Additional Information

Built as the Scratch Orchestra's contribution to Art Spectrum 1971 at Alexander Palace, North London N22 7AY. This is my own documentation of the project to 'design' a building that was built by musicians and artists who were members of the Scratch Orchestra.

Documentation was shown at Documenta 14 in Athens 2017 as part of its review of The Scratch Orchestra. This is the D14 label:

"Scratch Cottage, as installed in the exhibiiton Art Spectrum in London in 1971, was first concieved as a place to play - insulated from the context of 'high art'.

My idea was to challenge the - often classically trained - musicians to construct a shelter with their own hands. The materials were recycled rough floor joists and old doors. Each musician or small group made a structural frame using the simplest of hand tools: hammers, saws and nails. The frames were then bolted together to make a simple enclosure.

This approach countered the fine art aesthetics with a basic level of collective material engagement. It referenced my research into self-built vernacular housing."

Prior to Documenta 14 in Athens there had been a discussion with the D14 curator about whether the cottage was a score or an artwork. Either way I guess it is a composition of sorts!

A recording of an improvised sound piece titled 'Self-Build' was performed at the '25 Years from Scratch' event at the ICA, London.  Sunday 20 November 1994. The recording of this was published as a CD.


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The Scratch Orchestra Cottage 1971 Art Spectrum London

United Kingdom
51° 30' 26.4636" N, 0° 7' 39.9288" W