Prompted by the “Riverside” initiative during East International (1999), B+K focused on the River Wensum, a vital element in the establishment and development of Norwich city, and one of it’s core networks of communication.
In collaboration with Southern Steamers, a long established operator of river sightseeing tours, B+K contributed to in the summer activities on the river.
During successive weekends, twice daily each way along the steamer’s route from Elm Hill Quay to Thorpe Station, B+K stood at the Skipper’s microphone and delivered the commentary on the sights along the river that he had developed over many years. There was no appreciable deviation from the river tours provided by Southern Steamers; B+K simply delivered the comentary from the Skipper’s script.
B+K also gave passengers free postcards depicting the boat, tangible and useful tools for engaging a wide range of ‘non-art’ participants; these postcards were also placed in the information racks at Norwich Gallery.
Thus by assisting in and extending the communicative flow between Riverside, East International, the Norwich Gallery and the ‘general public,’ B+K energised networks of creativity along the area designated for Riverside and celebrated pre-existing dialogues and activities in Norwich.
Sightseeing Cruise on the river Wensum in Norwich was a project by B+K.
B+K was founded by two artists in November 1997 with the aim of embarking upon a shared exploration and questioning of contemporary art practices, to explore ways of eliminating elements of individual authorship, to interrogate and test out collaborative strategies and approaches and the language framing such practices.
Consequently, alongside examining the language framing such practices, B+K has focused on dialogue, participation and process as means to challenge boundaries, expectations, restrictions and conventions.
Over the past 15 years B+K has gathered considerable experience of: working with ‘publics’ in complex situations; making sensitive interventions into pre-existing, conventional systems; and, involving large numbers of participants within creative networks of communication.
B+K’s working strategies continue to focus on fluidity, collaboration, dialogue and the participation of those usually outside the ‘fine art world.’
These strategies are ephemeral, temporary and involve transient, and often random, interventions and interactions with others. B+K’s activities are intended to be unobtrusive, almost non-existent and not entirely ‘serious;’ a means of subverting and questioning traditional patterns of art production, presentation and distribution.
The ethos of B+K’s collaboration is indicated by the use of ‘plus’ instead of the ‘and’ as it is more than the sum of its individual parts.