It happened in that season that one day
In Southwark, at the Tabard, as I lay
Ready to go on pilgrimage and start
For Canterbury, most devout at heart,
At night there came into that hostelry
Some nine and twenty in a company
Of sundry folk happening then to fall
In fellowship and they were pilgrims all.
Geoffrey Chaucer - The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales (1387-1400)
Twenty nine modern-day pilgrims will set out from the Tabard Inn in Southwark as part of Broadcast, the Tate Gallery Annual Event 1999. The artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie have taken Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as the starting point for this project which will culminate in a live broadcast event in Borough Marketplace from 10.30 to 22.00 on 11 September 1999.
Participants to act as pilgrims are currently being selected including other artists, writers and students. These pilgrims may choose their own destination, but they must return to the market by 19.30 on 11 September. Using technology such as digital cameras, video, laptop computers and phones, the pilgrims will be able to broadcast their experiences and progress back to a studio installation in the marketplace throughout the course of the day. Their tales might also be written texts, verbal monologues or photographic essays.
Some pilgrims will be tracked during their journeys by a television crew. These live relays will be intermixed with pre-recorded interviews and sound footage of the pilgrims compiled, choreographed and hosted by Pope and Guthrie. The event will be live on-line at www.somewhere.org.uk/broadcast/
Nina Pope (born 1968) and Karen Guthrie (born 1970) have collaborated since 1995 on a number of innovative projects which have used the Internet, video, performance and installation. Their live on-line Scottish travelogue A Hypertext Journal (1996) pioneered new ground in the appropriation of the Internet as a creative process for artists, opening the now familiar critical dialogue surrounding interactive media, technology and art. An Artist’s Impression, in which they are creating an on-line world, recently received an Imaginaria award and will be shown at the ICA in London in October 1999.
This is the third Tate Annual Event and is part of the Tate Gallery of Modern Art pre-opening programme.