Tom Estes' video Bake'in was shown on April 11th, 2010, as an interventionist critique at the closing event for RELLA, an event organised as part of Testbed 1 at Beaconsfield.

At this event Estes' contribution was this video performance of himself baking a cake while watching the film, The Exorcist. The work was shown on a loop, and through a conversation with co-curators Michael Curran and Lucy Gunning it was decided to stage the work in Canteen Gallery 2 so that visitors invited to the exhibition could purchase tea and cake while watching.
For this intervention Estes attempted to critically examine the role of art in social change.The relationship between socio-political critique and art practice characterizes much of his work, and for this project Estes decided to look at social engagement and to find a practical application in order to critique that process. Estes performance work to date has examined the relationship between work and play, professionalism and amateurism, institutional hegemony and self-organization. In this instance, it found expression through a readily available mode- as a special last minute addition to the closing event for RELLA.

Testbed 1 at Beaconsfield

Beaconsfield is the central London site dedicated to providing a critical space for creative enquiry. Tom Estes' video installation Bakie'in was part of the culminating event for RELLA, an event that was part of Testbed 1 at Beaconsfield. TestBed 1 is produced as part of Beaconsfield’s curatorial mentoring scheme for emerging artist-curators. . 

The RELLA event, curated by Michael Curran and Lucy Gunning, marked the culmination of their residency in TestBed 1 at Beaconsfield. At the invitation of the curators Tom Estes' video installation Bake'in was shown at this closing event on April 11th, 2010.


 Testbed 1
"In the time of YouTube, video cameras and home-editing suites, the creative process has become more democratic, enabling people en masse to become not only viewers but ‘creators’ and the gulf between cinematic and lo-fi film production to reduce. TestBed 1 reflects popular practice by commissioning six new digital screen-based works, to be made through readily available modes of production but supported in the context of a spacious, professional art space. From March to late July commissioned artists will use Beaconsfield as a creative base in a series of residencies."


"An ongoing conversation brings Michael Curran and Lucy Gunning together for their first collaboration. RELLA is a hook, a mode of play, hazarding, shuffling time zones, past present future vibrate as one. The term is a fracturing of the myth Barbarella in which the weight of the name takes flight by dropping its elephantine prefix. The artists are working from zero – seeing what can happen in the space through experimental and investigative studio practice.

RELLA is emerging tentatively and cumulatively, it is a process navigating the peculiarities of Time. During this period the artists spent the first week creating an environment in the Upper Gallery – making props, provisional sculpture – while alongside they run material of different registers, YouTube edits, simultaneous screenings of films, moving image and audio loops which generate resonances and ruptures. Roger Vadim’s cult film Barbarella lies within, as a corpse waiting to be reborn by moving beyond its limits. The artists see all moving image as time travel and are interested in what it means to reclaim or retrieve something – how many things arrive from the past, somehow ahead of now. They look for a hybrid form. Visitors were welcome to view the artists at work and later invited to participate in RELLA."

Mary George

Franziska Lantz, Driftshift

Stephen Fowler



Jefford Horrigan

Brendan Pickett

Matty Skylab

and Paul D C Kindersley*

 Michael Curran and Lucy Gunning:
Three week low impact work out in space.
In-residence 23 March – 11 April
Upper Gallery 1 & Canteen Gallery 2

Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am-5pm

Some of the material produced and moving image work screened at the TestBed 1 showcase will be on display again during Open House weekend, 18-19 September 2010.

TestBed 1 Residency Dates: 

Anthony Gross, 3 - 21 March
Michael Curran and Lucy Gunning, 23 March - 11 April
Pil and Galia Kollectiv, 13 April – 9 May
Joseph Walsh, 20 April - 30 May
Lilli Hartmann, 27 April – 4 June
Dafna Talmor, 22 June - 18 July