TestBed 1: SpaceShip Earth, 2010 – Dafna Talmor

Upper Gallery 1, Canteen Gallery 2 FlatScreen and Gallery Yard

22 June – 18 July
Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm
Closing event: Freecycle Party: Sunday 18 July at 2pm

On-Site Screenings open to the public

Workshops and Events Schedule

Utopias are sites with no real place. They are sites that have a general relation of direct or inverted analogy with the real space of Society. They present society itself in a perfected form, or else society turned upside down, but in any case these utopias are fundamentally unreal spaces.

Michel Foucault, Of Other Spaces, 1967.

Inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller’s urgent predictions about our ‘Spaceship Earth’ and a chance encounter with a man obsessed by a government plan to relocate to the moon, SpaceShip Earth takes flight. The project references a hybrid of utopian models and aspirations and looks at the contradictions, limitations and inevitable ‘failures’ that accompany utopian dreams.

Over four weeks, Dafna Talmor will utilise Beaconsfield as a centre for recycling, production and community workshops – a training ground for a better world elsewhere. The documentation of this activity will form the basis of Talmor’s TestBed film commission.

Spending as little money as possible, the project will be fuelled by collaboration and audience participation – borrowing, swapping, recycling where possible. Based around the idea of exchange, various practitioners provide free workshops to the general public, volunteering their time and skills in exchange for offerings – material or in the form of alternative services provided by participants.

A physical manifestation of these ideas will be embodied in a specially designed eco-structure to be built in the Gallery Yard in collaboration with Mark Pavey. Incorporating rammed earth arches and a living roof, the structure will serve as a display area for items produced throughout the residency and function as a swap shop. Remaining as a residue of the project the structure will represent a quasi-settlement, symbolically claiming space through a shared ownership scheme offered to the general public.

The FlatScreen reflects the ongoing activities and references of the project, including relevant YouTube clips and a growing archive of residency images. SpaceShip Earth’s closing event will include a performance using recycled and modified hardware, a free-cycling party and a mobile DJ. Leftover items will be responsibly donated.

The project brings into focus questions of value and notions of sustainability at a moment of ‘green’ awareness, when corporations and governments seem to have appropriated the idealistic aspirations and commitment of individuals and small organisations to fit their financial and political agendas.

Ways in which you can engage with SpaceShip Earth 2010…


Donate from 18 June – 11 July 2010

SpaceShip Earth needs your unwanted bric a brac, household appliances and gardening items!

Click here for full list of items needed

Donate by post or in person to Beaconsfield, 22 Newport Street, London, SE11 6AY.
Tokens will be given in exchange for items and can be used at the free-cycling party taking place at the closing event on July 18, 2010. Leftover items will be responsibly donated.


Swap Shop
Deadline 13 July 2010

Works (not exceeding 1x1m) are invited that promote or relate to a utopian vision.
Please email the following information to: TestBedBeaconsfield@googlemail.com

Name, title, medium, dimensions (and edition, if relevant)
JPEG image at 72dpi
Artists biography (100 words max)
Description of submitted work (100 words max)

Slide Show
Deadline 13 July 2010

You are invited to place unwanted items in front of your home and photograph them.
Please email your image and the following information to: TestBedBeaconsfield@googlemail.com

Name, date and location (in subject heading)
JPEG image at 72dpi


Shared Ownership of SpaceShip Earth Eco-Structure Available Now! Great value at £1 per share. Only cash and cheques (made out to Beaconsfield) accepted.

Opportunity available until July 2010, now closed.


In the spirit of the project, all workshops are free of charge but in exchange participants are encouraged to provide the workshop facilitator/s with an offering. Offerings can be in the form of material or an alternative service.

Wednesday 23 June 6.30-7.45 pm
Iyengar Yoga with Kaz Takabatake

Sunday 27 June 12-4.30 pm
Redesign Your Clothes with Inkeri Medley

Thursday 1 July 6-8 pm
Creative Writing Workshop with Sarah Butler

Saturday 3 July 2-4 pm
Immigration Law for Sale? with Barry O’Leary and Tim Barnden

Sunday 4 July 2-4 pm
Raw Chocolate Demo with Laura Coxeter

Tuesday 6 – Thursday 8 July 11-5 pm
Eco-Build: Rammed Earth with Mark Pavey and friends

Friday 9 – Sunday 11 July 11-5 pm
Eco-Build: Living Roof with Mark Pavey and friends

Places are limited so please book by e-mailing your full name and mobile number to TestBedBeaconsfield@googlemail.com including the workshop title in the subject heading.

TestBed 1 is produced as part of Beaconsfield’s curatorial mentoring scheme for emerging artist-curators. Mentees: Dafna Talmor and Joseph Walsh. Beaconsfield is the central London site dedicated to providing a critical space for creative enquiry.

Beaconsfield Commissions 2010

Image: Dafna Talmor, SpaceShip Earth, 2010, Residency Image: Freecycling collecting boxes in Upper Gallery, TestBed 1 Commission, image courtesy the artist and Beaconsfield