New Babylon @ Chelsea

January 4, 2018 Curation

was an eleven-day residency by fourteen interdisciplinary arts and design students from different art schools across London.

Based at the SU space of Chelsea College of the Arts, we extended Joseph Beuys’ everyone is an artist to everyone is a teacher and hosted a series of peer-to-peer workshops.

The proposition for peer-to-peer learning was inspired by the texts of Lepecki’s Body as Archive, where we believed everyone holds sufficient knowledge to teach someone else.


‘‘As a teacher and researcher at Chelsea College of Arts I have witnessed many creative and inventive student based projects at the college over the past 7 years. The New Babylon project at Chelsea was undoubtedly the most original and creative that I have witnessed and experienced in my time teaching at Chelsea.

What stood out for me was the peer to peer framework for learning and co-investigation of an extraordinary range of aesthetic, social and cultural matters ranging from a workshop on musician Childish Gambino to an experimental exploration of the archive of North African collaborative painting methods. The intense creative energy among the group was always present and I felt like I was taking part in an alternative art school and curriculum development laboratory.

Samboleap Tol’s referencing of the utopian spirit of Constant’s Dutch New Babylon project in order to filter its energy and experimental nature into the context of a multicultural group of art students in a London art school proved to be a hugely successful and stimulating experiment in transnational art education and production – a provocative crossing of genres and energies that has left a significant legacy at the college for future generations of students to learn from.’’

– Professor Paul Goodwin
UAL Chair of Contemporary Art and Urbanism and Director,
TrAIN Research Centre, University of the Arts London: Chelsea


Video documentation of New Babylon @ Chelsea, 2018, instagram stories compiled by artist Jannat Hussain (4:59)



Documentation of Yemi Alade’s workshop at New Babylon @ Chelsea (2018).
Chelsea College of Arts, London. Photo by: Dami Vaughan
Documentation of Jannat Hussain’s workshop at New Babylon @ Chelsea (2018). Tate Britain, London. Photo by: unknown
Documentation of a group crit led by myself @ Central Saint Martins, London. Photos by: Dami Vaughan