Milk, Confetti, Erratics at EDGE - Periphery


7 OCT 2017
UCL at Here East Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
London E20 3BS

We will be doing a lecture performance during a day dedicated to 'PERIPHERY' as part of EDGE: Situated Practice in Art, Architecture and Urbanism.

Milk, Confetti, Erratics
A Stratigraphy of the Interface
Kreider + O'Leary

In 1904, as part of the Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Ireland, geologists Lamplugh et al. wrote a paper called ‘The Geology of the Country around Belfast’ where they surveyed the glacial drifts and other superficial deposits around the city, organising this cartographical information into a ‘Table of Formations’. In 2017, The Belfast Interface Project published ‘Interface Barriers, Peacelines and Defensive Architecture’, where they systematically catalogue each ‘peacewall’, barrier, fence and gate used to separate and contain Nationalist and Unionist communities in Northern Ireland. In the conceptual space between these two documents, one can construct a theoretical matrix of artefacts, agents, designs and policy related to the fields of conflict and desire operating in the territory surveyed by these publications. In 2014, Kreider + O’Leary began to construct such a matrix, with a view to gaining an understanding of the mutating condition they call ‘The Interface’. 

Physically, The Interface comprises thirteen different wall clusters or ‘peacelines’ situated throughout Belfast. Specifically designed to respond to an evolving set of local actions, events and spaces of conflict, the wall clusters both demarcate a territorial condition and form a backdrop for the performance of expressions of cultural identity. Over many years, the areas around each wall cluster have accumulated deposits and debris, forming a unique and local archive in space and time. In order to catalogue this archive, Kreider + O’Leary use a technique called ‘stratigraphy’: the branch of Geology concerned with the order and relative position of strata and their relationship to the geological and historical timescale. Utilising drawing, video, mapping and writing, Kreider + O’Leary separate and identify one micro-context from another, constructing a case for a ‘congregational understanding of agency’ (Bennet, 2010) related to the assemblage called ‘The Interface’.

This work is supported by James O’Leary’s AHRC TECHNE doctoral award.