Camp,  October 2008

Ah, the peace and tranquility of the camping experience; a rare opportunity to convene with nature and return to the simple life. First you choose the perfect site to access spectacular natural scenery.  Then you catch a speckled trout, bath in fresh river water, cook over an open-fire and drift off to sleep in your bed-roll after listening to tall tales around the camp-fire. 


Now wait a minute… Urban camping… You race to the marked spot just close (or far) enough from the washrooms before that big RV from Texas manages to untangle their Winnebego from a low tree branch.  You 'catch' your fish at the supermarket down the highway... or not!  Hot-dogs and pop-tarts last longer in the mini-fridge.  Fire-restrictions tend to nix the open-fire idea, which is a smelly proposition anyway.  As for camaraderie in the back woods, most campers avoid conversation.  We are all a little suspicious of the yahoos camping next door.  Peace and quiet?  Your day is usually spent accompanied by someone's favorite radio station played at enough volume to annoy, but not enough to initiate a spontaneous dance party.


‘Camp’ is performance/ installation addressing the peculiarities of urban camping.  This work uncovers the dichotomy between the back-to-nature camping expectation and the real experience of establishing your territory in an urban campground.  Through a two-day installation and performance experience, Kay Burns and Tiki Mulvihill assumed the role of urban camper/sociologists.  Incorporating dubious research structures, these two hardy campers gathered research on the unwritten rules and foibles of urban camping.  

Link to Kay Burns website

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October 2008.


Tiki Mulvihill and Kay Burns

Camp performance project was presented through TRUCK Gallery’s CAMPER (Contemporary Art Mobile Public Exhibition Rig). In collaboration, Kay and Tiki infiltrated the Calgary West Campground and camped with the TRUCK CAMPER for two days.

Performance image with Camp’s portable-flame-free-camp-fire, cast resin, hardware, LED lights, wood, casters, audio