Future Prospectors: How can we sustain a forward-facing archive?

Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope (UK)

Online workshop on Monday 26 October 19.00 GMT

Join Somewhere (artists Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope) and other past ‘Prospectors’ from different disciplines, to consider possible futures for their cross-disciplinary Prospection project.

Prospection is an annual multi-disciplinary project which studies the growing community of Eddington in Cambridge across a 2-day period each year. Participants include artists, archaeologists, sociologists, designers and archivists, each using their expertise to portray the place and its people as they see fit. Initiated in 2013 by Karen and Nina (aka Somewhere), there have been six Prospection surveys to date: almost a quarter of an anticipated 25-year commitment.  Developing from an artists’ residency with Cambridge Archaeological Unit and part-supported by Eddington’s University-funded Public Art Programme, the project has resulted in short films, texts, photographs, drawings and data being collated and stored in Cambridgeshire Archives, with one survey exhibited at Kettles Yard Gallery in 2014 in Somewhere’s retrospective, ‘Past, Present, Somewhere’.

Hosted by the artists, this discursive workshop invites CHAT members and other contributors to brainstorm new ideas for Prospection, as it sits in suspension due to the global pandemic. With diminishing funding available, the project is at a crossroads, offering CHAT the opportunity to help the artists steer the project into a new phase. We invite ideas and discourse on what works (and doesn’t) in the methods used by Prospectors to date, how our manifesto might change, how other diverse contributors to (and hosts of) the project could be found, and what is it about the methodology we have used to date that we consider important and unique. 

We also hope to explore some of the practical challenges of sustaining the project over a long timeframe and to draw comparisons with other relevant projects.

More information about Prospection (including its original manifesto).

We strongly encourage workshop attendees to first view Somewhere’s five short films made for Prospection and released exclusively for festivalCHAT in a world premiere on Sunday 25 October 20.00 GMT.

Book your ticket here.

PROSPECTION 01-05: World Premiere


Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope (UK)

Film premiere and Q&A Sunday 25 October 20.00-21.30 GMT

Prospection is an annual multi-disciplinary survey of the recent inhabitation of North West Cambridge (aka ”Eddington”), planned to take place from 2015 until 2040. Join the project directors for the world premiere and a post-screening Q&A of short films documenting the first five years of this new community.

Prospection aims to follow the evolution of Eddington from its inception onwards through its first quarter century. Each year artists Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope invite a varying team of Prospectors drawn from the arts, sociology and archaeology to visit the site for two days and to make records of the place and its people in any way they see fit. The archive of original records – analogue and digital – is collated each year by the artists and placed in a new ‘finds box’ which is deposited with Cambridgeshire Archives for anyone to access and study, in perpetuity.

As their annual contribution, Karen and Nina make a short film, shot over one day and looking at the changing development through the eyes of one person living or working there. With five of these films now complete, this is a unique opportunity to see them all for the first time. 

Following the screening the artists will host a directors Q&A on Zoom and welcome questions and feedback. The event will be recorded for this year’s ‘finds box’.

More information about Prospection (including its original manifesto) can be found here

Book tickets here. Registration ends 12.00 GMT Sunday 25 October.