, Ellen Mara De Wachter, Chris Fite-Wassilak, Rob Smith (Field Broadcast) and Andrea Zittel.

This project was supported using public funding by Arts Council ‘grants for the Arts’ and through research grants from University for the Creative Arts and Lancaster University.

Broadcast times for Big Screen Southend:

Broadcast #1 - 9.30am
'Dolphin Bongo'

Broadcast #2 - 9.45am
'Strobing Joshua Trees'

Broadcast #3 - 4.00pm
'Leg Rock'

Broadcast #4 - 4.30pm
'Pixel Camouflage'

Broadcast #5 - 5.45pm
'Johnny Cash Climb'

Broadcast #6 - 6.10pm
'Squaring the Desert'

Broadcast #7 - 7.00pm
'Sweeping the Desert'

Broadcast #8 - 7.45pm
'The Fall of the City'

Broadcast #9 - 8.00pm
'Mouth organ'

Broadcast #10 - 8.20pm
'Words Not Deeds'

Broadcast #11 - 9.10pm
'Latin Lichen'

Broadcast #12 -10.00pm
'Space Cowboy'

Broadcast #13 -10.30pm
'Harlan’s Portals'

Broadcast #14 -4.00am
'Amboy Chanting'