Welcome to Happy Redoubt
A Post-Apocalyptic Marketplace
By Juneau Projects
A King’s College London commission, in partnership with UP Projects and supported by the university's Culture team
November - December 2013
Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, Strand Campus
Welcome to Happy Redoubt – the last outpost of a post-apocalyptic world in the wake of a technological meltdown.
Visit the interactive encampment and events to create and trade artefacts, gain skills for a new world and help shape a new future.
Welcome to Happy Redoubt was an open-ended installation that grew and developed as audiences and participants responded and contributed to it. The final piece of the Happy Redoubt puzzle was revealed at a finale event.
Artist duo Juneau Projects worked closely with the academic and student communities of King’s College London to present this interactive installation, immersing audiences in a ‘soft apocalypse’. Set in the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, audiences navigated their way through a series of activities, creating new world artefacts to contribute to the encampment.
Professors, researchers and other academics reframed and shared their expert knowledge through a marketplace and series of events, exploring possible new worlds and predicting how the future might look.
Juneau Projects was formed in 2001 by artists Philip Duckworth and Ben Sadler. The majority of their work includes participatory elements and involves projection, sound, music, animation and installation. They are particularly interested in the rapidly increasing speed of technological development, and its associated obsolescence. Recent work has examined the overlap between performance as musicians, sculpture and installation, an example of which are a series of homemade devices which attempt to function as both sculpture and playable musical instrument. Their new wall-based works examine equipment-fetishism and the DIY processes which facilitate their electronic music.
Free public events included:
Happy Redoubt Headlines – Juneau Projects
Juneau Projects read the weekly news from the encampment. The report featured updates on robot overlords plus headlines from the marketplace. The news changed every week as the encampment grew and more people joined the community.
Robot Racing - Juneau Projects
Robot Racing fun for the family.
Rumour Mill Conversations – Dr Emily Butterworth
Dr Emily Butterworth talked about signs of apocalypse and how these portents might be interpreted in the future. Using her specialist knowledge in 16th-century gossip, Emily shone a light on how our present might be represented in the future. What elements of our current society will become mythical by the next decade? In reference to the post-technological encampment of ‘Happy Redoubt’ the group discussed how reliable information might be passed on in a world without technology and what stories about the origin of the apocalypse might develop.
Post-Apocalyptic Travel Agency - Modern Language Centre
In the post-technology age, where long distance travel is no longer possible, physical and cultural landscapes have changed along with the people who populate them. The death of technology has both liberated and isolated communities, changing their cultural habits and customs.
Attendees were invited to attend the post-apocalyptic travel agency where foreign ambassadors traded with them for tales from distant lands. Higher rates of currency exchange were available for those who could converse with the ambassadors in foreign tongues.
Apocalypse Song Writing - Juneau Projects
Juneau Projects lead a workshop exploring song writing in the post-technology age. Participants experimented with the themes and language of the post-apocalyptic narrative to write their own lyrics and had a shot at performing in the post apocalyptic market place.
The Data Ritual and Everything Afterwards - Juneau Projects
Spoken word performance about the events of the infocalypse disaster
Animated Drawing Workshop - Juneau Projects
Bring drawings to life with this simple method using highlighter pens and coloured lights. Suitable for the whole family, the workshop created moving animations within the exhibition space.
The Chapel of the Infocalypse - Juneau Projects
Spoken word performance, part church sermon about lost tech, part inspirational talk about foraging for technological relics
Ceremony for Forgetting – Dr Stephen Jones
Attendees were invited to enter the ritual to help free themselves from the shackles of technology. In a world plagued by 24 hour information, they were encouraged to unplug from the mainframe and loosen the grip of technology on daily life.
Set in the ‘Happy redoubt’ encampment, the ritual was led by survivors of the technological meltdown who guided participants through the steps to forget technology with the hope that the sacrifice of memories, thoughts and ideas would release participants into a newly defined world of ‘Social media’.
The Ceremony for Forgetting was presented by Dr Stephen Jones and created in collaboration with Juneau Projects.
Cardboard Wars - Juneau Projects
Participants collaborated to build a cardboard suit of armour, compete with sword and sheild before taking part in Juneau Projects post-apocalytpic battlefield.
Particigeddon - the finale of Welcome to Happy Redoubt
Happy Redoubt, the post-apocalyptic marketplace opened its doors for the penultimate time on Saturday 14 December. During the visit to the encampment, robot guides led participants through tasks in order to earn currency which could be exchanged for goods and information.