Cooke, Jim (2005) Engineerium Tim Dam Publications, UK.
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The book Engineerium is the outcome of a year-long Arts Council England funded Artist in Residence research collaboration with the British Engineerium. This is photographic investigation examining the remnants and history of engineering housed in the British Engineerium Museum. Alongside Cooke’s interest in changing industrial landscapes (Cooke,1) this research project focuses on the spacesand technology of production as well as the collective and individual memories of labour that these trigger. The work was made in homage to lost skills and knowledge and as a bridge between engineering and contemporary photographic practice. In this way Cooke’s work is at the forefront of photographic interrogations of the processes of cultural memory. He spent over a year photographing, often at intimate proximity, the component parts of this massive, physical location in an attempt to reveal its underlying visual and structural presence. The resulting images, shot on 10 x 8, 6 x 7 and 35mm cameras, in black and white and in colour, were first exhibited within the Engineerium itself where they were juxtaposed with the collection of historic artefacts. This body of work was published with essays by Matt Packer (Curatorial Fellow, Gluckman Gallery, Cork) and Dr Jonathan Minns (Director and founder of the British Engineerium, funded by Arts Council England, Photoworks, Spectrum Photographic and the University of Brighton. A series of public talks and workshops organised by Photoworks and by the British Engineerium extended the impact of this research to new audiences. Its further impact was recognised through the selection of Cooke’s images in the exhibition 'Ingenuity-Photography and Engineering 1846-2006' curated by Dr. Jorge Calado, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Lisbon. Held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon and at the Centre for Fine Art, Brussels it was also published by Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian (ISBN 978-972-31-1175-0).
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