top of page


Speculative Landscapes was a collective art research project emerging from Custom Food Lab that explored the potential for being otherwise in landscapes. It was sited in the unique coastal landslides of The Warren in Folkestone (UK) which we speculatively occupied as a place for collectively imagining a regenerative institution.  

A landslide and site of rare geological interest on the border between the UK and France, the Folkestone Warren presents an opportunity for readings of potential institutions of the future. Subject to multiple complex relationships of dependence and invasion, it is one of the most active landslides in Britain. It is also one of the most surveyed: monitored and observed for shifts in climate, erosion, geology and is said to have been one of the first geological explorations in Europe. The landslide originates 40 meters underground, an earthly reality that is controlled through vast terraforming projects and monitored on the surface.  Through Speculative Landscapes, the Warren was explored as a hovering network of geological stories, vast underground reserves of disruption, knowledges, journeys, loves and memories, spread across and below like a blanket of tangled plants that inhabit the landscape – goosegrass, knotweed, sea beets, sour fig, brambles and ivy, exploring relationality on scales from the atomic to the interplanetary. 


Cherry Truluck (b. 1981 London, UK) is an artist and researcher (formally trained as an architect) living and working out of Folkestone and Frome, UK. Through her own work and as director of Custom Food Lab, she seeks to rethink ecological strategies for commensality and sharing space.

Madeleine Collie (b. 1978, Australia) is an academic, artist and curator who lives between Folkestone, UK and Melbourne, Australia. She was the curator of the award winning The Ash Project from 2016-2019. 

Marta Fernández Calvo (b. 1978, Rioja, Spain) is a Spanish artist based in Madrid. She works with food, love, and care and has been awarded numerous prizes for her work both nationally and internationally and has taken part in many international artist residencies.

Rubiane Maia (b. 1979, Vitoria, Brazil) is a Brazilian visual artist based between Folkestone, UK and Vitoria, Brazil. An award winning writer in Portuguese, her artwork is a hybrid practice across performance, video, installation and text, occasionally flirting with drawing and collage.

*For two years this collective met regularly developing research, readings, workshops, prototypes, poetic actions, etc.


Design Dreams by Rubiane Maia 

Diagram Images - Last Version.001.jpeg

The Warren as border

Historically, borders have always been areas of conflict, monitoring and control. In the United Kingdom, which is bordered by the ocean, it is no different. The entire coastline is surrounded by a protection and surveillance field. Inserting a frame in this introduction, there is ‘The Warren’ a nature reserve between the towns of Folkestone and Dover, and facing the sea that separates England from France. We are talking about one of the closest points to the European continent, which, despite its smallness, lends it a particular strategic importance in the larger zone of alertness. A simple walk in the area causes the mobile phone to oscillate between no signal, English signal or French signal. If at first moment what we see is a beautiful beach with an interesting biodiversity, quickly the concrete platforms and the residues of military objects/instruments integrated with nature cause strangeness and curiosity. There, the human presence played, (and still plays), different roles. In this specific context, we should mention the numerous layers of history that inform and make up this area: the construction of the Eurotunnel, which deposited tons of earth taken from the seabed; the existence of a monumental concrete mirror that was built to serve as a sound tracking device for bombers during the First World War; the intense maritime and commercial traffic that connects the United Kingdom to the continent; the flow of illegal immigrants trying to reach the English coast by small boats, and even by swimming; smuggling and drug trafficking, etc. So, when we decided to think and research about this place, we are at the same time proposing to drive closely and critically toward the mechanisms of an institutional systemic tangle that represents many codes and interests to the state. However, as there are many layers of time united in a kind of wild organicity, we believe it is possible to find a small cracks, clues and contradictions that escape the macro-political logic. 


Intuitive Practices to Speak with Landscapes

Oracle Map 2_1.jpg


by Instructions 

Marta Fernández Calvo for Rubiane Maia:

I would like to ask you to go to The Warren in the early morning to dig a hole in the ground.

After it, you must bury one of your arms there.

