r&d project initiated by Urbonas Studio in collaboration with Tracey Warr
July 30th, 2012

Interview with Richard, Venetian rower

Evening, Monday 30 July. We meet with Richard Bailey, Venetian boat rower and City Barge Rowing Club Standing Captain, for a journey on the river.

Rob La Frenais, curator and avid sculler,  joins us for a lesson in Venetian rowing. Unfortunately before the trip starts, Rob loses his reading glasses in the river. All attempts to fish glasses from the river bed were unsuccessful.

Richard took us on a trip in a Venetian sandalo boat – “Serena”. He rowed up the Thames and then up the Cherwell river, alongside Christ Church Meadow and Oxford’s Botanic Gardens.


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July 29th, 2012

shopping at Kingcraft Chandlery no 1.

Friday July 29. Laura takes us to Kingcraft Chandlery in Abingdon for the first visit to browse through river objects.




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July 27th, 2012

Interview with Mark, historian

Afternoon, Friday, 27 July. We are meeting local historian, Mark Davies, the co-author of “A Towpath Walk in Oxford” and author of “Alice in Waterland” and other books, for an  interview and guided walk along the river.

Mark has lived on a boat in Oxford for over 20 years. He tells us about the history of the Isis Lock, built by convicts, and the history of Port Meadow common land.


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July 27th, 2012

morning swimmers

Morning Friday 27. Morning swimming in Thames at Port Meadow is the best way to start the day.

The river is clean and fresh at this point and surrounded with beautiful views.

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July 26th, 2012

meeting with Ryan, biologist

Evening, Thursday 26 July. We are meeting with Ryan Pink, medical biologist, to learn about the genes of the river. Sohin and Jae, former MIT fellows, are also joining us later.

The river is very busy with different types of vehicles moving around.

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July 26th, 2012

interview with captain

Afternoon, Thursday 26 July. We visited Salter’s Steamers, a local company on  Folly Bridge, to film an interview with Salter’s staff on board.

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July 26th, 2012

interview with Will, a boat-dweller

Thursday 26 July. We are meeting Will McCallum at his boat on the Thames Towpath past Iffley Lock.



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July 21st, 2012

concept and team

The River Runs project investigates movement in artistic practice towards less tangible and more complex spaces of public/private contestation, spaces that challenge the notion of belonging itself. Developed as a river laboratory/playground during residency at Modern Art Oxford (2012) project explores how river (and water) as a public good operates to define our sense of belonging on an individual and collective scale. The work examines where and how a public sphere, or “publicness,” can be constituted today, and the role of artistic intervention in its production.

In this project, Urbonas Studio: Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, artists, are collaborating with Tracey Warr, writer and curator, and Giacomo Castagnola, architect and designer .

The project is being assisted too by many other people, living, working, playing on and in the river, cropping up in the course of the narrative . Most of the research files are collected during August 2012 while at Project Space Residency, Modern Art Oxford, UK. More: http://www.vilma.cc/river/?cat=21

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