Kirkstall, West Yorkshire, UK
Participants: Gaia Rosenberg Colorni, Gwilym Sainsbury

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This ongoing project sets out to sample small areas of land by cataloguing any man-made objects found on location. In excavating these bi-products of culture the intention is to collect and display such objects in their original spatial coordinates within a sampling grid, hence revealing underlying relations between the found remains of various human activities and the physiology of the space itself.

The insular environment located in a suburban area of Kirkstall, as explored in the video The Island, acted as a preliminary location to experiment with this sampling process. Whilst this island itself exists as a private space (owned by National Grid), it functions as an open, barely regulated public space for local residents who are aware of its existence and access points. Within the same patch of sampled land, evidence of substance abuse was identified in proximity to discarded toys and food packaging. Moreover, several objects found presumably reached the island only after their being discarded, and subsequently transported onto the shore by the river Aire’s currents.

Utilising a roll of cheap garden trellis as a sampling grid the group divided the sampled surface into three strips (A, B, and C) to then take three 1 x 5 m² samples in a row. Surfaces A, B, and C were in turn geometrically schematised as the trellis itself was made of a grid formation of 3 x 3 cm squares. After uncovering all objects on the sample’s surface, measuring 3 x 5 m²  in total, the group laid the trellis out one section at the time, ensuring that each object’s position would be marked on the grid with a label.

After marking each label with its corresponding object’s identification number, starting from A1, each item was individually placed in a plastic bag ready for transport.

Since the commencement of the project, the group has remained unable to reach any further resolution in terms of the sample’s relocation and display into a completely different context, an issue not uncommon to most archaeology museums when dealing with their collections.

Images of objects found using the sampling grid:

Images of found objects from island sample, relocated to Lifton studios, and placed in the same corresponding grid coordinates as originally found:

Related projects:

Kirkstall Storm Drain. October 2010 - June 2011kirkstall_storm_drain.html
The Island. March - June 2011the_island.html