Look to the sea.




the head wakes up whirling to the sound of an alarm which wasn’t set

at twilight one never knows whether one is half zombie

half cyborg or half ghost

the memory jumps in lapses

dream and reality can hardly be separated

so many things can emerge from a dark room:

rest - party - nightmare

the clock is ticking:

torture - bird song - trivialities - -

the machinal eye of a camera becomes my first mirror

an infinity mirror

we meet daily, without saying good morning

three stretched bodies along a horizontal line, barely breathing

time is a blurred parameter



standing up, life goes on

the floor supports bewildered bodies

a warm cup of tea pours through the mouth hole,

slowly descending into the bag of the stomach

density, balance and a state of well being surround the solar plexus

the neck slowly moves, looking for clearer directions

neither half zombie nor half cyborg, not even half ghost

an animal, and nothing more

into how many beings can we multiply?


looking for comfort, my back asks for a larger bag

i throw objects into a big backpack

with the door half open, i wait for the future surprises to come

the sun comes in with its blind light

nobody but me crosses the street



the holes are everywhere

merging with the architecture,

camouflaging themselves into the landscape

i guess not all of them would be willing to receive my arm

i draft a mental plan to dig my own hole with a garden shovel

as dawn shed its golden light:

cold breeze - a few people - -

boats parked on the sand -  -


sweat drips in droplets over my body

drawing a map,

offering directions

what once appeared to be predictable becomes extraordinary

impressive, precisely for being so common

i walk across the golf course:

there are more holes

i walk by the emptiness of the vacant buildings,

i smell the moisture of the earth under the grass

the shallow breath becomes deeper

a subtle pleasure,

a familiar emotion

such a physical sensation cannot help

but bring me back childhood memories



i am at the border,

along the invisible scar which defines where in this world our bodies should be placed

by the seashore, the waves draw a line made of water

further beyond, the vast expanse of the horizon

my bare feet sink into the cool moisture of the sand

i thread slowly so as to show some respect

algae fluctuates around me

perhaps digging holes is the same as opening portals,

i envision the possibility of making leaks in every border in the world

i evoke the machines operating in the fantastic journeys to the center of the earth

the underground movements

a breaking wave brings me back to the present moment

i know everything is bound to disappear in the face of the sea

i try not to create expectations,

but the image of my grandmother from my father’s side draws itself in my head

i don’t know how she looks like,

i was only a baby when i last saw her

i listen to a choir of voices describing her face

the hole, the hole,

i have barely moved and it is already opening



i start digging

this alive, softened, mysterious, pebbly surface

It swallows my hand even before i can go deeper,

we caress one another

life made both of us rough, for different reasons

the sea gently reaches us

soaking - dismantling - rearranging everything - -

of course, i was not given permission to dig, yet

i wait

being here is not only up to me, after all

slowly, the water withdraws

i give thanks 

i restart digging,

i remove a portion of sand with both hands,

trying to get swiftly inside the cavity

it doesn’t work

the surface slides and closes itself around my fingers,

nothing but a shallow-hole

a tiny puddle sheltering my hand

i breathe

i rehearse an artificial tranquility

so as to curb my desire to control

in my mind i reorganize the instructions

so as to give them the status of magic

nothing here should be understood as an order, but as a happening

i look at the horizon, which remains there:

blue - unshakable - whole - -

i touch the sand,

yes, we are playing

i offer some rest to the (always so efficient) right hand

from now on the left one leads the game

hand - wrist - forearm - elbow - arm - -

how far can we go together?

now it’s only us and the secret of the deep holes




the left hand dig itself on its own,

gaining depth 

the hole grows without the emptiness at its core

which would never appear

all that is there to be seen is arm - sand - salty water - - 

occasionally, small stones

i change the position of the body due to curiosity, not discomfort

the faith shown by the left hand surprises me

its sense of inability never turns into an obstacle,

it is hard-working and silent

the soft wind lets me know i could remain there for hours

the sea goes further away every minute

i find myself with a sudden desire to bury both my arms,

as i imagine my body on the floor embracing the cosmos

the memory of a young woman who had both her arms amputated  

strikes me with a nearly hallucinatory reaction

we are all susceptible to losing one of our body parts

the right hand, until now asleep, awakens

i request it to throw some more sand 

over my half buried arm

the hole extends upwards

taking the form of a small volcano with an obstructed crater

inside, warm - red - pulsating lava: blood

from now on, i have an arm embedded in this land

i close my eyes, and there i remain




a cabeça acorda rodopiando ao som de um alarme não programado

no crepúsculo nunca dá pra saber bem se a gente é meio zumbi 

meio ciborgue ou meio fantasma

a memória tem lapsos

sonho e realidade não estão exatamente separados

de um quarto escuro pode emergir tantas coisas:

descanso - festa - pesadelo - -

do tic tac do relógio: 

tortura - canto de pássaro - banalidades - -

o olho máquina de uma câmera é o meu primeiro espelho

um espelho infinito

nos encontramos diariamente sem dizer bom dia

somos três corpos estirados na horizontal que apenas respiram

o tempo é um parâmetro difuso



de pé, a vida segue

o chão ampara os corpo atordoados

uma xícara de chá morna entra pelo buraco da boca

e desce lentamente até o saco do estômago

densidade, temperança e um estado de bem estar envolve a região do plexo solar

o pescoço se move lentamente em busca de direções mais definidas

nem meio zumbi, nem meio ciborgue, nem meio fantasma

apenas bicho

quantos serão os múltiplos de nós mesmos?

