It’s a bit spooky. In the old hall of what is left of the former Ragged School in Lambeth, the remainder having been demolished for the new 19th century railways lines into London, as you tread carefully over the worn creaking timber floorboards, strange mechanised robotic metal and rubber fingers spring into life and different electronic keyboards on the floor around you start playing different snippets of random symphonies as you walk past.
The pupils have long since gone and this is now an echoing space, empty apart from these old electronic keyboards from another era which seem left behind in time, silent until they sense your presence.
‘The Origin of Life’ is a common theme by scientists as they seek to discover the origins of life and the human race, a recent book 2003 of that title being published by Paul Davies; it is also the title of the Soviet version of Charles Darwin’s classic 1859 book ‘The Origin of the Species’, but with a new communist interpretation through the philosophy of Freidrich Engels. Artist Dean Kenning has taken this same title for his exhibition at Beaconsfield where, as in a darkened cave where life may have started, things come to life when they both have sources of energy within them and where an unseen force activates them and thus brings them to life. Here, however, when darkness comes and the visitors go, all become quiet. All that is left at the end are the silent machines.