top of page


Camp-er /’kamper/

An object who lawfully occupies an uninhabited or habited building or unused or used land.

A settler.


In this installation, I investigate the importance of the framing of campers rather than their content or sense of obligation.


As the digital revolution develops, practices are changing, and so does the need to understand the social dynamics surrounding campers. Their aesthetics and technological aspects allow us to move towards the dialogues between campers, social action, and personhood – illustrating how its material appears to capture memory. The objects come to be seen as a point of origin of experience and memory, more than the event itself. This investigation focuses on the subtle ways campers can materialize memories of the past.

Yet these objects are surrounded by relationships and social processes. It is a work in the direction of how campers are culturally and socially embedded in the Black’s Heritage Farm, which has fed into how art, technology, and personhood interact. Such considerations have enriched and given fresh motivation to ethnographies of campers, their materiality, and substance, not only their visuality.


Rather than ask questions about what a camper is, it becomes more interesting to investigate how these processes work in different cultural contexts. Thus it is the variety of contexts within which campers are found, framed, sorted, and displayed that is a means for expressing multiple future social possibilities and aspects of the person.

Although these artifacts are surrounded by the lingering suspicion that they contain a feeling or ‘spirit’, nonetheless their frames can be more animating than their spirit. Frames indicate appropriate periods of time to share. The sharing may never actually happen but the sense of goodness or appropriateness in the intention may be more important than exchange practices, and it is often practices of sorting and framing, more than sharing.

It is the context, not the object itself, which ‘defines access to the past as a vision for the future’.

Framing illustrates how remembering is not only an abstract, internalized, passive process but a socially creative act that happens in interaction with the external material world.

c. 2017


Materials: Plaster, Pre-loved Clothing

Prompt: What is a cabinet?

Inspiration: Memory, Black's Heritage Farm located in Iowa

Tools: Pre-loved Clothing, Steel rod, Tension cables, Steel hooks,  Large mixing bucket


Skills: Plaster pouring methods, Plaster form removal

Camper by Bethanie Jones
bottom of page