Dark Places with Office of Experiments

John Hansard Gallery
Southampton 2008-9

The Mike Kenner Archive (Neal White / Office of Experiments) was researched and produced with support from independent activist and researcher Mike Kenner. Supported by Arts Catalyst.  

Dark Places

With Office of Experiments, I co-curated and developed key research that supported Dark Places. An exhibition made at the invitation of Stephen Foster of John Hansard Gallery, with Nicola Triscott, Rob La Frenais of Arts Catalyst and Helen Sloan of SCAN.

More information on Arts Catalyst website here.

For Catalogue with essay by Sally O’Reilly - see Publications

See Also – www.dark-places.org.uk (archived resource)

The project, the first iteration of the Overt research project focussed on the South West of the UK, and outputs of our research, and commissioned work was exhibited at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton. The project also included an online field guide and the first critical excursions or bus tours that have been widely acclaimed and supported at a later point as a core activity of Office of Experiments.

The overt research project was led by Neal White with Steve Rowell. Additional support came from Lisa Haskel.

In addition to the exhibited research, presented in the form of a kiosk with access to a database of images and sites, the Office of Experiments also exhibited the Mike Kenner archive.

Mike Kenner – aka Icewhale – is an independent researcher and activist who over 30 years had amassed an extraordinary archive of former classified documents, films, photographs and maps belonging to the Porton Down biowarfare research facility in Salisbury. A number of these involved experiments on the public.
Office of Experiments undertook to archive this material, assign it as a resource for future use. It has since been accessed by a range of researchers and artists since – for

more see Resources.
Overt Research Project (2007-) - Office of Experiments

Overt Research was a projected display of research undertaken in the South West by Neal White with Steve Rowell, a progam manager at The Centre for Land Use Interpretation (USA). The research which involved mapping and documenting sites of scientific research, helps locate and identify connections across distinct areas of science, technology, education and military application. The research formed the background to other exhibits by both Neal White (Mike Kenner Archive) and Steve Rowell (Ultimate High Ground).

Mike Kenner Archive - Neal White with Mike Kenner for Office of Experiments

The Mike Kenner Archive is a significant resource containing thousands of formerly classified documnets, films, photographs, maps and reports on experiments conducted by Porton Down. Key to the project is the push for transparency around science, identifying its  enclosures and secrecy as issues that are subject to conspiracy theory and thereby jeopardising its own democratic imperatives.  

Ultimate High Ground - Steve Rowell

Beatriz da Costa