o conforto das costas pede uma bolsa maior 

arremesso os objetos dentro de uma mochila grande

espero o porvir e suas surpresas com a porta semi-aberta

o sol entra e a luz cega

ninguém além de mim atravessa a rua



os buracos estão em toda parte

eles se fundem na arquitetura

se camuflam na paisagem

penso que nem todos aceitariam o meu braço

elaboro um plano mental de como cavar meu próprio buraco com uma pá de jardim

na luz dourada do amanhecer: 

brisa fria - poucas pessoas - -

barcos estacionados sobre a areia - -


gotícula de suor escorrem pelo meu corpo

elas traçam um mapa,

oferecem direções

o que parecia previsível vai se tornando extraordinário

e de tão comum, grandioso

atravesso o campo de golfe:

mais buracos

caminho pelo vazio do espaços desocupados

sinto o cheiro da terra úmida sob a grama

a respiração curta ganha profundidade

um prazer discreto, 

uma emoção familiar

uma sensação física que inevitavelmente

me conduz a certas memórias da infância



estou na fronteira,

essa cicatriz invisível que define o lugar dos nossos corpos no mundo

à beira mar, ondas formam uma linha d’água 

adiante, o horizonte extenso

descalça afundo o pé na areia molhada e fria

piso devagar pra demonstrar respeito

algas flutuam ao meu redor

talvez, cavar buracos seja o mesmo que abrir portais,

vislumbro a possibilidade de esburacar todas as fronteiras do mundo

evoco as máquinas que operam nas fantásticas viagens ao centro da Terra

o movimento subterrâneo

o quebrar de uma onda me traz de volta ao agora

eu sei que diante do mar tudo está destinado a desaparecer

tento não criar expectativas,

mas a imagem da minha avó paterna se desenha na minha cabeça

não sei como ela é,

só a vi quando, ainda, era um bebê

ouço um coro de vozes que a descreve

o buraco, o buraco,

eu nem me movi e ele já está se abrindo



começo a cavar,

uma superfície viva, amolecida, granulada e misteriosa

ela absorve a minha mão antes que eu possa ir fundo,

acariciam uma a outra

ambas ásperas por diferentes razões da própria vida

o mar gentilmente nos alcança

encharca - desmancha - muda tudo de lugar - -

claro, ainda, não tenho permissão de cavar


estar aqui não é apenas sobre mim

aos poucos, a água se afasta


recomeço a escavação

afasto uma parte da areia com as mãos,

tento me introduzir rapidamente na cavidade

não funciona

a superfície desliza e se fecha ao redor dos meus dedos 

um buraco-raso

uma pequena poça que abriga a minha mão


ensaio uma tranquilidade superficial

para conter o meu desejo de controle

reorganizo mentalmente a instrução 

dou ela o status de magia

nada aqui é do campo da ordem, e sim do acontecimento

olho para o horizonte que continua lá: 

azul - pleno - intacto - -

toco na areia,

sim, é uma brincadeira

ofereço descanso à mão direita (sempre tão eficaz),

a esquerda passa a protagonizar o jogo

mão - pulso - antebraço - cotovelo - braço - -

quão fundo nós podemos ir juntos?

nós e o segredo dos buracos profundos



sem alarde,

a mão esquerda vai se enterrando sozinha

ganhando fundura

o buraco cresce sem o vazio central

que nunca aparece

tudo que se vê é braço - areia - água salgada - -

ocasionalmente, pequenas pedras

mudo a posição do corpo por curiosidade, não por desconforto

a fé da mão esquerda me surpreende

seu senso de inabilidade não se torna um impedimento

ela trabalha duro e em silêncio

o vento suave me avisa que eu posso estar ali por horas

o mar se torna mais distante a cada minuto

subitamente tenho o desejo de enterrar os dois braços

e imagino o meu corpo sobre o chão abraçando o cosmos

a lembrança de uma moça com os dois braços completamente amputados

me provoca uma reação alucinatória

estamos todos suscetíveis a perder alguma parte do corpo

a mão direita adormecida, desperta

solicito que ela despeje mais areia sobre o braço 

que está enterrado até a metade

o buraco se estende para cima, 

ganha a forma de um pequeno vulcão com a cratera entupida

dentro, a lava quente - e pulsante: vermelho-sangue.

agora, eu tenho um braço cravado neste território

fecho os olhos, e permaneço ali

bottom of page