Tentacular Spectacular The Swamp.

Fresh from the stage at Kampnagel and Battersea Arts Centre, Tentacular Spectacular has now gone digital with: The Swamp.

Enter The Swamp. here.

The Swamp. is a video game, exhibition space and micro-commissioning platform in which the user can affect the world by engaging with the videos hosted there. It explores agency in the 21 century, relocating autonomy within a shifting set of overlapping networks.With The Swamp. are: five original micro-commissions from Bonnie Bakeneko, Frogb0i, Lasana ShabazzShrek666 and Wet Mess; two pre-existing pieces from Oozing Gloop and Jenkin Van Zyl; and a film resulting from the Tentacular-Spectacular-Creature-Feature workshops.

Creature Feature
In July 2023, Oozing Gloop and co-facilitators Marisa Carnesky, Joyce Zuijdwegt (J.Z.Artistry) and NewFrontEars worked with nine queer artists over four weekly Zoom workshops to create queer cryptids through an interdisciplinary methodology.

Each three-hour session challenged the participants challenged the participants to deepen and widen their own practice from their rooms by playing with camera, keying, constructing new body parts, and charismatic presentation. Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ became a touchstone during the process, to create unity within this dispersed network.

There are established and emerging artists within The Swamp. What unites them is their role within an emergent discourse we are yet to truly put words to. Donna Haraway’s “Chthulucene” is an optimistic term for it, whilst James Bridle’s “New Dark Age” is more pejorative one. Either way this piece aims to invite the audience into play.

This workshop grew from the legacy of COVID-19 and was possible due to the recent increase of interest in cryptid culture. Tentacular Spectacular was created to composite/compost artists working within this bizarre realm of the post/sub-human and this project brings this into synergy with the queer community of Southampton for Southampton Pride.

The sum total of the endeavour, edited into a short film by NewfrontEars, aims to re-create Bosch’s cursed masterpiece through the collective creation of cursed imagery, within the cursed confines of Zoom.

Film trail
The Swamp. launched on 25 August 2023 with a live set of film screenings within Southampton in an outdoor film trail co-curated by Oozing Gloop and videoclub. On this date a website with a link to a playable version of the game will also be released. For computers not able to support the game, a video play-through of it will also be hosted online.

Commissioned by John Hansard Gallery as part of Co-Creating Public Space. Supported by Arts Council England, Southampton City Council, University of Southampton, GO! Southampton and in partnership with Southampton Pride and Breakout Youth. Produced by Artsadmin.

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