For the first commission of Factish Field, Collective presented Fib by Glasgow based artist Karen Cunningham.
Karen Cunningham’s new work Fib was filmed on location in Fife, Scotland and as well as meaning a lie ‘fib’ is the Pictish name for Fife. The video follows two census takers and their activities throughout the course of a day. Census taking dates back to Babylonian times and is perceived as being an activity practiced by civilized cultures although throughout history, ancient and modern, it has been a problematic and contentious undertaking.
In the video the action of census taking and the resulting objects, information and actions, which the census functions through, are portrayed, in Latour’s terms as ‘factish’ things and deeds. Drawing on Karen’s ongoing interest in “the overlapping of residual and emerging cultures and technologies” Fib brings into focus forms of surveying and mark making which questions the construction of what can be considered as ‘nature’ and ‘culture’.
Factish Field was a collaboration between Collective and LUX to develop a year-long programme of screenings, talks, a symposium and two new artist commissions. Factish Field takes as its starting point the French anthropologist Bruno Latour’s concept of the ‘factish’, a combination of fact and fetish as a way of thinking about the relationship between facts and beliefs.