Underground is still the place of choice to hide things. Dense matter may protect you from the dangers of space like gamma rays or Solar storms but it also covers a multitude of intentions, good or bad from eyes, from radar, from the sensors of unwanted enquiry. It is as if the open air, the massless space has degraded the human spirit, and only the heated, concentrated unlit force of life below is pure and transformative. Reversing the roles of Hades, of Hell and digestive Christian burials, underground is now hope: the true Pandora’s box. Underground is where it all begins.
The surface is just a précis — three dimensions into two — of hidden volumes, or an anchor to those leaps into the spaces, brief and unsupported, of astronauts and twinkling satellites. What are spaceships but sections of tunnel? What are rockets but the burrowing machinery excavating pathways in the fabric of time and space? When we go to planets we will burrow underground again to survive, root ourselves into that aboriginal volume where past and future time combine into the energy of motion.
Harnessing the Pisces, water and earth energy within the group, we launch Feral Kin shortly after a new moon eclipse in Pisces conjunct Neptune with the aim of taking advantage of the artistic benefits this brings.
Feral Kin brings together artists to collectively uncover new forms of work, support and exchange. Posed as a collaborative expedition, Feral Kin will seek out possibilities in dark spaces not often uncovered, hidden potentials to be exploited and protected, and new alliances in our visible world and beyond. Resisting the lure of ambivalence Feral Kin sets out a new schema of values with survival and nurture at its heart. Taking a lead from symbiotic ecosystems, esoteric tools and the importance of group work, Feral Kin will occupy and grow within the Auto Italia space through a shifting set of proposals, some hidden and some in plain sight.
Feral Kin is the most recent outcome of the On Coping project, a programme of work, a network of artists and a range of public presentations that has travelled from South Africa to Copenhagen, Liverpool to Bologna, and Birmingham to – most recently – Finland. A project with many previous forms, On Coping now takes on a new guise as Feral Kin in London: becoming a new provocation, a chance to re-assess strategies available to us, and an opportunity to claim space for collectivity. Through embracing an open-ended episodic format, On Coping has proved a way to form new creative alliances between an ever-growing and often disparate group of artists.