'The Jump Room' exhibition is at The Old Waterworks, Southend, 23rd September to 5th November

The Jump Room is a project by artist Richard Whitby, incorporating video, drawing, writing, performance and collaborations. This website presents both the previous iterations of the project, and new elements as they develop. 
The Jump Room takes its name from a conspiracy theory alleging the existence of devices allowing teleportation between Earth and Mars, installed in the form of ordinary looking elevators in several buildings in the US. Theories such as this one seem to explain the world through complex but linear and apparently evidenced narrative. Whitby is interested in how various kinds of narrative accrue value, be that within the service industry, the conspiracy theorist 'Truth Community' or mainstream political campaigning. In this project he uses these ideas, alongside tropes from cinema, performance and contemporary communications media, to explore the nature of social, cinematic and commercial fictions.  Since 2015, elements of The Jump Room have appeared at hrm199 Ltd (with LegionTV), Seoul Museum of Art (Nanji Studios) and Jerwood Space. In 2017 a new video, performance and publication will be made with Southend-on-Sea’s Old Waterworks. 

Supporters:
Arts Council England
The Elephant Trust
The Old Waterworks, Southend-on-Sea
Focal Point Gallery
South Kiosk
Jerwood Space
SeMA Nanji
hrm199 Ltd.
LegionTV

Thanks to:
Sooyon Kim, Alistair Beaton, Lumberjack Cafe, Haroon Mirza, Kiera Blakey
Exhibition at The Old Waterworks
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The Old Waterworks is pleased to announce The Jump Room by Richard Whitby. This is the third iteration of Whitby’s project, which will incorporate a newly commissioned two- screen video installation with a set of drawings, a performance in Southend-on-Sea this Autumn with Sooyon Kim and Siôn Parkinson, and a publication with texts by Honor Gavin and Virginia Woolf. The Jump Room takes its name from a conspiracy theory alleging the existence of devices allowing teleportation between Earth and Mars, installed in the form of ordinary looking elevators in several buildings in the US.

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Drawings
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Drawings and installation views, 2015 onwards

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Got the Sucker performance 2015
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Ostensibly with total seriousness, Richard explained the participation of Barack Obama in the ‘Jump Room Programme’ and how this led him to develop reflexes visible in a video where he skilfully swats a fly. At the end of the talk, Richard raised a tall puppet version of Obama, which swatted a model fly, to an anthemic song by slow-core band Codeine.

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London 2015
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Stills and installation views of initial ‘Jump Room’ works at hrm199.Ltd, supported by LegionTV, 2015

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Seoul 2015
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Stills and installation views of ‘Jump Room’ works at Seoul Museum of Art’s Nanji studios, 2015. These works were the results of a residency there, which was also supported by Arts Council England’s International Development fund. Some of the work was shown at Show Home, London, in 2016.

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Shadrach in the Furnace
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Shadrach in the Furnace is a science fiction novel by Robert Silverberg, from 1976. Set in a dystopian future where a virus has killed most of the world’s population, it features a surveillance device used by the dictatorial ruler of earth to monitor its population. In this extract, the hero lingers by the screens of the device and observes a montage of the various horrific scenes occurring around the globe at that moment. As a member of a privileged elite, he is removed from the effects of the virus, only observing them from a distance.

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Virginia Woolf ‘On Cinema’
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In this text, Woolf writes about her experiences and opinions of the cinema. As someone who saw the cinema appear as a new technology, she writes from a specific viewpoint that is very different to ours today – and she didn’t enjoy the cinema or its contents. She did, however, identify a crucial quality of film – that of a temporal and spatial removal of the viewer from the subject. She also noted a sort of horrific, emotive abstraction made possible by the technology of projection; in this text she describes watching a non-representational image appear, caused by a fault in the machinery of projection.

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The Jump Room Theory
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One of the main exponents of the ‘Jump Room’ theory is US lawyer Andrew Basiago. In his many texts, talks and interviews, Basiago tells the story of his involvement with several secret space programmes, one of which evolved him using a secret ‘jump room’ teleportation technology. He explains that the devices were disguised as elevators in various buildings in the US.

Amongst the many political implications Basiago alleges is the role of the programmes in what he explains as the pre-ordination of US presidents. According to Basiago, he even met the then-future president Barack Obama when they were both part of the CIA’s ‘Jump Room’ programme.

In 2016, Basiago attempted to run for the presidency himself, building his campaign around his claimed involvement in these secret programmes. After Trump’s win, he seems to have claimed that this too was preordained by Trump’s own involvement in the same secret programmes, but that Basiago himself was confident of winning the 2020 campaign.

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