A still from Laura Grace Ford & Sam William's film ISLAND. It shows a fuzzy cloud-like substance with word ISLAND printed on it

Laura Grace Ford & Sam Williams: ISLAND

23 Apr 2021

A specially commissioned collaborative work from Studios residents Laura Grace Ford and Sam Williams, originally for 2021's Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy.

ISLAND brings together the moving image practice of Sam Williams and the narrative writing of Laura Grace Ford. Together they have produced a collage of footage captured in London, Berlin and Marseille where bodies connect through remembered gestures, reaching for familiarity through sensory and temporal networks.

Drawing on cognitive mapping and the concept of the dérive, this work interrogates place by mapping the psychic contours of the city, unearthing spaces that evade the neoliberal pressure to be an entrepreneurial, self-promoting individual; in the encounter with other life-worlds you escape your own reflection, inhabit other minds.

Fred Moten and Stefano Harney use the term 'hapticality' to describe the affective textures that can be accessed through others. They describe ‘modernity’s insurgent feel, its inherited caress...the feel that no individual can stand, and no state abide.’

Ford and Williams make use of the term hapticality as an incubator of counter-strategies. Hapticality, or feeling, is applied to the way we experience cities, through and with others, others who may or may not exist in the present. Feeling becomes collective knowledge, a tacit, covert network.

About the artists

Laura Grace Ford is a London based artist and writer concerned with spatial narratives, contested space, architecture, fiction and memory. Drawing on cognitive mapping and the dérive Ford interrogates place by mapping the psychic contours of the city. She has developed a multidisciplinary practice where spectral languages erupt as fictions and dreamings, a reconnection with emancipatory forces embedded in the city. 
Sam Williams is an artist working across video, live performance and collage. His work explores the connections between the cinematic and the somatic and the relationships between site, body and archive. His research is focused on how we can look at multispecies entanglements, mycelial networks, ecological systems and folk mythologies to produce ideas for present and future ways of non-human-centric living.  


Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy is a dynamic programme of new commissions, films, workshops, and conversations considering both our individual health and collective wellbeing by exploring societal and ecological issues that affect both people and planet. 

Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy is kindly supported by the Adonyeva Foundation.