Ten & A Half Square Miles (Against reason)

Phil Coy
18 November 2005 to 22 December 2005

Ten and a Half Square Miles (Against Reason) was an exhibition of new work by the artist Phil Coy (recently featured in ICA’s London In Six Easy Steps and Hayward Gallery’s Incommunicado touring exhibition). All the work was drawn from his six-month residency at Lambeth Archives. The residency programme represented a collaborative partnership between Lambeth Arts, Lambeth Archives, Oval House, the Hayward Gallery, the CfBT Action Zone and 198 Gallery.

Orientated as an insider within the Archive, Phil Coy developed further his interest in the sometimes random, often prescribed nature by which images and data become historicized. As a result he manipulated and mimicked the structures of data processing and devised his own generative systems of production, sometimes co-opting his colleagues at Lambeth Council and the local Loughborough Primary School children into the process.

One work sees Phil Coy mimic the process that prospective London cabbies undertake of ‘doing the knowledge’. Setting out on a ubiquitous Honda C90 he charted all of Lambeth’s 1512 streets. Unlike the aspiring cabby whose aim is to remember, Coy’s seemingly autistic performance, and the film that articulates it, serve more as a hypnotic erasure of memory.