Feral London

You’ve got no cash, no keys, no cards, no mobile and no one’s gonna help you; I’ll see you here in 48 hours…

Started on 09/01/2004

“Design a new experience or service…” Royal College of Art brief

Feral London metaphysically ‘relocates’ transient-living urbanites who are troubled by their ‘dislocation’ from their local environment.
Feral London relocates people through their lived experience exploring, problem solving, learning, reinterpreting, surviving.

The subject (customer) applies to become a member of Feral London. If their application is successful a Feral London Agent will evict them from their home and they will have their ID, cash, keys, credit cards, communication devices and clothes taken from them. In return they are given a briefcase containing: a business suit (trousers and shirt made from a ‘Gortext’-like material. No jacket), a pair of black ‘suit-boots’, a tie, elastic braces, a lighter and a set of rules:

  1. No cash
  2. No keys you can’t go home
  3. No cards no plastic money, no ID.
  4. No comms. no phone calls, no network access, etc.
  5. No theft
  6. No transport on foot only
  7. No running away you stay in your area
  8. No quitting you will be in for work on Monday morning

The subject then has to survive in central London for a set amount of time, after which their Feral London contact will return their possessions to them.

During their time ‘going feral’ the subject will develop their relationship with their ‘territory’ through play and exploration. They will have new priorities in their life with real consequences water, food, shelter, fire, etc.

This experience is more of a test of will power than the ‘Ray Mears’ style wilderness survival training courses that are currently available. In remote areas one literally has no choice but to get on with surviving and rely on ones training. However in an urban environment there are unlimited opportunities to ‘give up’ – get help, steal food, go to a friend’s house etc.

After their initiation experience the subject will be introduced to other group members, comparing war stories and becoming part of a new community sharing common experiences.
The aforementioned Feral London Agents are recruited from this community, and regulate the application process.

Feral London was featured at Intel Research Berkley’s ‘Street Talk – Urban Computer Happening’ in 2004.

Feral London Trailer Video soundtrack credit: God Speed You Black Emporer! – “Three”